Bjorn Free

August 12, 2010 by Jennifer Carsen

This will come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever had a baby, but newborns like to be held. A lot. I had not anticipated this. I figured our little peanut would drift off easily and often, spending many blissful hours asleep in her crib between feedings. (I was, in short, a complete idiot.)

In actual fact, for the first several weeks, the little peanut screamed bloody murder every time she was set down. We tried to hold and soothe her to sleep, with some success, but sliding her into the crib without waking her required the dexterity and skill of a bomb squad – something Eric and I don’t possess. It also didn’t help that newborns have what’s called a Moro reflex, which causes them to fling their arms out in a spastic sort of Hallelujah motion at the slightest provocation, so oftentimes she’d wake herself up even if we didn’t.

I had not planned on becoming an “attachment parent,” carrying my baby everywhere like a mama kangaroo, but in desperation I turned to the Baby Björn. It worked really well – Lorelei would drift off (often with some initial protest, but that quickly dissipated), and I’d have both a happy baby and two free hands.

It made her very portable – I’d cap off what Eric refers to as her “Charlie Brown head” (big, round, and bald) with a baby sun hat, spritz her legs with sunscreeen, and head downtown.

We went all over – the post office, the pet store, and even out to eat here and there. The one downside was that I tended to drop a lot of food on her head, including shards of an eponymous popover at one of the downtown coffee places. I am embarrassed to say that Eric even found a tiny bit of hard-boiled egg yolk in her ear once. I’m sure this isn’t what they mean when they talk about introducing your baby to solid foods.

Now that Lorelei’s a bit older, I still Björn her when we need to go somewhere, but she fights it a lot more now – she actually sleeps better in the crib, and she wants to see what’s going on around her (I look down and see two big blue eyes and a furrowed brow as she strains to catch a glimpse over the edge).

I think we’ll experience a Björn renaissance of sorts as soon as she’s old enough to support her head so that we can flip her around to face forward. In the meantime, I’ll be the one walking around with the Björn and the bobbing, squawking sun hat – do stop and say hi.

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