Babywearing and the Daycare Provider

As a daycare provider you may ask, "how can babywearing help me?" Whether you work in a family care setting or in a center, babywearing can be a big help.

In a family daycare setting you may have a number of children from newborn to school age. What do you do when you are up to your elbows in goo with the preschoolers, and the newborn needs to be held? How do you push a stroller and hold hands with two three year olds while walking a kindergartner to the school bus?

Working in a daycare center, you may have more caregivers, but you have more babies as well. How do you change one baby and care for another, when the other caregivers have their hands full? This is where babywearing comes in.

As a home daycare provider Iíve had the pleasure of caring for three high-energy boys and one sweet baby girl at the same time. Keeping the baby from getting trounced on became a huge priority. Being able to soothe the baby while doing crafts and playing games with the boys was pretty important too.

I used a Snuggli with my own children, and read about slings on the Internet. Wanting to try something new, I trotted off to the Childrenís Used Store. Luckily Ifound a padded ring sling right away, and, immediately, my life became easier.

Walking my kindergartner to the bus stop wasnít a juggling act anymore. I could pop the baby into the sling, grab two hands, and have my kindergartner hold another hand as we walked up the street. If the baby needs to be held while the boys are asking to make gooze, not a problem. I'd just settle the baby in the sling, tummy to tummy, so she could hear my heartbeat, then dig into ooey, gooey, gooze with the boys. (Booger Snot green in case youíre wondering. The boys loved naming their gooze.)

Last year, I learned the art of wearing two babies at once. I now had a three-year-old, my own one-and-a-half-year-old, a one-year-old, and a newborn in my care. Wraps and mei taiís (a carrier, not the drink), became my sanity savers. I could wrap the newborn tummy to tummy and put the one year old in a mei tai on my back. With my one-and-a-half-year-old in the stroller, I could grab the three-year-old hand and easily take a stroll to the park.

Being a daycare provider is a demanding job. We do it because we love children. The toughest day can be forgotten with just one look into those sweet baby eyes. Why not make your job a touch easier, and a babyís day a whole lot sweeter with babywearing?