Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
29 Jan

Why You Should Wear (or Carry) Your Baby (At Least Some of the Time)

Hold the BabyFor hundreds of thousands of years, humans have been trying to figure out ways to avoid carrying their infants so that they could drink Frappucinos and update their Facebook status on their phones. Ancestral Inuit mothers had sled dog strollers placed on top of skis. Native Australians kept several varieties of marsupials megafauna as pets and infant caretakers, using their pouches to store up to a half dozen human infants at once. I’m kidding, of course. Just as all members of the family hominidae are and were ardent co-sleepers, apes, humans, and (most likely) all extinct hominids carried or even wore their infants on their bodies as a general rule. And so, for most of human history, our infants have been swaddled, slung, carried, grasped, hugged, and otherwise attached to our bodies for a significant portion of their early development. Like other environmental inputs to which our ancestors were routinely and consistently exposed, there’s plenty of evidence that carrying your baby confers beneficial physiological and psychological effects – to both child and parent.

What are they?

Well, there’s one benefit that’s immediate and obvious to anyone, even those without kids. Parents, ever notice how your babies, who’re liable to erupt into tears when placed in the stroller, in the crib, or in the car seat, clam up when you decide to carry them? Non-parents, ever notice how those screaming hellions who annoy you in public places become pacified mutes once their caregiver picks them up, quiet and sweet enough that you can even imagine having one someday? Exactly. The kid stops crying, or maybe never even starts.

The idea behind babywearing/babyholding/kangaroo care/attachment parenting/whatever you want to call it is that since infants are helpless sacks of fleshy potential, we should provide all the support and reassurance they need to graduate to independent, intelligent, thinking, learning, growing, maturing kids and, eventually, adults. We want them to realize that potential, and it just might be that being what some might characterize as “overly nurturing” is the best way to do it. What does the research say about maintaining close physical contact with your baby?


Easier breastfeeding. Babywearing increases the mother’s ability to breastfeed, just like co-sleeping increases it, simply because of proximity. When you’ve got a hungry little fella within striking distance of the “bottle” at all times, it’s hard not to do it more often. You all know how important breastmilk is to a baby. Babywearing streamlines the logistics of breastfeeding, oftentimes allowing the mother to nurse hands-free.

Promotes exclusive breastfeeding. One randomized controlled trial found that early skin-t0-skin contact “significantly enhanced the success of first breastfeed and continuation of exclusive breastfeeding.”

Not breastfeeding? Having your baby attached to you, rather than laid out on a mat somewhere, allows you to bottle feed and still reap the benefits of being physically close to your child. The composition of the breastmilk is a huge benefit to breastfeeding, but I’d argue that the mutual touch is equally important.

Benefits for baby.

Increased socialization. I told myself I wouldn’t talk about children in terms of dog training, but it just works so well in this case. Children need to be socialized. They’re going to be a part of this world, this society, this community, and wearing or carrying them around as you go about your day, interacting with people, and doing “adult” things as often as you can will introduce them to that world in a safe way. You’re not keeping them cloistered in a pen for years interspersed with brief moments of engagement with the world (playdates, playgrounds, car rides, shopping trips, etc.). You’re letting them see the world through your eyes on a constant, daily basis. Because with all else being equal they’ll have more exposure to communicating adults, carried/worn babies will likely learn speech and facial expressions more quickly (that’s how babies learn language, after all).

Improved development of the vestibular system. No, the vestibular system is not a collection of hospitable planets that the colonial fleet from Battlestar Galactica used to hide from the Cylons. It’s the brain system that detects motion and controls balance, and it’s one of the earliest brain systems to develop (ten-week old fetuses already have working vestibular systems). When a baby is worn or carried on the body, rather than lying in a stroller staring at the sky, the inside of the stroller, or a baby iPhone, the baby is privy to the constant motion of an ambulating adult. The worn baby is moving as you move. To the baby, what you’re doing – walking on two feet without tripping over them or teetering over to either side – is amazing, it’s unheard of. And it will help the baby develop balance, motor skills, and general movement ability.

Benefits for mom and dad.

