Even before I got pregnant, I knew I was going to be a babywearing momma. It’s always appealed to me as being the most natural--and frankly easiest--way for a parent to get anything accomplished in a day. Plus, it would keep my newborn in kissing range at all times and my nose filled with their delicious scent! Nowadays, my little ones aren’t so little anymore, but that doesn’t mean that my babywearing days are over. On the contrary, we both still get as much out of the experience as we ever have and now have a stronger bond because of it.
Away from Home Adventures
My kids and I love to be out of the house as much as possible. Whether it’s going on hikes, heading to a children’s museum, or dancing away at local music festivals, we are always on the go. Unfortunately, my son’s legs tend to tire out long before the rest of him does, and certainly well before my daughter does. Thanks to my Boba carrier, that doesn’t mean we have to head home, though. I just strap him onto my back and we are free to keep making memories the whole day through.
Working full-time as a content manager for an innovative start-up in Austin called Modernize and running a popular birth story podcast keep me very busy to say the least. I love that Modernize is flexible in allowing me to work-from-home when needed and even bring my kiddos to the office in a pinch. Our office has an open floorplan so being able to put my 3 year old in a carrier keeps him from “visiting” all of my colleagues while they are working.
Errands at Naptime
To nap or not to nap? That is the question, but these days the answer changes daily. At 3, my youngest is now in the limbo of sometimes being able to power through a day without a nap and occasionally still falling asleep mid morning for three hours. It’s always those days when I misjudge his needs and try to squeeze in a quick trip to the grocery store, that he inevitably falls asleep in the car. Have you ever tried to push a full cart with one hand while holding a sleeping 40 pound child in the other? Definitely not fun. On those days, I am so grateful that he can still fit into his carrier. Babywearing let's me keep my hands free to get done what I need to, while still letting him get the sleep that his growing body needs.
Just call them Saran Wrap and Busy Bee
My son is the poster child for cuddly children everywhere. In fact, if he could be by my side every moment of every day, I think he would be. My daughter, on the other hand, is my busy bee, always bouncing from one spot to the next. I simply don’t have enough hands to manage my son’s neediness and my daughter’s boundless energy, but thanks to babywearing, I don’t have to. It affords me the opportunity to still play with my daughter freely while also keeping my son close. Best of all, they have a better relationship because of it since neither feels like the other is getting preferential treatment.
Big Kids have Big Emotions
It’s amazing just how many emotions can fit into a body so small⎼but boy, can they⎼and young kids especially, simply don’t have the cognitive ability to be able to process them. A friend of mine once said, “It’s funny how much I expect my seven year old to not lose it when it’s taken me 36 years to try and not do the same. And I still sometimes fail at it!” Like most parents, when my kids are losing it, I immediately step in and hug them, just to give that physical reassurance that everything is going to get better. Though there are times when I can drop everything to help them cope, it simply isn’t always the case. Babywearing calms my two big kids in ways that nothing else will, helping to thwart many a meltdown.
As the name babywearing implies, I certainly never thought I would still be wearing my children at 3 and 4, but there are few days when that doesn’t happen at some point and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Remodeling and Design websites around the web, she hosts a birth stories podcast called The Birth Hour.