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Tuesday, February 20, 2007*sigh*
I'm not a baby wearer. I've tried, believe me I've tried. I've been through pouch slings, ring slings, padded ring slings, homemade pouch slings and even a wrap. I don't know if it's the chest, the fact that Emmitt is friggin huge or what...I've simply NOT been able to make it work.
I've got an Ergo on the way for what may be one last try, but the first five months, I've had to either carry him or use the baby carrier.
That's why it's irked me more than a little bit this past week when I've seen a few comments to the effect of how bad people feel for all those poor babies in the baby carrier and "why don't those mom's carry their babies??!!"
Well, there are a few reasons.
1.) Some of us have baby carriers because *gasp* we have cars. I know it's an amazing thought, but sometimes, when you live in Ohio and there is occasionally 18 inches of snow, it's easier to put Emmitt in his carrier while in the warmth of the house before covering him with a blanket and then with the cozy that attaches over the carrier. Believe me, this is one million times easier than forcing him into an infant snowsuit and then lugging him out to the car while trying to lock the front door, open the garage and get both he and Nora into their seats.
2.) Emmitt often sleeps while I run errands. I'd like someone to explain to me why it's better to WAKE HIM UP, take him out of his infant car seat, put him into a sling, run inside the grocery store for ten minutes and then run back out to wake him up AGAIN as I put him back into the car seat than to simply lift the car seat from the car to the shopping cart and then back to the car. Is it REALLY better for my baby for me to wake him up twice rather than to let him peacefully slumber in the cozy confines of his carrier?
3.) Not every baby likes to be held. While Emmitt LOVES to be held (which is why I tried so hard to get the hang of a sling) Elnora did not. She would sleep peacefully in her carrier while I was out or if we were in church, she would NEVER sleep in my arms. In fact, she'd squirm and fuss until I put her down.
4.) There are instances where it is NOT easier to use a sling than a stroller. If I'm headed to the mall to try on clothes it's far more logical to put Emmitt in a stroller than in a sling. If I put him in a sling that means putting him on the floor of the dressing room while I try on clothes. Do you really want to put your baby on the floor of a dressing room? Even if you put a blanket down first? Again, why not let them peacefully hang out in their stroller?
Now let me be clear...I know the benefits of baby wearing and I believe in them. I think that some babies do amazingly well in a sling and some moms would never get any work done without them. I love the idea of a sling in urban areas where you walk everywhere or take the subway. So much easier than wrangling a stroller into a cab or on the subway. I'd love to be able to use a sling or carrier when we walk downtown to the farmer's market in the summer.
I don't dislike slings. In fact, I very much hope that this Ergo does the trick because I'm planning a business trip to New York in April and would LOVE to be able to use the stroller or Ergo as the situation dictates.
I simply think that some people need to think before they speak. Baby carriers are not evil. Moms that use baby carriers are not neglectful. Slings are not for every mom and every baby. They are not a requirement for breastfeeding. (In fact, if you're built like me I can't even FATHOM how you would nurse in a sling.)
Slings are a wonderful tool that serve a great purpose. Kinda like baby carriers... ;)