Saturday, June 24, 2017

Let Me Wear You, Baby

Carrying a baby is one of the best feelings in the world. There is that feeling of warmth and love you give as well as get from the baby, whether the little one is a newborn or a child of three. But one of the most convenient things I learned from other moms is to wear them.

Before I learned properly use the sling
When I was still pregnant, I didn’t quite understand why my mommy friends were crazy about the different kinds of baby carriers and slings. When I gave birth, my sister-in-law gave me a ring sling. She said it would make life easier. But when I first put my then two week old in the ring sling, I had no idea how to use it. I felt like she was going to fall off. I needed to hold on to the baby in the sling and I thought that this was just a way to make her feel lighter (not that she was heavy). But after going to my doctor for a checkup, she taught me the proper way to use the sling. I felt so liberated. I never thought I could carry a newborn baby around hands-free.

Hands free
Fast forward five months later, my fairy godmother aunt gifted us with a trip to Bangkok. Our little girl would be seven months during the trip. Although my aunt always has her own van and driver to deliver us door to door to any place we wanted, I knew from experience that getting around the different shopping places and malls (and finding the elevators) in Bangkok was not that easy. And by the time our curious baby girl turned four months, she always wanted to be carried facing front. So after doing our research we decided to invest on the Ergo 360 carrier.

My husband and I liked how versatile the Ergo 360 is. Unlike other carriers in the market, it allows for the baby to be worn front-forward facing, as well as front-inward, hip, and back. With the “infant insert”, you can even wear infants from 7-12 lbs. And to curb our concerns about front-forward facing carriers causing hip dysplasia, the Ergo 360 has been acknowledged as a “hip healthy” product by the International Hip Dysplasia Insititute and deemed comfortable and safe for baby’s hips.

Carried by Ninang
My baby girl loved being worn, whether it was by me, my husband, or her ninang (godmother). She especially loved to be worn front forward because she could see the world around her the way we see it and without straining her neck. Plus, she enjoyed the bouncy feeling she gets when we would walk. Being able to wear my baby while we travel helped us to be more mobile. And if she got sleepy, then she just fell asleep on me.

Going back to why I am writing this, I learned along the way that baby wearing has many different benefits, not just for the mom but also for the child. Aside from having your hands free to carry or do other things, it promotes a close bonding with your child, supports breastfeeding on the go, and helps to combat post partum depression. Studies show that babies who are carried sleep, feed, and grow better. Wearing her while we take a stroll in our village helped me to refresh my mind and ease my baby blues.

Older generations of mothers have told me not to carry my child too much because they will get used to it and get spoiled. But I learned that there is no such thing as spoiling a baby. In fact, they benefit from being carried and cuddled… They grow up to be more caring of others.

Baby wearing has no particular parenting philosophy. It can be practiced even by dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles, nannies, and whoever wants a chance to bond with the newborn, infant, or toddler. It doesn’t matter what type of carrier or sling you use. My baby girl and I feel a sense of security with each other when I wear her.

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