6 Ways Babywearers Turn Moms Off From Babywearing

 Babywearing is fairly new to me. My oldest didn’t like being “worn.” We used the Baby K’tan when he was smaller, which was invaluable at times that he was fussy or clingy and I needed to get stuff done. But once he got bigger the K’tan got uncomfortable and my other carrier (Beco Gemini) I just couldn’t get the hand of and it wasn’t super comfy anyhow, and by then my son was crawling then soon after walking so he wasn’t much interested in being worn anyhow.

Once I found out I was pregnant with my second, and my oldest was just over 1, I thought babywearing might be more useful so I joined some babywearing groups on Facebook. I learned just HOW MANY different kinds of carriers there really are. After standing back and observing, reading and researching, I decided to try a couple new carriers – a woven wrap and ring sling. The ring sling even got used a couple of times while out with my toddler when he wanted to be held at the store and I couldn’t shop just holding him on my hip.

Once my new baby was born, I immediately dove into babywearing. I tried my wrap, which the go-to carry everyone says the front wrap cross carry (FWCC) just made me too hot and I really forgot to even try other carries and just set it down and used my K’tan. But once he got bigger I tried some other carries based on suggestions from the babywearing groups, and that was it, I was hooked. The wrap was SO comfy and SO versatile, that I really became a more hard core babywearer.

Then I got hooked … BUY ALL THE WRAPS! WEAR ALL THE BABIES! I was getting pulled deeper and deeper into the babywearing world. I got more wraps and ring slings, and even decided to try a Tula because I’d heard good things about them.

As I got deeper into this “world” and joined more Facebook groups, and talked to my friends more about it, I realized there was a particular sector of babywearers – probably the most hard core and extreme babywearers – that sort of turn people off to babywearing, with their judgments, obsessions and intrusions. In talking amongst my friends, we agreed that this small group of babywearers does quite a bit of damage to the reputation of babywearing.

While I’m sure they’re good intentioned, they’re just not helping their cause. I know when I initially looked into different carriers after my first son, I was actually turned off from it for a while when I saw some of the things they said and things that went on. So I compiled a list of the 6 things that these hard core babywearers do that actually turn moms off from babywearing –

  1. Sanctimonious judgments – I actually saw someone say the other day in one of these groups, “I feel sorry for a baby I see in a stroller or car seat.” Um, excuse me what? You’re sorry for my baby who is happily sitting by himself in his stroller with me right there? WTF is wrong with you. And I’ve seen similar sentiments before in these groups. Yeah it might seem harmless because they’re not saying it outloud in public, but on a private Facebook group, these groups have THOUSANDS of members and there are many new moms watching and observing like I was trying to see what it’s all about. And that statement, right there, if I was a new mom, would make me buy a stroller in a heartbeat. I’m a member of stroller groups on Facebook too. They never judge babywearing like that. It’s not all or nothing. You can babywear and you can use strollers. They have different purposes at different times.
  2. Guilt tripping – I recently asked a question in one of the groups worried I may be creating a habit of my baby falling asleep for naps being worn. Some of the comments I got annoyingly tried to make me feel guilty. “You won’t be wearing your baby in college, how could you not want to hold your baby?” How could I not want to hold my baby? Because I do it constantly and I’m an oven, he’s an oven, and we both like our own personal space every now and again. I don’t think it makes me a bad mom to want to put him down from time to time and have some time and space to myself. And I’ve seen similar comments before, equally as guilt trippy. They don’t help.
  3. Tula moms “cult” – There’s this whole separate group of babywearing moms – the Tula moms. They LOVE their freakin Tulas and that’s almost an understatement. There’s not another hard core brand advocate for the babywearing moms like the Tula moms. I have at Tula. It’s more comfy than my Ergo for sure, but a Tula isn’t a magical babywearing cape, possesses no super powers and it’s not for everyone. There are many different babywearing options – and MANY options for soft structured carriers (like Tulas). But some Tula owners seem to think everyone needs or should have a Tula. One comment I saw the other day was after a mom suggested a Tula to complete stranger (that she approached … whole nother topic, see below) – she said “You’ll thank me later.” A little presumptuous, but ok…. and speaking of Tulas …
  4. Tula black market – Also pretty unique to Tulas – they’re generally out of stock. Tula does “stockings” that the whole Tula loving group of course gets wind of, and they get snatched up in minutes when they do go on sale. Then shockingly, you see a lot of these same Tulas show up on the swap later on, usually at a markup. This whole stocking, out of stock, resell at a mark up makes it hard for new wearers to get a Tula if they wanted one. So Tula lovers seems to be hurting their cause a bit if they’re churning for a profit.
  5. Butting in – Like the Tula mom did above, babywearers are the only group that will approach strangers in public to try to give them the benefits of babywearing. “You’ll thank me later” said the Tula mom … ok, maybe I will maybe I won’t.  Do stroller using moms approach strangers and try to get them to use a stroller? Imagine the horror if a breastfeeding mom walked up to a mom feeding her baby formula and tried to give that mom the benefits of breastmilk? So why do babywearing moms think it’s ok to intrude on random strangers and trying to convert them like Jehovah’s witnesses walking the neighborhood?
  6. Babywearing defies logic and science – Some sentiments I’ve seen suggest that some babywearing moms think babywearing defies science logic and fact at times. This is frequently in reference to flying with a baby – I’ve seen moms who thought babywearing was just as safe or safer than baby being in a car seat on a plane. Just like any parenting decision – you weigh the information and make the best decision for you and your family. I’ve worn on flights before. But I know for a fact it’s not safer. It’s a calculated risk I take. But I’ve seen babywearing moms ask about biking, kayaking, roller blading, ice skating, etc with their baby attached to them. NO. Just NO.

