Member Blog by Amecia Harrelson
“My Babywearing Journey”
As I write this I am walking my teething 4.5 month old up and down the hallway trying to get him to go to sleep. He seems like practically a different baby since he started teething, but one thing remains the same: being worn on my chest is his happy place. I think he likes it better than being held because he knows I can’t oh so gently try to put him down and sneak out of the room. No, he knows if he’s being worn he’s staying with me wherever I go.My journey to confident babywearing started with my mom. She had an old blue sling with padded rails and plastic rings that she wore me and my sister in. I had heard her many times praise what a lifesaver it was but also how people considered her a hippie for using it. However, the idea appealed to me. So when a friend offered to make me one for my firstborn I eagerly said yes. His first trip out of the house was in that sling. And I hated it. Of course now I know better than to cradle carry in a sling, but at the time he felt so low and I was basically still holding him up, just with extra fabric.“Ok,” I thought, “time to try something else.”A lovely couple from our church who sponsored myself and my husband through our marriage preparation gave us many many baby items, from a bouncy seat to a swing along with a Baby Bjorn. It was way more intimidating than the sling with its straps and buckles but it was early in my marriage when I still thought the house ought to be clean when the husband got home from work (LOL). So I strapped my firstborn on and got some vacuuming done. That worked from 2 months till about 9 months, at which point it started hurting my back. The best thing about that carrier was that it is part of what convinced my husband that babywearing was super convenient. He continued to wear our firstborn in it after I couldn’t anymore.I found out about FWBW by creeping in the comments section of my friend’s older sister who was asking for a baby carrier recommendation. I was pregnant with my second baby and staring down the barrel of two under two. The next meeting was a weekend my husband was out of town, but I knew if I put it off I’d never go. However, I was extremely nervous. I’m a young mom and the first of my friends to have a baby so that first year was pretty isolated. I love meeting new people but also don’t like going out of my comfort zone. (Contradictory much?) But pregnancy hormones and new mom anxiety can be powerful things. I pulled into the parking lot of that first meeting late. And I almost turned around and left. It was just too much. Thank my lucky stars I took a deep breath and walked in.There was a pretty big gap between my first and second meeting, during which I did a lot of research online, found out why the narrow base Bjorn hurt my back and bought a Lillebaby for my one year old. I led VBS music while pregnant, with my one year old on my back. My husband wore him on walks. I was committed to babywearing. We even bought a convertible seat instead of an infant carrier so I was REALLY committed. However I knew the Lillebaby wouldn’t be snuggly enough for my newborn. So immediately after my second was born I got myself back to a meeting and took a risk on a woven wrap. Best. Decision. Ever. I wore it every day to get us out to the car or to get him to sleep. As the months continued I baked Thanksgiving pies with my baby asleep on my chest. My grandma said I spoiled him and my mom complained that in Christmas pictures we couldn’t see his face and that she never got to hold him. And EVERYONE asked if my back hurt. But I could ignore it; baby was happy, and I was so happy. Instead of obsessively checking on him in a car seat he was an extension of me. It was glorious. And I was hooked. I told all my friends and started drooling over wrap patterns. I still won’t shut up about it. It is definitely my favorite parenting tool and I love learning more and educating other people. ‘Cuz right now my baby is still asleep and I just wrote a whole blog post. Maybe I’ll even get to fold some laundry!
Written by Amecia Harrelson