This is a fancy new term for carrying your baby close to you. With my eldest, I carried him everywhere. I used scarves to help me hold some of his weight over my shoulders, but always had one hand holding him, and most of his weight on my hip! Where ever I was, whatever I was doing, I had my ‘cling on’ attached to my right hip.
For slightly longer adventures I had my dear old Baby Bjorn. It was easy to put on and fairly practical. When T. came along, she went in the Baby Bjorn, while K. went in the buggy. Or not. Most often K. had a ‘shoulder carry’ whilst T. was in the Baby Bjorn.
Like it or not the Bjorn did me a great service. Newer research, and many parenting websites have slated the Bjorn for being a ‘hip hugger’ carrier, suggesting malformation of babies hips. I knew none of this at the time (1999), but it was fairly common knowledge on the boards of parenting websites this time around.
Then along came Little B. I knew from the outset that I would have her ‘attached’ to me most of the time. And as it is, she is! But life can be made simpler, and you don’t have to do everything with only one hand, so I decided to have a bit of a read, and invest in a carrier (or three).
When Little B. was really little, the recommendation of many fellow Mummies was a Moby wrap. A massively long piece of stretchy material that you envelope baby and Mummy together in. After a few faffy attempts, I managed to manouvre Little B. into this, in the ‘newborn’ hold position. She never seemed to like being shoved into the wrap and when I had it tight enough that she didn’t slide down, she just seemed to complain about going in. Maybe I didn’t practice enough? But for ease, I reverted to the Baby Bjorn for short walks of 10 minutes or less. Just enough time to take the dog for his morning constitutional.
Once Little B. could hold her head, I wanted to try another type of carrier. I bought a Mei Tei fairly cheaply from Amazon. A rectangle of material with 4 long straps. I was mega confused until my friend JB found me a link on how to attach and ‘wear’ baby.
It still took a few more attempts, but after a while I got the hang of it, and Little B. has been transported all over in her Mei Tei. Through airports, on school visits, days out, and of course, to take the dog for his daily requirements. We still haven’t really mastered cooking with Little B. in the Mei Tei, but anything outdoors is fantastic. We both love it. The one downside to the Mei Tei are the long straps, that can get in the way, and/or get soggy by trailing on the ground when you are trying to put little one in when you take them out of the car seat, so I investigated further and decided to invest in a full buckle soft structured carrier.
So to what next. Little B. is gaining weight and I am not convinced I can carry her on my front forever! I want a carrier that can do both front and back. I am splurging. I sold a few bits on a local second hand website, and bought a made to measure Full Buckle Mei Tei type carrier, by Madame Googoo. I love it, and so does Little B. She can be carried on my front or my back. We are both so happy with it. I have managed to feed her in it, and she sleeps in it too.