My youngest is now 2 and I can’t remember the last time I wore her. I did a little babywearing demo in Chicago over the weekend for Big City Belly and it felt really good wearing a little baby again.
My oldest child is ten, and I technically “wore” him when he was a baby (although I didn’t know it was called “babywearing” at the time)- in the Baby Bjorn on walks. But back then, you’d only see parents with babies in structured-type carriers on walks or doing outdoorsy things- it would have been silly to wear that contraption inside the house, right?
When my second baby came along, I used the Baby Bjorn for the same things with him, but one time I had to work all day at a church event, and I wore him in it the entire time. So many people remarked about how neat that was- how I could get so much done with him just hanging out there, sleeping. I wish so much that it would have “clicked” in me that this was something… but I hardly wore him much again. I found the Baby Bjorn quite uncomfortable, and had no idea there were other options.
Pregnant with baby number three, I joked that I had no idea where I was going to be able to safely keep him, so I would need to wear him! Little did I know…
I attended a La Leche League meeting as a refresher one day during my pregnancy. Several moms were wearing their babies in ring slings and I swear cupid’s arrow hit me then and there. I HAD to have one. Not only were the slings beautiful and fashionable, they made babies so happy and easy to hold and nurse. I was smitten.
I bought my first ring sling on ebay for $15. I wore Gray in it in the hospital when he was just a day old. And he practically lived in that sling until he was 2 years old. Of course we tried out a lot of carriers; I wish I would have given wraps a try with him, but we mainly used the ring sling or mei tai. I wore him on my back in the mei tai even when pregnant with baby number four.
I was so excited to have another baby to wear, but I found that Ivy was perfectly content on the bed or floor just as much as the sling. I didn’t wear her as much- which was ok. But secretly I did want to get more use out of my slings!
With Gray, babywearing was a huge part of our lives- in the house and out. He only napped- and often was only happy- in the sling. With Ivy, it was more about convenience and safety (or when I needed a straightjacket) . She was happy to sleep anywhere. I’d wear her when we were out and about and I didn’t want to lug around the car seat or stroller, but it wasn’t nearly as much as Gray. Each child is different, so it makes sense that their babywearing needs won’t be the same.
I don’t think there is going to be a number five baby for me, and I am so happy I have no regrets with my babywearing experience- whether I wore my babies all the time or not, they were always held and loved. If there was going to be a baby number five, I probably would try to wear him or her more often, just because I enjoy it so much… and I really do miss it!
You can visit Stephanie on her blog AND on Twitter! Keep coming back, because Sling Fling week isn’t over – we have two amazing guest posters left, and remember to ask Mommy about our event this weekend if you’re local!