WHY don't more people babywear? There is really no "weird" stigma attached... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This all started when I was in Bestbuy slinging my DD. I saw another mama lugging a babe in a bucket, and she was struggling so bad, I almost wanted to stop and ask her if she ever considered a sling, but didn't feel totally comfortable doing that.

I don't get it. Some stuff regarding AP *could* be seen as more inconvenient by more mainstream mamas- like CDing. Breastfeeding and cosleeping are seen by many as taboo or weird or gross. : Not letting your child CIO- way harder. Not vaxing or circing? I won't even go there...but babywearing...it is SO much more convenient and can't really be seen as weird or unusual. (I don't think)...so WHY don't more people do it???

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#2 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 01:37 AM
 
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I'm right there with ya, mama, scratching my head.:
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#3 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 05:34 AM
 
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I've sauntered past many a struggling mama getting a stroller over a curb... I just hope my ease of transporting the little one speaks for itself!

I'm a proud mama of two girls! 4/30/06 Madeline, 09/25/08 Amelia
--**I'm here to share my mistakes and learn from yours**--
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#4 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 07:36 AM
 
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I really think it's because no one sees the other-than-mainstream carriers out there. And not everyone knows there is support out there locally by way of www.NineInNineOut.org. I quite a few women who have ring slings or pouches and just didn't know how to wear them properly.

In my pre-wearing days, I had no idea that anything else existed past a Bjorn. A friend gave me a second hand pouch with DS1, but I had no idea how to use it and she didn't show me how, either. Along came DS2 and I needed something badly. I had a hard time trying to find something on the internet with my lame google skills. When I found something, I was clueless as how it would actually work for me. Until I found www.TheBabyWearer.com. Then I was in heaven.

I can't imagine any sane mother of two or more who would turn their noses up at babywearing if they found out just how excellent and hands free it could be!
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#5 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 07:54 AM
 
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Well, where I live (Israel) it's actually quite common to see people babywearing, particularly with wraps which are considered pretty hip and trendy. Even dads!

I wouldn't take a sling to be a sign of other AP tendancies at all over here! My DH is not into AP so much and he always prefers to wear our kids rather than take the stroller - even our toddler!:
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#6 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 08:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellarstella
I've sauntered past many a struggling mama getting a stroller over a curb... I just hope my ease of transporting the little one speaks for itself!
:

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#7 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 10:11 AM
 
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I agree that, here, it is partly because people just don't know that there is that option. I can't count how many times I've been stopped and asked "What is that ? Did I make it? Where did I buy it? "

I do think that part of the problem, though, is that belief that we need to push our babies away in order to teach them some bizarre concept of independence.

Sandy, proud mama and henna artist. :
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#8 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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My guess is:

1. Many people simply don't know their options.

2. Some may think the sling is more effort than a carseat carrier, especially if baby is asleep.

3. Some may think it spoils a baby.

4. Some may think it looks funny.
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#9 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 01:06 PM
 
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Some may just be very short, with big babies.

I had my first son in the late 80's and tried a few slings ( they didn't fit well) and used those front carriers sometimes or a backpack when needed, but I couldn't do it for long periods or my back would hurt so badly.

I tried again with ds#2, in the mid-90's...same problems even though he was a lighter, smaller baby.

I never carried them in a bucket.

I mostly just carried them in my arms or on my hip...LOTS.

When they got older, we sometimes we used a stroller, but back then, no one thought strollers were bad. And if they were unhappy or fussed, we took them OUT of the stroller and carried them in arms.

I heard that now they have slings that adjust for shorter mothers. That's a good idea.

But my arms worked just fine, when the slings or pouches didn't work well for me.

