A year ago at this time, we were on vacation in San Francisco and my little girl was turning three. She chose that time to quit babywearing. We were out and about in the city and she simply quit. She consistently refused to go into any baby carrier. We didn't even have a stroller with us as we tend to travel as light as possible so this was a real hardship.
Our final day there, after walking all over the city and carrying her for hours, we got back to the car and my husband had locked the keys in there somewhere. Well, we hoped that was the case, anyway. In the seediest of parking lots with bird poop everywhere and a compact car that fit into our back pocket (so no possible place to sit), we waited over an hour, standing and holding her - of course only mommy would do - hoping beyond hope that when the locksmith showed up, the keys would indeed be in the car and we would make our return flight.
Yes, the keys were there and we did manage to struggle through the airport with my husband having to handle all the bags because of the new No Babywearing Rule. And no, she would not walk. And yes of course, we had to switch flights at 3am.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Have you ever noticed that children undergo huge mental leaps on and around their birthdays? So last year, she was growing up and quitting babywearing. This year, she is getting language concepts so quickly but also driving us pretty batty with irrational requests. Like, at 11pm, insisting on having ice cream right now, even though we don't have any and the stores are all closed and even if they weren't, no way am I going to get up and buy ice cream at that hour. I know this is a common theme from talking to other parents, but it is still very difficult to go through these developmental transitions.
One day, I realized I'd better scale back and focus on her and really up my patience level. And I also realized I needed to reconnect with her through touch. And what better way to do that than babywearing? So I popped her straight into my trusty old Ergo one morning and out the door we went. It was just like old times; she was relaxed and there was lots of head kissing and smiles all around.
But as it started to dawn on me that we were back in babywearing business, it also started to dawn on me how I'd missed out on so much of the new and gorgeous options. So I sat down with my little one and dug through my inventory and we agreed upon a red Active Mom Carrier. She still prefers front carries so I have been wearing it with straps crossed.
I can not believe how her behavior has changed! This simple change has caused such a powerful shift. She is calmer and the irrational outbursts have nearly gone away. My husband jumped back on the babywearing bandwagon right away too. I am sure he would have preferred some color other than red but the thing is, with a child who is picky about the baby carrier, she is the first one that needs to be pleased!
The other day she woke up and asked to go onto my back. She chose a special tester baby carrier and out the door we went. I had been planning breakfast at home but no way after that request! I am so thrilled she is willing to do back carries again! I even wore her for an hour or so while house cleaning the other day! She was getting underfoot and being grumpy and this totally settled her down. A nap would also have done the trick but she quit those so being able to have her on my back and get on with it was such a blessing!