Childrearing

Babywearing Is Not Possible For All Moms, So Stop Suggesting That It Is

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baby in sling

Whenever I see a mom in a crowded space with a big stroller, I figure she might be like me. A babywearing fail. You see, I never could make it work. I didn’t really try with my first child and then, went through several babywearing contraptions for my second with none of them working out. It isn’t doable for all moms, and that’s ok. All I ask is that babywearing aficionados stop trying to push it on the rest of us as a viable option because it is truly not for everyone.

I can still remember the day my Moby wrap came in the mail. I was pregnant with my second child and intent on trying to wear him to make life with two under two easier. I had a side-by-side double stroller but I knew it would be a menace in most public spaces so I planned to wear him and push my toddler in an umbrella stroller for the majority of our outings. The Moby was to be my first attempt. I thought it looked so cozy online and on moms I saw at playgroup so, why not? Well, I can tell you why not- it’s about 40 feet long and made me feel like a clumsy, sweaty beast. I practiced with a doll and it was a total mess. I figured my big belly in the way couldn’t be helping so I wasn’t writing it off quite yet.

A few weeks later, my son came, and so did my first attempt at the Moby with a real, live baby. To make a long story short, it was a big ball of nope. He was crying and frustrated. I was crying and frustrated. Yards of fabric surrounded us and I felt like a degree in astro-physics might be necessary to make this thing work. I ended up selling it to a playgroup mom and moved on.

Our next try was the BabyHawk, a mei tai carrier. I picked an adorable pattern and eagerly anticipated my future as a hands-free mom with my little guy strapped securely to me while I went about my business. And again, big fat fail. With him positioned facing my boobs, he only wanted to nurse constantly. Considering how hard it was just to get him settled into the carrier, you can guess that nursing him inside of it was not something within my realm of abilities.

I tried a few others, all to no avail. My son was a fussy kid and I was a clumsy, sweaty, big-chested mom who enjoyed peeing without a baby strapped to her- it just wasn’t happening for us. Eventually, I resigned myself to the fact that I would be a stroller mom, tried and true. I’m a heavy packer anyway. I like to be prepared and I always had a stocked diaper bag when my kids were little, so the double stroller with the giant undercarriage space was perfect for me. However, I still got quite a few “oh, why don’t you wear him?” comments from other moms when I was out with my huge stroller. I know they were probably well-meaning but by this point, my suckiness at babywearing was a bit of a sore subject, so I took it to heart. For some moms, it’s effortless. For others, it’s a total no-go. I definitely fell into the latter group.

I guess the moral of my story is, unless you think that mom with a giant stroller lives under a rock with no internets and message boards to tell her about baby-wearing, just don’t ask. Chances are excellent she knows all about it and has simply decided it is not for her. If a stroller mom sees you wearing your baby and asks for advice, go right for it. If not, it is probably safe to assume she’s like me. A babywearing fail with a nice, big stroller to compensate.

(Image: jurra8/Shutterstock)