Sunday, April 26, 2020

Cause My Arms Are Tired | A Field Expedient Baby Carrier

Far and away the fanciest furniture in our home belongs to our little one. Yet, his favorite resting spot continues to be our arms. And while his near 15 pounds of baby cuteness doesn't sound like much, he gets heavy! Our goto carriers are the Moby Wrap* and Baby Bjorn, and they both work really well. Yet, I found myself looking for other ways to help lighten the load.

Inspired by an Aden + Anais extra large swaddle blanket (47x47 inches baby!) that my Sister-in-Law and Brother gifted us, and memories of playing with Furoshiki wrapping, I wondered what would happen if I rigged up a sling to carry the kid around.

I laid the blanket out and tied the opposite corners together like so:

At this point, I had a sort of crude bag that could be slung over my shoulder. Carefully, I slid our 10 week old baby into the space and let the blanket take his weight:

The square knot that bore the most of the weight cinched down nicely and showed no signs of slipping. The blanket itself also felt secure. And just like that, I had the world's worst baby carrier. The knot dug into my back and the kid was nowhere near secure enough to go hands free. Yet the hack showed promise. The weight had been shifted away from my arms, and one hand had been freed up. At this age, the Moby Wrap works great as a place for the baby to cuddle and sleep. Using my improvised sling, which is mostly just me holding him, I found he could face out and interact with the world.

Over the last couple of weeks this little setup has been truly helpful. When I need just a little extra mobility or want to give my arms a rest, into the sling the baby can go. I also like that as long as I carry one of these blankets in his baby bag, I've got a backup baby carrier. This would have been handy when we visited a museum and found out that strollers were a no-no.

Soon he'll outgrow the sling, and at that point I should be able to use more carry options with the Moby Wrap (like say hip carry). But in the mean time, I'll take all the help I can get.

Two final points: First, I bet there's an established way to do what I'm doing. Perhaps it's a product you can buy or a well known hack. Either way, I won't be surprised if someone leaves a comment: uh, if you just bought X, you'd get all the benefits you have now.

Second: Shira's not impressed with the sling idea and has her own solution: lifting weights and having actual arm strength. To each their own, I suppose.


*Case in point, I'm composing this blog post as our little one naps in the Moby Wrap on my chest. Man I love this thing!

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