10 Confessions Of A Babywearing "Failure"

Ad failed to load

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.

Ad failed to load

I Had The Best Of Intentions


I fully intended to wear my newborn most of the time, and I did everything in my power to set myself up for success. I registered for a Moby and picked up a Baby Bjorn at a yard sale. A friend sent me a ring sling. I was set. Surely one of those options would work for me.

Spoiler alert: they didn't.

I Really Tried

I read instruction manuals and watched YouTube videos. I practiced with a teddy bear. I even had a babywearing friend come over and do a lesson with me. I wore my baby to the farmer's market in the Moby and must have re-wrapped her a dozen times before I gave up and carried her in my arms.

I Just Couldn't Figure It Out


I am a reasonably intelligent individual, but I could not for the life of me figure out those damn carriers. The Moby remains mostly a mystery for me. I mean, it's just a big piece of fabric, and I do not have the skills to do the origami voodoo necessary to secure my child. The Bjorn was a little better, but anytime my husband used it, it was a nightmare to refit it to me.

Ad failed to load

"Hands Free" Is A Myth

One of the major advantages of babywearing is that it supposedly allows you to perform everyday tasks while keeping your baby close. This must be true for many moms, or it wouldn't be so popular, but I know I'm not the only mom who always kept one hand on my baby in case she fell out and one eye on her face to make sure she was still breathing. Let me tell you, you don't get a lot of dishes done that way.

Babywearing Hurt My Body


I'm fully aware that babywearing isn't supposed to hurt. If it's painful, you're probably doing it wrong (tell me something I don't know). I had relatively more success with a soft structured carrier than a wrap, but it absolutely killed my back. I know there are other brands that are more ergonomically sound, but my body and I (not to mention my pocketbook) were already over it.

I Needed To Put My Baby Down

This is perhaps the most difficult confession, but I'll own up to it. As a new mom, I found that I just didn't want my baby on my person all the time. It's not that I didn't love cuddling with her or want to be close to her. It's just that sometimes I needed a break.

Ad failed to load

I Didn't Want To Try All The Options


To be fair, before I gave up on babywearing, I didn't try all the styles. I could have tried a backpack, pouch sling, or a meh dai. Honestly, I didn't even attempt the ring sling I had. A mom friend at playgroup told me about a babywearing "library" where I could put different carriers to the test, but I never went. Maybe that makes me lazy, but I think "maxed out mama" is more like it.

I Just Really Love My Car Seat & Stroller System

I took my daughter a lot of places when she was a baby (now that she's a toddler, I avoid it like the plague), and, frankly, I loved not having to get her in and out of the car seat. Click out of the base and into the stroller? Um, yes please. Plus, my jam-packed diaper bag hangs so nicely from those handy little hooks.

I Worried


Knowing that babywearing promotes attachment, as well as healthy emotional and physical development, I was concerned that my daughter wouldn't meet her milestones. I was determined, however, to keep her from developing "container syndrome." Did I have a lot of devices? Yes, but I limited her time in them and prioritized her play sessions on the activity mat.

Ad failed to load

"I Don't Want To" Should Be Enough

When it comes to choices in parenting, we really should honor the fact that they are choices. I mean, obviously "I don't want to buckle my kid up" is not OK, but we should otherwise lay off the judgment. Whether it's about babywearing or circumcision or diapers, I think we'd end up with a lot more confident mamas owning their decisions instead of feeling like "failures" if we let "I don't want to" be reason enough.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack