Babywearing; your baby as an active partner 

19 Aug
0 comment

So as I have mentioned I have my long awaited training coming up and I am doing quite a bit of reading, this came up in one of my books recently ordered…

It’s in a frequently asked questions section and refers to babywearing and developmental milestones. Addressing concerns that wearing baby may delay milestones such as walking and concerns that baby might not be getting enough “tummy time”..
There is mixed opinions about wearing baby being equivalent to “tummy time”, which this author, a doctor, agrees it is, but that wasn’t my point…

The initial thought I had was about how you can be wearing a child, I often wear Jai to sleep for naps at Playcentre for example, but you can tell almost as soon as they are asleep as they seem to weigh literally kilos more as a “dead weight” than they do being carried alert and awake!

Her point that really resonated with me was this…

“Babywearing is not a passive activity. Your baby is an active partner and will let you know when he has had enough.” 

Maria Blois, MD (2005) Babywearing; The Benefits and Beauty of This Ancient Tradition

And it’s true, you can’t wear your baby too much…. But just like breastfeeding, babywearing is a learned or acquired skill and the relationship between you and your baby is one that develops and changes as they do and your experience, needs and circumstances may also…
Jai has been worn for naps at Playcentre since he was born, he was worn in a sling from a few hours old.. But first time around, babywearing didn’t become something I really depended on and used almost daily until Josh was about nine months old… Yet for the record, Jai is walking much more competently than Josh was at his age. I certainly don’t think it has impacted his developmental milestones by any means…

And not only that but the nature of our wearing relationship has changed. He’s 14kgs, in size two pants now at 14 months old.. He is a big boy and wearing him on my front isn’t really “hands free” anymore…..
But I still vividly remember coming home from my first Sling Meet years ago and saying to my husband, “Oh my God, there was this lady and she just wrapped her baby in fabric and threw it over her shoulder!”
But now, a “superman toss” or “Santa toss” as it’s often referred to, is something people look at me with the same surprise when I do it on the regular haha ? even harder, to me anyway, is transferring an asleep toddler from a front carry to a back one so I can actually function while he naps on me….

[vimeo 179421524 w=500 h=281]
This video was taken from the book shelf admist our Playcentre session today, Jai (14 months) wanted up and to breastfeed to sleep, it can be hard at times for a nosey toddler to shut off for a nap on a busy session and those times, usually a boob is required. But once he is asleep, I tend to spin him round to my back so I can actually help with clean up.

After seeing someone’s expression when I did this in front of a large group of people on session yesterday I was curious to see the process as a whole rather than focusing on my passes and straps which you can see me doing here, I am looking at a mirror while doing this… For the record, this is not intended as an instructional video, this is just showing how I do this process… please make sure you have someone watch and be able to help you if you attempt this for the first time and stand over a soft surface.

First I undo my shoulder straps, holding straps tight under my arms, I spin the carrier and Jai to my back, keeping tension in the shoulder straps under my arms to keep him secure and then retie and tighten when he is in position. Finally making sure to check for clear airways and head support.
But as a “dead weight” asleep on me, I really have to tighten him very snug and secure to have full mobility and the easiest way to do that is on my back!
If you are keen to get your baby or toddler in a back carry and are yet to try it, your best bet is to get some hands on help at a sling meet or from a local consultant in your area. But always do it over a soft surface, so if the worst was to happen and you dropped your baby, hopefully the worst thing to get hurt will be your confidence!

Leave your thought