Today I decided to get Elliot in the snow suit and place him in the Buggy to go to play group – That was a mistake. You see normally when we go out I put Elliot in the sling, as baby wearing has been our preferred method of getting out and about for a while, but for some reason, I thought I’d just give the (way too expensive ‘had-to-have’!) Buggy a chance. It started out okay, we had to nip to the local shop and pick up a parcel before group and he was happily staring at the world from his little kingdom of snug (read Buggy).
15 minutes! That’s how long it took to walk to the shop, and that’s how long it took for the little guy to decide that he was utterly unhappy! First I tried distracting with a toy (read my keys) that worked for rougly 30 seconds, then I started singing his favourite nursery rhymes (as you do) whilst upping the pace to hopefully make it to group before complete meltdown…we didn’t!
Thankfully I had had the foresight of taking one of the woven wraps with us before we left, que the sloppy emergency wrap-job! Right in the middle of the street – fields to one side, befuddled dog walkers to the other. It wasn’t pretty, but it did the job!
And low and behold less than 5 minutes later I had a sleeping baby on me, happy as can be. It got me thinking of how much baby wearing has been a life saver for me! So on the final stretch to group, Elliot had a little snooze whilst I thought of some of the many reasons why I love baby wearing!
- Convenience – Before I really embraced baby wearing I would get Elliot in the pram when we went out. The Pram is handy for storage underneath, but quite inconvenient in terms of size. With my baby on me I never have to worry if there will be room for us on the bus, I can happily go shop browsing without having to fit in the pram and when we go for holidays it takes up a lot less space to bring a wrap than a Buggy! To add to it it’s a lot less stressful for me, seeing as Before I always felt like I was walking with a ticking bomb, how long would it take before the little guy was no longer happy (read asleep) in the Pram.
- Comfort – When he is teething, poorly, tired or just overwhelmed with the world the wrap offers him comfort. I can’t count how many times he has seemed utterly inconsolable, but once wrapped he has been asleep in no time. There is magic sleepy dust in those wraps I tell you!
- Freedom – Elliot is mostly a happy baby, but he has never been much for sleeping on his own, he needs a lot of closeness and with baby wearing I can give him just that, whilst still being able to get on with various chores. So even though I spend 24/7 with my baby I still feel I have freedom to do a lot.
- I can feed on the go! I don’t do this often, but there has been times where it has been an absolute God send to be able to Feed on the go, it takes a little trial and error, but breastfeeding while baby is wrapped is quite doable. It once saved us from what would have been a sure meltdown, as Elliot was getting very hungry whilst we where stuck in the security que at the airport, I felt like Super mom and nobody even noticed it was going on, as it can be done quite discreetly, double win.
- The community – For me baby wearing has meant that I’ve connected with a community of likeminded mums! It has meant the world to me, as prior to meeting them I was feeling quite lonely as a first time mum far away from family and close friends (sadly they didn’t join the move to UK)
- The sky is the limit! Admittedly this relates to the previous points of freedom and convenience. But using a baby carrier has meant that we as a family can enjoy the beautiful nature of the Lake District in a way that would be inaccessible if we had Elliot in a Pram/Buggy.
- Daddy Cuddles! Now I know J found it hard in the beginning, to find ways of bonding with the little guy. Baby wearing offers plenty of bonding time whilst J can still get on with other bits, as lets face it when they are completely newborn it can be difficult to find bonding activities beside nappy changes and bath time, especially when mum is breastfeeding. J has embraced baby wearing! So much so that I got him his own Baby carrier, with awesome spaceships on. This way whenever J is off, he and Elliot can have adventures together.
- So much choice! Now wether you like buckle carriers, Mei Tais, Ring slings, woven wraps or stretchy wraps there is so much choice in design, colours and cool patterns! If it wasn’t for the fact that my banker would probably have a word or two, I’d have a wrap to go with each of my outfits! Warning baby wearing can become quite the (expensive) hobby!
- Closeness – who doesn’t like cuddles! I love the extra cuddles I get from Elliot through carrying him in the sling. Before I know it he’ll have grown out of wanting cuddles, so I’m savouring every one of them!
- It gets me fit! Or it would if I didn’t love cake so much! Did you know Baby wearing is good for the core strength! I get walks and weightlifting in one, now if that isn’t an added bonus I don’t know what is.
So there you go: 10 reasons why I love baby wearing! and just to clarify, this is not me postulating that baby wearing is better than using Prams and Buggies, believe me I’d love it if Elliot liked the Buggy more sometimes! I started my baby wearing journey out of necessity. Unlike Karen, from twotinyhands.co.uk, who had been so organised and researched the options for farrying ones offspring around, prior to her little Robots arrival, you can read her Baby wearing journey here. Anyway if I’ve inspired anyone to give it a try there are lots of ‘Sling libraries’ around UK where you can get help and support with learning how to wrap or try out different types of carriers before you buy.
Have you also used baby carriers/slings/wraps? What was your favourite thing about it?