October 10, 2016
Babywearing is becoming super popular for many good reasons, regardless of which number of child it is for parents. The perks include everything from babies crying less to learning more from the close comfort of the parent's arms. Personally, though, sure, the extra brain boost for your little one is great and all, but I'm a bit selfish here. It benefits the momma most —- I'm convinced. Or, maybe we'll call it a win-win.
Thanks to some mommas a little ahead of me in the baby department, I was gifted with an awesome custom mei-tai carrier when I was pregnant with my first parented baby at the young age of nineteen. It had hot pink straps and stars all over, which made it even more appealing to my teenage senses. I'm not sure I would of thought to add a baby carrier to my registry list if it literally hadn't of been handed to me. But, I'm so glad they did and I had their example to follow. With my first, I wore my daughter mostly for nightly summer strolls around our neighborhood or when she was teething molars and wouldn't let me put her down to get anything done (like homework, because I was still in college!).
Then along came child number two.
And with child number two came momma being outnumbered during the day and learning how to juggle two little people's needs at once. My oldest was three and half at that point, and while she was old enough to walk steady and listen to instructions, babywearing took on a whole new level out of need. Going from one to two was a huge adjustment for us all (can I get an amen?!), and babywearing helped make that transition a little easier with two hands.
Then came child number three and four, each two years apart.
My baby carriers (yes, plural now) are a true necessity to keep my little ducks in a row and accounted for when out and about — and to get things done at home. Here's the real benefits of babywearing:
With all the benefits of babywearing, this is my #1 reason. You can now make dinner with your newborn that only wants to be held for her 5 p.m. snooze. Or, follow your toddling two-year-old at the park and still give her a boost on the swings with two free hands.
Similar to above, when momma can keep doing what she needs to do or spending some special one-on-one time with a baby still attached? The older kids can be less jealous since they are getting the attention they need with fewer interruptions.
Yes, I've used the bathroom in public places with my baby strapped to me. Not exactly ideal, but it's better than laying her on the disgusting tile floor, right?
Well, you may feel heavier, but it sure beats lugging an infant car seat in one hand and trying to keep your older child from getting run over as you cross the street with her dragging behind like a reluctant puppy on a leash. Plus, car seats sitting on the intended child seat of the cart is a huge safety no-no, so if you do bring in a car seat they take up the entire basket!
As mentioned above, car seats take up a lot of space. And, now there is no more having to decide who gets the child seating in the cart. Containing the toddler is always the answer! Or, if you have an older child that will walk nicely beside the cart (hurray!), no need to give up prime cart space with a baby when you need it for the food. I mean, with your growing family you need every inch you can use.
Walks on wooded trails. Bumpy gravel roads. Garden trails. Strawberry picking in the springtime. The Biltmore House in Asheville (I mean, you can take a stroller but grand stairway or the spooky back stairs in the mansion are way cooler than the elevator any day!). Crowded events or places that are frustrating to weave a stroller through — a baby carrier is a must.
It is a truthful statement to say a babywearing dad is sexy. Nothing like a man embracing his daddy-hood, pink star carrier and all. When daddy or another caregiver babywears, it gives momma's back a break (though, with a good carrier and used correctly it won't tire out so fast!) and promotes bonding with someone else besides just the momma. Because, really, mommas get touched out by the end of the day. Sometimes we just need some space and to not carry an extra load while making dinner if we don't have to. My husband traded off with me wearing our 6-month-old around Disney World. So sexy.
Older infants and toddlers benefit from the closeness to momma as well. Like I mentioned above with cutting molars: Teething is slow torture for both child and momma. Babywearing is a solution to sanity. Or, sometimes for pure fun my two-year-old liked to be the one in the carrier on my back while the baby got the stroller at IKEA. Switching roles is fun (see! Jealousy lessened, ninja toddler contained, and memories made).
See? Babywearing is a win-win for everyone.