We left the carseats in the car and just took our babies out and carried them in our arms.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#10 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 01:28 PM
 
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I am struggling with babywearing, too.
Homebirth? Loved it!
CD-ing? Count me in.
Breastfeeding? DS never had a bottle or pacifier in his life.
But finding a sling we both like? It's tough!
I bought a pouch. Also bought one for DH. Hated the pouch so there goes $80. Bought an Ergo carrier. Very comfortable once baby is in but tough to get baby in and out. Spent $100 on that. Also got a ring sling (another $40) but just can't seem to really get as efficient in adjusting it as the lady in the video. So most of the time I carry my 20-pounder in my arms (or even better take DH with us so he can do some carrying)
I'll try the ring sling again once DS is more proficient at head control. It also should be easier with the Ergo once I no longer need to fiddle with the infant pillow. But in that transition time it really is easier for me to carry him in my arms.
Baby bucket isn't even an option because my little guy outgrew his infant seat within the first 3 months...
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#11 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 08:20 PM
 
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Oh, but don't give up! Babywearing is an art/skill that takes practice sometimes. I highly recommend finding a NINO group in your area (www.NineInNineOut.org) or check out www.TheBabyWearer.com.

Pouches require a perfect fit to be comfortable. Many places have excellent return/exchange policies simply because of the nature of the pouch. Ring slings have a bit more of a learning curve, but you can get a much better fit (when you know what you're doing--find a NINO group!). I've heard the Ergo infant insert is really tough to use. So take heart mamas, there is a carrier for you!

I do know there are times when a bucket might suit your needs better, but when carrying in-arms gets weary on your back (as it does in my case), or you really need to be hands free to care for yourself or your other kids, babywearing can be such a blessing!
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#12 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 11:25 PM
 
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I didn't know about slings when my oldest was born. You see very little of that around here so I just had no clue. I thought I had to either use the carseat or a stroller, carry her in my arms (which I did a lot but didn't work with groceries etc) or use one of those frontpacks (which I couldn't get to work).

When my 2nd was born, I knew about slings and used that. Sooo much easier. I think I have actually 'sold' a few slings just because people ask me about the carrier. I know my neighbor bought a hotsling for her newborn because of mine, lol.
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#13 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 11:35 PM
 
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personally, I think there is a bit of a stigma attached to alternative carriers (ring slings, mei tais) on the part of some mainstream parents who think they are too "crunchy." So they might be happy to use a front pack, but a lot of people don't find them comfortable (or at least not for long), so babywearing is either short-lived or not done.

A lot of people see the infant car seat as easier (don't have to unbuckle baby and put baby back in and you can attach it to a stroller). And I have to admit that if you have a sleeping baby in an infant car seat and you want to go into a restaurant and have a peaceful meal, I'd leave them in the seat as well.

I don't, however, understand the parents whose babies are crying in strollers and they are trying desperately to soothe them by rocking the stroller back and forth instead of just picking them up already and using a carrier (especially when they are young and so light).
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#14 of 45 Old 09-11-2006, 11:40 PM
 
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I dont babywear because its not comfortable for my back, and ds doesnt like being constricted, and hasnt since he was a newborn. I was one of those mothers lugging around the bucket seat and then the stroller. Ds loved/s both of those things btw.And when he wants out, I carry him, otherwise he likes his independance.
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I don't, however, understand the parents whose babies are crying in strollers and they are trying desperately to soothe them by rocking the stroller back and forth instead of just picking them up already and using a carrier (especially when they are young and so light).
i would rock the stroller back and forth with ds fussing, and if you came across me you'd probably think I should just pick him up. But it was easier for HIM to fall asleep with the movement of the stroller when we were out, as opposed to me rocking him.
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#15 of 45 Old 09-12-2006, 07:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romans_mum
I dont babywear because its not comfortable for my back,
I have the complete opposite problem. I babywear because it saves my already bad back. I could never carry any of my kids in-arms for any length of time while standing without my back killing me. And I so love to hold my babies for as long as I can! Babywearing has saved the day for me.
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#16 of 45 Old 09-12-2006, 09:18 AM
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Okay, this will sound super-cynical, and before I get flamed, it OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T APPLY TO EVERYONE WHO OWNS A STROLLER, but here goes...

If you have a baby carrier, you don't get the materialistic "fun" out of buying a stroller.

