Of all the tips, tricks and parenting styles from all cultures G and I have amalgamated into the way we are raising our children, it is babywearing which crosses each line. Since M was born I’ve learnt to wrap carry a newborn in a Moby and a toddler in a Mai Tai, discovered the ease of keeping a ring sling to hand, and the practicality of an Ergo with two babies on the go. Babywearing has enabled me to breastfeed my children on the go, discreetly, and easily. It has enabled my youngest to be cuddled without the toddler boy loosing my hands. It has offered my husband a connection to deepen the bond with his children as his heartbeat has lulled them to sleep.
Babywearing in Istanbul allowed me to navigate the city with ease whilst just M; and now with two makes continued travel a realistic possibility using a double pram couldn’t. Plane journeys, holidays and celebrations, dinner guests and being guests have all been eased by carrying our children close to us, of being hands on parents whilst being hands free and since T’s birth babywearing has without a doubt helped relieve the pressure of having two babies being babies at one time.
The first carrier we used with M was a cross between a wrap and mai tai with a ring sling style fastening to secure it together before moving to a stretch wrap and ring sling, homemade wraps both woven and gauze, homemade mai tais when front carries were no longer possible while pregnant and eventually, after T’s birth, to an Ergo to allow quick and easy outdoor swapping of baby and toddler between carrier and pram. Babywearing to our family isn’t merely a practical method of navigating life with our babies, it shapes and defines the life we live.
Even now, though he walks independently most the time, slips in and out of his pram (almost) at will and can only be carried when he himself concedes, M never turns down being “worn” and himself chooses which carrier it is to be. Babywearing has given me the privilege of bus rides with a babies head, sun ripened and toasty, just inches from my nose, has prevented teething melt-downs and solved countless sleep issues; on days I feel guilty that T maybe gets less of me than M did, wrapping him to me relieves most of that doubt; on days when T needs more of me than M has to give, I can wear either or both and survive it, and even enjoy the manic of chaos. I do truly look forward to the day I can wear a crocheted top without it snagging, or a silk shirt that isn’t all manner of creased, yet I fear the end of our babywearing days more than I mourn breastfeeding. I’m also sure that when the carrying is truly over, I’m going to need a crash course in how to walk as a solo but that’s a whole other blog post, I guess.