Here’s why I don’t like babywearing:
1. I can’t physically do everything I’d be able to if I had a baby who slept in a swing or bassinet: like sew, or exercise, or bathe, or unload the dishwasher, or not be touching someone.
2. It can get a little achy.
3. They can tell if I sit down, and they don’t like it.
Here’s why I do it anyway:
1. I can do just about everything else: school, cooking, tidying, even some crafts and writing. I’ve got both hands.
2. There is a part of me that really, honestly loves just being close to my baby all the time. Even if it makes me achy and less productive.
3. It makes them sleep almost all the time. Between nursing and babywearing during the day and cosleeping at night, my current six week old baby is sleeping and/or nursing at least 22 hours a day. That means she’s almost never crying or fussing or needing to be entertained. She’s with me, her needs are met, I don’t have to swaddle or shush or do any nap time routines. I just go about my day, with my other kids, wearing the baby.
4. It seems to be the only thing that works for my particular babies. They really won’t sleep any other way. No matter how deeply asleep they are in my arms, if I lay them down, they wake up within minutes. They don’t sleep reliably in the car, and if they do fall asleep, they wake up immediately if the car stops moving (this is true of even my older kids). They are generally not soothed by swings or buzzy seats.
As much as babywearing can be frustrating and limiting in some ways, mostly I am really grateful to have found something that works for my babies and is doable for me. There are benefits and drawback to any style of parenting infants, but what I found was that, for me, it wasn’t a matter of researching various methods and choosing the one I liked best and doing that to my baby. Instead it turned out that I had to learn about and try various methods until I found the one that worked for my baby and do that — because the other ways just didn’t work. And even between my children, who are mostly very similar in how they sleep, there have been subtle differences. Lulu loves the Ergo, Anita much preferred the sling. Frankie hated carriers of all kinds and insisted on being just held. THAT was a real pain in the neck, literally, and a great blow to productivity. But we survived, because we had to. It was the only thing that worked.
So, if you are currently parenting an infant, or plan to do so in the near future, the only real advice I can offer is: Figure out what works for YOUR baby. Keep trying things until you find something that allows your baby to get some sleep and you to fulfill your daily obligations. Maybe it’s babywearing, maybe it’s a Moses basket, maybe it’s a swing, maybe it’s swaddling, maybe it’s a sleep schedule. My little sister would only sleep in a cradle kept in constant motion by an electric can opener, so maybe it’s that. I don’t know what it is for you, but when you figure out what it is, just keep on doing it and don’t bother about what anyone else says is the “right” method.