The Ultimate Guide to Wearing Other People’s Babies by Cynthia Soliz

posted in: Why I Wear | 3

I would like to humbly propose that I am an expert on wearing other people’s babies.  Perhaps it is because my two-year-old decided to weigh thirty-five pounds. Maybe it’s because I am lazy and the best way I know of to help someone care for their child is to wear them. Even more so, the reason may be that there is nothing that I like more than to snuggle and sniff a baby (with the probable exception of cheese; I do love cheese). Coupled with the fact that YOU CAN GIVE A BORROWED BABY BACK, wearing other people’s babies is really the win-win-win of the babywearing world. It’s Awesome! I do still wear that giant (almost) four year-old. I honestly prefer to wear newborns, I love to use my swaddle blankets for newborn babies.

Female Latinx with long black hair, white top, blue shorts and sunglasses smiling into the camera. On her back is a femal Latinx toddler in a colorful wrap with her arms around her mother.

… but more than likely, I am wearing OPB (Other People’s Babies).  If you too enjoy some borrowed snuggles, let me teach you my ways.

1. Have Permission. Uhm… yeah.  Having the permission of the caregiver to take their baby and attach it to your person is (hopefully) the worst Captain Obvious attack known to the history of humanity. I would go a step farther, though, and make sure that you have the permission of the baby. You are handling their body and if baby does not “consent,” you will KNOW it. Always make sure you have everyone’s permission.

Female Latinx with long black hair looks into the camera with a surprised face as she carries an upset baby on her back in a carrier.

 

2. Pick a Happy Baby… or not. That said, not all babies that need to be worn will be happy. Sometimes a caregiver NEEDS some one else to take this baby and … wear it! I hear you. So the idea that you are always going to be asked to wear a happy smiley baby is a bit much to expect. To the degree you can, though, DO wear a happy baby.  Try to make sure the baby is fed and dry before attempting to wear them.

View from the top looks onto a newborn with black hair who looks mightily unimpressed being worn. An older child is seen in the background smiling into the camera.
Female Latinx with long black hair and dark sunglasses in a striped top smiles into the camera. She is wearing a contented newborn in a teal ringsling. Next to them is an older child looking into the camera with a hint of a smile.

 

3. Be Well. We all know babies and children are cesspools teeming with germs and all kinds of other unknowns. At any minute that adorable little snuggly baby could be eating dog poop… then kissing you.  It happens. Make sure YOU are well, though. Don’t offer to wear someone else’s baby if you don’t feel 100%.  Because babies have enough gross germiness without your help, yo. And hell hath no fury like a caregiver who knows you gave their child your stomach virus.

4. Understand that Baby-stuff Happens. Babies are gross.  They drool and spit up and poop themselves. They sometimes try to eat food… with their ears. Some will pee on you, for sport. If you are wearing a very expensive dry clean only garment, perhaps wearing other people’s babies is not for you right now. Do you LOVE that piece of zegarki jewelry on its dainty chain?  So do babies… to eat! Better to take it off. Every time you wear someone’s baby, you have to be ready for that baby to cover you in bodily fluids, pull your hair, or try to wear your earrings. Be prepared, babies will continue to troll you despite them not actually being your baby.

Female Latinx in dark sunglasses and long black hair showing some baby spit ups on the shoulder of her black top.

5.Travel with your own carriers… but be open to using others. Really miss using your favorite stretchy? Carry it in your trunk, you never know when you’ll find a baby that need wearing.  More practical is to go big… big scarves that is!  Big scarves double as a great shorty and are easily available for that moment when a baby who needs wearing just HAPPENS to show up (or their caregivers are exhausted from your insistent begging.)

Left picture shows a female Latinx wearing a large red scarf around her neck. Right photo shows a female Latinx with long black hair and dark sunglasses on top of her head wearing a small baby with a pink headband and bow on her head in the red scarf. They are both smiling.

 

Also, the fun of wearing other people’s babies is that you get to try new carriers!!  Does baby have a favorite?  How about their caregiver? Want to try something new to the market? Borrowed babies, yo. Enjoy.

A female Latinx wearing a child in a beige XOXO carrier a buckle wrap carrier.

 

6. Move. You already are already not-the-caregiver to this baby. Make it worth their while… get moving! Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Pace. Repeat.

Female Latinx looks into the camera, she is wearing a small baby in a mustard-colored wrap.

 

7. Make yourself available. Let people KNOW that you want to wear a borrowed baby. Maybe right now is not the right time, but if you have made people aware that you’d be willing to wear babies, they’ll come looking for you when the need arises… and it will. Giving a caregiver a break and making incredible connections in the meantime? Why not. Offer to wear toddlers and big kids too (their consent is often easier to navigate). Be THAT babywearer. It’s been me for a while and the benefits are tremendous: try all the carriers, get so many more snuggles, always be well accessorized.  So… which entrepreneur wants to make me a t-shirt that says, “Will Wear [Your] Babies,” or “Your Baby Here”? Medium, v-neck, black. #takeallmymoney

A female Latinx wearing a preschool child on her back in a beh dai.

 

8. Take ALL the selfies. So much of the babywearing fun is babywearing selfies.  Enjoy the snuggles and cheese it up! Tag them #wearingOPB and check out other people enjoying borrowed baby snuggles (ok, fine, it’s just me now… but join me)! But also, make sure you have permission from the baby and their caregiver for selfies, especially for posting on social media!

Female Latinx smiles into the camera. Peeking over her shoulder is a brown-haired small baby in a backcarry in an ivory woven wrap.

 

9. Give the Baby Back. Far and Away the MOST important step in Wearing OPB. Uhm… be sure you do this. #freelegaladvice

Disclaimer: Cynthia Soliz is a liability attorney in private practice in Austin, TX, but often points out that she was a babywearer long before she was an attorney. The mom of two kids that she bribes into carriers with gummybears, she thoroughly enjoys wearing other people’s babies and will rarely turn down the opportunity. Just saying. A proud small business owner, a staunch school advocate, a reluctant sports parent, and the okayest mom, all the opinions expressed by Cynthia are her own (damn right). Previously the BWI Austin blogger, she blogs at various sites and should follow her own advice and start a blog of her own, but… lazy.  To complain, please leave a comment below.

 

 

 

3 Responses

  1. Yes Yes Yes! Making myself known now!

  2. Hysterical, and useful post. I’m definitely starting into the wearing OPB phase. Cannot wait to be an aunt again someday for this express purpose 😉

  3. […] or online resources. Smile at that caregiver in the grocery store. Value babywearing and share it. Offer to wear other people’s babies, to take their selfies, to tell them that that baby matches their outfit perfectly! Give other […]

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