In 2009, right before I had my son, I was gifted a ginormously long blue piece of fabric and was told it would be a lifesaver. I unrolled it and quickly rolled it back up. It was at least 8 feet long! What was I supposed to do with this thing that looked like it should be a hammock? (I remember being so overwhelmed with all things baby product, walking into Babies R US like a zombie thinking how will I ever navigate these things?)
Hunter was born and carrying him in my arms was great and all, but I kept thinking that maybe I should go look at that long piece of fabric. So I opened the directions and just stared at them. For days. Then I opened up You Tube to watch tutorials. It took more than a dozen tries but finally I was hands free! I could walk around the house flailing my arms in all of their glory. This started my great relationship with baby wearing.
I was drawn to baby wearing because of the usefulness of it. I don’t know what I would do without this skill. I could take walks on the beach with my infant, carry things, eat! Then when I had my second child, it was baby wearing to the rescue again. Wearing my newborn while keeping up with my 3 year old, and opening Bay & Bee saved my sanity. Baby wearing is a daily habit in my household, whether it is wearing her at work, grocery store or the beach.
Baby wearing is not only convenient for parents, but turns out that it has great benefits as well. It is soothing for children and helps colic.
Is it Safe?
If done properly, yes! You can learn all about baby wearing safety online at Baby Wearing International or come to a First Coast Baby Wearing group meeting!
You want to follow and remember TICKS
Close enough to kiss
Keep their chin off chest
Supported straight back
How Old Should Baby Be?
People can be worn from birth to any age! Different types of carriers are better suited to different body types, activity levels, and age of baby.
What kind of carriers are there?
Here is a quick over view of the five basic types of baby carriers
Stretchy Wraps are long pieces of Fabric like the Moby or Boba Wrap. They are great for newborns! Stretchy wraps are made out of a soft cotton that stretches like a jersey material. They are ideal for front carriers only.
Woven Wraps come in a variety of lengths that you can do any kind of carry with front, back, hip. There is a whole world of names and wrapping styles that could take up a blog post of it’s own. This is the most versatile type of baby carrier but also the one that takes the most patience and practice.
Ring Slings are arguably the simplest type. It is a long piece of woven fabric with rings that act like a knot. Ring Slings are an ideal newborn carrier and are also fantastic for the up-and-down toddler phase.
Mei Tais typically have a wide middle panel and padded shoulder straps. It is a cross between a soft structured carrier and long wrap.
Soft Structured Carriers are my favorite! Tula, Boba, Ergo are all great examples of these. They have two buckles and are often compared to a backpack.
There is so much to experience with baby wearing. First Coast Baby Wearing group on Facebook is a great Jacksonville resource! They have monthly meetings where you can learn about safety and try on any carrier. They have a huge variety and a great lending library.
First Coast Baby Wearing generally meets at Bay & Bee the 3rd Saturday of each month. You can check FCBW or Bay & Bee Facebook page for updates.
This month we have a meeting on Sunday, August 24th from 1pm-3pm. All are welcome to come learn!
Bay & Bee has Tula’s and Moby’s in stock to purchase and try on. As well as a basket of different sized wraps and ring slings to try. If you can’t come to a meeting, we are happy to help answer your questions at Bay & Bee.
Get Carried Away
International Baby Wearing Week is October 7th-13th ! We will be celebrating Baby Wearing Week at Bay & Bee with great public event on October 12th. Details will be announced soon.
There is such a great community of baby wearers in Jacksonville. If you’ve been curious you should join the facebook group, come to a meeting or just come by Bay & Bee to learn more about baby wearing.
Bay & Bee is a locally – owned small business, inspired by Montessori and Waldorf educational principles to create a stimulating eco- friendly play environment.
Our unique play space nourishes community and focuses on child led play.
Monthly membership allows for unlimited and flexible play, so that you can stop by as your schedule allows to experience open play, classes and workshops.
Located on Atlantic Blvd in the Harbour Village Shopping Center.
13475 Atlantic Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32225
First visit is free! Jacksonville & Bartram Springs
Come for a day of play and learn about our program and membership options.
Just bring socks and get ready to enjoy montessori-inspired play.