If you are pregnant and are starting to purchase baby gear, you might want to consider baby wearing. Baby wearing is the act of literally "wearing" your baby. Babies love to be held. Being held close to mother in the months following birth eases a baby's transition to the world and helps the baby assimilate to life outside of the womb. Babies who are worn get to view the world from their mother's perspective or the point of view of the person holding them, which can even include dad or grandma.
There are many products on the market that make baby wearing easy and even fashionable. Baby slings enable a mother to carry baby and have her hands free. Baby carriers comes in a variety of styles. Some baby carriers enable a mother to carry her baby in one of several positions including on either hip, in front, or even on her back. Many manufacturers of baby carriers or baby slings offer reasonable return policies in case the size you order does not fit. Also, most companies offer instructional videos or DVDs so that you can actually see how the carrier is supposed to be worn. Baby wearing can be fashionable also. Manufacturers offer many styles and colors. One popular company even offers silk slings for formal occasions and mesh slings for summer months that not only keep your baby cool but also offer sun protection as well. Mothers of multiple children find that carrying their baby is helpful because they can tend to their toddler or older child with baby in tow. Babies who are held closely also experience less crying and less unpleasant situations such as colic, and wearing a baby closely helps to regulate the baby's breathing patterns and temperature, especially in the early months of life. Baby wearing is also beneficial for nursing mothers because most baby wearing products offer adequate coverage for moms to easily nurse in public.
It is helpful also to purchase at least two varieties of baby carriers. You might want to purchase a baby sling that is adjustable and able to be used in a variety of positions, and you also might want to purchase a fitted sling that requires no adjustments for easy use even though you will only be able to carry baby in one position in this type of sling. Optional slings, depending on your budget, could include the mesh sling made especially for summertime use or use in warmer climates and also the high-end silk sling that can be used for formal occasions. I have even seen companies that offer cloth baby carriers in organic cotton! There are also more heavy-duty backpack type carriers that are great for avid outdoor types. If you enjoy outdoor activities or hiking, you might want to consider these as well. You could easily purchase two quality baby slings for the same cost as a moderately-priced stroller. Don't forget to purchase a sling for dad too. Just remember your partner might need a different (often larger) size sling than you do. Consider yourself lucky if you and your partner are similar in height and weight and can both use the same sling. If you purchase a sling for your baby's caregiver in your absence, always make sure to instruct that person on proper use of the sling as well.
Always remember to follow the care instructions that come with whatever cloth baby carrier you purchase. Paying close attention to these instructions will ensure that your sling or carrier is maintained properly and that it lasts for a long time. Most slings can accommodate children up to age 3 or so, and you will most likely also be able to use your sling with future children as well since many slings are constructed to be very durable.
It is important to take precautions, though. Baby wearing requires an attentive parent. Always make sure that when you are wearing your baby, the baby's airway is not restricted in any way. Babies enjoy the lulling motion of their mother's walking, just make sure your baby is safe at all times and does not end up in an uncomfortable or unsafe position.
Consider baby wearing. It is a beneficial for your baby and also can be convenient for you: no more worrying about navigating an oversized stroller through a crowded shopping center.