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Thursday, September 19, 2013

10 Reasons to Baby Wear - Contributor Post

Today, Joella from Fine and Fair shows us how easy and helpful wearing a baby can be! Why should you wear your baby?

Why yes, I did just weed my whole garden!
1. Get shit done.

Anyone with children knows how difficult it can be to get anything done efficiently, especially when they are
very needy babies. Without baby wearing, the options are: do shit when the baby sleeps and spiral quickly into sleep deprived delirium/psychosis (this depends on having a baby who will fall/stay asleep without touching you, which, lol), let the baby scream and cry while you get shit done and scream and cry yourself, or get shit done in short bursts with one hand while wrangling your baby. Babywearing keeps your baby snuggled against your warm body where they can smell your familiar smell and hear your familiar heartbeat, keeping them content (and often lulling them to sleep as you move around!) while you have your hands free to do some cleaning, cooking, yard work, homework, etc. (Safety tip! Don't bend at the waist while wearing your baby. Squat instead for bonus leg/glute toning!)

Do not attempt.
2. More effectively parent more than one child.

The transition from one to two children can be overwhelming at best, and panic inducing at worst. My mother warned me that two children is far more than double the work. Our family doctor confirmed that the work involved with two children does not double, it multiplies exponentially, so like, science and math and stuff. Babywearing has saved my sanity as I learned to juggle the very different needs of my two children. With the baby safely snuggled against me, my hands were free to play with my preschooler, to fix food for her, or to assist her with dressing, pottying, and other self care needs she was almost-but-not-quite independent with.

3. Help lose the pregnancy weight.

When I had my first child, I totally banked on that "Breast feeding makes the weight melt right off!" crap. For someone women, it does! For other women, it does not! (Guess which I was?) Despite breast feeding my daughter for over 2 years, I never lost all of the weight from my pregnancy with her. Now, I did wear her a fair amount, but not nearly as much as her brother gets worn, because, see # 2. Wearing your baby not only adds a weight bearing element to the movement your already do, it enables you to move more because you aren't stuck on a couch or rocking chair pinned down by your baby all the time!

4. Fret less.

When your baby is sleeping  (or even just hanging out) snuggled close to your body, you will be less inclined to worry about his or her well-being. No need to go check on them 20 times during an hour long nap. No need to worry that they might find something chokable on the floor. Simply snuggle and take comfort in feeling their sweet breath against your skin! Forget babyPROOFING* and get into babyWEARING!

*j/k, don't forget babyproofing, you can't wear your baby ALL the time....OR CAN YOU?

5. Make Mama Friends.

Babywearing is a great conversation starter when it comes to meeting other moms. Whether it's complimenting another mother on her carrier, or answering questions about yours from the woman juggling babies and groceries, babywearing can give a jumping off point to start chatting up other moms. Many towns and cities also have local babywearing groups who host play dates, meetups, and picnics! Strap your baby on and talk about it, I swear it's not (that) annoying! Hell, I'm doing it RIGHT NOW!

6. Impress people.
Look at that wrap job! Fancy!

People who aren't familiar with babywearing tend to be quite impressed by it, and a little ego stroke to a new mom whose ill-fitting yoga pants are in a perpetual state of puke-covered is never a bad thing. They might be impressed how much you can (SEE NUMBER 1). Or by your ability to (SEE NUMBER 2). Or maybe how quickly you (SEE NUMBER 3). They may just be overwhelmed by how cute your carrier is, or fascinated by the precision and skill required to wrap a baby on your back. They will be dying to know how you keep your baby so quiet and content, or where you found that ingenious carrier that is both comfortable and cute. Perhaps you'll venture into the world of making or dying your own carriers and blow them away with your crafty creativity. Regardless of what they're struck by, many people are seriously impressed by babywearing prowess!

7. Deal with fewer random baby-touchers.

This point is rather self explanatory. Random creepers are less likely to touch a baby snuggled up on your chest or on your back than they are to reach right in to your stroller. A bitchy resting face offers a bit of extra insurance. ;)

You can't even tell my boob is out!
8. Breast feed in public discretely.

I'm an advocate for breast feeding moms nursing whenever and wherever their baby is hungry, however they're comfortable doing so. Many moms are more comfortable with a bit of privacy or with a cover, and many babywearing options offer both! There are a number of nursing-friendly carriers and carries that can make breastfeeding in public private and discrete with a little bit of practice. A few trial runs in front of a mirror and you'll be whipping your boobs out like a pro with no one the wiser! Wraps and ring slings are probably the easiest to nurse in, but the more popular soft-structured carriers can accommodate nursing with some creativity and practice!

9. Bond with Baby

Babywearing can help facilitate the bond between moms and babies, particularly after a traumatic birth or a difficult start with breast feeding. The close proximity makes skin-to-skin time easy and allows you to smell each others' scents (yes, even the gross ones) and hear each others' sounds (yes, even the gross ones). It further allows moms to notice cues for hunger, diaper changes, or sleeping more quickly and accurately.

10. Enjoy warm, fuzzy feelings!

Cuddling with a sweet, soft, snuggly baby just feels good. 'Nuff said!

For more on babywearing, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, recipes, and feminist parenting, all with a touch of snark and a dash of sarcasm, visit Joella's blog Fine and Fair and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.


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