You might not be familiar with this term, but babywearing is pretty self-explanatory and refers to carrying your baby around after they are born, usually with some sort of sling, baby carrier or fancy way to tie the baby comfortably to you so you can still use your arms and hands, but have the baby on you. My babies are growing up and our recent sling moment made me remember fondly my babywearing days.

I started babywearing out of necessity. My first born was carried somewhat, but she was very happy to sit or lie and play by herself. Her little brother was not so much and didn’t get a lot of chance to develop a fondness as the danger of being sat on or hit by big sis was great. Josiah wanted to be held all the time and so he babywearing became our modus operandi. I have a Baby Bjorn and three slings that I made. Now, I don’t sew, and it shows, but they work great and were extremely cheap as far as sling go ($20 total for all three).

When I started carrying Josiah it was mostly just because it was so much easier. He was happy to be held close to me and I still was able to take care of Eila and he slept great when so snug and cozy. It became a habit rather quickly and worked really well for our family. Even when we went places, like the zoo, with the double stroller, I still brought the sling along because I knew that if it wasn’t going well (ie. there was lots of crying), I could carry Joe and at least he would be happy. At times, though, Eila would be the one who wanted to be worn and she would get a chance, but being significantly bigger (read heavier) than her baby bro, she only had a limited time in the sling. I can’t imagine how we would have maintained the pace of life that we did with two little ones if at least one of them wasn’t being worn. I personally, came to love holding Josiah close and grew very adept at all sorts of activities while wearing a growing kid. He became very good at getting in and out quickly and getting comfortable. He knew that he could cuddle up and go to sleep anytime if I had the sling and when he got tired, he would signal that he wanted in…

I stopped wearing Josiah when he was a little over a year old. It was a very gradual drop off once he started walking really well. He didn’t want to stay put when he could explore and wasn’t needing as much sleep. He was getting heavier too, so I didn’t want to carry him quite as much. Then, some friends and family started having new babies and I lent them my slings and carrier, so there wasn’t even the option for a few weeks at about 15 months of age. So, we were done with babywearing. I guess even if we did it now, it wouldn’t be babywearing so much as kidwearing or toddlerwearing.

So, that’s my babywearing story, I hope it will inspire and encourage you to wear your baby. For me, it really was the best! If you are really excited about babywearing, there is a conference you could attend.

1 Comment »

  1. Kristen said,

    April 15, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

    Absolute agreement with not knowing what to do with 2 kids and no sling. Beth still likes to be in a sling when we are at stores and I still have a pouch sling in the car at all times even at 4 months pregnant. Now that #3 is on the way I am looking for just the right carrier to purchase because I know I will definitely be needing to hold this one out of necessity (and because I like to).

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