I love wearing my toddler. I really do.
But lately I feel like a 'bad' babywearing momma, because I don't do it as much as I used to. But it's not because I'm being selfish or lazy, instead it's because Z doesn't ENJOY being worn as much as he used to.
He IS 16 months old now, you know.
He still likes to go for walks on my front in the ring sling sometimes, but he LOVES to walk next to me, stopping every few seconds to touch the ground with both hands and proclaim, "Dirt!". When we're going to be out and about (shopping, food shows, etc.), he prefers the stroller to being worn, especially if he needs to take a nap. I do wish I could wear him more, but is it still best to babywear when your 'baby' doesn't want to be worn?
Anyway...I do have a ring sling success story to share. When we were on vacation with Hubby's family, we visited a place in Gatlinburg where you ride a tram to the middle of the mountain, and then there's all kinds of activities you can do up there, like an alpine slide, ski lift to the top of the mountain, playground for the little ones...etc. We didn't know if there would be room on the tram for Z's stroller, so I wore him in the ring sling. He got a little bored when we were standing still in line, and in the tram, but overall, he did pretty well. Here's a picture of us enjoying our time in line (being tickled by Daddy, I think):
At the top of the mountain, Z was going to be bounced around between Grandma & aunties & me, so we rented a stroller, and because it was plastic, he was uncomfortable, and wouldn't nap, so we put his ring sling under his head, and he took a nap in there. On another recent outing, I used the sling as a changing pad. So it's always useful to have around, even if he doesn't want to be worn. :)
At home, during the week, I typically wear Z (ring sling, hip carry) when I vacuum the floors, because he still hates the loud, scary vacuum. And we try to go for a walk or hike when we can, either with the ring sling or Patapum. Does anyone have experience with the Patapum, though? It is SUPER-comfortable for the back carry, but somehow I haven't figured out a comfortable front carry yet. My shoulders ache before I even get halfway up the hill to camp (5 minute walk!). So, if anyone has any tips, I would appreciate that.
One cute thing, when Z hears me say that we might go on a walk or sees the sling, he points to it, and says, "Walk! Walk!" So that's pretty fun. :) And I do love wearing him when he cooperates. :)
For other people's input on babywearing experiences, visit Steph's site, and if you want to share YOUR experiences, jump on in!