Improved ergonomics. I cringe every time I see a mom or dad carting around those removable car seats. Imagine lugging around an oversized kettlebell where ever you go and you’ll get the idea. You might get stronger, but the added, unceasing, ever-increasing weight, plus the awkwardness of the size and shape of the seat which forces you to hold it away from your body and thereby increase the lever arm, can put your musculoskeletal system at risk. Factor in the sleep deprivation-induced poor posture (PDF) common in parents of youngsters and you have a potent recipe for body pain.

Less crying. Picking up a crying child doesn’t just halt the crying right there and then. Done habitually, carrying or babywearing can also reduce crying in general. Babies who are held for at least a few hours a day are less likely to cry at night.

Reduces the risk of postpartum anxiety disorder. Physical contact with the infant increases (and decreases, when appropriate) a number of physiological markers, including oxytocin, and reduces the maternal anxiety thought to be a risk factor for postpartum depression.

Benefits for mom/dad and baby.

Improved attachment. It ain’t called “attachment parenting” for nothing. Being physically attached to your kid, through wearing or carrying, increases the bond between parents and child. You really can’t separate the two. Physical attachment breeds psychological attachment. If you maintain physical contact with your baby as much as possible, you’ll have a stronger, more lasting bond with that child, that teen, that adult. Even the first few moments of a child’s life are crucial. Immediate post-birth skin-to-skin contact between mother and naked child had a positive influence on mother-child interactions one year later. The same benefits were not observed when the infants were dressed/swaddled before being handed over to the mom after being born.

Oxytocin release. Oxytocin has been called many things, but it’s most famous as a promoter of bonds between people (and animals). Pleasing, welcome touch – like the caress of a lover or the skin-to-skin contact of a babywearing mother-infant duo – causes oxytocin secretion. This strengthens bonds between parent and child, increases empathy, and solidifies and establishes familial ties. Heck, oxytocin is so subtly powerful that even administering it exogenously to just the parent alone has beneficial effects on their child, improving their “physiological and behavioral readiness for social engagement.” Imagine how important the endogenous steady drip of oxytocin in habitual babywearing is for child-parent relationships.

Benefits for preterm infants.

Babywearing is particularly beneficial for preterm infants. These little guys and gals need close physical contact with their parents more than anyone – remember, they’re still “supposed” be in the womb.

Improved bonding. Remember how skin-to-skin post-birth contact improves mother-child interactions later on down the line? That holds true for preterm infants as well. Mothers allowed to practice skin-to-skin holding of preterm infants in intensive care also reported feelings of increased comfort and “being needed” by their babies – an excellent feeling, as any parent will attest, and a particularly important one for mothers of preterm infants.

Lower stress. Wearing your preterm baby will help lower stress and modulate the infant’s cortisol response, which tends to be exaggerated in that group.

Improved pain tolerance. One study compared kangaroo care (skin-to-skin) to incubator care for modulation of the the pain response in preterm infants; babies who got kangaroo care showed improved behavioral and physiological responses to physical pain.

Improved brain development. Preterm infants are at risk of impaired neuronal development, but one recent study found that kangaroo care effectively normalized premature brains when compared to standard care. The neonates (who were “very pre-term”) given skin-to-skin contact displayed brain motor function comparable to adolescents who were born at term, while the neonates given standard care did not.

Better breastfeeding. It’s crucial for preterm babies to get breastmilk, since, well, it’s the perfect food for them, and early skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby helps the youngest neonates breastfeed.

All that said, the reality is that 24/7 babywearing is tough. These days, most parents work outside of the home. We generally don’t spend our days at home, doing the day-to-day things to survive like cooking, cleaning, foraging, that pre-industrial cultures were able to do while wearing their children. Carrie and I tried out the slings with our kids, but it didn’t really work for us as a constant, regular thing. We carried them as often as we could, usually without the use of a carrier or sling, and were sure to get plenty of skin-to-skin contact, but we didn’t do it all day, every day. And you know what? They turned out to be fantastic, independent kids. Constant baby-wearing isn’t necessary, but some daily contact is probably (definitely) best.

