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Troubles Starting Babywearing

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 



I am new and just posted some of this in the introductions forum, but I thought it made sense to also post here. My son is 10 weeks old and I am struggling with getting started babywearing.


I desperately want to wear my baby. I believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of doing so. We were handed down 3 different carriers - the Ergo, the Moby, and an Infantino one. Philip is long and skinny. At 2 months he was 9 lbs. 15 oz. but 23 1/4 inches long. I am very short - only 4' 10". I have the infant insert for the Ergo but honestly have not tried it because I feel like it's really bulky and will be better for when he's older. I really thought I'd love the Moby and fully planned on using it for these early months.


I didn't use any carrier for the first 6+ weeks because my husband and I were both home and I was pretty much constantly breastfeeding, anyway. Now that I'm on my own, I've been trying to make babywearing a regular thing and it's not working. I feel like the Moby is too hard to get on and off. When I wear it properly, Philip is not comfortable or happy in it and breastfeeding in it has not worked at all for me.


So, last week I broke down and ordered the Balboa adjustable sling. I thought it would be perfect. Adjustable for my height, easy to get on and off, and good for breastfeeding. I've only had it a couple of days, and I know these things take practice, but I am frustrated and disappointed. It fits me great and is comfortable. However, Philip doesn't seem to be taking to it well. I read that some babies don't like the cradle position, so today I tried the cuddle/snuggle position with his legs out because he doesn't seem to like them all cramped up. He was doing OK, a little fussy, but I was walking around and trying to get him used to it. We checked out the mirror and it looked exactly how it was supposed to, but after about 15 minutes, it looked like his feet were turning purple so I took him out. I am disheartened.


All the instructional videos and articles make it look/sound so easy. I know it take practice, etc. but it's so stressful for me and for him that I just want to give up. Why can't I get this right?

post #2 of 10
It can take a while to find the right carrier. Have you tried using the ergo without the insert? I'm not an ergo lover myself but I used a soft structured carrier right from the start with my second babe. You could experiment with legs in, legs out or one leg in and one out. You could also try putting him in and then going straight outside for a walk. Most babies seem to be happier and more settled when walking outside so it will help to give him good associations.

And I wouldn't worry about feeding in the carrier yet. Just concentrate on getting you both comfortable then you can add things like feeding.
post #3 of 10

Hm, the options you are working with are all less than ideal for a baby your child's age.  The Moby maxes out at about 15 lbs, and I find less than that, then it is too stretchy for comfortable support.  An ergo is great when you have a slightly older baby, but an SSC isn't idea at the age you are dealing with either.  A Balboa Baby sling is certainly an option- use a tunny to tummy hold, but it isn't going to be as easy and comfortable as a good ring sling would. Don't use a cradle hold, stick with an upright tummy to tummy hold with his head high enough to kiss. 

Do you have any babywearing groups nearby?  It would be great if you could go to a meetup and get some hands on help (and try some different carriers that might work better for you.)


post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

katelove: To be honest, I haven't actually tried the Ergo at all. The insert is still in the box and I was thinking of returning it as he is already over 10 lbs. It just seems like it's kind of bulky, better for an older baby, and going on hikes and such. I have decided to give all the carriers/wraps/slings I own a fair shot, so I will be trying it soon (hopefully today). Also, thanks for the reassurance that it will take time and not to bother with nursing in a carrier right away. I just felt like since he always wants to nurse as soon as I put him in a carrier, that it would be good to be able to do so right away. But practice makes perfect. I probably just need more patience.


RainbowAsylum: I know people who use the Moby much longer than to 15 lbs, but you are absolutely right about it not feeling comfortable/supportive. I always have to try and get it as tight as possible and then baby seems squished and the tail is down to my ankles. If I loosen it, it's definitely not supporting him right, good for my back, or giving me the ability to kiss him, as recommended. 

I also agree that the Ergo seems better for an older baby. I do have the insert, as I said above, but it's also kind of bulky and seems better for long walks, etc. not just for day to day babywearing. I think I will use it eventually, but it doesn't seem right for now.

