Unfortunately, some guys are skeptical about strapping a baby to themselves. Whether they think people will look at them strange or that they are too clumsy, many men make up excuses for not wanting to wear their babies. Below are seven strategies, in no particular order, to help change his mind and convince him to be a babywearing daddy. One of them is bound to work! If you’re lucky enough to already have a guy who likes to babywear, you can use some of these strategies to affirm his decision.
Appeal to His Heart – Hey, guys want to bond with and hang out with the kids, too. Babywearing is an awesome way to get snuggles, feel each other’s heart beats and a fantastic opportunity to see the world from dad’s point of view. Dad can use his babywearing time to teach your little one all about the things he knows about life and the world. Read an awesome post on the advantages of being a babywearing dad on the Badass Dad blog.
Appeal to His Vanity – Does your guy like to workout? Maybe your guy has been making comments about how he’d like to get some exercise but there’s no time. In either case, Dr. Sears in The Baby Book states that simply briskly walking around while babywearing burns an average 400 calories per hour, not to mention the fact that you’ll be building up lean muscle with every squat, lean or reach. Babywearing means getting an awesome core workout and it can be done while he’s mowing the lawn or playing billiards!
Get High Tech – Guys can appreciate the craftsmanship in things that are well made. Most babywearing devices out there are handmade with great care and skill. The ones that are not handmade are still manufactured using precision skills specially honed for their product. Wrap manufacturers go to great lengths to find the perfect yarns to achieve that blankety-soft hand and then they weave them with intricate patterns and exactness to create just the right support with enough give to hug. Similarly, ring slings, mei tais, podaegis and soft structured carriers go through rigorous testing and trials to find the best angles, where to pad and how much and best length/width of straps, to name a few. Not to mention the fun accessories that you can add to your carrier: sucking pads, pockets, clips for toys, pouches, back packs, mirrors, and covers. Besides, baby carriers can go many places that strollers can’t.
Use Peer Pressure – Guys don’t like to feel left out of the gang. Babywearing daddies are all the rage. All the cool guys do it. Direct him to the Babywearing Dad’s blog to see the hundreds of photos of men who proudly wear their babies.
Use Logic – Men are generally logical when it comes to their thinking patterns. Explain to him how the average stroller is designed to fit a woman around 5’5”. Most men are quite a bit taller than this and hunching over to push a short stroller for any length of time is not only painful, but really isn’t flattering. And if he uses his hands when he talks, then he really is in big trouble with a stroller. Also, the width between the wheels of most strollers is only about 8”, meaning he will likely be kicking the wheels a lot or taking extensive measures not to. Not very comfortable in either case. Instead, he could use a woven wrap, sling, or carrier and stand up straight, have hands free and show everyone how strong he is.
Play into His Interests – What does your guy like to do for fun? Does he like going for walks? Get him a Beco Gemini. Does he like comedy? Try a Kozy Kwippy carrier. Is he an outdoor type? Perhaps a Kozy Camo or Didymos Geckos. No matter what your guy’s interest is, there is bound to be a carrier with an appropriate colorway for him to rock. Besides, most manufacturers are happy to make a custom carrier with a fabric print you send to them. It’s doubtful you’ll find such accommodations amongst the stroller industry.
Tell him it’s hot! – Every guy wants to be seen as hot and we all know a guy wearing a baby is irresistible. Direct your guy to read the threads on TBW called “Another Eye candy Thread….Err, I mean Babywearing Men Thread” and “OMG Hottest Dad Babywearing Video!!” No doubt he will be asking you to take pics or video of him babywearing. Who knows? Maybe he can even get into the Wrap-daddy Hall of Fame .
Written by Jami, owner of the babywearing video sharing site and is the group leader for AV Babywearing. She is the happy mom to three little ones who have all had the benefit of being worn and wife to an amazingly supportive husband. She hopes to become a certified babywearing educator in January 2010.