Ciaran McKenna, a.k.a. The Babywearing Dad talks about why he enjoys carrying his first son in a sling and why he would recommend other fathers do the same.
I am a first-time dad, like all first time dads I had no idea how this was going to go. I didn’t know what kind of a father I would be. Without babywearing, I think things would be very different. I didn’t wear him for the first 6 weeks, mainly because I thought I might break him! I know now that that’s nonsense, and the next time round in will do it as soon as the baby is handed to me! I’d like to talk about some benefits of babywearing for any dads out there that might have their doubts about it. Don’t forget you can always contact me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if you’ve got any questions. I’m always more than happy to talk about my love of babywearing!
Anyone who has read a few of my blog pieces or interviews knows that this is always a big one for me. It can seem to some dads that mom can bond faster than dad, and why wouldn’t they? They could have just carried the little one for 39ish weeks! The best way to bond, in my opinion, is babywearing. Having your baby so close to you, sleeping on you, getting used to your voice, your smell, your heartbeat. You can also do skin to skin, or kangaroo parenting while babywearing, which is a great way to bond too.
2. Hands-Free Parenting
I honestly don’t know how parents who don’t babywear get anything done! Feeding/walking the dogs, hanging out washing, stuffing nappies, making lunch, playing Xbox, all these and more are done in our house whilst babywearing. It’s so practical, and your baby is happy and contented the entire time (often asleep!)
3. Sharing Hobbies/Experiences
When babywearing you can really go pretty much anywhere. There’s no clunky buggy stopping you get in or up places and you are hands free. I’ve done some hillwalking, hiking, collecting plants for college work and changed the spark plugs on my bike with my little fella strapped to me. He was delighted and I got to continue doing things I like while still parenting and having my baby close to me. This also gives Mom a well deserved break which earns major brownie points; another benefit for dad!
4. Settles Babies Quickly
I have yet to find any way to soothe or calm my baby as quickly and easily as babywearing. Even my mom wears him now when she minds him! It’s unbelievable, and no matter what’s wrong it always helps, be it the position he’s in giving him relief from wind etc. or just the close cuddle giving him comfort, it has yet to fail. Every morning now for nap time he goes in a wrap for 10 minutes and he’s out like a light, and can be transferred to his cot (if I don’t want to just sit there cuddling him). Happy baby makes for a happy dad, and that time in the cot gets you a break for a cup of tea, or making bottles!
5. Impress Your Lady
There isn’t a babywearing mom out there that doesn’t find their partner wearing their baby extremely attractive! I don’t know exactly what it is, but I haven’t met one woman who doesn’t love it!