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Group Offers Classes to Help Parents with Baby Carriers

The Milwaukee Babywearers hold meetups at the Well-Rounded Maternity Center in Milwaukee. Moms and dads can try out different baby carriers and even rent one a month through its Lending Library. At the center they also offer classes for babywearing basics.

Jessica Featherstone is the president of Milwaukee Babywearers. She said she came across the group when she was a new mom. Her daughter Skylar only wanted to be carried.  

“It was frustrating,” Featherstone said. “It was hard and I couldn’t get anything done.”

“Someone said, ‘oh try Milwaukee Baby wearers, they’ll be able to help’ and they did and it was a sigh of relief,” she said.

There are dozens of carriers on the market and to know what fits best, parents can attend a meetup with the Milwaukee Babywearers.  

“Baby carriers are like jeans,” Featherstone said. “I can tell you what fits me the best but it may not fit you exactly the same so being able to try them on it’s so helpful.”

Addie Wescott is a volunteer with Milwaukee Babywearers. Her daughter Samara is 8 months old. 

“I love being this close to her, getting to show my world with her and I like keeping her safe like when I go for a walk if there’s a mean dog out she’s not down in stroller level,” Wescott said.

Parents must attend a meetup to try on carriers and sign up to take one home for the month. The rental cost $5.50.

Ana Nicholson is a babywearing educator at the Well-Rounded Maternity Center where they teach about safety and the benefits.

“Baby wearing can calm fussy babies, especially babies who are having a tough time transitioning to life outside of the womb by providing a lot of the things the womb does, broad body pressure, that movement of mom and dad walking, the sound of voices, and the sound of our heart beat,” Nicholson said. “It really helps when we have babies who are having a rough time.”

In a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours. It also helps baby’s growth, according to Nicholson.

"We know that simply the motion of baby wearing is also beneficial to babies in terms of helping their growth motor development,” Nicholson said. “It really helps work those trunk and neck muscles."

Nicholson said that there are misconceptions that it will strain parents’ back.

“The carriers that are out there now are designed to distribute baby’s weight so it’s not pulling on your shoulders, so it’s not hunching your back, they’re really comfortable to wear babies up to 2-3 years old, pre-school age kids, for long amounts of time,” Nicholson said.

Click here to learn more about Well-Rounded Maternity Center.

Click here to learn more about Milwaukee Babywearers.

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