July 26, 2017

You Don’t Have to Baby-Wear to Be a Good Mom

You Don't Have to Babywear to Be a Good Mom | TheMarathonMom.com

I keep seeing it.  The chatter and praise for baby-wearing.  To the point of obsession with wraps and rings and best ways and which ones for different ages and sizes.

Want to wear your baby?  Wonderful!  I support that.  (Although I do wish we could come up with something other than the word  “wear” because it’s not like they are an article of clothing.)  If you truly love it and your baby does too, then go for it.  But it’s not for everyone.

I tried baby-wearing off and on for many years.  Slings.  Wraps. Carriers.  Yep, tried them all.  I always ended up doing the same thing:  ditching the wrap, sling, carrier for good old carrying my baby in my arms on my hip.

Why in the world would I do that and not take advantage of having both arms free with my baby strapped safely across my front (or back)?

Reasons I Never Loved Baby-Wearing:

  • Sometimes, I was spending more time putting my baby in and out of the carrier than it would take to simply walk into a place.
  • Slings were SUPER awkward, and in hindsight, I see why they got such a bad rap (sorry, couldn’t skip that play on words.)  With tiny infants, they can be unsafe, especially if used incorrectly.
  • If I’m already working hard doing manual labor (often), sometimes an extra 25 pounds strapped to my back is not the best idea.  (I need to consider myself sometimes, too.)
  • If I’m at home,  I would rather be able to sit and hold my baby in my lap and look at him, or swaddle him when he’s tiny.

When Baby-Wearing Makes Sense

The two times I still use baby wraps or carriers are when they are newborns and I have to be out in public with them.  Wearing my baby is naturally a good way to keep the baby against my chest (the safest place for him for multiple reasons), and to keep people’s hands and faces away from him.

The only other time I put our older baby in a carrier is when we’re going for a walk or hike that doesn’t allow for me to push a stroller or when we’re camping and I can’t let him toddle about safely.

It’s a Preference

So for me, there are a few occasions when baby-wearing is appropriate and helpful to me, but otherwise, I carry my baby on my hip.  Because I prefer it that way.  That’s what works for me.

If you love baby-wearing because you think it’s fantastic, then by all means, go for it!

You Don’t Have to Baby-Wear to Be a Good Mom

Which brings me to the point of this post.  You don’t have to baby-wear to be a good mom.  The things you do as a mom, the choices you make in motherhood – those don’t define your success as a mother.  Checking things off a list might make us feel like we’re doing a good job, but if we’re only doing them because many other people are, that’s not a good reason – and especially if those things don’t prove helpful to us.

At one point in time, I thought baby-wearing was something I had to master.  Natural moms did it. Breastfeeding moms did it.  So I should too, I thought.  But it just wasn’t for me.  I know how to use them.  I know which ones to use for which ages.  But I don’t always need one.  And I’m not a bad mom for choosing otherwise.  You aren’t either.  If you’ve tried baby-wearing and just keep trying to make it work and it doesn’t, can I encourage you?  You don’t have to make it work.

So, if baby-wearing works for you, hooray!  I love that carrier on you!  And if you’re like me and prefer a little more wiggle room, then that’s cool too!

My point?

You’re a good mom if you baby-wear, and a good mom if you don’t!


Comments

  1. I wore my second baby literally all the time and I loved it, but by the time I got to #3 I was only able to a little & and not at all with #4; I had done such a number on my back that I was physically unable. It definitely has its pros and cons.

  2. While I do love having my babies in a carrier as newborns through a church service and in the ergo at the grocery store (so I can have groceries in the cart) and when I’m pushing a toddler in the stroller until the baby approaches 1, I completely agree with what you said. I am a mom of 6 and want you to know I have been so encouraged and inspired in many ways by your blog. For instance, your Magic Cookie Bar recipe is now a common treat around our house! 😉 I have been reading all of your old posts like a book. I’m thankful for how the Lord has given you this ministry to encourage other mamas.

  3. Yay, somebody said it! Another point is that sometimes it works for one of your babies but not the other. I had my second born (stage 9 clinger) in a sling 24/7. My third baby? I did at first but now that she is one I look back and see that I barely wore her after 5 months. She was just too whiney, and the other two always had a need that involved me taking her off just to but her back on again. Different strokes for different folks. 🙂

  4. I agree!! 🙂 I wore my third very often- he was a snuggler and I needed both hands free for my two toddlers. He would just fall asleep so contentedly there. My 4th hated it and so I didn’t use it at all. With My 5th I didn’t need it and like you say, it’s quicker to carry him on my hip! #6 is due soon, but because #5 is still a curious toddler, I might need to free my hands up a bit sometimes, so I’ll keep it on hand.
    Thanks for the reminders to keep life in perspective and not just try to keep up with the fads and follow the ‘Jones’s. Blessings to you in Jesus’ name!

  5. Brandy, thanks for this post. It’s absolutely crucial that we stop forcing ourselves to feel guilty when we make choices that are good for our babies but not necessarily currently on trend. I find that my clients suffer with so much unnecessary mom guilt! I appreciate your perspective.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I think this can apply to A LOT of decisions that we make as parents! We should never make a decision based on guilt or”peer pressure” from other parents or magazines/websites, etc.

    I have done a lot of baby wearing. My third baby is one month old and i use the wrap a lot. She settles well and falls asleep in it (and when she’s good and asleep I can lay her down in her crib!! Win-win!) I also use it on walks and in public. Helps me get things done, since it’s hard to carry a small baby in one arm and cook or clean.

    With my second son, I didn’t use a baby carrier as much as with my first. Mostly on my daily walks. He was so happy watching his older brother that he was more content just hanging out as he got older.

    I also occasionally see people who baby wear their older toddlers a lot , and I think that may be detrimental to their development. Kids need to explore and move and strengthen muscles too! (Just my two cents!)

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