Picture the scene.
Three children. One mother. A schoolbag the size of a small country. A 3.5 year old with all the Shopkins shit that ever there was. A small baby somewhere in the mix, partially freezing because said mother forgot a blanket (#mumfail).
And the kicker? A stroller with a slightly flat tire and a whooooole lotta steps to climb.
It’s the stuff nightmares are made of, right? I know, because that mother with a fistful of plastic and an absence of bunny rugs? She’s me.
Baby wearing for the win
Thankfully, I learnt my lesson early on. Stroller = bad news when stairs and slopes are involved. Baby carrier? Brilliant.
I started baby wearing when I had my first bub, purely to survive. My son has a serious case of ‘koala syndrome’ and wanted to be held ALL THE TIME.
We also lived in an apartment with many stairs and carrying the pram up and down multiple times a day got very old, very fast. So we got a carrier and suddenly, #mumlife became that little bit easier. I had use of my hands again! It was a miracle.
Wear that baby!
Fast forward to my second baby and I had a toddler underfoot to contend with. A toddler who wasn’t content to sit on the couch all day and play ‘let’s have a nap.’ We needed to escape for our sanity yet the baby also needed to be able to sleep. Baby carrier to the rescue yet again.
Third time round? Let’s just say that my daughter knows the inside of the Ergo intimately. I think she spent her first 12 weeks of life snuggled in there, safely cocooned from the chaos that rained around her.
Baby wearing has been a bona-fide life saver for this family. Here’s 7 reasons why toting a baby in a carrier or sling is the best thing ever.
7 reasons why baby wearing is the best
1. It gives you back the use of your hands
Mothers need their hands. Wiping noses (and bottoms), picking up endless shit (literally and metaphorically), sipping coffee (and wine), hands are essential. Whack your baby in a carrier and hey presto, you’ve got yours back.
2. It keeps baby and toddler/dog/cat/older child separated
My middle child is a wonderful big sister. She can also be slightly, ahem, enthusiastic (some might say aggressive) in her affection. Having the baby strapped to my chest minimised the suffocating cuddles and ‘let’s put the baby in the dolly pram’ attempts.
3. It allows you to do all the things
The thing about kids is that you have to feed them, nay take care of them, ALL THE TIME. They also need lunch boxes packed, shoelaces tied, hair brushed and they care not a fig that you have a tiny baby attached to your person. The morning chaos with two kids and newborn was only survivable thanks to baby wearing. How else could I prepare Vita-Brits with banana for one, Vita-Brits with berries (but NO BANANA because it is the devil in fruit form) for the other, cut celery sticks for Crunch N Sip and mop up the inevitable milk spills without it? I could not. It also allowed me to enjoy a gourmet feast of leftover toast crust and partially chewed then rejected apple #livingthedream.
4. Rough terrain, no drama
THIS is where baby wearing really shines. I’ve been the mum trying to schlep a stroller up steps. It is a hideous and unforgiving task where you inevitably end up either swearing, bruising your shins or dropping most of your crap out of the basket (usually not the baby though #smallwins). Yeah, no. I’ll strap my kid to my chest and be on my way. Ideal for shopping centres and school playgrounds alike, if there’s stairs or scary escalators, say sayonara to the stroller and get yo’ carry on for a good time.
5. It’s a gorgeous way for dad to get involved
Whether you’re boobing or bottling, the law of averages tends to state that mothers spend a chunk more time with their newborns than fathers. Baby wearing is a great way for the co-creator of your child to get in on the action. This is especially true at the end of a long day with a baby who just wants to be held and a spaghetti bolognese that will not cook itself. Get dad into the carrier and off doing laps while you cook in peace. It’s a game changer, promise.
6. It lets you feed on the go
If you’re a breastfeeding mum then you’ll know that your baby is an expert in picking the very worst times to demand a feed. With a bit of practice, you can learn how to feed bubs while baby wearing which means boobin’ on the go. Absolute lifesaver when you’ve got shit to do or more than one child (or both).
7. You can’t beat the snuggles
There is no place a baby would rather be than snuggled right up to your chest, listening to your heartbeat. Those first few weeks and months OOTW (out of the womb) are a tough transition. Baby wearing has been shown to ease the passage from womb to real life, minimise fussy behaviour and help encourage bonding between mum and bub. What’s not to love?
Want more advice on how to deal with new motherhood (and everything that comes with it)? Check out our 12 super useful parenting tips (from mums who have been there, done that).