Adventures in Attachment Parenting: Addicted to Baby Wearing by Allison Silver
Never in my wildest dreams would I have known how much I would love wearing my baby. At one of my baby showers, two coworkers gave me a Moby-style cloth wrap to wear. One of the ladies who gave me the wrap is from Kenya and told me that in Kenya women wear their babies until they are at least a year old. Almost a year later, and I can remember hastily throwing the wrap aside and thinking, “I am not a hippie. I am not going to be one of those parents who wears my baby all day.” Besides, I had spent many a day pricing out my beautiful car seat and stroller combo.
Little did I know that when my daughter was born she was going to be one of those babies who could not be put down for the first seven months of her life. After two months of being on the couch, I thought that there has to be a way that I can hold her and still have my hands free. I went through my baby shower gifts and found the wrap. I watched the online video instructions and put it on. Like magic the baby was happy and content. I was holding her but I also had my hands free to do other things. Hallelujah!
From there I began to experiment with different positions. When she was very young she liked to be held tummy to tummy. When she was able to hold her head up she loved to face out while we went for walks and to the grocery store. For many months she loved to be held in side-lying and would take naps. Seriously, this wrap was like a second pair of hands and it became an accessory to every outfit. I wore it all day everyday.
As my little one started to get bigger the wrap style began to hurt my back and I began to research baby wearing. Holy Cow! I had no idea that there are huge online communities dedicated to baby wearing. One of my friends told me, “Watch out, you can get addicted to baby wearing.” I think she was right! In addition to my Snuggle Wrap, I now have a pouch sling, a Baby Bjorn, an Ergo carrier, a Maya wrap (which is actually a ring sling), and a Beco Butterfly 2 carrier. I seriously could start my own baby wearing lending library! Thankfully many of these carriers have been given to me or I have found them for half price on baby wearing webistes or Craigslist.
As toddlerhood approaches us, my go-to carriers are the Beco Butterfly 2 and my Maya wrap. Last week, one of my fellow bloggers asked me, “How do you hold a toddler that constantly wants to get up and down without giving yourself carpal tunnel syndrome?” That is a great question. Long gone are the days when my daughter was content riding tummy to tummy. She now loves to be carried on my hip around the house, and if I need to have both hands free she rides on my back. When she is on my hip we use the Maya wrap and right now it’s easy to get her in and out. We’ll see if this holds true as she gets more mobile and wants to be up and down more frequently. For the back carry she loves the Beco Butterfly 2. She loves it so much that she will sometimes sleep for two hours in the thing.
Baby wearing is a very personal decision and it really isn’t discussed too much. Even though women have been doing it for centuries it’s still quite far from being mainstream in our Western society. It would be so nice if there were more places that offered baby wearing lending libraries as these things are not cheap! Some people love the soft structured carriers that I have described and other people love the cloth carriers or woven wraps. A good friend of mine swears by her Mai Tei. (Maybe that will be my next one!) It all depends on what you feel comfortable with.
My beautiful stroller now sits in the garage most of the time and my carriers come with me to all of my outings. They are way easier to transport. As far as looking like a hippie, I’ve come to the realization that my baby is the best looking accessory I could ever have. So if you got it, why not flaunt it!