Babies, and humans in general, need to be touched in a loving, reassuring, comforting way. I wrote about this in The Primal Connection, and I’m adamant about it: we’re largely afraid of touch, and that’s a real shame. If you’re not going to hug your friends, at the very least hug (and carry, and hold, and wear) your kids. I realize the lawyer’s not going to wear her newborn into court, nor is the pilot going to wear his baby on the plane. But babies need touch. Full-on attachment is probably ideal, in a perfect world – but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. It’s not a perfect world.

Lack of meaningful touch, though? There’s no excuse for that one.

When you do carry or wear a child, you should do it safely (for both mom/dad and kid) and effectively. Next week, I’ll discuss how to do it. In the meantime, just go pick up a baby (preferably yours).

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Carrying my daughter in a Baby Bjorn was one of the best things about her babyhood. I loved having her close to me – we both liked it so much better than when she was in her carriage.

    We walked many city miles together (in Manhattan), just like that It was great for me to have my hands free and have her super close, all at the same time. it was also great for getting around, because it was so easy getting on and off the bus. And when it was cold, I could wrap my coat around both of us.

    We got used to it, that’s for sure – wonderfully so. Then something unexpected happened. She didn’t walk until she was 18 1/2 months old. So I spent much more time carrying her than was ever intended. I ended up with arm and hand tingling that continues to this day (some 11 years later).

    At its onset, the pain was almost unbearable. Doctors recommended carpel tunnel surgery. Thankfully, a friend recommended a Rolfer who fixed most of the problem. For the pain that remains (arising only sometimes), I can self-fix it with yoga poses (mainly halasana pose).

    This is a cautionary tale. Baby carrying is a great thing. But the part where baby gets too-heavy can derail you, significantly and long-term.

    At the time, I wish I’d had (as a go between between carrying and walking) is a LIKEaBIKE (google it) – but they weren’t invented yet.


    Susan Alexander wrote on January 29th, 2013
  2. Tons of Park Slope moms gave my friend grief for wearing a baby sling – likely they were all on juice clenses. Her children are the best behaved and socially adapted kids in the group as far as I can see.

    mlou wrote on January 29th, 2013
    • While I am not a fan of the Bjorn that the OP talked about, I am supportive of any babywearing. We all need to look at our lives and what works for us and our families. Though I always encourage babywearing if asked, I also respect those who choose to not wear. It’s a shame those moms chose to criticize your friend for choosing to wear, instead of trying to understand and respect her parenting choice.

      Lani wrote on January 30th, 2013
  3. Its also great for weight loss I have lost 18kgs from carrying and breastfeeding my bub with no dieting

    Jeannine wrote on January 29th, 2013
  4. Great article. I “wore” my son until he could walk. He is now five years old, and we have a incredibly strong bond. He is intelligent, self assured, and incredibly independent. I believe the attachment parenting technique was one of the main factors in his health and wonderful personality.

    Crystal Brandon wrote on January 29th, 2013
  5. One of my proudest moments was wearing my 2 month old sleeping in a Moby wrap while making (and flipping!) crepes in a cast iron skillet for my husband and older son. This was obviously in my pre-paleo days.

    Allison wrote on January 29th, 2013
  6. What great timing! I have a 3 month old baby and I love these recent posts. My baby is a natural co sleeper plus he hates being out down in a car seat or a swing or anywhere. He loves been carried and we have a lot of people around who can do it. It used to drive me nuts but now I’m just going to enjoy it.
    Exclusive breast feeding is just such a luxury. When else in life will you have the time to just take 30 mins off every few hours to pat and talk to and inhale your baby? I feel blessed that I am home and able to spend such quality time with the little one

    Aloka wrote on January 30th, 2013
  7. Does Mark have a kid on the way or something 😉

    Oliver wrote on January 30th, 2013
  8. Interesting article, but what about those of us with twins? You’ve basically said that because I’m physically unable to carry them both simultaneously, I should either stay indoors all day cuddling one at a time while the other is in a safe place, or accept that my children are going to be worse off developmentally. Thanks.

    CJ wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • Hi CJ,
      I had twins (see my comment above) & while there are certainly many more challenges, there will still be plenty of opportunity to cuddle. And remember, the twins can cuddle each other too! I think twinhood offers advantages as well as disadvantages for both the babies & mother.

