Baby-led baby wearing.
If I had to choose a song to describe the stage my toddler and I are at it would have to be ‘These boots are made for walkin’ by Nancy Sinatra. In the last few months, without me realizing it I have stopped thinking of our baby carrier as an option when going out with Isobel. It used to be the first item I packed, the thing I would have on hand wherever I went in case she needed a quick nap, a snuggly breastfeed or just a comfort cuddle.
Issy turned two in June and while I know it can and is still an option (with the right carrier) she has become a force to be reckoned with! This little girl doesn’t want to be contained, she doesn’t want me to carry her everywhere, she doesn’t much like the pram either – and on top of that she has gotten heavy.
We’re off to the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks, and its ingrained in me to think about wearing her, because lets face it, baby wearing is logistically easier than pushing a pram around, and sooo much easier than taking it at a toddler pace when we are hustling through airports or sightseeing the parks. But while I would love to just ‘pop’ her into my carrier, I don’t think SHE would love it anymore, I also don’t think my back would. And so, just like that my baby wearing days have come to an end.
It is sad for me to have lost the baby wearing tool from my toolbox, the one that made everything BETTER. Better for me and her. Its even sadder to think I can’t remember the last time I wore her like that, so easily snuggling her close and taking beautiful wee sniffs of her fluffy head as I went on with the day. Without me realizing, that last time slipped by, unnoticed, probably hurried, perhaps with a stressed mama attitude and not with the final tribute it needed and deserved. As I type this, my stomach has the sad little tug of nostalgia for a baby that is growing too quickly, a brooding that any mother will know so well. Because the day they start walking, is the day they start walking away from you.
But like they say, it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. I will forever be grateful for my baby wearing days, they helped me to love my little one better, and in turn honour myself as a mother. And really, I haven’t lost them, those baby wearing moments will forever be burned into my cherished memories.
So mama’s: love the moments, they go quickly, and breathe in that sweet baby smell as much as you can, you just don’t know when your [enter action here] days are over.
Because her feet were made for walking, and that’s just what she’ll do, but it’s my job to make sure she’s aware that her mama’s arms were made for cuddling too.