When my daughter was born, almost 11 (yikes!) years ago, babywearing was just becoming popular in this part of the world. I had one on my baby shower wish list, but it wasn't until several weeks after my daughter was born that I received a Baby Bjorn baby carrier — a present that was a gift for both my baby and me.
Babywearing is simply a means of holding or carrying a baby or young child using some type of cloth baby carrier. Holding babies is natural and a baby carrier makes it easier and more comfortable to do so while dealing with the other 5 million tasks on a new parent's agenda. It's been popular the world over since babies have been born, but it was really just in the last decade or so that they took off in popularity here in the U.S.
Tiffany Washko, the blogger behind Nature Moms, recently wrote an awesome post on the 10 Amazing Benefits of Babywearing. It instantly reminded me of those heavenly sweet first weeks and months with both of my girls when I really wanted to do nothing but hold them all day — until reality settled in and I realized that if I didn't wash a load of laundry or take out the garbage, we would both be living in a world of stink before long. Before I had a baby carrier, I would have to quickly dash around the house trying to get those things done while my baby slept. But once I had the baby carrier, I could do all of those things with her snuggled right up next to me.
I also found that babywearing was a much nicer way to get my daughter outside for some fresh air than pushing her in a stroller. In the carrier, I could talk to her and point things out to her. She could hear my voice and my heart beating right through my chest. And as Washko mentions in her post as babywearing benefit #9, babywearing is easier than taking a stroller up the stairs or onto a bus. So true!
As for Washko, she became a babywearing convert on a trip to NYC 12 years ago (also before it was cool.) "I was in New York City with him and we kept getting trampled by busy New Yorkers and tourists on the street and on the subway," she said. "The stroller just wasn't cutting it so I stopped into a store, bought a sling, and carried him all over Manhattan in it over the period of a week. I was hooked after that point and ended up wearing my other two kiddos as well."
Fast-forward a decade and babywearing is skyrocketing in popularity. Now made trendy by celebs like Beyonce and Pink — and of course the movie "The Hangover" — I'm glad to see that baby carriers are becoming a staple in a new parent's toolbox.
I can tell you from experience, if you've got a new baby on the way, you will definetly want one of these lifesavers. If you're feeling lucky, Washko is giving one away in a few days over on the Nature Moms blog. If you dont' get lucky, rest assured that it's a worthwhile investment.
Did you use a baby carrier with your baby? I'd love to hear your babywearing story in the comments below.