As some of you may know, I love babywearing, but it wasn’t always that way. I was first introduced to babywearing when I had my daughter in 2007, however, due to my lack of experience, and perhaps my lack of guidance, I hated doing it. I really think it was due to not having a good, comfortable baby carrier. The only carriers I had used with my daughter were a pouch, which worked GREAT until she hit about 15 pounds, and then in killed my back… And then one of those front-pack crotch-dangler carrier, which was a pain to set up, and was even more painful to wear. My daughter wasn’t heavy, weighing in at only 17 pounds on her first birthday, but wearing her in the carriers that I had at the time just killed my back, and due to a lack of knowledge about babywearing, I gave up on it. I didn’t really think about babywearing again until I had my son. I knew I planned on using a pouch sling until he was too big, just because I really enjoyed it. But then he started hurting my back, just like my daughter had. My main challenge was going grocery shopping. It was nearly impossible for me to do. I’d sit my daughter in the cart’s seat, and then put my son in his carseat in the basket of the cart, or I’d have to carry him and manage to push the cart at the same time. If I carried him, then I had to steer the cart one-handed, which made it difficult and frustrating to shop. If I put him in the cart in his carseat, then I barely had any room for groceries and couldn’t get much of anything at once. That’s when I decided I needed to do something. I couldn’t handle any more of these horrible shopping trips. I researched into a few different baby carriers, but unfortunately, the carriers I liked, I couldn’t afford. And the carriers I could afford, I didn’t like. One of my friends I met online, Bri, offered to mail me a carrier that she loved, but just didn’t like the pattern on the fabric. I figured it was worth a shot, and was very excited to try it when she sent it. It worked pretty well, and it didn’t hurt my back nearly as much as the crotch-danglers did. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “crotch-dangler,” here’s a photo depiction… Crotch Dangler Anyways, I really liked the carrier Bri sent me, but I felt there were some things that could be better. I asked my grandma if she would be willing to help me make one if I figured out a pattern. She didn’t seem like she wanted to, but that was probably because everything I ever tried to sew in the apst turned out horribly. But, she said if I came up with a pattern, she’ll help me… Although she didn’t sound like she had much faith in me. I spent nearly two weeks inspecting and disassembling the carrier in my mind. I drew it out. I re-drew it. I made a million sketches, and peiced it together, peice by peice in my mind. I looked at patterns of similarly structured carriers to figure out the assembly. When I figured out how it was assembled, I set to drawing it out. I got some brown paper on a roll, like the stuff you use for mailing packages, and I drew it out. I figured out my dimensions, my shapes, my seam allowances. And I spent a few days, just drawing, tracing, measuring and remeasuring. I can honestly say, that is the ONLY time I have ever used the skills I learned in my geometry classes in high school. My first carrier didn’t turn out bad. It turned out decently, but I didn’t like the dimensions, and I didn’t like the shape. It worked, but it could have worked much better than it did. Buckle-Tai Baby Carrier Like I said, it didn’t turn out bad, but it wasn’t going to work very well for a larger baby. So, I made several adjustments to my pattern, and tried again. I got it perfect on the second try, and my carriers looked like this; Buckle Tai Baby Carriers And, the best part of all, when I tested them out, they were comfortable! I was able to wear my son, as well as my daughter, snugly, comfortably, cozily, and safely! Buckle Tai Baby Carriers I pretty much fell in love with my carrier. I felt kind of sad in one way, wishing I would have figured this out when my daughter was still small because I think she would have benefited from being worn, but I was happy I found something that worked for me. I also couldn’t help but be proud that my design turned out so well! Sewing wasn’t exactly my best talent before, but my carriers turned out amazingly well, and even my grandma was impressed with them. Buckle Tai Baby Carrier My mom especially liked the carriers. She even commented that she wished she had one when she had her kids! And my little sister’s friends even liked them! Buckle Tai Baby Carrier Babywearing can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but like a lot of things, if you aren’t well educated and you don’t have the right carrier to suit your needs, then babywearing can be a complete nightmare, not to mention, pain in the back! I hated wearing my daughter once she was too big for my pouch, but my son is 21+ pounds now, and I’m still wearing him when we go out! Occasionally, I wear my daughter too, when she asks, which generally isn’t unless she’s tired, feeling jealous of her brother, or hurt/sick. Most people know that babywearing is great for bonding, but did you know there’s a ton of other benefits too? * Babywearing is convienant. Like I demonstrated with my grocery shopping dilemma, babywearing can make life easier! It’s also much easier to wear your baby than it is to lug a carseat around, or pack and unpack a stroller all the time. * Babies who are worn are happier, and less stressed. Babies who are worn by their mothers and caregivers, according to several studies, are happier, and cry less, which leads to lower stress levels in not only the baby, but in the mother and caregivers as well. * Wearing baby helps promote their physical development. Babies who are worn are more in tune with their mother’s breathing, movement, stretching and other body functions. This helps the baby to regulate and develop their own movements and functions. * Wearing your toddler can help ease their anxiety. Toddlers and older babies can become overstimulated and this can be very frightening for them. By offering to wearing your older baby or toddler in these situations, you can help ease their anxieties and quell their fears, providing security and comfort to them in uncertain or frightening situations. * Babywearing is great exercise! If you’re a new mom, it can be hard to work in time to exercise and get back into shape. Wearing your baby is great exercise, and is great for gradual strengthening because as your baby gets bigger, you get gradually stronger from supporting their gradually increasing weight. * Baby carriers can help other caregivers and family members bond with baby. Mother’s tend to be very close to their babies, but using a baby carrier can help other family members, such as dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings and other caregivers feel close to baby as well. * Babywearing aids in communicating with baby. When you wear your baby, you’re in a very close proximity to your baby’s face, and become more in tune with their gestures and facial expressions making communication with baby easier. * Wearing your baby keeps your baby safe. In a crowded public place, or unfamiliar setting, wearing your baby ensures they are close to you, and with you at all times. There’s no way for them to wander off if you look away for a second! * Wearing your baby is economical. Baby carriers, although upon first glance may seem expensive, but paying $20-$80 for a product you may use daily for two or more years isn’t bad at all! Especially when you consider, if you plan on having more children, you can save it to use for them as well! * Wearing your baby is FUN! It’s much more fun to wear your baby than it is to lug aroung heavy, awkward carseats, or try to navigate a bulky stroller through an unforgiving terrain! Babywearing is fun! There’s so many benefits! It’s my sincere wish that more mothers wear their babies, and its really up to us to help encourage other moms to wear their babies! Babywearing can be intimidating, and may even seem imposisble, like it did for me when my daughter was a newborn, but with a little education, time, and patience, babywearing can be an incredibly pleasurable and rewarding experience! Click here to see the best diaper bags. Stay tuned and be on the lookout, as I plan on reviewing some baby carriers on my blog over the next couple of months. We’ve got a couple reviews lined up, and even a giveaway coming up soon! So here’s my prompt for you. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. How do you feel about babywearing, and have you always felt that way? Was your introduction to the world of babywearing an easy one, or did you struggle like I did? How has babywearing affected your life? What does it mean to you?