When people told me having a baby would be a huge adjustment, I thought I knew what they meant.
One of the biggest things I had to come to terms with was my severely reduced productivity.
Where before, I could do anything any time of day, suddenly I was tied down under a super-clingy, fussy baby who I couldn’t put down.
Instead of being a simple task to check off my to-do list, cleaning the kitchen became a major accomplishment.
I felt like I couldn’t feed myself, couldn’t shower or get ready for my day, couldn’t even make my dang cup of coffee thanks to the milk-sucking parasite I had birthed!
Mom Friend, baby-wearing saved. my. life.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the limitations of having a baby, here are a few suggestions for things you can still get done once you embrace baby-wearing.
But first, let me put your mind at ease about a very important point…
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Will it spoil my baby?
Baby-wearing will not spoil your baby! Your baby is born thinking it’s an extension of you.
They have no understanding of object-permanence, meaning if they can’t see or feel you, they think you’re gone forever.
Put yourself in your baby’s shoes (or footie-jammies, rather)… that would be pretty scary, right?
It’s important to view comfort as a need equal to nourishment and clean diapers.
The more security you provide for your baby, the more easily they will develop the confidence to be separated from you– not the other way around!
If you’ve found yourself with a particularly needy baby, I’ve written an entire series of fussy-baby posts just for you.
My Favorite Baby-Wearing Options (Budget-Friendly!)
If you’re ready to embrace baby-wearing, you’ll need at least one very important piece of equipment… A baby-wearing device!
To make things simple for you, there are three main options:
- Structured carrier
Of course there are endless variations of each, and with the rising popularity of baby-wearing, the market is absolutely saturated with products (which I think is fabulous!). But, it can be overwhelming, especially when you see the price tag on some of these beautiful pieces.
Even if you want to invest in a more expensive, high-quality option, I highly recommend experimenting with the budget options first to figure out what you like and are most comfortable with.
Here’s a quick-glance guide to help you figure out which option to start with:
- Ring sling: My favorite option for nursing on the go (which includes around my house). My high-need baby went through a phase where she wouldn’t even breastfeed if I wasn’t moving around, and the ring sling saved my LIFE. A little tricky to get used to though.
- Wrap: Better for light activity like wearing baby around the house or grocery shopping. In my opinion, the best all-around option, and the easiest to do housework in.
- Structured carrier: great for walking outdoors, or hiking, but also can be used indoors for hands-free housework and dancing a fussy baby to sleep.
(If you’re working on your baby registry, make sure to check out my complete Amazon Baby Registry Guide here!)
This ring sling is a great value for the price. It’s 100% linen, so it’s nice and cool in the summer and soft on skin.
It will give you a great sense of the mechanics of a ring sling.
One of the most affordable wraps out there, this one is a great buy! It is a medium thickness, so it is nice and sturdy, but can be a little warm on a hot summer day.
This carrier is one of the most popular out there, and for good reason. It is very versatile, pretty comfortable, and easy to use.
I’d love to upgrade eventually, but this is a really good one to start with.
Easy Tasks You Can Do While Baby-Wearing
This list is far from comprehensive, so be sure to comment below any tasks I don’t mention that you do while baby-wearing!
I try to stick to tasks that can be done upright and don’t require bending down.
Really struggling to feel productive postpartum? Be sure to check out my guide to getting things done with a baby!
In the early weeks, your baby will probably be quite immune to noise while sleeping, which means you may be able to get away with vacuuming while your baby snoozes on you.
The sound of the vacuum may even lull them to sleep.
Besides vacuuming, you can definitely sweep! Just be careful not to clonk your poor infant with the broom handle. That extra bulk on your front takes some getting used to!
While you may have a difficult time loading the dishwasher (since you have to bend down to load the bottom rack), you can still hand wash dishes in the sink.
The bigger your baby gets, the trickier it is, but eventually they’ll be big enough that you can switch them to your back instead of having them on your front.
Find a surface like a counter–or your bed if it’s tall enough–where you can dump out the laundry and fold without having to bend over repeatedly to pick up pieces and put them back down.
