by Charndra Josling
Baby wearing helps me care for my baby in so many ways. Early morning, he ‘wakes up’ in the sling before going about his day. On outings, it is a boon to quick trips in and out of the shops, keeping baby (now toddler) held close and safe.
The close contact, non verbal communication, conversations and kisses enable me to fully enjoy the in arms stage of his life. We share warmth, touch, viewpoints, conversations with others and life’s experiences. As humans are a carrying species, carrying our babies is what they expect, and they soon relax so close to our bodies – even after a full emotional storm or big bump on the head! We are just as soothed by smoothing them in the sling and kissing their snuggled in head.
Wearing your baby really helps you to be in tune with your baby’s needs. It turns up the volume on your ‘baby radar’ and kicks into action your motherly (and fatherly) intuition. You simply learn, and then begin to ‘know’ when your baby needs to go to the toilet. Parenting becomes simpler – you need your baby and a sling, that is all! That sense of being a primal mother/infant ‘dyad’ really becomes the truth. Babies need to be in their parents arms, and toddlers love to be there just as much!
Baby wearing is my number one solution to a ‘missy’ day. These days he’ll practically pitch a fit before peeing on me in a carrier. Many a day I have worn him just to avoid having misses! I had to wear him for an entire week at 10 months as we had workmen renovating our ensuite – I only had a miss during the few times he was on the floor, and had several completely EC perfect days – so COOL! Great for confidence through the mobile stage of more misses with changing signals and patterns. Discover More about My Elimination Communication eBook…
There is a simple equation with practicing EC and baby wearing:
The more you hold your baby, the less you will need to use nappies!
This is because we are a carrying species, that is, baby expects to be carried and it aids in their normal development.
Before long wearing a baby simply means nappy-free time, as it is SO much easier to respond, and nappies just get in the way.
Well, I love baby wearing, love the philosophy, the reasons behind it, the benefits, and the closeness. However, I found it tricky. Many a time I threw the sling against the wall in frustration! Having no help in real life was a major bummer. Reading instructions on the internet and looking at photos wasn’t enough for me – there was always some little bit I didn’t get. I’m sure seasoned baby-wearing experts would have laughed at the dramas I had! Turns out they are pretty common.
We had very good success with the red polar fleece pouch – only when going for a walk would he go off to sleep in it – so we did this every day! Then I made a wrap sling, and that was useful for a while. I used an ABA Simplicity Sling for some months – didn’t realise it could be a back carry until I’d moved on to a ring sling and packed it away though.
I managed the kangaroo carry at last with the ring sling – he was happy in it, but not so good for EC as he is sort of in the classic position that way.. At seven months I could do the hip carry (after wrenching my back trying it at 6 months!) and that was the revelation stage for us – I could carry him nappy free in it, and respond SO EASILY to the warmth signal (Chi pee) on my hip.
Of course, in time I DID learn how to use carriers, and eventually even met others who used them!! I went to a baby wearing class run by Jenny who founded The Baby Wearer and Kate ofWild Slings, learnt all the little minutiae I needed, tried a bunch of different carriers, lovely!
This stage, during the baby’s first year in particular is so important for many many reasons. It is hardly surprising then that practising EC with a babe in-arms, and ‘attached’ is easier and the way to go in building confidence and a strong connection, and getting your connection back on a ‘rainy’ day.
Read this article: The Importance of the In-Arms Phase