Let me start by saying I have nothing against Babywearing. Having your little miracle close to your heart with your hands free has so many benefits. Babywearinginternational.com is a great site to get the scoop.
Babywearing is nothing new. It’s been around for centuries. But all of the sudden it’s the new rage. The buzz is you’re just not a cool mom if you don’t wear your baby! Really?
“Part of the reason for the popularity is due to the influence of advocates of attachment parenting,” says Dr. William Sears. Many moms say; “if you’re going to carry the baby anyway, why not wear him and have hands free for the many other things you need to do”?
As slingbabies.co.nz states:
- Mexican people use the Rebozo, which is a square of woven cloth tied over one shoulder with baby usually on the back
- Peruvians have a Manta which sits over both shoulders like a cape, and baby sits high on mother’s back.
- Alaskan/Canadian people have the Amauti which is a very thick arctic jacket with a baby ‘pocket’ in the back, baby even fits under the over-sized hood!
- Papua New Guinea mothers use a Bilum– a net bag held at the forehead with baby hanging at the back (very strong necks!)
- Indonesian mothers use a Selendang which is a long ornate wrap.
- Asian mothers use a variety of carriers including Mei-tai /Hmong/ Bei(China), Onbuhimo (Japan), Podaegi (Korea) plus many use a ‘carrier’ of long straps which go under baby’s armpits and thighs for back carries.
- African mothers use a ‘Khanga’ which is a short-ish piece of cloth tied around the torso, so baby sits low on the back.
- Maori women carried their babies in a cloth inside their cloaks.
Our adventure begins…
My daughter and I head off to the store, baby in tow, to buy a baby sling or carrier. Oh does did this ever bring back memories. Me lying down on the sofa trying to get her into this contraption called a baby carrier. I can almost feel the perspiration dripping down my cheeks. Darn, this was scary. But I have to say, I do remember once I figured it out, I loved having my daughter close and a free hand to do things around the house And who knew I was wearing my baby!
But that was then, here’s today’s story:
We arrive at the store and my adorable month old grandson is peacefully snoozing in his car seat unbeknownst to him that a well-versed employee who is also a new mom and loves wearing her baby, will be showing my daughter how to wear him.
At first glance, this baby sling sure resembles a schmata I would dust the tables with. Schmata: Yiddish word for a bit of old cloth used for cleaning. The baby can fit in that really? Hmm?
After much pulling, tugging and rearranging, baby is securely tucked in and amazingly still sleeping. But with so many choices, fabrics and ties, you’re just not sure which is the safest and best. So baby is once again inserted into a few others. And I have to say, while we were at the store, getting him into the sling, tying the knots, and hooking the clasps looked like a piece of cake. Decisions made, sling purchased and baby still sleeping.
Fast forward, next morning… Sling out of the box, daughter excited to try it, baby awake and we are watching the YouTube video for the fifth time trying to figure out which tie goes on which shoulder and wondering why, when all is said and done, baby is almost down to my daughter’s hips, with his head covered by fabric (not safe), baby is crying and the entire thing hurts her back. What happened to easy peasy like in the store? Oh, this is so frustrating!
So you guessed it…time for Plan B:
Here’s what happened. We returned the said sling. Drove to another store that had many more choices and experts to help. After a few try-ons, some strolls around the store, baby is securely riding next to mommy’s heart contently sucking away on his pacifier. Don’t you just love happy endings!
Blythe Lipman is the president of Baby Instructions. She is passionate about babies, toddlers and their parents. After working in the field for over thirty-five years, four award winning books, now available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Audible.com and all major bookstores. You can hear Blythe’s weekly radio show, Baby and Toddler Instructions each Wednesday, 11am EST @ www.toginet.com Blythe is available for in-home, video and telephone consultations. You can contact Blythe at [email protected] or call her office (480)-510-1453. Become her Fan on Facebook and visit her website www.mybestparentingadvice.com
©Blythe Lipman 2015