Is that even possible? I recently came across a statistic that babies within the United States are only in physical contact with another human being 25% of the time. This includes hugging, cuddling, holding, breastfeeding, and any other form of physical contact. 25% seemed awfully low to me. Looking at how much I hold Hyrum, it seems as if most of his day is spent in my arms, in a sling-type wrap, or sitting in my lap while I hold him. In fact, I almost feel like it's the odd time when I put him in an exersaucer to take a shower or in the bouncer while I make supper. I know I definitely hold him more than the average mom but again, that seemed super low.
That is, until I went for a walk today. It was such a beautiful day. Hyrum was getting a little sleepy, I wanted some exercise, and I had a book I wanted to finish reading. So, I put on my Moby Wrap, grabbed my book, and we headed out for a walk. As expected, Hyrum nodded right off and I got some great "me" time as I read and walked around the neighborhood. I reveled in the fact that I could have the best of all worlds--exercise, reading time, and close physical contact with my baby.
As I walked I encountered a number of people and received a number of comments. The first was from a three year old girl who questionably exclaimed from inside a car, "What are you doing!?" I actually wasn't sure she was talking to me until I heard her mother say, "She's holding her baby!" Nothing profound, just cute.
A little bit up the road I ran into an elderly woman out for a walk. She exclaimed, "Wow! How's that for multitasking! That is wonderful." As we passed one another I thought of how she must fondly look back on her mothering years. Nothing like a grandma to know how fast the years of babyhood fly and how precious they are.
Next up was a mom who seemed to be reluctantly pulling her two little girls in a wagon. One of them was definitely small enough that she could have been easily carried. Her comment to me as she passed me was, "those things get too hot, don't they." I casually agreed that it was a little warm but thought to myself, "I feel great! Who wouldn't want to be holding their baby when they could, even if they were a little warm?"
Later that afternoon my neighbor invited me to go for a walk with her and a lady from her church. It was the same lady who came with us to the jewelry party. I thought for a second as to whether I should take the Moby Wrap or the stroller. I chose the wrap. I mean, it's what I preferred and it's what my baby definitely prefers, so why not? My only concern was that I would get comments from the other mom about transporting my baby in a sling. That seemed like a silly reason to make a decision. Sure enough, we got around the corner and she proceeded to tell me how much her daughter hated it the one time she wore her in a sling. I agreed that the first few times were a little tricky but with practice on my end, Hyrum came to love the thing. I mean, seriously LOVE it.
As we kept walking, my neighbor's baby started to fuss. You could tell the poor little kiddo had had enough of that stroller and just wanted out. After trying to calm him in the stroller, my neighbor simply picked him up and he stopped crying. My neighbor sure didn't seem to mind and her baby was much happier. The other mom casually commented on how babies will do that--fuss until you pick them up, carry them or do "some other thing like that you're not supposed to do."
My jaw seriously almost hit the ground. Really??? Not supposed to pick up your baby? Who decided that was the rule? Especially when the poor little kiddo can't really go anywhere on their own, can't see anything but their immediate surroundings without your help, and most of all, want your loving touch. How is giving your baby better mental and physical stimulation and most importantly, loving touch, something you're not "supposed" to do?
I was obviously mistaken. Maybe 25% of the time really isn't a low estimate.