Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What are you wearing today?

Jeans? A sweatshirt? A suit and tie? A warm coat?

A baby?

Oh, maybe that's just me.

I love babywearing. I used various carriers with Chickie from the time she was two weeks old until I was 35 weeks pregnant with Zoodle. I've worn Zoodle since day one.

It's funny to me when people in public see me babywearing and comment, "Oh, it's too bad they didn't have those things in my day!" In reality, women have been wearing their babies for thousands of years. It's just been relatively recently that the "civilized Western world" has borrowed the concept from the Third World, to the benefit of busy moms and cuddly babies.

The nice thing about the trendiness of babywearing is that there are so many truly great options right now. When Zoodle was small I liked using a homemade, adjustable ring sling. I even made a matching doll sling for Chickie. Here we are, on the day Zoodle was born.

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From seven to 19 months old, Chickie spent a lot of time in a homemade wrap--a simple, long piece of fabric. Here she is, snoozing comfortably at the age of 10 months.

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After I got pregnant with Zoodle, I got the best carrier yet. It's what I used through much of my pregnancy. It can be used on the front (facing out or in) or on the back. I used it to carry Chickie on my back, then to carry baby Zoodle on my front facing in, then on my front facing out. Now I usually carry him on my back. I love the flexibility of this carrier, and the awesome comfort. The wide waistband distributes weight into my hips and legs, and the wide, barely padded straps further spread the weight. And it's pretty. This carrier rocks.

It's called the Mei Favorite Baby Deluxe, and it, along with other Mei Favorite versions, is sold at Babies Beyond Borders, which is a website run by a wonderfully sweet work-at-home mom.

Zoodle must weigh close to 20 pounds now. I just can't get much done with him on my hip, and I get tired! The last few days he has been extra-fussy for some reason, and the Mei Favorite is once again living up to its name. Here we are, yesterday (in front of LOTS of freshly-roasted nuts!)

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This winter, forget polar fleece and puffy coats. Take it from me--the best way to beat the freezing temperatures is to strap a baby to your back.

21 comments:

Monica said...

Baby wearing rules. Good for you. I wore the bigger boys all the time. Sadly, number 4 (now 16 months) hated it for some reason. I miss having both hands free.

beckiwithani said...

I love Zoodle's shoes! :)

We used the Ultimate Baby Wrap constantly for Molly's first few months. Donal got as good at putting it on as I was. We never even broke out the stroller until she was a few months old (well, maybe once - but it was such a pain compared to wearing her). Wraps and slings are great in the cold Boston winters, because you can tuck the little one under your big coat so easily. And then, when she was older and teething, the sling was great. She liked the hip carry the best, and I could hold her in her grumpiness and she would just snuggle up.

Becky said...

Well, here in Minnesota it's been below zero and windy so I think I'll have to opt for the baby AND the polar fleece AND the puffy coat.

Sadly, Natalie hasn't wanted to be worn since she started walking at nine months old, so I just sold my final remaining baby carrier. I used those constantly with both of my kids. I had a mei tei (although not the Mei Favorite Baby Deluxe, although it looked pretty much the same as yours) and that was also my favorite carrier. So much more comfortable than any of the others I used! Definitely the Cadillac of baby carriers.

Chris Bowers said...

We had one when we went to Disneyland that came in very handy.

Isabella said...

We are borrowing a friend's Bjorn...and while it's very handy, I don't like how much my back hurts after a while, but it's better than my arm going numb from holding her on my hip.

Seeing the support on this one makes me want to give it a try. Thanks for the recommendation! I'm off to convince the hubby I need one...

:)

Rebecca said...

doesn't that hurt your back??? I have a horrible back and that would be the last thing I would want to do... though like you said LOTS Of people love it!

I love his little boots!!!!!!!!

Lyndsay said...

I've always WANTED to be a babywearer, but I couldn't find one that worked! The Bjorn just didn't do it, then I switched to a peanut shell, which I loved "in theory", but she looked like a squished sardine.

At that point, I gave up, because I wasn't having enough success to justify another big expenditure.

Maybe next time around, I'll have to try one of your recommendations!

~hon~ said...

Chickie looks so cute and funny on the first photo. Like mother, like daughter. She'll be a good mom someday.

As for Zoodle, I totally love the boots on him! Good choice of boots. As usual, he still looks adorable whenever, whatever and however.

GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY! P.U.S.H.

forever folding laundry said...

I was a Moby Wrap girl through and through with Avery. Once you get past the learning curve of getting it wrapped, it was awesome!!!

C. Beth said...

Monica--I've heard some kids just don't like it. Bummer!

Beckiwithani--Aren't the shoes adorable? The Engineer's parents got them for us but they are so hard to get on, he won't be wearing them often.

Becky--She started walking at 9 months? Wow. Good for her. Bummer for you. :)

Chris--Yes, they are great for going to places like amusement parks, where you walk a lot.

Isabella--BOO Bjorn! :) I used one with Chickie and it started hurting my shoulders a lot when she was about 15 pounds. There are a couple of similar carriers to the Mei Favorite called the Ergo and the Beco; they are worth looking into also. I LOVE the straps on the MF, though; I think I like them better than I'd like the narrower, more padded Ergo straps. Not sure what sort of straps the Beco has.

