Before the babies showed up I knew I’d be using some kind of contraption to haul them around…one at a time. I’d read various literature that encouraged this ‘fourth trimester’ attitude – treating their first three months as a fourth trimester and helping them to transition slowly out of the womb by doing things like keeping them swaddled, holding or ‘wearing’ them often, and rocking them, etc. It also seemed like a sweet practice to do even as they got bigger.
This may seem like a relatively new term, but I think it has a long history, especially in other cultures. I had all sorts of baby-wearing paraphernalia – slings, the Moby, Bjorns, and recently the Mei Tai and Ergo. I tried them all (although the Moby was a big, fat FAIL on my part so I gave that up quickly) and found that the babies seemed to like the Bjorns the best. The feeling was mutual – they were easy. But I could only wear the babies one at a time. I wanted to wear both of them at the same time. But, I did worry…would I do it wrong?
I found the solution in the Mei Tai. I was able to put one in the Bjorn in the front and strap the other to my back with the Mei Tai. But this was only a transitional step as I still didn’t feel quite right in the Mei Tai (though I was able to get D to fall asleep in it).
It worked okay but was a huge process with the Mei Tai – tying and untying to make sure everything felt snug but not too tight. I needed something else.
*cue triumphant music*
Enter the Ergo!
It has now become the love of my baby-wearing life. It’s super easy to get on and feels more secure (there’s even bands around the buckles so that if a buckle comes undone somehow the band holds it in place as a backup). And both babies seem comfortable in it. Normally I’d have D in the back and A up front but I switched it up.
The biggest appeal besides having them close to me is that I’m not totally killing my back, and I can get around while helping them fall asleep if necessary. The strange thing though is how much heavier they feel on me now then when I was pregnant – I had gone from 125 lbs to 170 lbs so almost 50 lbs, but combined they weigh maybe around 30 lbs. Not sure why the math doesn’t work out.
All of this process has also made me reflect on this language of baby-wearing vs baby-carrying. A lot of my expectations for how I would parent in this first year has shifted – more in another post – and this has included how I keep the babies near me. I thought I’d be more practical and utilitarian – focus on carrying them to and from places. Like they would be pieces of luggage or groceries. But wearing them is completely different to me – feels more like it has to do with my identity – like clothes I’m trying to fit into the babies/motherhood is something I’m trying and wearing to become more…me.