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Isn’t it so cute when you see parents, especially new parents, walking around proudly holding their little bundle of joy? They’re all wrapped up and snuggling against their parent’s chest, eyes closed and far away in dreamland. Oh the life to be carried around all day, no stress about bills, school runs or what to wear. Kids have no idea the luxury of a life they have in their early years.
Baby carriers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_sling have been around for some time, perhaps not the modern, sleek and stylish versions we see today, but certainly a modification of it. Growing up in Africa this was the norm to see a woman with her baby strapped and wrapped to her back as she got on with her daily life.
And as simple as it may look, it’s not that easy to get it right the first few times, never mind tight enough so the baby doesn’t end up sliding down your legs as you walk. A talent the culturally rich woman of Africa have mastered, hats off to them. You can always trust a woman to make a plan to get things done one way or the other.
Cultural baby carriers.
In Africa, this piece of cloth is known as a Kanga. It is made of cotton and has a woven design, it is then placed over the back of the child which is resting on the family member and then tightened at the top and the bottom. The final knot is secured at the front of the stomach.
The Asian wrap, for most known as the originator of the baby carrier, was a rectangular cloth that had 4 straps on each end. Two were used for shoulder straps and the other two as a belt around the waist. The bottom part was sloped for the baby to sit.
Many various versions have popped up determined by the climate and culture and need for it, but one thing is for sure, I doubt they will be going anywhere soon, they are simple and quick to access and you are on the go in minutes. Win-win.
How to choose a baby carrier?
With so many options and variations on the shelves these days, wondering which one is best can be daunting, take a minute to see some of the top baby carriers on the market to find which appeals to you.
You’re ideally looking for something that has a bit of a life span, longevity, to be able to grow from infant to toddler. One that offers rear and front-facing positions to interchange as the baby grows and becomes more aware of its surroundings.
Then the next biggest factor to consider is comfort, for both you and baby. Remember you will be using it while you’re walking around and doing things so putting a strain on your back from an ill-fitting carrier is only going to make things worse, and quickly.
Speaking of fit, this will determine the type of carrier you purchase, as you need to think about whether you will be sharing the carrying of baby and so can adjust the carrier to each body form. Don’t let hubby think he is getting off scot-free here when it comes to the heavy loading.
When your partner does intend to carry baby, look for a carrier that is easy to put on and take off, men don’t like a hassle and the more straps and adjustments the more frustrated they can get. Trust me, I’ve had first-hand experience in this.
Lastly, depending on the climate you live in, consider the washability of the carrier. Babies drool and things get sticky, a cloth sling is easier to give a quick wash to than say one a bit bulkier with buckles and clips.
5 Advantages of using a baby carrier.
- Free Arms. Believe it or not, these are needed when babies are involved. Having baby security gives you the freedom to hold perhaps a sibling’s hand or do chores around the house. This is especially handy when out shopping, pushing a trolley with one hand is no easy feat.
- Bonding. With baby wrapped up so close to you the love bond significantly increases. They feel your heartbeat, the humming rhythm of your voice, and this helps not only the baby but preventing post-partum depression.
- Stroller free. No more hoisting bulky strollers in and out of the car every time you stop somewhere. Even more convenient if you are traveling on public transport.
- Moving. If it’s a day out with the family navigating through crowds can be a nightmare with a buggy in tow, a carrier takes this stress out of the situation and you can enjoy the day.
- Entertainment. With baby or toddler facing the world as opposed to face against your chest, they are constantly stimulated. They are so busy seeing new sights and experiencing new images, sounds and smells that they won’t have time to think about moaning or crying, giving you a well-deserved minutes’ peace.
How to wash a baby carrier?
You are inevitably going to have to find a way to wash it at some point if you don’t want to peel your baby out of it, and whether you choose to do this in a machine or by hand will likely be dependent on the model you have.
To see some tips and tricks on how to wash a buckle carrier watch this short video and see how a mom goes about her cleaning routine.
For smaller accidents like spills or drips do some spot cleaning, dab a cloth in some solution of warm water and baby detergent and apply pressure to the area. Once the mark is out, take a dry towel and press firmly soaking up as much moisture as possible and then air dry thoroughly.
If there is a more stubborn stain or it’s a complete mess, please check the manufactures label on wash care. It should state temperatures as well as recommendations.
All in all, if your baby is happy that’s all that counts.