After I gave birth to my son, I soon realized how badly I wanted to put him back in my belly. Not that I wanted to be pregnant again, but I wanted him close to me, safe and protected. I wished I were like the Kangaroo, so I could open my ‘pouch’ and snuggle him back inside. After nine months of waiting, I never wanted to put my son down, wanting to hold/carry him in my arms every waking moment. As any new mom would testify, it’s unbelievable how ‘heavy’ that little baby can get after only a few days/nights of holding, rocking, and breastfeeding. I felt like I was becoming concave, from all the love I was physically giving to my baby boy. In the very few times I would surrender ‘control’ in those first few weeks of his life, I would attempt to lay flat on the floor or press up against a wall in order to re-align my spine.
Finally I was left no choice but to ‘attempt’ the wrap my sister had sent me for my baby shower. I mean, what the heck was this thing? All it was, was an extremely long piece of fabric that I was supposed to intricately wrap around my body and baby. It was so intimidating! But I was desperate to stand-up straight and start moving. I struggled, squeezed, and squirmed about 10 times before I finally got it right. And soon realized my life would never be the same. I was hooked. My son loved it too, and snuggled right in, close to my heart. He was in bliss and I was too, bonding beautifully. I was back to my multi-tasking self, slowly starting to feel like a ‘normal’ person again. I was able to go for walks, go shopping for groceries, cook meals, clean the house, and even practice yoga.
Wearing him out in about and around the house, allowed me the comfort of constant closeness without abandoning all tasks that required two hands. “Around the world, babywearing is far more common than we realize here in the U.S., and the benefits for both parents and babies/children are substantial. Babies who spend more time in close physical contact with their caregivers cry less and develop better, both physically and cognitively. Physically, the stimulation of contact, as well as the constantly changing position of the adult caretaker, ensures more stimulation and development of the vestibular system, which helps babies become more organized, more quickly. Cognitively, a baby who is worn experiences much more of the world than a baby hanging at knee-level in a carseat or isolated in a stroller. And as most babywearing moms will attest, a cloth baby carrier is far more convenient, comfortable, and portable than either a carseat or stroller. Mothers who wear young infants in pouch-style carriers are also often able to nurse without changing baby’s position; in fact, the people around them are often unaware that the baby is nursing at all. In recent years, more and more research has been conducted that details the benefits of attachment parenting, of which babywearing is one component.”Marie Spadaro, Curriculum Director at Attachment Parenting International (API).
Attachment Parenting International (www.attachmentparenting.org) has local support groups around the country and highlight the benefits of baby wearing.
Image Credit: Lori Beth Huck