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Babywearing saved Jodie's sanity

Friday, 27 May 2016  | 

   

It's safe to say that during my daughters first year I frequently felt like I was losing my mind. We lived in an upstairs flat in what felt like the middle of nowhere and during my pregnancy the bus route that came near me was terminated. I do drive but my husband uses the car for work Mon-Fri so if I wanted to go anywhere then I had a long walk. My parents don't live near-by and my in-laws work full-time so I quickly felt very isolated.

I was breastfeeding on demand which some days felt like a 24 hour day job, I was glued to the couch unable to move, I couldn't even go to the toilet without a baby attached to my boob. Living in a first floor flat wasn't very pram friendly, especially at first when I had my travel system.

I would have to carry to chassis downstairs and then do another trip with the carry cot and then another trip with my bag and baby. I had worked up a sweat before even leaving the house. The worst thing was that my daughter would usually nap in the pram on my way back from anywhere thanks to the scenic walk so I would spend many an hour sat on my staircase, whilst she slept in the pram which was in the doorway. I learned not to move her as if I woke her up and took her upstairs I would wake her up and she wouldn't go back to sleep.

There was also the fact that I couldn't leave the pram in the doorway or outside (it wouldn't fit inside the doorway fully, so I couldn't close the door) so I had to go back down for it immediately meaning that I didn't have time to try to nurse her back to sleep so sit on the stairs I did. I'm sure my neighbours thought that I was crazy.

The flat was in a little cul-de-sac and often cars would pull in to turn around, loud engine noises would wake her and I would curse where we lived. We have since moved to a house so I don't have this problem anymore thankfully. Anyway here's the good bit - I discovered baby wearing.

No more faffing with the pram up loads of stairs and no more sitting on the stairs for her to wake up I just popped her on my back and off we went, and you know what she loved it. She was so happy being on my back nosing around at the world. She also enjoyed to pull my hair but having her close whilst out was a nice way of bonding. I was a little worried about not being to see her face at all times but I would look at reflections in parked cars or in windows etc, you can buy a handy little mirror to hang off your strap like a little pocket mirror to look back whenever you want. She would happily go to sleep in the carrier so when I got home I would gently transfer to my bed and she would stay asleep. Baby wearing was great! It was also handy for when we where just at home, as I mentioned some days she just wouldn't let me put her down, if she was feeling unwell she wanted to be nursed and cuddled all day.

A few times I have used the baby carrier at home whilst I cooked tea or otherwise it wouldn't have got it done. There are a lot of different carriers out there and it's a trial and error job to find what is best for you, I recommend going to your local sling library if you can where you hire them out on a weekly basis, it's usually pretty cheap to do this. I loved a ring sling when my LO was smaller as its very quick to get her in it and you can also breastfeed in it. My personal favourites are buckle carriers as I could carry her for hours very comfortably in one of these and it was very easy to put on, I had a Rose and Rebellion baby carrier at first and as she grew I then got a toddler Connecta. It felt very liberating going out without a pram and I recommend that everyone should try it, just do your research and please don't be tempted to wear your baby facing outwards as it's not recommended. The baby should be facing inwards to your body with their knees above their hips and support from the carrier under their bum to the back of their knee, they should also be close enough for you to kiss them. If I have a second child then I will definitely baby wear again but this time straight from the start, I will get a Hana or Moby wrap. My advice is to get a backpack or messenger style changing bag something like the Pink Lining Wonderbag or the Pacapod Hastings for when you baby wear so you can carry your belongings comfortably. Reasons to baby wear

  • It makes your baby happy being close, its like having a long cuddle
  • You can get stuff done without feeling confined to the couch
  • You can go places where a pram might be difficult such as on a hike, busy shopping centre or at an airport.
  • It could be cheaper than buying a twin pram if you have a second baby
  • It can be folded away and fit in your bag if your toddler wants to walk for a bit.
  • You can nurse discretely in public whilst still on the go.
  • They aren't only for mums, it could be a good way for dad to bond with baby.
I do miss baby wearing now that my daughter is older, she would still fit in a carrier but I don't think my back could take it as she is quite heavy. Please let me know if you baby wear and which carrier is your favourite? - Jodie x  
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