Think of it: Though some baby carriers can be expensive, they're basically a length of cloth, whether we're talking a didymos (enormous length of cloth), Maya (cloth with rings), or rebozo (Cloth. Just cloth).

OTOH, a complete Peg-Pérego "travel system" not only comes with its very own accent (é) and hyphen (-), which of course ups the pretentiousness factor by 10% for every relatively unnecessary diacritical mark, but also is wildly bulky -- the advantage of which is that you announce to the world that you, too, have purchased something BIG, but has lots of gizmos, pockets, and places for you to put -- you guessed it -- more stuff you buy. The bigger and more elaborately expensive the stroller, the truer this cynical observation of mine here tends to be, so the people who buy the little umbrella doll strollers don't tend to fit this mold very well.

I can't tell you how many times at the mall, I've seen the big baby carriers used basically as an expensive Italian shopping cart while Grandma holds the baby. Of course, Grandma isn't much of a status symbol (and of course, neither is the baby), but the stroller certainly is.

Moreover, in this increasingly materialistic culture, the stroller/bucket/car seat/purchase carrier prevents you from actually having to touch or interact with your baby. For some women, this is a serious advantage. (DISCLAIMER: OBVIOUSLY NOT ALL.) Also, just as slings and wraps make breastfeeding easier, the stroller makes it significantly harder -- which again, for some women, is a definite advantage. That way, if you bottle-feed, you also get to...you guessed it again...buy more stuff.

I think the women that I tend to feel the greatest amount of genuine sympathy for are the ones who, imitating this type of woman, make themselves economically and emotionally miserable and do so without really knowing that there's another choice than to follow in the touch-me-not-I'm-buying-things mommy culture that exists in this country.

Okay, </cynical rant>. Thanks for listening.
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#17 of 45 Old 09-12-2006, 11:51 AM
 
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It's pretty normal to babywear in my city. So much so that there is sometimes a stigma attached to using a stroller. I do both, and I've had other moms try to educate me about slings when I've had my baby out in the stroller. Whatever. I guess some parents never even think about it -- strollers and carseats and infant swings and cribs are entrenched in our culture, but slings and wraps aren't yet.

otoh, regarding this
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry.
If you have a baby carrier, you don't get the materialistic "fun" out of buying a stroller.
At my local bookstore a couple of moms were discussing all kinds of wraps and how much they cost, and how many each had. One turned to me and asked where I got mine. When I told her I'd made it (it's just a wrap) she said "You can do that?" She went on to tell me I really should buy one to 'be sure it's safe'. Then she and her friend went back to talking about their slings and the various fabric options etc. Definitely getting their consumerist thrill!
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#18 of 45 Old 09-12-2006, 11:52 AM
 
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I never had any trouble with strollers, but had awful trouble with slings. I never found one that was comfortable.
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#19 of 45 Old 09-12-2006, 12:44 PM
 
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I would have to say I have never tried a sling but plan to with this upcoming baby. Am drooling over a Didymos but may settle for a Moby.

I have used front carriers and never been comfortable, they do a terrible number on my back.

As I read the threads here on MDC I realize that mommies go through many different kinds of carriers till they find one that works well.

Some of us don't have the patience nor the $$ to try all the different kinds till one comfortable one it found. Or we erroneously think they are all the same.

I am a very active person and would love to find a way to comfortable take my babe with me.
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#20 of 45 Old 09-12-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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I think the biggest issue, at least in my area, is that there's only two places I can think of that even sell slings locally, so there's just not a lot of support. One place only sells ring slings, and it's a good half hour drive, and the other, while they have tons of support and a great selection, is over an hour away. You just can't do too much with one of those bulky, over-padded ones they sell at baby stores, etc. and I think a lot of people don't realize that you can get an instruction video or find them online.

With my last child, I made up some little cards with some website addresses for info on how to sling properly, since I got stopped and asked ALL the time how I learned how to do it so naturally. I'll have to check my links and do that again when this one is born!
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#21 of 45 Old 09-12-2006, 09:45 PM
 
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Hi from the May DDC, KBinSTAX!

