It’s International Babywearing Week, so I figured I’d write a little blurb about this fad that’s sweeping the nation.
First off, I have a natural aversion to following fads. Even if they seem perfectly logical and strike my fancy, I have this internal stubborn Statler and Waldorf that opposes falling into line. Gluten free diets? BAH! Detox baths? Humbug! And my internal critic really goes apeshit when the fads are truly nothing more than hype and hogwash. (Eating your own placenta, home and water births, back sleeping babies, etc.) But don’t get me started.
Occasionally, after doing research whilst fighting the tide, I eventually give in and then kick myself for not doing said fad from the very start. Like using coconut oil as a regular home and health remedy, and making natural products for my baby.
Babywearing, however, is a fad that I was lucky enough to convert to from Day 1. And yes, yes, I know that it’s been around for ages and isn’t new and blah blah blah. When I call it a fad, I’m not passing judgment on its history or past use, I’m just commenting on the resurgence in our present society today. Because until recently, wearing your baby was NOT the norm in apple pie America. But even before delving into the world of crunchy mommy-hood, I have always intended to babywear.
Maybe it’s because some of my very earliest memories involve me being worn by my dad. Back in the 80’s, when babywearing was relatively obscure, my dad would wear us kids on hiking trips and on nature trails. Those are memories (and photos) that I still treasure 25 years later. And it’s beyond touching to see my dad wearing my daughter like he once wore me.
But aside from the inherited tradition,babywearing just makes sense to me. Hell, if I could hang out in a sling and let a giant woman bounce around with me on her chest, I’d do that in a freaking heartbeat. (Kinky.) I mean, that’s got to be so warm and cozy and relaxing. And I noticed that I’ve never really seen any babies fussing or being colicky in a baby wrap. They don’t have time to be fussy, they’re too busy indulging in a drunken sleeping stupor.
The added benefit of having your hands free, while baby hangs out and gets to feel safe and warm and secure sold me on babywearing. I am personally partial to the ring slings because they are just SO EASY to put on and off. The only ring sling I own at the moment is a Maya Wrap and I love love love it! It feels like I have Tessa curled up in a little cloth womb on my chest.
I’ve also discovered that the wrap makes a perfect nursing cover. I can whip out the ol’ funbags and let Tessa suckle (I call it her mommy pacifier since I can’t produce milk) and no one is the wiser while shopping, walking along the beach, or hanging out at the dog park or wherever.
And! The ring sling is adjustable for others to use as well. My dad used to babywear me on hikes when I was a baby, and he was super excited to wear Tessa on a little day hike along the Trench Trail at Fort Barrancas when he came to visit earlier this month. While my husband prefers a harness style carrier (we don’t own one yet), he’ll still don the ring sling and carry baby Tessa when I give her up. Which I don’t do often because I love holding her sooo much. But DAMN are babywearing daddy’s hot. Observe:
So yeah. My advice to new mommies is: babywear all the way. To date, we have gotten more use out of our wrap than we have our stroller. No joke.
Why our society isn’t embracing this method of child transportation as the norm, I have no clue. It just makes sense. Tessa loves her sling as much as we do. So yay babywearing! And happy International Babywearing Week!