Ashley Pollack submitted this essay about what babywearing has meant to her.
I heard about babywearing from my cousin. She had a great ring sling that was padded that she loved. She carried her son easily everywhere: through the mall, grocery store, along the boardwalk at the beach. I was hooked so I bought the same exact sling she had when I found out I was pregnant. It was huge! Too big and confusing and frustrating. I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t know about any other carriers so I just gave up on babywearing. I bought a “nice”stroller and pushed my son everywhere–until we were about to go on a road trip and I didn’t want to use a stroller because I knew that walking around Washington DC and NYC would be hard with a stroller. I’d rather wear the baby and be able to maneuver and keep him close, warm and safe. So I bought a stretchy wrap because I still hadn’t found a soft structured carrier that wasn’t the Bjorn. I didn’t like the wrap. He was sagging and I was constantly adjusting it. Not only that but it was frustrating getting him in and out of the thing because all the tying and retying left the tails of it incredibly dirty and disgusting. So I got rid of it. Once we were in NYC I found a babywearing shop where they let me try on different carriers. I tried on a pikkolo and LOVED it but couldn’t afford it quite yet so I got an obi which I loved (I’m so sad I sold it! I wish I still had it.) It worked wonderfully through our time in NYC. Once we were at the place where we would be for a few weeks I bought a pikkolo. I LOVED the pikkolo. Still have that pikkolo. My son loved it, but he was starting to get too heavy. I wasn’t comfortable putting him on my back though so the pikkolo went into the closet for a long long time. I found myself pregnant again so the search for a baby carrier started again because I already had clothes was going to breastfeed that settled food. Had the cloth diapers already; I just needed a way to get the baby around while chasing a toddler. I looked at the pikkolo and knew I wanted to keep it because it was great and wonderfully comfortable. I knew I could cinch the crotch to either face baby out or face a smaller baby in but was skeptical about using it from birth so I decided I needed something else. I had a cheaply made ringsling but because of my bad experience with my first one I was unsure. I got a another stretchy wrap and practiced wrapping it. It felt much better than the other one I tried. Well baby was born and he hated it! So I dug the pikkolo out it was perfect! I was in heaven! I figured out how to carry baby on my back. Babywearing with our pikkolos has made me a better mom. My two-year-old has started asking to be worn again for short periods of time when he feels like he needs to be close. My six-month-old would love to be worn nonstop if he could (he’s sleeping on my back while I type this). I ventured into tandem babywearing first just because I wanted to show off how I could carry both my kids at the same time but now its nice because we were at a mom-to-mom sale and I wore both kids. I was the only mom who could easily maneuver through the aisles without getting stuck or losing my kids. I have been able to take my two-year-old for walks while breastfeeding my youngest in the pikkolo. I can read books or bathe him or cook him dinner. Babywearing has allowed me to get my homework finished quicker than I would have otherwise. Babywearing is quicker than folding and unfolding a stroller. I had postpartum depression really bad after my C-section and babywearing helped me keep my baby close which was what he needed and even though I was drowning in grief it ended up forcing me to bond with my baby because he was close and now we are inseparable.
Babywearing gives me the ability to meet my children’s needs–whether its the child you’re wearing or the toddler you’re chasing after while wearing their sibling. Babywearing has helped make breastfeeding successful. Babywearing has saved me time and time again, I love it and I wish more people
knew about it and that it makes parenting so much easier and less stressful. I also enjoy having a hand or two free instead of them being used constantly for holding a baby.