Okay, so I was reading this post over at Hobo Mama’s and I started writing a comment….on my phone…….and it was too long to post there…..so rather than scrap the whole story, I figured I’d elaborate on it a bit over here and give you a rough idea of where I fit in - or don’t - when it comes to babywearing.
With my first-born, I decided that I absolutely loathed the infant car seat carrier for getting her from place to place….it was beyond awkward to carry, awful on my back and just felt…….kind of weird, like I was keeping her at a distance. So, a well meaning family member bought us a Fisher Price harness type carrier…..yeah, that was even *worse* on my back and there was no kind of support for Monkey.
Monkey is starting 6th grade tomorrow and this past weekend, DH discovered that carrier in the basement of our mountain house…..we brought it home, thinking he could give it a shot eventually - I have lower back problems, but he has upper back and neck issues so he might be okay with it….either way, BabyFrog is still too small for it, I think…..again, no support.
So, I’m new to this whole babywearing thing….like I said, didn’t really happen with my oldest. But again, I hate that damn car seat carrier! I didn’t even want to buy one this time so we got this car seat instead. We do have one with a carrier, but that’s the back-up cat seat in DH’s car…..the seat in my car stays put.
Now, we live in an apartment and it’s a pretty good walk and an elevator ride from my car to our front door. So I wanted an easy way to get BabyFrog from the car to our apartment without having to break out the coach or something…..so when I was pregnant, I started looking at carriers again and loooooved how much they’ve evolved in 11 years. But I was still not sure it’d be right for me so I went with something……uhhh….inexpensive to test it out. I’m still not sure on the terminology, but it’s maybe a pouch-sling? peanut shell? I dunno……this one:
I adore this sling, it’s just perfect, sits just right on me and BabyFrog seems to find it comfy. But now I’m dying to try other types - like this one or this one…..the Moby and other carriers like it make me a little nervous (because I can’t tie my shoes so they stay tied) so I might go for the mei tai first.
Now, this sling is just awesome for both of us. It keeps my BabyFrog exactly where I want her to be - and where she wants to be! - and to be perfectly honest, I think I may be developing an addiction. But knowing that I’d be heading back to work, I couldn’t keep her in it with me all the time. Fortunately, my husband is a WAHD so it wasn’t going to be a total upheaval for her when I started back last week but we spent a good bit of time during my maternity leave getting her used to being in the sling with my husband, as well as in the swing and bouncy seats we have for her.
I’m always wary of these devices because you always see so many people that just plop their kids in them and abandon them for hours on end but around here they are a necessary evil. I started out easy with both of them and would have them right next to me while I wrote out thank you cards and birth announcements or would have her in the doorway of the kitchen while I was getting dinner ready, talking to her as I went along…..someone - either DH, monkey or myself - was always with her.
So far, so good and now that she’s getting settled into a routine during the day, I *can* wear her all night if I want to - and after a day at my job, that’s pretty much all I want to do when I get home!
So Lauren’s post mentioned some attempts to drag babywearing into the mainstream by including it in certain advertising campaigns. I’m not really able to comment on this because…..well, I don’t see much in the way of print advertising - DH is the coupon guru around here…..and we don’t have a conventional TV set up. We don’t have cable because I won’t support the monopoly that is Comcast anymore and we can’t have a dish - apartment rules. Most of our TV is internet based and pretty much only shows ads for GoDaddy, eHarmony and Orbitz……we do have an antenna for local TV but if any city were decidedly NOT into natural parenting, it’s Philly….at least in the Northeast, where I live….maybe in Center City there are some granola eaters somewhere.
I would, however, like to mention something incredible that I’ve witnessed. Now, I know that BabyFrog is the cutest baby in the entire world, as was her big sister. And I’ve been with other people walking around with their babies all the time. But whenever we’re out with BabyFrog in the sling, people are fascinated! Complete strangers come over to us to make a big fuss over the beautiful baby in the sling. Young and old, both men and women, people have actually gone out of their way to come see the baby and not once has anyone had a disparaging remark about the sling - most of the older people remark that they wish they’d had something like that when they had young children. How content she seems, how easy it must make things for me and how wonderful for the baby to be able to be close to me like that without having to be juggled around. How right they are!
Now and then, behind the “Oh, what a gorgeous baby and what a clever way for you to carry her around!” I get the feeling that there’s a “I’d never use anything like that, but, hey - more power to ya!” that doesn’t get verbalized. But ya know what….that’s okay because I know those people are going to go home and say to a family member or friend “Today I saw a chick in a Queen t-shirt and she had the sweetest baby in the world today and - get this - she was carrying that baby around right next to her heart in a sling that criss-crossed that clever lady’s back…..don’t that just beat all?!?” and that friend or family member will think “Hmmm….a sling…..what a great idea!” and then that person will go buy one and have strangers walking up to them to talk about their baby in the sling and the message will spread.
After all, it’s not really like it’s something new….wearing your baby is just the way its done in a lot of places and has been for centuries…….maybe as our world gets smaller, it will catch on and just be the way it is - sure, it wouldn’t be such an awesomely exclusive group of people wearing their babies, but there’d be generations of happy well adjusted babies out there
……or maybe babywearing doll accessories will cause a big stir, too - lol!!