      One thing I would highly recommend: learn to nurse both at once as soon as you can. This will result in much more rest for you in the long run!

      Paleo-curious wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • I’ve totally felt this way before! Someone say I have to raise my kiddos this one way or they’ll be lacking something, and my anxiety goes through the roof because either I can’t, or I’m too late.

      Frankly, I think that the most important thing, outclassing babywearing, breastfeeding, cosleeping, is a reasonably happy (c’mon, we ARE living on sleep debt here), responsive parent. There is no formula to getting the perfect kid(s), there are only helpful things that generally work well–and if they don’t work well for your family–trying to implement them, failing and feeling guilty will not make for happy, responsive parents but guilty, stressed ones. No one knows you, your family, or your babies the way you do and I think Mark would say that your instincts on this one (that maybe babywearing wouldn’t work for you guys, and it definitely wouldn’t work full time) are dead on.

      I do what I do with my babies (which includes bfing and some babywearing) because it works well for us, not because it’s some imaginary height I need to live up to in order to receive well-behaved, developed children. Kiddos are strong work, no matter what you do!

      Shay wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • you can tandem wear twins or siblings!

      niki wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • You can wear twins! I know a mom who recently had twins and wears them both in a wrap. Google “twins babywearing” or “tandem babywearing” for lots of links.

      Lani wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • Towards the end, Mark said that slings didn’t really work with his kids, but that they carried them as much as they could, “but we didn’t do it all day, every day. And you know what? They turned out to be fantastic, independent kids. Constant baby-wearing isn’t necessary, but some daily contact is probably (definitely) best.” You do what you can and don’t do what you can’t. Most children will thrive under our imperfect care.

      You can do the Maya Wrap type, ring slings with twins. I’m pretty sure some of the other wraps and slings work with twins as well. Or you can sling one child and carry the other, leaving you with one hand free, or whatever works for you.

      b2curious wrote on January 30th, 2013
  9. However you bring up your baby and whatever name you chose to brand it, so long as you are both happy and healthy, you are successful as a parent. There are so many “wrongs” and “rights” now that the emphasis on instinct is being lost. Go out and live your life with your little one in tow. Enjoy the time you have together – it won’t happen twice. Do what works for your little family and cherish the moments. I’ve had an infant carrier/car seat, a baby carrier, a backpack, a travel system and a wonderfully well adapted baby who has never shared my bed, loves the world and knows that I am always there for her when she calls for me and is secure in herself.

    Yvette Cirasa wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • thank you for this comment, the only inclusive one on this whole post. I’m uncomfortable with the whole “you should” tone of this post and the last one about co-sleeping, clearly lauding one style of parenting above others, regardless of what works for individual families. You said it best.

      freeloveharrington wrote on January 30th, 2013
      • I’m not sure you’re reading the same posts that I’m reading – ;).

        More to the point, Mark and almost everyone here is very careful about moderating their statements to make it clear that YMMV. (Heck I even put on comment urging people to break out strollers if the babywearing was all too much.)

        I said this to another poster – take on some confidence about the decisions you make for your family. Stop worrying about what Mark or anyone else thinks or “inclusive” posts, whatever that means, and do the right thing for your family. (I guess Mark just supposed to post “Whatever it is your doing is perfectly fine” day after day. *grin* I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t read those posts – oh well.)

        Amy wrote on January 30th, 2013
      • Ummm…isn’t this site about investigating ways of living your life that may be be better for you than others? I definitely get the feeling that if someone is unhappy with their SAD diet, this blog would advise they “should” try eating primally. Why is it ok to imagine that some things might work better than others for most people with diet and exercise, but that with parenting we have to act like all choices are created equal?

        HL wrote on January 30th, 2013
        • please disregard the second “diet”. should have looked that over!

