Sunday, March 9, 2014

Wearing babies

My mom's told me a number of times about taking me to minor league baseball game at just a few weeks old. She wore me in a front pack and zipped her coat around me. A family friend was talking to her and said, "When are you gonna have that baby already???" She laughed, unzipped her coat, and said, "She's right here!"

I wore Gracie in the Moby Wrap when she was tiny and needed to be bounced for hours every night during her "evening fussies," AKA screaming and crying for two plus hours. When she got a little bigger, someone gave us a Baby Bjorn, and both McMister and I used that. We still used the stroller on walks and many out-and-about activities, but when the environment wasn't conducive to a stroller, the Bjorn was our go-to. Just after 6 months old, she weighed too much for it (remember I have BIG-baby-producing breastmilk), but we were already done using it.

With Lyla, I don't remember using the Moby at all. She was born June 1, and I was hotter than hot carrying her around all summer and nursing her. I can't even imagine putting that giant, black thing on and carrying a hot, sweaty baby inside. When she was big enough, we used the Bjorn quite a bit. With one kid, I never saw "baby-wearing" as too much of a necessity. With two, it was critical for me - so much easier to chase our wild toddler around with the baby strapped to my chest. So just before Christmas that year, when she was 7 months and too big for the Bjorn, my sister convinced us to get an Ergo, the carrier she used as a nanny. I wore Lyla in it for several months after that, and McMister just stopped wearing her in it a couple months ago.

Some time last year, I was invited to join a local baby-wearing Facebook meet-up group. I declined. There are so many divisive factors when it comes to parenting; I just do not see how baby-wearing came to be one of them. When we're out, I use strollers and wraps and forward-facing carriers and parent-facing carriers and sometimes I just hold my babies; at home, I use my arms and if I need them for something else, I put the baby down. How anyone can feel superior to or even separated from other moms due to these choices seems so ridiculous to me.

We were at a party this afternoon with a ton of strangers and little kids. I didn't want every random lady asking to hold my 4-week-old and all their snotty-nosed kids to touch her. (Both Gracie and Lyla are sufficiently snot-covered at the moment; so that last comment wasn't meant in a derogatory way. I literally mean I don't want kids with colds to pet Poppy's face.) So I wore her in the Moby. A few people commented saying they thought I was pregnant at first, then saw Poppy's little newborn head peek out. I laughed politely and thought, "Man, these people can't be very observant. I'm clearly wearing a wrap."

Then I took Lyla to the bathroom and saw myself in the mirror, black shirt and black wrap perfectly hiding my little, out-of-the-womb Pop Tart. So I did what any mom with a blog does: I snapped a few party selfies so I could look back, years down the road, and see what I looked like when people honestly, and logically (I realized in that moment), couldn't tell if I was still pregnant or not.

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Shannon said...

I definitely did a double take with that first picture!

Hilary @ Peanut Butter Spoonfuls said...

Love the little toddler hand and head in those pics too. Totally agree with you about the babywearing mommy wars thing. This seems like the silliest one to draw lines over. It isn't something you either DO or DON'T do. Plus who cares.

thinkandrunjade said...

Aw! Some people's comments (in the real world) do make you think - man what is going on in their head - but looking at the photo, it does make sense. I love baby wearing especially for those colicky babies!

Dana said...

Do you like moby wrap? I never really anything with Aydan but just got an Ergo. Hope I love it!