After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The great facing out debate

I'll be honest. I'm not a huge fan of babies being carried facing out in carriers. But I also haven't had babies who have seemed to want to be carried like that. They have been content tummy to tummy or on my back. But there are babies out there who pretty much demand to be carried facing out. I've met some and I've met their parents.

There are people who will tell you it's bad for babies: they get overstimulated and it's bad for their hips to be hanging like that. Their knees need to be above their hips, they'll say with rolling eyes. There are parents out there who will tell you that they are willing to take that risk and endure the rolling eyes because that's how their baby is happiest. And what kind of parent wants an unhappy baby?

For me, carrying babies like that seems unnatural. There's no snuggle factor involved with a baby facing away from you. I'm into snuggle factor and I think that is exactly why I love babywearing. It's also directly related to why I designed this carrier. (I had two kids of vastly differing sizes who wanted to be carried and neither one of them fit into my carrier. My carrier didn't work and my snuggle factor was gone.) I have also seen babies being carried in that position quite precariously, particularly in stretchy wraps--to the point that I almost feel like the baby will topple out at any moment. But, that doesn't mean I need to judge parents who are obviously trying to do what they think is best for their baby.

The point I'm making is that while I don't advocate carrying babies facing out and while I don't make a habit of carrying my children like that, a Silly Goose Baby mei tai does in fact work. And not just in a pinch. It all out works for carrying a baby facing out on your front. And it's actually pretty comfortable. She doesn't dangle from two inches of fabric across her crotch, and she doesn't seem to be in danger of toppling out at any moment. Plus, her little legs actually are pretty supported; she seems to sit in the carrier rather than dangle by it.

You need photographic proof you say?? Well, you're in luck. My husband is not a professional photographer and I'm no super model, but the carrier works and the kid is dang cute! She's three months old (already!) and about 12 pounds here.

To further the discussion, I have often wondered if some of the babies who demand to be facing out simply would rather just be going the same direction as their ride is going. Who wants to see the world backwards? Back carries are fabulous for hands free and not feeling like there is a baby in your way. (The one pictured above is content and asleep on my back as I type. I'm getting this done and she's asleep. We're both happy.)

I absolutely recommend that mamas and papas work together and master the back carry. Even if your child isn't demanding to face out. Even if you aren't enduring rolling eyes. It will also extend your years of babywearing. And wouldn't you much rather have a child sleeping on your back in the grocery store instead of running around like a crazy kid because you can't keep her happy in the cart? (I've experienced this. It's why I recommend you get another Goose just to keep in your car.)

So after the above picture was taken, I switched her to my back. She is on my back quite often, but I didn't have any pictures and my resident photographer was still in the house. So, he got this cute picture of her peeking over the top of the carrier.

I was satisfied with it, so we called it a day. But then less then 2 minutes later, a sleeping baby. (Notice I have the straps across her back. It's keeping her from slouching in the carrier and it's more comfortable for both of us.)

And just for funsies, I couldn't resist the over-the-shoulder sleeping baby shot from a few days ago. But it also does a good job of showing how well her little head is supported in the back carry.

Happy Babywearing! I'm having a great time. Can you tell?


Julie K said...

oh wow has she grown! Its funny you post this because I discovered something recently...Liam likes being carried facing me when he's sleepy, and facing out when he's awake :)

I haven't tried a back carry yet though!

Heidi said...

Hi Julie! That's a great observation! Something I knew but didn't think to include in my post. It's true--mamas make great pillows.

Try a back carry (and send me a picture). They really are great.

Laurithree said...

My hubby ALWAYS wore our DS facing out, which is the main reason I got him a Silly Goose. And it's getting lots of use by my sister's baby who loves to face out.

And for me, those "pillows" just get it the way for facing out and I don't find it comfy. But your MT works for all of us!