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Why did you decide to wear your baby?

806 Views 22 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  ABand3
I've been wondering how other babywearers came to know about babywearing and what led them to decide to do it. IRL, I only know one other babywearing mom, so I'm curious about it. I thought it might be interesting to have a thread about this topic, since there are so many good reasons to do it. Which benefit do you think influenced you the most?

I found out about slings from reading Dr. Sears and a LLL friend and began to wear dd as an older infant and toddler. I had some back issues then so babywearing was limited, but I also didn't understand how a baby could be worn all the time from birth. When pg with my son, I read all the information I could find on natural birth in other cultures, and that's where I really learned about babywearing as a lifestyle/parenting choice. I chose it for my son because it makes him so happy. People tell me I have the mellowest, calmest baby they have ever seen. I also do it for myself, because I believe there is spiritual gain in pursuing something that is physically challenging and non-mainstream.

So how did you learn about babywearing and what are the most important reasons you wear your baby? Do you know other babywearers?
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I so wish I knew about bwing earlier! I found out about slings other than the yucky nojos here at MDC when my 2nd child was almost 10mos. I got a hip carrier that was OK and figured there must be more out there. Started doing more research here and found Hotslings-still near and dear to my heart

With my 3rd he's been worn since day one out of necessity w/ 3 kids. But also because he slept better and it was nice for me to feed him on cue and snuggle all the time.
I only knew 2 bwers when I first started bwing in Iowa but when I moved to WA I was thrilled to meet lots more!
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I don't babywear yet because I don't have a baby to wear yet, but I've been planning to sling since I was 13 and talked to a man in the grocery store about how he was wearing his baby (this was in PDX, by the way). My first reasons were simply that the fabric was pretty and you could have your hands free. Since then, I haven't seen anything to change my mind and lots of stuff to reinforce my decision.

At this point, the only thing that'll keep me from baby-wearing is a baby that absolutely *wants* to be down.
At first, I just thought the slings looked super cool. (The first sling I saw was a silk brocade Zolo.) Then I started to read about the benefits, and thought, hey, what a great idea. Now that I have a 14 month old who has been worn since birth, who walked early, who can be easily comforted by being carried, who will happily cuddle up to me, worn on my back, while I make dinner or do dishes, who is secure and happy -- well, let's just say that the family members who questioned whether all this carrying was a good idea, I don't listen to them. Baby number 2 will be worn from birth, too.

So to answer your question, my reasons are:
a) it looks cool
b) it's good for the baby
c) it means less work for me because I can keep baby happy while I go about my regular business.
It just seemed natural to me. Mothers have been wearing their babies for as long as any historical record can show. It helps babies to feel secure and enables a mother to both care for her baby and accomplish other tasks.

OK, and, from the moment my first dd was born, I didn't ever want to set her down. Since she shared the sentiment, we were on our way. Dd2 was in a sling within 2 hours of birth.
I choose to still wear my 5 year old because he has sensory integration problems and being wrapped in a tight MT or carried in a pouch for a short time gives him a chance to take in everything and process it. He is also extremely ADHD so without limiting his movement in certain circumstances (museums, busy roads, etc) it would be difficult to do somethings. It has made going out and about much less stressful.

I wore him and his older brother when they were younger for the normal reasons, hands free, good for bonding, keeping ohing and awing stangers away from my tiny premies.

I do wear my 7 year old on occasion because he asks to be worn. But his time is limited because he is 55 lbs and beginning to get a bit heavy. But his 45lb brother is still no problem.
i guess the foremost reason i wear my baby is because my mom did. its amazing how many of her habits i picked up. second reason is probably peer pressure, in a way. i have a lot of crunchy friends, i dont think anyone would look down on me for having a stroller but it seemed natural that i would wear him. lastly convience. i live in a 5 story walk-up and a carrier is a whole lot more convienient that a stroller (dont even own one yet - ds is almost 9 mos)
At first, BWing just seemed like an easy solution to being able to make a sandwich while holding my NB
. But after getting my first sling, I realized both through personal experience and reading that it was best for both of us. I got it when he was 7 wks. I only wish I had used it from day one.
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It's funny: I had the experience of wearing one of my nephews in my mid-20s, just for a couple of hours or so when visiting with my brother and sister-in-law. Something about how elementally right, how nurturing, that felt has stayed with me--and now in my 30s, with my 3 mo ds, I'm bwing every day and still looking for the ideal sling. Or maybe the ideal sling for every situation??! Good thread.
Cool thread, and I get to post!

I first heard about Dr. Sears' sling when I received one at a baby shower. This is now surprising to me as I'm the eldest of 6 girls. The other 5 are very close in age, and yet none of them were worn.
I tried it when my oldest was a newborn, but couldn't get it right. She screamed, and I couldn't get it adjusted right (not a fan of closed rs!!!). So I gave up.

