Do you Mei-Tai? How Babywearing Can Save Your Sanity and Get You Fit!

By Shelley Polly September 8, 2017

As a first-time mom, I had completely unrealistic expectations. I thought I could bundle up our son and take him outside no matter what the weather (wrong). I thought he would play quietly with Dad while I took care of my retired horse and did chores (wrong). I thought breastfeeding would be easy (wrong). I thought I could lose the baby weight in two months (wrong). After reality and post-partum depression set in, I was desperate. How was I going to complete the tasks required of me, have time for the activities I enjoy and get my body back all while putting our son’s needs first? Enter babywearing!

Why does babywearing work for me? Wearing our son allows me to be physically and emotionally in-tune to his needs while doing housework, feeding our animals, cooking dinner, and shopping for groceries. Breastfeeding, which for us was further complicated by multiple issues including reflux, no longer requires that I sit on the couch for an hour at a time. Our son can nurse, discreetly, on demand, anywhere. Teething? Gassy? Fussy? Tired? Over-stimulated?Babywearing provides comfort, allowing him to soothe himself, take a break from engaging with his surroundings, and sleep when he is tired.

On the fitness front, babywearing has empowered me to lose all of my baby weight just by wearing our son for everyday activities and walking. No running, no gyms, no exercise DVDs (although there are fitness programs designed for babywearing). I simply put our son in the carrier and walk. Sometimes that means walking the dogs, sometimes that means meeting girlfriends for a hike, but it never feels like exercise. We are just enjoying the beautiful area in which we live. As our son continues to grow, he naturally provides greater resistance, which in turn improves my core strength. I feel good in my own skin again! Equally important, every outdoor experience is a shared experience and a learning opportunity for developing minds.

So how can babywearing help your family? Babywearing:

  • Promotes bonding between baby and wearer (mom, dad, grandma- any healthy adult!)
  • Can help alleviate Post-partum depression symptoms
  • Recreates the womb environment (important for preemies)
  • Allows wearer to multitask (housework, caring for other children)
  • Baby can breastfeed discreetly on demand
  • Baby can nap on demand
  • Decreases symptoms associated with gas, colic, and infant reflux
  • Promotes a quiet, alert state in baby which increases infant learning
  • Facilitates the achievement of fitness goals

Almost eight months have passed since I began my babywearing journey. Having upgraded to a Mei-Tai style carrier, I am still babywearing with no plans of stopping. (In fact, our little one is happily snoozing in the Mei-Tai as I write this article.) Without babywearing I could not be the mom I want to be! Are you ready to start your journey? Looking for a local Babywearing International group on Facebook is a great place to start!