I’ll be wearing Olive in a Baby Bjorn at the BlissDom conference next week.
There. I said it.
Did you hear that? It was the sound of hundreds of chai teas being slammed down and organic-lotioned hands fluttering in alarm to keyboards, set to reprimand me.
A Baby Bjorn is a type of baby sling that allows you to “wear” your baby on your chest while keeping your hands free. You can see Jennifer Garner wearing her baby in one in the photo to the left. It differs from more traditional “slings” in its more structured design. Therein lies the problem.
You see, I run with a fairly crunchy crowd online. By “crunchy,” I mean women that embrace and advocate breastfeeding, attachment parenting, going green, whole foods, homeschooling, home births, doulas, midwives, organic everything, and a general hugging of trees.
They also tend to wear their babies in beautiful, handmade slings made by fairies with PhD’s who give 60% of their profits to people in mud huts.
I may be off on part of those details.
As it turns out, I tend to produce offspring that cringe at the sight of baby slings. They just don’t work for us, never have. We’ve tried. We’ve strapped them on, slung them across our bodies, looped them through rings, wrapped them across torsos… all to no comfortable avail.
What works for us and always has is the Baby Bjorn. Unfortunately, some circles suggest that the Baby Bjorn is not the healthiest choice for babies. We’re not talking “make them go blind” stuff here, but there are suggestions that the design of the baby carrier puts too much weight on the baby’s pelvis and could cause hip or spine problems.
I hear you.
However. We use our Baby Bjorn in moderation, approximately once a week and not for extended periods of time. As such, given how well it works for our children, I’m comfortable with my informed decision to not make my baby struggle with a sling.
I’m repeating that last paragraph to myself all the way to BlissDom. Why? Because I fully expect to get dirty looks by better moms. More responsible moms. Moms that care about their babies more than I do.
The irony is that in our neighborhood, we are practically hippies. All of our talk of natural childbirth, attachment parenting, breastfeeding, and Baby Bjorns plops us in “crunchy” territory when compared to the more standard epidural/ scheduled-c-section, Baby Wise sleep training, formula-feeding, and playpen crowd we run with in our “local” lives.
And yet here I am preparing. I even tried to get my husband to wear Olive in a sling again the last couple of weeks, just to be sure we had given it our best try. Neither Olive nor Maguire were having any of it. “Why torture her if she’s happy in the Bjorn?”
I have no idea. Would you think less of me if I said it’s because I’m afraid of ridicule?
At the Type-A Mom conference in September, I was 8 months pregnant. Birth plan prepared, natural birth planned, a few complications on my radar, I was accosted by doulas and midwives at least once an hour and informed that my decisions were falling short. Why didn’t I have a doula? Why wasn’t I paying heed to America’s dismal hospital birth rates and doing a midwife-assisted home birth instead? Was that Diet Coke I just drank?!
I cried more than once.
Listen, babe, I ain’t planning no tears at BlissDom.
I know I’m a good mom and I make informed decisions. They may not be your decisions, but fortunately for you, I’m not your mom.
If someone wants to teach me what I’m doing wrong on the whole baby sling thing next week, in person in Nashville, I’m game. I’m not stubborn, I’ve tried and I’ll try again. Otherwise, I’m wearing my baby to BlissDom in moderation in a Baby Bjorn.
Or maybe just a stroller.
Damn it. Anyone have any comeback lines I can use in response to “You should really wear your baby in a sling”?
Click photos for sources.