For many months, babywearing involves a snuggly sleepy little baby and then one day… BAM- Grabby hands!
I first experienced grabby hands when my son was about 7 months old. I was wearing him on my back and we were shopping at a small store and when I got to the counter to pay, I realized he had picked out another shirt from the rack and had been carrying it around the store! I had to start paying attention, so we would not be arrested for shoplifting.
Things will take you by surprise. For example, I cannot walk by the refrigerator door without my son grabbing it tightly and stopping me in my tracks and opening the refrigerator results in him grabbing the ketchup bottle every time (even though you would think I have learned my lesson!). Just the other day, I was shopping in a store with breakable items, thinking to myself how awesome babywearing allows me to go to such a place with my 18 month old, when he grabbed a vase of flowers off a table behind me that I hadn’t noticed. You get so used to your child being with you, that you often forget their burning desire to explore their world will happen whether they are being worn or walking!
Once the grabby hands phase starts, it becomes important to monitor your environment for safety hazards, just like you do when your child is crawling or walking. Notice what is in their reach from the carrier and make sure it is safe. You will be amazed what your child can reach, even from your back, so make sure sharp objects, cleaning supplies, and other hazardous items are out of grasp. You can also limit grabbing by giving your child a safe object to hold such as a toy, nursing necklace or even food. (hint: this also cuts down on hair pulling!)
Enjoy your babywearing journey and let us know if you have an interesting “grabby hands” stories!
I recently tried a Beco. For those of you who are new to babywearing and concerned with the safety of a buckle carrier, this carrier is for you. The Beco has special safety buckles on the shoulder straps that require two hands to unbuckle, thereby ensuring that the straps do not accidentally come open. It is a very comfortable carrier and can be used from infancy.
I used it with my 20 month old, 23 lb son as well as my 3.5 year old, 35 lb daughter. It was equally comfortable with each of them. The wide, padded shoulder straps and flat back waist buckle distribute the weight nicely. The Beco comes with a chest clip as well that can slide along the shoulder pads, but cannot fall off. Overall, it is a very well designed carrier.
This week we will talk about another way to get your child on your back. I will be doing the superman toss. I will be using our lending libraries Ellevill Zara Blossom.
First I gather my wrap and child. I center the wrap on my son’s back, with the top of the wrap just over his shoulders
Facing my son I put my left hand under his left armpit. I hold the wrap with my thumb on the top of the shoulder
I do the same with my right hand.
I now step under my son while lifting him up. I step under him rather than flying him over my shoulder to avoid the wrap getting twisted under his body
Here you can see how I lift him while stepping under him.
Almost done and he is having fun.
He is now on my back nice and high without the wrap being tangled.
Now we are ready to finish the carry.
This week we are talking about getting a toddler on your back. This is one of my favorite ways to get my 3yr old on my back especially now that I am pregnant.
First I put the carrier on my waist with the back panel hanging down and the shoulder straps clipped. I bend down to toddler height.
I then ask my son to climb on my back.
I lean slightly forward so he can get both legs up on my back, piggy back style.
I flip the body of the carrier up his back and put my arms through the straps.
I do a little bounce to get him well seated.
Stand up and off we go. This works great for carrying through busy airports when you need your hands to pull luggage.