Thursday, March 25, 2010

Slingin' Babies & Pouchin' Toddlers

I won't have time to write a post tomorrow, so I figured that I better do it tonight.

Earlier this month I wrote about how much I adore my Maya Wrap Adjustable Pouch. It has proven to be an indispensable part of my parenting arsenal. I truly wonder how I parented effectively without an appropriate carrier for my toddler.

When my son is upset or overwhelmed, he goes in the pouch. When my son is tired and we're out, he goes in the pouch. When we're in situations that can be dangerous, he goes in the pouch. When Mama needs an extra pair of arms, he goes in the pouch. You get the idea. I have "pouched" him as he's starting to have a meltdown and being held close quickly restores his sweet attitude. I've joked that we should have named him Joey because he likes being in the pouch so much.

I took my MIL to the doctor again today and she requires a wheelchair at the moment. He won't sit still on her lap and he can't be trusted to walk by himself without holding Mama's hand, so he went in the pouch. My son eagerly snuggled up to me once he was safely ensconced in the pouch and I was able to push my MIL in the wheelchair.

Two different people stopped to ask me about the pouch.

While in the elevator, one woman asked my son's weight and I replied that he was around 25 pounds. Her eyes widened and she asked if he was too heavy to carry him in the pouch. I told her that it's perfectly comfortable for us and just a few weeks ago he was pouched for 3 1/2 hours with no problems. She told me that a friend can't wear her 20-pound baby because the child is so heavy. I let her know that there many types of carriers, one for nearly any mama and nearly any baby, gave her some ideas, and exited the elevator.

While checking in, the receptionist commented that my son looked comfortable hanging out in the pouch and I replied that I thought he was. She wanted to know if it was difficult to wear him. I told her the same thing that I'd told the woman in the elevator. The receptionist responded that she can't wear her 6-month old anymore because it's painful for mama. I asked what type of carrier she was using and it sounds like she's using a Baby Bjorn or some other type of crotch-dangle baby carrier. You know what I mean, the kind that has the baby facing outward, legs dangling, and all the baby's weight is supported by their crotch. I suggested a few carriers that would be more comfortable for her and for her baby. She countered that there has been a "sling recall" and I let her know that the recall is about a specific type of carrier, not all "slings" or carriers are dangerous. She mentioned that babies had suffocated while being worn and I let her know that it is perfectly safe to wear your baby or toddler if you are using an appropriately-designed carrier and using it properly. By now there was a line behind me and I finished by encouraging her to check out babywearing to learn about the vast variety of carriers that are available.

I typically like to quickly go about my business and don't like to idly chit-chat with strangers that I will most likely never see again. Since when do I care what someone thinks of baby/toddlerwearing? I can only guess that I care because I love it so much and it has brought tremendous comfort to my son. I believe that we have a special bond because I wore him so often in the early days. No, I'm not saying that mamas who don't wear their babies don't have a special relationship. I'm saying that I believe that my relationship with my son has been enhanced because I chose to keep him close all the time. Well, except bedtime because he's always slept in his own bed.

The pediatrics department was busy today and ALL infants were strapped into their infant carseat/carriers while waiting. Yes, every single infant was left to sit in a carseat/carrier. Some of the carseat/carriers were on the floor, which is the safest place I suppose, others were on a chair next to mom. Out of all the moms that I saw today, around ten or so, only one was paying any attention to her baby. Even when babies were fussing, moms still didn't pick up their child and chose to rock/shake the carseat/carrier instead. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with carseat/carriers, I know some good mamas who have used them, but the behavior in the waiting room today was interesting to me.

I can't imagine putting my baby in a carseat/carrier and toting them around that way. Let's start with the fact that they are heavy and bulky. Kind of like, well, a carseat. I hated the idea of leaving my son in a seat when he didn't have to be and I loved to cuddle with him in waiting rooms, in stores, in restaurants, anywhere. Before anyone gets all up in arms, remember, I am not saying there is anything wrong with carseat/carriers. I just would never, never, never tote my son around in one because I prefer to wear him close.

Wearing your children, pushing them in strollers, toting them in carseat/carriers. . .I don't know which is best. But I do know which I prefer for my children and now my readership does too. What about you?

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