I recently sat down with three babywearing dads to ask them why they wear their children. I just love their take on how babywearing helped them bond with and care for their babies!
How did you get into babywearing? What made you decide it was something you wanted to do?
D: When my wife was pregnant with our first she was looking at things to help us with the baby. She found babywearing and once we dipped our toes into it we had to jump in.
I: It was born out of necessity. In reality it frees up your hands to be able to do things you wouldn’t normally be able to do with kids running around. Whether that’s housework or climbing on rocks or just generally being able to be places you can’t watch your kids and be able to do the things you need to do at the same time. Your kids need you and it makes it so you can be there for them and still keep moving.
J: My wife did a lot of research when we become parents with our first on attachment parenting and pieces of that style resonated with her. A big part of it is picking up your kids when they cry and being there for them, and having them in a sling helped that. Our first child was high needs and he didn’t scream when he was in the carrier.
How has babywearing helped you bond with your kids?
D: One of the things I love is having a kid fall asleep on my back. I love the trust factor they have. As soon as I put them up they relax and fall right to sleep.
I: When you get into a situation where they need comfort, want to be close to you, or are tired and overwhelmed, or emotionally frazzled, it allows you to keep them close. It’s caused me to be a little more snuggly than I otherwise would have been. I’ve been able to take them places I may not have been able to. I took my oldest hiking when she was two, I’ve been on adventures I would have otherwise have had to wait until they were much older. It provides a level of security, I can take them on an adventure and not worry they’ll have a tantrum and not make it back. I can carry them easily.
J: It’s been great. I found when our kids were first born my wife had an immediate attachment to them. As a dad that has grown over time. Wearing them helped facilitate the bond with them. It’s something we continue to do even now that our kids are older, when my 9 year old wants a piggy back ride I’ll use a carrier sometimes. It still helps center them. I could work from home and wear them and type or do dishes.
What is your favorite carrier style?
D: I love soft structured carriers. The Kinderpack is my favorite.
I: I like my full buckle. I also wear mei tais.
J: My wife made a mei tai and that is what I’m most comfortable with for sure.
What is one piece of advice you would pass on to other dads about babywearing?
D: Beyond all the bonding and hippy stuff it’s incredibly practical. When you have to take care of a kid and still live your life you can put them on your back and do chores, even mow the grass. It makes the kid happy, you happy and everything is easier.
I: Don’t hesitate. Start as early as you can. Don’t feel limited by the masculine options, just put your kid up on your back and go! Feel free to wear purple.
J: Just try it, keep at it and try a couple different ones until you find something that is comfortable. We bought some from a box store in the beginning that were just awful, don’t feel like you have stick with one that doesn’t work for you.
I really enjoyed my conversations with these three dads and love all of their advice! How do the men in your life feel about babywearing? Share in the comments!