In case you’ve not noticed before, I’m a huuuge fan of babywearing. So huge in fact that you can tell from the number of “u’s” that I use – how about that for a tongue twister?
Both the missus and I have found that babywearing just makes life easier. Having a sprog can add complication, annoyance and frustration – mainly from the people around you, rather than the little one – so finding something to provide a little relief is gratefully received.
Strapping the sprog to your chest means you don’t have to deal with the stresses and strains of pushing your baby around in a stroller. The endless crowds to fight through, trying to find that one lift in the building, having to leave an expensive pushchair outside unattended, struggling passed parked cars and wheelie bins, trying to get on and off of public transport. Bla bla bla. You get the idea.
The baby carrier has often been our go-to bit of kit when walking the dog, having a wander or going somewhere not very pushchair accessible – as the little one gets bigger, we are using it even more and are finding that the pushchair is becoming redundant. The case in point being that we’ve just returned from three days in the Lake District where we took our pushchair but didn’t even take it out of the car!
At just over a year and weighing a whopping (?!) 17 lbs, we’ve recently switched the sprog from wearing her on our fronts to our backs. Both our current carriers – the Stokke MyCarrier and the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier WE – have the option of making this change, so we’ve decided that now is the right time to graduate the little one on to our backs.
To celebrate this milestone, I thought I’d share the three most unconventional lessons I’ve learnt as a babywearing dad in the hope that it imparts a little wisdom for any other fellow baby carrying fellas out there.
Babywearing Lesson 1: Be Careful When Having A Piss
As a bloke, babywearing doesn’t really impact our ability to urinate. I imagine that for the mums out there, you’d need to take the carrier off before being able to take your place on the bog. This leaves a quandary as to where the baby and carrier go whilst you pee. Off the top of my head, I reckon the coat hook on the back of the toilet door would be a pretty safe place to stick them.
For a dad though, we simply need to unzip our fly, get it out and do our thing. Within 30 seconds, we can be fully relieved with the minimum of disruption to our babycarrying duties. But, this doesn’t mean that the process is without its dangers. Believe me, there are dangers.
The main one being that a baby being carried on your chest has legs that dangle. If you’re not careful, you may accidentally find that your little one – by which I mean the baby and not your penis – has flung their leg directly through your stream of piss. This can result in a wet-legged baby and considerable splash back on your person.
After learning this the hard way, I have since adopted a position not too dissimilar to that of someone about to tackle a Limbo pole. By leaning back as much as possible, the sprog is lifted up high on your chest and away from the dangerous piss stream zone. This allows you to take a leak safely and efficiently, without needing to worry about Egon Spengler’s warning to not cross the streams (a little Ghostbusters reference there for you to enjoy).
Babywearing Lesson 2: Don’t Wear Too Many Clothes
Although it doesn’t sound like much, having an extra few pounds on your front can really make have an impact on you. Not only does it make it harder to move around, it can make you really hot, a bit uncomfortable and can cause some aches and pains. It’s a bit like I imagine pregnancy would be like, only more difficult as the baby is heavier! (That’s my best troll-like impression – did it work?!).
As a result, one of the key lessons I’ve learnt is to dress appropriately. Get your clothing wrong and you will be a sticky, sweaty mess who looks like they’ve just taken their sprog with them to Bikram yoga. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to peel an over-heated baby from my drenched torso and hope that Social Services do not brand it as ‘child cruelty’.
My first tip is to dress one layer down as the carrier and baby create a layer in their own right. So, if it is sunny, then that’s shorts and t-shirt as a maximum – you may even consider a vest, after all, sun’s out, guns out. If it is a little chilly, don’t be tempted to overdress – trousers and a t-shirt is fine as the baby will do the same job as a jumper.
My second tip is to never wear the carrier over your jumper / hoodie / coat. Put the item of clothing over the carrier, as chances are, it won’t be long before you’re delayering like an unsexy Channing Tatum. Trying to take something off underneath a baby carrier is near on impossible – I’m pretty sure it would even trouble the great Houdini himself!
Babywearing Lesson 3: You Become Irresistible To The Opposite Sex
OK, so I’ve stuck this one down at the bottom in the hope that all of the ladies have stopped reading by this point because this lesson is a real corker. I have no scientific explanation as to why this phenomenon happens, but please believe me that it does. You ready?
Just like Tony Stark putting on his suit to become Iron Man, affixing a baby carrier to your person transforms you into a sexy and irresistible babywearing dad. It’s like magic. The ultimate wingman. Women who would usually pass you in the street and not bat an eyelid are all of a sudden drawn in by your God-like magnetism. Hell, even God is probably looking at you whilst nursing a semi.
Pair the babywearing look with a cute dog – Dax has come in very handy for this – and you can have your pick of any woman. That way, you appeal to both the baby lovers and dog lovers in the world. I’ll often just hang outside Waitrose with the baby on my front and the dog at my feet seeing what hot chicks I can pick up that day. My record is three in twenty minutes – despite their advancing age, Mildred, Dorothy and Betty really knew how to have a good time!
Those are my three unconventional lessons I’ve learnt as a babywearing dad – what are yours? Let me know below!
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