carry on

October 10, 2012

every weekend, annabel and i go grocery shopping together.  and we always do it like this:
one of the huggies series topics for this month is to discuss baby carriers.  from this vantage point [6 months!  ahh!], i can’t imagine not having one.  we use it:

✔ on walks
✔ in stores
✔ in restaurants [sometimes – although now we usually let her out to play]
✔ at museums, parties, the airport, outdoor events — basically anywhere that people are milling around

the stroller that we are currently using is a bit of a behemoth, so it’s so nice to have a streamlined way to get around.  and as you can see above, she LOVES it.  i’m sure it could happen eventually, but i’ve never had her melt down in there.

but a few months ago, i wasn’t quite as sure.  ‘baby-wearing’ seemed like some sort of cult concept — and in fact the more people talked about it, the more i was sure i was missing something.  “they must mean something other than just . . .wearing the baby, right?”  i thought.  after all, what was the big deal?  why are there groups and clubs and websites devoted to the practice of carrying one’s baby?  was it an attachment parenting thing, or religious in some way, or just . . . a fad?

turns out — well, it pretty much is just wearing your baby.  and it certainly isn’t anything new.  according to babywearing international [yes, there is such a thing], babywearing is simply defined as “holding your baby or young child using a cloth baby carrier.”

people certainly do it to different degrees, though.  i know mothers who love wearing their newborns  in soft wraps for large portions of the day, doing chores and allowing naps to happen chest-to-chest.  it sounds nice, but i definitely wasn’t one of those people.  the soft stretchy wraps felt pretty unstable to me* and i was never able to be truly hands-free, plus as much as i loved holding annabel when she was tiny [and still do!] i liked being able to use her naptimes to run, cook, or get things done around the house.

but when i tried a more structured wrap [like the one shown above], i was sold instantly.  i still don’t do chores with annabel in there [i imagine she’d eventually get claustrophobic in there, especially now] but i use it for so many other outings.

words of advice:  well, i don’t think my n of 1 really qualifies me to give any!   but if i had to say anything then i would encourage any new mom [or mom-to-be] not to get caught up in what is supposed to be ‘best’ and just experiment with what works.**  if possible, borrow different carriers from friends and see what you [and baby!] like.  and don’t give up if one that you’d heard great things about doesn’t seem right for you.

do you use a baby carrier?  words of advice [re: carriers . . . or not] to offer for brand new moms/mothers-to-be?  i’d love to see your thoughts in the comments.

* very well may have been user error.  i do hope to try again in the future.
** this is definitely not just specific to baby carriers, either!

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