Now for all of these things that are said and done by a SMALL group of babywearers, there are many wonderful things that the majority of babywearers do and say daily. I just think that this small group, because they are generally more vocal, do a lot to hurt the cause and reputation of babywearing.

But the good – so much good! I’ve known and gotten help from many wonderful ladies, particularly the “Girasol Love All the Rainbows” group (because Girasol is a brand that generally produces rainbows, and if you see from my babywearing pics, it’s all I own and I love them). That group is fantastic, and helpful, and generally non-judgmental and also generally not looking to profit on the resale of their wraps in the swap. But there are many other groups that have wonderful helpful members too, that’s just the one I’ve had the best experience with personally.

Babywearing has also done so much for me. It’s allowed me to do many things that would’ve been difficult or impossible without – shopping with a fussy baby and toddler, putting a clingy baby down to sleep while keeping an eye on a toddler. And with my wraps, it’s comfy and cozy and also versatile – I can wear him on the front, on my hip and on my back in many different ways.

I’ve had people come up and ask me about my wraps and I’m happy to educate them. But I would NEVER approach a mom unsolicited to tell her about babywearing. I think calmly and easily going about my tasks while babywearing speaks greater volumes to the awesomeness of babywearing than going up to and harassing strangers like a used car salesman, particularly if the mom is already struggling and frustrated. If I’m struggling and having fussy babies, I’m already probably hot and irritable and might snap on you if you try to tell me how I could do it better. Just don’t do it, babywearers. Show them, don’t force them.

Then they can see how wonderful babywearing can truly be, without judgment and guilt trips and the like. I’m not sure there’s much cooler than knowing your baby is calmed and lulled to sleep just by being snuggled up close to you. But it’s also okay to put them down, and use strollers and car seats. Everything can be useful to some, and there is no cookie cutter one size fits all way of doing things – including babywearing.

Now if you don’t mind me, I’m going to go take my baby for a walk in his stroller … pity him. LOL.

What are the ways you’ve benefited from babywearing, or maybe not?

6 Things that I Didn’t “Get” Until I Had Kids

  
Before I had kids, I don’t think that I was insensitive to my friends who did have kids. And I definitely had a lot of friends that had kids, when I didn’t. But there were definitely things that I didn’t understand about their lives and I didn’t “get” as someone who didn’t have kids. Not just to my friends though, but people who had kids in general. I mean really you can’t control your kids? Really you can’t come over or go out because of your kids nap time/bed time? And then I had kids. Hello wake up call, nice to see you.

