One of the first things that really attracted me to attachment parenting was babywearing. The first time I really noticed women wearing their babies was when I was doing research in Peru. The women there would wrap their babies on their backs and go about their day - whether that involved picking coffee or walking 2 hours into town for food. I'm pretty sure I assumed that the first few women I saw wearing their babies were hunchbacks until I realized - oh! they have a baby in there! I immediately loved the idea of keeping your baby with you all day and still getting things done. Because that's what I like to do. Get things done.
Then I got pregnant and started reading about attachment parenting and my BFF Dr. Sears and his lovely lady Martha told me all about the benefits of wearing your baby. Not only can you get things done, but babies who are worn also cry less, learn more, are more organized, and are SMARTER. You can read all about these benefits here.
Before Kale was born we bought a ZoloWear ring sling and a Beco Butterfly 2 and our super cute doula Monique gave us some tips on good positions for newborns. When Kale was born I was a bit nervous about using the ring sling. Well, I was basically a bit nervous about everything so it shouldn't be a surprise that figuring out how to hold my tiny infant in piece of material with two metal rings wasn't exactly a calming activity. Eventually I gained confidence in it and found that I could still get the dishes done, throw in a load of laundry, or simply chill on the back deck with a good book while Kale was snuggled close to me in the sling.
Kris and I both LOVED the Beco right away. It was super easy to strap Kale in and he felt totally secure. The Beco quickly became our choice carrier for times when we knew we'd be wearing Kale for longer periods of time, like the grocery store or a trip to the park. The ring sling was best for short errands and getting things done around the house. It didn't take long before I stopped lugging the 800lb. car seat through stores in favour of slipping of Kale into the sling. He rarely woke when we transitioned him from sling to car seat or sling to bed and when he did he'd just open his eyes for a second or two and then drift off again. We also stopped using the stroller since he spent 90% of his time in there screaming and again, it's at least 600lbs. and doesn't exactly fit neatly through the aisles of Pier 1.
As the summer warmed up the cotton ring sling and the Beco made wearing Kale a very hot adventure and so I bought a Sew Funky mesh sling. Not only is the sling great for hot weather and using in the water, but it's made here in Guelph! In fact, Tanja, the woman who makes them lives right down the street. Anyway, Kris quickly became jealous of my cool new mesh ring sling and while he attempted to wear it a few times, he isn't a man of patience for little details and he'd often have the sling down by his belly and the fabric straining against his neck. So for his birthday Kale bought him a Sew Funky pouch sling and it was love at first wear. Kris loves to wear Kale and he takes him for a walk almost every night before bed in his pouch sling. I think that a big reason Kris loves wearing Kale so much is because he secretly loves the attention they get.
I've since become addicted to carriers and recently purchased a Kozy Mei Tai so that I could do a high back carry. I haven't mastered that carry yet, but still love using the Mei Tai for doing tummy to tummy. Plus, it has a super cute owl pattern.
Even though I think that babywearing is pretty common in my town, we still get lots of looks and comments from strangers whenever we're wearing Kale. 99.9% of the things people say are positive and a lot of older women normally say something about how they wish they had something like that for their kids. On different message boards people have shared some of the negative comments they've received from strangers about wearing their toddlers and maybe that will happen as Kale gets older, but so far we've gotten mostly "ahhhhhh! sooo cute" comments.
I'm not sure I would have survived the first few weeks of Kale's life without wearing him. We had some challenges in those days and Kale cried ALOT and often the only thing that would calm him down would be to go for a walk in the sling. Now that Kale has adjusted to life a little better he doesn't cry very often and I credit that a lot to him being worn. I think if we were stuck on having him in the stroller or carrying him in the carseat, outings would be a lot more difficult since he hates sitting in either of those things. We also wear Kale down almost every night. One of us takes him for a walk in the sling or the beco or the mei tai and he normally falls asleep after ten minutes and when we get home we can easily slip him into bed. For the most part, Kale is perfectly content being worn and loves to look around and take in the world while feeling totally secure next to his mom or dad. He went through a phase a little while ago where he totally resisted being worn and only wanted to be carried directly in our arms. That (thankfully) seems to have passed and we're back to wearing him all around town.
Here are a few of our babywearing photo's....enjoy!