My son likes to snuggle in my homemade cotton jersey no-sew wrap (instructions here). It makes it easier for him to block out distractions and fall asleep, and then I can put the edge of the cloth over his head so it stays secure while he sleeps.
I practiced babywearing a little with my daughter, especially when she got heavier--I would put her in a pouch sling on my hip. Then I had two hands and my arm wouldn't get tired. I also had one of those commercial carriers with the buckles and straps, but it was a low-end one and not very comfortable (it didn't distribute the weight very well to the hips or across the shoulders).
I am glad I decided to do the wrap for my son. I started using it when he was very small (I am wearing him in my blogger profile pic, you can barely see his tiny head--my how he has grown in not yet seven months). A wrap is such a simple way to carry a baby--you just need a long piece of cloth and someone (even if that someone is on youtube) to show you how to tie it.
I am not an avid babywearer or a babywearing expert. I don't babywear everyday. I don't scorn the use of bouncers, jumper-roos, swings, or even strollers. I own all of these things and find them useful sometimes. I use babywearing where it can benefit me, and find it benefits my babies, too.
Babywearing makes having two kids a lot easier, especially when we go out. It is a lot safer to wear my son and put my daughter in the seat of the shopping cart than it is to put my son in the seat of the shopping cart and my daughter in the basket (which is also impractical because I could never trust that little scavenger from opening all the food). It is also nice to wear my son and either push my daughter in a stroller or have my hands free to hold her hands instead of trying to juggle her, the baby, and the diaper bag. And it's great for those times when I really need to cook dinner or clean the kitchen and my baby is tired or fussy and wanting to be held.
When I do babywear, I do so proudly. I welcome all the compliments and questions I get about my wrap, and smile when strangers point it out to their partners and tell them they "want one like that." When other moms who babywear see me with my son in the wrap, I know they recognize me as one of their own. Many babywearers, especially those who use simple, traditional carriers like the wrap, are also part of the natural childbirth movement. I believe that the reason that babywearing and empowered childbirth are linked is because they are both parts of women's wisdom that have traditionally been passed from generation to generation, were lost in the industrial revolution, and now being rediscovered.
When I babywear, I know my baby is safe and happy close to the womb that was his home just a year ago. When I babywear, I treasure it, because I know before long my baby will grow up and never be a baby again, and what better way to savor his babyhood while I still can?
Babywearing has gotten some bad press from the CPSC recently, and baby carriers are being targeted as an "unsafe" product, which they are not. This post was written as part of a campaign to promote baby carriers as the natural, safe, useful tool they are. Please visit the linky at Adventures in Babywearing, and add your own post on why you love/need babywearing and the safety of wearing your baby (and you'll be entered to win a free sling!), and visit the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance page on Facebook, where you can also add links.