A Baby Wants To Be Carried Book Review.

A Baby Wants To Be Carried
A Review by Adelaide Goffin.

At a glance at the cover and index to start with it looks like it’s going to be a fairly relaxed book just by some of the title names on certain parts of the chapters like ‘Please no stereotypes!’ for example, but judging by what some of the other chapters are called it looks like it is going to go into a fair bit of depth about babywearing.

It starts off with the introduction talking about how convenient babywearing is opposed to pushing a pram, with having experienced both myself I would have to definitely agree, it talks about how it’s become a common thing to see a baby in a sling of some sort now a days and how midwives and health professionals emphasise about close physical contact and wearing baby on the front (although with having two children I’ve never had anyone from the medical profession tell me anything about babywearing.)
The introduction also goes on to say that the book will talk about the emotional relationship between parents and baby, how babywearing isn’t just a form of transport, which I have to agree with also, babywearing for us as a family is a huge way of bonding, a fantastic way to keep our children really close when they are ill, needing just the extra bit of attention and I also found it helped my milk supply when I was breast feeding, there are so many more benefits to babywearing than just simple transportation.
There is then a small table explaining all the different types of carriers and slings, which actually surprised me as I’ve been babywearing for two years now and I wasn’t always overly sure on what the different names were of carriers and slings.

The book then starts with chapter one and talks about closeness and security.
It starts by talking about how yes as adults we need peace and quiet to rest and sleep easily, but babies don’t so much as they can fall asleep almost anywhere, like on a parents lap or in the sling, the book says it’s not the peace and quiet it’s the calmness around the baby the baby needs, which I fully agree with, our daughter Eppy who is now 1 rarely ever falls asleep on her own, she usually needs to be cuddled to sleep which is downstairs on the sofa and almost 9 times out of 10 she falls asleep in her carrier, though I do find as she’s getting older she’s more interested in looking around now, so she doesn’t sleep as much as she used to in her carrier. Though she rarely naps anyway!
It continues to talk about how babies are not aware they are safe when they are on their own as they still have the same instincts from 10,000 years ago when bears and tigers were prowling the earth looking for food, as much as those animals are still very much prowling for food, the chances of them randomly being in your children’s nurseries are pretty much zilch.
It says quite simply that ‘according to baby’s biological programming to stay anywhere alone means only one thing - not only being left behind by the person caring for him, but also being abandoned, or in other words finding himself in mortal danger’ which to me is why our family is against CIO (cry it out) because a baby is left to cry alone in their room and you’re just sitting outside the door, doing nothing, letting your baby fall asleep stressed and probably thinking they have been abandoned.
I like how this chapter mentions how security is very important, that how when baby is in the sling they have instant peace when being in physical contact with the parent.

One section of the chapter talks about ‘the clinging young’ it goes on about the ‘behavioural dispositions, our evolutionary history and comparisons with our closest relatives, the apes, clearly show that human newborns belong to the biological offspring type of clinging people.’
It talks about how the young of apes clung onto their mothers fur when moving around but times have changed now, we don’t have fur as human beings, so our young can’t do this, I sort of didn’t really understand this part of the chapter much, I don’t think it needed to go on as long as it did, I get that we are probably part of the ape family, but I don’t think a whole chapter dedicated to that was needed. Although the pictures were cute, like the comparison picture between a baby gorilla and the eleven week old baby and how they both hold the same posture when being put down. But I guess the chapter makes sense in a way because evolution has taught us that carrying has been going on for millions of years, whether in humans or animals.

I really like the sub chapter called ‘The Innate Behavioral Patterns of Modern Human Offspring’ because it talks more about the posture that the gorilla and eleven week old were pictured, it talks about the spread out squat position, saying as adults if we had to do it, it would be uncomfortable and tiring and would require a lot of willpower to hold for a long time, but babies can hold this posture quite well for a good amount of time, some even sleep in this posture and the child as they get older are more accustomed to the position and expect it and want it and know they are about to be carried.
This sub chapter also shows and tells you how amazing a baby can really be by ‘preparing themselves for the hip carry position with the spread squat reaction and even take part in the stabilization of the position themselves’ which I didn’t know and I’ve worn Eppy since she was born, though I didn’t ever carry her on my hip, she was in a stretchy on my front so maybe that’s why I didn’t overly notice.