          HL wrote on January 30th, 2013
  10. Love these child-rearing centered posts! I highly recommend the Beco and the mei tai baby carriers. Also, if you work full time and your kid is daycare, ask about the possibility of your daycare providers babywearing – the teachers at our center wore the babies for part of every day!

    lindsay wrote on January 30th, 2013
  11. i didnt wear my little ones as often as i would have liked (horrid back pain during and after pregnancy), but i still would hold them as much as possible. I just wanted them to know they always have me when they need comfort. These kid posts are wonderful and i would love to see one on your thoughts about homeschooling, mark! I have always found public schools to be so opposite of what is natural for child behavior, so i am curious on your thoughts of them and using home schooling as another means! thanks for all you do!

    stefanie wrote on January 30th, 2013
  12. i am loving these baby centered posts so much! (could be due to our recent addition being on my mind lol)

    i don’t know how moms of more than 1 coped and/or kept their sanity without babywearing :)

    niki wrote on January 30th, 2013
  13. I love to bw. Ive gotten a lot of Mg mom friends on board regardless if bf or ff all babies love it.

    olivia wrote on January 30th, 2013
  14. I have always carried my babies in a Moby Wrap, but I would really like to try something that enables me to carry my babies on my back. Does anyone know of anything or how to do it? I have heard that carrying babies on your back in a Moby wrap isn’t safe because the jersey is so stretchy they are likely to fall out if they move much.

    Rebecca wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • You are right. Using a Moby for back wrapping is not safe for just the reasons you stated. I would look into a woven wrap (Didymos, Natibaby, Vatanai, etc.) if you are interested in wrapping a heavier baby (15lbs+). If you are interested in other carriers, you may want to look into a mei tai or other SSC (soft-structured carrier) like Beanslings, Freehand, Babyhawk (all mei tais); or Ergo, Boba, Beco, Tula (buckle ssc’s).

      Lani wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • The Maya Wrap style, ring slings can be used to carry children on your back, but it’s recommended that the child be at least 1 year old. I carried my daughter in the ring sling back carry when she fell asleep while we were out, when she was as old as 4 or 5. (Got me a few strange looks, but who cares.) One thing that helped was that I had read this “As your baby gains weight you can minimize the strain on your back by wearing the rings lower and spreading the fabric across your shoulder.” has some awesome instructions for various carriers. I’m sure you can find something that works for you there.

      b2curious wrote on January 30th, 2013
      • We had a Maya sling, but switched over to the Western backpack as soon as we were able. We just like the weight distribution better, even if it was bulkier.

        Amy wrote on January 30th, 2013
        • If that worked for you, that’s great. The backpacks put the weight on the top of my shoulders, which was the worst thing I could do. I’ve got neck and shoulder problems from whip lash and backpacks are horrible for me. (It’s less of a problem now that I’ve begun doing pull ups, but still a problem.) For me, the Maya Wrap was much better, because I could spread the fabric over the edge of my shoulder, which put the weight in the perfect place for me. But if the packpacks were better for you, I’m glad you used them. My dad carried me in one. While in it, when I was about a year old, I put vanilla ice cream in his hair. :)

          b2curious wrote on January 31st, 2013
  15. thanks for this article. i am constantly in awe of how detached our society has become with our children and infants in particular. babywearing and attached parenting just make sense. it sounds like the ap lifestyle would be more difficult, but as a mother of four and a super busy schedule, i can attest that it makes our life flow so much easier. thanks mark!!

    kristen wrote on January 30th, 2013
  16. I LOVE our Becco Gemini which I’ve used virtually daily since my daughter was 10 months (now 17 months). Before that we had a Caboo Close baby carrier which I found harder to wear & my little one didn’t always appreciate having her feet slotted through the cross-over straps at the front. Also it started to give me neck & shoulder ache at about 7 months. I’d like to keep on baby-wearing for as long as possible & wonder if anyone would advise the Ergo next or anything else?? I’m aware that in the Becco Gemini LOs legs are no longer in a good flexed frog-leg position as recommended by APA so probably time to look at a more supportive sling?