Rebecca--The wonderful thing about a REALLY GOOD carrier like this one is that it doesn't hurt my back. Now, if I was still carrying him in a one-shouldered sling--definitely it would hurt. My feet hurt if I wear him too long. Sometimes the waistband gets uncomfortable but it is overall way more comfortable than one I had before (the Baby Hawk mei tai) that didn't have the big, wide, padded waistband. The waistband thing is amazing; it really doesn't even feel like I'm using my back to carry him, more my legs/back and shoulders.

Lyndsay--Oh, you know you can come to me for solicited or unsolicited babywearing advice when you're ready! ;)

C. Beth said...

Hon--Thank you! I do think they are adorable too. :) I sure hope Chickie is a great mom (in a LONG time!)

FFL--I never used a stretchy wrap. (Mine was 100% cotton gauze, no stretch.) But I've heard such really wonderful things about the Moby!

Jenners said...

I tried all types of baby carriers when my son was little but ALL of them were just painful and I really struggled to get him in there when I was by myself. It was always an adventure. I have a friend who is a new mom and I will pass this info onto her! It would be nice if she could benefit from your experiences!

Also want to let you know that I'm having a giveaway at my blog ($20 Target gift card) if you want to check it out. There is also a quiz about children's books if you are intersted. The link is http://mrsfligs.blogspot.com/2008/12/award-inspiration-quiz-and-giveaway.html.

Call Me Cate said...

I love to see mommies (and daddies) wearing babies. Unfortunately, I don't have one in my closet to wear this winter so I'll have to make do with my Slanket.

Annje said...

I never really got into baby-wearing, but your photo makes me want to give in another try--very cute. I have a baby boy about that age too!

Profoundly Inarticulate said...

Beth, you don't really know me because (I'm embarrassed to say) that I haven't ever commented on either of your blogs, although I've been reading them for a few weeks now, and I really like them, and I really do mean to submit something on your One-Minute Writer blog one of these days (I mean it!)... So I hope it's not too weird that I've just given you a blogger award on my blog. :-) I just really think you deserve it, for both your blogs!

Sandra said...

I didn't know anybody who "wore" their baby when I had little ones. I think I would have liked this, except my babies were really big so it might have been like wearing a really HEAVY coat! :)

The baby Uggs are darling.

Faith said...

I love love love my mei tai on my back as well. I, however, need to cut my hair like yours in order for it to work well. Peaceful always pulls my hairclip out & gets a face full of hair.

Rachel Cotterill said...

If I had a baby that would be my winter wardrobe sorted - oh well, I have a hot water bottle to keep myself warm! (And my husband is buying me two new coats for Christmas, but shhh, don't tell me...)

Your kids are absolutely adorable!

C. Beth said...

Jenners--Yeah, some carriers are very uncomfortable. There's such a wide range. The good ones can be very good, and the bad ones can be just torturous.

Call Me Cate--Okay, I'm going to have to Google "Slanket" now!

Annje--Oh, give it another go! I got my Christmas gifts packaged and ready to send thanks to being able to put a fussy guy on my back today!

Profoundly Inarticulate--You are so sweet! Thanks for the comment and the award!

Sandra--Chickie was about 27 pounds when I stopped wearing her. Now, I'm not saying I wanted her on my back for hours at a time :) but the good carriers even work with big babies.

Faith--Hmm...hadn't thought about that with this hair growing out thing! I can definitely imagine Zoodle pulling out a hair clip, once my hair gets to the point that I put it up.

Rachel--Oh, new coats! Fun!! :) Thanks for the sweet words about my cute kiddos!

Deirdre and Joshua said...

hi Beth
My not so little guy is 29lbs 15ounces(As of yeasterday)- we'll call that 30lbs! I have the ergo but I don't last too long because is gets hard. Do you think the MeiTei would be better? Do you have the toddler or baby model? PS- my guy is 9 months too
thanks-Deirdre

C. Beth said...

Dierdre--The Mei Favorite is sorta a cross between an Ergo (with the thick waistband) and a mei tai, with the tying straps. The buckle-style Mei Favorite is very similar to an Ergo. The biggest difference I can see (from just looking at Ergos--haven't tried one) is that the MF has wider straps with very little padding. That was important to me, as I think narrower, padded straps are less comfortable than wider, less padded straps. So in that sense it might be more comfortable, if you think you'd like that strap style.

However--I also think that carrying a 30-pounder in ANYTHING is going to be tiring, no matter how well the weight is distributed!! My MF is very comfy, but it still makes me tired wearing him for a long time.

I have the baby deluxe (the one in the picture and the toddler buckle. I just loaned out my baby deluxe yesterday and am going to start using the toddler buckle because Zoodle has started arching a lot, and with him on my back I'm afraid he'll arch out of the baby model. The toddler model has a taller body. I like the narrower body of the baby model and it's fine with a non-arching baby or even toddler--but with this arching phase I think the toddler model is more secure for him.