26 Apr

Babyearing Adventures – Gardening

gardening with big kid and pointing at something with baby on back in ergo
Fall gardening in a rebozo carry

Fall gardening in a rebozo carry

Babywearing is so helpful in the spring when you are trying to get things done in the garden!

First, a word of advice. Only do what you are comfortable doing – that goes both for babywearing abilities and just what your body can handle. It’s hard gardening with another human strapped to you! If you start to feel uncomfortable in any way, stop and readjust or stop until another day! The garden can wait; your safety cannot!

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, what carrier should you use? Choose a carrier that you are very comfortable using, as you’ll be doing lots of moving around. Preferably also one that you don’t mine getting dirty. I most prefer SSC for gardening (though I have also used wraps and mei tais). The absolutely unpoppable seat and little need for adjusting once on means there is one less thing for me to worry about once I’m elbow deep in soil. My old, soft, grungy Ergo is perfect for messy tasks like gardening!

ergo-selfie

Don’t have a carrier you mind getting dirt on? Cover up an SSC or a mei tai using baby legs (or socks with holes cut in the toes) on straps and/or a tshirt over the body of the carrier (just unbuckle straps and slide it on).

ergo with tshirt cover

If wrapping, choose a carry you are comfortable with that won’t need much adjusting. I also prefer one with tails tied in back so they are out of the way as much as possible. If you are still front carrying (in any carrier), keep in mind you will be more limited in what you can do.

toddler in an SHBC

Remember also to put protection on you and baby! Sun hats, baby leggings, sunglasses, and sunscreen may be needed depending on where you are. Cooling towels can be used on your own neck, but generally should not be used in between you and baby, as it could cause unsafe temperature regulation in baby. I also choose to wear pants that won’t require constant adjusting. Pulling up your pants constantly while gardening is annoying regardless, but extra annoying with a baby and baby carrier in play! I usually use gardening gloves anyway, but always use them when babywearing so I can pull them off and have mostly clean hands to tend to baby.

squatting while gardening in an ergo

The main word for gardening while babywearing? SQUATS! So. Many. Squats. Because you have a tiny human on your back, your ability to lean over will be very limited, so you’ll mostly be squatting to reach things – weeding, spreading mulch, planting, etc. Just go ahead and count it as your butt and thigh workout for the week! If you need to keep something stable nearby to use to help yourself get up (wheelbarrow, small shovel to use to put your weight on, etc) – go for it!

woman holding gardening shears with baby on back in ergo

Safety first! Be sure to keep any sharp items away from baby (both baby’s hand’s and eyes). Keep in mind that you have someone on your back when tossing dirt, mulch, or weeds…you don’t want to toss them on your baby! If you are weeding or pruning anything prickly, poisonous, or otherwise dangerous….leave it until you are doing it without baby. And last but certainly not least…take plenty of hydration and cool down breaks – both you and baby! Though you are doing most of the work, baby will need extra hydration as well. The gardening can wait while you take a break!

gardening with 4yo and baby on back in ergo

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