What is Baby Wearing?

If you have never heard of Baby Wearing it can seem an odd term.  But in many ways it is the most natural thing you can do!  When your baby is born he (or she) is bewildered by this cold hard world and the one place he feels safe is Mama’s arms.  But even a fresh new 7lb squish feels pretty heavy surprisingly fast, so supporting them in a carrier keeps them safe and happy, and frees your hands as well!

And there are some amazing benefits for Mum and baby (and Dad and baby of course).  If you breastfeed it helps build and maintain your supply.  It helps your baby regulate their body temperature – no worries about them over-heating or getting cold, Mama’s body will actually warm or cool in response to baby’s needs.   It is an amazing way to bond, they are snuggled up to you, hearing your heart beat just as they did in utero.  For Dads it is a perfect way to build that bond and give Mama a well deserved break.  If (when) your baby won’t settle it is a fast way to comfort them, and if you are unlucky enough to have a colicky baby you can take comfort in the fact that baby’s stress levels are much lower when crying in arms, even if they are still crying.   And, well, it’s just lovely.  Who doesn’t want to cwtch their baby as much as they can?!

But where to start?  There is a world of carriers and options out there, from long bits of cloth to tangle yourself up in, to complicated structures with buckles and knots, to great big framed things that look heavier than a house before baby is even installed.  And all so expensive – it’s an intimidating investment when you’re already skint (cause you just had a baby after all!)  But take comfort.  If you spend £200 or more on a buggy you may not get half that amount when you sell.  But if you buy the *right* baby carrier you will find it keeps its  value pretty well – you may not make your money back, but there’s a good chance you’ll be able to sell for a good amount when your baby wearing days are over.  For more on types of carrier look here.
Figuring out which is right for you can be intimidating, but this is where slingmeets and libraries come in.  Slingmeets are regular get togethers where you can meet other babywearers and learn their preferences, and try out others carriers.  Sling Libraries are not-for-profit groups who hire out carriers for a nominal amount so you can figure out exactly which will suit you before making an investment.  You can find details of Devon meets and libraries here.
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