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Why I LOVE Babywearing
March 21, 2012 2:18 pm | by

I bought my first pouch sling at a farmer’s market in Salt Lake City when Addie was about six months old. I was wandering around wearing her in some awful strap and clip contraption when I saw a mannequin wearing the sling. I asked if I could try it and as soon as Addie’s round little rump took a seat in the sling, I handed over my money and never looked back. Since I discovered babywearing so late with Addie, I couldn’t wait for the day that I could wear a tiny little newborn.

I never tried any other sling with Addie, however by the time Vivi came along I happily owned seven different wraps, slings and baby carriers. My most extravagant is a silk Sakura Bloom sling while my most simple is the same pouch sling I used with Addie seven years ago.

There’s something about having your baby so close to you. You can kiss their little baby heads, pat their little baby bums and know that they are in the safest, most comfortable place in the world outside of a womb. During the first few weeks as I struggled to produce any sort of milk supply, I wore Vivi next to my bare skin constantly in a Sleepy Wrap. I had heard about hard core naked baby wearers, I never thought I would be one.

Shopping carts and strollers are fine, but where I really want my baby is on me. I tricked Cody into wearing Vivi around the house once and now we sometimes battle over who gets to wear the baby. (His first choice carrier is an Ergo.) I am baby wearing in my horribly grainy Costco membership card, I’ve worn my baby during a live TV interview, through four different airports, in 12 different states and to a wedding. When strangers stop me and say “They didn’t have those when I had kids!” or “I’ve never seen such a thing!” I smile and say how much I love wearing my baby while thinking “People have been wearing babies for as long as we’ve been having them. Surely baby wearing existed, you probably just didn’t know about it, that or it was surrounded in a stereotype of hippies and tree huggers.”

When breastfeeding didn’t work out I took to babywearing even more passionately. It seemed to lessen the hurt knowing she was as close to me as she could be, even though I couldn’t nutritionally nourish her with my own body. When I hear of moms (or dads) that are unable to babywear because of injury, disability or other ailment I feel the same sort of mourning loss for them as I felt with my inability to breastfeed. It sounds cheesy, but I’m incredibly grateful that I am able to babywear and that my husband loves it as much as I do.

I don’t know about you, but all this babywearing talk makes my torso feel awful empty and I’ve got 10 more hours before that little baby of mine wakes up.

What’s your babywearing story?

About the Author

Casey Mullins is a writer, photographer and chocolate cake lover living in Indianapolis, IN. Sheโ€™s an attorneyโ€™s wife, mom to a very opinionated seven year old (Addie) as well as a very happy cloth diaper wearing baby girl born in May 2011 (Vivi.) She taps out tales at her own blog, moosh in indy, and more on her baby and big kid over at Babble.

Comments

12 Comments

  • Sarah Schulz said...
    March 26, 2012 at 12:08 am

    I love babywearing. My son had colic for about 6 months. I finally got a moby wrap when he was about 3 months old and it changed my life. He was still a generally fussy baby for the next few months, but he improved significantly! I felt I could finally leave the house, as I couldn’t before since he hated the car and the stroller. I’m 25 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and plan to wear this next baby from the beginning. Oh and I’m still wearing my son, even pregnant! It saved the day today with a cranky toddler.

  • Cotton Bottom Mama said...
    March 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Whenever people say “they didn’t have those when my kids were little!”, I always say “They did in Africa!”

  • Ita said...
    March 22, 2012 at 11:48 am

    How did you get that baby securely in a sling on your back? I would love to do that with my 8 month old son! Please post directions!!

    I bought a very old style Snugli at a garage sale for $1 when I was pregnant with my 4th. With 2 older siblings who still needed to ride in the shopping cart, there was never room for the baby, so he rode on me.
    When my next baby was born, we got a Baby Bjorn carrier as a gift. The friend who gave it to me commented (now that I am wearing my 7th in it) that she has never seen a gift get so much use! My 2 daughters had hip dysplasia and could not ride in the stroller — Baby Bjorn was their regular transportation!
    I now have 2 Baby Bjorns and also a sling carrier that I made for myself, which I love too.

  • Erin said...
    March 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

    We have a Moby and a Boba for our 7-montn-old. The Boba is my favorite, super comfy for both my husband and me and VERY convenient for air travel. I can’t wait until she is big enough to wear on my back, it looks like such fun! I used the Moby some when she was a newborn, but since she’s gotten got bigger, I’ve had trouble getting the hang of wrapping it.

  • Taylor said...
    March 22, 2012 at 3:37 am

    I love babywearing, and it’s been a huge lifesaver for our family. I was given a pouch sling at the baby shower for my first son, and wasn’t sure I’d use it. After my son arrived, he hated all of the baby gear – carseat, stroller, bouncer, swing, crib, bassinet, you name it, he screamed bloody murder in it. And then one day I remembered I had a sling, so I gave it a shot, and he LOVED it. I used that little Hotsling until he was over a year old, and then found a mei tai on Craigslist because I wanted to carry him on my back so I could do more hands free. It was awesome! I even wore him while I was pregnant with his brother. As soon as #2 was born, I used a ring sling to cart him around. It worked wonders in the middle of winter, and kept him away from germy (although well meaning) hands out in public.

