Why I did not wear my first baby ?
Well, the simple answer would be because I did not know what baby-wearing is.
When Kalin was born I was an unexperienced mother that only wanted the best for her child.
Well, I tried to do my best- I have read huge amount of maternity books, tried to eat healthy and exercise during my pregnancy, I have been taking prenatal vitamins, buying baby things from long ( and I mean long) lists made by “experienced mothers”(I admit that I had no idea in the beginning what the half of this stuff was for and later I found out that most of it is completely unnecessary anyway), I have been feeding him on schedule, leaving him to sleep alone in his crib and not allowing myself to carry him for more than half hour so he would not get spoiled ( God forbid! :-)
In all this I got the full support of my pediatrician and my family of course.
Well, the results came along pretty fast – Kalin was very sensitive, nervous and colicky baby, who was not sleeping for more than 2 hours in a row during the day and at night until he was 2 and a half years old! So I was getting up in 4.30-5 am every day, for more than 2 years.
And believe me I was sure I was doing the right thing, because I did not know any better and nobody cared to tell me different. That was in the books, that was my pediatrician's and even my mother's advice ( who with all due respect still can't believe I am was not giving my second child water while breastfeeding :-).
Before we decided to get pregnant again I just felt in my heart that something was wrong with all the stuff I've done the first time. It could not been otherwise because neither my baby nor I was happy back then.
I started reading again in the maternity forums and found articles and postings about happy babies whose mothers were wearing them.
I read everything I could find about the blessing of babywearing, co-sleeping, hypnobirthing, breastfeeding on demand and many many more things you are going to find articles about in my blog , but for that later! To be honest I tried to carry Kalin in a baby kangaroo when he was a baby. However, that did not go very well. When I tried to put him in the kangaroo, he started crying the hell and heaven out. I tried different positions, but the result was the same. Anyway, he was so uncomfortable when he was in it and I got such a bad backache that I had to see a therapist for it only from trying the kangaroo a couple of times. So then I decided that I could not sacrifice my back for the luxury to carry my baby near me instead I walked around with a big baby car seat and a stroller.
As you can see I was very suspicious about the whole baby-wearing thing. Then I read about the difference in the support you give to the baby in the kangaroo and the sling ( wrap, pouch etc) and I decided to give it a try. When I had Elena it was such a relief to see that all the stuff that I've read about is not only working, but if I can say so saved my life and sanity too! I was stunned by the simple truth that I had found! The baby spent 9 months inside his mother and then suddenly all the warmness is taken away from her and there is only a cold crib and a babyphone to keep her company.
That is not only wrong, that is simply unfair! And again ...if the babies could talk!
I remember the first time I have put Elena in a baby sling. It was when she was suffering from colics and the things were getting worse by the minute. Now, I am not a big fan of the medicines I have to say, so I really wanted to try to relieve my baby without any at first.
And ...Oh, miracle! When she was snuggly cuddled on my breasts, listening to my heart, lying on her tummy – she stopped crying! She is the calmest baby I have ever seen! If you don't know she is in the room you can't tell by a thing!
But the miracle did not stop there indeed! Everyone who has more than one child (especially if the first one is a toddler) knows what it means to have your hands full. Well, here the sling and the wrap become in handy too. I was extremely worried about siblings rivalry before Elena's birth but thanks to these two wonderful carriers I was able to cuddle my baby ( who was happy to be attached as a post mark to me :-) ) and give my preschooler the attention he needed. We are going everywhere and doing everything together! Now my son is the sweetest little boy you can imagine ( no fuss and tantrums anymore ) who helps me a lot taking care of his little sister. I haven't seen any sign of jealousy, because every time he needs me I am there for him. I see how he becomes more aware of his sister's needs too, because he knows that she is also part of our family and we all have to take care of her, not only mommy. He knows that she is as important to me as him and vice versa, because when she is in the sling she is a part of everything that happens during the day.
Another benefit from the sling I found in supporting my breastfeeding. Kalin was born in the summer and it was easy to breastfeed him outside, but Elena is a winter baby and you can't imagine how cold you can get from this lovely experience :-). Well, I was simply using the end of the sling to cover her and myself during breastfeeding and now she gets her meal whenever and wherever :-) I. I found how convenient it is to breastfeed and walk too, because the sling gives you the opportunity of the “hands free”breastfeeding. Now shopping, cleaning the house, cooking etc, is more easy than with my first kid when I did not use baby sling.
No more back pain, no more uncomfortable positions! The only thing that can hurt after a long walk is your legs :-). I especially appreciated my hands to be free last Halloween when we went trick-or-treating and I had to help my son to carry all the candy that he can :-).
There really are many reasons why you should wear your baby but the most important of them all has to be your maternal or paternal instinct( you can see our last visit to NY Central Park Zoo, where Alex was wearing Kalin in the sling), that tells you this is the best choice for you and your baby.
There is no greater happiness for a parent than to see your baby safe and sound, quietly sleeping while listening to your heart beat.
Listen to your heart and let the baby do that too!
P.S: And If you are not convinced yet how much you and your baby can benefit from baby-wearing, I suggest you read the next material too :-)
You can read my article in Bulgarian here