From M’s very earliest days, she has known the comfort of being snuggled close to La Mommy in a baby carrier.
Babywearer and proud right here! Holla!
This, of course, has caused much ado in my rural southern Italian village, where babywearing is not the norm, to put it mildly.
M was in the Moby wrap for the first six weeks or so and since then, we’ve used the Ergobaby. LOVE them both, but I always just felt more secure with the Ergobaby.
Well! You would think I had the poverina (poor thing) strapped into a torture device based on some of the reactions I got around here.
To be fair, I also received several nice sentiments regarding how lovely it is that she is so close to me, and some mammas even insisted they had carried their own children this way–maybe inside the house since it seemed a foreign concept, literally, to most people? Boh.
For starters, there were, of course, many concerns about whether M could breathe in “that thing.” And I can understand that. You see, for the first three or four months, M was nearly always sleeping whenever we were out and about with her in the Ergobaby, so I suppose it’s legit that some people might think I’d forget to make sure MY CHILD WAS ALIVE.
I composed a list of sassy answers in my head ranging from “Geez, I *think* so” to “We’re preparing her to break the world record for a baby holding her breath . . . she’s up to a minute now!” But of course I just nodded in response.
[In all seriousness, I know that there have been instances of children being positioned incorrectly in carriers and dying. So in fact, I was obsessive about checking that she was breathing in “that thing” to the point of waking her up at times.]
Some people were also concerned that M would never want to be put down, that I was spoiling her by, ahem, holding her. “She’ll always want to be in your arms,” they scolded.
As it turns out, I seem to have the least cuddly baby in the world because except for a few grumpy days of teething here and there, this kid prefers to be on her own. Even when she’s upset and crying, she tends to freak out more if held, so the preferred calming method is generally distraction . . . at least up until now.
But if it changes from here on out, I’m pretty sure babywearing won’t be to blame since I haven’t consistently worn her in months (more on that in a bit).
Some were also concerned that she was just too smushed in there, especially her legs before she was big enough for them to be outside the carrier. Yes, one could see how terribly uncomfortable M was by the fact that she never cried while in it; in fact, the Ergobaby was my rabbit-in-the-hat for many months if she was crying in public (exceedingly rare). Put her in, and she’d calm down within seconds.
So am I still using the Ergobaby? Occasionally, but I started using a stroller when M was about six months old, and only then, really, because of the heat. People assumed it was because she was getting too heavy, but honestly carrying her up the steep hills on me is a lot easier than pushing her plus a stroller up them.
On the day we made the switch to the stroller, out came my favorite comment from a woman on the main street who had made no bones about how much she hated to see M in the carrier. And I quote:
“Finalmente la mamma ti ha liberata!”
Finally your mom has freed you!
I try to keep my annoyance to myself, so I just smiled in the moment but then I made sure I had M back in the Ergobaby the next time I walked up the main street just in case that woman was out.
And she made no comment.
It was awesome.
Mature, me. I know.
And I’m looking forward to using the carrier again now that the weather is cooling off. M still loves it, and I still love it too.