This is a guest post from our local babywearing experts at Woodland Babies!
You have been carrying this tiny life around inside of your body for nine months, and then...birth. What is next for this precious child whose life has just begun, and been disrupted, all in the same moment? Your womb was the ideal place for your baby. The temperature was perfect. The nourishment, complete. Baby was instantly soothed by your movements, while simultaneously lulled by the sound of your heartbeat.
Your maternal instincts took over once your baby was born. You held baby so close, breathed in that newborn baby smell, and gazed at that perfect face for hours. But yet the gap remains. Baby was so secure in the dark warmth of your body, but being earthside is bright, cold, and distracting. Keeping your new baby close is instinctual and babywearing helps both you and baby transition into the new roles you are still defining.
Whether you are needing baby to be close, baby is needing the sound of your heartbeat to feel secure, or you just need to make lunch for your other two kids, babywearing can be a wonderful parenting tool. When baby is wrapped on your chest, in a similar position to that of holding them, your hands are free to drink a glass of water, read a book to another child, or even to take a picture of that sweet sleeping creation that you made. Babywearing is not just about multitasking. It also allows you moments of extra close snuggles. It helps you to capture those wonderful smells of fresh baby hair, glimpses of that creation that will be forever etched into your memory, sound asleep, cheek smooshed on your chest, those eyelashes, pursed little lips, perfection.
Babywearing can also help to calm the fussiest of babies, as if they were back in the womb. In a baby carrier, babies are secure, they are close, and your movement is a soothing rhythm that instantly calms. The rise and fall of your chest helps them to regulate their breathing, and being in an upright position can help to relieve colic as well.
There are a few thing to keep in mind when wearing your tiny new one. It is recommended that babies be worn upright, tummy to tummy, similar to the way you would hold your baby in your arms. When in this position, baby will naturally uncurl and their legs will go into a froggy like position, with knees above their bottom. Baby should not be squished or compressed and baby’s chin should be one to two finger widths off of their chest.
Newborn babies typically don’t snore, so if baby is making sounds, check positioning and readjust as needed. Just like you would have your car seat checked for safety, babywearing meetings, classes, and workshops can be a great place to make sure all is well. They are also a great place to meet other mamas and lifelong friends.
All in all, babywearing is not only a way to hold your baby, it is a useful tool in your parenting arsenal. Use it carefully, wisely, and often!
Mary is a mother to 3 little ones under 6 years old, one of three owners of Woodland Babies, and Vice President and Volunteer Babywearing Educator for Babywearing International of Greater Houston. When she isn’t babywearing, she enjoys hot coffee and napping.
You can find her at her website: www.woodlandbabies.com or on facebook: www.facebook.com/woodlandbabies