I'm not what you would call a crunchy mama. I did dabble in cloth nappies for a while. But homebirthing, homeschooling, elimination communication...I admire those mamas, but I'm not that mama.
I am the mama who occasionally resorts to junk food because I ran out of time and the cupboards are empty. I am the mama who thanks the CBeebies gods for delivering entertainment when I need to cook dinner and my children are not cooperating. I am the mama who bribed her son to potty train.
But I am also the mama who babywears.
When my son was born, I carried him for a short time with a stretchy wrap. When he outgrew the wrap, he went in the pushchair and seemed content. Using a pushchair seemed to be the norm and it didn't occur to me to do anything different.
And then my daughter came along. She didn't like the pushchair, she wanted to be held. Not only that but my son was going through the wonderful stage of running away from me in public places. The few times that happened when I was using a pushchair, I had the heart stopping decision of whether to stay with my baby or run after my toddler. That's not a feeling I want to repeat.
It seemed only natural then to keep my daughter in a sling. It started with the stretchy wrap and then I moved on to soft-structured carriers (SSCs). Lately, to the dismay of my husband(!), I've also been trying out woven wraps and I'm discovering even more sides of baby wearing.
My daughter is now 9 months old. I still carry her almost every day and I can see that changing for a long time. While I started baby-wearing out of necessity, now it's something I wouldn't change. I love that my daughter is at the same level as me. I see the world with her eyes and tell her about it as we walk. I can nip to the shops in my town without having to negotiate endless sets of steps with a buggy. I have two hands free to play with my son and keep him safe. It keeps me fit. And when she's tired, my daughter snuggles in to fall as asleep just as she did on her first day in the world 9 months ago.
I'd love to hear what your favourite slings and wraps are!