Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why don't you recommend? SSC High Back Carries

Today we are starting a new feature.  We are going to explore common suggestions that we don't recommend.  In this post, we are going to cover why we don't recommend high back carries as a standard carry in a soft structured carrier.  The biggest reason is that it is not how the carriers are designed to be worn.  Because soft structure carriers use a heavily padded waist band designed to distribute the weight onto your hips, buckling well above your hips loses that benefit.

Other troubles the can occur when using this method are highlighted below.

With the waist just beneath the bust, it doesn't have anything to keep it from sliding down your body as the day wears on.
Fabric becomes trapped under the child's bottom or hangs way over the waistband making either a poor seat or an overly deep seat.

Because of the fabric lost under the bottom, the back of the carrier does not come as high on the child as it could.  The wearer also may not be able to tighten the straps sufficiently.  This mother has the straps as tight as they will go and wants them tighter.

Contrast the same child worn with the same carrier at her mother's waist.

The child has a much better seat, she has support all the way up her back, and her mother can get a much tighter fit with her straps.  You can also see the child feels more confident and supported in the carry because in the earlier photo she was holding on to her mother, whereas she has relaxed in this carry.
Does this mean that if you have a buckle carrier that you like wearing under the bust we are saying you must stop?  No, of course not.  But if you ask us to show you how to use an SSC on your back, we will not demonstrate a high back carry.  And if you come asking for a carrier to do a high back carry, we will recommend a mei tai or wrap as carriers better suited to the task.  There are a few buckle carriers with unstructured waists if you really want a higher back carry and buckles, but they still may not fit your body because of the tightening issue mentioned with the straps.  Hopefully this illustrates more clearly the pitfalls of this popular recommendation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Moving: A Babywearing Story

In the winter of 2010, the day after Christmas, my husband, J, set off to Virginia from California with all of our belongings in one of those big yellow trucks.  I was eight months pregnant at the time, so I flew up about a week later once he and my father in law got everything unloaded.  We moved from a small little two bedroom ground level apartment in a middle of nowhere town to a three story town house on the outskirts of the DC Metro area.  The culture shock was staggering.  Having to haul my huge self up and down all those stairs was exhausting.  Add to that all the things that need to get done after a move like that-new license plates and driver's licenses, figuring out just where in the world the grocery store is, finding a new OB at pretty much the last minute, etc.-I bet you can guess how much unpacking I got done while I was still pregnant.  Not much.  The baby's room got done though!  Two months after the big move, I gave birth to our first son, D.  My first non-baby related thought?  How am I supposed to unpack now?  This tiny human needs to be in constant contact with me.  We left all of our family and friends in California, so we did the best we could unpacking on the weekends while D was sleeping.  That is, when we weren't sleeping ourselves.  

When D was three months old, J went on travel for three months.  I was on my own with this new
baby and a house that was still half full of boxes.  My goal was to have the house put together before he got home.  I started using cloth diapers around this time, and it was while shopping at the local cloth diapering store that I was first introduced to the idea of babywearing.  I walked in carrying D in his car seat, and the first thing I saw was the employee behind the counter wearing her baby in something that looked like a backpack.  I asked her about it. I walked out that day with my first carrier and information about a local babywearing group.

All of this back story to get to the point of this post: how babywearing helped me during our move. What a huge difference it made!  No longer did I have to wait until my son was sleeping to unpack as many boxes as I could before he woke up.  All I had to do was put him in our carrier, and I could get things done.  I had my hands back!  He loved being snuggled up to me, and I loved it just as much.  Probably more.  I managed to get the majority of the house unpacked by the time J got back, and was able to keep my baby close while doing it.  

Fast forward two years, and we found ourselves getting ready to move again.  Packing is enough of a chore without a two year old trying to "help."  For this reason, I wore D quite a bit while packing.  While J was at work, D would play until he started causing trouble, then I'd put him up on my back and continue to pack.  At our new house, D was much more interested in exploring than helping me unpack, but just before we moved I found out that I was pregnant again.  Yay for a new baby!  Boo for being pregnant during the move.  I was EXHAUSTED the entire 40ish weeks, and the only time we got any unpacking done was on the weekends.  Long story short, I again ended up with a new baby, L,  and a house half full of boxes.  Luckily, this time I already knew about babywearing.

Posted by Katelyn