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Monday, July 13, 2015

Wear All The Babies!

Now, before you go thinking babywearing is a "new" or "modern mom" thing, I'd like to show you this 1986 classic...

That's my mother and an adorable me in the stroller...oh and 2 of my brothers.

So babywearing isn't exactly a NEW and HIP trend. Having twins as our first go around at parenting, I bought an Ergo baby carrier from babysteals a bit before the twins were born and thought I had the babywearing thing down. I saw people wrapping and just kind of went about my merry way in the Ergo.

It was kind of a no brainer to continue babywearing when Ben was born. Chasing after 19 month old twins with a newborn in tow was quite a challenge.
I borrowed a friends Moby and fell in love with wrapping my babies. He was so comfortable and squishy all wrapped up! I wore Ben pretty much everywhere his first 2 years...Disney, hikes around California...

There was that one time I let my childless friend attempt to babywear, in Las Vegas, copying off of a certain movie I'm sure you've seen...
Ben was scarred for life. Who can blame him. Poor guy!

 But I never really THOUGHT about babywearing or it's benefits. I just did it because I needed a free hand. With babywearing getting some negative comments from people and making national headlines, I thought I would take an opportunity to share with people who may not know, the benefits of babywearing!

Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Babies being worn cry less. I know. Shocker. A baby being held doesn't cry as much? That sense of security is actually GOOD for the baby! And when baby is crying less, baby is happier, learning more, and spending the time in their lives when they're developing the fastest being happy, comfortable and focusing their attention on learning and growing.
  • Bonding with baby is good for milk supply. Do you know why they encourage baby to go on a mom's chest as soon as their born? Why kangaroo carrying is so important in the NICU? Why nursing in the first hour is so important? That bond, that skin time for baby and mom is so beneficial. It helps mom's milk supply come in, keeps the baby nourished and helps mom and baby bond. That bond keeps your milk flowing! Chest to chest doesn't have to end after you leave the hospital. Wearing a baby keeps their heads on your chest a lot more and therefor, keeps that bonding up. Le Leche League is a big supporter of babywearing for it's benefits for encouraging breastfeeding!
  • Babies can bond with dad too! How often do dad's get close cuddly time with their newborns, especially after they return to work? Not much! Dad's who wear their babies can get a chance to bond with their baby and give mom a much needed break!
  • It's an obviously, practical thing to do. How do mom's with so many little kids do it? They probably have a baby in a carrier of some sort. That frees up their hands that were previously full of a baby or carseat. THIS was my original reason for babywearing. I never thought of all the other benefits that were happening.
Now, people are quick to criticize. Your baby is too big. Your baby can walk. But have you gone shopping with a 3 year old? Sure, they can walk. They can also terrorize a room in about .2 seconds, throwing everything off of a shelf and potentially endangering themselves and people around them. It's a 3 year old's natural talent. Isn't it easier to have that 3 year old on your back, away from trouble, while you run an errand really quick? 

Could that big kid being worn be special needs? A lot of special kids don't understand basic safety rules like don't run into the street, don't leave mommy's side, don't run when surfaces could be slippery, etc. The child could be 3 or 4 and nonverbal and a have a lot of risks. It's safer for them to be worn. And don't just think that 3 or 4 or even older child should LOOK disabled in order to be worn, a lot of kids have invisible disabilities. You don't know. Don't judge so quickly.

Babywearing isn't hard, there are a ton of options out there these days! But there are some safety issues to keep in mind. So, if babywearing is something that you're interested in, I highly suggest joining the local babywearing chapter, Babywearing International, or the facebook page of a favorite carrier. Everyone will be more than happy to help you wear your baby safely! Here are some tips from Babywearing International.

Now, I don't want mommy wars for writing this. If babywearing isn't for you, then it's not for you. I don't judge you for carrying around your carseat, don't judge me for wearing my babies in carriers or wraps. To each his own! But I just wanted to let people who might be curious about it find some resources and know that babywearing is really a great thing! So I leave you with a popular quote in the babywearing world...Wear all the babies!

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