Why Would I Want to WEAR my Baby??

So two years ago when my sister-in-law was pregnant with my nephew, she came to me and told me how she was going to do something called “babywearing.” My face tends to give away everything my brain is thinking, so I’m pretty sure she knew that my mind was saying, “Um, what? Like a jacket? Not only does that sound weird, but kinda creepy…I would NEVER wear a baby!” The theme that you’ll see running through this blog is that I will constantly eat my words (or in this case, my thoughts). My initial negative reactions are always based on lack of information or misinformation.

As usual, “the chiropractor” didn’t think it sounded strange at all (which made me wonder where that person was that I had married because he would have TOTALLY thought that babywearing was weird!). So I watched my sister-in-law “wear” my nephew and wondered if he would have preferred a stroller. As time went on, I realized that he really didn’t cry much (if at all), and he seemed to sleep quite a bit in his Moby wrap. So it just became part of family outings–where they were, I could expect to see my sister-in-law with this big fabric thing wrapped around her with a baby tucked inside.

Fast-forward to my own pregnancy, and people (other than my sister-in-law) started telling me about the Moby wrap (could she have been on to something all along?!). So I started to do some research. Humans are mammals. When mammal babies are born, their mothers keep them close while they grow (think monkeys, horses, kittens–never too far away from mom!). Babies were snuggly before they entered this world; maybe they should continue to snuggle (I mean, really, who doesn’t like a good snuggle?!). “The chiropractor” was continually telling me how beneficial it was for babies to be upright (great for the development of their spine and helps prevent flat heads associated with too much time in a car seat or crib). And then I started finding evidence of the benefits of babywearing: babies can hear their parents voices and know that they are safe, babies cry less when they are kept close, babies can view the world around them which helps to build their little brains, just to name a few. So maybe it was worth registering for a Moby, and I might use it once or twice.

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Still pregnant and trying to show my mom how to use the Moby!

Enter Luke: my sweet, bright-eyed little boy who always wanted to know what was going on. Anything and everything was more interesting than sleep (whoever said that newborns were “so sleepy” was a liar!), and I would spend just as much time getting him to sleep as he would stay asleep to nap. I was exhausted. Then I remembered how much my nephew slept in the Moby. I was willing to try anything, so I broke it out. It took maybe 10 minutes to get him to sleep, and he slept as long as I was moving–there was hope in those early days! I had my hands free to eat something, write an email, or fold a load of laundry! Maybe I could do this!

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Early days of wrapping: Luke at 5 days old on our first trip to Mass.

I started using my Moby more and more. Trips to the grocery store were a cinch; he was so quiet during Mass on Sundays–Luke was so happy, he rarely made a peep! Plus, it was infinitely easier than lugging around an infant car seat. I kinda loved the snuggly feeling of being close to him, too. Yup, I was “babywearing” and I thought it was awesome–I could still use my hands and my baby was quiet!

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Luke at 2.5 weeks (note: Moby does not recommend covering child’s face–I was very careful to make sure I was monitoring his breathing; it was very chilly outside and we were trying to keep warm!)

I quickly learned that we were going to outgrow our Moby sooner than expected (it says you can use it up to 35lbs, and I’ve seen it done, but Luke was really active, and the Moby was a little to “stretchy” for his level of activity. So for Christmas, I asked for what is known as a “soft structured carrier,” specifically the Boba 3G. I’ll reserve another post for why I love my Boba, but for now I’ll share a picture of “the chiropractor” practicing his babywearing skills, as well:

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I’ll have many more posts on babywearing coming up, but I guess the main point that I wanted to get across is that while the term may sound strange, the action of keeping your child close to you is convenient and so good for everyone involved! I am by no means a “babywearing expert” (although I am considering completing a certification course!), but if you have questions, I’ll gladly try to help you find an answer!

And if you are in the Shenandoah Valley, get excited! “The chiropractor” and I are working on putting together a collection of wraps and carriers for you to try out (who wants to spend money on something that isn’t comfortable? and how do you know what you like unless you’ve tried it on?!). Details coming soon!