An Unlikely Babywearer {guest post}

Seeing as I'm away in Cape Cod this week, enjoying a much anticipated vacation with my family, I thought I would make it easier for myself by scheduling a few posts.

Today's post is a guest post from Shai of Vagabond Studios. I'm definitely a fan of her blog, and especially her posts on babywearing. I did a guest post on her blog before, and she was sweet enough to write this one for me! Give it a read, then head over to check out more of her writing. And wish her a happy birthday, since today is her 27th!!


My daughter and I were not, in any way, shape, or form, designed to be a babywearing pair. She was born with Sensory Processing Disorder, and absolutely could not stand to be touched. I could barely even hold her without eliciting cries of discomfort, so snuggling her close to my body in a foreign apparatus just wasn’t something I would even have considered. Six years later, I found myself pregnant with my son and researching cloth diapers. On the cloth diapering boards, I noticed that almost all of the mamas also had ‘Babywearing Mama’ in their signature. I found a babywearing board and thought ‘Oh, there’s just no way. Attached to me? All the time? And he’ll like it?! And I will like it?!’. Obviously, I wasn’t sold. At all. My daughter and I have a very close emotional relationship but, until the last few years, she very much enjoyed and preferred her personal space. While I longed for hugs and snuggles when she was younger, I couldn’t imagine keeping her ‘tied’ to me so often. I needed a little more convincing. So, I researched some more! And, here’s what I discovered:

1. Babies who are worn cry much less. As Dr. Sears words it, ‘Anthropologists who travel throughout the world studying infant-care practices in other cultures agree that infants in babywearing cultures cry much less. In Western culture we measure a baby's crying in hours, but in other cultures, crying is measured in minutes.’ And who doesn’t want a baby who cries for minutes instead of hours?!

2. There are such things as comfortable baby carriers. The type of carrier comfortable to an individual mama completely depends upon preference and personal comfort, but with all of the options available, there’s something that will work great!

3. Not all baby carriers are expensive. You can get a Moby Wrap online or at Target for $30-ish and use it straight through the newborn stage. There are also many boards like Diaperswappers and Babycenter’s Babywearing Swap Board where you can purchase/trade gently used baby carriers of all types for a fraction of the cost. I wound up buying all of my carriers, except my Mei Tei, off of these boards. [Editor's note: I'm a big fan of the site The Babywearer, which also has a for sale or trade board.]

4. Babies who are worn learn more quickly, because they are eye-level with what the wearer is doing. I was skeptical of this repeated claim, until my little Ninja started growing. I see him doing all sorts of things that Artist Child didn’t try until she was much older, and can only attribute it to babywearing. For example, I wear him while I do laundry. A few nights ago a set him on the washing machine while ‘we’ folded laundry on the washing machine. He reached back and started the dryer right up! Obviously, not something he can learn from walking around and being much lower than the appliances.

5. It’s more convenient. I couldn’t understand how, exactly, having a heavy baby on my back and missing the the baskets on strollers would be ‘convenient’, but it is! I’ve learned not to carry as much around as I did before, and Ninja is always within reach. I’d much rather strap him to my back and walk through a festival with him than try to navigate crowds with a cumbersome stroller any day!

6. It’s bonding. Very, very bonding. Now, I may be bias on this one because Artist Child wasn’t even an ounce of a cuddler...but this kid loves to be cuddled. He walks up and hugs me, kisses me, and loves to be touched. He wasn’t always like that - I quit wearing him for about four months and he preferred his independence. I picked up babywearing again, and he’s back to being cuddly. Babywearing also instantly calms him down. He can be in the middle of an awesome toddler sleepy-meltdown and, as soon as I reach for the wrap, it’s like someone hit his off button.

Babywearing can seem daunting, with the many different types of wraps and price ranges from practically free (think sheets and curtains) to several hundred dollars. My advice, as a mama who has officially tried every type of babywearing device available, is to pick what you think you might like, and just go for it. You can always resell it on a swap board later, or trade it for something you like better. If you’re interested in learning more about babywearing or the different types of carriers, check out my Babywearing Basics series!

Shai Smith is a mommy and freelance writer as well as a business owner and lifestyle blogger at The Vagabond Studio. She is dedicated to inspiring entrepreneurs and green-living families to live outside the box, and spends her time chasing around four kiddos, hiking, and painting.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave me some love!
~ Meegs