You only have to browse through online parent forums and communities for a short while to find hundreds of stories of parents who have borne the brunt of negativity with regards to their parenting practices – especially babywearing.
I’ve lost count of the amount of anecdotes I’ve read from mamas who have been accosted by (mostly) well-meaning strangers, terrified that their babies are about to plunge from their (safe and secure) carriers to hit the floor below. I’ll never forget one mamas story of how a stranger snuck up behind her and proceeded to attempt to untie her mei-tai straps, and when the angry mama span around to confront her she was met with “see how easy it is for someone to just come up and undo these?? You wouldn’t even know until your baby hit the deck!!”
Mostly, babywearing parents are told that their babies will be spoilt, and will never tolerate being put down if they are worn (my confident and secure 5 month old, who has used a pushchair just a handful of times, begs to differ). However, I feel like I am missing something because I have never suffered any of these foolish statements. In fact, I have never been the target of anything other than positive comments and curious questions from my family, friends and the general public over babywearing. Just today, a pair of elderly ladies spent 15 minutes cooing over Squish in the mei-tai at the bus stop. One of them remarked on what a lucky little baby he is, being carried so close to his mummy when so many others are “laid flat in prams and left to scream by themselves” (her words, not mine!).
Maybe I am one of the lucky ones, living in a town in which people are open minded about different parenting styles – either that, or they are too polite to say anything.
I just felt compelled to share that lovely story of the elderly women at the bus stop today. It felt pretty special to be congratulated for the choice I have made, despite the fact that the only congratulations I need are my happy, secure, attached children.
I’d love to hear what positive things people have said to you when you’ve been out and about wearing your babies and toddlers! Please share in the comments below!