Why don't more people babywear? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 11-12-2005, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been nice this last week so DS and I have gone up town a few times (super small town, cute town square with lots of neat LITTLE stores) A lot of SAHM's must hit the square around the same time I've been up there because it is always full of mom's with these HUGE strollers. OMGosh! Our stroller (travel system, came with the carseat) got packed away 3 months ago so I'd forgotten how huge the darn things are. I feel like a little Geo in a sea of Hummers. I got Heel Checked more times than I can count. Watched the moms struggle to manouver those huge strollers in these little shops (full of stuff for sale, really really narrow walkways). I had DS in the sling or Mei Tai, I just waltzed through. My biggest pain was DS grabbing for stuff I was looking at.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but none of my IRL friends would understand if I said how much easier baby wearing is they think I'm crazy.

my slings!!!

for introducing me to the wonderful world of babywearing!!!

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#2 of 41 Old 11-12-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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I hate those baby Hummers too! I live in a biggish suburban area w/ tons of SAHMs and the only time I see babywearing is at LLL meetings. Today I was at Sprouts Market w/ ds in the MT and an older woman told me "you don't see many people using those" and then she asked "are they comfortable like that?" I was like, , a lot more comfy than an infant bucket! Who wouldn't like being held close all the time?
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#3 of 41 Old 11-12-2005, 10:16 PM
 
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More people don't babywear, cause they just don't know about them. First time I'd heard of a sling, it was a Maya Wrap, and I was like, "Hey, I can carry my baby with this piece of fabric, fold it up and put it in my diaper bag, and go? (Try doing THAT with a baby bucket or a stroller!) I"m sold!"

I would be so afraid to use a stroller in a shop like that, I'd be afraid of bumping something fragile and breaking it.
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#4 of 41 Old 11-12-2005, 10:32 PM
 
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I only had a Snuggli with my first two. I also didn't know about all of these different kinds of slings, pouches, and such. I did see women using Maya type slings once in a blue moon, and I thought they were kinda ugly, with all that extra fabric (not to mention the ugly fabrics that were used) and I never really knew all the benefits of babywearing. There are a lot of people who just don't realize what's out there I guess. I just ordered a black fleece pouch yesterday for this new babe on the way, and I can't wait to use it!

Bethany, mama to M (9), J (7), S (4), and baby BOY 9/13/10!!
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#5 of 41 Old 11-12-2005, 10:47 PM
 
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I wish I did ....I was so sick all the time and weak from massive blood loss that I could barely hold myself up at times....still not all right after 16 mo..
anyhow...what would ya'l reccomend for an newborn that could still be used for many months ..my SIL just gave birth to a lil 6lber, and thnking of intro'ing her to wearing...she will be strictly bf'ing for a while but will be going back to work but from her home..thought it may help her out a bit.
shes a nervous new mom..
thanks
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#6 of 41 Old 11-13-2005, 02:05 AM
 
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Wraps can be used for all ages, but they're kind of hard to use. Ring slings are pretty good, hard on the shoulder though when they get heavy. I really want to try a mei tai. I think they can be used with newborns, with a bit of adjusting.

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#7 of 41 Old 11-13-2005, 02:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone
More people don't babywear, cause they just don't know about them.
ITA.

frowningfrog, in addition to what PP suggests, some people like stretchy wraps for a newborn, and some people like pouches... pouches are easier to learn at first and there are some really stylish ones! and you can continue to use them up through a toddler hip carry - but wraps have other advantages (bf'ing hands-free may be of interest?) and IMHO it doesn't take toooo long to learn a single way to use a wrap, it's partly that they can be used a skillion different ways and each takes extra time to learn (for a stretchy w/ newborn most people would only use it maybe 1 or 2 ways anyway?)
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#8 of 41 Old 11-13-2005, 03:36 AM
 
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I think wraps can be intimidating... it's a lot of fabric, and not a lot of structure. But the benefits... you can wear it a zillion different ways, and you can keep on using it from the newborn stage right up through toddlerhood. I can't think of a more versatile baby carrier... and some of the fabrics are just gorgeous! (Can you tell I'm in love with wraps? )
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#9 of 41 Old 11-13-2005, 10:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone
More people don't babywear, cause they just don't know about them. First time I'd heard of a sling, it was a Maya Wrap, and I was like, "Hey, I can carry my baby with this piece of fabric, fold it up and put it in my diaper bag, and go? (Try doing THAT with a baby bucket or a stroller!) I"m sold!"

I would be so afraid to use a stroller in a shop like that, I'd be afraid of bumping something fragile and breaking it.
I think she's right - I didn't really know about slings either before. I had seen those backpack thingies for hiking but that was about it. But I can't understand why so many women want to use strollers. I understand at times it's might be more useful because you can stick things in there and you don't have to carry a diaper bag you can set it inside - ( but then I hate attracting attention so I'd be too shy to lug around a huge "hummer"! ) It seems so much easier to just carry them close to you instead of pushing a huge thing around!

