Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week 7: Sweden, Babywearing and Dads

If we lived in Sweden, I wouldn't be going back to work for a long time.  This past week NPR ran a story about maternity leave around the word, (a map can be found here) and if we were to reside in Stockholm, we would be entitled to benefits that can cover up to 480 calendar days. Two months are reserved for the father. Not bad.

I have been having a lot of conversations about the division of labor when there is a newborn at home and everyone seems to agree: Moms have to to the bulk of the work where baby is concerned. The pregnancy part, the delivery, the breastfeeding part, it just seems to work out this way. This naturally leaves some new dads wondering where they fit in, but things are about to change, thanks to one Tom F, husband of one of my oldest friends.

Mr. F. is father to two beautiful kids, both under age 5. He was quick to pick up on the fact that caring for a newborn is very mom-centered and watched as his wife carried their kiddos around in an baby sling. I can do that, he thought and strapped on the baby carrier and quickly renamed it: the DUDE-terus! Figuring this was the closest he would come to knowing what carrying an infant is like Mr. F. happily wore both of his children.

Hearing this, Rob strapped on Desmond this weekend and quickly realized what I had known for weeks already: its really hard to sit down to a meal and not drop food on the baby's head. That is why the baby gets a bath before bed, so we can get the salad dressing out of his hair and the crumbs from behind his ears.

And the carrier we use, why, its called a Baby Bjorn, and comes from of all places, Sweden.


  1. Todd loved the ergo baby carrier. We still use it for lesser trips (for instance, I strap him in just to get down to the first floor because i live in fear of my clumsiness) and it comes with a handy dandy hood to block out light, or protect the soft spot from crumb attacks! . Wear that baby as much as possible, encourage Rob to wear that baby as much as possible! Before you know it the idea alone of wearing that boy will cause backaches! Speaking of getting big- I am sorting through stuff in preparation for packing to move again, and was wondering if you're interested in some hand-me-down 3-6 month clothing?

  2. diapers! diaper changes can be ALL ROB - as we like to say, mama is in charge of input, and daddy is in charge of output (at least in the beginning). alex loved our bjorn, but doesn't have the flexibility to put on the ergo by himself. if you want some slings, let me know - i have a bunch penny has outgrown.
    also - lauren, you're moving?!

  3. I currently have three slings- the Moby is my favorite and I feel like I have the most control with it on. Rob is awesome with the diapers and at making the kiddo laugh- but he is the funnier one of the two of us. Lauren, I emailed you re the clothes!