Is Your Baby Too Heavy to Wear? Top Tips From a Babywearing ConsultantDec 23, 2023
“Oh, I had a heavy baby so I could never use one of those things.”
This was said to me by a fellow mom at the playground a few weeks ago. Now, this is far from the first time I’ve heard this kind of sentiment.
Even expecting moms whose babies are “measuring ahead” express concern that they won’t be able to wear their babies.
What made this particular instance stand out to me was that this mom said this to me while watching my wrap my 4 year old onto my back.
My 4 year old, who weighed easily 2x what her 1 year old weighed (probably even more).
Now, maybe this mom didn’t even register how much heavier a 4 year old is than even the heaviest newborn baby. Maybe she assumed that I was only able to do it because I literally babywear for a living. I don’t know for sure.
What I do know is that there’s a persistent fear and misunderstanding out there among new moms about babywearing “heavy” babies.
It keeps them from seeking help when they’re uncomfortable using their carrier, assuming that it’s just cause of their baby’s weight.
It prevents them from wearing their older babies and toddlers even when it would be practical to do so, because they think only tiny babies can or should be worn.
And it causes some to sneer or make snide comments at those of us who wear larger children, thinking it’s only the “crunchy crazies” that would suffer like that.
Well mamas, let me put your mind at ease here.
Barring certain medical or physical conditions, you can wear your child no matter what they weigh. And you can do it comfortably! I promise.
The problem is that you might need a little extra education and support than the generic YouTube videos out there provide.
Here are my top tips for confidently wearing your “heavy baby”:
Check your fit
If your newborn is uncomfortable to wear, there are almost always some simple tweaks in fit that can make you more comfortable in just a minute or two.
Following along with online tutorials is great, but there are often critical steps left out or adjustments specific to your body and baby that can’t be covered in something that’s meant to cover the basics for a whole population.
Consider your carrier
I’m a big fan of working with what you’ve got, so I’m not encouraging anyone to rush out to buy a new carrier willy nilly - that shiz gets expensive, and if you aren’t using your current carrier properly then a new carrier might just give you the same challenges.
That being said, although lots of carriers claim to work for babies from birth to toddlerhood, not all of them shine equally at all stages and weights.
If you’re absolutely sure that your fit is perfect, it’s possible that your carrier just isn’t supportive enough for you and your child at this stage. But don’t worry!
There are SO MANY options out there that will provide different levels of support, and there are plenty of ways to try new carriers without spending your kid’s college-fund buying new carriers (shoot me an email and I’ll send you my free Budget Babywearing Buying Guide to get you started)!
Build Up Strength
Sometimes even wearing a 6 lb baby can cause muscle strain if your muscles are weak or chronically tense.
Remember, babywearing sometimes uses muscles that haven’t been used in a while or in this way before - it can take time to build up strength in them!
Mind your posture while you wear your child and start with small bouts of even 15-20 minutes every day. This will help your body adjust to this new “exercise” and will make it much easier to carrier your child as they grow.
Since your child’s weight increases gradually, this is a really awesome way to incrementally increase your muscle strength just by continuing to wear your child!
But it pays to start slow and listen to your body, especially if you’ve never worn before or have only recently given birth.
Mind your Mindset
Yeah, I saw you roll your eyes the minute you read “mindset.” Well, not really, but I'm making an educated guess here. Not my first rodeo, friend.
But it’s true - sometimes we talk ourselves into experiencing things a certain way based on our preconceived notions and assumptions.
If you’ve been told throughout your pregnancy that your child is measuring big, it’s really common to translate that as “too big” - too big to birth vaginally, too big to birth without pain meds, too big to babywear, too big too big too big.
When you approach babywearing with this mindset, even subconsciously, it sets you up to experience the normal learning curve of wearing a new child as a “problem.” Don’t psych yourself out! Try to approach this (and everything else) with an open mind.
Now, it probably goes without saying that I think every new parent benefits from babywearing support.
It’s the difference between slogging through oatmeal and running through a field of flowers (too much? Maybe, but it’s certainly how I felt).
But that’s not the only kind of support that can help you through the challenges you may be experiencing when wearing your heavy baby - you also need the camaraderie and shared wisdom of other moms who’ve been there.
I guarantee with 99.99% certainty that you have not birthed the biggest baby the world has ever seen (that honor belongs to this poor angel).
Many, many other mothers out there have been in your shoes, and will have encouragement, guidance, and validation that can go a long way in your journey.
Join local mom groups and reach out to other babywearing moms in person and online, and learn what to expect - it will almost certainly ease your worries at least a little.
I know that some of you reading this will have stumbled across this article after anxious Google searches - and I know that you may still not be entirely convinced.
But rest assured, the fact that I am able to comfortably wear my 40 lb 4 year old is not luck, it’s not because I’m some sort of babywearing magician, and it’s definitely not because I’m super strong (at least not physically).
It’s because I found methods that worked for me, I tested and honed them in my work with other parents, and I’m excited to share this knowledge with you!
If you’re ready to get some support wearing your child, no matter what they weigh, book a 1-1 session with me today and learn how awesome it is to learn something the easy way for once!
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