When I was pregnant with Big, my sister gave me her Baby Bjorn carrier along with a sling-type wrap. She had never really used either of them but wanted to pass them along in case I was interested. The first time I put Big in that sling, I was hooked! We became a babywearing family and never looked back. Over the past four years, we’ve used that Bjorn (which I hated but my husband preferred, at least early on); several sling-type carriers; two mei tais; two Maya wraps; a Sleepy wrap; an Ergo; and a structured backpack which we picked up at a tag sale for $5. The only reason we don’t wear our boys anymore is because they are very active and always want to go go GO! For times when we can’t just let them run (fireworks, big parades, etc.) we still whip those not-so-little-anymore, thirty-pound boys into the Ergo and the structured backpack.
When I’ve spoken with friends about my love of babywearing, I’ve found that many of them don’t really know a lot about it. They, too, received (or bought!) a Bjorn but maybe were never comfortable wearing it. Some of them had heard the horror stories about the slings that were recalled for suffocation risks. After bringing out my 10+ carriers and demonstrating, sometimes with one of my sons, sometimes with a doll, and sometimes with my friends’ babies, they were often willing to give babywearing another chance. I’ve even conducted a couple of babywearing workshops where I gave out information on the different types of carriers, demonstrated the ones I have and talked about the pros and cons of each along with the baby ages I would recommend with each type, and asked other mothers to share their experiences. Babywearing Show n’ Tell!
I’m not up on any babywearing pedestal, calling it a political issue and insisting that mothers MUST wear their babies or they are doing something wrong. On the contrary, I wore my babies because it was better and more convenient for ME. Yes, of course, I loved having my teeny ones snuggling close to me all the time, but really? It kept them happier and quieter. I could do laundry, cook dinner, do almost anything, all while wearing my baby. I even took my three-week-old Little trick-or-treating on a cold night while he was snuggly warm in a Maya wrap. I wore them everywhere and many times, people didn’t even realize they were there!
So Happy International Babywearing Week, everyone! Carry your babies (and toddlers . . . and preschoolers . . .) close!
Here are some great resources to check out if you want to know more, or leave me a comment and I’d be happy to help you out!
Babywearing International (photo credit)