When my third baby was born, I finally got out the Moby wrap I had so rarely used with my second child, and decided it was time to finally master babywearing. I hadn’t suddenly become struck with the need to attachment parent. I hadn’t decided to finally lean into my “natural” mothering side that had lay dormant since I first tried making homemade baby food for my first child four years earlier (to disastrous results I might add). I didn’t have any high ideals that aligned with babywearing at all. The truth is, I decided to start babywearing because I was lazy, not because I was “crunchy.”
As soon as I brought home my third baby, I realized I was in uncharted territory. I suddenly had more children than hands, and I was in need of a solution, fast. I had to tend to my older children’s constant needs, and soothe a baby who needed me even more. I had to figure out how to manage all three of them at once, a task I hadn’t really thought about until it was actually happening.
Wearing my baby around constantly simply made sense. It let me go about my days, carrying the extra weight in a more comfortable position than I had experienced over the past nine months. It kept everyone happy and my body still functioning. My baby became like an extra limb attached to my frontside, instead of taking up one or both of my arms – limbs I needed more desperately than ever after his arrival.
Of course, I also wanted more time to bond with my baby, but carving out a lot of one-on-one time with two other kids in tow simply wasn’t going to happen. Luckily my lazy babywearing allowed ample time for bonding without ever really having to think about it. If I had a free hand, I was constantly rubbing it over his back or stroking the side of his head reflexively. He was constantly against my chest, listening to my heartbeat, smelling the familiar scent of me, getting all the touch he needed.
Beyond the practicality, however, was truly a sense of wanting to make my life easier. I would often “forget” to put the baby down for nap, instead allowing him to sleep in the wrap (true i had a boatload of sleep problems with him because I did this, but hey, it worked in the moment). I often called it attachment parenting instead of lazy parenting, but honestly, that’s simply because it sounded better. I had done no research on attachment parenting, had no intention in my babywearing other than getting through each day with the least amount of strife.
As a result though, I was able to enjoy my third child’s baby days. I no longer felt confined to the home, easily plopping him in the wrap whenever I needed to go out. I would wear my wrap all day long, making it easy for me to take him in and out as I pleased. It gave me freedom I didn’t have with my other kids who required heavy strollers I had to lug around, using both hands to push them around or hold them in my arms. Babywearing allowed me a fluid transition I didn’t believe possible with a third child – and I was so grateful for the lazy parenting it enabled.
Even if it wasn’t a choice I made with the most noble mothering intentions, it was definitely the best decision I could have possibly made. Not only did it give me a closer bond with my baby, it gave me a break in process.