Before I had Paulo, I knew I wanted to try babywearing. Very practical! Very cozy! I didn’t know if it would work for us, but I wanted to try. I am now certifiably gonzo for babywearing.
I love the hell out of wearing my baby. He loves it too. I use the Ergo a thousand million times more than I use the stroller – 90% because it’s more convenient (easier to get in and out of stores/restaurants for sure!) and 10% because… well… I just love having him hanging out on me. He’s not going to be little forever and wearing him helps me savor every moment that he’s my baby and wants to be snuggled on mama.
Because, oh he loves being snuggled. He’s so much happier in the Ergo when we’re out and about than in the infant carrier. He can see what’s going on and be right next to me all at the same time. It’s so easy for me to just look down and kiss his downy wee head and oh, so often I get this big huge grin of just pure love beaming up at me. Not an experience that I get grocery shopping with a car seat. Sometimes, we need to use the stroller for convenience – but when we can, it’s the Ergo all the way.
I’ve noticed something about babywearing… which is how much *I* get noticed.
Babywearing is fairly common among mommy bloggers and hippies – whenever I go into Whole Foods, there are at least five other mamas/papas wearing their littles – but as soon as I abandon the organic produce in favor of Stop & Shop? Suddenly, I’m the only one. I’ve gone from doing this pretty normal thing to being a babywearing exhibit. I get no end of comments, and other than the one time where I was very literally being pointed and stared at, I don’t really mind.
It’s always good natured comments about my “little helper” or “he’s got the best seat in the house!” or the ever popular “Huh, isn’t that a clever contraption!” I also get a lot of questions from other moms about the Ergo – is it comfortable? (Yes, I can wear him all day in it no problem.) Isn’t he heavy? (Not really. Not only is he not a heavy baby, but the weight is distributed very well by the shoulder straps. Carrying the car seat infant carrier was MUCH heavier. Like, several tons heavier.) and then some story about how their sister’s cousin had one of those things once and where did I get it?
Anyhow, this gets me to wondering why babywearing is such an oddity. It’s so, so, SO much easier than dragging the infant seat in and out of the car (though I’ll admit in the newborn “don’t wake the baby” phase, I would not have taken him out of that seat if he was sleeping for love or money). It takes me about ten seconds to get him into the Ergo and now that he’s outgrown the insert, I can get him strapped in very easily by myself. It took a bit of practice to get used to buckling the back strap, but if you can attach a bra, you can do it. (It’s actually easier than attaching a bra as it just buckles rather than those stupid hook things that catch on everything but the other hook.) The baby is so much happier being in the Ergo and all I have to do to soothe him is to sway a bit. I can even breastfeed with it on.
Why aren’t more people doing this? What’s the barrier to babywearing that I’m not seeing? Are people just not used to it? Is it a misconception that slings and such are expensive? While my Ergo was a bit pricey, you can get Moby Wraps, slings, or Baby Björn style carriers at Target (aka Where All Things Come From) for less than $50. Target! All moms go to Target! Why aren’t more Target mamas wearing their babies?
Perhaps the baby wearing devices should be shelved in the accessories section instead. Seriously, baby makes every outfit look good. Maybe that’s the angle to pursue: new mamas! You’ve gained a new member of your family and also the ultimate way to dress up a simple pair of jeans – just wear that baby!