As a babywearing mama, I get a lot of different comments from people when I am out and about. Some mention how happy and cozy my baby looks, while others ask questions. It’s a challenge to answer them in a way which really explains and glorifies babywearing like it deserves. There are so many reasons why I enjoy wearing my baby, it would be impossible to explain them all to a complete stranger (although I’ve thought about making a pamphlet that I could just pass out as I walk away).
Here is a very honest list which hopefully will do justice to how wonderful it is to babywear!
First of all, it keeps creeps from touching my kid. I was never one of the unlucky moms who had my pregnant belly touched by strangers, but I have had to tell people more than once not to try and touch my baby! I just do not understand why some people think that is acceptable at all. Seriously, wtf people. When I am wearing my baby, not only is she super close to me but most of her body is wrapped in fabric.
It also makes me feel more comfortable about taking her out in germ season. I do not mind leaning over a bit so that people can see her sweet face, but I do not hesitate to snap at a weirdo who reaches out for my baby. Grr… I’m going into Mama Bear mode just thinking about it!
Baby wearing is also fast. Once you get the hang of your particular sling or wrap (I love my Ktan), it’s way faster than pulling out a car seat and a stroller. I hate feeling like people are watching me, or waiting for my parking spot. This really eliminates most of that time. And I don’t get anxiety about the damn stroller not folding up fast enough.
On that note, you just need less stuff when you babywear. I usually put my wrap on Baby’s feet when she is in the car seat, since the smell and the soft fabric comforts her. That one piece of fabric is all I need – no lugging around other equipment. I’m all about simplifying!
Baby wearing is convenient, in many senses of the word. For example, I don’t have to be home for my picky baby to nap. She sleeps on my chest, completely relaxed and completely safe. I can easily maneuver through stores with her in her Ktan, and Kiddo in a cart. I’m not worried about her waking up crying in another room, or paranoid about how she’s feeling. My Mama’s intuition is clocked in at all times.
Once your baby is 6 pounds, they can be worn with most infant carriers, as well as slings and wraps. This means you may still be doing skin-to-skin to bring in your milk, in which case I suggest… topless baby wearing! Seriously though, I started wearing my daughter when she was 5 days old. And it was heaven for us both.
If you have multiple kids, baby wearing is really a life saver. With two kids under three, I wouldn’t be able to give each child nearly as much attention. My baby would be laid down a lot more, or my toddler would have to amuse himself a lot more. Both happen occasionally (I won’t wear Baby when I am putting something in the oven, for example) but my kids are actively parented. I truly feel that neither of them has any quality time (or supervision) sacrificed because of their sibling.
Baby wearing is versatile. There are so many different positions; wraps or slings or carriers; you can even accessorize with something like a teething necklace or a pacifier on a clip.
Honestly, I just like baby wearing too! It’s fun having her there next to me, kicking her little legs and cooing happily as I vacuum or as she watches her brother play. It makes me happy that she’s so happy.
You can do so much while wearing Baby. You can do chores and cleaning (yippee), go shopping, go for a walk or a hike, sit and work with two hands, make coffee or pour a glass of wine, even breastfeed!
Most wraps, carriers or slings have multiple ways to carry Baby (examples are newborn or kangaroo carry, hip carry or back carry). They also can usually hold Baby up to 20 pounds; many of them go to 35 pounds or more. As a comparison, my son will be three next month and he’s about 30 pounds.
The way you baby wear might look different as your child grows, but it’s not difficult to learn a new wrap or carry (or exchange carriers). I wear my daughter regularly and plan to do so well until she is 2 years old or more!
Many people do not realize that baby wearing is also doable when the weather is not ideal. Baby is nice and warm next to you, and most of their body is covered – give them a hat, some warm socks and leggings, and you are good to go in cold weather. You can also easily cover the top of Baby’s head to keep them safe from the rain. I like that my sweet child is also hidden from mosquitoes. And when it’s hot, I just bust out my Frogg Togg Chilly Pad – even at the zoo when it’s 95 outside, Baby and I do well with a cool towel and a sun hat!
There are even slings and wraps made specifically for wearing the baby in the water! They are made from polyester mesh (which feels like a jersey or basketball shorts), and keep their grip really well when wet. That opens up the possibilities to go to the beach or lake, play in the sprinklers, or even take a shower while wearing your baby.
Babywearing is great for when you’re tired. There’s no worry about dropping the baby or them slipping off your lap. It’s a scary thought, I know, but that’s a reality.
Most importantly, it’s what my baby wants, too. There’s a reason why so many cultures embrace baby wearing. Babies enjoy it just as much as the moms! Baby wearing regulates body temp, breathing, and heart rate for newborns (they’re up next to you, your exhalation helps steady their breathing, and they can hear your heartbeat). When they’re going through a leap or cutting teeth, they want their mama. When they’re in a loud or new place, or around people they don’t know, they want their mama. When they’re sick or tired, they want their mama. And we all love our babies and want to comfort them, but can’t always camp out on the couch all day. Baby wearing can be that bridge to what Baby needs and what Mama wants.
How do you baby wear?