When they were tiny babies, I hated lugging the carseat everywhere. It takes up too much room and it was too heavy. When Ella was less than 6 weeks, I wore her in an Infantino sling. I wanted to love it, but I didn't. It didn't fit me right; then it got recalled because it didn't fit the babies right either. I stopped putting her in it at 6 weeks because she had to wear the Pavlik harness to correct her hip dysplasia. That's when I started working in earnest on learning to tie and put her into my homemade Moby-style wrap. I wore her everywhere in that thing until she was 6 months old. At that point, she was getting a little heavy for it and Dave gave me a Babyhawk mei tai for Christmas. I wore her everywhere in the Babyhawk until I was 5 months pregnant with Luke and it got uncomfortable to tie it around my belly (because we know how large I get when I'm gestating).
I didn't wear Luke in the Moby-style wrap as much because I learned how to put a newborn into the Babyhawk safely, and I just found that easier. However, I did resurrect the Moby-style wrap for his first beach trip. I bought 5 yards of chiffon off the clearance rack at the fabric store, tied it on, put him in it, and strolled into the ocean - baby contained safely on my body and able to play in the water. The chiffon was lightweight and dried super fast. It was perfect. I still keep my Babyhawk in the car so I always have it if there's a babywearing emergency (i.e. an energetic toddler in a crowd of people).
Here's my real-life list of reasons for wearing my kids.
1. Inconsolable crying - wearing and walking was often the only thing that made Ella stop crying.
2. To facilitate naps and bedtime. Sometimes I wore them just until they were asleep and sometimes I wore them for the entire nap.
3. While shopping.
4. Instead of holding - at events, church, parties, anywhere I would have been holding them or would have had them in the carseat or stroller.
5. On walks instead of pushing a stroller.
6. While cooking, cleaning, working.
7. To contain them in crowds or at the pool/beach.
8. To get through the witching hour - it's why I call it the Grouch Pouch.
I think that generally covers everything.
Since retiring the Infantino sling, I've stuck to alternative carriers (things you couldn't find at Target - though now they carry Moby!), because of the way the baby fits in them. I learned with Ella that it's much better for their hip development if the fabric of the carrier spreads their hips wide, as if they are sitting with their legs wrapped around your waist, rather than letting them dangle straight down, like some of the more mainstream carriers hold them. I also very much prefer a carrier that goes over both shoulders instead of a sling that just uses one shoulder. Double shoulder carriers are just more comfortable for me. I love both my Moby-style wrap and my Babyhawk so much that they are of the few things I'll be keeping so I can wear my grandchildren one day.
My favorite resource for information and instructions for different types of carriers is The Babywearer. There's even a forum where you can swap or buy used carriers and ask questions. You can also find patterns for making your own carriers. It's a wealth of information.
For fun, I rounded up all the pictures I could find of my kids being worn. Sadly, I don't have one of Luke as a toddler in the pouch. I'll have to get one ASAP, before this phase is gone completely.
|Luke, 6 months old, at Ladies' Night Out|
|Luke, 8ish months old, during the witching hour|
|Ella, 2.5 years, wearing her baby|
|Luke, 3ish months old, when he was fussy.|
|Ella, 4 months old, ready for a walk to the park.|
|Ella, probably 8 weeks old.|
|Ella, 6 months old, during Night In Bethlehem.|
|Ella, 14 months, in the museum at Ft. Morgan|
|Ella, 14 months, on top of Ft. Morgan|
I made Aunt Becca a babywearing believer before she even knew there would be a Jake. This is her very first babywearing experience. She loved it. She wears Jake everywhere now.
|Luke, 2 months, at Target.|