Friday, December 10, 2010

The joy of holding my baby close

 I have another confession to make.

I *love* baby wearing!

Ok, that isn't much of a confession for some of you.  Anyone who sees me wearing Rainbow knows i absolutely adore it!  Baby wearing has been a life saver for me.  Before i had our first daughter, i knew i wanted to baby wear.  After having Rainbow, it wasn't just a want, it was a need.  I needed to wear our daughter.  

Rainbow has severe gas issues (due to food intolerances i'm trying to figure out) which cause her pain and so she cries a lot.  She is also very alert and hyper-sensitive to the world so she has a harder time sleeping.  And she just needs to be held a lot.  I never expected to have a baby that needed me as much as she does, but i do.

And so baby wearing has saved me.  It took me a while to find my carrier of choice but once i found it, it made the biggest difference in the world.  I am now able to wear Rainbow with no pain, no strain and with both hands free.  I'm happy and Rainbow is happy, nothing could be better.

And baby wearing is great because of all the benefits.  Benefits such as:
  • babies cry less
  • babies learn more
  • Good for baby's mental development
  • babies are more organized
  • Good for baby's emotional development
  • babies get "humanized" earlier
  • Good for baby's physical development
  • babies are smarter
  • Good for babies whose mums are depressed
  •   Wearing a baby is convenient
  • Babies are happier 
  • Baby-wearing is healthy for caregivers
  • Toddlers appreciate the security of the sling
  • Baby-wearing helps you and your baby to communicate with each other
  • Slings are a bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, and other caregivers
  • Slings are a safe place for a child to be
  • Slings are economical
  • Baby-wearing is fun
  • Baby Wearing helps fussy babies    
"The other thing, besides milk, that babies want and need most is human contact -— to be close to those who love them.  In many cultures, babies are constantly in the arms of caregivers. Anthropologists and psychologists who study the behavior of mothers and babies have observed that when mothers and babies are together, they are constantly shaping one another's behavior. When her baby whimpers or seems to be in distress, the mother responds and reassures her little one. If her baby seems hungry, she offers her breast. When the baby looks into her eyes, she smiles and talks to her baby, and her baby responds by gazing at her, smiling, or trying to "talk" in baby language. When babies encounter new people or new experiences, mothers and fathers who are holding them can help them overcome their fears and learn more about their world.
These sensitive, personality-shaping interactions happen most readily when babies are in the arms of their parents. When you wear your baby, the two of you move through your day together. You see the world from similar points of view. Your baby hears your voice as you talk to others, picks up on your emotions, and trusts you to provide safety and comfort. Even when a mother is focusing on other people or other tasks, a baby who is held in her arms or tucked into a sling is reassured by the physical contact. Wearing your baby provides closeness even when you can not give your baby one hundred percent of your attention." Source

Isn't baby wearing amazing?


So it makes me a sad to hear mothers who have said that they gave baby wearing a try, but it didn't work for them because it was uncomfortable, it hurt them or baby didn't like it.  Now, this may be true.  But i also wonder if those mothers just didn't have the right kind of carrier. 

Many mothers have a carrier that is similar to the Baby Bjorn.

I detest these carriers!  Yes, i'm happy that the mother/father/caregiver is wearing their baby, but in my opinion this is an awful carrier!  Not only is it incredibly uncomfotable (i hurt after just 10 minutes wearing a baby in one!) but it's not good for baby at all.  (ok, yes it's good for baby to be worn, but i'm not talking about that)

These types of carriers have been referred to as "crotch danglers" and put unnecessary stress on baby's hips and spine.  I could try to go into details of this myself, but this article says it all too well!
Please, read this article!
So if "crotch Danglers" are no good then what is a mother to use?  Well, if you read the article, you would have your answer :)

For me, my favorite carrier (at least for this stage in Rainbow's life) is my stretchy wrap.  It distributes her weight wonderfully across my shoulders, back, and hips to the point that i don't feel her weight on me.   I've actually walked for hours around down town Seattle without hurting one bit!  It is so wonderful!  And Rainbow loves it!  Most of the time she even falls right asleep (she is actually in the wrap right now sleeping away and has been for a good couple of hours)
Example of Stretch Wrap

Now, there is a lot of hype going around about the safety of slings, wraps and mei ties. 

“Any time you put a baby in a car seat, stroller, or other device, there is a level of danger,”  “There have actually been more infant deaths in those sorts of things than slings in the last decade,” she added. For example, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in the three-year period from 2002 to 2004, 16 infants died in car seat carriers outside the context of motor vehicle accidents. Also for that period, nine infants died in strollers and carriages, and 11,100 children were injured in strollers and carriages in one year alone.* In comparison, the CPSC is investigating 14 possibly sling-related deaths that occurred over a period of twenty years. (emphasis mine. Source)

As with anything, you need to follow the rules and proper procedures to be safe.  If you don't operate a car correctly, bad thins happen.  If you don't operate a stove correctly, bad things happen.  Yet we still do those things every single day without a second thought.  It is the same thing with baby wearing, as long as you follow the "rules" it can be very very very safe :)
So for you to learn, safe baby wearing resources:

And now i'm not sure what else to say.  I guess if you have tried baby wearing and it didn't work, try a different carrier, it might make all the difference!  And don't be afraid to hold your children!  It's what they need!  No, they will not become spoiled.  How can you spoil someone by giving them something they *need*.  Can you spoil someone by letting them sleep?  By feeding them?  By letting them go to the bathroom?  No.  The same with holding your children :)
If you want to learn more about baby wearing, please read these articles.

Wonderful Resources:
 And how many of you baby wear?  What is your favorite carrier and favorite carry?

1 comment:

Kitt Gibson said...

I couldn't agree more. Lovely as always, Jelly Bean. (Sorry, don't know what you want to be called on this blog, lol)