Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Greener Side of Babywearing

There are many reasons to love babywearing, but here is one that may not have been mentioned: babywearing is “green.” These days everyone is talking about how to take care of the earth and live naturally, and babywearing is part of the solution.

Babywearing is biodegradable and reusable:
Most carriers are made out of cloth, aside from a few buckles or ring slings. If people choose carriers over strollers the earth will be spared from 10 or 20 pounds of plastic sitting around for the next million years per stroller. Many people who use baby carriers also choose used strollers, since they plan to wear their babies most of the time and may not rely on their stroller regularly.

Baby carriers can be used from the first days of a baby’s life until they are preschool aged. After that, they can be passed on to other parents for their children, or even transformed! Many wraps have been changed into ring slings or mei tais. Often a well loved, soft carrier is more coveted than a new, stiff carrier. The same cannot be said for strollers. Many carriers will have a long and happy life with a variety of families if taken care of properly.

Babywearing makes walking and public transportation easier:
Try taking the stairs with your stroller and you will soon be looking for the elevator. Babywearers can easily save some electricity and shed unwanted pounds by taking the stairs wherever they go. Looking to ride the metro or the bus? You may choose your car instead if you have to lug a stroller on public transportation, but a baby carrier will make it easy to hop on or off a train. Plus, baby will be kept safe and close, away from dirty hands and other unwanted germy surfaces.

You can choose a safe and sustainable material in a carrier:
These days, most baby carriers come in a variety of fabrics, and many vendors will even let you send in your own custom fabric. You can choose organic cotton, or a sustainable bamboo fabric. There are slings available that are made by traditional methods with fair trade standards in place. You can purchase carrier and know that you have made a positive contribution to the world in the process.

Also, babies and toddler like to chew on things, and recent research has shown us that the chemicals in plastic may not be as safe for our children as we once thought. Chewing on an organic cotton sling, however, should be safe from unwanted chemicals, and maybe even yummy!

It’s so much more than a carrier!
Lastly, baby carriers have many other uses besides carriers. Need a changing pad? No problem. Did you
forget your picnic blanket? Not to worry, just use your wrap. Are your kids grown but you just cannot part with your carrier? Use it as a tablecloth.  Did you run out of tissues or napkins? That’s just what the tail of a ring sling is for!  A wrap can even be used to pull on for more leverage while giving birth, or as a blanket to wrap up that sweet new baby. And what would make a better lovey than an old baby carrier that smells like mom or dad? How about a sunshade, a pillow, a peek-a-boo toy, a nursing cover, a dog leash, a basket, a hammock, or an ice pack. There are endless uses for baby carriers, which is what makes them so versatile

So the next time you are wearing your baby, you can walk proudly knowing that it is good for you, for your child, and for the earth.

Posted by: Carolyn


  1. Hi, where is the meeting in MD held? I only see vVA locations.


  2. There is a meeting in Baltimore monthly. We are working on getting a MD meeting scheduled in the new year. It has been difficult getting leadership established in MD. We now have a couple certified VBEs in MD and we are trying to help them get a meeting location established.