August 31, 2012

Guest Post: One Trick Pony

One Trick Pony
by: Leora C.
Here we are; 14 months into baby-life, and I’ve become a one-trick-pony mom.  This may sound self-disparaging, but it’s more of an exciting self-determination. I’ve settled on the one thing that solves most of our problems, my baby carrier. It is my go-to solution for any problem and I mean any problem. So much so, that if a pregnant mom asks me for parenting advice, they have pushed the button for my enthusiastic endorsement of a baby carrier as their solution for everything.

Frantic because friends are coming over in an hour, baby wants to be held, and you want to present some semblance of order in your home? Put her in the baby carrier.

Need to do errands around the house and baby is awake and active? Put her in the carrier.

Need to cook dinner at the same exact moment that you are entering the evening fuss? Put him in the carrier.

Baby is teething and would like to nurse constantly, but you can’t fathom sitting on your couch all day? Nurse while still moving around by putting him in the carrier.

Baby is waking more at night, and wakes up 5 minutes after you put her back in bed? Dim the lights and put her in the carrier.

Need to go to the supermarket and don’t recollect fondly your experience last time:baby was fine at first in the cart’s child seat, then wanted to be held, so you had to hold baby in one hand and push the cart with the other. And as everyone knows, you’ll have the cart with a plastic bag stuck in the wheel, making it veer sideways? Put her in the carrier.

Baby’s napping is off, and only lasts for 15 minutes at a time unless you hold him? Put him the carrier.

Going for a walk around the park and distinctly remembering that the sidewalk inexplicable switches from one side of the street to the other, followed by a muddy set of steep steps? Put him in the carrier.

Trying to type an important email for work and baby would like to help you by banging on the keyboard, potentially sabotaging your reputation? Put her in the carrier.

Baby needs to be walked to sleep and despite your attempt to turn baby weightlifting into your new gym routine, your arms are just tired? Put her in the carrier.

Baby has gas, hiccups or other discomfort that causes him to look into your soul with utter disbelief as you try to put him down to sleep on his back? Put him in the carrier.

Trying to handle two kids at once, and strangely, you still only have 2 arms despite your best wishes? Put one in the carrier (or 2 if you’re graduating to the “one-trick horse” big leagues, but I haven’t gotten there yet.)

This list could go on and on.  Our baby carrier collection includes a pouch sling and a ring sling for easy on off and quick things around the house, 2 buckle carriers – one in the car and one in the house - for an especially quick back carry,  and a woven wrap for ultimate support and sleep-inducing comfort. Any of these will do for the one-trick-pony approach.

I remember the first time I put my daughter in a pouch sling, my mom’s eyes lit up with memories of rebozos everywhere from her life in Mexico before she immigrated to the US. My neighbor insisted that I must be from Liberia, when she saw me with my daughter on my back. I’m not, but it was such a connection of recognition in one another – we did not have to delineate the reasons why having her there was such a wonderful feeling.  We knew.

There’s plenty of writing and research on the increased communication and connection by carrying your child in any of these carriers, but put simply, it can make you feel like a superhero in your little world of baby-life management and comfort. If you are nursing, it removes the “stuck-in-one place” factor and can get you on the move and enjoying the nursing relationship with your child. It builds confidence in both you and your child once you get really good at it, and there’s no wonder it’s done all over the world.

This one-trick-pony may not be hired for a solo show, but any babywearing parent certainly has a world of opportunities ahead.