Why I Choose Babywearing/Toddler Wearing Vs. Strollers
I started babywearing when Isaac was only a month or two old. In fact, I had found a company called Lenny Lamb and a ring sling was on my baby registry so it was something I had my eye on prior to giving birth. I was drawn to babywearing after doing some research and knowing deep down, the benefits of keeping baby close (far after the initial skin-to-skin right after birth). Mom’s warm skin, heartbeat, smell and snugness. What wouldn’t be beneficial to baby to have all of those things close after spending 40 weeks growing in the perfect temperature, babys first sounds being of Mom’s heartbeat and it’s first smells being of Momma’s skin? For me, it just made sense.
Isaac was born in June so he was a couple of months old during the hottest part of his first summer and I bought a stroller for walks during those months, but every time I looked at my baby in that stroller, my arms ached to hold him and every time he fell asleep, my arms ached to cuddle him. I couldn’t wait for cooler weather to be able to wear my baby close to my chest, feel his breaths, his warmth, and smell his little head on each walk.
I wish I knew then what I know now and even in the summer heat, I wouldn’t have bothered with a stroller!
We live in a fantastic "old time" town that's perfect for neighborhood walks, but last summer I tried to navigate a stroller along those sidewalks with crazy bumps in between driveways and transitions from pavement to brick and back to pavement........and I had to decide what route I’d take based on what would be the most stroller friendly.
This year, I’ve watched Momma’s with their strollers trying to navigate bumpy routes, I watched a father running with his jogging stroller hit a bump or a rock or something which sent the stroller going “head over heels” and his child narrowly missing the pavement. Thank goodness she was strapped in securely and both father and daughter were unharmed. By the way, I’m not saying you shouldn’t run with your child in a jogging stroller, I just believe there are safer and not-so-safe places and strollers in which to do so.
This year my “baby” is a toddler craving independence, but still needs Momma to be close and needs the closeness of Momma any time he feels unsure of someone or something and I’m even more thankful for babywearing now than I was when he was an infant.
You probably think I sound crazy, right?
Well, anyone who has or had a toddler knows the “Up, Up” phase and how toddlers want to be up and down, up and down as they explore their independence (or test boundaries, haha!). The number of times I have had to make dinner or do the dishes while holding my toddler, or they wouldn’t have gotten done, is too numerous to count and let me tell you, having a wrap or a ring sling to do that with absolutely SAVES your arms. 100%. Some might say, “but wrapping a baby takes forever”! Yup. IF you’re inexperienced. But I bet you right now that I can wrap my toddler on my back quicker than it would take you to get your stroller out of your car and your baby into it. Like anything else, it takes some practice but it doesn’t take much and the reward is so worth the time.
So freedom, yet independence, closeness yet distance, security yet pushing boundaries……These are why I continues to wear my toddler and why for us, I believe in it.
And by the way, it’s never too late to learn and start. <3