    Sophia Williams wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • You are definitely looking for a toddler carrier. If you are wanting to stay with a SSC (soft-structured carrier like the Beco Gemini), I would look at the Tula toddler carrier or even a Kinderpack (toddler size). I think they are among the better SSC’s that offer toddler sizing and happen to be fairly easy to get. Kinderpack/KIndercarry has previously been more of a custom brand, but they’ve moved to putting out a few different prints at a time (in all or most of their 4 body sizes) and doing store stockings every few weeks. (info) (shop)

      Lani wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • I still used my Maya Wrap style carrier on occassion when my daughter was 4 or 5, with very little trouble. She was NOT a small child and I had neck and shoulder problems before she arrived. (Was in a few fender benders and got whip lash a few times.) When my daughter was your daughter’s age, I was using the sing all the time, without issue.

      b2curious wrote on January 30th, 2013
  17. The best thing about wearing my 26lb toddler on my back: carrying the extra weight turns running errands into a workout and has helped me lose the “baby weight” much faster! I also love being able to zip through crowded places, like airports or flea markets, and being able to take stairs/escalators instead of waiting for an elevator if I was using a stroller. And he loves it too!

    Kika wrote on January 30th, 2013
  18. I have a K’Tan and love it, but has anyone used one as baby grows? This little guy is 2 months and 15 lbs already, and I need to switch up his position..wondering how the K’Tan will hold up…its still pretty snug.

    Congrats to all the new Mamas to be!It really is such a special, fleeting time when the babes are small! This is my 3rd (surprise!) and since he is the LAST (I am almost 40), and there is a 9 yr gap, I truly am savoring this baby time.
    Breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping and Primal. What a happy little guy I have!
    And yes, Mamas, Pitocin is sent from the Devil! I have had childbirth without meds of any sort, and the Pitocin enhanced one was harder by far!

    Juliemama wrote on January 30th, 2013
    • Bless you for being able to do childbirth without drugs. I couldn’t do it. I have to take the word of people who’ve done it both ways that pitocin makes it harder, because I’ve not done labor without it. Both my kids were taking their sweet time to enter the world and the docs felt it was time to evict them.

      b2curious wrote on January 31st, 2013
  19. once again amazed at how you bring all the edges together Mark! co-sleeping and now baby wearing! As a mom of four,homebirthed babies who slept in my bed and were worn on my body ( I would have gone insane otherwise with the crying and sleepless nights) you just know how this all fits into a much larger picture of ” health”. My babies are old enough now to give me grandbabies and I love that parenting instinctively is more at the forefront of parenting discussions these days than it was 25 years ago. keep this great stuff coming!

    cargillwitch wrote on January 30th, 2013
  20. Yah for safe, practical & SUPER comfortable baby carriers like Moby, Beco, Babyhawk & Boba! Always loved carrying my little ones right through to pre-school and beyond – not all the time, but lots for cosy cuddles on the move!

    PodPixie wrote on January 31st, 2013
  21. this is so great! You’re actually going to show some carriers next week? We carried both of our children a lot. Especially those first few months. Many hours a day. Later on for small errands and stuff. Nowadays (almost 3 and 6 y/o) occasionally, if they’re tired and in need for a hug. It taught them the power of connection, of contact. If they need some good cuddling, they want to be carried for a short while. It reminds us all of those good old babydays. Soothes the children and me too. Love babywearing. No wonder I made it my business :-)

    Merel wrote on January 31st, 2013
  22. If you wear your baby make sure you don’t wear it out or use it as a layer or any form of jewelry.

    Animanarchy wrote on January 31st, 2013
  23. Babies make good weights. When I stayed with my dad, brother, and sister for a few days I worked out with my sister’s cat… It’s very affectionate and likes to climb on people so when it crawled on me during an ab workout I used it as a weight on my chest and shoulder. It didn’t even seem to mind.

    Animanarchy wrote on February 1st, 2013
    • Just where can you get exogenous oxytocin? That would save me a whole heck of trouble. The best drug? And you make it yourself!
      I want to take the opportunity here to literatively bash those who hit their kids. What are you accomplishing? Making the child feel like crap, destroying your love connection, conditioning that kid to feel sketched out around other people automatically, bypassing their reason with trauma, sadness, and depression to formulate a perpetual mental malaise and social inebriation?

      Animanarchy wrote on February 1st, 2013
  24. I wore my twins as much as i can ..often tandem til my knees could not take the weight anymore…out locally i always take the single and a sling rather than faffing with a double! I used a victoria sling lady stretchy at first and then moved on to mei tais…i have a melkaj and i looove it! I hate it when i see babies being pushed around in car seats…makes me do baby bjorn carriers!hip displacia…..sometimes my dh babywears but is reluctant…i love it as my toddlers are happier and give me hugs and kisses as i walk :)
    and they are much more confortable in a crowded place strapped to me rather than down below the crowd in a buggy!