    Now I have a Boba carrier, and it’s amazing. Durable, heavily padded, and super adjustable so that both me and my husband can wear it. We take it hiking too.

    I want to get a wrap for baby #3. Babywearing is addicting! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nicole said...
    March 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I wore my daughter in a Maya Wrap. She LOVED it and so did I. It was really easy to use and she just basically “fell” right into place in it. I used to love it when my daughter was a newborn and people would say “I didn’t even know there was a baby in there!” That just meant I was doing it right..:P
    I’m pregnant now (Due in 5 days!!!! :D) and plan to wear this baby as well from the second she’s born. Oh and I’m plus sized as well. I’m 5’8″ and I wear a size 16/18 (before pregnancy) and the Maya Wrap never gave me any issues. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Deanna said...
    March 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I’m wearing my second son in my driver’s license photo ๐Ÿ™‚ I have 3 wraps (1 in a loose weave that I LOVE for summer), 2 Ergos (my 2-year old wasn’t quite ready to be put down when his sister arrived, so that way daddy and I can both wear one), and 3 wraps. I get comments all the time, either “I wish they’d had those” or “I ALWAYS wore my baby in a sling!” Oh, and I’m plus size too, and I’ve found you just have to experiment. I prefer one of my slings for babies past 10 lbs. or so. After 15 I switch to an Ergo or wrap.

  • Sara said...
    March 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    You know, I really like my Baby Bjorn, even if it is a strap and clip contraption. The baby and I are happier in it than the baby K’Tan. The wraps aren’t comfortable for everyone and I always feel like she might slip out or it will stretch and get too loose.

  • AbbyE715 said...
    March 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    When my son was first born all I had was this contraption with buckles. I’m a plus sized woman and that thing was like a torture device. It slid up my back, it was painful, and it cut into my skin. I’m fully convinced that thing shouldn’t even exist. I wore it maybe 3 times before I just resolved to carry my enormous baby everywhere. (he was 11lbs at birth) I didn’t want to use a stroller, I couldn’t wear him, and his car seat didn’t fit in the front of shopping carts like most do. So I carried him for almost 3 months everywhere we went.
    Then, for Christmas(he was 15lbs by then), my sister bought me a Moby wrap. That thing saved my sanity. It’s so simple. I put the wrap on before we leave the house and all I have to do is get him out of the car and put him in the moby. I wear him in the house when he doesn’t want to nap. I wear him when I take my niece to the park.
    Once when I was at the store, the cashier looked at me, looked at my baby and said “Um…is he okay in there?” I said “He’s perfect. There’s no place in the world he’d rather be!”

  • Anonymous said...
    March 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Elissa,

    You can rent different carriers to try through Pax Baby (an online store) if there’s not a store near you that has them. Pax Baby also has a 90-day return policy for lots of carriers.
    http://paxbaby.com/sling_exchange/

    Also, I know Abby’s Lane has a 30-day trial on all the Ergos, and maybe some other carriers too. You might like the Ergo if the Infantino is working okay. Ergo does have extensions for the waist belt for plus size moms and dads.

    Hope that helps!
    Melanie

  • Mlelissa McCoy said...
    March 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Elissa,
    I too am plus sized and wanted to pass on the ones I LOVE. My BOBA has to be the best thing I ever purchased for myself and my daughter Liv (8months)
    I wear her everywhere. I love having her close. The matierial is soft and cotton. Seems to breathe very well. The waist belt is very accomidating for people of any size. The shoulder straps are very comfy too. Much more comfortable than the Ergo that I had. I picked mine up from a friend but you can find them on Craigslist too. The other to try is a Seven sling. You measure yourself and they fit it to you. I hope you can enjoy wearing your baby everywhere ๐Ÿ™‚
    Melissa

  • Elissa said...
    March 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    My babywearing story is not so much a happy one. I tried to love babywearing, especially since nursing wasn’t working. But its VERY hard for a plus size mommy (a size 22 BEFORE I was pregnant) to find a good fitting way to wear a baby. Especially since most of the readily available devices to try on at a store are the “awful strap and clip contraptions”. Its very tough to take a leap of faith on buying some other style of baby wearing device off the internet -especially because they are SO expensive, and honestly, can be pretty complicated even with online video tutorials.

    I tried a moby wrap and that made my back hurt so bad after wearing my 8 lb infant for 20 minutes that I gave up. Plus it was HOT (I live in Arizona). Now, I have an Infantino Support that seems to work well – I just haven’t had a lot of occasion to wear it. But its still really really hot in Arizona to be wearing a baby.