The Balboa Sling is an adjustable ring sling, it's just padded and doesn't have the long tail that many of the traditional ring slings have. I tried the tummy to tummy (cuddle/snuggle) hold yesterday. I love the idea of this sling because it actually is able to adjust to my height and I get can him close enough to kiss, but when in that hold it seemed like the top rim was too loose and the bottom rim was too tight. I know I need to practice and play around with it, it's just so stressful when it makes baby unhappy.

The Infantino carrier I have is the Breathe. I haven't tried it, either, because I was so convinced I was going to love the Moby and then moved on to a sling. I did some looking into this one today and am going to try it later this afternoon. It allows him to have his legs out and be tummy to tummy or facing out, it's not too bulky, and it's good for his weight, so assuming it fits me properly, this might end up being a good solution.

Unfortunately, I can not currently afford to purchase any other carriers/wraps/slings. 3 of them were handed down and the fourth was a desperation credit card purchase. I would think with the 4 options I have, I should be able to make something work!


Thanks to both of you for your advice, and I welcome any more. I will post on my progress as we practice and try new things.

post #5 of 10

I think the Balboa Baby is a padded rail sling (I haven't used one in years.)  I had one with my oldest and struggled with the same adjustment problems.  A simple linen ring sling from somewhere like Sleeping Baby Productions is a different thing in terms of comfort and adjustment.  

Definitely try to find some local babywearers- many groups will have a lending library for you to access, that way you don't need to spend money.  

I am only a couple inches taller than you are- so I am pretty aware of the miles of fabric problem.  You can wrap the tails with the moby around an extra time to eat up some length.   The Moby really needs to be snug before baby goes in to be supportive enough (and never use a moby on the back.)

I hope you can find something that works well for you!

post #6 of 10

You can look on facebook to find local babywearing resources, and there is a great group called 'babywearing 101' that will have bunches of resources for you as well. 

post #7 of 10
I would give the ergo a try. As I said, I don't love them, I much prefer the Beco and used it from birth, but it's what you have so there's nothing to lose by trying it. Many of my friends use their ergo as their everyday carrier although I agree with you that it looks bulky and utilitarian.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

I had some success today! I didn't find time to try any of the other carriers, as I'd intended. However, I noticed today that all of a sudden he was wanting to be carried in more of a frog position. I thought, hey this is how he's supposed to fit in the sling! So, I put him in there and he was a happy boy for at least 20 minutes until he wanted to eat. Highlight of my day!
I also thought of a reason this might have been the case. We were using up the last of his newborn size diapers and they were getting pretty tight. Today we started the size 1s, so maybe his legs weren't feeling as restricted and that's why he was comfortable bending more.
We'll see if it can be duplicated tomorrow, but it's definitely a start!

As far as babywearing groups in my area, I know there must be some, but I have been unable to find any in my searches so far. I'm going to ask around at some groups and see what I can find out.

post #9 of 10

I'm only 5'2 and I LOVE my ring slings! I have 2,  a single and a double layer sakura, both are incredibly comfortable to wear and super easy to use/adjust, and the excess fabric, while not too long, can be wrapped back into the ring once you've got everything adjusted.  I used the moby while DD was *small* but she was chunky and gained weight quickly so it didn't last long.  We did the frog legs in the ring sling til DD was about 5 or 6 mos and wanting to stretch them out more and she was happy as could be all scrunched up in there.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

I appreciate your input, sassyfirechick. I haven't made much progress since my last post. It's seeming less necessary to have him in a carrier at home lately. It would be nice to have an extra hand, but with his frequency of nursing and my limited ability to get anything done anyway, I don't mind holding him in my arms. Plus, he's not supposed to get sun yet, so I find that walking him in the stroller is still the best bet there. I hope to get him more accustomed to the sling or one of the carriers I have soon and plan to keep trying. I think maybe at social events when I have a bottle to feed him, he might be more content in a carrier. We'll see. I love all the varieties of carriers out there and wish we weren't so strapped for cash so I could collect them! But for now, we're going to keep trying with what we've got.

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