"Babywearing makes gettting stuff done a breeze!" - HOW???? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-03-2005, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all. This is my first new thread here at MDC!

I frequently use an unpadded ring sling for DS, who is now 12 weeks old. What I don't get though is all the stuff I've read about moms who say something like "I just pop DC in the sling and then I can make dinner, do laundry, wash the dishes" etc. etc.

I don't know if I'm doing something wrong... but when DS is in the sling, I find it hard to do a lot of tasks. My arms' range of motion is significantly decreased, and I feel nervous bending over without holding on to him. If I need to reach for something overhead, the part of the sling covering my shoulder gets in the way on the one side, and on the other side, it seems like DS is in the way. I've been using the tummy to tummy hold and just tried Kangaroo carry for the first time yesterday.

It's hard to do something like carry a laundry basket - it's hard to carry in front since DS is there, and if I carry it on my hip, I can't fit through doorways too easily! And he's still very little - how does it work when he gets bigger?

Any thoughts would be appreciated - thanks!
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Old 05-03-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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I've wondered this too--who the mothers are who just pop their babies in slings and go about their business with ease. My baby is almost six months and, while wearing her in a sling has gotten much easier now that I can do a hip carry, I really cannot do most tasks easily. Carrying a laundry basket is, as you mention, nearly impossible with the baby in the front of you like that. I pretty much just set her down in her bouncy chair for the time it takes to run up and down the stairs with the laundry. Ditto washing dishes in the sink, cooking (which you're not really supposed to do while babywearing), and getting something off of a high shelf. Due to a pair of creaky, sore knees, I find it really difficult to keep squatting down when I want to pick something up off the floor or get something out of a low cupboard.

I am able to load and unload the dishwasher (albeit with one hand), tidy up/clean the kitchen counter, do non-stove dinner prep (although this is harder now that my baby is so grabby!).

Hang in there and don't let yourself get too discouraged by the idea that you should be able to do chores while slinging. It's hard! For quite a while I was haunted by a quote from a mother in the Dr. Sears book--"I just put my baby on in the morning, and take him off at night!" Really? If so, then wow! But I'm not sure if that's the reality for most of us. But I could be wrong...If I am, I'd love to hear from the more coordinated babywearers among us!

ETA: I do have high hopes for when I can carry my baby on my back. I'm thinking that might help a lot to have two free arms!
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Old 05-03-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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Well, it's not exactly as easy to do laundry, dishes, etc with my son in the sling as it is without him there. Like, I can't quite reach my hands together around him to wash my hands at the same time... I do one, then the other. When I bend over, I put one hand on him to make sure he stays in. It's a little tough doing the dishes, but if I hoist him up higher than the counter, he's at least not getting his butt soaked from the water on the counter in front of me. And it's tough to carry the laundry basket (again with the hoisting up high enough so I can carry it under him).

I carry him in sortof the kangaroo hold, but with his head held in place by the top of the sling where the rings bring it together.

But it works, and I love it.
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Old 05-03-2005, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bartleby

For quite a while I was haunted by a quote from a mother in the Dr. Sears book--"I just put my baby on in the morning, and take him off at night!" Really?
Both mother and baby must be extraordinarily talented to accomplish diaper changes, too.

Thanks for the feedback. I've also been looking at other babycarriers, the Mei Tai for example, seems like it would center DS more and I'd have more ability to move my arms around.

When I put him in the sling, I always INTEND to do the tummy-to-tummy hold... but when I look in the mirror, it seems like he's off center a bit, and actually somewhere between t-t-t and cradle. I'm still not sure I really have him in the sling correctly.

Regardless, I still love using it, especially for walks with our 85-pound dog.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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Whenever I imagine these mamas babywearing and doing chores, I always imagine them wearing their babies on their back. I can't imagine the challenge it would be to do laundry or wash dishes with baby in front.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:20 PM
 
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It's hard when the baby is tiny & you feel like you'll drop him!!! You might have better luck with a wrap or ABC. They feel much more secure in those - bending over is no problem - even with little guys.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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when my dd was tiny i used a streachy wrap that held her very well in the tumy to tumy carry, then after she was about 3 months we started to use a ABC (MT) with her in a high back carry (which can be done as early as weeks old with talent). it takes some time to get use to it!
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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I did everything - and I mean everything, I am a single mama - with my babe in a sling (Maya, then Wise Woman). Up until 5 mo or so he was usually in front; after that on my hip or back. Now at 16 mo, I am finally starting to use a wrap.

