This following post was an entry in our Blog to Inspire contest. The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily those of Eco Baby Steps or Parenting By Nature.
Blog to Inspire entrant My Bloggy Life is Elizabeth.
As a soon-to-be-parent-of-two, I had refused to invest in a double stroller. They seemed to be so expensive and bulky. I knew, also, that I would much rather have the baby carried and Hunter walking, but I didn’t want to lug the baby car seat. I had seen a babywearing blog and had grown curious about the different carriers that I had seen there and elsewhere. I thought that, with my very busy two-year-old, I should probably have some kind of carrier. I, unluckily, entered every contest that I saw. I was given a pouch sling and enjoyed back-slinging Hunter while I was pregnant. As I like to think I’m crafty, I decided to try making some carriers myself. I got what I’d need to make myself a mei tai, a wrap and a ring sling. I made the wrap right away and in the last weeks of my pregnancy I finished off my mei tai and my ring sling. What great projects they had been. I hoped to get the rewards I dreamed of from my carriers.
Susannah was a worn baby at one day old. Justin and I wore her all. the. time. I liked having her so close. I liked the snuggles. She was worn in a wrap and, as she got older, more often in a mei tai. I didn’t like the side-weight-bearing slings, compared to the wrap and mei tai. When she was wee, she would fall asleep as soon as I popped her in. It was so wonderful to have her so close to me, to feel her head resting on me, her breath on my chest, her hands beside her face. I loved that I could kiss her soft little head and cheeks so easily. It was so easy to get around with her strapped close to my body. I loved that I could talk softly to her all the time, that she could hear my voice and feel my heartbeat. I loved that I still felt like we had the same connection we had while she was in my womb. I loved that there was nothing between us (okay, clothes, but you know what I mean). When I wore her, I would always find myself rubbing her back and stroking her head, kissing her nose or resting my cheeks against hers. I know that she felt every touch and knew she was loved. Wearing her also allowed me to give her what she needed; if she was hungry I made a few small adjustments and I could nurse her discretely. The closeness and the contact were good for her; they gave her confidence and security. She could see the world from a different perspective and experience new things from the safety and closeness that she knew so well. She would feel my presence and relax and settle when she was snuggled in the familiarity of her carrier. I didn’t ever feel like my baby held me back from helping my older son, nor that I couldn’t meet her needs while I was playing with him. Susannah was crawling at six months and walking before eleven and we still wore her all the time. Babywearing is not only for babies, it’s for toddlers too. I wore her while I was pregnant with my third (born in October). Even now, at 26 months old, she gets excited when she sees my carriers, ‘I go in da mei tai?’ or ‘Mommy, da’s my wrap?’
Babywearing was the easiest way to negotiate life with two children; to do housework with two kids, too. I could babywear while I vacuumed, washed the dishes, gardened, did crafts, played with my older child and made dinner. Now, as I am finding, it’s also the easiest way to negotiate life with three! These days, Sawyer (8 weeks old) is the one who is worn. My big kids get excited and want to wear him, too. We all know the benefits and intimacy of babywearing.
I am experiencing the same wonderful rewards, wearing Sawyer, that I experienced wearing Susannah. I have a wonderful connection with my baby and I am able to do the things I need and want to do, while keeping my baby close. And, I know it’s best for my baby. I can’t believe how wonderful the world of babywearing has been for me. It’s better than I dreamed it would be.
I’m so thankful that I have had the chance to keep my babies close: I wouldn’t want them anywhere else.