Thursday, September 10, 2015

In Praise of Babywearing

Before Baby A was born, I knew I wanted to wear him. I had my stretchy orange Boba Wrap all ready to go and had already started eyeing soft structured carriers. Intellectually, I knew baby wearing was practical and convenient. But, I had no idea what essential tools our carriers would become and how much Baby A and I would both love using them.

Baby A was born in December, and as a winter baby, he was warm and snuggly in his stretchy wrap all season until he hit about 15 pounds. I wore him in that wrap every day, for many, many hours from the time he was a week old until he stretched it out so much I couldn’t keep him “kissably close” anymore. He napped, I drank coffee. He snuggled in and sucked on his pacifier, I ate sandwiches and brushed the crumbs out of his hair. We went to Costco and out to weekend brunch. It allowed him to be warm and safe out in the world, and even served as a barrier between him and all of the little old ladies who wanted to touch him during flu season! I daily said that we wouldn’t have made it out of the newborn stage with sanity (mostly) intact without babywearing.

Once Baby A was sagging in his stretchy wrap, we move to our soft structured carrier. I chose a Tula in Rockets because of the cute pattern (I’m a sucker for aesthetics), but there are so many awesome soft structured carriers on the market. Right now I’m coveting the Lillebaby Embossed (so pretty!) My little guy doesn’t sit up all that well still, so the Tula lets us run errands without having to worry if he can stay upright in the cart or having to wrangle the stroller. The Tula let me have a successful garage sale this spring with a baby strapped to me the whole time. And just this past weekend, it came in handy as we took Baby A on his first flight. Navigating the airport was so much easier thanks to babywearing!

For Mother’s Day, my husband gave me a beautiful Dolcino woven wrap (in Sumatra—it’s like a rainbow of orange, my favorite color!). I was initially intimidated, but the wonderful volunteers of the Babywearing International of North Central Illinois helped me get the hang of the front cross carry and Robin’s hip carry.  If you have any questions at all about babywearing, I can't recommend highly enough attending a meeting. Now, the Tula lives in the car, and I use my woven wrap to keep Baby A cozy and content during his cranky afternoon pre-dinner hour.
Baby A is nine months and nearly 20 pounds, and we’re still babywearing daily. I’m a full-fledged babywearing fanatic. And perhaps a little bit of an addict. I just picked up a short woven wrap, since my Dolcino is really long, and I’m trying to figure out an excuse to pick one of the exquisite Sakura Bloom Ring Slings. I've also become a member of Babywearing International so I can try out all kinds of carriers and wraps available in the lending library without breaking the bank! #WearAlltheBabies