If you wear your baby, you know how amazing it is to have your hands free to accomplish many noble household tasks: laundry, dishes, playing with your older children, mopping the floor … You may also know that babywearing has benefits for your baby: Dr. Sears says that “sling babies” (his term, not mine) learn more, are smarter and cry less. (Source.)
While being able to do chores and having a child of above-average intelligence are appealing results of my babywearing, let’s not pretend they’re the actual motivation.
Here are the unexpected reasons that I love babywearing:
1- So I can talk to myself and not seem crazy.
Nothing screams “nut job” more than a lady covered in cat hair talking to herself at the grocery store. But if I’m wearing my daughter, I suddenly become an attentive mother interacting with her child. I talk to Little Miss about the price of milk, sing the parts of the PokéRap that I know by heart (Electrode, Diglett, Nidoran, Manky!) to her and repeat “baking soda, baking soda, baking soda” in my attempts to not forget an item on my grocery list.
2- So I can play video games.
I don’t play a lot of video games, but once I get started, I really don’t want to stop. There’s nothing worse than having all your progress lost in Mario World because your baby turned off the console. This is the true meaning of #BabywearingfortheWin.
3- So I don’t have to share my ice cream.
Zelda, our foster cat, put me to shame the other night. Little Miss dropped a juicy chunk of steak, and what did Mama Cat do? She brought it over to her kittens so they could enjoy it. If that were me with a chocolate bar, you’d have found me hiding in the pantry and coughing to cover up the sound of the wrapper. Little Miss is just now starting to notice when I am eating something that she isn’t, so now I just make sure she’s in a back carry when I need to indulge.
4- So I can binge-watch true-crime documentaries.
Baby won’t sleep but the next episode of The Jinx is calling? Up she goes! Thankfully too young to care about the subject matter, she’s just happy to be close to me while I watch TV, rocking side to side and hoping she’ll fall asleep. Lately she’s been on my back during Luke Cage!
5- So I can go thrifting.
My love of a good deal is genetic. I am the kind of person who will immediately tell you how much my outfit from Value Village cost if you so much as blink at it. I. Love. To. Thrift. There’s something about walking into the store and not knowing what I might find that just makes me giddy. I like to take my time. I like to go rack by rack, hanger by hanger. I need both of my hands. Buckle up, baby girl, we’re going bargain hunting!
6- So I can use the bathroom.
This is a pretty utilitarian use for babywearing compared to the previous five motivations, but oral hygiene and evacuating my bladder and bowels are rarely done alone. Since scooping up toilet water to quench her thirst or pulling out the entire roll of toilet paper are Little Miss’s favourite bathroom activities when Mommy’s otherwise occupied, containing her to my chest or my back is the only logical solution.