I’m not sure how I managed everyday life when my daughter was an infant; four years ago. I remember feeling so much anxiety all of the time; most of which came with being a first time mom. We never left the house without a pacifier. If she so much as whimpered in a restaurant my husband or I would quickly usher her out. My arms would ache from carrying her in the infant car seat.
Lucky for me, several friends became involved in the Babywearing community before my son was born 4 years later. I did own a Baby Bjorn when Anjali was a baby but I swear I only wore it about two times… front facing. Man, if I knew then what I know now! What is Babywearing, you ask? Babywearing is carrying your baby in a cloth carrier around your body that simulates holding your baby in your arms.
Babywearing makes me feel like a Super Mom. Here’s why, in no particular order:
- Two words: hands free. I can wear the baby either on the front of my body, the back, or on my hip leaving my hands free to hold my daughter and husbands hands at the same time. Not to mention: carry groceries, cook dinner, sip a latte… Whatever. Babywearing gives me the confidence to accomplish things that would otherwise seem daunting.
- Baby HATES being in the infant car seat or stroller. I have a car screamer and my daughter was the same way. With Anjali, if she was fussy, I would have to carry her and push the stroller along. We would also transport the infant car seat from place to place with her in it; which was really heavy! Babywearing allows me to skip the stroller option altogether. Just grab the baby from the car and go! Happy baby, happy mama.
- Nursing on the go! Gone are the days of sitting in the “Mother’s Lounge” at the mall to feed the baby. Nowadays, I just scoot the baby down, whip out a boob, and he suckles while I go about my business. No hooter hiders with this baby; babywearing makes breastfeeding more discreet than ever!
- Oh so kissable. At anytime I can kiss my baby on the forehead or inhale that intoxicating new baby smell; he’s right there happily cuddling with mama. Having the baby so close allows me to feel in tune with his needs while attending to my older child.
- Weight training via baby. As my baby grows I am increasing my weight training! I wear Arjuna probably about 2 hours a day. That’s 2 hours of walking while carrying an extra 17 lbs. I’m not saying that I have a beach babe body by babywearing but the weight is melting off, so it must help a little.
- Babywearing daddies are super hot. It’s true, but how does this make me a better mom? I cannot express the amount of love I feel seeing my husband wear Arjuna. It gives me piece of mind knowing that Daddy has the ability to comfort and bond with the baby… without a boob.
- The kid doesn’t cry. I literally have the happiest baby ever (besides the carseat). I believe this is because Arjuna has to hang out and go with the flow while in a carrier. He also has no reason to cry because his needs are being met. Again, happy baby, happy mama.
- “Sleepy Dust”. All baby carriers come with magical baby “sleepy dust” which helps them feel safe and secure. Worn babies are comforted by the thud of the wearers heartbeat and the walking motion, that simulates being in the womb. Even if Arjuna has recently taken a nap, if I put him in a carrier or wrap he is asleep in no time!
- Community support. There is a babywearing community full of mamas sharing information on all things parenting. I have turned to this group several times to ask for, as well as offer, advice unrelated to baby wearing. This group also hosts play dates where the members teach each other various ways to wrap and carry babies.
- The Advanced Track. Arjuna is 7 months old and is crawling, standing, trying to walk and talking (Dada, Baba, and Da for Doggie). Our daughter developed quickly too but this guy is incredible! While in a carrier, the baby is inches from my face, which means constant interaction. If he was in a stroller all the time, he wouldn’t be learning as much.
Babywearers are in a sort of secret club that has it’s own secret language and underground trading system. It can all be quite confusing at first but there is lots of information online to help with breaking the code. After I had my son, my sister-in-law, Evonne, broke it all down for me. I thought that I would have ended up owning two different types of carriers, and that would be it…. but I’ve got a nice stash now. Nothing compared to the hardcore babywearers that I know.
My stash includes: 1 Maya Wrap Ring Sling (RS), 1 Girasol Wrap Conversion Ring Sling (WCRS), 1 Natibaby Dinos Wrap size 5, 1 Girasol Dark Rainbow size 6 (which is currently missing, somehow), 1 Kokadi Glamour Stars size 5 (my favorite!), 1 Wrap Conversion Mei Tai (WCMT – hand made for me by Evonne at NarNar Baby), 1 Angel Pack Wrap Conversion Full Buckle Carrier (FB), and finally the Daddy pack, a Camo Boba 3G.
My name is Nikki and I have an addiction… Honestly though; each carrier serves a specific purpose. Can you get by with just one carrier? Yes. Amazingly enough these things get better and softer the more you use them AND they hold their value!
For more info on Babywearing checkout these resources:
The Cloth Mama
The Baby Wearer