When my first baby was born, I planned and researched all the things I could possibly need and want for my new life as a mother. I was determined that I would be all things, do all things and provide all things for my child. I planned to use a soft structured carrier, or SSC, because I am an outdoor enthusiast and planned on taking lots of hikes with her (which I did). Then I discovered the ring sling, which made traveling in and out of stores a breeze without needing to carry the cumbersome car seat. She was happiest being worn in those early months. Soon I found myself wearing her around the house for comfort and naps. This concept of “attachment parenting” is not new. Some may think I was spoiling her by catering to her every cry, but we were bonded. She was soothed. I was calm because she was calm, and vice versa. I was able to nurse her to sleep in the carrier and remember many long hours doing so because I couldn’t get her to fall asleep in her crib.
Once she was able to sit unassisted, I was able to start wearing her on my back. This was a game changer! I was finally able to accomplish household chores and tasks freely while comforting my child.
As she got more mobile and eventually started walking around 12 months old, our babywearing time didn’t stop. It then became a tool to contain her, as well as a physically easier way to transport her without having to carry her in my arms as she grew. She remained happy to ride on my back anywhere and everywhere.
Then along came her baby brother. I knew that babywearing would be ESSENTIAL for having 2 children under two. How else would I be able to keep up with a toddler with a new baby in tow?! I have been able to juggle 2 children easily on shopping trips, play dates and evening meetings, all because I’ve been able to wear my babies.
I’ve recently purchased a larger toddler-sized carrier for quick ups-and-downs on walks and hikes (my toddler is SLOW). I’ve also purchase a couple woven wraps, which are so versatile! I’m able to tandem carry both children comfortably and modify different carrying styles for our comfort. There is a learning curve to wrapping, but the wraps are so pretty! It’s been fun learning all the different ways to wrap each of my children.
My toddler doesn’t spend too much time being worn anymore, but she does love it and sometimes asks to “go on my back”. Now that I have a larger SSC that is comfortable for both of us, I sometime take her on walks after her baby brother goes to bed in the evening. It has been a really special bonding time for us. She just talks and talks and talks, about everything and nothing. But she has my ear all to herself and sweet snuggles. I’ll be sad when she’s grown and no longer wants to be worn.
If you’re interested in learning more about babywearing, check out your local branch of Babywearing International. Educational meetings are held monthly and a $30/year paid membership will get you access to the lending library, where you can borrow and try a variety of carriers and wraps without commiting to a purchase.