A pouch - easiest to learn, trendy, lightweight, convenient... it is no wonder the pouch, among all others, is gaining popularity in the Malaysian market. Also, could it be the lack of knowledge that there are also other babywearing possibilities other than the pouch?
Whatever it is, what many new and experienced babywearers is not aware is that, for a pouch to feel comfortable, THE SIZE HAS TO BE RIGHT! Ok, let's not get over excited on the capital letters. In a way, being the 'RIGHT' size has it's own meanings, too.
The most common misconceptions about pouches is that they should be bigger and not JUST RIGHT. For the babywearer to comfortably wear their little ones, this is very essential. Especially when the pouch is too BIG.
Try imagining yourself carrying a backpack full of books with straps too long and pulling away from your body. How long can you wear the bag for without feeling the strain?
Compare that to the straps adjusted so as the bag is close to your back.
That is the kind of difference it would make when a pouch is too big.
Too small? That is when you feel uncomfortably tight or suffocated, though many new pouch users will feel this way even when the pouch is right.
In my little experience with pouches, some of the factors that contribute to the problems of sizing includes:
- The measuring tape... i know i need to put the picture in... let me locate the measuring tape in the morning... Have you ever come across a measuring instrument that gives you the wrong measurements? Well, I happen to have a measuring tape that tells me my waist is just a bare 21 inches! No, of course, I am more than that... I would consider myself aneroxic if I had that measurement. Maybe, this could explain why the measurements differ and the babywearer needs something 2 sizes different?
- Body built... probably the biggest myth in pouch sizing is the height... many I know would estimate the size of a pouch from the height of a person. What is more important here is not the height but the overall built. For instance, a 6 foot tall person can have a short body (with long legs) and a short person could simply have a wider body.. if these all makes sense. I recently fitted a pouch on someone who is more than 6 feet in height and guess what? She is a size S!
- Different vendors, different sizing... When a pouch user is happy with the first pouch they got and just cannot live without it, chances are, they are likely going to buy another one. Just to try things out, maybe, from another vendor... ordering for the same size, without realising that there are different measurement charts across different vendors. While the Peek-a-Pouches and Littlepods are sized by the inches (i.e. only once inch different between sizes), most others are sized to fit a few measurements in a size. As such, it is essential to check out the sizing charts before ordering a pouch. It would also be wise to check if a vendor offers an exchange if the size is wrong ;) If you have noticed, there is also a slight difference in sizing between Littlepods and Peek-a-Pouches.
- Bulk of our clothes... Ever wonder why your pouch would fit nicely yesterday but not today? Have you changed your clothes? Does your little one uses cloth diapers? Though not as critical as in countries with four seasons, the bulk in clothing can also contribute to the feel of the pouch being a bit tighter/looser than usual
So, yes, the trendy, popular, convenient and easy-to-use pouch does have it's drawbacks... mainly when the size is not right.At any time, it is most important that the babywearer feels comfortable. That is, after all, why we chose to wear our babies, for comfort and bonding ;)
My recommendations: Try before you buy ;) Else, make sure that an exchange/resizing is possible ;)
Pouch users, what's your thoughts?