Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Mama Wildebeest

I became very interested in the concept of baby wearing in part because I always thought I simply cannot struggle with a stroller and all its parts on the subway.  I’ve always traveled light and as a matter of convenience it appealed.  Then when the time came for me to consider just how I would get around with my little one practicality set in.
I suddenly became steely eyed at any new item that came into the house.  American babies in particular are the recipients of more stuff than any other infant on the planet.  In your euphoria and sheer confusion you can easily think you need and want it ALL but I found myself on a path to living mindfully.  Aside from that to put it frankly we don’t have the room and I don’t understand (nor have any desire to) the concept of clutter.
I read Jean Liedloff's "The Continuum Concept" and while it was a bit of a stretch I understood the basic message in the benefits of baby wearing and it led me to learning further about attachment parenting principles.  So just as in the movie Away We Go when the couple visits the continuum home played out by Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character, our faces indeed match at that moment when she is presented with the stroller as a gift.  She put hers out on the porch, I had mine shipped to Winnie’s grandmama.
I admit the Moby wrap did and still does confound me.  I saw all that fabric and watched my birth instructor enthusiatically demonstrate and I thought...neeextMy affair with ring slings has remained true and now of late, the Ergo baby carrier.  I’ve become so proficient in using the sling though that I think I could match any tribal woman in the rain forest carrying positions tie for tie.  The larger Winnie gets the more variations she teaches me based on how she settles herself in.
Remember…close enough to kiss.  That’s the rule with slings and babies.  Baby slings are safe when handled correctly so ask someone to show you if you are unsure.  Given the high use of strollers in our society it’s no wonder our skill set has dropped a notch with the cloth carriers.
Each carrier is different for each person but the ring sling has been the most versatile and light in my world both at home and out.  In the newborn stage the Ergo was the best for Winnie. The sized pouch was short lived, excellent in its security and simpliciy but restrictive.
With my Ergo carrier, parka and bundled petunia I have felt like a mama wildebeest picking my way down the streets but its provided a wonderful way to bond and as an adult party of 1 baby wearing is the way I can remain 4-handed and keep her snuggled once we are on our own.
I am not opposed to getting an umbrella stroller so that we can both have a break as she gets larger but in the baby phase I really don’t understand or see it any other way.  Baby wearing for me means literally that.  Wear her as much as possible as a baby.  I'm very interested in extended child wearing but the larger she gets I am not opposed to making use of a light stroller as needed.
In the meantime, I’m sure you’ll understand our contentment…
From the first moment I saw her, I simply didn’t want to put her down and she wouldn't let go.

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