You know you’ve been writing about parenting for a long time when you pick up the New York Times and ask, “Is this actually news?”
Hardly new, wraps and other types of baby carriers are traditional in many parts of the world, and Western versions have been used in North America and Europe for decades. But lately, “wearing” one’s baby has taken on a certain cachet, with celebrities like Brad Pitt and Keri Russell pictured in star-gazing magazines and blogs with their babies strapped to their bodies. Upscale versions of the traditional baby carrier are sold in stores from SoHo to Santa Monica, Calif.
ON a breezy afternoon last week, a steady stream of women cruised through Metro Minis, an airy boutique on Park Avenue in Manhattan, which opened in 2007 and has since become the city’s hub for young mothers who collect baby carriers the way some women collect handbags.
Sure there are die-hard attachment parents who shun those who would not wear their baby and dare to slip them in a stroller. But the popularity of slings in a metropolis like NYC seems very simple to me – you can’t carry a stroller up and down the subway steps without pulling something in your groin. Sidewalks are narrow, store aisles even more so and a stroller is not always the best way to navigate the city. And even celebrities are capable of understanding the logistics of a city street. But somehow the benign decision on how to get about town with a baby is turned into a debate.
Still, a certain strain of conscientious parent has become devoted to baby carriers lest Junior suffer detachment prompted by a stroller. Indeed, in some precincts of the baby-wearing faithful, parents boast of rarely using a stroller or not even owning one. Some scoff outright at strollers, as on the holistic-oriented Web site Mothering.com, where readers have identified themselves as “anti-stroller” and labeled the device an “isolation pod.”
Why does every parenting decision need to be made into a war? This is just Gawker-fodder, people!!!