The statements people make about babywearing are amazing. Over the years I have been told “You from Africa then”, “that a new way of carrying your baby”, “we didn’t have that when mine were younger”. Most are made by people who either are genuinely interested but cannot work out how to phrase it, or are astounded that we would choose to use what to them seems like a piece of cloth. I have learnt to smile and nod and let them chat away. The only time I have made a comment back was when I was offered a double pushchair for free because apparently I “could not afford one”. I commented that actually I did have a double pushchair (actually a total of five pushchairs in the garage) and for the price I had paid for my ‘table cloth’ I could afford another pushchair if I wished to. I do not use slings because I cannot afford a pushchair but because the closeness of cuddles is priceless.
To the uninitiated a wrap probably does look like a piece of cloth, and I have used simple piece of cloth (SPOC’s) to carry my children in, also a buzz light year beach towel when it was the nearest thing at hand by a holiday pool. I choose not to use these on a daily basis but have done when the need arose. But why do I wrap? The truth is I like fabric. I like the choice of colours and patterns that slings come in. But above all I love the closeness they bring. The added benefits of helping with reflux, temperatures and general unhappy baby, are a bonus.
This week I took delivery of a new wrap. Well, I say new. It was new to me but it was the same colour way and make of my first ever wrap: Ellaroo Maija. This was the first wrap I brought and learnt the basics with. It was the wrap which got me to get Henry to sleep for more than 20 minutes during the day. It has memories and that is why I brought it back. I can remember the 3 hours of solid sleep Henry had the first time I did a Front Wrap Cross Carry. I can remember learning to do a ruck carry in the middle of a local park with 3 other Natural Mama’s helping me. I can remember the joy of loaning it to a friend when she had just had a baby and allowing her to get her hands back. So next time someone tells you “but it’s just a piece of cloth”, smile and remember it might be just a piece of cloth to them but you it is freedom, memories, your hands free and unlimited cuddles.