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International Babywearing Week – Debunking Myths

It’s International Babywearing Week! That’s definitely something I’m excited to celebrate. As I shared in my post here, I think parenting is just easier with the right tools…. And a good baby carrier is at the top of my list of important tools.

Most of you are probably familiar with what we mean by “babywearing”, but if you are reading and aren’t sure what we are talking about, let me explain. “Babywearing” refers to “wearing” a baby in a cloth baby carrier. This allows mom/dad/grandma/grandpa/babysitter to have both hands free to do other things, while still keeping baby close to them, safe, and comforted. There are a lot of different types – pouch slings, ring slings, wraps, structured carriers, and mei teis are a few of the main categories. This post does a great job of describing the different types and shows pictures of the carriers in action.

In support of babywearing, I thought it might be fun to tackle a few “babywearing myths” I’ve encountered as a babywearing parent.

Babywearing is a fad.

I’ve had so many people stop me in the grocery store or other places while I am babywearing, and comment on my “neat” carriers and lament that there wasn’t something around like that when their babies were little. I’ve also had people remark in a much more negative tone on the “new” things people come up with. There seems to be a perception that this idea of babywearing is new, hippy, crunchy, for fringe parents. Nothing could be further than the truth! In cultures all around the world, people have worn and continue to wear their babies. Not wearing babies is the new fad, not the other way around.

Babywearing delays physical development.

I guess I needed to remind my four children that because they were worn frequently and we didn’t do a lot of “tummy time” that they were supposed to roll over, sit up, crawl, pull up, and walk later than average. Because they certainly missed the memo! Instead, they all met early physical milestones without any trouble, with more than one crawling by 6 months, pulling up at 8 months, and one who walked by 11 months. Babies need physical touch, and when being worn, babies receive lots of it! They also receive plenty of opportunities to stretch, wiggle, and more. They get just as much (I would say more) physical stimulation  as babies who spend a great deal of time in swings, exersaucers, and infant carseats. The idea that frequent babywearing (or carrying in arms) inhibits physical development is just not backed up by science, or the experiences of any babywearers I know. This article from Onya Baby has a lot of detailed information on the science of babywearing, historical trends, benefits of babywearing, and more.

Babywearing leads to “spoiled” babies.

I think this is one of those I hear the most frequently, and probably one of the hardest to convince people is a myth. Our society is very big on independence, and this idea has transferred to how we interact with our children. They need to be able to stand on their own two feet, find what they need in themselves, fall asleep on their own at just a few weeks old, and play independently all day long. But all of that forgets something important – babies are designed to need us. There is a reason that preemie babies who get skin-to-skin contact with their mothers and fathers fare better than those who spend all their time in incubators. Studies have long shown that babies who have a secure attachment to their primary caregivers as infants end up being more independent, not less so as they grow older. A baby who cries to be held is not “spoiled” – they just know what they need. Holding a baby, talking to them frequently throughout the day, kissing their head while you do the dishes…. None of that is going to lead to a spoiled baby. Instead, it will lead to a confident toddler, preschooler, and adult who is secure because their needs were met. Babywearing is not the same as parenting permissively, with no boundaries or discipline as a child grows.

What babywearing myths have you encountered? How have you responded? If you are new to the idea of babywearing, do you have any questions?

 

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Line Drying Cloth Diapers Inside

The title of today’s post is something I’ve been suffering through doing for the last several months. My dryer has been broken for awhile, and I don’t have a good space to dry my diapers outside. Every now and then I will throw something out on my porch rails for a little while, but it looks pretty tacky, so I try to avoid it.

My washer and dryer are in my basement, and I have a few makeshift “lines” fixed with twine down there. I can fit one load of diapers or clothes down there without to much trouble, but no more than that. My biggest issue has been that even with a fan blowing down there, many of my diapers take 24-48 hours to completely dry. I am also trying to keep up with other laundry – clothes, sheets, and towels for for six people. I can bring a few things upstairs and that speeds the drying, but I don’t have a good spot to put a whole loads worth. I will be very happy when my dryer is fixed!

In the mean time, I thought I would share what I have learned about the best diapers for this kind of situation. I have been SO thankful for a few of my diapers, and am struggling to feel the love for others at the moment.

Prefolds and indoor line drying are not good friends. They take longer to dry than pretty much anything else I own, and they dry so stiff I can hardly put them on the baby! I do wring, twist, and snap them (learned from the Flats Challenge!), but they are still pretty awful. Thankfully they aren’t quite as bad as my towels. Scary, I tell you.

BumGenius Freetimes are my BFF’s. Seriously, these diapers dry faster than my flats, and they never feel the least bit crunchy or stiff. I love them for many other reasons,  but right now I really wish I had an entire stash of Freetimes. If you are considering cloth diapering full-time without a dryer and are just starting your stash, I can’t recommend these highly enough.

Some natural fibers take a long. time. to. dry. My son is a heavy wetter. I adore all my hemp doublers. But oh my goodness, they take forever to dry!!!

Birds-eye flats > flannel receiving blanket flats. At least when it comes to indoor line drying. I love my flannel receiving blanket flats, but they take a lot longer to dry than my birds-eye flats, and are more likely to have a serious “crunch” factor.

Other brands I love right now – Applecheeks and Little Bee. Co. Their microfiber inserts tend to dry pretty quickly, but not as quickly as my Freetimes.

Brands that take the most time to dry - My much loved Blueberries, with their awesome hemp and microfiber inserts are driving me crazy right now, because they just take so long to dry. The same goes for my BumGenius Elemental.

Do you have any experience line drying your diapers inside? What types or brands have been your favorite? What tips would you share?

 

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Congratulations! Summer Cloth Diaper Giveaway Winner

Congratulations,

Rachel K.!!!

You are the winner of our Summer Cloth Diaper Giveaway package, worth almost $70! Be sure to check your e-mail and respond within 48 hours to claim your prize.  To everyone else, don’t forget to check out our giveaway post and the sponsor highlights for information on where you can order all the great products in the package, as well as two different coupon codes! Thank you so much to ALL those who entered, and to all our new readers, we hope you will stick around :) We have lots of other great giveaways coming up, and we love getting to know other “Sisters”!

Sincerely,

The Sisters

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