So if you think your friends or just parents in general are crazy because of some of these (or other) things, just wait til you have kids! Here are the 5 things that I didn’t “get” until I had kids –

  1. Moms that cut off all their hair – real talk … I thought “really, how hard could it be to just put it in a ponytail?” OMG. I had NO idea the issues that arise with hair as a mom. Hair pulling. THE PULLING. ALWAYS from the bottom of my head. Post partum hair loss. Handfuls of hair, daily. Every time I wash my hair I think of shaving my head. I get it now Moms, I get it.
  2. Uncontrollable kids in public – I am now the mom with the “uncontrollable kid” in public. He’s 2 but looks like he’s 5. Barely talks, huge. Gets very frustrated with his inability to communicate, and especially when he can’t do exactly what he wants to do. Melt downs can and do happen when we’re out. And I’m now the one that looks like I have a kid I can’t control in public, and really, I can’t. It’s more like organized chaos. But either way, I GET IT NOW. Seriously. I wanna go hug all the moms I thought couldn’t control their kids before.
  3. Nap Time/Bed Time/ Routine – I didn’t get why friends, family or acquaintances couldn’t do things because it would interrupt nap time or bed time or the kids “routine.” Just bring them with! Just put them to bed late! BOYYYYY do I get this one now. I am Queen Routine. I’m a believer in the routine. I will avoid interruptions to the routine like the plague if I can help it. I do try to be flexible because we have to live our lives, but I generally do so knowing that we will pay the consequences with cranky kids or sleep that will be a little out of whack for a couple of days. But if I can stick to the routine, oh man, I will stick to that routine. I get routines now!
  4. Inability to shower/get dressed/etc – not that I ever saw this in action, but I heard about it … a lot. When you have a baby/kids, it’s so hard to take a shower, or change my clothes, or I don’t wear anything but yoga pants, etc. When I had both babies, I’ll admit, I didn’t think it was super hard to at least get a shower in. Babies sleep a lot … but once babies STOP sleeping a lot. Yup I wouldn’t be able to tell you at most times when the last time I took a shower was. And when I changed my clothes last was probably sometime around then as well. And yes I stay in nursing tanks and PJ/yoga pants or shorts 99.9% of the time. Especially now that I have 2 kids, if by some magical mystical alignment of the stars I get them to both nap at the same time, that time is so sacred and I have so many things I could be doing I have to prioritize and decide if showering is really at the top of that list and it’s usually not. As far as getting dressed, I just don’t see the point if I’m not leaving the house and changing clothes unnecessarily just creates more laundry. Plus, leading into my next point, the clothes I stay in are nursing tanks and yoga pants because I need easy nursing access plus I want to be comfy and because I’m breastfeeding I’m still hanging onto most of my pregnancy weight so those types of clothes are the only things that fit. So yes, I TOTALLY get the shower/clothes thing now.
  5. Messes – Again, not so much amongst my friends but just things I heard generally about messy houses and cars. I didn’t understand how they could become such a mess and how it could be so hard to clean them up. Well, now with my kids in tow in the car, ONE TRIP out to run errands can look like we’ve been living in the car for a week and raccoons were rummaging through our stuff for food. It’s ridiculous. And the house – my gosh – not just the toys but EVERYTHING now ends up on the floor ALWAYS. Like that’s where everything is meant to be, on the floor. I could pick it up 10 times a day and it would still end up back there because that’s where it’s meant to be. So I give up. I pick up at the end of the day just so Dad or I don’t break a foot on a Lego in the middle of the night otherwise I say forget it! The car I will clean after each trip just so it doesn’t get too out of control and because it’s a small space (for now) it’s pretty easy to clean up quickly. But regardless, I GET why messes cannot be contained or controlled with kids.
  6. Shopping Alone = Vacation – I always thought moms were exaggerating when they talked about a solo grocery trip or trip to Target being like a vacation. I’m so sorry moms, I get it now. I had a lovely trip to paradise the other day – Target alone. I found myself staring at the ingredients on a shampoo bottle for over 5 minutes. And then I stood there in awe that I was actually able to read the shampoo bottle and not tend to a crying baby or try to keep my toddler in the stroller or cart. When my husband says I need a break, I tell him this is basically the #1 thing I need, besides a pedicure of course.

