To Frog or Not To Frog
One of the questions I hear a LOT about babywearing is whether or not to tuck a baby’s legs inside the carrier. At what point is it “safe” to have them straddle the wearer, vs keeping their legs tucked up underneath them like a frog?
I’ve been thinking about this, sitting here in the rocking chair with Teddy, knowing I need to get up and get his morning medicines going but loathe to wake him since he’s comfortably snuggled on my chest.
Teddy is nearly 2 months old, though he’s more like a 1 month old, since he came about 4 weeks before his due date. He certainly behaves more like a 1 month old, and is doing 1 month old things. One of the adorable newborn things he still does is curl his legs up. Right now, he’s resting with his head tucked into my armpit, butt on my hip bone, legs tucked up under him. This is his natural position. If I were standing up and holding him, he would curl up like this, too. And when I wear him, he is in this exact position. Tucked in.
At some point, he will stop doing this very newborn behavior. My friend’s 3 month old no longer curls into a little ball when relaxed. Though she is worn mostly in a pouch, if she were in a wrap or MT, she’d be most comfortable sitting with her legs out, straddling her mama.
Some babies are comfortable with their legs out from the beginning. Wally, now 7, never liked to be swaddled, curled up, etc., and he wanted his legs out from the beginning. His natural position was not to curl up, it was to stretch out. And when I wore him, I wore him straddled.
So, rather than some arbitrary age or size, the best way to tell if you should tuck or straddle is just to look at your baby. Are they most comfortable all tucked up, or are they most comfortable more stretched out?
(Another good clue is if you decide to tuck your baby’s legs under, and all they do is try to stand and struggle to get free!)