Babywearing Epiphany

Like many of my friends, I registered for the big expensive travel system that my mom paid a fortune for and bought for us (a whole whopping $360!). 

I would shortly realize that: OMGee, my baby would rather be held by her mother! How shocking!  When I would lug the massive car-seat carrier into stores (which is the weight equivalent of a large animal by the way), she would cry.  Or when I would push her in the stroller around the mall, you guessed it … crying.  Being a new mom and out in public for the first time with my new baby, I would become frazzled and stressed.  I had aimlessly added a few baby carriers on my registry including a wrap-type carrier, but I was intimidated by it at first and was actually planning on returning it. I thought to myself “I’m supposed to fit my baby in this contraption?!”  After experimenting, I soon realized: babywearing was the answer!  Remember an infant is genetically and biologically predisposed to want to be close to it’s mother.  The closeness of you and the movement of walking is a nice transition from being in the womb. It makes them feel secure and calms them, so much so that it usually puts them to sleep.  This epiphany made it much easier to go to stores and outdoor places and to be able to do stuff around the house. And how much easier!! No more lugging around heavy car-seat carriers and fumbling with strollers- I simply throw a wrap in my purse!

Babywearing is not a new “trend” in the slightest; it is an ancient method and still practiced in many cultures today. It is how our ancestors carried their young for generations. Babies in many cultures are sheltered from the world and cozily wrapped against their mothers for the entire first few months of life. In some cultures even, babies are carried so often that there is a ceremony held when their feet finally touch the ground. Not to mention it poses many benefits for both mom and baby; including healthy spine and hip development.

For me, babywearing feels natural …much more natural than placing her in some expensive baby swing/stroller that mimics the movement of me; her mother.   I view my daughter as an extension of myself and I crave to be close to her, as she craves to be close to me. Babywearing allows all of this while still giving me some freedom.For some reason, you feel a sense of pride when you are wearing your baby.  I have analyzed this a lot and I just can’t figure out why! Maybe it’s the primal instinctive nature of the act, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself taking 1,000 selfies while wearing your baby.  For instance, I found this selfie of my husband (who is not the selfie type) in his phone. It was hysterical and adorable at the same time.

Babywearing Daddy Selfie!

There is a whole culture of babywearers out there.  There are many groups with chapters that hold monthly meetings, internet groups, etc.  It is an entire sub-culture of parenting that I was oblivious to.

Babywearing takes some practice, and as with anything baby-related there are some safety measures that need to be taken … but with experience, you willget the hang of it. If you are a babywearing novice, I recommend two inexpensive carriers as “starter” carriers that you can find at Target or Babies “R” Us (so therefore a good registry item) the Baby K’Tan and the Infantino Fusion, until you become experienced and want to branch out into the babywearing world. I encourage you to try on some friends’ carriers or attend a local babywearing meeting where you can experiment with different carriers ( I am a Tula and Ring Sling lover myself). And once you begin practicing with your baby, you can utilize these internet forums and groups to help you with positioning, etc.

The babywearing trend (I use that term loosely) is on the rise in modern cultures …. but I still wonder how and why we came so far away from this type of parenting. Why are we made to feel that our babies need to learn to be away from us? That our babies must not be “too attached”. It makes no sense to me. I will never regret for a second, a day that I held my baby close.

 

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