A Babywearing Daddy

My husband and I hadn’t really planned on babywearing. I’d read the benefits and seen the cute, snugly pictures so I was open to trying it out, but I hadn’t planned on it being a daily part of our lives. I still made sure to register for the best strollers, swings, bouncy seats, etc to keep my baby happy.

Then, my son arrived. We quickly discovered that some babies really will not tolerate being out of your arms. From day one, my son acted like everything we put him in was lined with spikes. By the way it made him scream the moment we set him down, you’d swear it was true. Then he developed colic and and our endurance was really put to the test.

This is when babywearing saved us. It soothed him, kept him happy, while still allowing us some freedom.

Babywearing became especially important to my husband in those first months of our son’s life. I was exclusively breastfeeding and had supply issues with an inability to pump any substantial amount. This meant my husband couldn’t feed the baby. That was hard on both of us. How could I get a break and how could my husband get that intimate bonding time if he couldn’t take a turn with a feeding?

The answer for us was babywearing. Our crying baby could only be soothed one of two ways, nursing or being worn. Strapping on a carrier empowered my husband to take over baby duties in a way he understood and gave him a closeness to his baby in a way he hadn’t known was possible. We might not have planned on babywearing but it turned out to be one of our most important and cherished parenting tools that first year.

I asked my husband some questions to let him give the dad’s perspective on babywearing.

What do you say to men who are embarrassed to try wearing their baby?

That’s a tough one because it is pretty normal to feel a little silly and self conscious at first, you’re just gonna have to push past that. It’s way out of the comfort zone for most of us guys. It doesn’t fit in the “cool/tough guy” image most guys want to have. But you know what, it’s not about your image. It’s about your child and about being a good partner to your wife. You have to care more about the benefits to your family than you do about how it makes you look. Welcome to Parenthood.

What was the hardest part of babywearing for you?

Learning how to get it right. Tying him on by myself took a long time, getting that right fit and feel to make us both comfortable. It’s trial and error and takes time. It’s hard to be patient enough to figure it all out when frustrations and exhaustion are running high. But once I got it, it was worth the effort.

What was the best part of baby wearing?

The closeness. It created a better bond between my baby and me at a time in his life when the chance to interact with him was minimal for me.
I also liked that it allowed me to be active and get things done while keeping my son close to me. And it gave me a little more exercise when getting to the gym was pretty impossible.

And I can’t lie, it earned me all kinds of super hero points with my wife.

It’s hard to sum up what the experience of babywearing has meant for our family. I always say our son trained us to wear him and I couldn’t be happier that he did. We treasure every snugly, warm moment we spent with our baby carriers on. It’s not the best fit or answer for every family but I feel it’s worth trying out to see what it can do for you and your baby. And no daddy should miss out on experiencing the special closeness it can provide. We mamas get to carry our babies as close as possible for 9 months. Babywearing can give daddies a chance to experience some of that, too!

One Response to A Babywearing Daddy

  1. What a wonderful article from a guy’s point of view! My hubby has worn out littlest twice (but only in an “emergency”) like when he was out with both kids at once and needed 2 hands! I wish I could have snapped a pic of him doing it :)

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