Baby Wearing Has Benefits for Mom and Baby
I’m not sure if it is growing in popularity all over the country, but baby wearing is definitely catching on in my neck of the woods. And for good reason! I’ll skip describing the list of reasons that I had come to the conclusion long before my baby was born that I planned on wearing her as much as possible to have her close to me. However, I will say that the reasons were for her benefit. What I soon learned, though, is that wearing your baby also provides some major benefits to mom too.
Multi-tasking has a Whole New Meaning With Children
I was a multi-tasker before I had a baby. I thought I was exceptionally good at balancing multiple things at once. That confidence evaporated when I had my baby. I had lived 32 years on this Earth as me, myself and I, and suddenly there was this tiny, needy creature that needed me all the time. How was I going to cook dinner? Do laundry? Go to the bathroom in the middle of a colic episode when no one else was around to hold her to relieve me? Do my makeup so I didn’t feel like a sloppy beast?
My kiddo is now a 15 month old toddler. While I can’t claim to be an expert, I will say that wearing my child, as beneficial as it is for her development and our relationship, has also been a lifesaver for me. I work at home, so I have to juggle the role of stay-at-home-mom and working mom all at once, 7 days a week, day and night. I the early months of infancy, my baby was colicky, so baby wearing was essential to keep her calm, but also was fundamental in making it possible for me to keep up with household responsibilities and do my work on my computer. Now that she is older, she does play more independently, but there are regularly those times that my daughter needs to be held or nursed at precisely the time that I am in the middle of making dinner, for example. I put her in our Ergo carrier, my go to carrier of choice (which can be worn on the front, as a hip carry or on the back like a backpack), free up my hands, and can finish up whatever I need to do and meet her needs too. Wearing my gorgeous little gal has made it possible for me to still be a functional person and meet some of my needs too. It really has been my sanity saver at times.
Top Baby Wearing Lifesaver Moments
- Moving – We moved to a new house right when my daughter turned a year old. I was insane enough to reinstate my real estate license and handle our transaction, a relative’s transaction, plan a first birthday party and pack and move simultaneously. I was understandably stressed. My daughter picked up on all the changes and stress and went through a must-be-held-at-all-times phase until she got used to the new house a couple of weeks after moving in. Childcare options are rather limited for us. The only option was baby wearing. I wore my daughter for all of it…working on transactional paperwork, home inspections, packing, moving boxes, unpacking. Was it exhausting? Of course. But it was a better alternative to having a stressed, screaming child who was a hot mess from such a big, busy transition happening all around her.
- Surviving Colic – Our little family had to deal with nightly colic for several months. I dreaded 4 p.m., the witching hour, because that is when my happy baby turned into a very unhappy, crying one for about 6 to 8 hours. I had an ever changing bag of tricks to manage the several month stretch of colic, but the one constant was wearing her on my chest. It comforted her and allowed me to remain mobile and functional.
- Exercise for Mom – Lots of moms struggle with post baby weight. One of the unexpected by greatly appreciated benefits of wearing my daughter has been maintaining my own fitness and dropping the baby weight fast. With “me” time at such a minimum, I don’t have a lot of time to carve out for a solo workout. But when I add a 20 pound baby to my daily regiment around the house (which you will comfortably be able to do if you start baby wearing with a supportive carrier early and build up the strength to handle the weight as your child grows) and throw in a daily walk with my two dogs, I don’t really need to worry about fitting in a structured workout because I have bent, squatted, walked and lifted more than I would have at the gym anyway.
- Bathroom emergency – We’re human, these moments happen. Sometimes they happen at home where baby can be put somewhere safe and other times they happen at the gross public bathroom at the grocery store where you don’t dare put your child on the ground or let her touch anything in the vicinity. Enter the potty saving moment, the baby carrier. Now, this is an advanced skill, and it will depend on the type of carrier you are using, but successfully pulling this move off not only satisfies your biological needs but makes you feel like you deserve an Olympic Gold Medal for completing this feat of motherhood.
If you are a mom or mom-to-be, some of your family’s needs may be similar to mine, some will be different. However, if you are finding it hard to juggle baby care with daily responsibility, consider baby wearing. It takes some practice, but there are resources everywhere, from you tube videos instructing how to wear a baby to workshops to other nice moms willing to loan you their carrier and give you a how-to demo. Baby wearing could be the key to giving yourself the ability to handle some seemingly impossible tasks.