Babywearing in the second and third trimester feels a little bit like early tandem wearing. Bumps are getting bigger, babies are getting more active, and ligaments are stretching. We’re growing on the front and trying to find a place for the older child. In this phase, front wearing can still be a possibility – depending on the pregnant wearer’s comfort – but most carries are either done on the back or the hip.
Today’s post will follow up with the 3 moms we highlighted in Part 1 and see how things are going in the second and third trimester.
The beginning of the second trimester required several changes to my babywearing. I could not carry comfortable on the front in either a wrap or a SSC and I found the SSC weight belt to be uncomfortable in back carries – but, I still needed a way to wrangle my toddler. So this Buckle-loving girl put away her Tula and dusted off her wraps. Being pregnant forced me to commit to wrapping nearly every day. In the process, my skills improved, I got much quicker at it, and I really learned to customize the wraps to fit my belly and my 2 year old. I’ve definitely gone from a Buckle-girl who wrapped on occasion, to a full-time wrapper.
For me, the key to getting a comfortable carry with my pregnant body and a toddler on my back is finding alternative finishes that can tie off over the bump. I’ve become a big fan of the Double Hammock and variations (tied at side, tied at side with a candy cane chest belt, tied under bum, and the freshwater finish tied at side or under bum).
On the other hand, carries that have chest pass finishes with no horizontal pass (either a chest pass or a waist finish) – such as a Ruck Tied Tibetan or Shepherds – do not counter balance the weight well and become uncomfortable very quickly. As I’ve grown, so has my “base size”. Carries that I could do with a 5, now require a 7. In fact, I refer to 5s as my “shorties”.
The biggest change has been finding the ring sling love.
Until very recently, I’ve had a well-known reputation for being ring sling adverse – not for other people, but they never worked for me and my bowling ball of a child. Even at under 6 lbs, he felt heavy and diggy in a ring sling. However, about half way through the second trimester I had the opportunity to bundle him up in a quick ring sling hip carry. Because of the location of my bump, I had to wear him quite high on my torso and, all of a sudden, the ring sling love clicked. We use our ring sling at least once a day. It allows for some face-to-face toddler snuggles while also facilitating the quick ups and downs that 2-3 years olds are known for. Worn high on the torso, you can distribute the waist off of the pelvis and the abdomen, making for a comfortable hip carry. My toddler doesn’t fully understand what’s coming, but he can sense the changes in my body. These days, he frequently asks to be worn in the “mommy hug wrap”, for security and closeness.
Sabrina also continued to wrap – and front carry! – throughout her pregnancy. Although not for long-term wearing, she reports that she can still do a front wrap cross carry over the bump with her 35# 2 year old. Like with Kelly and the ring sling, front carries have become a bonding point for her and her toddler.
She also back carries frequently, as the photos will attest. In the second and third trimesters, she prefers to do Rucks, Double Hammock Rebozos, and other Double Hammock variations. Speaking to the difference between wraps and wrappers, while Kelly more or less requires a multi-layered carry with a long wrap, Sabrina is still embracing the shorty-love.
For a variety of reasons, Meg’s babywearing, (well, external babywearing….) has tapered since entering the second trimester. She also finds that Rucks are a go-to for quick ups and downs and has been enjoying putting together a newborn stash.
Which brings us to…. preparing to wrap a new baby! All three of us currently have toddlers and are (were) expecting our second child. Although we all began babywearing at some point with our first children, neither of us have much (any?) experience wrapping a newborn. In the spirit of third trimester nesting, here are our (pre-baby) choices for our newborn stashes. We’ll follow up with each mom in the “Fourth Trimester” (post-birth) to see what we actually end up using.
With my first child, we started with a Baby K’tan and the Ergo Performance with an infant insert. We used the K’tan for the first few weeks and then became deeply attached to the Ergo. This time around, we’ll still use the K’tan in the early days. Our Ergo has been replaced by a Tula, which fortunately works beautifully with the infant insert. My partner and I have enjoyed using both of these carriers with our big kid and we look forward to using them again.
In addition, I’ve accumulated a few additional carriers that we’ll be trying with the newborn. When choosing carriers I looked for things that were flexible enough for an infant, but also supportive for a toddler. So far, they all work well for the 2 year old and I hope they’ll be good options for the n00bie. I’ve added a Natibaby Ring Sling, a size 5 Flamenco Hemp Indio, a size 6 Vaquero Cabana under the Sun, and a BBTai mei tai. I’m hoping to rock a lot of Front Wrap Cross Carries, Front Cross Carries, mei tai, and ring sling use. If all goes well, each of those should be good options for tandem wearing my toddler on my back in my beloved SSC.
Sabrina’s pre-baby newborn stash consisted of: Waka lacuna 4.2, clementine whisps of autumn 4m, ETLA AZ sunset twill 4.8m, uppy (gone) and dream weaver woven greater than 4.6m , nejesa RS cosmic ra.
“Here is my squish stash – Left stack: Oscha Roses Juliet RS, Oscha Zen Roses RS, Didymos Lisca Pastell6. Middle Stack: Didymos Lisca Sunset 4, Didymos Lila Hemp Indio 6, Firespiral Moonlit Birch Trees 6. Right Stack: Bamboo Happy Wrap (Stretchy) and Mesh Ring Sling.
As far as my reasoning – Stretchy wrap will be awesome for a new baby (I loved mine with Blake). they are soft, easy to wrap with, easy to wash and the bamboo makes it nice and thin for tucson heat. The mesh ring sling will help me shower and swim with baby while chasing DS1. Hopefully… The Liscas were both purchased (in base and Base – 2) because they are so soft and cuddly. The LHI is one of the thinner hemp indios and will hopefully be good for Tucson.”