Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why I Sold My Ergo {Baby Carrier}

typical convo around these parts goes a little something like this:

Me: Yeah, I sold my Ergo.
Them: You did? {thinking You must be a terrible person.}
Me: Yeah
Them: You sold your Ergo? What?!
Me: Uh... yeah?
Them: Why?!
Me: Um.... ?
{long and very dark silence}

Me: Well?

enter explanation here::::
...Now (clears throat) I know that this topic of "baby-wearing-Mamahood" is eh... a touch, controversial. Women, especially Mommas, have their opinion, and usually that opinion is unwavering. And... I know there is a whole science and clear cut philosophy behind it. And, I give you that much: I can see all of the good reasons for said philosophy! I can! But!  I am here to say I actually changed my mind on the fifth kid.

(SHOCKERS- I know!!!!)

There are Dr. Sears advocates out there (And I know this from experience} who are DIE.HARD. advocates for Dr. Sears. It is akin to a religion, from what I can make of it.

Them: Well, you've fallen from grace, then.
Me: ????

They will die a hard death in defense of baby wearing, baby carrying, co-sleeping, and cohabitation;) They will look me up and down. They will walk away flummoxed.

I'm like the "don't be like her" poster child.

{Picture of Me Pushing Baby in Stroller}
subtitle: How dare she?
alternate subtitle: ERGO EGOS, YOU GOIN' DOWN! (must be rapped)

Thus, all joking aside... I would like to lay out the Pro's and Con's of baby-wearing, from my experience with five newborn babies, five babies, five (not all of them yet) toddlers/kids.

If you haven't had that many children, take this with a grain of salt (as you will not completely understand everything I am saying.) AHEM. (self-aware awesome-sauce eyeroll here)

There are definitely multiple ways to view this issue. I think we can all agree that there are many ways to view this issue, and that if you only see one side, you are seeing it in black and white. Here are the arguments for baby-wearing. I did it!

Here are the...
1)  The baby is close: you know their needs right away.

~If the baby cries, they might be stinky or hungry. You know it right away.

2) Convenience (this is huge)

~You can just grab and go~ into a grocery store, into the post office, into the Mall, into Barnes & Noble, into Gap, into Baby Gap, etc.

3) It is better than a swing.

~Because there is no way you can ignore baby's cries if they're attached to you. If they need to nurse, you can do it on the go, even (this was one of their selling points to me when I had my first... I did it approximately almost never.)

4) As they grow, they develop trust of their Mommy.

... and trust is everything in parenting. Right? Right?!

and the....
CONS (womp, womp)
Here are the arguments against baby-wearing:

1) Everyone is different: not all babies will take to baby-wearing.

~You might try an Ergo with a baby, and they may not like it. They will cry, or get uncomfortable, or get grabby or crabby.

2) It can depend on the age.

~You missed the window, and now your baby does not need to be carried all of the time anymore! ;) It might hurt their back. It might squish their legs! You never know! haha

3) Carriers are expensive.

~I sold my Ergo, and right now, my budget is tight. I'm not going to spend that kind of money again right now. Maybe I will in the future, but I'm not buying one right now, so.... there that is! ;)

4) Carriers can be sweaty, uncomfortable, and inconvenient for Momma.

~I could shell out the cash, but I've decided against it, and I've made the conscious choice not to. This is the main reason. They get uncomfortable for legs/particularly backs. 

5) Babies get uncomfortable and squished in baby carriers (particularly, some are better than others.
Baby Bjorns are THE WORST ones on the market. Let's just be honest: They are in no way ergonomic. Nor are they ergonomical. (I Just wanted to say that word). They hurt the baby's legs, and they are horribly uncomfortable on the Momma's back #askmehowiknow #ow)

~It is uncommon that if the Momma is experiencing discomfort, using a Bjorn, Ergo, or Wrap, the baby is *not.*  If your back is sore and your tummy is being squished and someone is poking you, there is a chance that the baby feels the exact same way about the experience! haha

6) Baby carriers get dirty.

~Babies spit up, mommas sweat, and babies need changing.  I know, I know. Just wash it. But they can be an excuse to "do your own thing" because "it doesn't matter what I do, the baby is attached to me so I'm doing it all right." ;) This is another weird phenomenon and it maybe akin to a form of neglect unkindness... but let's be honest (always!) here, I've been guilty of this *ahem* letting them stay wet when they need to be changed because they are in the carrier/wrap.

