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Babywearing: Are there reasons to own multiple baby carriers?

Posted by Becca on 4/12/2014 to Baby Wearing

Multiple Baby Carriers

This is for all you moms who can’t get enough of your baby carriers. I love to baby wear for many reasons.

Reasons to babywear?

1) It’s great to be able to snuggle your baby all day long.
2) There’s nothing quite as therapeutic as having that sweet baby smell close to your heart, and being able to feel the gentle rise and fall of their breaths to calm a mother’s heart.
3) It’s stress relieving for you and your baby.
4) Strangers are less likely to touch your baby when you pull them inside your personal bubble—American strangers, that is.
5) It frees up your hands.
babywearing 6) It’s less to carry. I never have to use my trunk for stroller space or my shopping cart for infant carrier space.
7) Babies brains develop better when they’re held upright.
8) It’s liberating to a mom because you feel like you can do almost anything you did before having a baby. Large crowds? No problem. Big grocery shopping? Got that! Laundry? Check!
9) It facilitates bonding and is a great transition from the womb to the real world. But did you realize that it can be beneficial to you and your family to own more than one or even two baby carriers? I always thought it was frivolous when I read of Mom’s hoarding beautiful carriers like a stash of cloth diapers until a very sick baby enlightened me.

Baby Bear is quite attached to me. I don’t know if it’s nurture or nature, since I usually pick him up anytime he cries, but he really feels he can’t go on without me. If he’s playing happily on his own, it’s because I’m in the room with him. If he’s asleep by himself in his crib, it’s because I carried him there after nursing him to sleep in my arms and he doesn’t realize he’s alone yet. If I leave the room to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer, or to unload the dishwasher, or to pee by myself, he cries like he’s lost his best friend. Now that he can sit up and move around on his own, I’ve found certain solutions to this separation anxiety that don’t involve having him on one hip while I do what needs to be done with one hand. But those tricks don’t always work, and they don’t work indefinitely. In the end, I almost always have to turn to baby wearing if I want a happy baby.

That’s why I have baby carriers, three of them, actually, but once doesn’t really count since it hasn’t left storage since Bunny was two months old. Ever since Bear was a newborn, I’ve relied on my baby carriers. I discovered the Moby Wrap shortly after my daughter was 2 months old. Her constant screaming and colic made it absolutely necessary to hold her 99% of the time she was awake, so after trying a homemade sling and feeling the negative effects on my bad back, the Moby Wrap seemed like the perfect solution for being able to get dishes and laundry done without leaving the baby to scream by herself. When I bought it, our life changed for the better and my stress levels went from a constant nine or ten to a two or three. I have always gotton home from work shortly after lunch and from that time until evening, my daughter lived in the Moby Wrap.

She accompanied me to the bathroom, when I did dishes, and even took her naps there.

I didn’t see a reason to take her out when she and I were both so comfortable. Baby wearing brought a level of peace to my house that we hadn’t seen since before she was born and it helped me to relax as an overwhelmed, new mother.

I knew that whether or not Baby Bear had colic like his sister I would wear him reguardless, so I bought a second carrier—the Boba Air. I chose it because he was to be born at the beginning of the warm summer months and I felt the Moby Wrap would be too hot for us at first. He was born towards the beginning of July at a chunky 9lbs 9oz and weighed 11lbs by his 2 week check up. By 4 weeks old he was over 12 pounds and I found I could tuck his legs underneath him and carry him around in the Boba Air just fine, even though it isn’t recommended for babies who weigh less than 15 lbs. He turned one month old at a week long retreat we attend every year with our denomination and it was the perfect time to try out the Boba. I immediately fell in love with it just as I had with the Moby.

babywearing,baby wrap carrier That’s our baby wearing story in a nutshell. But still, why two carriers? I have a couple of practical reasons, but I’ll start with the one that was the deciding factor for us:

Sick babies

Baby bear has a great immune system. I’d like to say it’s because he’s breastfed but his sister was breastfed as well and got sick quite easily. I think it’s just his composition.

