Hello! How are you all? I have missed you. I know, I know. I am the one who hasn’t been around much lately, but I’ve missed you nonetheless! However this week I just had to post after Megan (who is also returning from a move-related hiatus – which I am very happy about – the return, not the hiatus…right, back to the blog)…so Megan told me her readers that this is International Babywearing Week and challenged all her readers to some good ol’ fashioned advocacy. And although I am not usually a very strong advocate, I am all about promoting babywearing to other moms (and Dads too!) – especially of the “new” variety! So even if you’re a parental type reading this, but already past the babywearing stage, make sure you pass on the info or link to friends and family who might find it useful.
Anyway, I’m sure there are going to be a million posts out there about how babywearing was a godsend for someone with a collicky/fussy/high needs baby and I don’t dispute those facts one iota. I know that being able to wear your baby in those cases must be not only comforting for baby but I lifesaving skill for mama. But to be brutally honest, I rarely had to wear Nate because he was fussy. Ok – there were few times. But mostly I wore him because it was convenient for me.
That’s right. It was less about him, and more about me.
So I want to show people another perspective on babywearing. The active side of babywearing. Not the babywearing that keeps your hands free to clean your house and do your laundry. But the babywearing that keeps your hands free to control your giant dog and throw his ball. The babywearing that lets you walk on trails that are not even jogging-stroller friendly. The babywearing that meant I didn’t have to lug a stroller through airports but still had my hands free for luggage and documents. The babywearing that means you don’t have to lug around a cumbersome infant carseat that wrenches your back and the babywearing that means you don’t have to balance a toddler awkwardly on your hip while you pick up a parcel or some milk on the way home from work. That’s the kind of babywearing I am thankful for.
Even now, when I wear Nate less frequently than when I was on maternity leave, it is odd for more than a day or two to go by when I don’t strap him to me at some point so that I can do something that would be more of a pain if I had to carry him in arms or lug a stroller with me. And Dale is the same. He has worn Nate right from the get go, and hasn’t stopped since despite. He even managed to navigate the learning curve of back carries without assistance!
So if you think babywearing is only for people with fussy babies, think again. Babywearing is also for active people with perfectly happy babies. Like Eva and Jackie. The only other advice I would impart is this: if you want your baby to be comfortable in a carrier you need to use the carrier regularly. I find whenever I have gone for an extended period without wearing Nate, it takes a few carries for him to get used to being on my back again. So we take it slowly, limit the length of carries till he decides it’s comfy again, and voila! As Megan said, happy mama, happy baby toddler! Seriously – how do they grow up so fast???
As well, and post by me on babywearing wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention my favourite babywearing accessory. If you’re really in to being active while babywearing this is a must really, really nice-to-have item – a babywearing jacket from Suses Kinder. I love, love, love my red and white version. You can read more about it here, and rest assured I am just as much in love with it now as I was right after I bought it. In fact Nate and I were out and about it our jacket during the first Cold Lake snowfall of the season just the other day. We were both toasty warm and completely dry and very, very content. And the new deluxe version by Suses Kinder even allows for a hip carry (in addition to the front and back carries!) in the jacket – which would be awesome for those quick trips into a store or down to the mail box!
Anyway you look at it – fussy baby or not. Babywearing is great. Google “benefits + babywearing” and you’ll surely come up with a million pages listing all the health and wellness that inevitably comes from mama (or Daddy) and baby being close. And they are all true. But there is also just the sheer joy of having your adorable baby/toddler peeking out over your shoulder or resting their head on your chest while you carry on with things that made you happy even before the arrival of your new tag-along!
So – did I advocate enough? If not, here are a few more pics to prove how much all three four of us, love babywearing!
A final note on the carriers pictured above:
-the wrap we used when Nate was a baby (the pictures where you can’t even see him!) is a Cuddly Wrap borrowed from my pal Kelly;
– the other green wrap in the hip cary pic is a 5M Gypsy Mama Bali Breeze;
– the carrier in the pic of Dale in the snow and by the river is a borrowed Kelty Kids carrier, which we didn’t love and didn’t use for long before we replaced it with the BECO baby carrier which is the bluish carrier you see in most of the pics;
– the brown pouch is a peanut shell which Nate didn’t love, so I sold;
– and finally, our hiking carrier is a Deuter which is fabulous for long hikes thanks to the vantage point and extra storage space.