A Womb of One's Own

A Womb of One’s Own: Carry That Weight

There comes a time when, if you have a baby, you’ll need to carry that baby somewhere. And that somewhere will be someplace that’s inconvenient with a stroller and is too far to carry them bare-armed comfortably. It’s at that moment when you’ll realize the value of a good baby carrier.

When I was pregnant, I was convinced that I was going to be a super hippie granola mom – I’d wear Gabe constantly, do skin-to-skin all summer long, and lull him to sleep in the carrier as I went about my day. When he arrived, I was armed with two MobyWraps and a wealth of good intentions. What I learned, however, was that despite my choices, the baby carrier would be chosen by the one being carried, not the one doing the carrying.

I wanted to wear the Moby. I wanted to snuggle my baby against my fervently lactating boobs and help him nap the day away to my heartbeat. In reality, I had a 10-pound kid who thought the Moby was an instrument of torture by the time he was two months old. (Nevermind the part where he never slept in it or at all.) All my private dreams of being one of those dreamy hippie moms wearing a baby and a flowing skirt as I breezed through life went out the window.

After almost two months of attempting to wear my baby the way all the other moms were, I threw my hands up. If you are in Seattle, there’s a store called Birth and Beyond that carries a variety of baby carriers, and I stumbled in one day. I was exhausted, I was out of hope, and I was willing to pay to have a way to function as a pet owner and as a member of society. $140 later, I walked out with a carrier. It was organic cotton. It was structured. It was the Beco Gemini and it is a delight. Being able to wear my kid instead of carry him around in the car seat (especially as he gets bigger) has contributed greatly to feeling like a functional human being again. Instead of grocery trips being limited to what could fit in the cart around his car seat, I could fill it and wear him! I could go to Costco! I could walk the dog! I could go to the library!

Finally, I can live my hippie mama dream (sans flowing skirt and with more yoga pants). Wearing him is awesome. Instead of his view being restricted to what’s seen from the stroller, he rides at my chest, either facing me or the world. He meets people’s faces, not their knees. We make eye contact constantly, and it’s easy to soothe him when he’s tired. While he’s never quite gotten the knack of falling asleep while being worn, he is happy to see the world. Like his parents, he can’t get enough of looking around. When we walk anywhere, whether it’s around the block or through downtown, he is able to constantly crane his head around to see what’s happening. As he’s become more tactile, it’s been easier to goal-tend grabby baby hands in stores, thwarting his dreams of yanking things to the floor.

And yes, I know you want to ask. I have even worn him to the bathroom.

By Jessica Werner

Free-range librarian in Seattle. A sucker for happy endings, teen angst, and books that make me want to sell my possessions and travel the world. Incurable homebody and type A. Send love letters and readers advisory requests to

4 replies on “A Womb of One’s Own: Carry That Weight”

Oh, this is ace! I loved carrying Juniper Junior but finding the right carrier for us wasn’t as simple as I thought it might be (a lot of time was spent on research, it’s amazing how many types of carrier are out there). We ended up with a mei tai which we both loved. From when he was a tiny baby up until he was about eighteen months (possibly older), we were able to use it, as I could carry him on my front, my hip, or my back. After that, we moved to a Patapum for a few more months until he was toddling more and the buggy was always coming out with us.

I have to say, I love your articles. I look forward to each and every one, wondering, “What is she going to say about Gabe this time? Will there be a funny anecdote about poop or breastfeeding in public?” I don’t have kids–yet–but reading about all of your ups and downs makes me think that maybe I could be a mom one day too. Maybe not now, but maybe in a couple of years.

PS. Thanks for the tip on the store! I’m in Seattle too.

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