Alternatively, if your baby doesn’t mind, you could sit! (Mine didn’t let me do much of that; some babies really need that motion from you standing, as exhausting as it is).
Putting away clutter
Any surfaces you can reach upright are fair game!
If your baby is attached to you anyway, put that time to use, knock out some decluttering, and tidy up your surfaces!
Clean sightlines will make you feel so. much. better. It can truly make a big impact on the postpartum stress and anxiety you might be feeling.
Dusting/wiping off surfaces
Once you’ve tidied off your surfaces and decluttered, might as well go ahead and dust them off too!
Any windows and mirrors you can reach standing up, you can clean while baby wearing!
I suggest using a non-toxic spray/all-purpose cleaner, since it’s being sprayed into the air so near to baby’s face.
You can find some great options from Grove Collaborative!
Just like sweeping and vacuuming, you can mop!
Clean appliances (above waist height)
Cleaning your kitchen appliances is such a satisfying task.
You can easily clean any appliances above waist height while baby-wearing.
Use a simple, non-toxic spray for any grimy surfaces, and if you want an easy way to clean out your microwave, just microwave a bowl of vinegar and water for a couple minutes, and all of the nasties will wipe right out.
Make the bed
Making your bed can help your entire bedroom to feel cleaner and more put together. There’s just something magical about it! Even if you plan to get back into it later (which I highly encourage!), making the bed is still an easy task that feels good and can help motivate you to get your other tasks done.
Other Things You Can Do While Baby-Wearing
Besides doing chores, there are lots of other things you can accomplish while baby-wearing!
Take a break once in a while and make sure you’re doing these things, too!
Make yourself food
This was one thing I found really difficult with a baby in the beginning.
I just couldn’t set my newborn down long enough to even make a sandwich, and it was so stressful!
I ended up trying to cradle my baby in one arm and make food with the other. Save yourself the hassle, Mom Friend! Strap that baby on, and both of your hands are free to both make your food and eat it.
Another great struggle of mine in the beginning.
I wanted a nice hot cup in the morning (and afternoon, and evening), but with a baby that breastfed around the clock, I felt like there was never a chance to do the little things for me, like start a pot of coffee.
Finally, I ordered a ring sling and a new world opened up for me to be able to use my hands and nurse at the same time.
Total game changer.
Put on makeup
While obviously, you’ll need to get dressed when you’re not wearing your baby, you can do your makeup (and/or hair) while baby-wearing!
You are beautiful as you are, but I know firsthand how far a little makeup goes toward making you feel more human again.
Go for a walk
My baby was born, and I turned into a hermit. I was so nervous to ever go out.
But, the days that I pulled myself together and did something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood, my baby was LESS fussy, and I felt so much better for having the fresh air and outdoorphins.
I know taking a baby out in public is scary.
You’re helpless to do much if they cry in the car, it’s not always convenient to feed them out and about, and of course, their crying is so loud!
But they’ve got to get done sometime, right? You can make the whole process much easier and more pleasant by baby wearing! Plus, it saves you lugging around that ridiculous car seat. (I’m actually not even buying an infant carrier for Baby #2 after how much I ended up just wearing my first).
I saved the best for last.
You might not have realized you can even baby-wear IN THE SHOWER.
I used to lament that I could wear my baby to do chores, hike, go on errands, breastfeed, and just about anything else, but I still couldn’t shower.
I was wrong.
One day I came across a mesh ring sling on Amazon–designed for use at the pool or beach–and I ordered it that very instant.
The moment it arrived, it became my shower ring sling.
If you’re struggling to squeeze in even a couple of showers a week, you’ve GOT to give this a try!
It was also super helpful for soothing my fussy baby when nothing else was working. It seriously never failed to do the trick.
Now I want to hear from you!
Are you struggling to get things done with a baby? Have you tried baby-wearing yet?
Let me know in the comments below!
Make sure you also check out:
- How to Get Things Done with a Baby
- How to Feel More Like Yourself Postpartum
- How to Simplify Your Diaper Bag
- What I Want My Husband to Understand About Motherhood