Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Babies are for Wearing

Believe it or not, this post is being brought to you by sesame Street. The letter B. And the shape of the day- circle. Sorry. No, seriously, I really was inspired by sesame Street to write on this subject. I've been pondering sharing my thoughts on this for awhile now, and then when today on sesame Street they had a segment about life in Africa and every mom you saw had a baby tied on their back I decided it was time.

A little background if you will.....When I was pregnant with my first child I though I wanted a BABYBJÖRN carrier. My only close friend who had a baby had one, and she just loved it. Then, about a month before I was due I saw a young mom in the grocery store with her baby in a beautiful sling. It was this vibrant purple color, the mom looked comfortable and confident, and the baby was happy. So I went home and searched for what I presumed she was wearing- a baby sling. I ended up here and bought myself a beautiful blue batik sling. The only problem was I didn't know how to use it. I didn't know anyone who had a sling, or had used a sling, even very few who knew what a sling was. So I played with it for a little while, making the cradle position work when she was a newborn and then not using it again until she was big enough to ride on my hip. Instead she spent most of her baby days in her car seat when out and in her swing when at home. It worked fine, but I didn't like how disconnected it left me feeling from my baby. When we were out and about it left her on the floor or in the cart, not next to me where I could keep her happy and safe.

So while pregnant this time I did a lot of reading about baby wearing, watched moms that I now knew who used slings and other baby carriers and began life with this new little girl much better prepared. I acquiredd new baby carriers: a Mei Tei, a rebozo, and my personal favorite- a pouch.

Now, before I continue, I will admit to shamelessly borrowing most of the rest of my links and organization of thoughts, as well as the title for this post from this article. It is very good and well worth the read.

Anyway, baby wearing, to me, makes perfect sense and to be honest, I can't imagine getting through the day without at least one of my baby carriers. In fact, I have my little girl in my pouch right now, tummy to tummy, happily sleeping away. They are especially helpful with a toddler about. Obviously my day has to consist of more than sitting on the couch and nursing my newborn. I have another daughter to take care of, a house to clean, food to cook, etc. While wearing my baby I can do all of these things while keeping her happy and fed. Yes, you can even nurse in these things.

Baby wearing is decently trendy right now with many options even in main stream stores- but it isn't anything new. This is a tradition that goes back thousands of years and spans all cultures. For some pictures from around the globe click
here, here, here, here, and here. And go
here to see mama's getting things done using baby carriers.

Basically to me it seems most wise to look at how things have been done for ages and have worked well and do that. We don't all have to be figuring everything out for ourselves. In fact we shouldn't try, but rather support one other and pass on what works. Baby wearing works. There is definitely a learning curve involved, not only in learning to put on the carriers but getting used to doing things with them on. It is well worth the effort to learn though.

I think life with babies is about balance- family life can't stop for a new member at the cost of the old members, but neither can the baby simply be set aside to wait until they are old enough to play. Rather, I think that children of all ages are to be apart of all family life. Families I think should be together in activities- playtime, eating, chores, etc. Baby wearing helps accomplish this and I would highly encourage all moms to check it out.


At April 12, 2006 2:46 PM, Anonymous Shannon said...

i am definately all for baby-wearing!

At April 23, 2006 8:28 PM, Blogger Heather said...

For an additional encouragement, a baby in a sling is actively developing muscles for crawling and sitting, unlike a baby laying in a carrier.
3 babies worn and happy!

At April 25, 2006 2:26 PM, Blogger Tiffany said...

Yeah, I kinda figured I'd get a hearty "Amen" from my readers with this one. :) Especially since you Heather, and Amy are the two main people that I've learned from that left me better prepared for new baby wearing!


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