April 3, 2009

When And Where I Wear The Baby

I keep meaning to write about when and where I wear Ivy. I even had this journal going in my head all last week, taking pictures every day when I would have her in the sling like during dinner-making time and shopping at Target and so forth but it was all in my head and- note to self- don't journal in your head. Because I already forgot it all.

Then yesterday I found out I was in the March issue of Pregnancy Magazine talking about babywearing and I thought this might be a good time to talk about it and post this photo I took in Ikea the other day. Me, The Babywearer with a zillion slings had to borrow Sarah's mei tai because I didn't bring one!

But, what I have been meaning to tell you is that I don't wear Ivy nearly as often as I wore Gray. She is usually much happier playing on the floor or napping in bed instead of the sling. There are certainly times I wear her- especially when out and about- because often I need my hands for something else (like holding other little hands) and she needs to be held, too.

I guess my wearing Gray was more about keeping him close rather than having my hands free, and my wearing Ivy is the complete opposite. Some babies want to be held more than others, and wearing them in a carrier is a wonderful option to have. But it's ok if you don't wear them all.day.long.

It's ok if you don't wear them at all.

In the article I am quoted as saying that (by babywearing) I feel like I'm doing a good job as a mother. I think I remember saying that no matter what her parenting style, it is important for a mother to feel like she is doing a good job. I am pretty sure my quote was referencing the whole big picture of our Attachment Parenting style in general and the other choices we make, not just that if you wear your baby you will feel like you are a good mother.

No matter which method I have used to get there, it does make me feel like I'm doing a good job when I can respond to my baby's cues and know when she needs to be held close and when she needs to explore on her own.

Isn't that what Motherhood is pretty much all about?


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47 comments:

  1. Same thing in my family. Some of the kids love being close and being worn all of the time, and then there's Zane who'd rather be down playing.

    I love that photo of the two of you --- awesome shot and your outfit is so cute!

    Congrats on being in pregnancy magazine, too.

    Nell

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  2. I had to stop and be jealous of IKEA for a moment because I love IKEA so, so much.
    When Luke was little, I only ever wore him in a Moby wrap (he was like Ivy in that he was content to be on the floor a lot!), which was fine, but since then I've gotten a ring sling and a mei tai. I can't wait to use them--I just hope I can figure it all out!

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  3. I was recently given an Infantino sling and I didn't like it at all! It hangs SO low...not fun! But I got an apple green maya wrap ring sling and I LOVE it!! It is so comfortable and fun to wear!

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  4. Congratulations on your magazine appearance!
    I totally agree - Just as there isn't one perfect sling for everyone, there isn't a 'one size fits all' when and where either!

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  5. Do you ever look anything but fabulous :) Love your skirt.

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  6. i think it's important that you addressed that it's not for every mom. i never wore my son in a sling. he just loved being down playing and when we went out he enjoyed being in the stroller. God worked it out perfectly for us since i have back problems and carrying him around would have been a difficult option. of course i held him and picked him up a lot and cuddled and snuggled him, but wearing him in a sling wasn't right for us. thanks for addressing this in such a way that makes everyone realize that it may not be for every family. i think it's important for moms to support each other and not tear down.

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  7. That is absolutely the point... wouldn't it be awesome if everybody felt so confident!

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  8. Love the outfit and the wrap. You are so pretty!

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  9. I agree. Every baby is different and so our mothering changes. Well said! And funny that you forgot your sling.

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  10. Thanks for the post! I wanted to wear my George so badly but he just wouldn't have it. He's not a cuddler and was super independent from day one.
    I tried a sling, mei tei and a bjorn, used the bjorn only on walks.
    Congrats on your article, too cool!

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  11. I really enjoyed this because sometimes I wonder what others do -- just how much do they wear their little ones. It sure varies from child to child and even from hour to hour for me!

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  12. I agree! I think for Abby its more of a comfort to know that shes in her sling. When we are home I really dont wear her very much, but when we go out you can tell that shes very content to be with me.

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  13. You're so sensible and supportive! I love the pic, and I love the mei tei. I'm not sure just how many different slings/wraps I've got now -- it's so darned addictive.

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  14. Great photo! There are times Sweetpea absolutely craves the cuddles that I can give her in a carrier while we go about our day and times when she is so fiercely independant - and I love that my sling collection helps me give her what she needs when she needs it.

    As you mention as well, there are just times when you need hands free, and they are so invaluable then!

