My son Lucas will be two in March. He is as rough-and-tumble as little boys come. He loves his trucks and trains and blocks and just about anything that goes "Vroom, Vroom." But he also loves his sling. I don't mean the one he rides in, although he certainly loves that one. I mean the one he wears, the one he uses to carry his puppy and dino and sometimes even his dump truck. He carries the things he loves and wants close to him. He is too small to put it on himself but he will bring me the sling and whatever he wants to carry and say "ing, mama, ing."
Children thrive when they feel valued, loved, and that the adults in their life enjoy being with them. That is why wearing your baby or toddler is so important: it fosters trust and a secure attachment with your baby and gives your toddler a safe place to reconnect and reinforce their bond with you. When we wear our children, we model for them that it is important to care for others. We are nurturing them and teaching them that they matter and that we want them to be with us. As mothers (and fathers), we want our children to learn how to nurture and love others out of the depth of nurturing and love they have received. Give them their own sling and teach them to care for the things they love just as they are cared for and loved. It is a great tool for encouraging your little nurturer in the development of kindness and compassion and love for others. I know that Lucas wants to wear his puppy in his sling because he loves his puppy. He feels loved when he is cuddled close to mama in the sling so it only makes sense to him that his puppy should go in the sling too. He is starting to make that very important connection.
Lucas is an only child so his only experience of babywearing is from being worn and occasionally seeing one of my babywearing friends with an infant in their sling. I know that if we are ever blessed with another child, the lessons of babywearing will be all the more poignant for him. Older siblings can learn to exhibit the same love and care they see you giving to their new baby brother or sister. It makes them feel important and valued by you when they are able to display the behaviors that are modeled for them. Dr. Sears comments on his website about the importance of role modeling nurturing behaviors for our children. "When we adults wear babies, we model for our other children that big people carry little people. Children and grandchildren are more likely to adopt the style of parenting that they received or witnessed when young. "
As parents, we all want to raise our kids to be compassionate, caring people. One of the best ways to do that is to model that behavior for them and then give them opportunities to exhibit the behavior themselves. Lucas and his puppy love their sling. He wears puppy or dino while he stands at the window watching the snow plows or while he sits in the living room playing with his trains. And me, I just watch and smile as my son kisses puppy's head. He is learning how to care for and nurture others. He is developing compassion and kindness. And that nurtures my soul too.
Give the gift of babywearing and nurturing this holiday. Shop Baby Love Slings at www.babyloveslings.com for all your sling needs. Use coupon code ABW for 10% off your total order. Order by Dec. 20 to ensure delivery by Christmas.