Friday, July 2, 2010

Ow, ow, OWW! Hair-raising Adventures in Babywearing

People often ask if babywearing hurts (or as is more often the case tell you it is hurting you, the baby, or both...).  I was stopped just yesterday and told that I wouldn't be able to carry my 6mo old much longer because it would hurt my back... I pointed to my 2.5yr old and pointed out that I regularly carry her, so I think the baby has some time.  What I didn't mention is that while my BACK doesn't usually hurt, my head on the other hand....

Finding a good choice for your hair can be an important part of successful wearing. I know one mama who said she allows hair pulling without reprimand while back wrapping because it keeps the baby laying flat and still.  However, once the wrapping, tying, or buckling is completed, how can we keep little fingers from pulling our hair out (we have to leave a little to pull out ourselves when they get to be teenagers).

We could go with the shaved head route, but honestly, while hot on dads, that isn't a good look for most moms (but if you can rock it, go for it!).
Another option is just a cute short cut.  Kim is totally stylish with this cute pixie look.  Her hair is up and away from wandering hands.  But some mamas (and dads) don't want to cut off hair just to be able to wear their little ones, some just don't have the bone structure to pull off short hair, and let's face it, some of us just never have time/money to get to the salon and have long hair by virtue of laziness.  So what options are there for the long-haired parents out there?

Ellen is showing a simple ponytail.  For many this is sufficient, especially if their hair is around shoulder length.  But notice if hers was any longer it would be right in baby's face.  This can be annoying for the little one.  My two year old is VERY put out if she tries to put her head down to sleep against me and encounters my hair... apparently it "ith-ez."

So, what other options do we have?  Meaghan is showing a simple twist to get that hair up and off the neck and contained.  This is both great for cooling mom in warm weather, AND has a babywearing bonus! Great potential here! A twist can be achieved quickly while also chasing your preschooler through the park apologizing to the people and dogs whose path he has barged across. 

 Some mamas have thinner hair that doesn't stay in a twist very well, for those mamas some braids like Angelique is demoing can work wonders for keeping hair out of hands and making mom look cute instead of like the crazy banshee screaming, "let go of my hair you adorable monster!"  Another bonus to this look is it immediately drops ten years, so for some of us we can stop being asked if we are enjoying being a grandparent.

Sometimes baby is just determined and will pull on your ponytail, braids, or even worse those tiny hairs on the back of your neck (ouch!).  To combat that, a groovy hat or headscarf might be the way to go.  Careful on the style you choose, you might find yourself firmly planted in the hippy category by on-lookers.  Then again, being firmly planted in the hippy category might have you dismissed as "un-convertible" by those who are desperate to tell you why you need a stroller.  Hmm, there might be something to that...  Anyway, Cynthia and her daughter are showing off their adorable matching hats.  Ann Marie is showing a Wrapsody headscarf (you can get these to match some of your favorite Wrapsody wraps!).

And, lest you get a surprise tug resulting in teaching your toddler some words not covered by Sesame Street, it might be a good idea to attach a toy to your carrier, or have a necklace they can play with to divert their attention from the diabolical hair pulling scheme that the kids all conspire about during "playdates," more commonly referred to as "strategic planning sessions."

Good luck and happy hairy wearing.


  1. Dude, a toy! Why didn't I think of that? Maggie went through a stage where no hairstyle could stop her. If my hair was in a bun, she'd grab the teeny hairs at the bottom of my hairline and pull them out. I wish I'd thought to put a toy back there for distraction.

    Great pics!

  2. Good article and adorable pictures. I always use nursing beads with my ERGO, but I also have a short haircut 