Attachment parenting is all the rage among millennial parents, and among its central tenets are the big three: exclusive breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and babywearing. And while they all have benefits, they're not all things every mom can or wants to do. Still, people tend to use them as yardsticks for successful motherhood. The decision not to wear your baby is one of the most visible parenting decisions you can make, and that makes you vulnerable to criticism. No one has listened to our side of the story, until now. So here it is: the confessions of a babywearing "failure."
As an expectant mom building a registry, I did my research. I learned that babywearing was beneficial for both mom and baby. According to Dr. Sears, sling babies cry less and learn more, and La Leche League told me that wearing my baby would make breastfeeding easier. It seemed like the natural choice. Unfortunately, babywearing didn't come naturally at all. It was uncomfortable and felt insecure. After a month or so, I wasn't even trying anymore. When out and about, I used the travel system exclusively. At home, when I couldn't carry my baby, I had her in an infant seat, rocker, or on an activity mat.
It sucks not to be able to follow through with your plans, especially when they have to do with your baby. Societal pressure to do things a certain way doesn't help, either. Take it from this babywearing washout, though, that "failure" is relative. Very little in parenting is perfect, and making compromises doesn't make you a disappointment. It makes you normal.