As mamas, we have a lot to carry. From the emotional burden of adapting to our new roles to the mental load of remembering. All. The. Things—it’s not always easy being a mom.
Which is why we’re so appreciative of things that make our lives easier. From the best Pinterest organizing hacks to meal delivery services to same-day deliveries from Target, we’re all just looking for an extra hand now and then.
For me, that extra help came in the form of babywearing.
How do I begin to explain the effect babywearing had on my early mama life? As a first-time mom, struggling to find a balance between caring for my daughter, myself, my home, and work part-time out of our apartment, it seemed like there was rarely a moment when my cup didn’t runneth over.
I remember so vividly circling my tiny living room, a screaming baby in my arms and an eye on the clock as the minutes ticked down to my next conference call. My daughter refused to let me put her down, but she seemed so irritated with all my bouncing, jostling, and shimmying to try to quiet her.
In a fit of desperation, I haphazardly tied on a soft, stretchy baby wrap a friend had sent me and popped my baby in.
Her cries turned to whimpers, and then soft breaths. Within minutes, she was sound asleep, her head tucked gently near my collarbone, her tiny pink mouth wide open and snoring.
It was a miracle.
From that moment on, I was hooked. Babywearing became my salvation, not only as a respite from the tantrums and a solution to the fussiest mornings, but also for cranky teething days, when my daughter demanded to be held—but the rest of my life also demanded that I get things accomplished.
I often found myself skipping the stroller as we ran errands in our New York City neighborhood, instead preferring the dexterity of the baby carrier. I didn’t have to worry about steep curbs! I could simply open doors and stroll through, instead of stretching myself to hold the door and push my stroller at the same time. Plus, my baby would more often than not be out like a light within a block or two, allowing me to shop and walk for up to an hour (hands-free!) without any interruptions.
Plus, did you know worn babies tend to cry less than babies who aren’t worn? That’s all the science I needed to confirm my obsession.
The practicality aside, I grew to love the feeling of my daughter curled snugly against my body. I often found myself adopting the same postures I had when I was pregnant, my hands cupped around her tiny back the way they used to hold my belly. Only now, I could take deep inhales of her sweet-smelling hair or glance down to grin at each other as we walked.
As she got older (and heavier), we adapted to back carriers, which provided even more convenience for running errands. Once, we even hiked six miles around a lake in Canada with her strapped to my back, her tiny face peeking over my shoulder as we breathed in the woods around us.
Now, it’s my number one advice to new moms: Get thee a baby carrier! Whether it’s a sling, a wrap, or something more substantial with buckles, they all serve their purpose. Babywearing brings comfort to little ones and convenience to mamas.
Because that’s the beauty of baby carrying: It’s you and your little one, exploring the world together.