1. I always think i’m going to wear my newborn constantly. But I really don’t need to, because they sort of stay on my shoulder without a lot of effort while they’re under 10 pounds. That said, on the rare occasions I had to be up and out of bed in those first weeks, stretchy wraps (my favorite: Wrapsody Bali Baby Stretch) are a godsend. Put it on, pop them in, take them out, pop them back in again, lift them up, lay them in the outer passes to nurse, pop them back in again. VERY convenient, but something I only did when I was up and around. Babywearing while sitting at that stage is barely necessary for me.
2. Newborn backwearing is a gimmick and not worth the bother. I can do it, but even with boobs like mine I can’t nurse a newborn on my back (toddlers are another matter but we’re not going to talk about that…lol!) And newborns want to nurse a lot. They want to be changed a lot. Back wearing doesn’t even really start for me on a regular basis until 4 months or so because it is not really as convenient and it is MUCH harder to do with a shrimpy little infant than it is with a bigger baby whose legs reach where I need to cross straps. Realistically i’m going to front wear as long as my back can stand it, then move them to my back 90% of the time after that. The ONLY situation I find backwearing really helpful with a small baby is when cooking something involving hot liquids. It’s safer then.
3. It is less important to worry about whether your baby’s back and spine are “developing properly” and more important to pay attention to your baby’s cues and preferences. Most of my babies at about 2-4 months really prefer to face out when they go into a new environment… but rapidly tire. As soon as they start yawning, hiccuping, or turning their heads/closing their eyes, I turn them back around. 20 minutes is about as long as most babies that age can deal with facing forward in a busy store, but giving them that 20 minutes buys a ton of peace. Baby LOVED the hardware store, then would sleep through the next couple stops, facing in. The evidence just isn’t there when it comes to worries about hip/spine development and overstimulation, but common sense says you don’t keep a baby in any one position too long, especially if they show signs of discomfort. I’ve never used a Bjorn for longer than a few minutes, so I’m doing my front facing out with wraps (legs supported chair style), ring slings (baby buddha), and mei tais (also buddha, legs in).
4. No matter how lush and long my hair got when I was pregnant, the minute I start backwearing regularly it’s gone. Hair pulling hurts, and shorter hair is easier to keep out of reach. It’s the only thing I’ve found that reliably helps. 2 braids got me through with my first, but I looked like I was 12.
5. I can have dozens of carriers and I keep coming back to a small handful of favorites. One of them is not being made anymore (the Calyx) which is tragic. But the Kozy carrier and Tettitett ARE being made, and they are marvelous. 19 years worth of trying carriers out and I keep coming back to these three. Plenty of others I’ve liked fine, but for me and my body and the way I wear, these just make sense.
6. I have a problem with the Wrapsody stretch wraps. I call it Pokemon Syndrome. Namely, I keep getting more and not being able to loan them out, despite having given away more than 100 carriers in the past 20 years, I love the fabrics so that I just can’t make myself give them away. Except one. But I’d gotten a second rainbow one and the first one I didn’t like quite as well. I have four of these now. Wraps are like this. People get very, very weird about wraps and I don’t even USE my stretch wraps very often anymore and I still can’t give them away. They’re too pretty and I love them too much and I should probably just frame them and be done with it, they are that gorgeous. Gotta catch them all. Well, most of them. But I don’t NEED more. But somehow that doesn’t matter. Right. Anyway, like anything pretty made of cloth, carriers can be addictive if they’re pretty. And they are an expensive addiction. My husband should just be glad I didn’t get addicted to Didymos wraps.
7. Once a baby hits 16 pounds, backwearing is a must, and being able to put a baby on your back quickly and get on your way is a lifesaving skill to have. Learn the Santa Toss, my lovelies. Use it. Get good at it.
8. One of my children may well exist because I desperately wanted a baby to wear. No, I won’t tell you which one.
9. When you have a special needs child and fibromyalgia, sometimes you really do have to buy a stroller. She was 3.
10. Fibromyalgia sucks and means that sometimes the baby needs to scream for a little while while I make dinner because despite having the best baby carriers known to motherkind, it still fatigues me too much to cook and wear him on a day when I’ve gotten my special needs kiddo to the bus and back. He’ll be okay. I’m really RIGHT THERE talking to him. He’ll figure it out soon. No matter how boss I am with baby carriers, there are some times when I just don’t have it in me to have him on my body one more minute. That said, if I MUST have him in arms? THANK GOD for babywearing. Because I could not do so much of my life without it.