Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has been criticised for his latest statement on dads and their decision to use baby carriers. He said “The adoption of the papoose by some men is the best example of emasculation I have ever seen. They look ridiculous.” As a dad who used baby carriers for quite a lot of my daughters early life, I’m here to ask whether it is emasculating babywearing as a dad? Or is Piers simply wrong on this one. If you want to watch the segment, here it is:
Is it Emasculating Babywearing as a Dad?
When I first bought a baby carrier I partly did it as a joke. I never really intended on using one, I just picked one up for £10 on eBay on the off chance that we needed it.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really like the idea of using a baby carrier. I’m ashamed to admit that I almost felt that it would be kind of emasculating. The very first time I used it, I did it in the house where no one would see me and I only really did it for a laugh to see what our daughter thought of it.
She then fell asleep on my chest as I wandered around the house and my views on babywearing quickly started to change.
I’ll admit that I did feel a little emasculated when I first used a baby carrier in public
The first time I used a baby carrier in public I still felt a little silly. I’ll be honest and admit that it did feel a little bit emasculating. I know that’s an incredibly silly thing to say, but it did.
The moment I saw that my daughter loved it, I lost all inhibitions that it was silly or emasculating. As a parent, your main goal is often just to please your child and make them happy. When you see how much they love something, you don’t really care about anything else.
There’s absolutely nothing emasculating about a father looking after his own baby. So there should be no reason why using a baby carrier would feel emasculating at all.
I guess that feeling came in part because I had never really seen any dads babywearing. But within a few minutes of using a baby carrier in public, that slight feeling of being emasculated vanished. What I was left with was a fatherly feeling and I felt like I was actually bonding with my daughter.
Babywearing Helped me when I had Postnatal Depression
Babywearing was a massive part in helping me recover from postnatal depression. So much so that I put it in my toolkit of ways to help with PND.
In those early weeks and months I felt like I had no bond with my daughter. I felt that she didn’t really like me and didn’t like to do anything with me. So when I realised that she actually loved being in a baby carrier with me, I was so happy that I found something we could do together. We actually had something to help our bond.
I know a lot of men suffer from postnatal depression. If they can find something like babywearing that helps get them through it, then it’s a great thing. I really hope that people aren’t put off by Piers Morgan’s comments on this and just give it a go. I don’t really know why he wants to try and put down dads who babywear other than perhaps to cause debate for the sake of debate.
The more you challenge stereotypes the more comfortable you are with breaking them
Whilst I might have felt silly in the early days, there’s no chance I would now. Whilst we don’t use the baby carrier all too often with Isabelle these days – mainly because she’s a wild lunatic who wants to run everywhere. I would be all for it if needed. We still have the baby carrier in the house and I dare say it’ll come back out when she’s a bit older and heavier to carrier.
When we have the next baby, myself and Rachel will both happily babywear and have no issues with doing so.
For the men out there who have never tried it, just give it a go. It’s actually rather practical and useful. It’s much easier to get stuff done when you have both hands free. And it makes walking through the snowy woods a lot more enjoyable!
I’ll Defend Piers Morgan Slightly on This One, Even if I disagree with him
I don’t really agree with what Piers Morgan said on babywearing dads. I think it’s a little bit behind the times and to a certain extent it’s obviously sexist. But I love people who are unafraid to put out strong opinions that they know they’ll likely get abuse for.
He still has a right to his opinion, and he’s also part of a show that requires strong opinions in order to start a discussion. If he was timid with what he said, then Good Morning Britain, and other shows like it, just wouldn’t work. People who put themselves out there like Piers does help society to question what they actually believe. It’s a litmus test to gauge public opinion. And for that reason it’s a great thing.
The whole point of these debates is for people to have strong opinions. Whilst I have my doubts and reservations about these types of shows. I don’t really think they achieve anything due to their short length, but they do at least get the country talking.
At the end of the day, his strong opinions on the matter is why I’m talking about this now. If he said something more on the fence, or didn’t really care about the matter, then we wouldn’t be talking about babywearing dads.
But ultimately, we all know that Piers is wrong on this one. It isn’t emasculating babywearing as a dad. It’s awesome. Babywearing can be an amazing thing, so don’t let a disgruntled, behind-the-times TV host tell you otherwise. Babywear proudly, dads!