Real Simple Mama

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This Is Why I Baby Wear

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!

This Is Why I Babywear - Realsimplemama

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?

8 Comments

  1. I love babywearing! We’re a stretchy wrap to Tula ssc family over here!

    We baby wear during the baby phase for many of the reasons you listed, but even now that my little is in the toddler phase (two next month) we’re still baby wearing! Not as often, of course, but there are times it’s still very much a need for both of us. Our ‘uppy’ as she calls it has been a life saver numerous times!

    #wearallthebabies!

    • The Mama

      June 10, 2016 at 11:20 am

      That’s so cute! I love the name “uppy!” Yes my toddler was worn (not consistently though) until he was about 2.5. The ergo saved me many times. I have always wanted a Tula – do you like it?

  2. We have an Ergo 360, and both my husband and I have been wearing our baby since she was one week old. She’s almost seven months now, and most of the time we wear her facing forward. She is very observant and friendly, giving everyone lots of smiles.
    I have been so fortunate because I have only received a few comments from strangers about baby wearing, and they were positive and encouraging. Thankfully no weirdo has tried to touch her. I don’t mind when a few of the older ladies have touched her foot.
    She has been sitting up on her own since five months old, she is very strong. My husband wears her all the time, around the house and out of the house. It’s lovely that they can bond through baby wearing.
    It is way more convenient than the clunky stroller we have, especially moving with ease around the store.
    I totally get what you mean, it makes me happy when she is happy. I can sense her calmness, she’s not crying and she loves to be worn against us.
    I love baby wearing. Thanks for sharing your views with us.

    • The Mama

      June 1, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      I have an Ergo too but haven’t yet tried it with our baby. And ours has been super strong too! She’s always been quite alert.

      I personally don’t wear facing forward as there is some evidence that it’s bad for Baby’s pelvis (I don’t remember the study offhand but you could google it or see it on my babywearing Pinterest board). Jut to be safe I wear her tummy to tummy with me, but I’ll wear her on my hip too if I can ever remember to get the Ergo back out!

      You have a great point with Hubby getting to wear Baby too! You are totally right, I hadn’t even thought of that. My husband has his own Ktan too and loves his mei tai.

  3. Since she was a few days old, I started wearing my baby in a sling wrap for discrete nursing. I wore my baby in an outward-facing wrap at a conference yesterday and got so many compliments! Babywearing is convenient and helps us to feel close.

    • The Mama

      May 26, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Yay! Love hearing stories like this! Once you get in the habit of wearing, it’s such a comfort for both Baby and Mama. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing! I wish I did the baby wear more than I have … But this has encouraged me to give it a whirl again. Because I do love doing it for some of the same reasons you do … Nobody touches them & with 2 under 3, it easily keeps your hands free!! I will definitely be checking out the one for the water!! Do you have one that you have tried or seen that you could share?

    • The Mama

      May 26, 2016 at 8:54 am

      I bought one for cheap on at sea, but it is my first ring sling and it has not been as easy to use as I thought. The particular seller I bought from did not do any type of scene or him along the edges, and it is all the same color so it is really hard to adjust. I want to buy another one, and when I do I think I will use Sleeping Baby Productions – I follow her on Facebook and she’s at sleepingbaby.net. If you go look at her cover photo on Facebook, and notice how the sling has stripes on it… That is the best way to learn with a ring sling. I did not know until after I bought my first one from someone else, which is completely limegreen! So it is a lot more difficult to learn on.
      I did not wear my son as much as I wanted to either, I think it is best if you can start young. If not, just try it for short periods of time almost every day, and they get used to it really quickly 🙂

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