Looking back, I don’t think I’d change anything even if I could because there’s no way I would’ve really known any of these things until I had kids myself. But it definitely gives me a new perspective and I roll my eyes at myself sometimes now when I find myself on the other side of the fence talking to my friends who don’t have kids. It gives me a good laugh. And I try to maintain as much balance as I can, as a mom of 2 small kids – as I said I try to stick to the routine but sometimes we go astray, I haven’t cut my hair, but I do rock my mom wardrobe and shower only as much as necessary.

What are some of the things that you didn’t “get” until you became a parent?

Review – Arms Reach Co-Sleeper Mini

During the baby days, with my oldest, he slept in our room with us but I used my Graco Pack N Play’s bassinet feature which worked great. This time around I decided I wanted to use something that would take up a little less space. So I found the Arms Reach Mini and scooped it up! I had heard of Arms Reach Cosleepers, but never knew there was a mini version. So I decided I would write a review!

Perhaps the best feature of the Arms Reach is the fact that the side folds down and you can pull it right up next to your bed which allows you to very easily check on your baby at night and would help for night nursing if you nurse in bed, but still gives baby their own space to sleep. I didn’t nurse in bed, but as he was working through his sleep transitions, I loved that if we woke up I could just easily reach over and put my hand on him, and also that I could see him with nothing else in the way. This differed from the PNP in that the PNP was below the level of my bed so I had to reach a ways down to get to him.   But, if you choose, the side will come all the way up to be a regular bassinet.  

The bottom has wheels on one end, which allows you to move it around easily. The leg extension kit allows you to add length to the legs on both ends if you have a higher bed, like I do. 

They snap on and off very easily so it’s super easy to adjust the height. It also comes with straps that allow you to secure it to the bed so it can’t tip over. They run under the mattress to the other side of the bed.

In terms of size, the Mini is 34″ x 20″ x 32.5″ whereas the regular Arms Reach is 39″ x 25″ x 32.5″ but honestly the mini worked for my giant baby up til he started scooting and crawling around 5 months so for me I don’t see a need for anything bigger! I guess the bigger one would be good if you wanted something closer to crib size to cosleep longer. But the Mini worked perfect for what we needed.

I would highly recommend the Arms Reach Co Sleepers for their ease of use for middle of the night feedings and baby checks. When you’re already sleep deprived, anything that you can do to make night times easier is worth it! In my opinion, the Arms Reach isn’t priced so high that it’s unreasonable to get it for such a short use. To me, the price is worth paying for the peace of mind to be so close to my baby and be able to check on them and comfort them very easily.

Homemade Baby Food Purees 

With my oldest son, I got really tired of jockying for position with other moms in the baby food aisle. Trying to look around 5 other people to find what I was looking for… Not to mention the fact that it disturbs me how long it lasts, as well as how much it costs. So I decided to start looking into making my own purees.

I found books online and fancy machines, all of which cost money, a pretty good amount. I thought there had to be a better, cheaper way. I searched online and found a fabulous (free!) resource here. Listed all kinds of recipes and ways to prepare purees, lots of tips. I also found that regular blenders and choppers would work just fine, and that ice cube trays are great for freezing 1oz potions. So I spent less than $50 on a small chopper and some ice cube trays. And away I went!



It was so much easier than I expected. The recipes and instructions were easy to follow, the chopper worked great, and freezing in the trays worked great. Once they were frozen I just popped them out into ziploc bags and after about a days worth of work, I had purees for months.

Each night I would just take some of the frozen cubes out, put them in jars in the fridge and they’d pretty much be thawed the next day.

The only “baby food” specialty item that I would say is worth the investment is the Infantino Squeeze Station. You can make your own squeeze pouches which are much easier to take on the go, but they’re a fraction of the cost of the ones you buy at the store.

Homemade baby food purees – easy, affordable, and better for your baby too!