Before I was even a mother, I became interested in babywearing. A friend from high school wore her babies in all sorts of carriers at a time when I’d only seen an occasional Baby Bjorn. There’s nothing I like more than snuggling a baby, and it seemed like carrying your baby close would help create an amazing connection. I was pretty sure babywearing was for me and spent my pregnancy learning all I could about it. I read babywearing blogs and followed websites like Babywearing International, I watched YouTube tutorials for different kinds of carriers, I took a babywearing class at Diaper Lab in Somerville, and I even practiced using the different carriers I’d purchased so I would know how to safely use each wrap, sling, and carrier.
Now that I have babies, I’ve fallen completely in love with babywearing. It’s part of my everyday life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When my twins were newborns, I was almost always wearing one baby, which freed up my hands to hold, play with, and take care of the other baby. Babywearing gave me confidence to leave the house by myself when my husband went back to work. On that first trip out and about with two babies, I wore one and pushed the other in the stroller. I knew at least the baby I was wearing would be snug and calm. Instead of a double stroller, I usually wear one baby and use a single stroller, which makes navigating busy city sidewalks, the T, or tiny grocery store aisles a whole lot easier.
As my babies grow, I see them benefitting more and more from babywearing. My son is a little wary of strangers and large groups of people, so I wear him when we’re going somewhere new. He can take his time interacting with other people, and he feels safe in his carrier. This is also proving to be helpful as they both enter the stranger danger phase. Being up at adult level gives the babies a better view of what’s around them and lets me stop and point things out or talk to them much more than I do when they’re in the stroller. At home, babywearing almost always calms a cranky baby, provides the sleepydust needed when someone is fighting a nap, and gives me a chance to snuggle each baby one on one.
As the babies have gradually gotten heavier and heavier, I’ve gotten stronger and stronger. I feel like I have super mama strength when I’m out running errands and realize I’ve walked a few miles wearing a 16-pound baby — even more so if I wear them both at the same time. What I love most, though, is the closeness babywearing gives us. I love snuggling my babies and miss their squishy, sleepy newborn stage already. They are growing so quickly — they’re crawling, and my little girl is on the verge of taking steps. While I love watching them become independent, curious, little people, I’ll take any opportunity to soak up their baby-ness, and babywearing gives me that chance every day.