I’ve been a stroller-pushing mom and a babywearing mom. Both kid-moving methods have their pros and cons. These are the benefits I’ve encountered while babywearing.
1) Hands-free! Grocery shopping, wrangling kids on a playground, gardening, making dinner, cleaning, folding laundry, doing light weight lifting? Babywearing is the way to go. Two hands, no device to maneuver. Easy!
2) Breastfeed on the go. Is your nursing baby hungry? No prob! Simply adjust your carrier, pop out a boob, latch on the nursling, and keep it moving. Your activities aren’t hindered for more than a moment. Plus, it’s pretty discrete — especially if you employ a cover — if modesty is a concern. (See my post here for more.)
3) Core workout. Every mom loves a good multitasking tip. Most of us also daydream about flat abs and a toned back, or maybe just slightly less marshmallowy goodness to our baby-making center. Enter babywearing… do whatever you need to do while simultaneously strengthening your core. Workout cred while perusing Target? Score!
4) Camouflage. Forgot to put on a bra? Sporting a tapestry of coffee, spit-up, breastmilk leakage, and jelly fingerprints on your shirt? Having one of those days when your postpartum body feels less rock and more roll? Babywearing hides it all!
5) Snoozing baby zen. Got stuff to do but you could really use some blood pressure lowering tranquility? Wear a sleeping baby on your chest and watch even the most irksome of errands seem suddenly inconsequential. Not even and aisle-hogging shopping cart double-parker will get to you. A heck of a lot cheaper than yoga class and fewer calories than a tall glass of wine!
6) Askew accessibility issues. Broken sidewalks, no curb cuts, poorly hinged doors, tight vestibules, narrow walking areas between clothing racks, small bathroom stalls, broken elevator, no sidewalk in a pedestrian-unfriendly area, etc. These are all inexcusable accessibility issues that should certainly be rectified BUT you can opt out of being directly affected by them if you babywear.
7) Germ aversion. Heading somewhere germy or absolutely must go out with a potentially contagious baby (hi, pharmacy run for Pedialyte and Tylenol)? Babywear to shield your little one from offending particles, or others from your tot’s malady. Bonus: if you have a newborn (or immunosuppressed) babe, people are less likely to paw at your offspring when he or she is securely strapped to your chest. Throw a nursing cover or blanket over your infant passenger for extra concealment.
8) Skin-to-skin on the go. Skin-to-skin has numerous health benefits, and not just for newborns. Babywearing allows you to do skin-to-skin regularly while you’re going about your day. Good for Baby’s health, your well-being, and your bonding.
9) Smooch with ease. Want to tousle that duckling-fluff hair, kiss your little nugget’s cheek, or give Peanut a hug… easy! No need to stop a stroller to awkwardly position yourself in front of your child in order to give affection. He’s strapped right to you, so smooch and snuggle away!
10) Be a part of the club. I’m not into exclusivity or cliques, but babywearers belong to a club. We’re like motorcycle riders, who give one another a down-low wave as they pass. We may rock different carrier models, we may range from country club preppy to crunchy hemp granola, but we’ll all give that nod of camaraderie to a fellow babywearer.
My advice: give babywearing a try (visit a babywearing group meeting or borrow a few carriers from friends before deciding or investing.) Give stroller-pushing a try, borrowing from friends and taking test drives of floor models in baby stores. See what works for you. You may be surprised at the outcome.
Whatever you decide, rock it!