- Baby-wearing keeps baby close. For newborns I prefer slings, and really appreciate the way the sling keeps my baby close to me, and keeps other people away. Not that I don't want people to peek at my babies, but peeking is about all I want them to do! Chances are with baby snuggled closely to my chest, most (normal) people are going to keep their distance.
- Baby-wearing gives me free hands. This was especially important to me when Stinkbug was born... having a toddler who still needed a lot of attention and help, it was a wonderful advantage that I could wear Stinkbug and still have two hands available for Ladybug. It also helps to have free hands while trying to grocery shop, or fold laundry!
- Baby-wearing is essential when you regularly use public transportation. For our first six months of living overseas, we did not have access to a car. (Now, we have the use of a car every other week.) Wearing the kids on buses, metros, and mini-buses is a whole lot easier sometimes than wrestling a stroller on board!
- Baby-wearing feels safe and comfortable to baby (and toddler!) I was blessed to not have colicky or fussy babies. Even though I didn't have "needy" babies, I could tell each of my kids loved being worn, and felt "at ease" in the Mei Tai or the Ergo. Often they would conk out inside, feeling safe enough to get the rest they needed!
- Baby-wearing helps build an attachment to mom and dad. I am not an attachment parent in the sense that it is mostly used today (I generally find myself in the middle of the road!), but I do believe babies and toddlers should have a healthy attachment to their parents. Baby-wearing allows our kids to be right there with us, seeing what we see, hearing what we hear, and getting lots of kisses! (I just cannot not kiss my babies when they're right there on me-- I love it!)
Lately, baby-wearing has gotten a bad rap from some unfortunate events. I have been asked if I will still wear Doodlebug after all the bad press baby-wearing has received. The answer is yes. When used properly according to manufacturer instructions, the carriers that I wear are safe for my baby and for me. I also follow common sense guidelines such as these. I can't wait to snuggle Doodlebug against my chest and wear him. I know too soon he'll be running and jumping and pushing mama away, so I'll soak in every moment he wants to be strapped in my arms, just as I have done with my other two babies!
This post is in support of the baby-wearing link up call to action at Adventures in Babywearing. If you'd like even more information and updates about baby-wearing safety, and aiding small baby carrier manufacturers, check with the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance.