A guest post by Leah Mastilock of Natural Parent Guide.
I started out as many new moms do – with the all the gear: a bulky stroller with the car seat attached, diaper bag filled with a week’s worth of stuff, “just in case.” You know, all those things baby registries tell you that you need. So, I’d load up all my gear and would fight to push that stroller through a crowd. I love to attend art and music festivals, but found it difficult to get into the booths.
Also, on more than one occasion, I had to stop other kids from trying to share snacks with my baby and from sticking their grubby little fingers in his face, sometimes even his mouth! I found it very hard to relax and have the chance to browse.
No matter where I was, someone would always stop me to admire my cutie. That’s all fine. A mommy’s pride can’t be boosted too much. Some people, though – and these are adults – went so far as to stick their fingers in my kids mouth! Yes, this really happens! I never thought I would have to guard my infant from adults wanting him to suck on their hands! But I did!
I understand if it’s a parent or grandparent relishing in how adorable it is when a baby sucks on your finger, but a complete stranger?! What do you even say to that? “Can you please get your finger out of my kid’s mouth?” Being rather shy, I just tried to excuse us as quickly as possible and high-tail it out of there, hoping that person had recently washed their hands! I’m not a complete germaphobe. I would have been fine with someone touching his hair or chubby little toes!
Then – eureka! A friend recommended a baby carrier and I’ve never looked back! It was wonderful to have my baby close, bonding with me, feeling secure, and have my arms free! I could now maneuver around racks in stores, into booths at markets and fairs, and venture through the crowd without worrying about what will be forced into my little one’s mouth!
He was safe and happy and even looking around at his big new world, rather than level with people’s knees. I quickly tired of carrying a bulky diaper bag as well and used the pocket in my carrier for a burp cloth and one diaper change. I could go back to the car if I needed more. I was free!
I still used the stroller once in a while for long walks or hikes, away from crowds, but having the carrier was such a blessing. I used it throughout the toddler years, carrying him through the grocery store rather than putting him in the cart, at home when I needed to get dinner started and he didn’t want to be put down, everywhere! And no one can tell me I was holding him too much and “spoiling” him. He’s now a happy, independent, kindergartener.
And I must add, I have never stuck my finger in another baby’s mouth!
About Author Leah Mastilock:
“I’m Leah. I’m an artist, writer, nature lover, and all about family! They are my greatest loves. “Boo” is my wild, fearless (to the point of it being scary!), stubborn, silly, little toddler girlie and “Monkey” is my energetic, sweet, silly, and sometimes shy, kindergartener. I homeschool them in beautiful Santa Cruz, CA.”