For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting my darling colicky Itty Bitty, I’ll fill you in on a little secret…
My tiny baby has some serious pipes.
Like: I’m-going-to-be-the-lead-singer-of-a-rock-band sized pipes.
Even the many years of being a music teacher (i.e.: listening to squeaking clarinets, booming bass drums, and pre-pubescent boys trying to muscle out the high notes of the Star Spangled Banner) didn’t prepare me for the screaming roars my tiny baby emits.
“Go for nice long car rides, he’ll fall asleep,” someone told me.
“Colic isn’t that bad, he’ll stop crying eventually,” said another.
Pssssh, these people know a whole lotta nothin’ about my tiny baby.
My kid hates bumpy sidewalks, despises any amount of time spent in car rides, and has the “scream-til-you-are-purple-in-the-face-and-then-scream-some-more” track on continuous repeat. There is, however, one solution to all that madness: having his body near mine.
Call me what you want – hippie, earthy crunchy, tree hugger, an attachment parent…whatev…I don’t care. I don’t care because I love baby wearing. Of course, there are tons of benefits that go along with wearing your little one. But, for my money, it all boils down to one major fact: my baby cries less when he is worn. And, as inspired by Jack Nicholson, all crying and no play makes Tall Mom a crazy girl.
Whether he lays on my chest, has skin-to-skin contact, or is simply slung around my body – he calms down and snuffs his last few sniffles until he is quiet once again. AKA: no crazy girl.
I am sane because of baby wearing, and as I mentioned above, there are tons other benefits too.
Here are just a few of my favorites :
- I can tackle tasks with both hands. Need to wash bottles? No problem. Want to eat a sandwich? You can! (You will most likely drop, and then consume, crumbs on the top of your baby’s head. But, it’s ok. Fret not, for this is a judgment-free zone.)
- Crazy people and their dirty fingers stay away. You know those people who just love to see, and poke, at a tiny baby inside of a car seat? They come up to your table while you’re eating or stop you in the grocery store, and find it perfectly reasonable to touch YOUR baby’s head/fingers/toes with their disgusting – god knows where they’ve been – hands. Those crazy “what do you mean by personal space?” creeps will steer clear when you wear your baby; trust me. When you wear the baby, oddly enough, those freaks have the decency to not stick their grubby digits anywhere near your face and/ or chest. And if they did, you can growl at them, and they’ll run away in fear. Ultimately, baby wearing is like a protective shield – similar to Bella’s magical power in Twilight, or when Captain Kirk (mmmmm,Chris Pine) says, “shields up, Red Alert,” in Star Trek.
- Bonding for father and friends – Itty Bitty loves his mum, and often cries when he is held by someone else. However, he calms down for them if he is snug as a bug, and is strapped to them in a carrier. He pretty much doesn’t have a choice at that point – so suck it up kid, and get used to it!
- Baby still feels like it is in the womb. Many people believe the first three months of a baby’s life should be called the fourth trimester. In other words, even though baby is out, parents need to mimic the environment of the womb as best as they can. In a carrier, the baby feels movements similar to what it was like in the womb, and can hear a heartbeat. So, wear him and, (baddabing!) you’re a fourth trimester pro!
- The added weight helps me lose a bit of my baby weight. Skinny jeans, here I come! Instead of having your daily walk with your kid in a stroller, strap them on for added weight resistance. Your body will feel like it had a major workout! Seriously, my abs and core are always sore the next day following a long walk in which he is strapped to me. Just plan on being a bit sweaty.
- Breastfeed secretly. Is your baby sleeping in the sling, or nursing? Either way he is quite covered, so you get to be discreet and keep people guessing. Plus, you can nurse on the move!
- Baby actually naps while he is in the carrier. My Itty Bitty normally hates napping, but will often do it if he is worn. Naps=happy baby=happier parents.
- You can actually shop! Pushing around a stroller and a grocery cart does not work, and after all of the scary news about baby car seats in shopping carts, I make sure to wear my little guy for all shopping trips. I just leave his car seat in the car.
- I am free to go to the bathroom without listening to a screaming child. What? You say. You wear your baby to pee, you ask? Yes. Hell yes. You would too if he finally fell asleep on you. NEVER wake a sleeping baby – even to tinkle!
- Helps combat the dreaded colic, and helps babies cry less (thank you Jesus!)
What are your thoughts on baby wearing?
My thoughts on baby-wearing are I'M ALL IN! I "wore" my baby Jane, who is now 32 years old and expecting a baby of her own, all the time in one of the first Snuggly brand baby-wearers on the market. I still have that Snuggly! I advocate "wearing" babies for all the reasons you listed… and will add that grandparents are perfect "wearers" too! Thanks for sharing…
How cool that you still have your Snuggly! You'll have to find a pic of you carrying her, and take one of her with her baby in the future 🙂 My mom loves wearing Itty Bitty (and she's thankful that he calms down!)
I love wearing Cooper! He always falls asleep in his carrier. When he was fussy during his witching hours, this was the only way to soothe him. Love that your husband does it too!
Oh those witching hours! yes – the carrier is my super weapon!
My husband "wore" Stella (the 3rd) because he was out of hands. She loved it, you do whatever works!
Hands free is the way to be!
Oh Mary, I feel for you! My first baby was also colicky. And five years ago we really only had the baby bjorn – not many wearing options on the market that were popular (I blame Angela Jolie for only using the bjorn in the media). And wouldn't you know, my girl hated the bjorn! I bet she would have liked a sling like my younger two do. Now with three it's a lifesaver!
Luckily I hear that if you have one colicky baby – the next baby is a breeze 🙂 If we have another, I'll surely be wearing that one as well! You give me faith that there is hope for more babies after a supercharged cryer 😉
My hubby and I both LOVED baby wearing! Makes the baby feel secure and it frees up your hands! =)
Yes! its incredible 🙂
Love your writing style. I so wish I'd been more of a 'crunchy' mama as you put it with my second son. He was cried non-stop for three months. Alas, that was 13 years ago, and people didn't do that much or encourage it at all. BTW, the Yoda hat ROCKS!
I had a colicky baby, too. Ugggh! Glad something works for you!
I loved using my Moby Wrap when my daughter was a baby!
I was a baby wearing mama too. It really messed up my back though but he absolutely loved it! I had about 5 Moby Wraps!