This article was first published on December 5, 2017 at Little Munich Black Book.
What is the Eierliegende Wollmilchsau of babywearing?
Speakers of the language know all too well that the ridiculously long, daunting German words are a chimera of others, so the term Eierliegende Wollmilchsau comes as no surprise! It refers to an idealistic creature – part chicken, part sheep, part dairy cow, part pig – that provides all the essential German-loved, animal (by)-products: eggs, wool, milk, and pork. More figuratively, the term is used by Germans to denote a single, magical object that fulfills all the needs of a particular situation.
Our previous babywearing blog post talked about how trendy babywearing has become in Munich, but what’s the best way to get started? How do you make sense of wraps, carriers, slings and all the available options? How do keep your baby from suffocating, from falling, from over-heating… All in all, what is the recommended way to wear a baby?
Unfortunately, when it comes to babywearing, there is no Eierliegende Wollmilchsau – no “one sling to rule them all“ – or wrap or carrier for that matter. Because everyone has personal preferences, a different body type, and physical needs – and let’s not forget how unique each of our little ones is! – finding the right carrier or wrap technique is very individual and can be challenging. However, there are some key points you need to keep in mind when looking for your babywearing option of choice.
Main things to consider
- How often do I want to wear my baby? – This will help you determine how much you want to invest.
- How long do I want to wear my baby (to what age)? – This will help you decide if you’d like to find something for the long-term, or just for a newborn.
- How flexible do I want to be when wearing my baby? – Woven wraps have the most variation for distributing weight, whereas soft-structured carriers can only be worn two to three different ways.
- What do I want to do while wearing my baby? – This will help you choose between front, side and back carriers, depending on how free you want to hands to be.
Of course, there are many other things to consider in more detail such as materials, what the weather conditions currently are, who might wear the baby other than mom, etc. Many parents think that a soft-structured carrier will be easier to use than wrapping, only to find themselves frustrated by the buckles and pulling the straps! Honestly, the best bet for finding the right way for you to babywear is to try various options.
A safety overview
It has been proven that babies who are carried cry less, sleep better, develop better social skills, and have fewer digestive issues such as spitting up and colic. But remember it’s important to know how to carry your baby in a healthy and safe manner. Here’s a helpful overview which will help you check whether your little one is safe:
If you want to explore your options before buying, a babywearing consultation or class can be beneficial. Here you can find the easiest and most comfortable way to wear your baby based on your individual wishes and needs without breaking the bank on something you won’t end up using. You can also learn tips and tricks that even the most reputable babywearing brands don’t know!
I’d like to share one of those tricks exclusively with the LMBB community – it’s called the T-shirt Trick. Parents who use full-buckle, soft-structured carriers – such as the Ergobaby, Manduca, Tula (the list goes on…) often complain of back pain, but with this simple trick, that problem is solved! Check it out…
Darby loves that moment when the person with whom she’s speaking German realizes… hey, this chick isn’t German! She’s been here for half her life – and even if she hides it well, she’s a Nevadan cowgirl at heart. She came to Munich to study German literature and ended up staying for good. Having children brought her back to her undeniable cultural roots and although she’s faced various challenges as a mother of children both on earth and in heaven, she finds strength in her calling as a doula, baby wearer and cheerleader for fellow kick-ass, expat mothers. Find her here.
Photo credit: All images property of Doula Darby