Saturday, October 15, 2011

international babywearing week

ring sling, age 3 months
I kind of missed the boat on this because International babywearing week is October 10-16.  I was a babywearer and franly, I remember not being able to wait to do so.  I ended up having 3 carriers:  the ring sling, a baby bjorn type and my favorite...the kangaroo korner pouch.  Sadly, the kangaroo korner company is no longer around.

Lilly was like a poster child for attachment parenting because she always wanted to be near me.  And by near me I mean on me.  Preferably on the boob.  I was recovering from a c-section and severe anemia and babywearing was the natural answer.  It was really hard to get the hang of the ring sling and once I bought the pouch I stuck with that. I had not planned on purchasing a front carrier.  One day I was in Babies R Us returning some stuff and I was checking out their carriers.  They were just beginning to sell slings and pouches.  I was trying some one with Lilly but she was being a fussbudget.  I tried on the Chicco deluxe something or other.  It has great back support which is key with a delightfully pudgy baby.    Within, oh, 5 minutes Lilly was ASLEEP.  And realizing that it is more open to the chest than other front carriers to make nursing-on-the-go easier had me sold.  It never went back into the box.
chicco front carrier, age 7 months

I remember asking the pediatrician about the possibility of hip issues when using the front carrier too soon (because their legs are splayed) and he told me that if it made my life more manageable (YES) then to not worry too much.  

I loved wearing Lilly and I was a little sad when she truly outweighed the limit of the pouch.  It was a wonderful way to feel close to her and also to get stuff done when I could not put her down.  Vacuum?  check!  Grocery shop?  check!  Type graduate school papers and nurse at the same time?  check!  Do anything else and nurse at the same time?  check!  Of course there is a learning curve to babywearing but there are a lot of resources, including videos on youtube, to help you out.  

I completely borrowed some rules of babywearing:

1. Make sure your baby can breathe. Baby carriers allow parents to be hands-free to do other things … but you must always remain active in caring for your child. No baby carrier can ensure that your baby always has an open airway; that’s your job.
a. Never allow a baby to be carried, held, or placed in such a way that his chin is curled against his chest. This rule applies to babies being held in arms, in baby carriers, in infant car seats, or in any other kind of seat or situation. This position can restrict the baby’s ability to breathe. Newborns lack the muscle control to open their airways. They need good back support in carriers so that they don’t slump into the chin-to-chest position.
b. Never allow a baby’s head and face to be covered with fabric. Covering a baby’s head and face can cause her to “rebreathe” the same air, which is a dangerous situation. Also, covering her head and face keeps you from being able to check on her. Always make sure your baby has plenty of airflow. Check on her frequently.
2. Never jog, run, jump on a trampoline, or do any other activity that subjects your baby to similar shaking or bouncing motion. “This motion can do damage to the baby’s neck, spine and/or brain,” explains the American Chiropractic Association.
kangaroo korner fleece pouch, 10 months
3. Never use a baby carrier when riding in a car. Soft baby carriers provide none of the protection that car seats provide.
4. Use only carriers that are appropriate for your baby’s age and weight. For example, frame backpacks can be useful for hiking with older babies and toddlers but aren’t appropriate for babies who can’t sit unassisted for extended periods. Front packs usually have a weight range of 8 to 20 pounds; smaller babies may slip out of the carrier, and larger babies will almost certainly cause back discomfort for the person using the carrier.

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