- Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Attachment Parenting
- Family Nutrition
- Family Wellness
Babywearing makes life easier for the busy mother. Mothers in other cultures have fabricated various sling-type carriers because it's necessary to carry their babies with them when they work or when they are on the go. Mothers in Western cultures are also on the go, they just "go" differently.
Besides mothering eight children, Martha is a lactation consultant and teaches breastfeeding classes. One day, just before a seminar, Mathew, who was then six-months-old, developed an ill-timed fussy period. Not wishing to cancel her class but more strongly not wanting to leave Mathew during a high-need period, Martha wore him in a sling while delivering a one-hour lecture to 150 pediatricians. After mother and baby finished "their" talk on the attachment style of parenting, one of the doctors came up to her and exclaimed, "What you did made more of an impression than what you said!"
Many mothers who have part-time jobs outside the home have been able to wear their babies at work. They call this "work and wear." Jobs such as selling real estate, shop keeping, demonstrating products, and housecleaning lend themselves well to babywearing. Janice, a mother whose business involves cleaning houses a few hours a day wears her baby in a sling while doing housework. A pediatrician friend wears her baby to the office. She often wears her baby during well-baby exams. Her office staff wears her baby if she is examining a patient who might have a contagious illness. Work and wear helped her and her new baby stay together, yet allowed her to continue working in her profession.
Catherine works in the office of a medical practice. Work and wear helped her and her new baby to stay together, yet allowed her to continue working. Imagine what Catherine's baby, Wesley, learns by "going to work" with his mother. When Mom answered the phone, Wesley answered the phone. When Mom talked to people, Wesley heard the conversation. When Mom was filing charts, Wesley was interested in, and observed, what she was doing. When Mom was typing, Wesley saw and heard the typing. He was intimately part of the action, and the action must have been a valuable learning experience for him.
Some employers are initially reluctant to allow mothers to wear their babies to work, but we encourage them to give it a fair trial. Employers often find that babywearing mothers actually do a more productive job, since they so appreciate being given the opportunity to keep their babies with them. They make an extra effort to prove that they can do two jobs at once. One employer even found the baby to be an added attraction for his customers, as if they sensed that a centuries-old custom of working and wearing was being practiced in his store. Their customers felt that something right was going on. Try it and see!