When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, my mother’s ecstatic reaction was quickly followed by, “You have to get a baby sling.” At first, I didn’t see the point. I imagined that between a classic front pack, a car seat / stroller combination, a crib, and a bouncy seat, my daughter would have her choice of locations when my hands were occupied. I eventually agreed to the baby-wearing prospect, but mostly to appease the new grandma.
My daughter quickly revealed herself to be what many practitioners refer to as a “high-need baby.” She wanted to be held and cuddled almost constantly. She was not interested in spending her time in a vibrating bouncy seat, nor napping in her crib. (She did not enjoy riding in her car seat, either, but that particular issue was non-negotiable.)
Enter the baby sling, a piece of fabric I imagined sitting on a shelf next to the little-used blankets and newborn dress-up clothes. In her sling, my daughter was happy. In her sling, Delaney took in the world around her, she breastfed discreetly, and she napped at will. My husband and I became unexpected converts to the world of baby-wearing and attachment parenting.
After our son was born, we switched from the sling to the Moby Wrap, and discovered that, not only was baby-wearing beneficial for baby, but could be fun for parents as well. Many different carrier styles offer some of the benefits of baby-wearing: close contact and enhanced bonding, breastfeeding convenience, and an upright position for colicky babies, to name a few. But the Moby offers a host of additional benefits, including the following:
A variety of holds – With many carriers, parents are limited to just a few different positions for baby. Most babies have certain positions they prefer, and if you have a carrier with limited options, getting baby comfortable can be a daunting task. The Moby Wrap comes with instructions for a wide variety of baby positions, categorized for your baby’s age and development. You can experiment with a number of holds until you find your baby’s favorites (and yours!).
Works for newborns through preschoolers – The Moby Wrap is perfect for babies who are just days (or even hours) old, yet supports up to 35 pounds. That means one carrier for the first two or three years of your baby’s life. If you have two small children, one wrap can be used for either one. (My two kids, who are now 3 years and 16 months, respectively, took turns in it while we were shopping the other day.) Moby has specific instructions for wearing twins, too.
Skin-to-skin contact – One way to wear the Moby Wrap, the “Kangaroo Hold,” allows you to place baby directly against your skin. This skin-to-skin contact is strongly encouraged by proponents of attachment parenting, as a way to enhance bonding with either mommy or daddy. For mothers, skin-to-skin can also help to increase milk supply in the first months of breastfeeding.
Ergonomic, symmetrical design for parents– Many carriers distribute baby’s weight on the parent’s body unevenly, putting strain on one shoulder or pulling on the vulnerable muscles of the neck and upper back. The symmetrical wrap style of the Moby allows for even weight distribution, minimizing stress to the parent’s body.
Ergonomic design for baby – Many commercial baby carriers and front packs hold your baby with nearly all his or her weight on the tailbone, with legs dangling. This can cause stress and even damage to baby’s tiny spine. In the Moby Wrap, your baby sits with neck, spine, and legs supported comfortably and safely.
One size fits all – No need to buy a sized carrier for each caretaker. The Moby Wrap is designed to fit different body types and sizes, so you need just one wrap for mommy, daddy, grandparents, and babysitters.
Moby Wraps are available at our office, Healing Hands Chiropractic in Londonderry, or can be purchased directly from our website here. We welcome your questions about baby-wearing and attachment parenting. To meet other parents with similar interests, please join us for Mommy Connection on Mondays from 4 to 5 pm.