Then I found another board and started hearing about slings and how great they are. I searched and found a Maya Wrap distributor and bought one. I loved it! She loved it! It worked great, although I didn't get to wear her much as she was too mobile/independant/heavy (I iddn't start gradually, so all of a sudden carrying a 20+lb baby was a lot!).

Once I was pg with #2, I was excited about wearing her from the beginning. Which she was worn from day one. I loved my MW!!!
It started hurting my shoulder (as she gained weight...20+lbs)...but I still wore her. Made a Mei Tai and it works better.

As for #3, He'll be worn from day one probably, am making a new style so hopefully I'll be able to wear him for longer periods and not give up my RS. I'm making the convertable ring-wrap from Jan's site...

So, I wear my kids because I saw the info online. Heard how great it is, and loved the hands free aspect. My mom still doesn't understand and things they are getting "spoiled". Could also be that it limits her time of holding MY baby...

tammy (who obviously still doesn't like to share)...
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I have been wearing both babies in slings since about 1 - 2 weeks old. With DD2 I tend use the Ergo now because I'm on the go with DD1.

I wear my children because of it's convenience in being able to do other things, because it's good for them to be held, because it feels instinctively right to keep a baby close to me, and they love it.
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My first son was high needs (needed to be held/touched/carried 24/7) so that's what made me learn how to use a
sling. For the first 3 months, I couldn't get the hang of my OTSBH and was cursing the money I spent on it.

I'm happy he was HNs because it really got me into babywearing, which I know is * soooo * beneficial to babies development.

Then I went to a LLL and got hands-on help and my life was never the same! Then I switched to a Maya Wrap (OTSBH was my back up though.)

Reading Jean Liedloff's book THE CONTINUUM CONCEPT
nailed it (the benefits) for me.

With my 2nd, my favorite sling was the OTSBH. MW was my back-up. I tried a Kozy (I have 2) and it didn't work out. (Sob.)

If I had help with wraps, I probably would have tried harder.
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bhawkins said:
At first, BWing just seemed like an easy solution to being able to make a sandwich while holding my NB
This was me!! Although older DS didn't really care for it. Could have been because I didn't feel comfortable with the one I had. He actually preferred the Snuggli! But I made a few on my own when he was a bit older and they worked better for us. DS#2 LIVES in a sling. I only take the carseat out when we go to a buffet restaurant, sometimes.
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With my 10 year old I wore him in a Snugli a LOT so when my now 5 year old was born I did that again - until he outgrew it. We had a beautiful Kelty backpack that we used when he outgrew the Snugli that we used for some things but I had come to know online some sling wearing mamas via my breastfeeding forums. When my middle son was about 2 we decided to take a trip to WDW and I concluded that a sling would be a great choice for that. We used it a TON in his toddler years. For #3 I had four slings of various sorts before he was even born. I now have a few ring slings and just ordered an ABC. I love snuggling my babies. They always sleep that way and it's easier for me than shopping carts and strollers.
Wanting to wear my baby came so naturally; I'd seen my mom wearing her babies my whole life.
I naturally expected my babies to want to be held and carried. Even my dad says "You just bring the stroller so you have somewhere to put the diaper bag."
Using a sling just makes it easier, frees up your hands so you can get stuff done. I'd be so frustrated without babywearing.
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I didn't ever occur to me to not wear my baby since my mom wore my brother and me when we were little and I grew up around other mamas wearing their babies. Plus, I love how slings and mei tais and wraps and stuff look
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Its kinda funny, but the reason I really decided to start wearing baby was the supermarket. I took my baby in one of those "travel systems" into the supermarket and literally couldn't shop. My husband and I went together and it was like playing follow the leader, trying to get groceries. I don't wear my baby all the time, mostly because she gets really fussy if I wear her and am not moving, but unless my back is hurting, she's on me in my mei tei any time we leave the house. I figure its great for her and free exercise for me right?
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I didn't start using slings until my 4th baby. Before that, I used to carry them in my arms all the time to the point that people were begging me to put them down at least for their nap because it was supposedly so hard on me (my neck did hurt). It just felt right to me to hold my babies close. I was into attachment parenting before I even knew that concept existed. I think I've always known about slings but unfortunately had one bad experience trying one on (in retrospect, it was just too big -- a pouch). I decided to give them another try and was lucky to find the right kind of carrier right away (a mei tai), and now I'm hooked on ALL kinds of carriers. I don't even own a stroller anymore.
I don't have my baby yet (a couple oh months to go) but I had a sling even before I was pregnant!

I don't want to let my baby alone after he has been inside me for 9 months; and I know I cannot hold him in my arms because I will need them from time to time (my arms!) so a sling was obvious.

I think it's great and can solve numerous problems.

It's like the natural thing to do.

I couldn't leave my baby upstairs with a video monitor while I am downstairs in the kitchen for example......

And you have a broad choice of carriers and fabrics that are so cute
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