Carrying for practicality
When I was pregnant, I knew I’d babywear for transport, but I had no idea how much I’d love it. I initially wanted to wear my son because we live in a 3rd floor flat and use buses a lot. That meant using a buggy was going to be a pain. Also, I wanted to keep being able to hold my husband’s hand when we walk together. We enjoy and crave closeness and babywearing has been such a natural extension of that to include our son. Carrying connects my family.
Our first attempts with our 5-day old were far from perfect but it felt so right for us. I’m an anxious person and having my precious and terrifyingly fragile newborn so close meant I could constantly check on him. I could see that he was breathing, and being carried kept him feeling safe and happy. My husband used to wear him while standing, swaying gently, and playing video games. This meant I could nap: bliss for us all! Our Witching Hours were cut very short by comforting sling cuddles. Carrying kept our newborn calm and safe.
As he has gotten older, I find it easier to talk and sing to my son while wearing him as it’s just between us. With a buggy I feel like I must speak uncomfortably loudly in public, or not speak to him at all. I am calmer knowing that we can go anywhere that I can walk to. We are not restricted by narrow doorways, stairs or rough ground.
Carrying gives us freedom
We have taken him upstairs on buses, into normal seats on trains, over cobbles, gravel and sand. We’ve walked up ancient stone steps, round the muddy edge of my husband’s obstacle race, and into favourite small shops. Busy Comicon was also no obstacle! An event we always attended in the past would have been really impractical with a buggy. As it was, my son slept on my back awhilst we browsed, shopped and geeked out to our hearts’ content. Carrying helps us connect to ourselves as peopl; who we were before and who we still are outside of being parents.
I’ve learned so much
When I tried my first woven at my local sling library I thought “I will never get this!” but we persevered, and it clicked! By 7 months my son was on my back for housework and cooking. I felt less trapped on days he needed closeness, but I needed to clean or eat.
A wrap is his safe place when he is overwhelmed by the big world. He can always feel secure in that way, which is helping him become a cheerful, sociable little boy. His sling cuddles with Daddy at home time have helped him take to nursery like a champ! I now do all sorts of carries, including fancy finishes (!) and I am proud of what I have learned! I’m proud of how this thing I enjoy is so good for my son, and I’m more confident in myself and my ability to make decisions as a parent. Carrying builds our confidence.
The benefits continue to amaze me
The benefits continue to amaze me and the tasks which a sling makes easier keep on presenting themselves. Just this week we have found that our now 1 year old submits much more easily to eye drops whilst being worn. And, 13 days or 13 months, his head settling against my chest to sleep is one of the most wonderful feelings I know. Carrying connects us to calmness and closeness and it is something I am so grateful to have found and plan to do for my son, and any future babies, for as long as they would like.
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