After breakfast this morning while Jesse was happily destroying a banana squeezing it through his fingers, I read an article entitled ‘Why Babywearing Annoys Me‘.
It was one mum’s rant about how baby wearing parents are “high-horse owning” and “smug” and have unachievable parenting standards. In one part the writer says that she feels baby-wearing parents think they love their children more and later she insinuates that we put the need to be hands-free for housework as a higher priority than giving attention to our babies.
As I read I was quite shocked by my reaction. Instead of feeling infuriated by such a small-minded perspective I actually felt saddened. Partly that this drivel is allowed on the internet. But mostly, here was a mum who obviously felt threatened by something she didn’t understand.
Jesse is 14 months and is still worn almost daily. I can say in all honesty that baby-wearing has changed my whole experience as his mum.
I purchased a stretchy wrap towards the end of my pregnancy because I loved the concept of wearing my newborn to help him adjust to life on the outside. Little did I know that a wrap or carrier would become his happy place and still bring him so much comfort after all this time.
“And if I went shopping, George went in his buggy. How on earth would I try something on with a baby attached to me?”
Yes, I go shopping with my baby in a carrier. Unlike this mum, my baby never liked to be in a pram. It’s not like I didn’t try. We have a very nice, expensive pram that I would have loved to use more often. I’d see other mum’s swanning around the shops while their perfect baby slept soundly. Meanwhile mine was screaming until I ended up getting him out and holding him while I pushed the empty, very nice, expensive pram.
“Er, why not just leave him snoozing in his cot or moses basket?”
Yes, my baby naps in the carrier. Again, unlike this mum, my baby is not a big fan of his cot, or bassinet, or sleeping on his own in general. And no, I didn’t build a rod for my own back. My little velcro bub was like that from birth. Just hours after being born he would not sleep in his plastic hospital tub but wanted to be on mummy’s chest. And that was just fine by me.
Wearing my baby has kept us all sane. I’m so thankful for it and will absolutely continue to do it with future babies.
Just the other day I was able to spend a beautiful day hiking with my family while Jesse happily slept on my back in the carrier. My dad also had a go of carrying him and Jesse was giggling and having fun the whole time. Now, I couldn’t have done that with a pram!
I also get to see many other mum’s and bubs enjoy baby-wearing as a Kangatraining Instructor. From those that are avid wearers to those that have never worn their baby before, their babies are almost instantly calm once fitted correctly in a carrier.
So, lady who hates baby wearers, we don’t wear our babies because we’re hippies or because we love them more than you love yours or because we feel the need to have our babies permanently attached to us as you so eloquently put it.
We do it because we want to. Because it makes our little ones feel safe. Because sleep is kind of important. Because it’s more comfortable than balancing a baby on my hip all day.
Mamas, can’t we just celebrate that we all parent differently?
Instead of judging a mum who has mastered how to turn a long piece of material into an intricately tied carrier for their baby, give them a high five ‘cos that shit is tricky! Baby-wearing may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But who cares! We’re all just doing what’s best for our families. And that’s what is important.