Babywearing – Not just for moms
October 12, 2012 3:30 pm
Before I share my story, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am not a parent. I do not have any children of my own, but I really enjoy being around kids and like to babysit.
So it’s Saturday night and all my friends are out enjoying themselves while I’m … BABYSITTING. It’s okay. I made this choice. I wanted to babysit for my friend and co-worker, Melissa. I even volunteered myself for the job.
I get to Melissa’s house around 6pm, just like she instructed. I walk in, say hello, then run off with my two dates for the evening: her three-year-old and six-month-old daughters. Melissa calls me out of the girls’ room so we can go over the rundown for the night.
Food – check
Bottles – check
Toys – check
Cloth diapers – check
Ergo Baby Carrier — UM… the WHAT!?
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Melissa. THE Ergo Baby Carrier? I’ve never even touched this strappy contraption you speak of… and.. and.. you expect me to wear it… with a real baby inside!? *sigh* I guess.
Melissa and I walk into the living room and she gives me a thorough lesson on how to wear a baby. We go over each strap then she says, “Okay, now try it out.”
Great. I really have to do this. My nerves kick in as I begin to slide into the Ergo. I put it on; the only thing I need to complete my outfit is the baby.
Melissa and I place her little girl inside the Ergo and then fasten the last strap between my shoulders. There we have it. I’m wearing the baby. This is actually happening and so many thoughts are rushing through my head — the main being that this little girl is going to begin crying because I’m not her mom and she’s going to freak when she looks up and sees that she’s up close and personal with some crazy lady.
Once I wrapped up the Ergo tutorial, Melissa and I took the baby out of the carrier and instead put her in the mamaRoo so we could finish mapping out the care plan for the night.
During this time, Melissa recommends I use the Ergo because her little one does suffer from separation anxiety. Her husband shook his head up and down and agreed with her comment very persistently.
Melissa and her husband leave the house and sure enough the baby begins crying.
I think to myself “AHHH. I knew this was going to happen. I just knew it!”
Psssssh. Like any great babysitter, I can handle this. I’m a pro. First, I try the pacifier. It doesn’t work. I shake a cute, noisy toy around, which doesn’t work either. I make silly faces. That definitely doesn’t work. But alas, I spot the Ergo out of the corner of my eye, gleamingly sitting on the couch. It was like I just spotted a pot of gold or something, so I decide to give it a try. I mean, I just attended Ergo 101, so I’m good. I hurry over and grab that precious Ergo off the couch and instantly begin putting it on — all while the three-year-old is looking at me like I’m crazy.
I’m all strapped up and she’s in. We then proceed to walk around the house a few times with her older sister until the tears stop flowing, which happened within minutes. Literally.
A few hours pass and I’m still wearing the baby. She hadn’t made a peep since I began wearing her. In fact, she actually fell asleep. For the rest of the night, I made sure to make no sudden moves or loud noises because everyone knows that you never wake a sleeping baby. I basically acted like I was walking on eggshells all night, which wasn’t even necessary because the Ergo allows you to tackle life while creating comfortable environment for the baby you’re wearing. It was my first time, though, so give me a break since I was nervous and didn’t know any better.
Anyway, a few hours pass by and Melissa and her husband come home and find both their children sound asleep. One is asleep in her bed; the other is asleep on my chest in the Ergo. I feel awesome. It’s like I’m sitting on top of the world. I mean, come on, if I could soothe and comfort a crying six-month-old who suffers from separation anxiety, I can conquer anything. Well, maybe not, but that’s how I felt. I’m sure I’d feel a similar sense of accomplishment after changing the world’s messiest cloth diaper, too. I’ll let you know when that happens.
For many parents who have a caregiver, especially one that doesn’t have children like me, taking those few extra minutes to teach your tricks can really help. In this case, learning how to wear a baby was my saving grace and I am so thankful that Melissa took the time to show me how to properly use the Ergo. I will admit that it was a bit weird at first for me to wear the baby since I am not her mom. I feel like this is a very intimate way for moms and babies to bond. Once I got over that initial awkward feeling, things were okay and all the nerves went away.
So, what’s the moral of this story?
– The Ergo is easy to operate, even if you’re a newb
– Baby wearing isn’t just for moms. Babies are comforted by being close, no matter who the strange lady in the Ergo is
– Separation anxiety kind of stinks.. when you’re a babysitter
Aside from cloth diapers, what other products have you introduced to your caregiver? Is this something you would consider? Any tips you might add?
Oh, and PS: If you live near a Cotton Babies retail store, we do offer a Babywearing 101 class… you know, in case you want to mention it to your babysitter *wink*