Thursday, June 18, 2015

Babywearing: Lots of Ups and Downs

We started out on our babywearing journey with an Ergo I found on Craigslist while I was still pregnant with my little man. It was a great carrier and it served us well, but then my son started protesting it. He was never really content if I was just standing around, but things deteriorated until he was crying, running away, or putting it away every time I pulled it out. I thought he was done with babywearing altogether and that made me really sad.

Then I found Babywearing Around Tulsa and read the term knee-to-knee. I googled it and instantly realized the problem. Silly me, before that I thought that an Ergo rated for 45 pounds could actually be used until a child weighed 45 pounds. Once I knew that the Ergo was probably super uncomfortable for my 2 year old I dug out two ancient ring slings I’d been gifted and started trying those. They were not at all ideal for a 2 year old either. (I actually think one of them might be a converted bedsheet.) Caelan did tolerate them for quick ups but they were really, really unsupportive and uncomfortable. I started looking for other options.
I bought a Tula from a sweet BWAT mama and got a quick lesson on SSCs and tried out a wrap. And I was hooked. I started out slow but I’ve collected a stash of several wraps and a wrap conversion Mei Tai. I can’t claim that my toddler was always cooperative- each time we got a new carrier or wrap, I would be sooo excited to try it, And Caelan, with his inconvenient mind of his own, would tell me “No carrier!” or “No, THIS
carrier!” THIS carrier was never the new one I wanted so badly to try on. But we’ve made so much progress. Caelan has gone from refusing all carriers to accepting (almost) all of them. At first he only wanted to ride in front, but he’s willing to do hip and back carries now. And the big one: he tolerates wrapping! Front, back, or hip carries. He often still wants to choose, but I’ll take it. There were plenty of times when I was building that stash that I wondered if he would ever let me use them. My husband was amused at the irony of me having a new hobby that relied on the baby when the baby didn’t like it.
I have no words to describe how happy I am that babywearing is working for us. I hope our story encourages others to keep trying when they hit a rough patch. (I should note: a lot of white chocolate, marshmallows, and highly preferred activities have been used to encourage the little one to go up. It’s worked!)  
Babywearing is one way we can maintain the closeness of our bond as we approach weaning. As a working mom, I’m always looking for ways to connect with my little. Babywearing overall and BWAT has been a really fun way to do that and make friends while exploring a practically unlimited number of cute options.
Wear all the babies!

Lisa is an extended nursing, full-time working, full-time grad student mom of one ridiculously cute 2.5 year old boy. She actually can NOT do it all, but babywearing allows her to almost keep her head above water.

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