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  15. You hit the nail on the head again lady with this statement:

    "No matter which method I have used to get there, it does make me feel like I'm doing a good job when I can respond to my baby's cues and know when she needs to be held close and when she needs to explore on her own.

    Isn't that what Motherhood is pretty much all about?"

    That is what motherhood is all about - being able to respond to our children appropriately - it starts with knowing when they want to be held, when they want to explore, when they need a clean diaper or when they are hungry and never ever ends... when they are 21 instead of 1, motherhood still goes on - and then it's about being there when they need someone to talk to, helping them out with their troubles, rejoicing with them during their victories and so much more!

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  16. I'm always amazed at the uniqueness of individual babies. You're right that a good mother knows her baby's needs and responds to them--whether they need to be worn constantly or not.
    ...And, don't you just hate it when you forget to bring a carrier. Lucky you for having a friend with a spare!

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  17. Lori @ HotslingsApril 03, 2009 10:04 AM

    Congrats on being in Pregnancy!!

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  18. i find that depending on where i go, what i do or how many kids i have in tow will determine whether i wear my baby or not. and there are some days she just needs to be close to me and other days she is content in the stroller! just like you said...paying attention to our baby's needs...it is what mothering is all about. way to go on you being in the magazine!!! you represent momma's very well!!!!

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  19. yes, it is!

    i know i've been a good mother everytime....but it really is amazing how well i know bianca now that she's my fourth. i don't think i did anything very wrong before, it just feels so much more natural this time.

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  20. My two have been completely opposites there. One liked to be down a lot and the other wanted held ALL THE TIME. So, ya. You have to do what is best for you and your baby, not your past experience with another baby.

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  21. I wore my toddler daughter more than I wear my 6-month-old. Not sure why? I guess he's just like Ivy, playin' around more. She's always been such a momma's girl.

    Congrats on Pregnancy magazine, woman! :)

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  22. I think it is about feeling like you are doing the best for your family and that is going to look different for each family :)

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  23. I really like the mei tei. Congrats on your article in the magazine. You are really getting around.

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  24. You know I wore Jackson alot when he was an infant, because he loved sleeping next to me, but after about 3 months...he was really more content to be in his bouncy seat or sleeping in his bed.

    I definitely think all babies are different, and that as long as we do what makes them happy...we are VERY good moms!

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  25. Wow, congrats on the article!

    You're so right, what works for one may not work for another (and that goes for mamas and babies!) My oldest daughter loved the sling, my second did not. And our newest, she's only 9 weeks so it's a little early to tell, she doesn't seem to care what type of carrier it is as long as she's being held at all times.

    I always enjoy your posts!

    Liz

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  26. I'm SO glad you posted this. I sometimes feel guilty because I don't wear my son very much anymore - just for walks & vacuuming - he's 15 months & super-active. When I do housework, he likes to come along with me through the house and 'help' in little ways like closing the dryer or fridge door or throwing the lint in the garbage...etc. So I'm glad I'm not a bad babywearing mama. :)

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  27. Oh that is so true. I wear Libby more than I wore Amelia...simply because Amelia didn't want/need it as much at this age. That said, Libby sleeps very well in the bed and LOVES playing on the floor. However, as I type this, she is falling asleep on my back in the Ergo.
    It's all about finding what is best for your children and you and making it work.
    that is awesome that you're in Parent's Magazine. They were smart to find you :)

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  28. Oh, that is a really pretty mei tai! I might craft excuses to borrow that one. ;)

    In our family I had a similar experience. My older daughter didn't seem need to be worn as much, particularly as a baby. In fact, she often objected to being worn if the surroundings weren't interesting enough. So I would do it if we were out and about, or if I really needed two free hands, but that was it.

    My son, on the other hand, won't sleep unless he's in direct contact with my body. So I wear him a lot. It's just about responding to your child's needs, and each child is different.

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  29. Sometimes I just sit and smile after reading your posts. Because I love how so many times you have a POW! for a last couple of lines.

    I love it.

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  30. Sweeet!
    My son would STILL be in the baby sling if a) I'd let him and b) he didn't weight SIXTY POUNDS, but my Baby? Never as enthusiastic. Each kid is different and part of being a good, attached mother is respecting that!

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  31. I know just what you mean. Clark loved the floor; Alice hates it. You are super cute, and Alice has that same Ikea stuffie. Their "animals" are so hilarious.

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  32. It definitely depends on the baby as well as Mom's time. My #3 loves the sling much more than either of her siblings ever did.

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  33. Yep! Excellent post! :-) Absolutely - responding to your baby's cues is key.

