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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Babywearing Safely - Introduction

*This is Part 1 of a series.

I am not a babywearing expert nor I claim to be.  I'd rather call myself as a babywearing enthusiast.  I have my own collection of carriers all purchased [thank you Black Friday!] except for the following given to me: Ring Sling from Jen, Ring Sling from Jonie, Ring Sling from Clarice and Abie, Ruxpin Hybrid and MeiTai from Buding.
my collection: Peanut Shell adjustable pouch, Next9 ring sling, Ruxpin Hybrid,  shower sling, Maya wrap, Mamaway ring sling,  Moby wrap, Blissfulbabes Pouch, Saya carrier, BabyHawk Meitai, Olives&Applesauce Soft structured carrier, Patapum Toddler Carrier, Ruxpin Meitai and Hotslings Adjustable pouch
My interest with babywearing started with N, who is now 4 years old.  S and I started wearing her at about 6 months in a Baby Bjorn, (gasp! what was I thinking?! I hadn't researched well at that time) and eventually in a pouch and Saya (a hybrid carrier).  I am now babywearing E (who is turning 4 months on April 21) in a ring sling.  Meanwhile, S babywears E in his soft structured carrier.  I am transitioning E into our other carriers like the meitai and Ruxpin hybrid.

This series of posts is a result of my online research (thank you Ma'am Ampy for the research skills) and email correspondence with Steffany Kerr, founder and President of Babywearing International of Kansas City and a certified Babywearing Instructor.  I have also inputted some information obtained from a consultation with  Hosanna Camacho, a pediatric physical therapist, who I was able to meet thanks to Jen of Next9 Baby.

As an enthusiast, I had been organizing meet-ups since early 2011 but my interest in babywearing correctly and safely was piqued by this article written by Steffany for the Natural Parents Network.  Next9 Baby and I are trying to bring a babywearing educator to the Philippines but high costs and lack of interested participants have caused us to temporarily shelve this project.

In the meantime, I have decided to compile the resources I obtained so I can easily access them when necessary. I hope readers will find this compilation useful.

Babywearing is becoming more and more popular in the Philippines - and the list of locally made baby carriers is growing!! However, as with all products, safety issues have also cropped up. I put my legal research skills to good use and found several excellent resources on babywearing safety. Babywearing is fun and easy but needs to be done properly for it to be safe.  My purpose in writing this series is to to inform, educate and compile the various resources available on babywearing safety.

The major concern that parents usually have with babywearing is that their babies might become bowlegged.  If you check the physiological position of babies, spine is curved, limbs closed together and elbows/knees bent.  Babies' legs are not straightened out [as is the desire of some parents to prevent babies from being bowlegged].  Proper babywearing actually responds to this as the goal is to keep the babies in their physiological position, even while wearing them.  In fact, in an interview with Hosanna Camacho, a pediatric physical therapist, she emphasizes that what is dangerous is for parents to try to "straighten" their babies' legs and try to exercise them by going forward and backward. 

So tell those naysayers that babywearing won't cause your baby to be bowlegged! More on babywearing myths in a future post!  Next part of the series will be up next Thursday.

Update:  Next9 Baby previously wrote a post about the STICK rule of babywearing.  Read about it HERE.
Babywearing Safely: Introduction
Part 1 - Why Cradle Carry is discouraged
Part 2 - Front Facing, Front Carry?
Part 3 - Legs Out Position


quakermommy said...

Looking forward to this series of posts, Jenny! I used a Saya sling for my firstborn, but I have trouble putting him in it by myself, especially when he got bigger and heavier. There always has to be someone to help me. I've been thinking of trying out the ring sling for my second baby, because it looks a lot more convenient to put on and easier to put the baby in. Any input?

Jenny said...

practice lang. do it in front a mirror so you can see.  both carriers have learning curves. some prefer ring slings, some prefer the saya.  i would suggest you try practicing with your current carrier in front of a mirror first :D

Eliza Santiago-Ypon said...

Great series Jenny! I was at the mall yesterday and fought the urge to go up to parents using structured carriers that their babies' legs were positioned incorrectly.

Darkhalf said...

Great post, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series! :D  I ended up ditching the Saya in favor of a Ring Sling because it was easier for me to get the baby in without help.  Secondly, I was able to adjust the tightness/looseness as necessary for both of us to be comfy.  Too bad my 2.6yr old is too heavy for the carriers--- I might consider a pouch for side carrying soon. :)

Mafeth Molina said...

Nice one! Waiting for the other installments. =)

Alich_27 said...

Tnx for the info and looking forward to your other posts!;D my baby is now 4 mos and after reading stuff abt. babywearing im deeply encouraged to try it on him.. hopfully its not too late and it would work well for us..;D

next9 (Jen CC Tan) said...

4 months is not late at all, it's probably the time your baby loves to be in arms! Try it out!

next9 (Jen CC Tan) said...

make sure that your baby's bum is level to your waist. it is best that way so less strain on your back :)

next9 (Jen CC Tan) said...

or just attend the next sling eb we will have. hehehe! if jenny goes, she can teach you the saya! :)

Andie said...

Hi jenny! Out of all the carriers that you have, which is your favorite? Im looking for a soft structured carrier, any recommendations? I've tried the moby wrap but Im just not comfortable using it, i feel like there's no space and baby is uncomfortable.

Andie said...

Hi Jenny,
I Would just like to ask if you can recommend a carrier for my 4 month old baby. Ive tried the moby wrap but im uncomfortable with it and its hot kasi parang babys uncomfortable too and the stretchable fabric i feel like nalalaglag. Whats a soft structured carrier? Is there a hard structured pa ba? Can you recommend me some? I want sana yung dad can also use it and maybe till baby is 2-3yo?

Jenny said...

hi andie! only 2 SSCs are locally available - ergo from baby and co. and boba from numa baby. the wrap is actually a good carrier to use for small babies or newborns.

Jenny said...

i think it is best if you try the carrier e.g. you can visit baby and co. or numa baby to try the soft structured carriers. as for wraps, we only have stretchy wraps available - local is bailey wrap and imported is sleepy wrap also at numa baby. both are stretch which is why you feel na nalalaglag ang baby. i have a personal woven wrap - homemade from inabel fabric. since it is a woven wrap, i find it sturdier - not as stretchy as my moby wrap. but locally, no woven wraps are available for sale. hope this helps!

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