Goodbye to Baby-Wearing: A Retrospective

Aodhan, having turned 3 a few months ago, still asks for me to bring the carrier along when we head out. But, sadly, even with a top-of-the-line Beco Gemini, in the back-carry position, these requests just can’t be met for more than 10 minutes at a time. I don’t think it is really his weight, because my boy is smallish. I think it is a combo of him getting longer, heavier and me being of below average height – I mean, I have seen loads of moms and dads continuing to use carriers well into the school years, but for our family – the chapter has ended.

It is slightly hard to believe that it is time to let go of my carrier days. I have never felt uncomfortable wearing my kid. No matter how small 1 or big he was, I happily tramped our way up and down the streets of Europe, UK, Canada and the United States.

We baby-wore on planes, trains, trams, taxis, subways and a ferry. I breastfed Aodhan for countless hours while he was nestled against my body in carriers. I have showered with Aodhan in a sling. I have used the toilet with Aodhan in a sling. Aodhan had a couple of his doctor appointment while hanging in a carrier. So many naps started with me swaying my sweet boy to sleep in his Moby. Tears were soothed the moment he found his way into the comfort and security of our fabric slings. Connections were made and strengthened as we wore our son throughout the last three years.

Next to breastfeeding, I think that carrying your baby is perhaps one of the most wonderful gifts that you can give them. It was truly an essential tool in caring gently for my son. On the other side, it also allowed me to still care for myself and my home and head out of the house to avoid the isolation that can often be an element of parenting.

My first carrier was a Mei Tai, purchased from Baby on the Hip in Toronto’s Leslieville. I remember attempting to try it on with my giant belly in front, and my novice baby-carrier-hands trying to tie me up from behind. Oy. It was tough. 2 Aodhan spent his newbornhood in our Mei Tai, and a quickly acquired Flemish made ring sling. At four months, we purchased both an Ergo and a Moby (and I accepted my obsession as a baby-carrier collector), and quickly fell in love with the Moby, which was our go-to carrier until about a year old, at which point, Aodhan became the perfect size for our Ergo. At around 18 months, we picked up a Beco Gemini which allowed us to carry Aodhan facing forward on my front.

So yah, I have been around the baby-carrier block. They have all had their uses, and I must admit that I can’t bring myself to part with our Moby. For over a year, that piece of fabric was something I put on the moment I woke up and on most evenings, fell asleep in. So much of the love and agony of that first year of parenting can become tangible to me again by sending my thoughts back to tying on the Moby and folding his new limbs into the warm fabric.

And here we are. No more carrier. And here I am. And here he is. Just another tug in the continuing force that is pulling us from being one to being two. I am ok with this being a part of the fork in him finding his own path. But, already I am wishing for just a couple minutes more. 3

Funny – it was just a carrier when I was standing in that store on Queen Street, and now it holds more memories and love than almost any other item I own.

Stop by on Sunday when Kevin shares his perspective on baby-wearing.

Love these posts: 

Lauren at Hobo Mama shows you how to construct your own Mei Tai.

The founder of Baby Wearing International writes about Beyond Bonding and the benefits of baby wearing.

A cute post about wearing multiples! 

 

 

Notes:

  1. baby-wearing is one of the only areas of my life when I actually followed the rules. I was very careful to make sure that Aodhan was safe in our baby-wearing.
  2.  But, parents shouldn’t be put off by carriers and the many snaps, wraps and ties. So many youtube videos exist to support baby-wearing
  3. clearly what the term “sweet sorrow” was made for

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