Are you ready to carry your baby front, back, and side as you work through your day? Do you want to expand your knowledge of baby carriers available? Are you curious about the history and the practice of babywearing around the world?
Baby carriers, like cloth diapers, can seem overwhelming when new parents find more information than they can comfortably sort through. I have chosen a few of my favorite resources for babywearing just as a start.
Babywearing International Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support.
Active forums, reviews, and other support services.
Parenting by Nature offers our own beginner’s guide to babywearing and baby carriers. Includes “How to Choose a Baby Carrier” and “Baby Carriers – Compare the Differences” as well as a short history of babywearing.
Emery Bernhard, A Ride on Mother’s Back: A Day of Baby Carrying around the World. Illustrated by Durga Bernhard (1996).
A child’s-eye view of cultures around the world, showing caregivers carrying babies as they go about their daily work.
Maria Blois, Babywearing (2005).
Maria Blois, MD, is both a medical professional and a babywearing parent. She often wears her own baby as she lectures and teaches other healthcare professionals about the benefits of babywearing. This book is a parent-to-parent guide to benefits, history, baby carrier styles, and even how to make your own baby carrier.
Itie van Hout, Beloved Burden: Baby Carriers in Different Countries (forthcoming).
This gorgeous book is a translation from the Dutch original (2008) published by the Tropenmuseum, an anthropological museum that is part of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam. The author is the Curator of Textiles for the museum, specializing in the role of textiles in culture. First half of the book is articles on babywearing; second half describes babywearing around the world.
More General Book
William and Martha Sears, The Baby Book: Everything you Need to Know about your Baby from Birth to Age Two (1993, updated 2003).
I include this because this was the book I first read to learn about babywearing and other aspects of attachment parenting. It was recommended to me by another homebirth parent in my town, and I have recommended and gifted it to many parents since.
Adventures in Babywearing. Stephanie Precourt’s blog Adventures in Babywearing is the big babywearing blog, but there are many, many more blogs where parents (mostly mothers) share their personal experiences and specific reviews.
Every Parent a Resource
There are so many babywearing ambassadors. Every one of us becomes a babywearing ambassador when we meet other people while carrying our babies. We don’t just need to see advice of experts on this and other attachment parenting subjects. Every experienced parent becomes a valuable resource.
So, if you are looking for advice, look around you for parents you can meet face to face. As a mother at the park whips her baby right into a sling so fast that you aren’t sure what happened, you can ask, “How did you do that?” and “Will you teach me?”
Throughout March we will offer guides to getting started with some of the basic practices of attachment parenting. This is Babywearing Week with coverage of benefits, products, resources, and personal experiences.