I love babywearing. Love it. I am totally a babywearing mom, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I know it's not for everyone, but, for me, it's fun, easy, gives my arms a rest, and allows me to use my hands for something other than holding a baby all day. Some people assume they have me all figured out after they see me babywearing and, sometimes, they get the wrong idea. Other times, however, I have to admit that some babywearing stereotypes are entirely true, and I embody a few of them.
For example, anyone who has spent time with a bonafide babywearing mom knows how much they love it, because they won't — or can't — shut up about how wonderful and life-changing it is. I talk about babywearing all the damn time because, well, it's so awesome! I want every other parent and parent-to-be to know about it, too. Babywearing moms can also be great resources when it comes to picking a carrier for you and your family. We've been there, and have tried so many different types of wraps and slings and carriers that we know which ones are worth your money, and which ones don't live up to the hype. Some of us even have extra baby carriers that we don't use we could lend you if you want to try one out before you buy it. As long as you don't mind hearing about the benefits of babywearing for an hour or two, that is.
Now, I am not saying that you can know everything about me and my parenting style based on the fact that I own over 10 different babywearing devices and use at least one of them every day. I’m not a crunchy mom, at least not anymore. My kids are fully vaccinated, my youngest was sleep-trained and mostly formula-fed for a variety of reasons, and I own and use strollers, too. But, yeah, other babywearing stereotypes are totally true, including the following:
We Own Multiple Carriers
I currently own over 10 baby carriers, including stretchy and woven wraps, ring slings, Meh Dais (traditional Chinese carriers), soft-structured carriers, and even one than can be worn in the water for swimming and co-bathing. I am the first to admit that I might have a problem.
We Think We Need Them All
Each carrier I own has a specific purpose, different benefits, and uses for various carries, kids, and trips. I need them all. Well, maybe "need" is a strong word, but having more than one type of baby carrier definitely makes my life easier.
We Know A Lot About Babywearing
I am virtually a walking, talking encyclopedia of babywearing knowledge — mostly gained through almost nine years of wearing babies, and even designing and making my own carriers when the ones on the market didn't work for me or my body. I love helping other babywearing moms find the right carrier to meet their needs.
We Have Our Favorites
Most babywearing moms I know are super picky. I know I have my favorites. For newborns, I like stretchy wraps and ring slings. For older babies and toddlers, I'm totally a woven wrap and soft-structured carrier girl, especially for my youngest, who loves to be carried but is a giant kid.
We Talk About Babywearing Constantly
I love babywearing, and am eager to tell everyone about how lovely it is. I should probably request a paycheck from my favorite carrier companies and designers for all of the sales I likely bring them. Apparently the first rule of "babywearing club," is the opposite of Fight Club, because you have to talk about it. It's, like, a law.
We've Purchased Carriers For Other People
I got so tired of having to re-adjust my ring slings and soft-structured carriers for my husband that I bought him his own. I also own a few carriers and slings that I regularly lend out to other people, so they can try them before committing. As an added bonus, I then know exactly what to get them for a baby gift.
We Are Constantly Shopping For Carriers
I spend way too much time shopping for carriers. For some totally unknown reason, I am still a member of several babywearing buy/sell/trade groups on social media, too. I also have been known to "window" shop for carriers online or take a stroll down the babywearing aisle at Target, "just in case" there's a great deal to be scored. I may have accidentally bought another one. We babywearing moms can't resist a sale. I can always sell it to another mom, right?
We Have Babywearing Hobbies
I love babywearing so much that I, of course, started designing, sewing, hand-dyeing, and hand-painting my own carriers. Wearable art rules.
We Travel In Packs
I have definitely been known to approach other babywearing parents when I see them “in the wild.” Making mom friends is hard, but baby carriers remove barriers, at least in my experience. Not only does babywearing give us something to talk about, which is great for my social anxiety, and it means that we have at least two things in common — babies and babywearing.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.