Real Mom Talk: Babywearing
October 8, 2013 6:56 am
I’ve been a baby-wearer since I first became a mom. That was seven years ago, when my oldest was born. I started out with a sling and then tried a Mei-Tei style carrier. Then I acquired a ring sling. And an Ergo. So it’s safe to say that I have several different baby wearing options and I love each one for different reasons.
Baby wearing was key for my sanity when my kids were infants. Three out of four of them had reflux and staying upright helped keep them comfortable and lessened the amount of crying (both theirs and mine). And with a carrier, I could keep them close and upright while still getting things done.
My linen Sakura Bloom ring sling is my favorite for tiny newborn babies or for any occasion where I might need to class up my baby wearing a little bit. It’s simple but beautiful and I can wear it with a dress to a baby shower (as I did when my third was a few weeks old) or I can wear a toddler on my hip to the grocery store.
For longer distances, I prefer my Ergo. I have spent almost half of my summers on this planet at summer camp. I went as a camper, a counselor, and eventually became an Assistant Director. Working at a summer camp is awesome but requires a lot of walking around. And the woodsy lakeside setting in the mountains is beautiful but not exactly the place for a stroller. Baby wearing was essential to being able to work and my Ergo have never been more important until this summer.
My youngest was just barely 7 months old when we arrived at camp at the start of the summer and he spent most of the next three months in the Ergo. It allowed me to move around camp freely, without worrying about how he would come with me. In the office, when he needed to nap, I’d put him in the Ergo and we’d walk around while he nursed himself to sleep. I could still talk on the phone, email, meet with counselors, and otherwise continue to do my job. And because it was so easy to use, some of the other (younger, childless) staff members even found themselves asking to take him for a walk in the carrier! One of them told me that she felt like it was putting on body armor, like a knight. Mama warriors, unite! I can’t imagine the summer, or being able to work, without it.
|Happy baby in the Ergo after a hike!|
If you’re worrying that all that time spent being carried spoiled him or slowed his gross motor development, please know that he started walking a couple of weeks after we got home. When he was barely more than 10 months old. Soooo… he’s good there. He also transitioned back to napping on his own in a crib after a couple of days of adjustment. And baby wearing continues to be part of our life, as it was before the summer.
How has baby wearing helped you?
My son, our second, lived in his Rockin Baby Sling until he was just too big any more. I wouldn’t have survived the first two years of his life without it! 😉