Babywearing in hot weather

Summer is not far away in New Zealand and in the last few weeks some days have been very warm already! This means that it is time to start being mindful about what to look out for when babywearing in hot weather.

My daughter was already 5 months old, when she experienced her first Summer. Up until then I used to carry her in a stretchy wrap, which worked really well. But as the weather got warmer (and she got older and heavier) the stretchy wrap wasn’t the best carrier choice anymore. I decided to start using a meh dai, which I found to be a great choice as a Summer carrier as it was light and airy for both of us.

Here are a few points to look out for when babywearing in hot weather:

Why does my baby not like the carrier?

Have you recently bought a new carrier and now you realise that your baby cries every time you try to put her in the carrier? Don’t worry! This doesn’t mean that your baby hates being carried and will never like being in a carrier. There can be different reasons why your baby cries when she is in the carrier. I will explain those reasons today and give you some handy tips and tricks on how to settle your baby in the carrier.

Can I use my narrow-based carrier?

When I was pregnant, I was given some different carriers by very well-meaning friends. At the time I did not know anything about babywearing and put the carriers to the side for later use. One of them was a narrow-based carrier.

I did learn more about babywearing at my antenatal class and decided that a stretchy wrap would work better for me than the carrier I was given. Only years later I learned at the babywearing training I attended that narrow-based carriers are not only uncomfortable for babies and caregivers alike but also place your baby’s developing hips in a not-ideal position.

When can I start back carrying my baby?

Carrying your baby on your back: for some it is the easiest way to carry their child, for some it is the next step in their babywearing journey and for some it might not be necessary at all.

I personally was more than happy when I mastered the skill of carrying my daughter on my back when she was about 8 months old. This meant that I could cook dinner more easily – with the bonus that she would often fall asleep on my back. Nowadays, my big four-year-old girl only ever gets carried on my back.

My husband however, continued carrying our daughter on his front. He loved the cuddles that he would get this way with her. He only started carrying her on his back when she was about 3 years old and we only had an onbuhimo available during our travels.

Besides personal preference when you would like to start carrying your baby on your back, I often get the question when it is safe to start carrying a baby in a back carry. Let’s have a look at different carriers and safety aspects!

Babywearing with twins

First, I would like to say that I do not have any personal experience with wearing twins in a carrier. However, I did recently complete further babywearing training and one part of the training was about babywearing with twins. We had a mother at the training who shared with us her own journey of wearing her twins and how to successfully carry both of her babies at the same time.

I have found this very inspiring and would like to share my new knowledge in the hopes that there will be parents of twins who would love to carry their babies.

Babywearing during the fourth trimester

I believe that soon to be mums and dads should be made aware of babywearing well before their baby is due to arrive. In my opinion the topic of babywearing should be part of any antenatal course.

I was lucky enough that the antenatal course I chose to attend introduced me to babywearing. During the course me and my husband where shown how to use a stretchy wrap and we were able to practise. After this session I knew that I would be getting a stretchy wrap for my unborn baby and I felt confident enough to use it.

But why should you learn about babywearing before you have your baby?

Babywearing in cold weather

Winter has arrived in New Zealand and I thought it is about time that I should talk about babywearing in cold weather. Luckily, where I live in New Zealand (Nelson) it doesn’t really get that cold. We never have snow – much to the dismay of my daughter – and there is usually only about one or two months when the temperature drops below 0 Degrees Celsius during the night.

My little girl was born in Winter and therefore I started my babywearing journey in Winter. My first carrier was a stretchy wrap which I felt was great for the colder months as it gave us an extra layer of warm fabric.

Here are a few points to look out for when babywearing in cold weather:

3 common worries about babywearing

This week I have started visiting mum and baby groups in my local area again. It feels so good to be out in the community again and being able to talk to new parents about safe babywearing. Seeing the happy faces when I can confirm that the fit of a carrier is perfect. Hearing the grateful “thank yous” when I give little hints and show small tweaks to get a better fit.

In most groups, there will be a few parents with common worries about babywearing. And because I do get those questions asked a lot, I decided to type up my answers and put them in this little blog post for all of you.

Why is it better to try before buying a Soft Structured Carrier?

One of the reasons, why I am so passionate about volunteering at my local babywearing library (Babywearing Nelson) is that a babywearing library gives everyone the opportunity to try different carriers.

Especially in New Zealand there are not many walk-in stores which sell a wide range of carriers. So even, if you do have a store close by, they may only be able to have a small number of carriers available to try.

I personally started using a soft structured carrier (buckle carrier) quite late, when my daughter was about 8 months old already. Other carriers had worked fine for us so far, but we were about to head to Europe to visit our families in Germany and wanted to take a “easy to use” carrier with us, that even the grandparents could use if they wanted to. I was so glad we were able to try various carriers at the library and hire one of them for our overseas trip (check out this post if you would like to get some tips and tricks for babywearing when on holiday). The Manduca carrier was the one that worked best for us at the time. We even ended up buying one as my husband and I both really liked it.

For us, the Manduca carrier was a great fit, but since then I have helped many parents try out different soft structured carriers at the library and lots of them have preferred other carriers.