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  34. I was actually going to ask you a question very similiar to this. I had assumed that you wore Ivy all the time and was wondering if I was doing something wrong as Anna does not always want to be worn. She is sometimes even fussy when I put her in the sling as she wants more mobility than a sling will give her.

    Thanks for clarifying!

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  35. I think it's interesting to see how my babywearing has evolved as my daughter has aged over the year. It's not just linear--I don't just wear her less and less as she gets older. The amount of time she spends in the sling varies A LOT from week to week based on what motor milestones she is working on, whether on not she's teething, what we're doing during the day, how she currently feels about the stroller/Target cart, and many other factors. I've just learned that I always have the sling in the diaper bag and some weeks I use it all the time, and other weeks we hardly touch it.

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  36. I really enjoyed this post! My son Daniel, who will be one next week, is the first child I have really worn. I felt like I couldn't call myself a babywear-er because I didn't wear him often enough to count. Thanks for the reassuring words that you don't have to wear them all day long everyday. I love wearing him, but he's a wiggling guy and likes to be playing too! He's also the first one I've cloth diapered and I can truly say I am sorry I didn't do it with the others!!

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  37. Does that hurt your back or hips? I had an old fashioned back pack type sling when my babies were little and beyond four or five months, I couldn't carry them, they were too heavy.

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  38. Hey! I love this post! You're so kind to just encourage mamas to do whatever makes them feel like good mamas.

    It's interesting to me that babies have different wearing tolerancies. I had never thought of that. I've got a toddler on my hands now and miss my babywearing days. Hopefully, baby #2 will enjoy slinging as much as its older brother did. :)

    Congrats on the magazine article!

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  39. It is interesting that you post this today. Baby Sister wants to be held ALL THE TIME. And I often feel like a bd mother no matter what I do. If I hold her (or well, wear her really) than she spends less time developing and learning through playing on the floor. Will she crawl and walk on time? Will she develop normally? I must be a bad mom because I am not pushing her to do more. But then if I try to put her down and she cries I feel like a bad mom for that. I am so caught in the middle. We are not AP people persay. We do some and not others and that often leaves me with no idea what to do. Because AP tells me to hold her and not worry she will develop when she is ready but the other style of parenting tells me to put her down and let her cry or she will never develop.
    Okay, now that I have babbled away on your blog I will be quiet. But I do find it interesting. :)

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  40. I tried to put my son in a sling when he was a baby, and he wanted nothing to do with it. He is extremely independent! I have always made it a point to snuggle with him any chance I get, though, especially when reading to him.

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  41. Oh my gosh! You are so beautiful - I love that outfit.

    This new baby I plan to wear in a Moby wrap. Just last night I was wishing I had a sling to put Z in because 20 lbs HOLY COW is a lot of baby to hold for an hour.

    Anyways - awesome picture :)

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  42. I've worn all 5 of our kids for one reason or another ... our last two much like you. Our now 3 yo had medical issues so just needed mommy closeness all the time, it just helped him feel better. Our now 10 mos old, loves to explore on her own, she needs less cuddle time. So she spends less time being worn, but when she wants to be held she is so happy and snuggly.

    I agree each mom needs to feel that as a mom she is doing a good job.

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  43. My older 2 (both boys) wouldn't have anything to do with any sort of carrier with the exception of the hiker for #2. I think that had a lot to do with surroundings and he would ONLY go in it if we were actually hiking and dad was carrying it! #3 (girl) is happy to be in the sling or the Bjorn carrier! I find that I wear her the most at church and when I'm taking all 3 kids somewhere and don't want the stroller!

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  44. That's a beautiful mai tei...on a beautiful momma...carrying a beautiful baby girl.

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  45. that is fabulous about your magazine appearance. and the picture is adorable

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  46. Congrats on being featured in Pregnancy mag. And how "Steph" of you to follow-up your comments with such kindness and warmth...to be sure to include all moms. :)

    You're really a wonderful person.

    P.S. I have a Babyhawk Mei Tai and am loving it. I don't wear it every day or all day, but I am so grateful for it when we're out-and-about.

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  47. I totally agree! You have to go with what works. With my first I didn't discover babywearing till he was about 3 months old. I wore him a lot, I thought, but he was just as happy not being worn.

    Then came his brother. Born early and with reflux. He needed to be close to mama, thrived on it, let us know if he was inches away from my chest. I now know that I wore him a lot and my first just a bit!

    Love the photo of you and your little one. Love the skirt you're wearing!

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