    Jen wrote on February 1st, 2013
  25. Baby wearing saved me when I returned to work! It was such an emotional time for me, but the second I got home I would put my son in our Ergo. He would snooze and eventually wake up to nurse. There are still days a year later where I get home and he needs that time close to my body. Oh and on pesky teething days, it is the only thing that keeps him mellow. :)

    Mark as if you could get any cooler! You go and post some baby wearing love!

    Monica wrote on February 2nd, 2013
  26. I never used a carrier, just my arm and hip. This was back in the 1980s. People would look at me carrying my big toddler daughter and ask, “Can’t she walk on her own?” and I’d reply, “Yes, but isn’t it nice she doesn’t have to?” Both my children are grown and on their own, successful and happy. Carrying them and holding them all the time didn’t hurt their independence (as I was always being told).

    Casey wrote on February 2nd, 2013
  27. Generations of children have been raised and turned out OK without being “worn”. There is a very good reason that we don’t raise children exactly as primitive societies. The key word is “primitive” We don’t live like primitive people, like in huts and also those cultures also believe in child marriage, female circumcision and child labor. This sounds like the “mommy wars” . “I am a better mom because I wear my baby” I am always wary of a man who tells women how to raise children.

    Cheryl wrote on February 4th, 2013
    • I’m struck by why you think Mark would be “telling women how to raise children.” He’s suggesting research-based ways of considering transporting your children. We don’t live like primitive people but perhaps – and this is the whole premises of the paleo movement and the primal movement – we can learn from what they did and incorporate the parts that fit into our own lives, because they obviously serve benefit. That’s because we evolved under those pressures and yet we don’t have them today, and are not getting the same stimuli our physiology and anatomy and biomechanics are looking for.

      Your reaction tells me that you have personal qualms with how you raised or didn’t raise your own children. People and articles like this are mirrors, right?

      Erica L. Robinson wrote on February 4th, 2013
  28. And for the rest of us who are too big to be carried, there’s “Cuddle Party”. I invite you to peruse my link above.

    alisonAtCuddleSeattleDotCom wrote on February 12th, 2013
  29. See, it’s comments like Jen’s – “I cringe when I see babies being pushed around in car seats” – that really bother me. You know NOTHING about that family’s situation. Maybe that’s the first time their baby has slept in 25 hours and they don’t want to wake him up. Maybe the freaking Moby Wrap is in the wash. Maybe it’s a quick errand, and waking up the baby for 10 minutes in the Ergo isn’t worth disrupting the nap.

    Yes, I know you’ll come back and say, “Well, I’m not talking about THOSE situations,” and then “Lots of babies are just left in car carriers all day, and it’s a tragedy” — as if you’re providing some kind of public service announcement. But that’s not actually what you are doing. You are glancing at a family and “cringing” at them, as if you’ve seen all you need to see to know they aren’t part of your little Attachment Club.

    Why is so much of the “crunchy mom” movement about looking down strangers you know nothing about, just because they don’t do things exactly like you?

    elizabeth wrote on February 22nd, 2013
  30. We use the Maya ring sling around the house or for short visits out but I TOTALY recommend the Babyhawk. It’s a meitei sling and looks tricky but really isn’t. Anything with clasps/fastening ruined my back (Bjorne, Kangaroo etc) but we’re still going strong with this one at 16 months. A little pricey but well worth it:

    Sara wrote on March 1st, 2013
  31. I wore my first baby. Then the second one, I split the time with my husband. The little fellow loved time with both of us.

    Charlie Hendricks wrote on April 21st, 2013
  32. What about baby-carrying without carriers/wraps? I realize it doesn’t free up your hands, but wouldn’t carrying or holding a baby in your arms be the most natural and intimate way to carry our babies? Anyone have any sources of information about the proper way to do this or the pros and cons of using a carrier and using your arms/hands?

    Jessica wrote on April 28th, 2013

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