Monday, November 9, 2009
I'm a big fan of babywearing. Babywearing is the one piece of attachment parenting where you're actually attached physically. I have carriers and slings and a baby that doesn't much like the carseat or stroller. At least not yet. Now, to justify the 5 carriers/slings that I now own. The Jelly Bean sling, found at Target and other retailers is easy, compact, and beloved by my child. I now have two because I found that for a while she was spitting up in puddles within the sling and it needed to be washed, but she still wanted to be in it. So, I have a brown and pink one and a black and white one. They're also reversible! You've gotta love just about anything that's reversible, right? Next up is the Balboa Baby Ring Sling. My mom wanted to wear the baby in a sling when she was watching her but felt the baby was too squishy in the Jelly Bean sling for her, the Ring Sling is adjustable and has a little more give. I originally got it in my quest to find the sling I would nurse in (that quest is done...I now prefer to sit to nurse anyway. When I was nursing twelve or more times a day, it felt like I'd never get up again. That is no longer the case and so, taking the time to sit down and relax while Cecelia eats is much more enjoyable. So, three down, two to go. We have two pretty similar carriers - the Baby Bjorn and the Ergo Baby Carrier. At first, we got both because Jeff didn't plan to use the Ergo, and thought the guy on the Bjorn box looked "cool." While these are good reasons, I still had guilt that we had two things that did the same job. However, I more recently realized the importance of having both. The Bjorn is a front carrier only, but baby can face in or out. The Ergo is a front carrier and a back carrier and...a hip carrier, but baby always faces in, not out. So - justification.
And on to Babywearing. For such an ancient art, lots of people look at you kind of funny when you're walking around with a little baby's head peeking out of a papoose. Once most people realize there's a baby in there and it's not a purse, or a dog, or a bag of ropes (only when you're married to a climber and hiking in New Paltz, NY), they get awfully excited and want to see and ask if it's comfortable, and comment on how comfortable she looks (or squished) and how it's just like being back inside and close to mom. People wonder if her back is hurt or her neck...thousands of years. I don't question things that I do that people have done for thousands of years. I also hear from moms whose babies didn't like being in a sling and for the most part, I'm glad that Cecelia does and that we found something that works for us. I can get SO much done while she's in the sling and she stays close to my heart. She can nap (and actually seems to only nap/fall asleep) in there. When she's awake and alert in there, she's happy and she can see things at my eye level, so she's learning how things work. She's learning about balance as her equilibrium adjusts to being upright in the sling. And, most importantly - she's happy. And, if that changes, we'll find something else that works for her and us, but I don't see that happening.
A lot of people worry about holding their baby too much. Put her down, let her cry - nonsense! Why would you want to do that? When you've unlocked the keys to what makes your baby happy, trust it. It might be a different shaped key for everyone, but trust that instinct.