First of all, you might not be adjusting your sling tight enough. That is probably the most common mistake I see when I see other people using ring slings. What worked for me was to tighten the sling first then squeeze the baby in, loosening the sling as you do so, but only just as much as you have to. IME you will never get the sling tight enough if you put the baby in loose and then tighten. This works for all carries, but especially the tummy-to-tummy carry. (Which really should be called the chest-to-chest carry, cuz if the baby's on your tummy you're doing it wrong.)

Second, keep practicing. The learning curve is steep and I didn't really feel comfortable with it till I had been using it every single day for about 3 weeks.

Have you been to www.mamatoto.org ? They have some helpful videos.

When he starts holding his head up, it gets MUCH easier. Then you can use the kangaroo carry (which is really not good for getting stuff done, but the babies love it) and the back carry (which is rEALLY good for getting stuff done).

If you can afford it, definitely check out a mei tai or wrap. Everyone's different and maybe slings just are not your thing. I wish I had discovered wraps earlier, I would be having a much easier time w/ it now if I had. But I did love my slings, and it is definitely possible to do everything - cook, clean, do laundry, attend law school, ride a rush hour subway, facilitate meetings, babysit other kids, participate in demonstrations, etc - with a plain old Maya wrap.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:45 PM
 
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I was also inspired by Dr. Sears to carry my ds everywhere, but it ain't happening! We walk a couple of times a day with me wearing him, and whenever we are out I am wearing him, but at home I usually have him in his jumperoo, vibrating seat, play gym, or doing tummy time on his quilt when I am trying to get things done. I just move him room to room and talk to him while I am doing things. He "helps" me do laundry by playing with the clothes while I fold them. We have worked out a system that we like.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:48 PM
 
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I think it depends on what kind of sling you use. I can't do much with my over-the-shoulger sling but I can do basically everything with my hug-a-bub or my ergo-carrier. As my son has gotten bigger, I have put him on my back more to keep legs and hands out of things but I still shop with him in front in my hug-a-bub. Plus, they are both more back-friendly than my over-the-shoulder sling.

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Old 05-03-2005, 07:51 PM
 
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I was going to suggest the same things as the PP.

Make sure your baby is up high & your sling is as tight as you can stand.

Also, keep practicing, it does get easier!
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:02 PM
 
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Christy, I find it hard to do things with the baby in the sling. Our babies are about the same age, too.

DD didn't really tolerate the sling for the first several weeks. It certainly didn't calm her down. Now, I can use it to walk around - it's very helpful when I'm shopping. But there are a lot of chores I can't do.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to use the sling while I'm fabric shopping - I'm going to try to make a wrap and an ABC style carrier. Given that she didn't really LOVE the sling, I can't justify spending lots of money trying other ones out.

Last week I was able to nurse DD while using a tummy-to-tummy hold and gathering ingredients for dinner. It felt like a real accomplishment!

Practice has helped us - don't expect too much to quickly. Good luck!

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:47 PM
 
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I love slings, but they are in no way my choice for getting things done. Slings and pouches are so easy, but they do restrict my arm and I can't do alot of tasks wearing them.

The easiest for me is a Mei Tai. Quickly tie her on my back and I can do absolutely anything! I'm a veerrry productive mama with a Mei Tai.

A wrap is equally excellent, just more material to tie and might be warmer. But you can get baby very secure in there so you and baby are essentially one being!

An ERGO or soft structured carrier is great too, that's what my DH always reaches for, but I prefer the simplicity and beauty of a Mei Tai.

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Old 05-03-2005, 08:49 PM
 
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I use a wrap. I tie my son to my back. I can do everything this way. He is 2

see www.mamatoto.org for many visuals on how you can wrap a baby.


My son hated to be in a sling when he was younger. Hated it. He did not like to lie down like that. He liked to be upright like when using an ABC or a wrap

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Old 05-03-2005, 09:00 PM
 
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I would give a Moby a shot. It's relatively cheap ($35) and much more secure than a ring sling. I use it for vacuming, etc. I also LOVE my mei tai. I use it everytime I go shopping. I couldn't go food shopping without it! I don't wear DS that much at home b/c my house is so small I am usually sitting somewhere. Also, I won't wear him when cooking or anything. You could sell your ring sling here or the babyy wearer or the yahoo group and then buy a used wrap or mei tai.

