Sunday, January 27, 2013

Babywearing love!

This is me and 2-month-old Iñigo. He's 8 months old now and I miss this closeness we had back when I was still wearing him. I could still wear him now but he's too big to cuddle like that. Babywearing a tiny baby felt like being pregnant again, only this time, I can look down and kiss his forehead.

I get asked a lot about babywearing. I think that's because I used to say my firstbornVito hated the stroller, which prompted people to remark, "So how did you get around? You carried him?!" Yes, this was always asked in horror. Yup, we carried him in our arms. I guess that's how my skinny arms got big.

Back in 2010, I tried using a sling that Next9 so kindly sent me but, having no coach to teach me, I didn't know how to use it. Vito was always struggling in it. I was insecure about it. Yaya said Vito didn't have air. So I gave up.

Then Iñigo came along and by the time I was about to return to work, he still refused to drink expressed breastmilk from the bottle. He only wanted me! I had no choice but to bring him to work—the office, to meetings, to events!—with me. I didn't want to bring along a cumbersome stroller everywhere I go so it was either baby sling or resign from my job!

This time, I asked The Painter's Wife to help me. I'm sooo lucky that Eliza dropped by the house to personally teach me how to use the ring sling and the Saya (a more snug kind of sling). I'm sure she doesn't offer this personalized service often since she already has babywearing classes but try asking anyway!

I love babywearing because my hands are mostly free (I still keep at least one hand supporting baby's butt if I'm standing). I was able to type, eat, shop, write. I was also able to nurse Iñigo discreetly. And it was the easiest way to keep him asleep since my motion rocked him. I love having him sooo close to me. Like I said, it felt like being pregnant again but with the pleasure of actually cradling my baby in my arms.

There are many types of slings but I was most comfortable with the ring sling. So the great thing about babywearing classes is you get to try out many slings first before committing to buy one (or two). While slings are waaaay cheaper than baby carriers and strollers, you still want to choose the right sling for you and your baby.

One thing you must be aware of is not all baby carriers are safe. If done incorrectly, baby might suffocate, slip out and fall. Positioning of baby, snugness of sling, etc must be correct at all times! Actually, in these photos, you'll see that Iñigo is still positioned a bit low (he must be high enough that I can kiss his head without bending). Oops! I had the pics taken before I adjusted him! So do try to attend a babywearing class or ask an expert to coach you. Here's a guide: http://www.thebabywearer.com/articles/HowTo/Positioning.pdf.

Don't let that scare you! The benefits of babywearing—an ancient practice worldwide that we must revive—are amazing:
  • The carried baby feels secure and therefore cries less. 
  • Because he is at the same level as mommy, he is more engaged with and alert to his surroundings, making carrying time learning time.   
  • Properly carried (baby's face completely visible to carrier), the baby sees the face of mommy or daddy and develops interpersonal skills earlier and faster.

I'm glad I wore Iñigo. I don't regret not wearing Vito since, in his case, we carried him a lot, too, but without the convenience of a sling. Do try babywearing, too!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Ms. Frances! I'm an avid reader of your blog and like you, I also love baby wearing. My son's already two now but when he was younger we didn't like carrying around his stroller everytime we went out so we (my husband and I) wore him in a SaYa. I would say that wearing him all those times strengthened the bond that we have as mother and son. Happy Weekend!

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  2. For my four month old, I made my own Faux-by, based on a Moby my friend had. I can't believe how much I missed out not wearing my first (who is now turning 7). I feel like my second is my opportunity to do everything I didn't do with my first, like breastfeeding and babywearing.

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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!