Unlike in Aesop’s Fable, no one will be attacked by dogs, and we will not debate which venue is preferable, (city or country). As a rural country-dweller myself, I was excited to feature ways I have found babywearing to be beneficial.
But that only tells half of the story. I was also curious to note ways in which babywearing uniquely assists caregivers in the city, or as Aesop calls it, “the town”. Each has its own challenges, and each has its own majesty.
And so without further ado, I present, “City Mouse, Country Mouse, a Babywearing Tale”:
Living miles and miles from a metropolis presents its own set of roadblocks when it comes to child rearing.
One such dilemma for me are the winding and narrow dirt roads surrounding my home. Many a jogging stroller has tried to traverse these trails, I assure you, but my conclusion is that wearing my baby on my back is highly preferable to the constant jostling hither and to of a stroller. There are only so many potholes one can deftly maneuver around, and there can be only so many stops to adjust and realign wheels before this mama’s patience has run out.
Leaving the stroller home allows me to easily watch the road and wander into the pasture to visit the cows, or to meander into a meadow to pick wild flowers much more easily than with a stroller in tow. As opposed to the very limited view from most strollers, in a high back carry my little one can see all that I see with a simple gaze over mama’s shoulder, (unless of course he has been lulled to sleep by the rhythm and motion of the walk as pictured at right). What child doesn't long to experience the world as their parent?
When I do “go to town” with my brood of five, it’s usually a jam-packed itinerary filled with errands, shopping, stopping and going. Gas is not cheap, and time is money. If I’m going to drive 30-40 minutes to town, I want to accomplish as much as I can in that one trip. After about the third stop of wrestling with a stroller in and out of the trunk of the car or van, I’m about ready to add the thing to my husband’s metal scrap heap back at the farm. Babywearing while running errands allows me to move quickly in and out of the car, of parking lots, etc.
One more benefit of babywearing in the country, hanging clothes to dry. Ah yes, my least-favorite bore-of-a-chore turns into a fresh air escapade with flair in the summer months. My back yard has quite a slope (or grade), to it. Lining the rear of the yard is a cedar post fence with a strand, (or three), of barbed wire separating my lawn from the pasture, and a steep hill leading to a creek in the valley.
When I’m hanging clothes to dry on the line or taking them down, the last thing I want to concern myself with is where my tot is traipsing off to. With his intense love of trucks, tractors and balls, the farm can be all too enticing for an ambling toddler. Babywearing allows me to keep my bundle of joy safe and secure while I go about my chores. A stroller, I’m afraid might tip over or roll down the hill. They don’t call my husband’s farm “Rolling Acres” for nothing you know!
So there you have it, three ways this country mouse has found babywearing to be beneficial for both mama and baby.
New York Post contributor MacKenzie Dawson claims New York City is a terrible place to raise a baby, as a result, mainly of the difficulty in navigating the city with a stroller. On my limited trips to the city with a baby under the age of two, I maneuvered subways, sidewalks and even a statue of liberty ferry, all using woven wraps. I received nothing but complements and sweet looks, on my baby being wrapped, from both men and women alike, and across generations and cultures. (Pictured above is my son Beau and I on our one and only cab ride of the trip. Can you tell he was happy to be off the airplane?)
The subway system is for the most part, underground, hence the name. Therefore, to access the majority of the subway station one must traverse many a staircase and hallway. Elevators are a sparse and infrequent luxury. Our hotel was in the financial district, and all of my meetings were on 34th Street. Cab fare was, for the most part, out of my budget. Having my son wrapped up and secure either on my front or back, left me hands free and confident.
Though this was a business trip, we still did manage to squeeze in some sightseeing. A guided bus tour took us across the city, to the top of 30 Rock, and around the harbor to see the great lady herself. I was unencumbered by a clunky stroller and free to move about effortlessly, (and also to take ALL of the obligatory tourist pictures and selfie shots).
From JFK airport, and back to our little farmhouse, babywearing allowed me not only to go places I might not have gone before with my baby, but to build confidence in my ability as a mother to safely navigate just about any terrain and town, both country and city.