A guest post by R.C. Liley from Going Dad
Even before my daughter Avery was born, I knew I would wear her in a carrier. I was uninformed about the actual benefits of babywearing, Initially, I just thought it would be a cool way to get some extra exercise. Do you know anyone who tries to turn anything into some form of exercise? Well, meet one more – me! So, while my wife was still pregnant, we went out and bought our first carrier. Though we’d done no research, we thought we were all set. Once Avery was born, I wore her in that first carrier of ours and did chores around the house.
Like many new parents these days, I proudly posted pictures of myself wearing Avery on Facebook and Twitter, and on my freshly-launched blog, Going Dad. In one of my posts following a long walk, I mentioned my sore shoulders, and another dad commented suggesting I get a better, more supportive baby carrier than the one I was using. Several other dads followed in full support of my getting a better carrier. And so began my research into the wide world of babywearing.
For days, I read and re-read fact sheets on baby carriers and reviews by other parents. I was surprised at how detailed and passionate so many parents are about babywearing. I finally concluded that I had been doing it all wrong – letting my baby’s legs dangle and even having her face outward! According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, dangling legs can your baby at a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia.
Needless to say,it was time to find a better carrier that would allow both Avery and me to be safe and comfortable wherever our adventures would take us. Trying to figure out which one would be best was difficult; you’d think I was buying a new car! Then, I came across a review on Onya Baby and was drawn to their carriers.
I e-mailed Onya about possibly allowing me the opportunity to try one of their carriers and write a review on my blog. I received an upbeat response from Diana, who, after we spoke on the phone, kindly agreed to send an Outback. Oh my gosh, I felt like I was getting a new car! I have since posted my review on our Onya Baby Outback carrier and am happily using it almost every day.
Through all of my research, I learned a great deal about the benefits of babywearing for both parents and their babies. For instance, if your baby simply hates “tummy time,” babywearing is said to eliminate the need for tummy time. Avery was a memeber of the “Tummy Time Hate Club,” but she eventually learned to roll over without much time spent on her stomach. Was it from being worn in a baby carrier? I’m not sure, but I’d bet that it definitely had a big role in her success.
Babywearing offers a myriad of benefits over alternatives like car seats and strollers. Here are several just to list a few:
- It aids the baby in developing balance, motor skills, and mobility in general.
- Babies who are worn are less likely to cry as much during the day and even at night!
- Parents and their babies have a stronger bond when worn or carried and it will last all the way into adulthood.
- Carried babies are happier and healthier.
- Babies get a better view of the world around them when worn. Babies in strollers or car seats see a world of knees and shins!
- Babywearing parents also enjoy the freedom of both hands and to move around safely with baby happily close to you.
- Plus, my original reason for wanting to wear my baby, it really is great exercise (see the video below for a great babywearing workout routine)!
(Note from Onya Baby: you can read more about the benefits of babywearing here)
The benefits listed above are all reasons why I wear my baby, but it can all be distilled into one word: LOVE. I wear my baby because I love her more than I ever knew possible.The feeling that overwhelmed me as I watched Avery come into the world for the first time was a feeling of unconditional love. I only felt it one other time as I watched Going Mom walk down the aisle in her wedding dress. The air escaped from my lungs and I felt my heart stop in awe as happiness flowed through my body. That’s true love!
As a dad, I will never be able to duplicate what my wife shares maternally with Avery, so I count on babywearing to get as close as I can. I wear my baby to help her grow into a happy, strong, confident, and loving daughter. I’m proud to have her close to me as I shop at the store, go on long walks, mow the lawn, or just do things around the house. I love the closeness of her, and being able to talk with her about what we’re doing and what’s going on around us. I know she’s absorbing all of it in her constantly growing brain. I know I’m giving her something precious.
So, when asked why I wear my baby, I could pull out a list and go over all the reasons, but I will just say it’s because I love her. According to The Beatles, “All You Need Is Love.” I’m a proud dad to the most adorable girl and happy husband to the most amazing wife, and love – LOVE – is what makes us a happy, healthy family. Oh, and good food and exercise, too, of course.
About the author:
R.C. Liley is a proud stay-at-home dad to one precious baby girl and happy husband to wife, Kelley. He blogs about babywearing, healthy living and being a first-time dad over at Going Dad. You can also find him on Twitter and Instagram.