He’s a strong, chunky little man and he didn’t get sick for the first time until he was eight months old. But when he did, boy was it a doozy! I spent a dizzying 48+ hours pacing with my moaning, groaning, listless, miserable baby boy in either my Moby or my Boba with a towel between us because he was vomiting so much. I thought my legs would fall off at the end of that day because I just had to walk and walk and walk. His tummy was achy so sometimes he would refuse the breast. But sometimes he’d take it despite his tummy ache and in 30 to 45 minutes it would all come back up. All over me. And my clothes. And my baby carrier. And since the baby carrier was the only thing that was keeping me sane during this riduclous marathon of vomiting, pacing, and sleeping (aaah), this was concerning. I barely got my carriers through the wash fast enough. I frantically searched for my old, homemade sling that I’d never once used on him and couldn’t find it and panicked because it was about time for him to throw up again and the Moby Wrap wasn’t dry yet. The towel did the trick and the next time he vomited, it wasn’t enough to necessitate washing the Boba. Thank goodness! But I’m pretty sure I spent a majority of our pacing or napping time on my smartphone looking at other baby carriers and at patterns for homemade Mei Tais. That was when I knew that having more than one baby carrier is not financially irresponsible, it’s genius!

Dirty carrier

Vomit isn’t the only way a baby carrier gets dirty. One time I wrote about how my little Bear had a big poop blowout in his Boba. It was huge. Yeah. I could have used a spare baby carrier that day. Besides that, teething babies love to chew on carriers and younger ones often spit up. That carrier is going to have to get washed at some point.

Different situations babywearing,dad

I love both my carriers for different reasons (I say both because the sling just collects dust in my basement, yes I found it!). The Boba Air tucks inside itself to a little pocket that’s about 8” long and 4” wide. It fits easily into any diaper bag and is about the size of a pocket diaper. It’s lightweight and easy to clip on and off. It’s great for warm weather and for when you need to wear your baby quickly. The Moby wrap is more comfortable, but takes up to a minute to wrap around you. It also has lots and lots of fabric so it isn’t as easy to carry with you on the go, but if you wrap it before leaving, it’s totally feasible to wear it for a trip to a grocery store or Third Day concert (Yep, did it!). However, a baby in the Moby snuggles more easily against your heart—especially a newborn. Wearing it is like having an extension of yourself. I wear my Boba more because it’s more convenient, but I do love my Moby the best. Then there’s my sling, which is my emergency only back­ up. Slings are great and many moms love them. They just don’t suit my body type because of back issues. Those are just three types of carriers. I know all of you who are reading this wish you could put your two cents in about your favorite carrier because I’m sure it’s just as awesome as these two brands, or more so. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried it yet ;­)

babywearing Different ages

Babies at different ages, stages, and sizes work better in certain baby carriers. Bunny always loved to snuggle in the Moby. I think I even put her in there once or twice when she was a 3 year old, back before baby Bear was born. The mixture of the tight confines and Mommy’s heartbeat were always just the thing to soothe the worst of temper tantrums and ease every stress that toyed with her heart. Of course, I didn’t have anything with which to compare it. Baby Bear loved the Moby just find when he was young, but fights it now that he’s older and more mobile. It’s too confining for his personality. He prefers it to not being held but doesn’t like to be restrained, so he’s always trying to free his limbs from it’s cuddly confines. I can stick him on my back in the Boba, however, for an hour or two at a time and he’s perfectly happy. He chews on the straps, fiddles with the buckles, rubs my arms, and grabs my shirt. I love wearing him this way as I prepare dinner because he’s far from sharp knives and hot stoves, but also perfectly happy and safe.

Different Baby Wearers

My husband never was a huge fan of the Moby Wrap for himself. He wore it a couple of times but always felt self­conscious in it and preferred not to wear it in public. The Boba, however, is very adjustable and easy and he has worn Baby Bear much more than he wore Bunny now that we have it. Baby Bear has slept against my husbands chest as he played Frisbee golf, through running errands, taking walks, and he enjoyed some time on his back as Dave hung the diapers up to dry on the clothesline for me (be still, my beating heart!).

All that to say, yes, go ahead and get a second or third baby carrier. It’s not irresponsible and it’s not frivolous. It’s practical and smart. But maybe you should forgo the stroller, unless you buy it used for $20 from a yard sale. That becomes often becomes a frivolous expense when you wear your baby as often as we do.

So now, give me your two cents. What baby carrier do you have and why do you like it so much? I think I may be in the market for another one…