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#10 of 41 Old 11-13-2005, 11:32 AM
 
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I heard of slings through another site that I read, but never found a good one, I think I had a "snugly" one. i hated it. then I heard of maya wraps and bought one. I love my maya but a 22lbs my dd got to big and now we have a backpack and I adore that. I love having her close but I so miss my sling and the extreme closeness pf my sling. I teach a parenting class and I always talk about the benefits of slings and carriers, though i do not promote a certain one, I model a sling ring style. I always look at babies in the snuggli front carriers and thgough they seem content, they also seem like they are bouncing all over. they worry me....b ut that is another thread.

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#11 of 41 Old 11-13-2005, 12:31 PM
 
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I think babywearing is catching on some. I see more and more women carrying babies in various carriers. I know i've gotten lots of compliments from women in my mother's generation saying how they wish slings had been invented when they had little ones and that they see so many of them. I smile at the thought of slings being invented (like 10000 years ago) and tell them how much i love mine. I think the more people are out in public with slings and carriers, the more they popularize.

Also, in defense of stroller/carseat systems. I love mine. I like being able to bring a sleeping baby in from the car and continue her nap. I don't use my stroller nearly as much as some moms and never take it shopping but i do like to take a walk with it sometimes. I live on a town green with a 2 mile walking path. It is nice to not carry dd for that half hour. My back gets tired from holding and wearing her all the time.
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#12 of 41 Old 11-13-2005, 10:46 PM
 
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To answer the original question, I really don't think some parents know that there is an easier way.

I am sooooooo glad I was exposed to it through LLL.
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#13 of 41 Old 11-13-2005, 11:00 PM
 
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I agree-I think that people just don't know that much about them. I think that is the one good thing about the Baby Bjorn. It is an awful carrier-but its out there for mainstream use-if people see it or even try to use it-they may "seek out" other carriers...I think most of it is by word of mouth. I get so many comments and stares when I am out with mine. When my mom saw my wrap for the first time-she told me that a lot of women used them in the 60's. She didn't though, but one of her good friends did.
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#14 of 41 Old 11-14-2005, 02:00 PM
 
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I think people don't know about the huge variety of baby carriers, and most aren't available in stores so they never learn about them.
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#15 of 41 Old 11-14-2005, 05:19 PM
 
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I think that is the one good thing about the Baby Bjorn. It is an awful carrier-but its out there for mainstream use-if people see it or even try to use it-they may "seek out" other carriers.
I see this question ALL the time.

"my baby loves the bjorn, but is getting too big/heavy. Help!"

Then they try a sling and the bjorn gets tossed.
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#16 of 41 Old 11-14-2005, 06:00 PM
 
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I did try it but ds would have nothing to do with it He cried while I put him in the sling then the whole time in it. I even made my own bought the instructions off ebay. I wish I could have sure would have been easier than pushing him around in the stroller trying to fit stuff in the tiny space under it.

 
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#17 of 41 Old 11-14-2005, 06:15 PM
 
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I don't babywear much anymore because dd2 stopped wanting to be in it a month or so ago. She still likes to be carried, but not in a sling (she kicks at the fabric and arches her back until I take her out). She also sleeps VERY well in a stroller, and not so well in a sling. She's 7 1/2 months old.

Dd1 lived in a sling until she was about 14 months old.
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#18 of 41 Old 11-15-2005, 06:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone
More people don't babywear, cause they just don't know about them.
Yup. People just don't hear about these things and most of their mothers probably didn't BW. I think I only knew about Baby Bjorns and NoJos because I wandered into them online while pg with Griffin. I figured the Bjorn would be good because my mom had a Snugli. And get this - I figured the Bjorn would be BETTER than a Snugli because it looked more structured. Stiffer and more luggage-y is better, right?

I had no idea about the wonderful world of WAHM slings until I saw one on an MDC mama I met, and I didn't venture into MTs and wraps until Reese was born. I only found out about them because of boards like this and TBW.

Women nearly never see anybody wearing a baby. Heck, I'm very BWing aware now and I still nearly never notice even Bjorns in my city. Magazines seldom show slings. Mainstream stores carry a limited supply and in the Target near me, the slings/carriers are up high on a shelf. Compare that to the HUGE stroller display...people just never see the carriers unless they're looking for them.

Add to that the fact that when people DO see images of women wearing babies, it's usually women in "tribal" societies in other countries. Many people assume that low-tech is not as good as high-tech, and that low-tech solutions are only used by poor people. So they may think that BWing is something that only poor women in less-developed countries do. :

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#19 of 41 Old 11-16-2005, 02:09 PM
 
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They need to be sold in regular stores and they need to be more affordable. I love my pouches but I certainly wouldn't spend $70 on them. I was able to get them used for less than $30 which I think Is a more reasonable price for them.

