"Oh, sorry" Dad looked down.
Little did he know, I too was asking myself the same question.
So why did the toga-challenged bother with babywearing? In no particular order, the answers are:
A year into our child's life we have never had the need for a pram, and we don't foresee the need for one popping up anytime soon. We have never had trouble wandering around - no matter where we go - babywearing is all-terrain! We fit wherever we go, whether that's on public transport, at markets, crowded festivals, cafes and restaurants etc.
Dad wearing his sleeping bub while playing PS2
Mum wearing bub at children's birthday party
Dad & Bub on a train
Mum wearing bub at an engagement party
Mum wearing bub while shopping
Carrying a 1 year old
Carrying a 2.5year old
Once we mastered the art of putting on our carriers it took no time at all to get ready to go out - putting on a sling or a wrap became like putting on a jacket. We feel that we had a lot more freedom of movement than pram using mums and dads, even if it was just one of us out and about, we would have our baby on our front and a nappy bag on our back and we had everything we needed.
Wearing our baby keeps our hands free which means we can go about our daily activities without having to separate ourselves from our baby. We can cook, clean, run errands, shop, take care of other children (for example our niece), etc. It's thanks to babywearing that I was able to attend a friend's birth while caring for my 6 month old child. As my friend roared her baby earthside my own baby slept in a wrap.
I remember at my mother's birthday I cut the cake into slices for everyone while wearing my bub and someone else said "I can take over if you like, you've got a baby". A kind offer, but not necessary. I thanked her and replied "it's okay, that's what the wrap's for".
For a quarter of the cost of a pram we could buy one wrap which would be versatile enough to carry our newborn right through to her toddler years and beyond in a range of different positions. And if we felt so inclined we could have made our own wrap for a fraction of that price again.
It's great for the little one's too. Sadly we often see little babies lying in prams crying out for someone to pick them up and hold them. Our baby has never been upset in a wrap or sling, for the first four months of her life she tended to sleep peacefully while being worn. After that age she enjoyed being able to see the world from on high.
Being worn means that babies and children can be easily included in the everyday activities of their adult relatives. This fosters greater attachment between family members. After nine months of being cosy inside their mothers, it only makes sense that babies will find peace and security in being worn close to their parents bodies. In the womb babies live with the rhythm of their mother's heartbeat as their background music, and with wraps and slings babies can hold onto that comforting womb connection by being worn close to the heart.
Babywearing also makes a great foundation for future cooperation in household maintenance because the children have always been involved in the cooking and cleaning by virtue of their place as overseer in their carrier.
There are plenty of things in our lives that when new to us can be awkward and confusing, but once mastered are well worth the brief period of adjustment. Babywearing is one of these (though not necessarily, to some people using slings and wraps comes very naturally). For all the wonderful benefits that come from babywearing for parents and babies alike, it is definitely a valuable skill for any kid wrangler to try his or her hand at.
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