We've had a lot of babywearing ups and downs as well. It took awhile to get dd to like her pouch sling, but she finally did...but it killed my back (dh likes his very much, though). Once she hit a few months, she wanted to be upright and kicking, so the pouch wasn't working for us. I tried a ring sling, but was never able to figure it out. We have a Bjorn that we got as a gift, and dd loved it, but it also kills my back and we don't like to use it much b/c of the potential for pelvic problems. Everyone told me to get a Moby, so I did--and it took me WEEKS to figure it out (today was actually the first time I got that sucker to work--twice!), but now that I see how it works, it's perfect for us. Keep on trying...and sell those carriers you don't want on the TP! Make some of your money back and you can invest it in something that works for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KBinSATX
I am struggling with babywearing, too.
Homebirth? Loved it!
CD-ing? Count me in.
Breastfeeding? DS never had a bottle or pacifier in his life.
But finding a sling we both like? It's tough!
I bought a pouch. Also bought one for DH. Hated the pouch so there goes $80. Bought an Ergo carrier. Very comfortable once baby is in but tough to get baby in and out. Spent $100 on that. Also got a ring sling (another $40) but just can't seem to really get as efficient in adjusting it as the lady in the video. So most of the time I carry my 20-pounder in my arms (or even better take DH with us so he can do some carrying)
I'll try the ring sling again once DS is more proficient at head control. It also should be easier with the Ergo once I no longer need to fiddle with the infant pillow. But in that transition time it really is easier for me to carry him in my arms.
Baby bucket isn't even an option because my little guy outgrew his infant seat within the first 3 months...
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#22 of 45 Old 09-13-2006, 11:22 PM
 
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Quote:
I am struggling with babywearing, too.
Homebirth? Loved it!
CD-ing? Count me in.
Breastfeeding? DS never had a bottle or pacifier in his life.
But finding a sling we both like? It's tough!
I bought a pouch. Also bought one for DH. Hated the pouch so there goes $80. Bought an Ergo carrier. Very comfortable once baby is in but tough to get baby in and out. Spent $100 on that. Also got a ring sling (another $40) but just can't seem to really get as efficient in adjusting it as the lady in the video. So most of the time I carry my 20-pounder in my arms (or even better take DH with us so he can do some carrying)
I'll try the ring sling again once DS is more proficient at head control. It also should be easier with the Ergo once I no longer need to fiddle with the infant pillow. But in that transition time it really is easier for me to carry him in my arms.
Baby bucket isn't even an option because my little guy outgrew his infant seat within the first 3 months...
I think you should try to sell what has not worked and get some money back. I also think you should try a mei tai carrier.
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#23 of 45 Old 09-14-2006, 12:29 AM
 
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I think the biggest problem is Babies R Us and Target don't carry quality slings. When I was TTC and pregnant with DD I probably read EVERY review on those two websites since they are the places you register at. If you read the reviews of strollers some get good reviews some get bad, exersaucers some good some bad, carriers....all bad except the super expensive Baby Bjorn. When I look back now the $76 (at that time) baby bjorn is about the same price as a MT, but compared to the $30 Snugli and everything else you think its too expensive. Granted I didn't think twice paying more then that for the exersaucer my DD hated. If Hotslings or Peanutshells were sold at Babies R Us which are priced similar to the Snugli and others, with its good reviews, people would probably buy them and use them. But since the slings at BRU have bad reviews you just don't register or buy one at all.
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#24 of 45 Old 09-14-2006, 12:35 AM
 
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Well, there are some women who just plain can't sling.

I've got a back problem, and when I stand or walk for more than a few minutes, my left leg goes numb. I was always afraid to babywear because I was so afraid of falling with my son. Pushing him in a stroller was a much safer option for us.

--Olive
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#25 of 45 Old 09-14-2006, 06:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbellydreams
carriers....all bad except the super expensive Baby Bjorn. When I look back now the $76 (at that time) baby bjorn is about the same price as a MT, but compared to the $30 Snugli and everything else you think its too expensive.
So true! I do think that the bad reviews of carriers have some to do with people just not knowing how to use other-than-mainstream carriers. And they have no idea where to turn.

