Life is full of misconceptions, and babywearing is no different. From telling you that you're going to drop your baby to mentioning that it's strange that you're babywearing because it's something just for women, there are a lot of strange notions floating around . . . and this post is going to cover the big ones. Keep reading to learn some more, and share this post with someone you think could use the information.
1. Babywearing is Only For Babies
False! It should be called "baby and kiddo wearing," really. Whether your baby was just born or is 5 years old, wearing your child is handy (just in different ways). For the first year of life, babywearing gives parents a skin-to-skin bond with their little one, and allows hands-free capabilities to get things done with a baby around who just wants to be held by you. As the kiddo gets older you may or may not use the stroller more, but when your child wants to be carried, or you're going on a trip where there's no room for a stroller a carrier or wrap can really save your back. Have a sensory sensitive child? Holding him tight in a wrap works as well as a pressurized blanket or shirt.
2. You're Going to Drop Your Baby
Like all baby products, there are risks when you babywear (or even use a stroller). But if you practice and follow the wrapping or carrier instructions in a safe environment at home as much as you can before taking it outside you should be fine. As long as you're using the product properly, as it is meant to be used, and remain cautious and alert (as you should at all times with your little anyway), it's safe. The chance of a child falling out of a carrier or wrap is about as likely as falling out of a stroller. It happens if the baby or child isn't properly secured within, or if the parent isn't paying attention and things get loose or not put on correctly (just as if you put too many bags on the stroller or hit a pot hole).
3. Babywearing is Only For Rich White Women
Historically, babywearing was used by people around the world to get things done. (Check out how it helps this mom of twins!) Women weren't allowed maternity or parental leave after giving birth before going back to work like the U.S. and Europe offers now, and babywearing is still very much a part of everyday life in Africa (and everywhere). Though it seems like wraps and soft structured carriers are predominantly made by Caucasians, there are also some fabulous non-Caucasian businesses, too, and not everyone who owns a wrap or carrier is rich. There are also some simple DIY wraps you can make using tablecloth.
Some non-white babywearing businesses include (but there's a whole lot more!):
- Cari Slings: Wraps and totes (and made in USA)
- Daiesu: Wraps and ring slings
- Bebe Sachi: Mei tais and ring slings
- Kokoro Textiles: Wraps
- Indajani: Wraps, mei tais, Rebozo Ring Slings
- Snuggbaby: Soft structured carriers
- Joy and Joey: Stretchy and woven wraps
- Naked Panda Designs: Soft structured carriers
- Silver Lining Slings: Wraps (and made in USA)
4. Men Don't Babywear
Yes, men do! Babywearing offers the opportunity for dads to connect with their newborn if mom is the only one who can feed baby, and also allows mom to get a break for a bit. Thanks to babywearing, dads are able to be more actively involved in the lives of their older babies and toddlers, too! Looking for examples? Check out these 6 men from all over the world who love wearing their kids.
5. You're Spoiling Your Child
Babies and kids love to be close to their parents, so when parents respond in kind with loving words and support it benefits the child, not babies them. There are people who say that you're spoiling your baby and giving in by going to him when he cries, too, but we know that babies only cry to communicate basic needs. Holding baby close is important to his development, and having the carrier handy for when your baby becomes a rambunctious toddler who runs up and down all the aisles of the store to destroy the shelves is also handy. Being worn calms kiddos and gives a sense of security, it doesn't make them dependent.
What are some major babywearing misconceptions that you've heard? Please share in the comments below and we may add them to the list!