Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am not in any way "alternative" in my parenting style...

....but I do love wearing my baby (now almost a toddler!) in her baby carrier (an Ergo). When she was tiny, we used a pouch style sling to carry her. I used these partly because she was born prematurely and I wanted to be able to hold her close and curled up to compensate a bit for the last few weeks of being in utero that she missed out on. Other reasons for using it were purely practical, for example, I found it quicker and easier for ducking in and out of the shops and we live at the top of a hill so walking to school and back was easier without a pram.

My boys were carried around in the sling a little bit when they were babies, but we mostly used the pram for them as they got older and larger.

Rosie, however, has only been in the pram once since she was born, when I took her to an all day seminar at work and I thought she would be more comfortable sleeping in the pram. As it turned out, she wasn't, probably because she had never been in it before.

So we continued to use the carriers, since they seemed to be working so well (and my big old 4wd pram was looking a bit worse for wear so I was a little bit embarrassed to take it out among all the new compact and trendy looking prams). I thought I might buy a folding stroller if we needed it when she was bigger. But we haven't had to. Rosie still occasionally sleeps in the Ergo, not as often as when she was tiny, but sometimes if we are at school doing reading and she is getting a bit tired, she will go off to sleep if I put her into it. She will also sleep in our arms sometimes if she's very tired, but the Ergo is preferable because then we can be hands-free while she sleeps.

I have been blessed with having children who like sleeping. This is something I am very thankful for since I know that not everyone is similarly blessed. Yesterday, Chris was talking to a couple that he works with who have two non-sleeping children. Their theory was that you could tell parents of sleepers from parents of non-sleepers by whether they had a third child or not. I'm of the opinion that children's sleeping has more to do with temperament than anything their parents may or may not do to encourage it. Rosie has been the best sleeper of all of our children. She does have a placid and laid back kind of personality, but I do think that carrying her a lot may also have helped.

Now that she is bigger, I keep getting comments like "she must be getting heavy in that now." She is, but it is still really comfortable to wear her in the Ergo. It has great lower back support and I haven't had any back pain wearing it at all. I will confess that I don't walk to school with my kids every day, but when I do and I carry her back up the hill in the carrier, it feels like I get a great work-out.

Wearing her on my front (like the above photo) still works quite well but my next challenge is that I want to work out how to put her in it in the position where she is carried on my back. Supposedly you can use these things until the child is 3 or 4 years old. I'm pretty sure I'll be making Rosie walk by herself much earlier than that but we have definitely got our money's worth out of it already. It has been used almost every day since we bought it. The only change since we got it is that it's faded a little on the front from too much sun.

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