when i first tried the sling it was incredibly awkward. i felt she either wasn't secure enough, or it was too tight, or the sling felt too tight on my shoulder, or she seemed to be in an uncomfortable position. i had same the problem with river and quickly gave up, feeling discouraged. but this time i decided it was essential that i had something to do with this baby who wanted to be close to me, since i couldn't hold her in my arms and at the same time, tend to all the things my toddler needed. after a few tries i finally found a great position -- one that we both loved. when she was teeny tiny, every time i wore her in the sling, she was close to me and my hands are free to do other things. often, she would fall asleep, and slept great for a couple hours. during our trip to olympia, i wore her in the sling while river rode in the stroller in the airport. if it weren't for my sling, i don't know what i would have done!
i love baby wearing for a few reasons, and found it absolutely essential during the first three months of her life.
she is close. call me a paranoid parent, but during those first couple weeks of life, i am constantly checking my babies to see if they're breathing, or to make sure they're not too hot or too cold. i loved having austen right here with me, knowing i am aware of what she is doing and how she is doing.
she is swaddled. the womb is not a very roomy place. during the last couple months of pregnancy, baby is pretty snug inside. they are used to this feeling and suddenly, they are in a wide open world where limbs flail and they feel like they are falling. baby wearing allows them to be in a comfy fetal position against the warmth and heartbeat of the body in which they were growing for nine months.
there is constant movement. there is hardly a time when a baby in the womb isn't experiencing constant movement. even sitting at the computer with austen in my sling, i had two hands free to type, but i could rock her back and forth or even bounce, and the movement was very relaxing and comforting to her. and of course, it doesn't take a consious effort to keep baby moving while walking around wearing the sling. the rhythm of walking is the most soothing thing to a newborn being worn.
during those first three months i used a sling ezee ring sling, and now that she is bigger and wigglier, and isn't too fond of being so contained, she frequents the water wrap (which is designed for use in the water, but is also great for every day dry activity ;). there are so many options out there. i really hope to make my own mei tai carrier someday!
if baby wearing is something you do with your little ones, what is your favorite kind of carrier? have any advice or tips for successful baby wearing?