Wearing an Older Infant

wearinginfanttowalking

This post continues the ages and stages babywearing series.  If you would like to learn more about newborn babywearing or wearing an infant until they’re able to sit up on their own check out my earlier posts.

The spread squat position is still very important at this stage.  Be sure to read more about this in my newborn babywearing post.  When baby is in the carrier you are looking for this position (notice the curved spine and the knees higher than the bum (capital M position).

Carriers that are great to use at this stage:

  • A ring sling for shorter periods of time.  You may begin considering a wrap convert ring sling if this is your favorite carrier and you want to wear for longer spurts because the heavier weave helps distribute weight better.
  • Woven Wraps
  • Gauze or Hybrid wraps may become a little less comfortable as your child grows.
  • No stretchy wraps-they will not support the spread squat positioning at this point.
  • Mei tais start becoming a great option at this stage!
  • Soft Structure Carriers are also a great option for quick up and downs.

As babies grow and become older they will begin to like quicker up and downs (especially as they begin to walk).  Babies will also grow heavier but if you’re used to wearing your muscles will grow along with baby.  There’s no need to restrict wearing based on your child’s size/weight unless you have a medical condition to consider.

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Wearing my oldest son at 12 months in a ring sling when he got overwhelmed by a play date

 

You may also begin to be interested in back wearing.  Back carries can help you wear for a longer period of time more comfortably as your child grows but remember that babies like to snuggle too and knowing how to nurse in a carrier is a good skill (not every mom is able to nurse in a carrier but if you can practice in several different carriers most mothers can find a way to comfortably nurse while wearing).  You may spend more time out of the house and at this point you may almost mourn if you have forgotten your carrier at home.  It’s a good idea to have an inexpensive back up carrier in your car or diaper bag or keep a carrier in your car all the time so your arms and back don’t ache when you’re out and forgot the carrier.

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Boba Selfie! Back carries help baby interact with the world (including staying safe while watching older brothers ride bikes).

Back carries can also help baby interact a little more with their world.  When baby can see over your shoulder they can see and experience what you see but also be able to snuggle in when they become overwhelmed or shy.

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My daughter at about 7 months “helping” me clean the house

At this stage you may experience a baby that wants to nurse and then doesn’t fall alseep nursing any longer.  Wearing your baby down may be a very lovely skill to have in your toolbox of parenting tricks.  With practice you can wear your baby and take a walk around your house or neighborhood (make sure to have a flashlight and stay safe at night!) or just snuggle and rock.  The tightness of the carrier often works better for this then just sitting in a rocking chair.  Make sure when you put baby down to remove the carrier so there are no suffocation hazards.

Back wrapping tips and tricks:

  • When you’re beginning back wraps practice while kneeling on your bed or a soft surface and/or start low.
  • Get help, have a spot
  • Practice getting a good seat in a front wrap cross carry before attempting back wrapping.
  • Use a mirror or your computer camera to help you see what’s going on on your back.
  • Get hands on help!  It makes a huge difference.

I recommend doing the “superman” method for getting baby on your back because you stay in full control and contact of baby while putting baby up.  Here’s a video that shows this technique.

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Hiking with a toddler in Newport, Oregon

I teach best practices for positioning for all babies because suboptimal positioning puts baby at risk for possible hip/spine issues down the road.  Like how drinking alcohol doesn’t ALWAYS cause liver disease or smoking doesn’t ALWAYS cause lung cancer the benefits and risks should be weighed when making decisions.  The risk is there and I recommend minimizing that risk.

If you’re in the Oklahoma City area and would like some hands on babywearing help please contact me or visit my website.

What is your favorite carrier for an infant that can sit on their own?

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One thought on “Wearing an Older Infant

  1. Pingback: Wearing a Toddler or Preschooler | Nurturing Bonds

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