I’ve long wanted to write about my experience with baby wearing. And I have. Sort of; I’ve written reviews of the Moby Wrap, Hot Sling, Baby Bjorn and Mai Tei. I written about fathers in baby wearing and baby wearing facts and myths. I’ve written tips to get new moms started.
But I’ve never written our story.
I decided to wear my baby not because I’d heard about the bonding that can occur, or the way it helps babies develop, or how much moms and babies enjoy it. No, I decided to wear my baby because I am cheap. Well. Maybe not cheap, let’s call it frugal.
See, when I was pregnant and ordering stuff for the baby I wasn’t working. I was very ill and couldn’t even sit upright, so money was very, very tight. And I hated the idea of buying things for an infant that he would outgrow quickly, leaving me with another expensive purchase on my hands. So I decided to get a convertible car seat, one that he could use from birth to age 10 for one price, rather than buying an infant bucket and then a toddler seat.
This decision then led to, “How the hell am I going to carry the baby???” So I looked on ebay and found a $20 pouch sling. Ordered it, and a waaaay marked down Moby Wrap. I stuck both in my hospital bag, figuring I might need one or both on the way home.
My baby was blue when he was born, and spent a little time on oxygen, in my arms. The hospital was big on Kangaroo care or skin to skin. After trying to find a way to keep this tiny, 6lb, blue being against my chest with the mask on his face, I pulled out the Moby Wrap and put it on. Tucked him inside and watched almost magically as my baby turned pink. I walked all over the hospital, thrilled to no longer be on bed rest with my baby inside. No one knew I was naked to the waist or nursing inside it. I was hooked.
When we got home, I quickly learned that I could tuck him in the Moby Wrap and he’d be good for hours. If he was fussy, I put him in the pouch sling while I cooked dinner, and he was quiet.
I ordered a hot sling for wearing in the hot July weather. I wore him to the library, to play mini golf, to hike through the woods.
I wore him while I cleaned my house, while I baked pies. I wore him on my back to chop down his first Christmas tree.
I wore him while we looked at houses. I even made my own ring sling from some awesome bird print fabric.
I actually found that I crave wearing him, like it’s a drug. I love the feeling of his little body pressed against mine. He loves it, too. People always comment on how good he is when we’re out and about. And he is; provided that he’s in the Mai tei or sling du jour. If I were to take him out, you’d need a fancy stop watch to clock just how fast he’d go from 0 to purple-faced.
I so very highly recommend baby wearing to anyone who is thinking of giving it a try. Read my reviews of the various products, and take a look at the tips. If you have a tiny, sick baby like I did, baby wearing can help him recover faster. It can help you, too, since the baby can sleep in there while you attempt to get things done. Or not; I can’t count how many times I tucked him into the Moby Wrap, curled up in an armchair and read for hours while he slept on me. For someone suffering from post-partum anxiety surrounding the baby, wearing him on me like that was way better than Zoloft.