Sophie, 15 months wearing Bitty Baby in her Beco Mini
“Babywearing” simply means holding or carrying a baby or young child using a cloth baby carrier. Holding babies is natural and universal; baby carriers make it easier and more comfortable, allowing parents and caregivers to hold or carry their children while attending to the daily tasks of living.
Babywearing helps a new dad put a fussy newborn to sleep. It allows a new mom use both hands to make a sandwich. It lets an experienced parent or caregiver carry a baby on her back and wash the dishes, do the laundry, take a hike, or weed the garden, all while keeping the baby safe and content.
- One that would be easy to put on while sitting.
- It needed to be comfortable to wear while sitting – no lumpy ties or buckles between me and the back of my chair.
- To be able to breastfeed from the carrier on the go.
- And it needed to be very supportive of the baby without overworking my muscles as mitochondrial myopathy is an energy metabolism disease – and finding ways to “conserve” cellular energy – including muscle use – is key to managing the disease.
- I should also note that I’m in pulmonary failure due to neuromuscular disease. I deal with collapsing lungs due to lung muscle weakness. A carrier with minimal pressure on the chest is very important for me! I do have a wheelchair with both tilt & recline functions which can relieve some of the stress of the carrier on my muscles & chest.
Ring Sling:I knew this was the must-have,as they are easy to get on/off, are great for a wide age-range, and breastfeeding was easy in this position.
|Babywearing Sophie at 7 weeks old – in Colours Razorblade Manual Wheelchair – Rockport, MA|
I did my research again about carriers, visited Boston Babywearers again to try products with Sophie this time, and was torn between the Oh Snap! BabyHawk and the Beco Butterfly 2 - but finally decided on the BB2 as seemed to be more comfortable for me personally – of course “comfort” may vary depending on people’s sizes & shapes.
Sophie loved it right away! Once again, I could take her out all day and she was happy. It was comfortable for me too. I have low muscle tone & poor “trunk control” due to neuromuscular disease but we had a great first 6 months with it!
Then she started finding new games including:
- Let’s pick mom’s nose!
- Let’s take off mom’s glasses I can pokey mom in the eyeball!
- And my (least) favorite: Let’s take the chewed food out of my mouth and put it in mom’s mouth, then take it back for my mouth!
We are going to Boston Babywearer’s group on Wednesday to look for “Toddler Tricks” from other moms and of course to celebrate International Babywearing Week! But this summarizes my experiences with my first 15 months of babywearing as a parent living an active life from a wheelchair.
NOTE: If you’re pregnant or a parent in a wheelchair, feel free to comment or contact me if you’re shopping around looking for carriers and baby gear! I’d be more then happy to give you more details on what worked – and what didn’t work from my experiences.