Next chapter talks about hip dysplasia, it was an interesting read, mainly because I’ve always known about it because many people say not to use the narrow based carriers because they can potentially cause the problem, but i’ve never known the ways on how they treat the problem, the chapter mentions how babywearing can help prevent and fix hip dysplasia, which sort of doesn’t surprise me in some ways because I remember Eppy having an ultrasound scan on her hip at the hospital a few weeks when she was born as she was breech (standard procedure for any child born breech now a days) and they noticed I was babywearing and mentioned how good that is for her hips.

I liked the myths and facts chapter, it actually made me giggle a bit, the two myths that were focused on were the myth of spinal damage whilst babywearing and facts and fiction the supply of oxygen.
The supply of oxygen made me a giggle, I nodded my head at a few parts because I’ve had several comments when Eppy was younger of people saying ‘can she breathe?’ when she was nestled inbetween my breasts, my answer always used to be something similar that was mentioned in the book ‘she would move if she wasn’t.’

I found the chapter titled ‘The Importance of Parent - Child Relationship’ quite an obvious chapter, most of the things mentioned in the chapter were common sense really, the fact that the parent has their hands free whilst babywearing they can get on with daily tasks makes the parent less stressed and can happily comfort their child in seconds makes things so much easier. I’ve many times had to wear Eppy just to get some simple washing up done, she was happy, I was happy, happy home.

There is a lot more to the first part of this book, so much that I couldn’t sit here and go into full detail because it would take the joy out of your experience of reading it, it goes into so much depth of many different subjects all linked together, you learn something new on every page, some of it feels a little dragged out, but I guess if you want to be completely knowledgeable on babywearing and the history of it you need to know certain things.

Let’s get onto the second half.

It begins by talking about that babywearing isn’t just about carrying, it refers to the first part of the book which explains how it isn’t. It then starts talking about what sort of carrier/sling you should use, it talks about how it ‘must be suitable for the anatomical and physiological characteristics of a baby at any age, size and weight.’ It talks about what wraps you should use and how some tying methods are not suitable for certain ages, it also talks about how you should do your research just as you would a car seat.
From my personal opinion I would suggest visiting your local sling library to help you make your choice of carrier/sling.

There is talk in this chapter about the head support, leg positioning and support for your childs back, it gives good advice on how each of these important parts of wearing your child are achieved.
I have enjoyed reading about each different type of carrier you can use, from soft structured, to wovens to stretchy wraps for newborns, they give pointers for each one for you to consider and talk about their special features.
There’s a lot of talk about wovens in this book and how to tie different knots, it actually makes me want to buy a woven because it’s so informative and the diagrams on how to do different ties are really good and look fairly easy to follow!
I have really enjoyed this very informative book, especially all the beautiful photographs! I love how the men are playing their part in this book as it’s not just the mothers who babywear!

Like I said before, I could go into much much more detail but that would take the point away from you reading it, but I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about babywearing or anyone currently doing so, because it’s taught me a lot and I am glad to have it on my bookshelf.
My Random Musings


  1. I tried this with my first child but I was always so afraid of smothering him (I am big breasted) but I did hold him ALL THE TIME. It was harder with my second and third baby since they all came within a year of each other. But now they are 5, 4 and 3 and happy as little peas. I think for every mom it's different in what they chose to do. Popping over from #fictionalfun

  2. I don't have a baby but theoretically I like the idea of baby carrying, but I would be a bit worried as to how practical I would find it. I think if I was pregnant I would for sure be getting this book for a bit more information on it! Thanks for linking up to #fictionalfun :)


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