Babywearing (and toddler-wearing, and "big kid" wearing) is hands-down one of my favorite parts of being a mom. I've been wearing my son since he was five days old, and I can't imagine making it through the earliest part of our life together without the ability to wear him. For the majority of his first year, I spent several hours every day wearing my little guy, so I have definitely done all of the weird things moms do when they're babywearing, pretty much on a daily basis. (Yeah, I know men babywear too, and there are very few things that make me smile wider than a grown-ass man wearing a baby. Swoon. However, I'm a woman, so that's the experience I speak from.)
My son is an independent, strong-willed little toddler now, but in his first few months he would scream his face off any time I tried to put him down. Even now, though we may only wear once a day on a normal day, there are some moments (when he's teething, or feeling sick, or tired from playing or walking around all day) when nothing but cuddles will do. Babywearing gives me the ability to give my son what he needs, while keeping my hands free and maintaining my ability to get other things done. Of course, there's the sleepy dust. Few things can put a cranky, nap-resistant baby or toddler out as quickly as a wrap close to their parent’s heart. Confession: I snap a photo virtually every time this happens. (Yes, I get lots of storage warnings on my phone.)
Judging from the photos and comments that constantly flood my babywearing groups on social media, I'm definitely not alone in any of the aforementioned (or the following). When you wear your child on a regular basis, you're pretty much guaranteed to start doing one or more of the weird things below, because it's basically impossible not to. Own it, and maybe consider upgrading your phone’s storage plan? Probably a good call.
You Take Too Many Selfies
Because look how cute we are. Especially if we've got a fancy finish on our wrap, or baby is making an especially cute face, or our carrier compliments our outfits perfectly, or any other reason, really. Gotta take 800 ever-so-slightly different snaps of this moment, for posterity’s sake.
You Eat While Minimizing Food Drops On Our Baby’s Head And/Or Your Carrier
Some people use the hood on their soft structured carriers for sun protection. For the first six months of his life, I mostly used mine to snack without dropping crumbs all over my child's head and face.
You Play With Baby Feet. Like, All The Time.
One of my favorite things about babywearing is the fact that I can hold my child while keeping my hands free. Of course, a lot of the time, I just use my free hands to hold and tickle his adorable little feet. They're right at hand height, so it can't be helped.
You Do Some Squats
You can't really bend over when you're wearing a kid, so you have to squat to reach things that low to the ground. If you've got the kid sleeping on you and they've fought their nap for hours so you’re afraid to attempt a transfer, you might as well get a little workout in. Work those glutes, mama. Between that and all the walking and bouncing you do to keep the baby sleeping, "babywearing" has quickly become my default answer when my pregnant friends ask me how to exercise as a new mom.
You Take All The Sleeping Baby Photos
The sleepy dust is so real. Between the celebratory relief that the child is sleeping, and the intense sweetness of them sleeping on you, their little eyelashes resting softly on their perfect cheeks, just inches from your face, it's basically impossible not to take a picture of your baby when they pass out in the carrier.
You Scan For Other Babywearing Moms
Nothing makes me happier than spotting another babywearing mama when I'm out and about, wearing my kid. “You're wearing a ring sling, and I'm wearing a ring sling? Yay, let's be best friends!”
You Coordinate Outfits Around Your Carriers
I mean, if the kid and their carrier are going to hog the middle third of our bodies, we have to make sure it all looks good together, you know?
You Nibble Baby Fingers
If you're going to sit right on my heart and gaze at me with your disproportionately big, sweet eyes and put your teeny fingers all over my face, I'm going to nibble them, little giggly one. That's just how this works.
You Stare At Yourself Every Time You Catch Your Reflection
Maybe it's just me, but I just can't help but feel totally tickled every time I wear my son somewhere and then catch a glimpse of what we look like from the outside. “Oh yeah! I'm wearing a person! How stinkin’ cute are we?”
You Give All The Kisses
“Close enough to kiss” is one of the checklist items on the rules for safe babywearing. It's basically a requirement, and their little heads and faces are right there. If anybody's ever looking for me, nine times out of ten I can be found standing and bouncing in the back of any room I'm in, covering my little boy in kisses.
You Assume Weird Positions While Trying To Get Comfortable
If your carrier is safe and well-built, and your baby is well-positioned, everything should feel comfortable. Unless your child has been on you for several hours, because nothing is comfortable for that long. However, if you're too tired to transfer them, and you don't dare to wake them up, you have to do something to find relief. In the end, that something is probably going to look really, really weird.
You Try To Max Out Your Multitasking Capabilities
Especially when you first get the hang of a carry that actually lets you work, you start trying to do everything. Making apple butter while doing laundry and packing for a trip? Sure, why not?
You Marvel At Yourself (As You Should)
“Who is that awesome mother, strutting her stuff while cuddling her baby and straight kicking her to-do list’s behind? Oh yeah, that's me.”