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?