An open letter to all the strangers with an opinion..
I’m a first-time mama to a sweet, SWEET baby boy, born March 30th, 2018. Since he was born, I have worn him in wraps and slings everywhere I go. I still wear him now as he’s nearing toddlerhood, and I plan to hold him in our slings until my back literally can’t take it anymore.
I get all kinds of comments from other people when I have my baby in a sling, and to each comment, I have a kind, gentle, educational response, and an equally snarky, right-back-at-you remark.
So, I thought I’d just get it all out there in one blog post.
This one’s for the opinionated woman behind the cash register, the know-it-all grandpa standing in line behind me at Starbucks, and the enlightened middle-aged mom who knows the absolute ONLY way to parent children because her 15-year-old turned out utterly perfect.
Here are my favorite comments…
“Do you ever put your child down?”
No, Barbara, I have never put down my child. Not once in his entire life. Of course, since you’ve only ever seen me when I’m trying to pay for a cart full of groceries and get the heck out of Costco, you must know how I parent my child the other 167 hours and 55 minutes of the week.
“You have so many slings.”
This is actually true. I have a lot. So I just agree with the comment and say, “I like to match.”
“Don’t you think he’ll get separation anxiety?”
That’s the goal, Karen. Obviously.
In all seriousness, while I have an endless supply of snippy responses to give, I also have real answers. Unfortunately, most people don’t care to actually know, they just want to passive aggressively tell me they don’t approve of my parenting choices.
But for those of you who are actually curious, here are some of the real benefits of babywearing and why I choose to keep my little bug so close to me.
You might be familiar with skin-to-skin contact and how it aids your body in producing milk for your precious newborn, helps them regulate their body temperature, and provides them security in a bright, loud, and new world. More often than not, I was lounging around our home wearing nothing but sweatpants with a baby wrapped to my chest, soaking in the benefits of skin-to-skin while still having free hands and being able to walk around.
When our son was brand new, we had the worst cabin fever. We wanted to get out of our house so bad, but didn’t want to risk anyone touching our newborn. So I wrapped him to my chest and we braved the public. He was so snug on my chest that most people felt awkward getting too close, and anyone who had the audacity to cross any boundaries had to get through me first.
Babies love their mamas, that’s a given. They spend nine months bonding with us before they even meet the rest of the world. Sometimes dads feel like they're missing out on that bond with their baby, especially if mama’s breastfeeding. Babywearing taught our son that his dad is a safe and secure place to snuggle up, just like mama. It created such a special bond between them, and we’re forever grateful.
As for those who are concerned about separation anxiety, I firmly believe that a child who is secure in their relationship with their parents will grow into the most confident and independent human they could possibly be, and they will do it in their own time (with a little guidance from their parents whom they wholly trust.)
Colic & Fussiness
When the witching hour would roll around and nothing seemed to calm down our little man, babywearing was the only thing that worked. He would scream and cry until we got him snug and secure in the sling, and then it was like he went under spell. Not only would he calm down, he would often fall into the most peaceful, snuggly, sleep…which leads me to the next benefit...
My son is only getting bigger and more independent. No one can stop me from soaking in his little snuggles while I still can.
Whether it’s to be hands-free at the grocery store, for on-the-go naps when we have no other option, or (in the future) for chasing around a toddler when we have a brand new baby in the mix, our ring slings are straight from the heavens above.
So, there you have it, folks.
Maybe it’s not for you, but those are my reasons for babywearing, and we're sold out to it.
Do you ever get criticized on parenting choices you believe in whole-heartedly?
Join the conversation below!