If you are friends with me, or know me at all, you have probably seen me or a picture of me wearing our youngest daughter Cate in some form or fashion. We "babywear" a lot. I live in an area where it isn't common at all. Actually, I have never seen anyone wearing "in the wild" where I live.
I get a lot of questions and so I thought that I would collectively answer them here.
1). Did you make that? (in reference to wraps)
No. I don't make my wraps. Woven wraps are just that (woven), not just any fabric you can go buy at JoAnn's. There are many safety standards that wrap companies must be compliant in with their wraps. They hold precious cargo.
2). How did you even find out about that? (babywearing)
The internet can be a fabulous thing. It was through the internet that I found the wonderful world of babywearing and all of the fabulous people I have met as I learned. The Babywearing community is pretty great. Check out Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive as an example of some of the awesome people I am talking about.
3). Can't they just walk (or crawl)?
Yes, Cate can crawl. No wearing doesn't mean she will "never learn to crawl" or walk for that matter. She is crawling everywhere at the same age Audrey did. I have to admit that I find this question kind of silly because I don't think it is very thought through. I don't wear Cate when I am hanging out in the living room (the time she usually spends playing and crawling). I wear her when we are out shopping or in the yard or when she needs Mommy time and I have laundry to do. All of those are times that she absolutely would not be down on the floor crawling anyway.
4). Why do you wear her?
This is a biggie. There are SO many answers to this question. Because of that, I will break it down into parts.
First, I wear for convenience. Sometimes Cate needs to be held (I consider that a need of babies, not being "spoiled"). I can give her the snuggles she needs without getting behind on what I need to do. When we are out shopping, I can wear her instead of carrying her in my arms. I have two free arms, I haven't sacrificed any space in my shopping cart, and I don't have to spend time running the cart over with Lysol wipes before putting her in it. I don't have to worry about fitting a stroller through tightly packed aisles of clothing and such. I don't have to worry about finding a stroller friendly ramp or elevator when only stairs are in sight. I can carry her with two free arms and without wearing myself out. Wearing is also SUPER convenient for breastfeeding. There is also no need to lug around a heavy carseat with a small baby if you have a carrier.
Walking the dog
(Disclaimer: I have a stroller. We use it sometimes. I have nothing against them and am in NO way saying they are bad. I just know that realistically they can be a pain in my rear end. I think both strollers and wearing have their own places.)
Audrey's Pre-K Graduation
Second, I wear so that I can experience the world with her. I feel so connected with her versus the disconnection I feel when she is in a stroller and I can't see her face. I know exactly what is catching her attention in the world around us and I am able to share in these learning experiences with her because of it. I don't have to stop and check to see if she is asleep or what she is looking at. I love sharing all of these new things with her--from the animals at the zoo, to discovering that Banana Cat can climb trees in the yard, to watching other children in the mall....I am able to see her face during all of those first. These are moments I can't get back. I want to soak them all in.
I wear for safety. Wearing Cate leaves me with a free hand to hold Audrey's and two free hands if I needed to move Audrey quickly. I don't have to worry about her running off from me in a store or her running in front of a car. She can't fall out of a buggy or grab something she shouldn't. She is close to me always. This was one of my biggest reasons to embrace babywearing. After losing Barrett, I need this sense of security.
I wear because time is short. One day, I will be longing to spend time with her. I will long for these snuggles. I love when she gets tired and lays her head over on my chest to rest or sleep. My heart melts when she takes a moment to just look up at me and smile. When she takes her hands and rubs my arms as we walk, I am amazed by the miracle I have been blessed with.
Life is precious. I want to experience as many moments as I can with her and Audrey. Actually experience them. Not just be there. That's why I wear.