Natural Mom Hot Fashion Trend– Baby Wearing
If you ever have a hankering to attract a lot of attention to yourself while perusing the aisles of your local supermarket, tuck your baby into a sling and wear him on your chest or hip as you do your weekly grocery shopping.
I thought baby wearing was so common by now that it wouldn’t cause much of a stir among onlookers, but boy was I wrong. Without fail, every time I wear Isaac in a sling in public, strangers flock to me, cooing over how adorable he looks in it (which is true, by the way), wondering how he stays inside it, if it hurts my back, etc.
I don’t mind the attention much, and I love to tell people how much Isaac and I have both benefited from the sling.
The first time I wore Isaac, he was about a month old and we were at Mayfest in 2008. I was pushing him in his stroller, walking alongside two girlfriends on a warm afternoon, when Isaac began to fuss and squirm. My friend Tasha suggested I try wearing him, lent me her sling and helped me wrangle him inside. He wasn’t in it five minutes before he fell asleep, and he slept comfortably and peacefully during our entire stay at Mayfest.
The next day, I headed out to buy my own sling.
I have both a pouch sling and a Moby wrap, the former purchased at the now-closed Natural Lullabies and the latter at Cherry Street’s Ding Bats, and both have been lifesavers to me.
With each, I can wear Isaac until he’s three or four, repositioning him as he grows.
When he was a baby, I’d tuck him into the sling any time I needed to run an errand or if I was headed to an event that would require a couple of hours of walking (like Oktoberfest or the Tulsa State Fair). With the sling, I could keep him close to me, avoid pushing a stroller and provide him warmth and comfort. Besides being a handy contraption, the sling offered us an opportunity to bond, even while we were out and about.
When he was a newborn, I’d wear Isaac around the house while I did chores (some days it was the only way I got anything done) and in the evening, I’d wear him down to sleep, taking a quick walk around the neighborhood with him in the sling, providing him a gentle, comfortable means to sleep.
The pouch sling I have, made by New Native, lets me wear him near my chest, on my hip or on my back, depending on how old he is or how much he weighs. The Moby wrap offers even more options, and also lets me keep him even closer than I’m able to in the pouch.
I wear him less now because he’s getting so heavy, but I still keep a sling tucked in my purse or diaper bag during outings for the times he demands to be held but I need my arms free for some task or another.
While slings are becoming widely available at stores like Target and Babies ‘R Us, I suggest looking to Ding Bats and Eco Baby + Kids, on Brookside, which are locally owned and provide more options and great customer service. Proprietors at both stores, while I was shopping for a sling, helped me try them on with Isaac inside to determine what size I would need and demonstrated proper use. Look to the Natural Mom blog at www.tulsakids.com this month for additional information about the benefits of baby wearing.