Written by Annie Austin
Baby wearing is just another one of those facets of attachment parenting that I am passionate about. It just feels so right, your baby nestled in close to your heart! After 9 months in your body what can be more natural than to nurture your baby right against it. Baby is happy and secure and mom’s hands are free to do what she needs to, it just makes everything easier, including nursing. Now don’t get me wrong baby wearing is not for moms only, my husband still carries our little one often.
Baby wearing is something that comes naturally to many cultures – just look at our African ladies wearing their babies on their backs – these babies cry less and just look so content. Westerners are finally starting to see baby wearing for the wonderful attachment tool it is. While there is loads of info overseas about baby wearing there is still sadly little knowledge about this in SA.
I have been wearing my youngest who is now a year old since birth, we have gone through different carriers in the different stages my son went through. When he was a newborn a sling worked well, but he soon started to dislike being so enclosed. I tried several of the commercially available carriers, but they just did not work for me and left my son’s legs dangling which is not healthy for hip development. I then discovered the Khanyisa African Baby carrier which till this day we can use comfortably for prolonged periods. We alternate this with a sling which, now that he can sit up in it he just loves.
While it may not always be easy to find the right carrier and some trial and error may be necessary, once you find the right carrier you will never look back. I only wish I knew about slings when my older son was small, he like most babies did not much like being in a pram and I spent a lot of time simply carrying him.
Some further reading:
There are now several slings and carriers available in South Africa that are made locally. Among these is the African Baby Carrier and aSling.
Earthbabies have some lovely info on baby wearing and some great carriers and slings.