Oh yeah... the mei tai is the only one I can nurse in.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:17 PM
 
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For outings and quick trips d sis usually on my hip. For chores, he is on my back, with my stretchy padded hotsling or ring sling. EWorks great and I can get stuff done. Of course it is more difficult and there IS a learning curve~! So, hang in there- it gets easier. But I recomend a padded stretch pouch, or a mei tei. I just ordered a mei tei so I can't comment- but pouches are easy to take on and off as are ring slings.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:25 PM
 
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I'll chime in with another vote for the mei tai, here, although at 12 weeks I was still using a wrap. I think they are better for very young babies, because they are more secure and supportive. Once you can get the baby on your back over both shoulders, in something that isn't flopping around, then you'll be getting things done!

I also have an over-the-shoulder ring sling which I detest, only use it if I absolutely have to. With the big pad pulling on one shoulder and the baby in the way of the other arm, flopping if she wiggles too much....there's no way I can concentrate on anthing else. That having been said, the cradle hold in a sling is the best for a newborn's spine.

Find a way to secure baby to your back, and you'll see why we say it's easier. Good luck!
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:28 PM
 
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Just wanted to add that I love my Mei Tai, though I don't use it much for just around the house. It's great for outings where I know I'll be walking a fair bit or don't anticipate needing to take my baby in and out of a carrier too much. I have not yet mastered getting the Mei Tai on by myself with ease; I have trouble crisscrossing the long straps behind my back, partly because I have tendinitis in both shoulders (ouch) and it's somewhat painful to reach behind my back to do so while also holding my squirming baby. But, I recommend the MT for how secure it feels on and how hands-free it is. I like wraps too for the security factor, but not so much for how they look (not as cool as a Mei Tai, IMO) or for how much the long fabric collects dirt/dust/dog hair from the floor/ground every time I take it on or off.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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I can't get anything dpne with my baby in a ring sling. With a pouch it is just a little better but not much.
A stretchy wrap is great, but I do not feel my baby is as secure in the stretchy material so I only do some housework with it.
I never tried a MeiTai, but everyone raves about them - specially for back carries.. Woven wraps are supposedly even more comfortable, but there is a big learning curve, specially with back carries.
I have a Kozy and Storch on the way and can't wait to see if I actually will be able to do housework like before
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Old 05-03-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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Life really got good when we discovered the back carry! Wraps, Mei Tei, and Ergo. Love love love. Before that, the Moby was AMAZING. I got so much done with her wrapped up tight in the tummy to tummy hold. She'd nap all day in there.

But, with the back carry, you're pretty much able to do anything. Definitely check out Mamatoto.

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Old 05-04-2005, 10:35 AM
 
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I agree about the Mei Tai and the back carries, but I also agree that while I do get things done with Julia on me, I get them done at a much slower pace than I ever did before, with a lot of interruptions. I've come to be reconciled to that.

The real PIA is when she reaches for everything. Yesterday she grabbed a dirty glass out of the sink when I was reaching up to put bowls away, and dropped it on my FOOT. Luckily it didn't break, but even a back carry is getting less realistic now for housework. Oh, and she WAILS whenever I run the vacuum while wearing her-- she likes to be safely away from the Vacuum Monster, in another room or even upstairs.

That said, I actually DID accomplish a babywearing diaper change once. We were at an outdoor concert and the ground was muddy, and I had no place to put her down. Granted she was only 9 pounds and in a cradle carry, so it was not that difficult, but I did kind of feel like super-sling-mama for a few minutes. :LOL

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Old 05-04-2005, 11:53 AM
 
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but I did kind of feel like super-sling-mama for a few minutes.
Indeed!

So, I know every child develops differently. BUT, about when could I start trying the back carries, and what physical attributes should I be looking for?

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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Old 05-04-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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I was just coming to this forum to post the same thing!! My 13 week old loves to be worn in the Moby, t2t. And I do find it a challenge to do laundry -my back isn't the greatest, leaning into the front loader just doesn't work. And I also can't pick up things off the floor. I'm off to order a MT to see if that will help...nervous about figuring out the back carry.

Glad to know I'm not alone!! My house has never looked so cluttered!

