I didn't start wearing Elijah until he was about 4 months old. I knew I wanted to use a sling, but only had the bigger size that didn't fit him until his chub came in. Once he could fit the sling, I felt liberated. It was amazing the number of things I could do while using both my hands! It was easy to get work done at the school. I could grade tests and make copies while Elijah peacefully napped in the sling. My shopping trips in the markets required me to be hands free. I didn't mind the boys in the market helping me with Elijah, but I wanted him close to me when I visited the larger markets.
Thankfully I had help for the days when I forgot the sling.
Picking out fabric is hard to do with a baby in your arms. The sling makes it possible to be sized by the seamstresses.
I loved the idea of Eli being close to me. I spent 9 months with him literally by my side (or in front of my sides I suppose) and after he was born, wanted to cuddle him as long as possible. In Africa, people live by the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. Often times, I would enter a church or market place and Elijah would be quickly taken out of my arms. I had no idea when he would be returned. Most days I appreciated the help and was thankful for the break but sometimes I just wanted to hold my own baby. If he was in the sling, I knew people would at least hesitate a bit more before swooping in and grabbing him.
Children are growing up so fast these days. I know I sound like an old lady when I say that, but it's true. Kids get cell phones at age 10 and they seem to be hitting the disgruntled teenage stage by the time they're 12! Ever since Elijah was born, I've made it a priority to smother him with cuddles and kisses, knowing that he wouldn't allow me to do that for very long. Wearing him gave me that much more time to be close with him.
(check in tomorrow for another baby wearing post in honor of International Babywearing Week)