If more people knew about www.NineInNineOut.org or www.TheBabyWearer.com, I think more people would be inclined to find something better.

Price is a different story, though. I suppose it would be easy to hire cheap labor, but so many of the WAHMs who are making quality carriers are paying decent dollars to get quality seamstresses. That and a MT is so labor intensive to make.
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#26 of 45 Old 09-14-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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Yeah, in a few years I sure hope that MTs don't still cost $65. They cost way too much to make for that retail price. So hopefully (for the sake of a fair wage for those making them) the market will grow and eventually support a more correct price point for them. A Baby Bjorn Active costs $120 and compares more favorably to a MT, but is still only a front pack. But for all the baby gear that many of us spend money on or receive as gifts, and the value that a good baby carrier (or two or three) adds to our parenting lives, hopefully, a lot of people will be able and feel willing to pay a higher price for a quality carrier like a well-made MT or a great sling.
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#27 of 45 Old 09-14-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momeeboys
Price is a different story, though. I suppose it would be easy to hire cheap labor, but so many of the WAHMs who are making quality carriers are paying decent dollars to get quality seamstresses. That and a MT is so labor intensive to make.
I don't think they need to be cheaper then they are, there just needs to be several at the same price point. When I looked at the carriers at BRU, the Baby Bjorn looked too expensive compared to the others. If there were 4-5 carriers the same price I wouldn't have winked at the price, I'd just think thats what they cost, not that one was out of the ball park.
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#28 of 45 Old 09-14-2006, 07:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbellydreams
I don't think they need to be cheaper then they are, there just needs to be several at the same price point. When I looked at the carriers at BRU, the Baby Bjorn looked too expensive compared to the others. If there were 4-5 carriers the same price I wouldn't have winked at the price, I'd just think thats what they cost, not that one was out of the ball park.
Oops, my bad. I was looking at your post from my perspective that I initially thought MTs were so overpriced. Until I made a few.:

Wouldn't it be great if the day would come when a brand-name MT would be sitting side by side next to a Bjorn in a retail store.
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#29 of 45 Old 09-14-2006, 08:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momeeboys
Oops, my bad. I was looking at your post from my perspective that I initially thought MTs were so overpriced. Until I made a few.:

Wouldn't it be great if the day would come when a brand-name MT would be sitting side by side next to a Bjorn in a retail store.
Oh I thought that too when I first saw them! I also thought that when I saw the price of a pouch and so I googled patterns and decided to make my own. When I googled patterns for a MT I decided to buy one.

I totally want to see a MT next to a Bjorn at a big store! I don't think I've ever seen a MT in any store. I have started seeing pouches though!
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#30 of 45 Old 09-16-2006, 01:55 PM
 
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There are loads of babywearers where I live. I see them every time I'm in the grocery store. Even men with slings! I do the babywearing thing a lot, too. I have a snugli that was given to me and a tube pouch that I made (which is way more comfortable than the snugli) but sometimes the stroller's just a better option, for a few reasons. First, DS likes to kick and stretch a lot and gets bored and being stuck in a carrier too long. Second, sometimes I walk to the store and don't want to have to carry the baby and everything I bought and hold onto a leash (dog usually comes too) so it's better to have a stroller with some cargo space. Plus, DS loooves his carseat. I don't know how many times he's been fussy and crying and there seemed like nothing I could do and it turns out he just wants to be put down, especially in his carseat.

I still babywear on a regular basis, though. Works really well for around the house or when I go walking at the dog run which has no paths. I don't think there's one partiular baby transportation method that is overall superior. Really, I just do what works!

As far as the consumer rush, my stroller/carseat/baby bucket combo was a gift and I made my sling. My husband's a full time student, so I don't get to experience that!

Heidi mum to Isaac (06/06), Matea (04/08), and Naomi (04/10)
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