Pre-baby, the thought of baby wearing always looked incredibly intimidating: the amount of options out there, the daunting wraps, and choosing the right one. Almost 10 months into parenthood, and I must say, most of them still intimidate me, but learning about what has worked best for me and Harlen has been an incredible journey.

Looking back, I owe it to baby wearing for getting us through some tough days and nights. The fourth trimester was difficult for me to navigate and also for Harlen. It's a tough time for babies to live life outside of the womb when their only existence was the comfort of mom. Baby wearing allowed him to still have that closeness, and for me to still function and not be stuck in one spot trying to console a colicky tiny human.

Once I fully embraced baby wearing, the intimidating part was navigating through the endless options of baby carriers. In the beginning, wraps were the best option for us, but once he started to get a little heavier, I knew something structured was the best way to go. The only thing that made this part difficult was my small frame. Many of the structured baby carriers out there are very bulky and required a larger torso than I've been given.

It took me a while to finally discover Happy Baby, but I am so beyond happy I did. Their line of structured baby carriers was everything I was looking for and everything I could have dreamed of. Quick side story: I first bought one when we first moved back to SoCal, but it was stolen when our car was stolen. I was heartbroken because I had only gotten to wear it one time before it was gone. After trying a few different carriers, I finally reached out to Beth at Happy Baby, who graciously sent me a replacement for the one lost. If that isn't the most amazing customer service, I really don't know what is.

Now with Harlen being 19lbs and almost 10 months, our baby wearing adventures are still not over. Happy Baby isn't bulky like most and is so lightweight and thin that it fits perfectly inside of our backpack—something I couldn't do with other carriers. It's even easy enough for me to cinch up and lock in by myself while with other carriers, I usually would have to get assistance, which was not convenient when I was solo with Harlen.

The important advice I can give with baby wearing is making sure babe is in a deep seat. What this means is, that their weight is entirely on their bum—their legs and bum will almost be in an "M" shape. Making sure this is met will make the experience for both baby and you safer and so much more delightful. Also, it really brings on the best sleepy vibes for baby. It is guaranteed that H takes a solid nap whenever he's in it. See photos below for evidence!

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Sleep is one of those truly delicate subjects when it comes to babies. Disclaimer: Please know this is just our own story and one I wanted to share to a) give insight and b) document as much as I can. The absolutely safest sleep setup for babies are as followed by the APA is as followed: alone in their crib, placed on their back, and in their parents' room for the first year.

Ever since the day Harlen came home from the hospital, he has slept in a DockATot every single night (see: a tiny H in his first DAT.) As colicky as he was in the newborn stages, he consistently slept between 5 to 7 hours every night for the first stretch ever since he turned 1 month old. I realize now how completely lucky we were as first time parents that this was happening regularly.

We had removed the DAT around 4 months mainly because he outgrew it so quickly. (Hi, 99th percentile for height.) Between 4 months and 8 months, sleep regression, teething and a cold all happened and sleep his nightly sleep schedule was all over the place. We tried moving him to a crib during this as well, but good sleep was still hard for him. And us. Gone were the consistent 5 to 7 hour stretches we were so lucky to have. 

One sleepless night, I told John "we really need to get the DAT back into our lives." Enter the DockATot Grand. He has so much room in this new DAT and still has room to grow with it. Would you believe he's been consistently sleeping 10-12 hours every night now? We start our bedtime routine at around 7pm and is usually asleep no later than 8:30pm. He still wakes up for 1 quick feeding around 1/2am, but goes back to sleep quickly and sleeps in until around 6-7am, and even 8am a few times since the new DAT Grand.

It's been such a learning experience (and still is) navigating through parenthood, so figuring out something that has worked for our family, especially sleep, is the best feeling. Fingers crossed his sleep stays consistent and only gets better as he gets older.