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Monday, July 15, 2013

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Sharing the Babywearing

Long before my husband and I became pregnant with our Little Guy, I knew I wanted to “wear” my baby as much as possible – I had heard nothing but good things about all that babywearing does for both baby and mama, and had even been able to try out carriers like the Ergo and the Moby Wrap with children I had babysat. They were some of the first things we put on our registry, and I was so excited to get them at showers!

Little Guy made his appearance and the first weeks were a blur. Eventually, every baby gets past that newborn “I’ll sleep anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances as long as I’m fed and changed” phase. His just happened to coincide about the time my husband went back to work and I began life as a stay at home mom. Um – he’s tired, and he won’t just pass out anymore … what do I do?!?!

That’s when babywearing became a game: how many times could I put him in the Moby Wrap and “conk” him out vs. how many times would I have to give up and try something else? It didn’t take long for the score to be something like Moby Wrap 803, Little Guy 2. And I’m pretty sure those two times became double-headers after I fed or changed him and put him right back in so the Moby Wrap could win Round 2.

Once it became our M.O. for the out-and-about naps (because what stay-at-home mom is going to actually stay-at-home all day?!) or for the times when he was really fussy, I became much more confident as a mom. I know that I can calm my child down within about 10 minutes, which then helps me calm down!

I was going to need that confidence, too, because I had already booked an airplane trip for when Little Guy was going to be two months old to see family over 1000 miles away. Extra challenge: I was going solo since my husband had used up all of his paid vacation for paternity leave, and work wouldn’t let him leave right then anyways. Airplane trip without babywearing? No, thank you! I was glad Little Guy had already decided that the Moby was one of the best things ever invented, because other than nursing during takeoff and landing, he spent the entire time in the airplane and the airport terminals in that thing.

Moby’s To Do List:

1. Make a hands-free life possible, even with a fussy baby who wants to be held all the time. Check.
2. Make a solo airplane trip even possible with a 2 month old. Check.
3. Help family members feel closer to Little Guy during our all-too-short trip … check?

That last one threw me for a loop.

For a baby, a week is a long time to be away from home and off of a semi-normal schedule. But for my family, a week was never going to be enough time to ooh, aah, and coo over their new grandson and nephew. They wanted as many chances as possible to play, cuddle, sing and get to know him. Meeting so many people and doing so many new things was exhausting for Little Guy, so his “awake” times were much shorter than when we’re at home and he was much more fussy than usual.

What’s a family to do? Wear him.

During the course of the week, my family took turns learning how to wrap the Moby around them and put Little Guy safely inside so they could rock him to sleep. They soon found that it wasn’t as complicated as it looked, commented on how calm Little Guy was after just a few minutes, and started telling everyone they introduced him to about how much they loved using the Moby. They became babywearing advocates without any prompting! Babywearing has been a great way for my husband to bond with his son; how fantastic that the family who usually only saw him via Skype, text messages and blog posts could enjoy a great time with him even as he napped. Just another victory for babywearing!

Bio: Stephanie is a wife to Peter and stay at home mom of Little Guy. She loves Jesus, taking care of her family, sunshine, coffee, and a good book.

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