That’s what I used to wonder. I didn’t really get why it was a thing. Nowadays I’m an avid baby wearer. I have owned a number of different slings over the years and now switch between using fabric wraps and soft structured carriers depending on where we’re going, how long for and what the weather is doing.
Like lots of parents we bought a narrow based carrier and wasted no time in facing our 1st daughter outwards in it. Of course we know better than to do that now but it worked well for us at the time and showed us the freedom we could have. Being restricted to ramps and lifts is really annoying! That style of carrier quickly becomes uncomfortable for both you and baby so it wasn’t long until we went in search of something else.
It took me a while to brave a woven wrap but once I did loved it. For quite some time I had been thinking that all these women you see in developing countries must be on to a good thing. Babies are carried by the family members all day every day all over the world. They don’t have any complaints about babies not napping or having separation anxiety. The constant movement and no hands massage of be attached to someone means that colic is non existent too.
It turns out that all those people are right. When not carrying a baby in a wrap its a great blanket, scarf or pashmina. Initially I hired one (a size 4 didymos Azzurra )from my local sling library (yes there are places to try out and borrow slings/wraps) to try out on holiday. I really liked how versatile is was so I bought one I liked the pattern of. A Kokadi Diorite Stars.
I wore my daughter all through my second pregnancy and it helped me to stay strong and toned. It wasn’t until about 34wks that it started to feel uncomfortable.
Our second baby was in a sling at two days old. It made racing around after an energetic toddler much easier. She fed and slept tucked up in there. I could was the dishes, eat my dinner and toilet train a toddler without having to worry about the baby.
On long walks or long days out we still take a carrier for our big girl with us. She’s now three but gets tired little legs sometimes and actually really enjoys being carried.
For me carrying my children offers me a freedom that you just can’t have with a pushchair in tow and it offers opportunities to bond that you just don’t get with a pushchair. Having your baby or toddler up close allows you to kiss and cuddle them. Talk quietly together about the world and what you can both see/are doing. You don’t need to keep check if they’re too hot or too cold because you can feel them. They sleep soundly and safely,
There are so many options out there now for safe ways to carry your children that there is bound to be an option that suits you. My go to carrier is a Connecta. It’s light, folds up small, is easy to use and can go on front or back. Our other favourite buckle carrier was a Boba which was brilliant as we could switch between using it for our newborn and then 2year old. It was well padded, comfy and easy to use on back or front.
Now that both our girls are bigger we really need to invest in a toddler sized carrier but I’m a bit indecisive. We’ve got a friend’s Madame Goo Goo on loan which I really like but my husband doesn’t. I’ve tried a Tula and found those really comfy but as the girls walk more and more I might just go for a toddler Connecta that I can easily stuff in a bag. Decisions, decisions but regardless of which we go for I know that stairs won’t be holding me back.