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Old 05-05-2005, 03:45 PM
 
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I think you could go ahead and try a back carry at 12 weeks. At 3 mos. babies usually are starting to have some good head control. I think you just want to make sure that the head is leaning against your back and the mei tai/wrap is tight against you unless they can completely hold their head up themselves. I know for me, my dd hated being in the cradle hold after about 2 mos. and from then it was the kangaroo carry in a pouch. Had I known about mei tais then, I would have tried a high back carry.

I agree that the "I just pop him in and it's so easy" comments make it seem simpler than it sometimes is. Babywearing sometimes makes it possible to attempt to get other things done, but there is no way, at least for me, that I can be as productive as without a baby. As others said, the back carry is key to getting more done because it's hard to reach over baby to do things in front of you when they're in a pouch or ring sling. My dd is now 21 months and I'm jealous of the people whose toddlers will stay in the carrier around the house. My dd will have none of it, we have to be outside walking to be in the carrier. In the house, she wants to dance, play, run around.

As for Dr. Sears, he's great, but can be a little Pollyanna about things. My dh and I joked that his solution for everything is the sling. "My son has horrible diarrhea, what should I do?" "Wear him in a sling!"
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Old 05-05-2005, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by the2amigos
I was just coming to this forum to post the same thing!! My 13 week old loves to be worn in the Moby, t2t. And I do find it a challenge to do laundry -my back isn't the greatest, leaning into the front loader just doesn't work. And I also can't pick up things off the floor. I'm off to order a MT to see if that will help...nervous about figuring out the back carry.

Glad to know I'm not alone!! My house has never looked so cluttered!
You know you can use your Moby for back carries, though, right? Don't be scared! It's easier than you think!
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Old 05-05-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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Just wanted to chime in and say that when my DD was that age, I too found it hard to get things done with her in the sling. At that age, we spent a lot of time just cuddling together on the couch. It got much, much easier to move around and get things done when she got a little older. Right now, I'm finding the ring sling great for running errands and popping her in and out. I have a Kozy that I use for household chores most of the time.
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Old 05-05-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bethwl
As for Dr. Sears, he's great, but can be a little Pollyanna about things. My dh and I joked that his solution for everything is the sling. "My son has horrible diarrhea, what should I do?" "Wear him in a sling!"
Ha! So true. When I was having the greatest difficulty with babywearing, when my daughter was about 3-4 months, I would read the babywearing chapter in the Sears book over and over. Out of frustration one day, I muttered, "I bet that guy has never worn a baby in his life!" Probably not totally true, but still. His Pollyanna attitude about it led to some guilt feelings in me at first, especially the "sling babies cry less" thing he always mentions. So when my baby would cry, for no apparent reason, sometimes even while in the sling, I'd think, "I thought she wasn't supposed to cry so much!" And my husband, ever helpful, would say, "Well, think of how much she might cry if she weren't in the sling." Gee thanks, honey.
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bartleby
Ha! So true. When I was having the greatest difficulty with babywearing, when my daughter was about 3-4 months, I would read the babywearing chapter in the Sears book over and over. Out of frustration one day, I muttered, "I bet that guy has never worn a baby in his life!" Probably not totally true, but still. His Pollyanna attitude about it led to some guilt feelings in me at first, especially the "sling babies cry less" thing he always mentions. So when my baby would cry, for no apparent reason, sometimes even while in the sling, I'd think, "I thought she wasn't supposed to cry so much!" And my husband, ever helpful, would say, "Well, think of how much she might cry if she weren't in the sling." Gee thanks, honey.
Yeah, i'm sure he's done his share of babywearing, but I think that man just has some sort of super positive attitude that simply doesn't admit any feelings of despair or self-doubt.
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:05 PM
 
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: Good to know I am not alone in the land of baby backwearing fear!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 05-05-2005, 11:11 PM
 
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Thank you *so* much for starting this thread and to all the posters who had input! I've been feeling like such a failure. I have a 6 month old, and she really loves the sling, but I find I seldom use it around the house because it's just impossible to actually get things done. Like a pp said, I can unload and load the dishwasher, and tidy counters and whatnot, but laundry is my biggest chore and the one I simply can't seem to do with dd in the sling. I have already begun the process of getting a MT, so I'm thrilled to know that it really will help in the housework dept.

I giggled over Dr. Pollyanna. Glad I'm not the only one who felt less than adequate for not wearing her all day. I will say though, babywearing has been a godsend, and Dr. Sears' advice on the matter was a big part of the reason I decided to sling my baby. I'm so glad I did!
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