I distinctly and vividly remember watching my daughter latch for the very first time, it was such a beautiful and amazing thing to see. My wife had this radiant smile that was contagious, even after having just had a baby. They brought Sophia to her and they both nestled into each other and in that moment a bond was created between this new tiny baby girl and her mother, it was the most serene and loving scene, and I knew that I wanted the same bond with my daughter.
I have been very fortunate that this project has given me the opportunity to meet so many people around the country and photograph them and get to know their stories! One of the questions that I get asked the most is, “How can a dad of a breastfed baby bond with their child?” We also know that one of the many reasons that dads/grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc. will want to push bottles is because they also want to bond with the baby by being able to feed them and spend time with them. This can be heartbreaking for mom and can cause issues sometimes, like nipple confusion, which can lead to other things. In our case my wife was going to be returning back to work and Sophia was going to have to start to take a bottle during the day. The day came when I made Sophia her very first bottle and sat down on our bed ready to feed her, I was ecstatic and so happy that I was going to be able to do this, what I failed to see through my excitement was what it was doing to my wife. She was standing in the kitchen crying and I couldn’t understand why she was hurting so much, I even felt hurt that she wasn’t sharing in my excitement, all she felt was that she wasn’t going to be needed anymore and that Sophia would never want to breastfeed again. The breastfeeding bond between and a mom and a baby is something that can’t be explained or understood unless you are a mother, and when that relationship ends it is mourned as a real tragic loss by mothers. So dads/grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc. let me tell you something you will never be able to experience that kind of a bond with a bottle, it is not even remotely the same so please stop pushing that on moms, it’s not your place. However, there is a way that you can bond in a very real and personal way that is completely your own and you need to get on board with us babywearers, it will change your life!
I had never given much thought to baby wearing even after Sophia was born and after she had her first bottle, I knew we would get a carrier and I would throw her on my back like a backpack and that was it. I never expected that babywearing would become my thing, (heck I never thought breastfeeding w
ould become my thing either haha) but in our family I am the one that babywears and I LOVE it!!! Babywearing has completely changed my life and it has created a bond that is awesome between Sophia and I, when I wear her I think even my wife is a little jealous, haha. I have two different ways that I wear Sophia, I have a Beco Gemini Carrier that I wear when I am going to be wearing her for an extended period of time. I love this thing it fits perfectly and for my body type it was the carrier that felt the most comfortable on me. There are so many other wonderful companies that make some great carriers like Onya, Ergo, Líllé Baby, and Tula along with Beco so make sure and try on as many as you can and find the right one for you! My dad has all breastfed grandbabies so he has picked up babywearing and he babywears every opportunity he gets, he is an amazing grandfather and dad!
The other way that I babywear and my favorite way is with a custom made Ring Sling made for me by Alicia from Mariposa Slings, and this thing ROCKS!!! The ring sling takes some practice but was easier for me to learn than a wrap, I almost tied myself and my daughter into a pretzel trying one of those! However, I might give them a second chance now that I found that I can use the “Rambo’s Rebozo” method of using a wrap Heck yeah!!!