There always seems to be a lot of discussion about common babywearing myths, such as the 'risk' of carrying your baby too much for physical development, which has been disproven time and time again – my 5 and ½ month old crawler snorts at this myth. Or somehow making a child too needy where in actual fact it's often the opposite: worn babies become super independent toddlers because their need for closeness has been and will be met. However, there are some real and actual babywearing perils that we need to explore here:
Beware! The busybody
The first peril is of course dealing with people who perpetuate such myths as mentioned above. These people are usually well intentioned albeit misinformed, but occassionally a babywearier will encounter a parental nightmare: the Busybody. These strangers roam the streets looking for parents to opress. They lurk in supermarkets, carparks, libraries, and will leap out at unsuspecting parents when they least expect it. Babywearers are particular targets because of the lumpy protrusion of a baby on their fronts, hips or backs. This has a magnetic effect for the Busybody. Most busybodies are fairly harmless, but to a sleep-deprived parent, their ill-informed advice can carry quite a sting. Solution: partner or helpful friend must apply oil or lotion to the shoulder region each night for two weeks. Witty insults uttered retrospectively also have a soothing effect.
Be Alert! The Wet Wrap Sling
This is something that all Wrappers dread. A sleep deprived Wrapper can easily forget that her tail is dragging when relieving herself in the lavatory. The result: a nasty, wet surprise. This can be easily dealt with by having more than one wrap (which, let's be honest, is actually necessary to ensure your colourway doesn't clash with your outfit), and alternate the two between active duty and washing machine. The other solution: negotiate a better sleep deal with your baby... [insert disbelief, laughter and derision here].
Be Alarmed! The Food Baby
It is a wonderful thing that Babywearers have time to make some food and even [gasp!] eat that food with both hands free and baby happy in a sling. Many of us have, however, needed to lick the top of our baby's noggin to remove food spills. This can be harrowing if your baby has a lot of hair. Solution: wear a large lobster-style bib at every meal.
Be Concerned! An Early Life of Crime
One of the wonderful benefits for a worn child is that they too can experience a world geared for an adult's line of sight. My bub is always happy looking around shops with me, perched high in his carrier, whereas my little girl gets impatient in her stroller, where all she can see is knees, bottom racks, the last word on a poster, etc. However, there is a high risk of a worn baby entering a life of crime drastically early: shops displays are very tempting for grabby hands. All too often I have had to return, rather sheepishly, an item of merchandise lifted by the hands of my sweet angel.
Be Warned! The Addiction
All Babywearers start out with just one sling. Then you meet other parents with awesome slings and carriers and get a bit jealous. Then people start listing gorgeous pre-loved slings on Trademe at Very Reasonable Prices. Before too long, you have a sling for each day of the week and month of the year... and one just for special occassions.