Before I was a mom, the thought of wearing my child around seemed absolutely ridiculous. I would think to myself, “why does that person have their child strapped to their body? Just let them walk, put them in the cart, or use the stroller.” Looking back now, I realize I knew nothing.
Children are beautiful, amazing, difficult little people. After becoming a mom, you realize you are willing to try everything possible to calm your children when they are crying and cranky. My oldest son suffered from severe acid reflux, so painful cries were a common occurrence at our house. I would find myself begging and pleading for his comfort and for silence.
It wasn’t until I won a Moby wrap that I truly understood the power of baby-wearing. I now take back every silly joke I made about parents who wore their children. Those parents aren’t crazy; they are baby gurus!
They knew what I was about to discover: baby-wearing is the answer to it all.
When the package arrived, I sat down and opened it. A confused look took over my face; it was 5.5 meters of intimidation. How do I use this long piece of fabric? This cannot possibly hold a child, and if so, he is not going to like it.
Wrong and wrong!
The directions included were hard for me to comprehend, so I pulled up YouTube on my trusty iPhone. After studying 3 videos, I decided to give it a try. My first attempt was loose and sloppy. On the second attempt, I was looking better. By attempt three, I had a calm, sleeping baby. I thought to myself, “This has to be a fluke. I exhausted him with all the wrapping and tying.”
The next day, I decided to give it another go; he was fussy, and I was exhausted and on the verge of tears. You wouldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it. Success! We had absolute silence. He went from wails to fast asleep within five minutes. I now had a quiet, sleeping baby. From that moment on, I became hooked and without any more judgment or fear. I found my solace in this long piece of stretchy fabric. I knew then that I needed more carriers. Within a few months, I owned a Boba soft structured carrier, a ring sling, and beautiful woven wrap. I formed a new addiction to coincide with my cloth diapering one.
I started off judging those parents who wore their children, but in reality I had no idea how smart they were. Wearing my toddler on my back while shopping has made it an enjoyable experience again. No longer am I chasing him around the store and trying to prevent public meltdowns. My house is clean again, and the dishes aren’t stacked in the sink as high as his Lego tower. I strap him on and get to work.
Many ask why the variety of carriers, and how do you know what is right for you. I use my Boba for quick trips with my toddler, the ring sling is perfect when it is hot out, and my beautiful Oscha woven is my go- to with my two month old son around the house and out shopping. When you decide to take the plunge into the amazing world of baby-wearing, remember there is no need to feel intimidated (YouTube is your friend), and the results of baby-wearing will reassure you that you made the right choice. If you aren’t sure what type of carrier you would love, check out a local babywearing group (Facebook is a great place to look for one!). Many of which have a lending library of various carriers for you to try before you purchase.
About the author: Melanie resides just south of Pittsburgh with her fiancé Jon and their two sons: Jace (who will be two in December) and Jaedyn (who was born in July). They are a cloth diapering, baby-wearing, breastfeeding, semi-crunchy family.