Finally, this post gets to see the light of day. I have been wanting to talk about this for so long now. I also get quite a few queries about “baby- wearing” on the blog’s Facebook page.
Anyhoo, my initial plan was to type a planned, detailed, bulleted, highly- organised post on the hows, whats and wheres of baby- wearing over the course of a few days. Looks like that ain’t going to happen. Time is being very unkind to me these days, and words like busy, sleep, rest, shower etc. have new meaning and significance. So yeah, *&^% time, and $%^& planned, grammatically and politically correct blogging. I am in the mood to blog today, and I shall do so, in any random manner that I choose to. So let the words pour forth….
Assisted baby carrying?
Some people (the non- babywearers) take offence to the term baby-wearing. They find it derogatory, and claim that babies are not garments to be ‘worn’. Of course, they are not garments. Duh!
So, will it be more appropriate if I used the term ASSISTED BABY CARRYING?
The first time.
I first ‘wore’ my baby, when she was 6 weeks old. I had a plane to catch, and I was in bad shape physically. And yes, there was no one around to help. And that is how this whole journey began.
I’m not one of those cool, hipster, all- natural, earth mothers. I had no clue what a baby- wrap or sling was. The only baby- wearing I was exposed to was the (child- stealing?), sling- bearing beggars at the traffic signals in India and those awkward looking but pricey carriers in which babies literally hung off their privates / crotches that were worn by ignorant parents on fancy holidays to Europe. In both scenarios, I felt bad for the little one, and silently prayed that their ordeal would end soon and that their adult caretakers would end their misery by getting them out of those torturous contraptions.
Why did we get into this?
Then desperate situations arose. And I resorted to desperate measures. I had a newborn and no help at home. Also, we ended up travelling quite a bit, and 7 times out of 10, a stroller/ pram just wasn’t a viable option. So I researched other baby carrying options, especially for a slippy, awkward-to-carry, fragile newborn with a floppy head and gummy limbs.
It all started with a saree and a MOBY wrap. I watched YouTube videos and clumsily put my 6 week old in a DIY cotton saree-wrap. And it was bloody success. She was a featherweight eight- pounder, and being securely wrapped next to mama’s chest, she was an absolute angel, who in no way resembled the wailing, flailing screamer who hated the mattress.
What wraps/ slings/ carriers have we used/ owned?
DIY saree wraps.
Soul Ring Sling
Cookiie Pie Ring Sling
What would you suggest for a newbie?
I’m no expert myself, but it depends on a lot of factors. Age, weight, circumstance…
As a newborn, I found wraps the most comfortable but they can also be cumbersome and hot. A ring sling can then be a good alternative.
4 months onwards, we moved on to SSCs (soft- structured carriers), especially for travel and if we needed to carry her for a longer duration. But now as a toddler, we get some good use out our slings too. For quick trips to the grocers and errands, or to get stuff done around the house, it’s easy to just “pop her in” into a ring sling and get going.
People rave about it, is it really that “wonderful”?
Yes and no. Yes, you can get things done, and it’s easier than lugging a stroller around and yes they are a blessing during vacations and travel. But sometimes, the hype is not justified.
I don’t walk around wearing my little one all the time. She does still use her stroller, and we do still just “carry” her in our arms the old fashioned way 🙂
Still, I would urge all new parents to give assisted baby carrying a go. It really does enhance the whole parenting experience, and is a life- saver when you have a sick or cranky baby on hand.
This was a quickie post from the iPad in the car. Looks like this is how it is going to be from now on 🙂
So much more baby- wearing talk remains..
P.S. The downside to posting on the go- unable to upload pictures :-(. Will sort that soon too!