For good reason, a baby carrier was on the list of things I was told to register for when I was expecting my first child. I went with a suggestion for a babywearing wrap carrier, tried it out a few times after my son was born and quickly decided babywearing wasn't necessary for us. After all, all of my time, energy and attention belonged to him—and we got along just fine with me holding him in my arms or pushing him in a stroller.

Looking back now, I can hardly remember what it feels like to operate at that nice, gentle pace. That's because I welcomed my second baby less than two years after my first—and then my third baby followed a little more than a year and a half later. As strangers in public like to remind me, I'm "busy" and I've "got my hands full." And although I wouldn't have it any other way, there was a part of me that mourned the opportunity to focus my energy as completely on my second and third baby as I did with my first.

To be honest, this was a hard thing for me to wrap my head around, especially when my second child was born. I knew, logically, that she was going to have a different experience than her brother. That comes with a lot of good. But, as a mama, it meant I didn't have as many slow moments to savor her. Instead, she just had to jump right into running around with our family. Although this seemed fine with my baby (who didn't know any other way), it did start to affect my mental health.

While talking stream-of-consciousness style to another mom around this time, my wise friend suggested coming up with a new, special way to bond with my baby. After tossing the idea around my head for a while, I dug to the back of the nursery closet and found my long-forgotten baby wrap carrier.

I watched a baby wrap carrier tutorial. I placed my baby in the wrap. And, honest to goodness, I immediately felt my spirits lift. (Research backs up the mental health benefits for babywearing mamas, too.)

From there on out, babywearing was an essential part of my daily routine. There were absolutely practical benefits, like keeping my hands free while taking care of things around the house and even being able to give my baby some relief with tummy troubles. I also appreciated how easy it was to throw the lightweight wrap into my diaper bag for outings. But, truly, what I loved the most was the sense that I was connecting with my baby in a special way—even if we were both keeping up with her big brother.

I'll never know exactly why my postpartum mental health seemed better when my third baby was born. If I had to guess, it would be due in large part to the fact that I knew to start babywearing right from the get-go. No doubt it also helped that I gave myself permission to let go of the "divided attention" guilt I felt with my second baby. I realized that, sure, my experience with my second and third babies was different than with my first. Different in a beautiful way, though.

Babywearing is about more than keeping your hands free

It didn't surprise me to learn that the creator of the Beluga Wrap was inspired to create the baby carrier by a similar life transition: Haley Campbell founded the company just months after her first baby was born in an effort to carve out the new identity brought on by motherhood. In her words, "I wanted to sell something that helped new moms. Really helped them. And I wanted to do it sustainably with products that are natural and good for your baby. This wrap helps moms (and dads) stay close to their babies while allowing mom (or dad) to be hands-free."

Shoppable

Beluga Baby

$69.95

1. The Jessica Beluga Baby Wrap

The Beluga Wrap gently holds your baby next to the familiar sound of your heart, creating a womb-like environment. Now you can have your hands free to make yourself a snack, message your bestie and bring a little calm into the newborn days and beyond.

To make the best possible baby wrap suitable for newborns up to 25 lbs., Haley developed her own fabric—a bamboo, cotton, spandex blend that offers a unique four-way stretch. The result is a fit that's comfortable for babies and their wearers. Not to mention the emotional comfort brought on by babywearing!

We talk a lot about the importance of "the village" for moms. But, the truth is that support can take many different forms. It could be a neighbor, it could be a work friend, it could be a family member... or it could even be a faraway mom like Beluga Baby's Haley who stepped up to create a real solution that can make your daily life better.

Beluga Baby wraps are made in North America and offered in beautiful colors and patterns.