I often get asked as a farm wife and mom how I manage to get anything done with a baby. And to tel the truth it can be a challenge. I have had three babies so far and each one has brought new joys, challenges and opportunities to learn. I would have to say that the greatest help in getting work done on the farm with a baby has been to wear my babies! Babywearing as it is called has become more and more popular in recent years and in my opinion it is with good reason.
This post is inspired by my friend Gretchen, who is also a farmer’s wife and who recently did a great blog series on babywearing. It was actually Gretchen who got me my first Moby wrap which revolutionized babywearing for me!
When my first son was born we had not started farming full time yet and I only experimented with baby wearing a little bit. I started with some kind of sling(I can’t even remember what brand it was) and a frontpack. Looking back with what I know now those were really not very good options. The sling was not very secure and felt like it was going to swing away from my body and the frontpack did not hold the baby’s legs in the correct position as this post on babywearing safety explains.
When I discovered I was expecting our second baby I knew I wanted to wear my baby a lot more, plus we were full time farming by then which made it almost a necessity! I researched several carrier options and was leaning towards either a ring sling or a stretchy wrap. Gretchen found a Moby stretchy wrap at a local children’s consignment store and passed it along to me. It turned out to be a lifesaver! Our second baby boy was born in August; the middle of our busiest season here on the farm. He was also my clingiest baby and just wanted to be held all the time. There is no way I would have got anything done without the wrap.
As Matthew grew and got heavier I started feeling like I wanted something that I could use on my back(a stretchy wrap cannot be used for back carries for safety reasons) and that would be more supportive. After looking around for awhile I got a great deal on a beautiful turquoise(one of my favorite colors!) woven Storchenwiege wrap. I liked the idea of a woven wrap rather than another type of carrier because I already loved my Moby wrap and thought it would be similar. And in some ways it is, but there was quite a learning curve to figure out how to wrap it correctly and easily which I wasn’t prepared for. Now that I am comfortable with it I love it, too!
Wraps are really the only type of carrier I am familiar with but there are so many options out there that you could try to find just the right one. I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in too many different types being on a tight budget, but I feel like with the versatility of the two wraps I did find the best babywearing fit for me and my babies!
My third baby, our sweet little girl is a bit more independent and so I have found that I wear her a little less. However I have still have gotten plenty of use out of my wraps. And certainly been able to get a lot more done than I would have otherwise. It is amazing to take a fussy baby that for some reason doesn’t want to sleep that day, wrap her onto me, have her settle down contentedly, and still get the work that needs doing done.
So how do I get anything done with a baby? Well I have to realize there are going to be less productive days and lots of interruptions, but wearing my baby has been one major key to successfully balancing farming and mommying. I have worn my babies doing so many various tasks around the farm; everything from planting, harvesting, setting up the hoophouse, and selling produce at the farmers market. And I love it! I love having my babies close to me while I work and throughout my day.
So what about you? What is one way babywearing has benefited you and your baby? What is your favorite type of carrier? I would love to here from you in the comments!