Monday, September 15, 2008

WEAR YOUR BABY!

I know it sounds like I'm talking about a fashion accessory. But really, when we're talking about attachment parenting, wearing your baby is a part of it . . . and why shouldn't be tradition be fashionable?

The Why!

I wanted to have a baby carrier early on because I wanted to be as mobile as I could be. I was also still feeling weak and afraid I might drop Oona with the exhaustion I was feeling from too little sleep and general fatigue. However, I wanted to keep carrying Oona around while I was doing stuff around the house or if I was going out to the grocery. I wanted to be as close as possible to Oona with my hands free.

We also noticed that Oona seemed to be less fussy, nods off quicker and sleeps better whenever she was carried. We know it's because the rhythm of walking around mimics the motion she was used to in the womb and the heartbeat, no matter how faint, is a comfort. There's also the warmth and feeling of security she gets whenever she's close to us. And for RF and me, there's that warm fuzzy feeling of being able to provide for that kind of well-being.

Another cause for concern for me was that I felt that my hips and my back weren't like what they used to be. It was only later on that I found out that I had a mild form of sciatica from my pregnancy. Bending over to pick her up or carrying her would sometimes cause me to have stabbing pains that I was afraid I would drop her one day. I would feel like I was locked in place by the pain.

My center of gravity wasn't totally restored either so I was always off-balanced. With my hands free and Oona strapped securely to me, I would be able to better maneuver in case I should fall. That was what I was thinking then, but god forbid should that have ever happened and I fell on Oona instead!!! Que horror! (This is why most of the pictures are of RF wearing Oona more than me!)

The Make-shift Sling

What also worked for us when Oona wasn't sleeping through the night yet (and wanted to be held ALL NIGHT or be as close as possible to me or RF) was we'd swaddle her and wrap her securely to our chest with a thin blanket. We were wearing her to sleep, so to speak.

I wasn't afraid I'd roll over her or suffocate her. I was virtually bolted in place by the pillows all around me and the weight of the baby on my chest. She woke up periodically to nurse and her movements would immediately wake me up. I'd then loosen the blanket-wrap, give her a feed and put her up on my chest again for her to burp and go back to sleep.

For RF, coming from night shift, it was also to ensure he didn't drop her while spending quality time with her before nodding off for his own dose of the Zzz's. He'd be so tired that he would fall asleep in the middle of a lullaby he was signing. I'd find them sleeping together this way, surrounded by pillows and I wouldn't have any space left. I'd sleep on the bottom half of the bed or in the couch on the living room. Good thing we invested in comfortable furnishings!

Oona also seemed to have less reflux and wasn't colicky at all. She slept longer and woke up a nicer baby. She used to wake up with a vengeance when she sensed she was not wedged or warm enough to indicate a human body was right next to her.

We weren't confident to try the make-shift blanket wrap outside the bed of course. We weren't playing with a doll!

Next: WEAR YOUR BABY 2: HISTORY


Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

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