We are an avid baby wearing family. We get a lot of comments from strangers both positive and negative. People unashamedly point and laugh in awe and surprise at the children on our backs. We even had a security guard in Washington DC on the National Mall come up to us and ask us where we were from. Confused by the question, because it was unexpected, we responded, “Delaware?” The guard seemed disappointed. He pointed to the children on our backs and said that he assumed that we were foreigners because Americans don’t wear kids like they do in his country. I don’t remember now what country he said he was from (it was an African country though). We had a nice back and forth about how much we loved baby wearing and that we hope to see the practice spread in the U.S.
As we travel, my husband and I find ourselves looking at each other often and saying, “I love baby wearing because…”
Well, here’s a little glimpse into what exactly it is that we love about it….
Top 8 Reasons to Wear your Baby (and Toddler)
1.Strollers are a Hassle
There are definitely times that we use strollers but we’ve found that more often than not, it’s easier to travel with baby carriers. One of our local aquariums doesn’t even allow strollers because of the crowds and stairs – strollers clog up people-traffic and slow down the flow. When we visited Colonial Williamsburg, stroller were not allowed in the trade shops. Shop after shop, families were stopping and unloading all of their bags and kids to step into see the colonial shops to see the demonstrations. We didn’t even bring our stroller on the trip; we just walked in and out of each trade shop without having to stop.
Also, when we use a stroller, we tend to overpack. I’ve been trying to be more honest with myself lately as to what I ACTUALLY need in the diaper bag.
2. Nap Times are easy On-the-Go
When traveling you run into a lot of different scenarios. We visited a Naval Museum in Norfolk, Virginia and walked out unto the deck of a battleship. Now, our two year old is pretty obedient and she does a pretty great job of staying with us. BUT, I feel a LOT better on the top of a battleship (a ship with NO LEDGES) when the kids are in the packs on our backs. Another place I feel safer is in large crowds (especially when we are trying to move quickly). If we just need to get from one side of a crowd to the other, it is SO much easier to have both kids on our backs and just shuffle our way through the crowd. And definitely better than trying to push a stroller through a sea of people.
Sometimes, yes, it’s just EASIER to baby wear. And I think it’s totally ok to pick the easier version just because it’s easier and it works for you!
Have a two mile walk from one destination to the other? Yea…my two year old is going to want “Up!” a couple of blocks in and I’ll be stuck carrying her anyways or pushing a stroller. I might as well just baby wear. Save her energy for walking through museums, give her a chance for a mini nap, and easing my mind as we cross busy streets.
5. Fun Patterns
Because I love my Alpaca Love Toddler Tula. When you baby wear, you get to pick out fun patterns!
This might be one of the number one reason that we got into baby wearing. It’s so easy to latch baby on in the carrier, no need for a cover, they can fall right asleep while nursing, the hood covers you nicely, and no one around you has ANY idea that you are breastfeeding. You don’t have to stop playing tourist and your baby still gets to feed on demand.
7. Better view of the sites
A lot of places don’t have things for small children to see at their levels. At the zoo, the kids need to be lifted up time and again to see the animals. Baby wearing brings them up to the right viewing level. The same goes for a lot of museums. It’s just another great option.
8. It’s a workout
Yes, baby wearing is a workout. I don’t get sore for the normal hour or two of wearing if I have a few errands to run. But when I’m traveling and we baby wearing ALL DAY and through naps, and airport security lines, and terminals, I get sore. It’s the same thing as ruck sacking a 25-35 pound backpack all day long! If you have a carrier like ours (we use a Toddler Tula and a Standard Ergobaby) the weight is mostly carried on your hips. This helps with any potential soreness. We always joke that baby wearing will keep up young and fit!
Wear all the Babies (and Toddlers)!
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