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Why baby wearing isn't more mainstream...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I know this is probably obvious to most of us, but it is a shame to see the quality of most of the babywearing options available in mainstream brick and mortar stores. This was really hit home to me this weekend. I went to a really popular children's gear tagsale on Saturday. Because it is so crowded, they do not allow strollers, hence there were lots of moms (and some dads) wearing their babies who probably don't do so on a daily basis. I saw at least 5 people wearing either Fisher Price or Snuggli frontpacks with the baby hanging somewhere near their knees! It looked so uncomfortable! I really wanted to go up to them and at least help them adjust so that the baby would be up a little higher, but I'm not that bold. I did see 2 moms with OTSBHs, but no other slings. DD was at home, so I was slingless.

If they only knew...
post #2 of 20
I am totally with you...I saw a young mom on the street the other day iwth a babe in a baby bjorn so far down - I just wanted to go adjust the straps for her!
post #3 of 20
I used to see a woman wearing her baby (young baby, as in not holding his own head up) in a Bjorn, and she only fastened one side, so the kid was flopping it out!

And there was a mom in my KM class who had a Maya wrap and was trying to use the cradle hold but had it so low and loose that he was hanging around her waist and she had to use both hands to make sure he didn't flip out. I showed her how to use it correctly and she was really grateful, but the next time I saw her she had him in a stroller -- and our class was up a steep flight of stairs so she had to REALLY want to use the stroller. :
post #4 of 20
Ugh I know!!! I saw a mom walking in to playgroup this morning with her 11 mo on her hip, struggling and fumbling with a few things in her other hand. Meanwhile, Libby was snuggling up to me in the hotsling while I was handsfree! I could have carried 10 grocery bags!!

I opened the door for her and she gave me a funny look.

On the way out, we were leaving and she looked at me again.... I said "It's a back-saver! I love it!" And she asked about it and I told her about Hotslings...

I feel like I have this AWESOME secret!!

People still think it is inconvenient to put a kiddo in a sling! In my hotsling it took me exactly 13 seconds to get it on and get Libby in!!! How inconvenient is that??? Not at all!

post #5 of 20
I haven't gotten to much response form people but i didn't really get to wear my dd that long. I was unaware of the babywearing world untill i found a yahoo group when dd was 14 months old. Now that she is 22 months she would rather walk and hold my hand places, and that's fine by me since i'm getting a little belly heavy! LOL I can't wait to show off my slings/ wraps/ pouches with the next baby!!!
post #6 of 20
I think it's kind of hard to get info about babywearing if ya never knew that the terms "babywearing,""sling," or "pouch" existed in the first place. I think it just doesn't occur to people to look for info beyond what they see at Babies R Us. People do ask about slings when I wear them, but I never know if they actually follow up with a visit to a website. Sadly, babywearing knowledge just doesn't get passed down anymore, and I have no idea if it ever existed in certain cultures (like in Ireland?). I would think it existed in every culture, but I just don't know.

When my DD was born, I held her all the time. When we were out, though, I felt like I wasn't allowed to carry DD, as though she was "supposed" to be in the carseat, especially if she was sleeping. Isn't that weird? When I finally got a sling (DD was 2 months old), I got more assertive about holding her while out. My DH and mom had a lot of resistance to the sling (they both were the type to like to push the stroller), but I kept at it. I didn't understand WHY it was always such an issue to not bring the stroller, besides maybe using it for carrying bags. (And somehow, DH always managed to want to hold DD while I got stuck pushing the stroller!!!!!!)

I'll be very ready for the next baby with my sling assertiveness. I still don't understand why it's such a BIG DEAL . . .geeze.
post #7 of 20
I take my kids for a walk every day. I put the baby in the sling, so lots of people have asked me about it. I love telling people that there is a better way!
post #8 of 20
I have two slings, an OTSBH (which I don't like very much) and an Ultimate Baby Wrap. I also have a Maya Pouch on the way. Our stroller has only gotten a handful of uses and DD is six months old. I carry her nearly everywhere and get so many questions (especially when wearing the UBW) that I often feel like a walking infomercial!

Yeah, it really is a pity to see the quality of the stuff at Babies R Us or Target. But then again it seems like they don't carry anything people like us really need save car seats. How neat would it be to go into a store filled with all kinds of baby carriers and slings, cloth diapers and covers, natural wooden toys, the arms reach cosleeper, etc.?
post #9 of 20
So true.

But you know, I think it is only a matter of time before babywearing becomes more mainstream.

--Even though Baby Bjorn would not be my fave carrier, I do see a lot of them everywhere I go. These people are still wearing their babies, right? And the BB is an improvement over the cheapo Snugglis and Fisher Price and those other front carriers.

--Celebs seem to be into it. I've seen photos of celebs with New Native, Maya, BB, and Moby Wrap. I think that the more celebs that are photographed in slings, slowly, the more people will see it as a normal thing and not some crazy hippie thing to do.

--There are more different types of carriers available online than even 2.5 years ago, when I was shopping for slings for my son. Or so it seems to me. Yes, the good ones are mostly online. But I think eventually a quality sling or two will hit the mass market in a bigger way. When I'd wear my Maya, KK fleece pouch, or Ergo, I'd get tons of questions about where to get one (esp. the latter two). I think the Ergo could be "the next Baby Bjorn", if it was available in the bigger stores.

