I tend to be relatively easy going… overall (ok opening myself up for attacks there), and although I am happy to give advice on things I would not say that I push my views onto others. Not that it is always easy to do.
Since our little one was born over two years ago, and with another little bundle on the way, my views on a lot of things have changed. Extended breastfeeding, cloth versus disposable diapers, and strollers versus baby carrying.
It is the last one that I want to talk about today. I never had any issue with people using strollers, and heck I still don’t. I never truly had a view on using a stroller with any kid of mine, especially as until a couple of years ago having kids was a hypothetical that I was not sure would happen, or that I would want to happen. Man have things changed.
When our little Pickle Pie was getting ready to pop we did the standard thing that a lot of first time parents do… registry with lists and lists of stuff, including all the strollers. We ended up with three strollers… One for the infant car seat, one a small easy to use and carry one, and a jogging stroller. Big plans to run with the little one (yeah, yeah, yeah, I still need to do that), and the others, well for any other time we would leave the house.
Two years down the line the infant stroller is with a neybor who has an infant, the small stroller is, I believe, in the garage at one set of the grandparents, and the jogging stroller is at the other grandparents (who do use it). We never use or need one. A two week trip to Malaysia when the little one was six months – no stroller, a much more recent trip to Colorado – no stroller. Day to day activities – no stroller. Mum Mum was an early convert to carrying the baby, and now toddler, and I was (as usual) slower to jump on the train… but I got there… finally.
We have wraps, structure carriers, ring slings… you name it we likely have tried it. And we love it. Not only is it safe, it is comfortable for both parent and kiddo, and is a lot easier to pack and travel with. Sunday mornings tend to be me making Crepes with the little one. She mixes the batter and then gets into a carrier and, with her chin on my shoulder, watches me as I cook… normally getting tired and frustrated before we are done as she wants to EEEEET!
On our recent vacation I, on several occasions, threw her on my back in a carrier, and headed out for a walk. With her on my back, a small diaper back, and the camera we had a lot of fun. On future vacations we will be doing much the same. The little one is now older and wanting to walk a lot more, but when she gets a little tired is more than happy to climb up and cuddle for a while.
Baby wearing has been a joy to live through, and made our life a lot easier, which really is just a side benefit. It is a safe, comfortable approach to lugging the kiddo around, and really has allowed me, as a dad, to develop a much closer bond to my child. I relish the ability to use this skill when our second arrives. Hey, the new kiddo (code name Pixie Pie) may hate being worn, but until then… our plan is to keep on the path… and enjoy every second of it… Unless the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) has its way.
I get the concept of Consumer Safety. I get it, really. And overall I appreciate what they want to do… but their forays into trying to recall/ban all various types of baby wearing products is beyond silly. It is ludicrous. At least in my view. Baby wearing is not a new thing. The latest western trend is becoming more of a thing, as trends tend to be… a repetition of something that has worked in the past. Humans have been carrying kids in slings and carriers since before we could write. Trying to ban will not only put a lot of small businesses out of business (and I believe already has), but is impossible. Are you going to ban bed sheets, because they can be used to carry a baby? What about a general recall on human arms… cause we can carry kids that way. It is almost like a general recall on paper because it can cause bodily harm (potentially fatal) in the way of a paper cut.
There are a lot of things that need to be tightly regulated and reviewed, and I agree that baby wearing products should be reviewed… but a blank ban because of a lack of understanding of how safe they really are… is just, well… stupid.
UPDATE: Good link explaining the situation – http://www.becomingmamas.com/when-the-watchdog-goes-awry-the-cpscs-misguided-assult-on-slings/