Baby wearing is an ancient practice recently given new life in the west, as we emerge from the 1950’s style of parenting. This candid blog post is about the emergence of baby wearing, my experience with the practice and my favorite product.
Well, let’s consider…Do you think the practice of wearing your baby, as indulging or nurturing?
The Emergence of Baby Wearing
Baby wearing shot to the forefront of public consciousness in the “noughties” as celebrities from my generation became mothers and experimented with different ways to bring up their children. Traditionalists rose up-in-arms to reject the concept of baby wearing.
They argued this method of caring for a baby will spoil the baby and condition them to expect nothing but being carried around.”
“You will regret it” they said.
The women who were baby wearing didn’t care though. They were turning their parenting around.
They wanted their children to grow up feeling safe,
They wanted their children to grow up loved,
They argued women all over the world from different cultures carry their babies some or all of the time. We can also observe many of these societies don’t have the same Western problem of children feeling unloved.
1950’s Parenting Styles Must Go
My parents both came from a generation which felt unloved. They were left to cry, kept in cots, and fed on strict schedules whether they liked it or not.
Children were simply supposed to be seen and not heard.
All with the best intentions (character building, prevent spoiling etc), but they were left un-nurtured and felt unloved as a result.
In my family, my mother took the first steps to reject these methods. She cuddled me, nursed me on demand, carried me (some of the time) and had an almost 100% natural birth. When my turn came to be a mother I went a step further. Hello to natural birth, baby wearing, tandem nursing and co-sleeping.
Plus, there is just some times in life when your baby just wants to be held, nothing else. And it’s something that as a new parent, you just have to to do. Babies are babies for a reason and to love, nurture and hold them is simply, just something they will need from time to time (if not most times!). Just like Meghan from GroundedatHome blog explains, in her blog post here, especially when traveling, babies just want to be held and a baby carrier/baby sling will be one thing you will definitely want to consider when traveling. Don’t forget to check out her many wonderful articles on her blog on being a mom which align completely with our own beliefs, that is, trying to balance the art of being a great mom but also looking after yourself.
The Bottom Line of Baby Wearing
In the end, the baby wearing bottom line comes down to the question.
Do you agree with leaving your baby to cry? Or do you believe your baby cries because of her needs, and you want to attend to those needs?
Babies need more than just feeding, washing and diaper changes. They have emotional needs too. I have used baby wearing in various degrees with all of my children, and I haven’t regretted doing so for a minute.
In the end,
When you have a newborn you need to get up, do your housework, maybe you are working and have to attend to business calls or e-mails. Sometimes those demands clash with what your baby needs in the moment.
Leave them to cry? Or bring them with you? The choice is yours…
For another mom’s perspective on baby wearing, I can’t recommend enough, Agatha and her blog post, Baby Wearing and the body. It’s another interesting insight on baby wearing and the role of parenting aswell.
My Baby Wearing Journey
My first born hated to sit alone. I tried keeping him with me in the kitchen in a chair when I cooked, but he would never settle.
and complained and…
I always ended up stopping what I was doing to attend to him.
I tried to wait until he settled again, but as soon as I returned to work he would cry.
My poor husband gave up on hoping for cooked meals after the first two months. When I started baby wearing, in my sons 4th month the change was almost instant. I would wear him on my tummy and he could hear my heart, listen to me talking, and look at my face. I could look at him, coo, sing and guess what I could get all my work done too. While cooking is a little awkward with a baby on your tummy (he wasn’t keen on being on my back), and you need to take care of hot splashes etc. Baby wearing made doing the job possible, whereas, before it had been impossible.
And plus, if you get the right baby carrier you can have the back and front facing abilities. Sarah from IamWonderMum, shares her favorite baby carrier being the Ergo360 which has the ability to be front and back facing when approximately at 12 weeks your babies will be curious to see out. For more information, check out her blog post, baby shopping list!
When my second and third babies came along I started baby wearing from the very start. What is worth it?
The difference was tangible.
I have bonded better with both of them, and they are actually now both better than my first-born at playing independently.
Because they have trust in me and feel confident I will be there when they need me. Keeping them close gave them the foundation to later step into the world and explore, play, discover without fear. When they were a newborn learning about the world, they learned the world is safe, not dangerous. They learned they are loved. For those early months (and a little bit years), I was there holding them when they needed me, and they learned something positive.
My Favorite Baby Wearing Sling
There are many baby wraps and slings on the market these days. How can you possibly choose between them? I tried a lot of different slings over the course of my three babies, and by far, my favorite is the classic MOBY wrap. Or even if you want a baby carrier, the Ergo360 like I mentioned above. With a wrap, the simple material design requires a little bit of learning, but once you get the hang of tying the sling it is super duper easy.
If you are an expecting Mom, or a Mom struggling with mounting chores, or even a Mom who simply wants to keep baby close and bonding well, then baby wearing offers an effective solution. Give it a try. After I did, I never looked back!
For more insight on being a mommie, please check out one of my favorite mommy blogs, phemommienal.com, for everything to do with raising children and being an awesome mom!
Did you ever try baby wearing? Do you think young babies should be left to cry? Or do you agree newborns should be attended to? Let us know in the comments below?!