I don't think strollers will ever be supplanted in this culture in a huge way, but it would be nice to see people getting to use more of the options out there.

edited for spelling. urgh!
post #10 of 20
I am ver optimistic about the future! Just a couple years ago I would see babies worn every now and then but now every time I go out in public I see baby wearers everywhere. Although we are not seeing a lot of nice carriers right now it is only a matter of time. I really don't expect to see Toys R Us carrying a Baby Trekker or other nice carrier. I just expect to see more parents buying nice carriers mail order.
post #11 of 20
Originally posted by myniyer
How neat would it be to go into a store filled with all kinds of baby carriers and slings, cloth diapers and covers, natural wooden toys, the arms reach cosleeper, etc.?
I have a store just like this near me, and it's very neat indeed! They don't have a huge selection of carriers, but they do carry the Heart to Heart sling and the Baby Trekker - I figure that's a very fine start!

As for ways to spread the word, I think we're all doing that every time we wear our babies and show people how wonderful and convenient it can be. It really is becoming more and more popular, even if you don't always see it in your own backyard. Just look at how many babywearing manufacturers, forums, web resources, etc. have popped up in the last year alone (myself included!) - pretty cool stuff!

One thing that we do locally is run a slinging playgroup. (And I would encourage anyone else to do the same!) We started last year and met every week in a park. Now we meet at a couple different locations around the city, and are passing out cards and flyers to new parents and adding more people to our group all the time. Not only is it great that we're able to help other new parents find their way to babywearing, but it's a wonderful parenting support group for all of us. If anyone wants more info on how we got started just email or PM me and I'll be happy to share!
post #12 of 20
Just so y'all know that you're doing a great job spreading the word: I get comments all the time that "I saw a woman in the grocery store with one of these on." or "My sister's best friend pointed me here."

Keep talking about it. People are listening . . .
post #13 of 20
I have never seen anyone else in town use a sling other than my neighbor but she was using my sling carrying my daughter while we were walking.lol

I have been having more people comment to the people with them about what I'm wearing and how it looks neat or they've never seen one before, but they've never asked me about it. Hence, why I'm advertising babywearing classes now. I am putting fliers out this week with the title "Hottest NEW trend in baby gear", I wonder if that will get peoples attention. Especially if I casually mention the few celebs who have been seen using them.
post #14 of 20
We also have a wonderful baby store on town that carries arms reach, soon Bummis and CPFs and Mayas and hopefully soon Wemoons sling. I love wearing my kids and answering questions for moms. One great way to promote babywearing is always be on the lookout for 2nd hand slings, carriers. When I find them I buy and then give to the next new mom I know. I just gave someone a frontpack that I found for $1 at a thrift store.
post #15 of 20
While I think it is readily apparent how convenient babywearing can be in certain situations (hands free, not having to hunt for elevators, not having to try and navigate a stroller though narrow shop aisles...) I think that is ALL most people see in it, for the most part. So if they feel lazy, or that they have too much stuff, etc. then they'll likely choose to stroller more than a sling (until they try one, that is, lol).

The message I really try to get out when people talk to me about it, is how much more content baby is, how well they sleep, and just the physical and emotional benefits of wearing. Because for me, while babywearing is alot about ease and being able to snuggle alot, I also strongly believe in the health benefits, both physical and emotional, of babywearing. I wish that is something that more people understood. Trying to get people to look at "touch" as something more than just "something nice" is tough!
post #16 of 20
I was watching Food Network the other day, "Unwrapped" Maybe? I forget. Anyway, they were doing a show on the best ice cream stores in the US. One was Mitchells' in SF. I think it was Mitchell's, it has ice creams like mango and avocado?

So, they were interviewing a woman who was outside licking her cone. She was wearing her baby who looked about 1, and it looked like a OTSBH. Then the camera pulled back and there was her friend, also wearing her baby! It was so neat.

I wonder if they were mdc mamas?
post #17 of 20
there is hope. babywearing is not at all uncommon here in the bay area. not everyone does it, of course, but since the rest of the nation is always slowly catching up with the coasts, i expect this will be the case *eventually* in middle america.

post #18 of 20
So, tabitha, have you been to Mitchell's?
post #19 of 20
Oohhh, I know exactly what you all mean. I kind of have a sad story of how things would be so much better if I had know differently. I have a Nojo sling someone gave me, and I tried to waer it and BF in it, but it never seamed to work or be comfortable. I also have a snugli, but it is so hard to get DS in and doesn't look all that comfotable.

I stopped BFing when ds was 4 months old which I was extremely sad about. He would arch his back and cry when I'd try and nurse him and freak out if I ever tried switching sides on him. He was an all-bisiness nurser and got so distracted by his new found alertness. I didn't feel comfotable nursing without a blanket in public, and he hated that. I saw all the experts, ped, LLL, Lacation Consultant, and they all concluded it was his personality. So I gave up.

Now he is six months and needing to be held a lot more (a little seperation anxiety) so when this forum started I realized that I had a terrible sling and carrier. I have ordered a kozy which i think will be great and am going to get a kkps. I even have a friend who was way more AP than myself and I think she knows less about baby wearing than I do!

All that to say that if info about slinging/wearing and better products were more wide spread I think that bfing in a sling could have really saved us. I wish I knew even three months ago what I know now. But I still want more kidos so I can do it differently with them!!
post #20 of 20
Poor celebs have to use a sling, imagine trying to sheild bubba and flee from the paparazzi without it??? And when I see people with BB I hope they see me so they see a big bubba in a sling and know there's an option for later.

And help from other parents is invaluable when it comes to conquering sling use. And different people too - I have friends that carry their babies in different possies we can't achieve and vice versa, because we have different boobs and different torso lengths and different bubba's. Like breastfeeding, you need to know mum's with low and over supply, greedy bubbas and nibblers and so on, so someone might have a tip that makes all the difference.
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