I wanted this post to include “a few” of my favorite babywearing pictures. 65 pictures later, I realized that wasn’t going to happen. I think I settled with 8. But WHEW was it hard.
Babywearing has been one of the sweetest and most tender parts of mothering for me. One of the reasons choosing pictures to share is hard is because I cherish all those pictures of my son wrapped in the moby, tight in the sling or close to me in the ergo. They speak something unique.
Babywearing has changed – it’s a lot different with a newborn than with a 9 month old, but some of the reasons stay the same. Here’s a reflection of one of my favorite things a year in.
When you were a newborn…
I wore you, skin to skin, so you would learn who your mama was. I wanted you to know my smell, my voice, my kiss, my walk. I wore you close, tight on my chest, lulling you to sleep by the rhythm and movement of my breath. I wore you in a hospital room, I wore you on our first day outside of its walls, walking around the block, eating dinner with a little Chipotle falling on your head… the pitfalls of a worn child. I nervously put you in the sling for the first time as I ran out of options during the “witching hours,” walked outside in the warm april night air, bouncing and shushing and listening in awe as the combination of all those things began to quiet and calm you. Thus began our nightly ritual.
Three months in…
I started getting more confident as your mama… realizing that babywearing was becoming a part of the fabric of the relationship between you and me. You started sleeping a little more. You were sleeping in your crib at night although in the day we often took sling naps. I didn’t mind. I could still bake or clean or eat lunch. I wanted you close to me. You loved being near me, being held. The feeling was mutual. I wore you during church, rocking back and forth as I worshipped, singing you to sleep. I wore you while grocery shopping. You absolutely loved to look all around and everyone always commented on you having “the best seat in the house.” I never left home without my sling. When you were having trouble sleeping or teething or anything really, the sling was our best friend. I’d wrap you up, pull you tight and we’d both breathe a sigh of relief. We were home.
Six months already?
You’ve gotten so big! Our trusty linen sling doesn’t seem to be cutting it for 2 hour long trips out of the house anymore. It’s my favorite so it’s a hard pill to swallow. I started using the ergo and it took a couple times for me to get used to it, but the first time I put you in, I could tell you were as comfy as could be. This is our new “long trip/ grocery shopping” way to wear. The sling is still our go to for short trips/ easy pop-on wears or for sleeping troubles. You started crawling at 6 months and immediately were a man on the go! Over the next couple months you wanted me to wear you less and less. It was a little sad, but I knew that since I had carried you close, you knew you could depend on me and our bond was so strong that now you were free to explore the world on your own.
As nine months rolled along…
You only got bigger and bigger… and bigger! Fortunately for mama though, those babywearing days were not over. The reasons though, were not happy ones. In January you were sick almost the entire month and had near constant sleeping troubles. I continued to try to put you down for naps and night as usual, but often you would end up in the ergo or the sling, being rocked by the light of the moon… sometimes for 30 minutes… sometimes for 2 hours. Those were rough nights. You were tired and felt so bad, I was so tired. My poor single layer linen wasn’t cutting it for your 24 pound chunkiness anymore. But beside the sickness, I started wearing you on my back in the ergo to clean the floors and make dinner – and you LOVED it! You loved to bounce and play and see what was going on… especially when I was vaccuming and cooking! You are an explorer man and it was so convenient for me when I needed to get things done and wanted you to be content but needed you to be safe.
For my birthday, my in-laws got me a double layer silk sling…. it’s so gorgeous and it really felt like a labor of love. I put my chunky guy in it for the first time and he felt like half his weight. It’s been amazing to pop him in on those hard nights and not to have my back pay for it.
So here were are… 11.5 months… so close to 1 year we can taste it...
And we are baby wearers. Soon to be toddlerwearers. It’s an important part of the culture of our family.
Babywearing is sweet, tender, and provides take-your-breath-away closeness; it’s fun and allows you and your baby to share experiences in a unique way that’s unlike any other; it’s efficient and lets mama get things done while still nurturing and interacting with your baby – the ultimate multitasking!
I wear my son because I love to hold him close.
I wear my son because I want him to know I’ll always be here for him.
I wear my son because I want him to become independent.
I wear my son because it makes doing tasks of daily living so much easier.
I wear my son because it gives him a different vantage point in life.
I wear my son because I love it.
I wear my son because he loves it.
I wear my son because I love him.
We are babywearers. It has been a joyful part of our first year together and I know will continue to provide helpful and joyful memories. I love babywearing and am so thankful for it.