I love baby-wearing. If I could tell anything to myself as a first-time mom, it would be to start wearing that baby right now! I did have an inexpensive clip carrier with my oldest but it had a narrow base and skinny vinyl straps and it was so uncomfortable. Besides, no one else I knew ever wore their baby, and there were no resources to explore this more fully. I did not become curious.
The first time someone taught me how to wear my baby on my back was with my second boy, several years later. I was at a Women’s Conference. Coincidentally, this is where I first met our dear Danielle Atkinson. A young lady saw me chasing after my toddler and taught me how to put him up with this sarong I was already carrying. It changed my life for the better – and didn’t cost me anything! I learned something called a traditional towel carry, and I never spent a dime on it.
Imagine my surprise, then, when these several years down the line, I am part of a baby wearing club. I discovered that this is somehow perceived as some upper-scale practice? Some of these carriers are not cheap. But most of them are extremely versatile, and more inexpensive and useful than those heavy car seats that we’re all somehow expected to carry around. Plus you get all of the cardiovascular and respiratory benefits of ‘kangaroo’ carrying your baby for months. After which, they have to figure out how to do all that stuff outside of your belly. It’s a wonderful practice full of all kinds of benefits on a physiological level – which always turns into economic benefits down the line.
It turns out this baby-wearing practice is pretty culturally universal. Mexican rebosos, African towel carries, Scottish shawl wrap: it’s a pretty amazing exploration of how women have gotten stuff done with kids on their bodies. The occurs all over the world and throughout time. It’s just my culture that forgot all these amazing traditions for a few generations. And now we get to learn from other cultures’ traditions, too.
The thing is, I think a wrap carrier would have been a much better investment for me with my bus pass than a fancy car seat for my jalopy at the time I had my first baby – with as little use as that carseat got. I wear my infant and toddler exchange-ably all the time right now, and it keeps my life in motion. The things even hold their value to an extent, so they are an investment as much as any durable baby equipment.
How do you carry your baby? Would you explore trying to wear them? How might this affect your life? Check out this informative link if you want to explore the world of baby-wearing! babywearinginternational.org/