Sheena is a blogger at The Attachment Diaries and is our newest VBE. Without further ado, here is her post.
The theme for this year’s International Babywearing Week is “Share the Adventure”, which for me brings to mind the many ways that babywearing has enabled me to share in adventures with my son at a deeper level of bonding and experience for both of us.
A great example are a couple trips to zoos that we took together. Since he was worn on my back, my son Jackson was able to see the animals with a greater vantage point than if he were in a stroller or walking. I also didn’t have to keep lifting him up, or letting him climb on and touch the fencing and guardrails. With my attention being right there with him, he pointed to many things that excited and amazed him. Not having to worry about his immediate safety, I was free to relax and share in those joys with him, asking and answering questions, which added to the richness of the day for both of us. Had he been in a stroller, I would have missed out on seeing the incredible beauty of the world through his eyes. I might have quickly pushed the stroller through the maze of people, pausing only briefly here or there, bored with seeing the same animals that I have become so accustomed to. But instead I ambled casually and easily through the crowds as one body, and embraced his complete awe at the world around us. I was able to slow down and see the animals with fresh eyes; his eyes. We watched an elephant for five minutes once. And in toddler time, that’s an eternity.
He has also been to many sporting events, which can be an overwhelming experience for a small child. But safe and secure, nestled against my body, Jackson was able to watch the crowds from a higher vantage point and truly observe the action. Activity that can be loud, over stimulating, and instinctually dangerous for him becomes an exciting new adventure when held safely in his mother’s arms. By feeling secure in his carrier, Jackson was able to watch and learn so much from the world around him. A task that would have proven achingly uncomfortable, and potentially not happen, for us without babywearing.
When your child is close enough to kiss, you are able to see the world through their eyes, and them through yours. Discussions over what is around the both of you become almost second nature, even if those conversations might be a little one-sided early on. These interactions offer so many learning opportunities for them, where they can see and experience everything while feeling safe and secure. And if the world ever becomes too much, it is so easy for them to return to the peace and quiet of their parent’s snuggle and recharge, before once again looking back out into the world for more.
I am so grateful for these moments that I have shared with my son, and look forward to those that I will share with my newborn daughter. I have enjoyed the slower pace and fresh perspective his eyes have brought to mine as we share in the joy of the world around us. Maybe for you it’s not an elephant, but instead a butterfly, or the trees, or maybe a fireworks show. But I encourage you to slow down, wear them close, and watch them as they watch the world. Share the joy. Share the magic. Share the Adventure!