Friday, May 7, 2010

hello, im gretchen and im a baby wearaholic

i've been wearing devin since the day he came home from the nicu, which was 2 weeks before he was actually due to be born. i don't know how i came to find out about proper baby wearing, i just knew i wanted a baby k'tan while i was still pregnant. it looked fun and stylish. much better than a baby bjorn type carrier in my uneducated opinion. when devin was born almost 14 weeks early, i knew i would wear him as much as i could when he came home. i started kangaroo care when he was 3 days old and saw how powerful skin to skin contact was for him (and me). his oxygen saturation would instantly improve and his vitals would stabilize as soon as i held him in his first days and weeks. after his 11 week nicu stay i wanted nothing more than to hold him as much as i could, not only because i had gone without him at home for so long but also because the poor guy was bedridden for so long! so baby wearing was just what i did. i wore him in the baby k-tan for at least 3 hours a day for the first several weeks he was home and was able to relax and get a few things done while he was safe and comfy. it was great. i loved the k-tan carrier design, very easy to use and super comfortable. its a stretchy cotton material which is ideal for newborns to 12-15lb. babies. it really started sagging and became very uncomfortable when devin got to be about 12 lbs. i started doing some research on where to go from there because there was no way i was giving up baby wearing!

i joined the baby wearing group on babycenter. com and started checking out i found out about the four main forms of baby wearing that are safe and comfortable.ring slings, mei tais, soft structured carriers and woven wraps. im very interested in woven wraps but they are some of the most expensive so im holding off for now :) i plan on getting one in the fall when its a little cooler. i did make a wrap out of cotton gauze that i used for a few weeks while i made up my mind about what carrier i would get first. cotton gauze is the best fabric to wrap with if you decide to go cheap and not buy an actual woven cotton wrap. i bought 5 yards and cut it to be 30 inches wide. i watched youtube videos to learn how to wrap and it worked out well. i look forward to using a real one in the future.

i decided to get a mei tai. there is a great introduction post on the baby wearing board with a list of reputable brands of each style carrier as well as lots of information and a description of each type of carrier available on the market. i really liked the looks of the mei tai baby brand. i also loved the fact that it could be ordered as a "zippy". this is a mei tai with 3 different panels that you can change whenever you want a different look. it doesn't actually have zippers, its velcro and its very cool! i emailed the creator of mei tai baby mei tais and asked if i could send my own fabric for the panels because i didn't love anything on the website and she said that would be fine. i just got it the other day and am in LOVE!!! it is so comfortable, well made and just beautiful. devin loves it!

the mei tai was custom made so it took about 3 weeks to arrive. in that time i was just longing for a real carrier and ended up talking fabian into letting me get a soft structured carrier as well. i had found an awesome woman named amber who lives very close who has a great website called she mainly sells soft structured carriers but also a few mei tais. i contacted her and she offered for me to come by and try on whatever i wanted! this was so exciting because for some reason baby wearing really isn't all that popular and i couldn't find anywhere to try stuff on. i knew i wanted something, but i didn't want to just order something without trying it on. so i went to her house with devin and tried many different carriers on. there was another mom there that day too looking at different carriers and she had a baby boy who was the same age as devin at the time and amber has a 9 month old daughter. amber is such a nice person. she knew i wasn't going to buy anything the first time and still offered to let me borrow any carrier i wanted until my mei tai came! shes just so great and wonderful to work with! that was his first playtime with other babies, i didnt have my camera but amber took some pictures and will email them to me soon. anyway... i LOVED  a carrier called the action baby, but this was before i ordered the mei tai and i really wanted that so i left without getting the action baby that day. shes just so great and wonderful to work with! i didn't take her up on her offer but while i was waiting on the mei tai i went back and got the action baby. its different than the mei tai and i use both of them everyday for different things. the action baby is good for quick trips in and out of a store, the mei tai is nice for a long walk or grocery shopping. it may seem like i wouldn't need 2, but until you become a baby wearing fiend, you wont understand ;)

this is entirely too long and shows just how obsessed i am. baby wearing is lots of fun and much easier than using a stroller all the time. i hope someone that reads this gets into wearing their baby because its just an awesome thing to do and a very fun hobby! i also hope this post was helpful. its hard to find out about all this when baby bjorns and infantino type carriers are really the only things available at most popular baby stores. ahhhh! now i have to go into that for a second... sorry! so the baby bjorn, infantino, chicco, basically all the popular baby carriers are no good at all. i know many people have these and their babies are happy while they are in them but they are called "crotch danglers" by us baby wearing snobs and they're called that for a reason, thats what they do, they dangle the baby by his or her crotch! not so comfy. they also are made to have the baby face out. this is not an ideal position for an infants hips or spine. its just not a natural position for them. babies should always be worn facing in towards the wearer of looking over a shoulder in a back carry. their legs should be in a "froggy" position instead of dangling straight down. mei tais, good soft structured carriers and wraps are the best way to achieve that. its annoying that the proper carriers are so obsolete and i hope that changes in years to come. the carriers im raving about are so much more comfortable than any of the "crotch danglers", i promise! okay, like i said, this was waaaay too long, and i kind of rambled a lot... sorry! :)
here are some great examples of crotch dangling:
this baby is being worn facing out, dangling from his crotch and is sitting very low on the mother. i guarantee that is not comfortable for either of them.
this guy looks like a creepy ken doll, he just doesn't know any better, we all know ken and barbie and their "little sisters" (a.k.a. illegitimate children) don't have real "parts" anyway.

here's devin with his "froggy legs", sitting comfortably and ergonomically correct:


  1. Wow you really know your stuff! I tried babywearing with Jayda early on and she just would not have it! I invested in the moby wrap when she was younger and she would just scream whenever i put her in it. It was like she was claustrophobic (hense why she wanted OUT of my womb! hehe).

  2. OMG, I love your ABC and your MeiTei too. My mother's day present this weekend is to take the time to figure out the hip hold and put Isaac in the back hold of our ergo. Sooo jealous!

  3. I am getting a woven wrap for mother's day. It is my present to myself. :) I think I am going to get a Gypsy Mama because those are the only ones I have found that I like the patterns. I know they are known to be a more difficult wrap but I am going to have no fear! And later.. I am getting a babyhawk! Woo! Though, I really like both of the carriers you got. They look so secure and they are both so cute. Hmm... I might just need to re-think my babyhawk.

  4. yes! you inspired me! i've been talking about getting a new carrier forever so i love this post! which one do i get?? decisions, decisions...