Monday, September 17, 2012

Why I Wear My Baby

Ignore my WTF face. The sun was in my eyes. Focus on the adorable sleeping baby.

     I've seen comments on forums and Facebook that babywearing is just "trendy" right now and that it will die out. (Which is hilarious, considering it's been a practice in cultures on almost every continent for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, but I digress.) So, maybe there are people who do it just because it's cool. That's probably true. Ask any mom why they do it, though, and they will probably have a story. Mine isn't heartbreaking or mushy, and as evidenced by the comments I get from my parents and grandparents about holding my baby "too much" it doesn't appear that I am passing down a family tradition. The reason I love wearing my baby is actually pretty selfish.
     See, I have anxiety. (This also explains my ongoing obsession with decluttering, but again, I digress.) Most of the time, this is triggered by large crowds, heavy traffic, or going someplace I've never been, but ever since I got pregnant, I get anxious thinking about all the terrible things that could possibly (but probably never will) happen to my child.
     Now, I have to admit, I got curious about babywearing because I thought wraps were pretty cool. Turns out I am not a naturally talented wrapper, so we are working with a Maya Wrap RS and an Ergo Performance at the moment. But the reason I've stuck with it, even when my daughter was not a big fan, is that I want her close to me. In public, babywearing prevents strangers (at least in my twisted brain) from being tempted to touch her, or worse, abduct her. Hey, it's happened! 
     When she's strapped to me, the only place people can touch is her feet, and good luck getting her out of the carrier unless you plan to take me with you. It makes me feel like she is safer. Any time I have taken her out in the car seat and had to put her down in public (like the grocery store or the post office) I have a mini-panic attack thinking that someone could just swoop in and grab her. Is that crazy? Yeah. It is. That's why they make Ativan. Since I'm breastfeeding and medication isn't an option, wearing her is clearly the best solution.
     I also hate strollers. I hate pushing anything in front of me at the store because I want to be able to move freely through aisles and racks of clothing. (Anxiety, again.) I always get a little basket when I go shopping if I can because I just feel less tied down. Strollers are the same as shopping carts for me. They create bulk and awkwardness, and I hate it. Pop Baby Girl in a ring sling and grab a little basket and we are good to go!
Other reasons I babywear:
  • She is at about my eye-level when we walk, so she can see what I see.
  • I don't get bruises on my thighs from dragging around the car seat.
  • My Ergo and RS are much easier to fold up than a stroller, and they take up much less space in the car!
  • I can nurse her in public with complete discretion. (Remind me to write about this!)
  • I get a better workout when I take her for walks. And she's cuter than a 15-lb weighted vest.
  • I have my hands free to do diaper laundry, cook, unload the dishwasher, or blog! :)
  • There is nothing better than having a sweet little sleeping baby snuggled up to your chest. (And I think she likes the sound of my heartbeat.)
Seriously. Look at that face! (July 15, 2012)

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you, and I'm the same way! People usually respect the personal space of an adult, so they'll usually stay out of the baby's face. I just think about all the germs that people have and my baby's not immune to them and then when a stranger gets into the baby's face, they're breathing all their strange germs into my baby's nose & mouth! Ew! And if you have a sensitive child (and lots of kids are!), it's a way to limit and minimize stimulation. I wore my 2-year-old until right up to the time the new baby was born because he tends to be nervous around strangers and the mei tai was a way to give him a little distance.