Thursday, January 3, 2013

Why I Babywear

I have been thinking about this post for a while.  I have been waiting for the right moment to write it.  I have been waiting for both kids to be sleeping, but let's be honest- the only time that happens is at night.  And I'm usually spending time with Jimmy or falling into dreamland.  So, I'm writing it now.  Elliot is climbing on something and Asher is laying on his blanket, sucking on his fingers.  And drooling.  But they are close and safe and I'm ready to write this thing.

In the land of strollers, wraps and slings and ergos are making a comeback.  I'm so happy I live at this time, because if it wasn't so "trendy" I don't know if I would have even given babywearing a try.  I'm not against strollers- certainly not! They are a great commodity for parents- without it, going out would not be half as easy.  However, in those first few years, wearing your baby is such a benefit and a privilege to both mothers and fathers.  But it's not easy.  I am grateful that baby carrier companies let their customers know this- that babywearing is an art and each baby is an individual.  You have to keep at it.  Keep at it, until it becomes second nature.  But it takes a little while.

Here is my story with babywearing:

When I became pregnant with Elliot I had only been married for less than three weeks.  It was a shock, to say the least.  However, I had been dreaming about being a mother since I still called my own mother "mommy."  I had visions of snuggles and kisses- basically a land of love.  Elliot was born.  For the first five days of his life, he was hooked up to oxygen machines and was given antibiotics.  A Spinal Tap was even performed on him, because his infection was so severe they had to rule out meningitis.  This was not what I had been expecting.  In fact, I remember this one moment where the feeling of overwhelming emotion was so intense I had to just stop and pray.  I did not want a single bad thing to happen to my child.  Ever.  And here it was happening within the first few days of his life.

After five days they said we could go home.  Relief.  I felt such relief.  I would finally be able to go back to what I envisioned motherhood to be.  Within a couple of doctors visits (he needed to go more often because of illness) the doctor said that he was retracting.  (It's when your muscles work harder to breathe.)  I literally almost had a meltdown.  I couldn't understand why there was something else wrong.  My sweet baby was going to have to go to specialist after specialist.  He did and they never found out what was wrong.  Until he just stopped doing it.

What does this have to do with babywearing?  Well, with all of this trauma (I believe) Elliot was affected.  He never say still and had a lot of fussiness.  He didn't like to be held certain ways and he had a couple episodes where he would just throw up everything he ate.  He would cry after every doctor's visit.  I was beside myself.  I would cry because I couldn't understand why I couldn't just hold my baby.  As a mom, it was the most difficult thing I went through.  I literally felt like my heart was breaking.  No one could really understand, except my husband.   Thank goodness for my husband.  People would ask to hold him and my heart would sink- I knew he would be all over the place.  I knew he would fuss.

Then, one day we rediscovered the baby bojourn someone gave us.  (I would not recommend this brand now, but I didn't know any better then.)  We decided to give it a try.  Instantly, he fell asleep on me.  Instantly.  Sweet baby cuddly goodness.  I was in heaven.  Now, this didn't work every time, but 95% of the time it did.  He loved it.  It helped me regain my confidence.  babywearing really helped save me from feeling hopeless.  And Elliot really needed me to not feel that.  It was a cycle and it needed to be broken.  It helped Elliot to get over his trauma.  (I believe he still is a little, but we have come so far.)  I thank God for this.

So, now with baby #2, my sweet Asher, we basically only babywear.  He has been in a stroller once and he didn't like that.  We do not carry him around in a car seat- even if we don't use the sling, we will just hold him.  I know this is great for him.  I am convinced because I see the benefits through his brother.

My final point- even if you think it's not your thing- give it a try.  Just give it a try- it helps with so many different issues.  Like colic, for instance.  If they won't sleep, they will in a sling.  Trust me, I know.


I love his face.

sleepy.

babywearing with elliot.  He is around the same age as Asher in the photos above.


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1 comment:

  1. You are so right about baby wearing being an art. I had a ring sling and a regular sling with my eldest son(8) and never got the hang of either of them. I gave baby wearing another try with youngest son (14mo) and I absolutely love it. Our stroller gets used only when I'm out running.

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