I get asked about mine all the time but when I say got them on the internet, the person loses interest right away, esp when they learn what the retail price is for them (name brand)

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#20 of 41 Old 11-16-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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I didn't know about them with my first, and with my second I was given a maya wrap but couldn't get the hang of it -- it hurt my shoulder and I could never get it snug around the baby and feeling right. I was disinclined to try another one because I just couldn't see shelling what was to me a lot of money at the time when I didn't even know if it would work for me. And because they don't sell them in stores, you can't just try out different ones before buying, and the choices can be daunting.

With all the talk here on MDC about how great slings are, though, I kept thinking I really should give it another try. So with my third I took a chance with an OTSBH. It took me a long time before it felt like it was easy to use, but I persevered! and boy did it pay off. It is SO much more convenient than using a stroller or just carrying a baby. I always feel sorry for people lugging their kids around, I can practically feel their suffering.

My OTSBH fell apart after two years of heavy use (fabric got worn and starting to tear) and I had never been happy with the tail so I started looking at different slings, but again I felt daunted by the choices and inability to try them out before buying. So I took apart my OTSBH to see how it was constructed, and made my own sling.

We also got rid of the stroller -- I never used it because it was too much of a hassle, and it was just taking up space and collecting dust. Now when I go out and forget my sling I'm seriously bummed because I'm not strong enough anymore to carry the baby without it, and sometimes she just will not sit in the cart. The sling keeps both of us happy.
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#21 of 41 Old 11-16-2005, 09:23 PM
 
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I got into babywearing by accident, LOL. I was given a Snuggli as a baby shower gift and I thought it was cool. Little did I know that dd would live in it for 3 months! She had reflux and needed to be upright after feedings and she was in pain and wanted to be held all the time. So I got to researching and discovered babywearing. I think more people dont do it for 2 reasons:
1. they dont know about it
2. they are scared of "spoiling" their baby

Where I live it is common to see kids being hauled around in car seats and strollers and I get weird looks from people when dd is in the mei tai or pouch. The only time I didn't get weird looks was when we in Mexico, lots of moms wear their babies beucase it's how they get things done. Lots of people from churhc were always telling me I was spoiling my daughter and that she needs to learn now to be held all the time but you know what, sh is 19 months and wants to be independant all the time, I love hte moments when she is tired and I get to put her in the mei tai or pouch for naptime. And the kids that were hauled around in car seats all the time seem really clingy and more dependant!

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#22 of 41 Old 11-16-2005, 11:46 PM
 
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I SO love wearing my kids - and I'm still wearing them both, ages 3 yrs.(ds) and 14 months (dd). They both love the Maya Wrap. I use my solarveil in the shower for dd. My Mei Tai has gotten a lot of use with ds while dd is in the Maya. And now I have an ERGO so that ds can get up and down more easily when he decides to look at stuff and then get back on. We want to conceive #3 as soon as dd cuts back the night nursing a little and I am fertile again....my concern is how will I wear three????

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#23 of 41 Old 11-17-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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I love babywearing. Too much sometimes (according to DH) because I have a lot of carriers (wrap, ergo, mei-teis, pouches, etc.) and DH I wore my son for an entire year every where without ever using the stroller. But now he weighs over 20 pounds, only likes the front carry in the Ergo, and whips his head around to see everything so much in the Ergo that it's hard to keep my balance and after a long day my hips start aching. He can't fall asleep like he used to when he was smaller, and if he wants out and I need to do something (like pick up packages, shopping, pay for the bus, put my coat on etc.) he could toddle off and it's dangerous and scary. (We live in London.

Enter our umbrella stroller, a simple but fully reclinable MacClaren. Dusted it off and it's great. We stuff the Ergo in the basket underneath just in case. It's not huge or heavy. I carry it myself up and down train platforms in London, and people help me every time. It fits in tiny shops and I can buy stuff without having to have both hands full teetering around worried that I'll trip wearing the baby cause I can't see my feet. Best of all, my son loves it! Maybe it's all new and a novelty right now, but he kicks his feet and smiles at everyone and can fall asleep in it great.

DH and I still wear DS every single day, in the house, short trips around the neighborhood, local playgroups but for all-day outings across town, the stroller wins every time, even when faced with the challenges of public transportation.

I never thought I'd even consider the stroller an option, I thought I had wasted my money! But I can see now that it's very useful. Maybe I need some lessons on how to do it all? I'm sure it would be different if DS liked the Ergo back carry.

