After spending all day cooped up with Little Man because our car was at the dealer's getting new snow tires and some much needed love, I threw my wrap sling and winter coat on and brought Xav to the grocery store. After parking, I took Little Man out of his car seat and started placing him in the sling. From behind me I heard "That is SO weird!" Just to be sure I heard her the first time, the woman repeated her statement to her friend as they passed my car. Instead of getting mad and returning their rudeness, I just gave Xav a kiss and held my head high as I passed them inside the store.
Is it just me or have any of you baby-wearing mamas had similar public disapproval?
What is weird about wearing your child close to you? Why is it more acceptable to push your baby in a stroller or carry them in a car seat? Do the majority of people feel this way about slings or do the few snarky comments make it easy to blow the whole thing out of proportion?
What was really sad about the whole incident was that these women were likely in the 19-24 age range. I would imagine that one of both of them will be mothers in the future. Will they still think that baby-wearing is so weird then? What a disservice it is to their future minis to have that view point. I know, I know, to each their own. I just know how many benefits I have found with wearing Little Man.
For one, instead of having to carry Xav in his car seat to a shopping cart and then trying to navigate the enormous cart when I usually can't see in front of me, I can just pop him into a sling and then walk around the store with nothing more than my reusable shopping bag on my shoulder. I live near a small supermarket that keeps their carts inside with no storage area outside, so if I do the car seat/shopping cart combination I first have to carry Little Man inside the store and lift him high enough to snap his car seat onto the cart. Then when I am done shopping, I have to wheel the cart to the car, put Xavier in the car, unload the groceries, lock the door and run the cart back. I absolutely hate leaving my son in the car for even a second; it makes me feel like a neglectful parent.
Another benefit is that I find that it gives me way more opportunities to interact with Little Man. His head is close enough that I can give him kisses as I shop, and I am also able to see what he is looking at and chat with him about it. When I have had him in a stroller, I never know what he is up to. For all I know he is bored or uncomfortable. In the sling I can sense if he needs any adjustments to make him happy. More times than not, I have felt him poop, and was able to change him right away. When he is in a stroller or his car seat, it is usually a lot longer before I realize what has happened. I like that I can be more in tune with him when he is in a sling.
I could go on, but I am sensing that the rant is getting a little long. So, I will end on an amusing note. I was just on the blog The Baby Carrier, and there was a post with a video about slings. Check it out below.
Cheers to all you baby-wearing moms out there!