Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Some Musings, as International Babywearing Week draws to a Close

As a mother to a rather large brood, I can honestly say that I don't know how I would have been able to survive if I had not worn my babies (and yes, toddlers, and even the occasional preschooler...).  And although it's something that's always come naturally for me, I must admit that I do, in fact, still relish the stares I get while wearing my babies in public.  Some are smiles of approval and the recognition, however brief, of a kindred spirit.  Others are wide-eyed shock, some questioning, and some, that all-too-familiar head shake - "Oh-look-at-the-hippy-granola-crunchy-wacko-lady."  The last is especially amusing to me, when I have all six kids in tow. *evil grin*

On more than one occasion, I have been able to mentor a young mom, who at first gave me those same askance glances, but after talking with her, was off to eagerly browse websites and join  TBW.com.  I love doing that.  No, it's not strange, alien, weird, or abnormal to use a sling.  And no, the baby isn't going to grow up spoilt, whiny, and clingy because they are being worn.  What you *will* find is a happy, secure, attached baby, and a more in-tune, relaxed mom.  Babies and their parents were made to need each other, made to need to crave closeness and intimacy.  And if you can get that while having both your hands free, everyone wins!

Slings don't take up room on the subway, and they are great in airports.  They fit easily in a diaper bag.  Some even have multiple uses - blanket, leash, nursing cover.... The list is almost endless.  And so what if I've dripped salsa on a baby's fuzzy head?  I've also been able to feed the same child while eating my own dinner.  Older children love to ride on your back - and Daddy's back is even better!

And I love it when my kids (especially Nathan - he's so good with babies...) ask to use the sling.  They will have grown up thinking it's normal to keep a wee one close, and already know how much easier babywearing makes life with a newborn.  Just as they think cloth diapers are "real" diapers, they'll know that babies are meant to be close to their hearts - in every way.  And while I know that not every baby enjoys being worn, many do, and learning his skill will make that transition easier for them as new parents.

***Ok, is anyone else a little freaked out that I'm thinking of grandchildren already???***

And so, on that note, I'll bit adieu to International Babywearing Week, with the hope that more mamas and daddies out there will discover the joys of holding their babies close to their hearts.  And that I'll be able to continue to spread the babywearing love to everyone I meet.

Long live babywearing!


  1. Thanks or sharing these reflections. Hooray for wearing those babies!!

  2. Great post, Karen. I'd never have "slung" Robbie if it hadn't been for you guys! The word is definitely spreading!