7) AND THE BIGGEST THING:  Babies *need* time on the floor.

~They need to learn to scoot, because if they don't learn to scoot on their haunches, they will not learn how to crawl. If they are not sitting up at age 6 months, and crawling at age 9 months, you've got a problem (sometimes  BIG), on your hands, if they're nowhere near walking at age 12 months.

8) Finally, Momma's can get tired of Ergos, plain and simple.

~I don't know about you, but in my world, am not strapping on a Carrier and just going for a nice stroll on the Beach. No.... I have to wipe bottoms, go for walks, help 3 littles get dressed, make dinner, swirl the toilets, make lunches, make breakfast, go to the bathroom, pick up toys pick up clothes pick up kids.  If my back is aching, I am doing my baby no favors by dragging her around and squishing her while I get all of these things done.

BOUNDARIES mater and they are important. If a child constantly wants to be held, HOLD THEM! But, it is not SINFUL for a mother to put that baby down (take it out of the damn #ouchy carrier) and get something done. If they're high needs, well... they will still have to learn independence. I'm not saying a newborn is being too needy and the Momma needs to put her newborn down. But, the baby will need to be changed, stretch their muscles, and the Momma needs to do a whole lot of things too. If the carrier is in the way, Momma will become resentful and I think this resentment is a Boundaries issue. Co-sleeping could also be classified as a boundaries issue if your child is constantly co-sleeping.

I think baby- wearing was a good choice for my first three kids/babies. I think it is no longer the choice for me. One reason is that my children are *all* learning independence *be they high needs/high maintenance or not* and..... I feel good about that. If it is the right choice for you, that is fine. I don't judge you if it is for ya, or.... if it ain't!!! haha

What I am saying is: (let's get this out there) IT IS NOT ABUSIVE to *not* use a baby carrier. To *not* co-sleep. To *not* tote them around ON YOUR PERSON at all times. I have just laid out for you COUNT THEM EIGHT reasons why a person may *not* choose to use a baby carrier.

If a person doesn't, don't judge THEM. That momma is different from you. SHE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD AN ERGO. And she may still hold her baby a whole damn lot! You don't know that do you?  She doesn't hate or resent you, so why should you be so arrogant toward her? If she chooses to use an outdoor swing, a stroller, a johnny jump-up, an indoor swirly seat, a baby swing, a baby seat, a padded highchair... DON'T JUDGE HER.  I read somewhere that Ergos were only invented in 2002. I know carrying and baby wearing has been around longer than that but most of the people you know who are over the age of 15 were not *worn.* My parents had a hiking backpack and us kids probably rode in those a handful of times each. It was not typical to see parents wearing their kids around Walmart just 15 years ago! I think they used their *hips*!

Dr. Sears may be amazing, but Mommas-- He did not put *you* in charge of other people's babies! Hell no! You are not the sole person with a brain because you abide by attachment parenting and follow Dr. Sears' advice.

This is a stupid and ridiculous aspect of the Mommy Wars, and ...



for not baby wearing, co-sleeping, and attachment parenting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She can still establish trust with *her* baby in her own way!!!!!!!!!! Do you know how? She holds her on her hip! LOL

Get a life, people!!!!!!!!!

And if you do get a carrier, get an Ergo (PERIOD) The others are for the birds!!!!!!!!!

;););) hahaha


AnneMarie said...

This is wonderful!!!!!!!! It makes me crazy when people act like one method of parenting, or one type of practice (like babywearing) is the "only" or "best" one out there, and that if you do or don't do a certain thing, your child will be traumatized for life and fail (as someone who could probably be given the label of "crunchy attachment parent," I've sadly run into this before). Seriously, I doubt you could line up some of the world's greatest leaders or businessmen and point out who was worn and who wasn't :P And I don't care what others may say, Dr. Sears is not the sole baby or parenting authority out there!

Beautiful Camouflaged Mess said...

Great article!! My oldest *hated* being worn - would scream bloody murder until he was put down (hiking excluded). With my second, although she seems to love it, my neck does not do well with baby-wearing. So, we will stick with strollers!

Great article!

Tacy said...

@AnneMarie~ Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate it!

@B.C.M. Again, thank you so much for the positive feedback!