A BabyWearer, I Am Not

Out of neccessity, I wore my baby for most of our camping trip. She didn’t care for the sand very much, it was cold much of the time and it was the only way she would take naps while we hung out on the beach. This was a new experience for me.

Now, I now that there are a lot of you mama’s out there who live with a baby attached to your body. I know, because you preach it proudly. Some blogs even go so far as to ridicule and insult mama’s who don’t wear their babies. I stay quiet on the subject as a general rule. But here it is, in a nutshell.

I have done all five of my babies the same way – schedules, self soothing, not in my bed and certainly not kangaroo style. I have had only happy results. My kids are all outgoing, well adjusted, secure, happy people. They have slept through the night from 2-8 weeks of age, they have no separation anxiety issues and are thriving.

I don’t enter the debate because, I feel that this is a very personal decision. If you want to sleep with your baby, great. I would rather have a full nights sleep. If you want to wear your baby, go for it. I have back and hip issues that make that very uncomfortable. If you don’t ever let your baby cry, fine. I feel that it is important that baby learn to self soothe. I may not agree with you on which is best, (obviously, I do what I think is best for myself and my babies) but these are not huge issues to me. Parenting is about so much more than that.

I only bring it up now because of this last week. It was the most use my sling has ever seen. I felt like a kangaroo. And it wasn’t all bad. I liked rocking her to sleep, because I don’t really do that very often. I liked knowing where she was and that she was secure, especially in that environment. I can see why some mama’s are so sold on the idea. However, when we got home, and I set her free on the floor, it was so wonderful. I think she was just as relieved as I was. And, when I put her down in her bed for her nap in her own room with her wooly, she snuggled down instantly and fell asleep.

In short, I like the method that I have chosen. Doing something different for a week was interesting, but did not persuade me to change. Although some moments, like this one, were fabulous!

The point I am trying to make is not which is better, or who is the better mama. I don’t care if you wear your babies, sleep with them, or rock them to sleep. (I think you must be awfully tired, or strong, or resiliant!) I don’t feel that I have to convert you to my way, or to say that your way is wrong, or identify myself as a “Babywise Mama”. Why do we have to bicker when it really comes down to style or preference. If my children are thriving and loved, and your children are thriving and loved, then why all the posturing? Can’t we all just get along?

And that is all I have to say about that.

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8 thoughts on “A BabyWearer, I Am Not

  1. You know me .. the baby wearing extended breastfeeding co-sleeping, no and I mean no crying it out. BUT .. I celebrate your differences with me. All our children are amazing!! weather they cried it out or not, were worn or not etc. etc.

    The way I see it is.

    If your children are loved unconditionally, you’re doing your job.
    If your children are fed (be it breast milk, soy milk, formula etc. etc.), you’re doing your job.

    I could honestly care less how someone chooses to parent as long as they are following what feels best to them. To me, I don’t sleep unless I have my baby with me, I can’t handle setting them in bed and letting them fuss (untill they hit about 2, then we work on that). I parent that way because that’s what works for us. How arrogant and self absorbed would I have to be to assume that everyone should parent JUST the way I do 🙂

    ❤ ya Shelly … regardless 🙂

  2. Every mother, every family has to to what works for them. I think it’s great that you found what works for you and that you remain more open-minded than a lot of people.

  3. I believe in babywearing to the very core of my being and will likely never let any of my children CIO. However, I don’t think doing things differently makes one a “bad parent”. I have this same conversation with a friend of mine all the time… I really wish we (parents, mothers especially) would spend more time supporting each other and embracing our different styles rather than criticizing and attacking each other. It’s so sad… and pointless!
    PS LOVE that photo of your little one sucking her thumb 🙂

  4. Thank you! I really appreciate this post. I get very tired of hearing about how things ‘should’ be done when it comes to parenting. I loved breastfeeding 2 of my 3 kids, but don’t think that anyone who doesn’t do it is a horrible mother. I liked my sling but used it only a handful of times. It really does make me sad that women can’t be more supportive of one another when it comes to these decisions.

  5. And this is why it is so awesome that you are the right mom for your kids, and I am the right one for mine. God knew how we would choose, and gave us children accordingly! I love it!
    As for me, I was determined to try the Baby wise method with Ethan and totally could not do it. We did let him cry it out at about 4 months and put him in his own crib, but it was hard and I didn’t like it. With Caleb, I coslept and though there were rough patches there, too, I preferred this way. It felt more natural for me. I never wore a sling or wrap with Ethan except for a few times. (Mainly because I had bought a Maya sling that killed my shoulder and he hated.)
    With Caleb I bought a Moby wrap and we both loved it, but I didn’t wear it 24/7. I liked it for outings and when he was fussy and I needed to do something else.
    As a new mom, it was such a revelation to me that there was more than one right way. There was so much freedom in that. Praise God for His wisdom.

  6. I’m so glad for the wiser moms who know that what works for one family doesn’t always work for every family. With my first I started out with a lot of co-sleeping, but by the time he was over a year I’d had enough of being always on call and I’d REALLY had enough of the night-waking. I started co sleep with my daughter, but she really didn’t want anything to do with me when she was sleeping. She really, truly wanted to be left alone! My youngest hasn’t ever slept with me, but took to his crib like a duck to water.

    The new mom that I was would have been horrified at the idea of letting the babies cry a bit, but the more experienced mom that I am knows that if an approach is not working for me, then it is simply NOT working, no matter what the experts might say. It took a lot to let go of my ideals and to find something that would work for my baby and for me. It turns out that I’m not ok with a three month old crying, but I can handle an angry 18 month old crying just fine. And it turns out that I’m ok with letting my 18 month old cry if I can go and offer comfort when he gets too stressed out. There is a whole spectrum of choices between hard-core co-sleeping and hard-core CIO.

    I think that parenting isn’t about this or that, one or the other, but finding a blend and balance that fits each parent and child. Finding the happy medium is a lot harder than strictly subscribing to one philosophy or another.

  7. I must say, CIO was the best thing we could have done for Edward. The actual crying part lasted maybe 15 minutes the 1st night and less and less the several nights after. He FINALLY, was able to sleep soundly through out the night, independently and happy.
    I think you are a WONDERFUL mom Shelly, and I look up to you. lots of love, Lalana

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