Last week, I gave you 10 reasons I love baby wearing and how it’s been an awesome tool on my quest for simple living. And I really do love baby wearing. Except for those days when it drives me absolutely nuts! Yes, I will be the first to admit that it’s not always flowers and rainbows and lovey dovey baby cuddles. Sometimes there’s spit up, and there’s often some hair pulling, but those usually end up being funny stories once you get cleaned up and your hair grows back. What really sucks though is when you’re having so much trouble that you completely abandon the idea of baby wearing, and that’s where I’m hoping to help. Because there really is a LOT of help out there!
As a now seasoned baby wearer, I have been through two distinct phases of baby carrier hatred:
1. How do you use this freakin’ thing?!!!
So you got a baby carrier as a gift. You probably put it on your registry. You read all the instructions. Maybe you even practiced with a stuffed animal. Then a real baby comes along and makes you hate that carrier so much you want to set the thing on fire. (Seriously though, don’t do that. There are so many cute DIY things you can cut it up for instead.)
2. You want me to do WHAT with that?
You’ve been using your carrier for a while. You think it’s awesome. You saw someone else doing something else with their baby carrier and you think it’s even MORE awesome. You try to do the thing. You fail miserably and consider burning the baby carrier, only this time, you know how much it’s actually worth and restrain yourself. For now.
So here’s hoping that the following tips can help you through both these stages like they helped me.
Baby Carrier Troubleshooting Tip #1: You need to speak the lingo
I will not lie: people in the baby wearing circle (yes, there’s a circle, but they’re nice – they’ll let you in) have a language all their own. They don’t speak it to alienate you, but if you don’t get the lingo down, chances are you might be really confused. Like when you keep seeing people talk about a “rail” in a long piece of fabric. I thought I was insane for not being able to find a solid piece of anything in my wrap. So first thing first, look up any terms that you don’t understand. A few good starting places:
- Glossary of Babywearing Terms from Babywearing International
- Common Babywearing Terms and Acronyms from NZ Baby Wearing
Baby Carrier Troubleshooting Tip #2: YouTube is your friend
Ok, now you understand all the words, but that little diagram your carrier came with is STILL not making any sense. That’s ok, because we have YouTube. I can pretty much guarantee you that on YouTube, there is a video of someone doing the very thing you want to do with your baby carrier. Not only that, but they are probably explaining what to do, step by step, as they do it, in a video that you are free to pause, restart and watch over and over again. There is no shame in watching the same video 17 times! And now that you know all those babywearing words, you’ll be able to type in a search query that will hopefully find just the video you need. With that being said, I do have a couple of favorites – these mamas really do an awesome job of showing us how it’s done:
Baby Carrier Troubleshooting Tip #3: Facebook to the rescue
There are Facebook groups for just about everything these days, including babywearing. You’ll find groups for people wanting general help, more advanced users, those who want to buy/sell/trade carriers and many local baby wearing groups too. What’s great is that they are super active, so if you have a question, someone will likely answer you quickly. While it’s nice to watch a video, it’s great to be able to ask questions and get answers from other baby wearers too.
- To find a Facebook Group, type “Babywearing” into the search bar at the top of the screen and click the Groups tab once you’re on the results page. You can try adding “Babywearing Your City” to see if anything local comes up too, but don’t shy away from the general groups just because they’re large – they can be really helpful.
Baby Carrier Troubleshooting Tip #4: Babywearing group meetings
Yes! There are actual baby wearing groups in most major cities, and they have regular meetings, often on a monthly basis. It’s a place where everyone is free to come with their babies, kids, confusing carriers and perplexed looks in tow, to meet others in the same boat as well as some super seasoned baby wearers that can give you some face-to-face help. You’ll likely walk out having made a few new friends and be well on your way to mastering that baby carrier you so foolishly considered tearing to shreds just a few hours ago.
- A good place to start looking for a baby wearing group is on the Wrap Your Baby website. And this is not an affiliate link – just an awesome resource!
So, did I manage to put the simple back into simple living for all you confused babywearers out there? Let me know in the comments if you have another big resource that you found helpful.
More Simple Living Baby Wearing Goodies:
- Did you catch my 10 Reasons to Love Babywearing?
- When you are ready to up-cycle your baby carrier into new, useful items, check out these DIY projects:
- What? You want some cute up-cycled baby wearing items without sacrificing your current carrier? Ok, since you asked…
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