Why we wear our baby.

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Ever since Bo was a teeny tiny baby, we have worn her. Wrapped tightly up against my body, newborn Bo spent most of her day napping and snacking from the comfort of a warm cocoon. It kept her calm and warm and happy. It kept my hands free to eat, work and even go to the toilet – you may laugh, but if you have had a baby, you know that all of those things become precious and often get put in the “too hard” or “not enough time” basket. Yes, even going to the toilet is sometimes just too hard… (only mothers can understand this one – my husband for instance simply doesn’t understand as he can always go to the toilet at his own leisure)

As our tiny newborn Bo grew and grew we took her out in the wrap. We went to the supermarket – we went to day festivals and on walks in the park. Bo was free to pop her little head out and interact with the world, and, much like a joey in its mama’s pouch, pop her head back in when it all became a bit too much. It gave her a very safe way to begin interacting with the world around her. Weeks went by and I decided I wanted a slightly less time-consuming way to carry my child. Wraps take a bit of time to get on and off again. So I bought a beautifully simple canvas sling second hand. As she got bigger and bigger the wrap and the sling suited us perfectly. In airports, on the motorbike, at the beach, on walks through the rice fields, in the jungle… where ever we went, BO was securely attached to her daddy or me. Bo loves being worn, and we love wearing her. It’s a close kind of bonding that we treasure.

Now at  nearly six months old Bo is getting heavy! Although the wrap is still really snug and secure on her, and the sling still works well, we decided that I wanted something with a bit more structure to help carry her weight, protect her growing back and protect my own body too. We were given a beautiful Ergo structured carrier in a gorgeous organic cotton and it has become our every day carrier. It’s fabulous on the motorbike because she is so securely strapped to me, and let’s in a bit more air than the stretchy Sleepy Wrap allowing her to stay cooler in the hot jungle air.

Bo spends a lot of her days around the house in a selendang, a traditional Indonesian wrap that is perfect for just having out the washing or having a dance to sleep with her dad. When we bring out the Ergo, Bo gets excited because she knows it means we are going out.

There are many wonderful reasons to “wear” your baby and there are countless experts who outline the benefits of baby wearing. According to many experts “sling babies” are smarter, more socialised, more content… the list goes on. And I think for many babies, this is perhaps true (though I’m not so sure about the smarter…). But none of these are the reasons why we wear Bo. We wear her because it was a natural decision for our family. In Indonesian culture babies are worn all day, every day, long before we had Bo we had a selendang ready and waiting for her. I never thought much about it before she was born and after she was born we were gifted our first stretchy wrap from our gorgeous doula – who is a strong supporter of baby wearing and an all round pretty amazing woman. We wear Bo because it is right for us both culturally and emotionally, because it means that when she’s having a mummy day (which is every day at the moment) – I can actually get some things done and most importantly because she loves it, she thrives from it and it is a beautifully safe and generous way to give her the comfort she needs when she is just learning about this big, amazing, wonderful world that we live in.

Do you “wear” your baby?

xox

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  • August 9, 2012 - 12:25 am

    Lina Ibrahim - I wear my baby when my Aussie hubby not around.. hahah.. yeahh it’s just in my nature as IndonesianReplyCancel

  • August 9, 2012 - 8:29 am

    Lila - We followed a similar carrier progression to you. The stretchy wrap was no good to me as I’m short and it would get filthy when it was dragging on the ground while I tried to get it on. The sling was wonderful until Eve got bigger, the ergo is just fantastic we are still going strong with it at 13 months.ReplyCancel

    • August 10, 2012 - 9:37 am

      Sash - I’m pretty short too Lila, and I found that if I had to roll up the ends and tie them up so that they didn’t go in the dirt when I was putting the wrap on. But most of the time I just dressed in the wrap before I left the house and just wore it whilst driving etc. so that when I wanted to get her out of the car, I was already ready to go!ReplyCancel

      • August 10, 2012 - 5:45 pm

        Lila - That’s handy to know if we have another baby! I’m not sure if I’ll just go straight to the Ergo or not.ReplyCancel

  • August 10, 2012 - 12:59 am

    Sarah - We have an ergo too. Our little boy is 19 months, and to be honest a bit too heavy for me now! I miss wearing him, he is quite independent now too and would feel too restricted by the carrier. I’m happy though he enjoys holding hands so much though and reaches for me when we are out walking 🙂

    Love your blog by the way. So different and interesting. I’ve been before, but finally added you to my reader so I can keep up to date with your news…

    SarahReplyCancel

    • August 12, 2012 - 7:11 pm

      Sash - Hey Sarah! So glad you came back again! Love your blog too by the way, it’s gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2012 - 5:01 am

    » Because tradition became tradition for a reason (ERGObaby GIVE-AWAY) Inked in Colour - […] you see how often she is wrapped up against our bodies. I’ve written briefly on it before, here, but much like cloth nappies I have never seen it necessary to write too much about it… […]ReplyCancel

  • January 16, 2013 - 5:10 am

    Raising the bilingual child. | Inked in Colour - […] be over-complicating things.In many ways the Indonesian culture is a big part of her life still. Babywearing and co-sleeping are veyr important elements of Indonesian parenting that we (I) have always […]ReplyCancel

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