I cannot imagine wearing my son and a new baby. You moms who can are amazing!!! My plan is to wear #2 (TTC now) for a year+ and DS gets the stroller/walks if safe. If someone else lives in a big city with 2 kids and doesn't drive and has any tips on how to get around without a stroller let me know!!

As far as the rest of mainstream society goes, in my non-AP mom's group of 10 babies, 8 were worn in Bjorns/Snuggly-type carriers until about 3 months. 2 moms couldn't because of hip/back disorders. So I do think it is catching on.
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#24 of 41 Old 11-17-2005, 05:37 PM
 
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I think that many people will see the small selection from Babies R Us or Target and think that they're ugly, too expensive, and bulky. My bil and his wife had twins and borrowed some slings. They never used them though and when I looked at the slings, they had buckles inside of them to keep baby from somehow falling out, a thin strap that dug into the shoulder, padded, and they were pastel colored. Who wants to wear that? I think the Baby Bjorn is the nicest looking that's available at the store but it's sooo expensive at $80. Can you imagine if BRU or Target started selling Hotslings, Zolowear, or something similar? They wouldn't be able to keep them in stock!

You should see the stares and hear the compliments when I used to wear my Hotslings sling everywhere. Everyone loved it. When new babe is born in a few months, I'm going to make some very similar slings in trendy fabrics to match different outfits. Wish I would've known about nice slings five years ago.

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#25 of 41 Old 11-17-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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I use my slings for short trips but dd doesn't like being so restricted and I don't like lugging her around. (she was a heavy baby). She is much more comfortable in her stroller and it is handy for throwing shping bags, snacks and what not. I have never really figured out how to comfortably carry my child, diaper bag, purchases and a nice cup of coffee (a must for truely leisurely shopping). Often I would leave my stroller outside and pop her in the sling or let her walk in the store. but Especially at the mall once they hit about 6 month we were both digin the stroller. Slings are handy for me fo short trips but anything more than 10-20 minutes really begins to wear on us both.

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#26 of 41 Old 11-21-2005, 06:15 PM
 
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I found my stroller came in really handy for all the shopping bags! [grin]

There is too much baby stuff out there; it's a huge market and people with new babies just gobble it up (I know, cause I did). You don't need most of that stuff, and that includes those Lincoln Towncars that haul too many babys around.
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#27 of 41 Old 11-21-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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I wore my DS almost exclusiely for about 18 months - now very litte as he's 30 pounds, I'm pregnant and if I wear him nowadays I can't do anything when I get home - too exhausted.

When I was a babyweareer (and it's what I'm most looking forward to about having another baby) a lot of people would stop me etc - but many voiced concerns that it was making my DS clingy and wanting to be held too much. Lots of people said things about how I could do it with a firt child, but I'd "eed" a swin for #2 becasue you just can't let a baby get that attached when you have a toddler.

Since I've been behind a stroller (and it's a very lil one) I have to say I've gotten better at getting through doors - but I can't wait 'til Ds can hold my hand and I can sling the baby and we can be free again!
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#28 of 41 Old 11-21-2005, 08:21 PM
 
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I bought a sling before my first child was born -- it was like having diapers or blankets on my list of "baby things." I was going to sling my babes until they were as tall as I am! But ...
I found that I physically could not wear my babies around - not 12 and 11 years ago with my first two nor now with my 8 month old. I've had chronic back issues since adolescence and no sling in any position works for me without me being in extreme pain after about 10 minutes of wearing baby. So, instead of beating myself up, I just sat/sit down a lot more with my baby in my arms!
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#29 of 41 Old 11-21-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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i was planning on babywearing from the get-go, but ended up just carrying her in arms for the first 12 weeks. we got the new native and she hated it. we got the nojo and she hated it. i'm not one to give up, so the mamababy sling arrived today. well, 2 of them. and she loves it! i am soo stoked that i'll have 2 hands around the house now! she likes to face forward and the mamababy works great. the others were too constricting for her, i think. who knows? anyway, i'm just so happy i can finally wear her in and out and about . it is a shame there isn't some store or something where you can go try out different shapes and sizes to see what the baby likes best. i've found shopping online for things like wraps and cloth diapers to be difficult. still on the perfect cd hunt...

treehugger.gif river and mountain mama to two amazing dust.gif girls, homebirth.jpg 8.25.05 and h20homebirth.gif 1.13.08, and married to my soulmate of 18 yrs partners.gif

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#30 of 41 Old 11-21-2005, 09:03 PM
 
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Hi,
New to this babywearing thing. I bought a used rebozo, and I hope to use it on baby #4. I remember using the denim snuggli *years* ago, and now I'm a SAHM, so hopefully this will work out. I found a web site that told about how to use this rebozo. Anyone use this type of wrap before?

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~elly/rebozo/

Thanks! Lynn (South Texas)
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