#WhyWeWear: Family Edition
“Gimme that baby!” my mother would shout the minute she stepped into our house when Lucas was first born. She would proceed to be a baby hog for the remainder of her visit, and that never bothered me in the slightest, not only because Lucas was being cared for and loved by his Grammy but because it gave me a chance to do things with two hands and without uneasy panic (eat food, change my clothes, shower without worrying he’d somehow roll out of the swing I’d strapped him into just outside the shower door…). But, when my mom wasn’t around (she lives 6 hours away in a different state) it was always babywearing to the rescue! I babywore while I did dishes, made dinner (carefully), vacuumed (he’d go right to sleep!), worked at my previous part time retail job (where Lucas was allowed to be with me and loved to get into everything), and walked the dog (have you ever tried to steer a stroller with one hand? It’s like trying to direct a drunk person to walk to the car at the end of a long night).
My enthusiasm for babywearing, however, never spread beyond my husband and I and occasionally our babysitter. My parents and my husband’s parents never felt the need to use the carrier because they either didn’t know how or we were always there, so it wasn’t necessary. We live between 2 and 6 hours from both our families, so there wasn’t much opportunity for me to see my family wearing Lucas.
However, for those who are lucky enough to be close to family, sharing your love for babywearing with family allows your baby to experience that close comfort and security with grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle, cousin, or even big brother or sister. In our family, when someone (besides the parents) is holding the baby and the baby starts to cry, someone inevitably will shout (jokingly), “Who’s pinching that baby?!” Babywearing allows the child to feel that familiar closeness of the carrier with someone else, reducing fussiness, increasing the chances of sleepy dust settling in, and making the wearer feel loved and more connected to the baby since he/she isn’t crying or fussy.
We asked our Stash Chat community to share with us how babywearing has helped their families bond with baby, and we loved the diversity of the responses! Everyone had a different story of why they loved that their extended family have embraced babywearing!
My brother is 25 and has Down syndrome. He loves to wear my kids (his nieces)! He feels so proud when he gets to hold them. Sometimes he is nervous to hold them, but since he can wear them, he feels more secure when holding them. He thinks it is cool that he can drink his soda and hold them at the same time too! I am so happy that my brother can take part in holding and nurturing my kids. He is the best uncle!
He loves wearing Markus! It makes him feel good to be able to calm him down and connect with him.
My mom loved wearing Audrey! Since Audrey was such a chunk and my mom is so tiny, this made it super easy for her!
My girls get overstimulated easily in public and prefer to nurse to sleep. Having Daddy and the Grandma babywear gives them the comfort and closeness they need, while I deal with their sibling, and they often get naps while being worn. Without family wearing too, I’d be stuck at home with the girls because they don’t nap in the car or in a stroller for me. I most babywear out of necessity. For me, babywearing allows me to get errands done while nursing a boobie monster too.
My parents were watching my son today, and he was cranky, so my dad took it upon himself to wear my son when they went to Walmart. My mom sent me this pic. I love that my dad wears Oliver. It’s seriously the sweetest thing!
I really appreciate that my mom and Ross (my husband) could both bond with Jack and feel comfortable wearing him in public whenever I wasn’t around and even sometimes when I was! Ross started to babywear Jack from the beginning as my incisions were healing from my c-section. We have two Tulas- one for daddy and one for mama! It’s so sweet to watch Jack snuggle up to Ross and feel safe when we need to be hands free. My mom watched him when I went back to work, and she would babywear him to the grocery store and other places. I love that my mom is so open to baby wearing; she found it so much easier than lugging his huge carrier around all the time!
If you’d love a new carrier or an extra carrier to gift to one of your favorite babywearing family members, Dream Diapers is giving you a chance to…
Win a Líllébaby Complete Airflow in Aqua!
How to enter:
- Create a costume that incorporates your little one and your carrier.
- Dress up in the costume and take a photo (or a few if necessary and make a small collage) that displays your creativity.
- Email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 30th 6pm Pacific Standard Time.
Submissions accepted until 6pm PST on October 30th, 2015
The three costumes will be displayed in an album on our Facebook page for voting on 10/31. Voting will end at midnight Arizona Time.
Winner will be selected based on highest number of votes (likes) and announced on November 1st!