With a year of research under my belt and nine more months to hone in on what we really want, I sort of feel like this particular pregnancy has started out extremely low-key. I'm not reading any books. I'm not checking any websites daily. I'm only pinning one or two baby-related things when I get on Pinterest, which also doesn't happen daily.
I'm also no longer researching certain baby "must-haves" because, let's face it, the number of lists and blog posts out there about those things is overwhelming. This isn't meant to be one of those. This is simply going to be where I'll share the decisions Levi and I have come to when it comes to certain products and/or practices.
My first, and easiest, decision:
Why Baby Wearing?
I long-ago decided that baby-wearing was for me, and Levi is totally on board with that. I'm praying that it is also for our baby because some babies just don't respond well to being carried, at least, when they're old enough to wiggle and squirm out of your arms. But even if we have children like that, I plan on carrying them all the way up until that point.
Baby wearing is still a rare thing where we live. Perhaps it is because sub-zero temperatures dominate the outdoors for a third of the year, making it difficult to wear a baby outside while coordinating coats, scarves, etc. Perhaps it is because we live in a rural part of Minnesota, and baby wearing is still seen as something only crunchy, granola-types do. Perhaps it's something else entirely.
I do know that we lived in a different, still rural, part of Minnesota two years ago, and I had a conversation with a woman at church that gave me pause.
A pastor and his family were visiting us, and one of the children was a baby only a few months old. The mother wore her baby on her chest in a wrap and wrangled her two toddler boys with both hands free. I mentioned to the woman standing next to me (who was one of the "crunchier" moms at church) that I really admired her and wanted to do that when we had children. She turned to me and she said, "Oh really? I always figured you'd be one of those moms."
I am sure that it was not meant in a judgmental way, but her comment simply helped illustrate to me that if I choose to wear our children here I will most definitely be in the minority. And I'll be in a minority that other will make assumptions about. It will probably be assumed that I am also a mom who will make all baby food from scratch, buy only wooden toys for our children, use essential oils for everything, not vaccinate my children, and turn my placenta into pills and re-ingest it (that is a real thing, I promise). Some of those are things I do plan to do. Some of those are things I most certainly do not plan to do. And some of them I'm still on the fence about.
This is Just Us
So, all that to say: This is just what I want to do as a mother. It is not what I think every mother should do, and it is not what at all what I think is best for every mother. It might not even be what's best for us, especially if temperature makes it too hard or if my children simply won't take to it. But it is what I want to try.
First, let me clarify to you that I am not sponsored by Boba or being compensated by them in any way.
There are many amazing products out there for baby wearing, and many people swear by a particular brand or company. I ended up choosing Boba after spending some extended time reading articles and research at the "Learn" section of their website. I've read a lot of other articles and looked at scholarly research done by other organizations, and what I saw on Boba's site matched the other information out there. Boba focuses on parent education and fostering a community of parents.
I also chose Boba after learning more about their products, specifically the Boba Wrap and the Boba Carrier. They put a lot of thought and detail into their products, which are not found in department stores or big box stores.
Here are some handy lists that help explain why I'm going with Boba.
Boba also has a large "Support" section on their website, where they give safety information and instructions for each other their products. They have videos and step-by-step pictures to help parents understand how to use their wraps and carriers. They even have their own Youtube channel.
Baby wearing is a large commitment to make, and I know it won't be easy or convenient, but I feel encouraged and empowered after spending some time getting to know these particular products. I'll probably still be labeled "one of those moms", but that's OK!
Next week I'll be going over our decisions on how to diaper our children.
Keep it real, y'all.