This past summer, I decided that I wanted to become a babywearing educator. I enrolled in an intensive four day course via BabyWearing Institute and let me tell you I learned a lot. I have currently completed and passed my basic exam and am working on finishing my advanced exam (it’s taking me a lot longer than planned with baby #2 on the way and a toddler). While I am an educator right now I am still waiting to become fully certified (a matter of submitting and passing my advanced exam).
Going into the course I thought that I knew a lot about babywearing benefits and safety. While I did know a lot from my own personal research, there was so much more to learn and so much beyond just benefits and safety but we’ll save that for another day. Today I want to talk about mistakes I made the first time around.
While the majority of our carriers didn’t “allow” for forward facing I can be found guilty of wearing Edith forward facing in the Moby wrap a handful of times. I was always leery of wearing Edith forward facing because I knew it wasn’t the proper positioning for healthy hip development and we had vowed to never to own a Baby Bjorn or similar style carrier. For some reason, though, I thought I’d give it a try with the Moby. Well the thing is, it really doesn’t matter what brand or style of carrier you have, forward facing is not ideal for a variety of reasons (separate post to come).
Additions to Carrier
Just like with car seat safety, there should never be anything added to a carrier that wasn’t specifically made for that carrier. This means no blankets or anything extra that was not authorized and made by the company. My personal example of this was using a rolled up blanket as an infant insert in our Boba Carrier. I had seen other blog moms do this with their Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) and so I thought “wow that’s a good idea”. The thing is, it is not ideal or safe to do this. There are a number of SSC carriers available now that include their own infant insert (the Ergo with the Heart to Heart insert, for example*) that are a much better option if you are looking to use your SSC with your infant.
Using the Stretchy Wrap after about 12lbs
I know that many of you are reading that and saying “But, my stretchy wrap says it is good up to 35-40lbs”. Yes, for marketing purposes, stretchy wraps are said to have a much longer life than they do in reality. This isn’t to say that you won’t literally be able to wear your child much past 12lbs, but it just isn’t ideal. To be honest, stretchy wraps are not ideal to use anyways as they have too much stretch which doesn’t allow for your baby to have enough support and they also don’t provide enough support for the wearer. So why 12lbs? After about 10-12lbs your baby starts to weigh too much to maintain the proper and ideal positioning in the carrier. The wrap easily starts to stretch out after 10-15 minutes of active wearing and as the wearer you will start to notice them starting to sag. This also has a negative effect on your back, shoulders and your entire body. It’s a challenge to get the wrap tight enough to really support you and your baby after 12 or so lbs.
*Make sure that if you are looking to purchase an infant insert for your ergo that you get the Heart to Heart style and NOT the old version as it does not provide the proper seating position for your infant (I know you can find in tons of the old version in thrift stores so beware).