So I’ve written about babywearing on the blog before, but I wanted to take the opportunity of International Babywearing Week 2017 to give a little update on what it’s been like wearing now that I have two kids.
It should come as no surprise that with two kids, wearing has become more than doubly essential for us. I’ve had the joy of wearing my daughter since she was 3 days old. I have loved wearing her for all the same reasons I loved wearing my son- I get to keep her close and have extra snuggles, and it is great for lulling babies to sleep, especially since my daughter is a much lighter sleeper than her brother. Here are some bonus ways babywearing has helped me with baby #2:
*Breastfeeding: As I wrote before, my nursing journey with my son was very short. I think I would have been far more likely to stop nursing my daughter if it weren’t for learning to feed in a carrier. It has been so helpful when out and about and was the first way I felt comfortable breastfeeding without a nursing pillow. This made our carrier of choice a ringsling for the early months so our stretchy wrap didn’t get as much use as I thought, but now we’re learning how to nurse in other carriers and building that skill as well.
*Avoiding a double stroller: I wasn’t sure how this would work out, but my son was used to daily walks and not quite up for walking more than a block or two when my daughter was first born. When we realized the double stroller question would probably stretch our budget a bit too much, we decided to just keep little guy in the stroller a bit longer and I’d wear the baby during family walks or trips to the zoo. Now, I use the stroller for our daughter sometimes when my son feels up to walking, but he still uses the stroller for longer journeys and I can still wear our little girl. So far, it’s worked out really well.
*Running after my toddler: I have told many people this week that babywearing was a convenience with my first child and a necessity with my second. I know this depends on the temperament of each child, but my toddler is super active and often fearless, so having my hands free to wrangle him, or even just to hold onto his hand as we cross a street, is just an absolute necessity. This is actually why I usually prefer baby to be in a carrier instead of a stroller. Harder to chase the three year old through the park or a store or museum with a big stroller
*Tandem wearing: It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while I have the energy and my toddler has the desire to be worn the same time as his sister. This is always an adventure but leads to lots of smiles and special moments. It does take some physical strength and when I pull it off I feel a little like a supermom.
*Volunteering with Babywearing International of Phoenix: Aside from my MOPS group, going to monthly babywearing meetings was one of my first ventures back out of the house when I was feeling anxious about being outnumbered. It not only got me some fresh air and seeing friendly faces of my fellow volunteers and other chapter members, it felt good to be teaching and helping other parents gain this skill that has been so helpful for me.