When Ben was first born he cried. A lot. All the time. He wanted to be held constantly and would make sure everyone knew it. If he wasn't being snuggled he was crying. Unfortunately for Ben, he was the second child, so I didn't always have a hand (or two) free to hold him. I tried to carry him around in a Snugli infant carrier and it would calm him momentarily but he couldn't get comfortable enough to fall asleep and stay asleep. Frankly, the Snugli wasn't that comfortable for me either.
I quickly decided we needed something else. That night I found a lucky sling listed on craigslist only two blocks from my house! I zipped right over and picked it up. I immediately began carrying Benjamin in the sling. He loved it! I guess it made him feel nice and snug and close to me all at the same time. I wore him ALL day long. He was literally in the sling any time we were home during the day. He was often in the sling even when we weren't home. It was a pretty handy way to discreetly nurse in public.
(Check out the tiny feet sticking out of the sling - too cute!)
Slings come in a variety of styles but the idea is the same - keep your baby close while going on with your life. Babies feel secure, confident, and relaxed when they are being carried. Studies have shown that babies carried for long amounts of time cry 43% less than babies that are not carried. Slings just make it easier to carry a baby. I was able to prepare meals (although never around anything that might boil over or splatter), shop, clean, and tend to Hannah while knowing that Ben was perfectly safe and content.
Companies such as Lucky, Peanutshell, and Moby sell such cute slings that it almost appears the babywearing is just a trend. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Moms have been wearing their babies since the beginning of time, back before the days of day care centers and play pens. It is a practical way to keep a child safe, healthy, and happy while tending to the tasks of daily life.
Ben is now two years old and I still wear him in his beloved sling. It is perfect when he is getting a new tooth, has a boo boo, or is just needing a little extra t.l.c.