How Babywearing Saved My Sanity

20

I have a fussy baby. She tenses her leg muscles and clenches her fists, hates to nap, loves to be held, and can scream like nobody's business. Initially, I was having a tough time soothing her without having my own meltdown. Then I heard that babywearing can make your baby the happiest baby on the planet.

Famed babywearing advocate Dr. Sears claims there are a gazillion benefits to this age-old practice. But the one that got my attention was that sling babies cry less.

Sold on the theory, I picked up a Jelly Bean sling and watched the magic begin.

Luckily, the sling came with instructions, for I was a bit confused about how not to smother my newborn in this thing. But I got her in the cradle hold (shown) during a particularly fussy episode and began walking her around the house.

As usual, she wiggled and struggled for a few minutes, but then something magical happened. Without a boob or a pinky finger in her mouth, she was suddenly calm. Her eyes were still open, but she was looking around in awe at all the things I was doing. Her fists opened up and dropped to her sides. She relaxed her back and her legs. Moreover, she stopped crying.

As a result, my muscles relaxed, my stress melted away, and my own frustrated tears stopped.

I figured this was just a one-time thing and there's no way I could get so lucky again, but the next time I tried it, she calmed down so fast that she fell right to sleep and started snoring. She soon felt so heavy that I had to put her down. I slid the sling over my head, placed her in the crib, and lo and behold, a daytime nap was in progress.

Now that I've got the hang of slinging my baby around at home, I'm finding there are all sorts of things I can do while keeping her close to me. For example, I can sweep the floor! She loves the rocking motion, and those dust bunnies I'm always glaring at while breastfeeding on the couch are history. Another bonus: I can tone my thighs and butt! If I drop something or have to reach down, I can't lean forward because my baby might fall out of the sling, so I'm forced to squat.

The most important thing, however, is the difference I see in my daughter. When she's feeding, she squirms less. When she comes off the boob, she fusses less. When she's put in her bouncer for a few minutes, she no longer instantly cries. Of course, there's still crying. She is a baby, after all.

I can't say it enough: I love babywearing! I'm not so hardcore that I'm breastfeeding at the grocery checkout -- I think I need a more sophisticated sling for that -- but I'm trying it out for a few hours a day and it's working. My baby is happy. And when baby's happy, so is mama!

Have you had success with babywearing?


babywearing, colic & crying, natural parenting

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nonmember avatar Shelly

I didn't have any success with babywearing. However, I had a very happy and independent baby. He just didn't like to be held much, at all. He almost never fussed and slept through the night pretty much right away. I guess I didn't really *need* babywearing. I have known many people with colicky babies that swear by it.

EvaSa... EvaSamuel

Both of our children loved the Baby Bjorn. Our oldest would get visibly excited when he saw it and our five month old smiles constantly. It's part of our daily routine and I love being close with free hands!

Peggy Morgan

I'm a huge fan of baby wearing. I have 2 under 2 and they both had reflux as newborns. with baby carriers Shopping is easier, breastfeeding is SOOOO much easier, and my quality of life has has greatly improved. My Rockin Baby Ring sling made breastfeeding my daughter in public simple and no one can tell she's nursing. I highly recommend them to anyone who needs to nurse in the line at the grocery.

KBW2 KBW2

Yes!! My oldest loved o be slung and my baby loves it too! enjoy it!!

RanaA... RanaAurora

:)
LIFE. SAVER.


Glad it's working great for you! Very healthy for both baby AND mom, and makes shopping SOOOOO much easier.

Emmoney Emmoney

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PU84rDbdu8Q

Madel... MadelynMc

I used our sling when my daughter was a colicky newborn around the house, but I never had much luck with it in public. It was hard for me to get her in and out (and in a position I felt confident that she wouldn't suffocate) and it hurt my back and shoulders a lot. I probably should have paid a little more for one of those that you wrap and tie yourself for a better fit.

Lynette Lynette

I used a Baby Bjorn w/ my oldest son and 2nd son.  They loved it but it hurt my back.  Found out yrs latter that they are bad for baby's hips.  Now with my youngest DD I first tried a ring sling but found it not to work well.  Then I got my Moby Wrap and my goodness I LOVED it!  Felt good on my back and it was good for baby's hips(you want the baby to sit in your carrier, not hang by their crotch).  Now that DD is a toddler I like to use my ring sling.

Gina Crosley-Corcoran

Babywearing SAVED me... I only wish I had figured it out sooner!


The one thing some people don't tell you, though, is that you may need a new carrier for each stage, and not all carriers are made equal.  Some are MUCH more comfortable than others (for example, the Jelly one killed my back, but the Moby rocked my world.)  Then, when he was bigger, I switched to a Mei Tai and wore him in that until I got pregnant when he was 2.  I have to return to class within two weeks of having this next baby (in April) and babywearing will be the only thing that could make that possible!


If there's a babywearing class near you, I highly recommend checking one out. There's a learning curve, but like anything, once you know what you're doing and what kind of carrier works for you, it's a LIVESAVING tool for parenthood.

qrex912 qrex912

We love love love our Moby! It is the most useful baby gear item we have found. I was turned off by the idea of a baby bjorn, since they can be so harmful to babies, so I never thought I would be an avid babywearing advocate, but during pregnancy I learned how many awesome baby-carriers there are, aside from the hellish crotch-danglers (the babybjorn variety, lol), and I got hooked on my moby!

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