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Babywearing and Twins – Yes you can!

Babywearing seems to be growing in popularity.  Whether it is done for bonding or to free up your hands to accomplish something, babywearing is definitely possible with twins.  Babywearing International reports that medical professionals agree that infants thrive through touch; “wearing” your baby is another way to meet this need.

Twiniversity member Timothy J has had to figure a lot of things out as a stay at home Dad.  He purchased a Baby Bjorn specifically designed to be worn either on the front or back so that he could bathe his twins my himself.  He would have one in the tub and one in the back carrier so that he could do baths by himself.

His first trip out with both girls in front carriers by himself was a simple errand to drop something off and go to the post office when his girls were 2 months old.  He said, “Getting them in and out of the car seats, in and out of my front carriers — all by myself – yes, it was tricky, but you can probably imagine the elation I felt at being able to be out and about running errands with my girls independently!  I just felt that I had so much more freedom and flexibility!  Even if it was tricky being out and about with the girls by myself, it could be done!”

As you might suspect, he got a lot of interesting reactions as a guy with two babies strapped to his front.  After he got a bit tired of the attention, he said, “I just tried to act casual and act like what I was doing was not a big deal — that it was perfectly normal for some guy to walk around with 2 babies strapped to his chest.  I did this with the hope that it would not be as much of a big deal for others around me.  That worked sometimes…”

Twiniversity member lovebugsmama had this to say about twinwearing:

“The Ergo is easy and much more comfortable than the Bjorn. I couldn’t use the Bjorn after my oldest was about 12 lbs b/c it hurt my back and made my shoulders feel like they were on fire!! But I can still use the Ergo w/my twins, they weigh 35 & 37 lbs (the weight limit is 45 lbs where the Bjorn is only about 22 lbs, I think) and I finally had to stop using it w/my oldest who was 3.5 ft tall and 44 lbs. I used the Ergo on my back w/a Maya Wrap ring sling on my front/hip to carry them both once they had good head control.

The K’Tan and Moby are great carriers and, though tandem babywearing is no longer recommended due to several infant falling incidents, the weight limit for the twin carry was 10  lbs per baby, so it really didn’t last very long as a twin carrier.

But Ergo’s, wraps, mei tais, Beco’s and slings are all fantastic and can be combineable. And it’s really not uncomfortable to wear 2 carriers at once. I’ve even worn 2 Ergo’s at once and, while the padded shoulder straps can get bulky, it was actually quite comfy!”

Babywearing International also gives some Absolute Rules for safe babywearing

1. Make sure your baby can breathe. Baby carriers allow parents to be hands-free to do other things … but you must always remain active in caring for your child. No baby carrier can ensure that your baby always has an open airway; that’s your job.

a. Never allow a baby to be carried, held, or placed in such a way that his chin is curled against his chest. This rule applies to babies being held in arms, in baby carriers, in infant car seats, or in any other kind of seat or situation. This position can restrict the baby’s ability to breathe. Newborns lack the muscle control to open their airways. They need good back support in carriers so that they don’t slump into the chin-to-chest position.

b. Never allow a baby’s head and face to be covered with fabric. Covering a baby’s head and face can cause her to “rebreathe” the same air, which is a dangerous situation. Also, covering her head and face keeps you from being able to check on her. Always make sure your baby has plenty of airflow. Check on her frequently.

2. Never jog, run, jump on a trampoline, or do any other activity that subjects your baby to similar shaking or bouncing motion. “This motion can do damage to the baby’s neck, spine and/or brain,” explains the American Chiropractic Association.

3. Never use a baby carrier when riding in a car. Soft baby carriers provide none of the protection that car seats provide.

4. Use only carriers that are appropriate for your baby’s age and weight.

And also some safety guidelines for learning new carries

Most people easily learn front or hip carries, but when learning these carries you should still support your baby with your arm until you are confident that your baby is securely held in the carrier. Back carries are more challenging, but the reward is tremendous.  These guidelines apply to all carries but are particularly important when learning back carries.

1. Practice with a doll or teddy first. Understanding the instructions with your mind is just the first step; your body needs to understand them as well. Doing a few “dry runs” will help you build the muscle memory for doing a particular carry.

2. It is best to try a new carry with your baby when you are both well rested and generally content.

3. Use a spotter … but only another adult who accepts the responsibility of keeping your baby from falling. The spotter must be able to catch the baby at any instant if he or she should start to fall.

4. Use a mirror.

5. Start low. Most carries can be accomplished while sitting on the floor. As you build muscle memory and confidence, you can move up, next lifting your baby onto your body from a bed or chair.

We hope you will find these tips useful!