Now that I’m on baby No. 3, I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on what I like and don’t as far as philosophy and convenience are concerned, though it’s taken about 10 years.
The idea of baby-wearing entered my realm after trying unsuccessfully to open a stroller alone for the first time in public and having to turn around and go home. I couldn’t just carry my baby outright so I opted to head back to the couch. I didn’t buy a wrap initially (because I was broke, y’all) but finally began wrapping with a scarf sling-style after a year of stroller battles.
By the time I had my second, wrapping was a necessity and I added a Moby wrap to the registry. For almost a year I didn’t put my son down, which allowed me to hang with my daughter, do dishes, sew and be hands free all while bonding with baby boy.
Babywearing is newer to us in the western world, with slings and wraps being introduced to our mainstream culture in the early ’80s when the sling wrap was made by Rayner Garner. It has gained popularity but is still viewed as novice or a bit “crunchy” or “hippie” by much of the parenting world.
Because it’s 2017, I reached out on Facebook to get some input and insight to see what my fellow parents had to say about the concept of wrapping.
For some, wrapping a baby is an absolute must in the early months of parenting but for others, it didn’t seem to be a good fit. This was a sigh of relief for me because it seems each baby has been different and blanket statements on how each and every child needs to be parented can be incredibly overwhelming.
Reaching out to the Internet for answers about babywearing was great. I got tons of responses and insight from a broad range of perspectives. What I’m hearing from so many parents — myself included — is that wrapping really just makes things easier. We have so much going on that keeping our babies attached just seems logical.
And we aren’t the first society and subculture to think so. Babywearing has been popular for parents around the world for centuries but unfortunately gained a stigma for being something folks on the lower end of the economic spectrum chose around the 1950s, with strollers being a status symbol for the wealthy — some sort of weird baby-based “Keeping up with the Jones'” thing.
American’s are crazy, y’all. Plot twist: I was poor with my first but still used a stroller.
So aside from just simply making our lives easier, Charlotte area doula, Meliea Holbrook, says, “Your baby does not spend months inside your body and then suddenly adapt to separation. Your baby only knows your presence and it is natural for them to want and need that contact. Babywearing honors that need while also allowing mom (and dad) to be functional.”
Don’t worry — some babies just aren’t having it. QC Playground writer and fellow-mama, Jamie Killian, says her daughter, now 6, didn’t take to being worn right away and suggests trying at different stages.
Local coffee superstar, Steven Lim, however, took to wearing his babe right away and has nailed coffee making, traveling and pretty much everything in between all while sharing babywearing privileges with his lovely wife, Angela.
So whether you are looking for ways to bond, ways to get things done, or, as my new hero Emily Davis suggested, ways to avoid getting hugged in public, babywearing is worth a solid go. But like anything with parenting, no one’s word or way is above another and we’re all just out here trying to figure it out.
Photo Credits: Kala Gabbard, Liz Logan, Steven Lim