Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mealtime solutions with carriers

Following the Saturday Babywearing International of DC-MD-VA meeting this past week, several families went over to a local deli for lunch.  Well, when a deli that caters mostly to business folks is inundated with babies and toddlers on a Saturday when a few other families were already there... high chairs become scarce.  What's a mom to do?  See, little Fred here took the last high chair.
 Well, it does seem he's interested in eating, so I guess we can't kick him out...

 Oh, hey, a RS will do well in keeping an older toddler from falling out of the booster.  But what about a littler baby?

Ah, a soft structure carrier can be buckled around her waist using the chest clip and over her legs and under the chair with the waist buckle.  This worked well with a booster.  Angelique also used a MT to tie her 13mo old to the booster, but somehow we didn't grab a picture of that.

But, since we're talking about using carriers when no high chair is available, in the absence of a booster or high chair when I was abroad with my second at about 8mo, I used a carrier to secure her to a regular chair.
So, as you can see, carriers are ever so functional, even when not being used to carry a baby.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Babywearing on the Babymoon

Ah, the babymoon.  Those lovely days and weeks post partum, where you have loads of help to clean and cook.  Lots of support, time to nap, and get to just spend time bonding with this wee little treasure you brought into the world.

Yeah, um, will somebody cue the needle-scratching-on-record stop to the music for me?

Babymoons are great, and babies are even greater, but the rest of the world keeps going, and lots of times you have to keep up.  Enter babywearing.

Take that first trip to the doctor.  Most babies will have at least one office appointment by the time they are two weeks old.  Wearing your infant comforts the wee one with your warmth and familiar smell.  It also prevents the gazillion germy people in the doctor's office from grabbing onto wee little hands or coughing in a tiny face.  If you have to nurse the baby in the waiting room, the fabric from a sling can be used under an elbow to prop baby up or draped to cover whatever you personally don't want exposed.  Your sling can also be used on the changing table or exam table to make baby more comfortable and provide a barrier between tender skin and hard surfaces. 

If you are not new to this having kids thing, there are older siblings to take care of.  Even if they adore the new baby, they will probably end up pretty irritated about having to wait all the time for this or that need of the baby to be taken care of.  When you are able to wear your baby, doing things with and for your older children becomes simpler.  Fixing a snack together, taking a walk, playing a game, even reading a book is easier with both hands free.  And if you are able to give those older siblings more focused and complete attention, they are going to be much less likely to be resentful of the new addition to the family.  And the older those older ones are, the more likely it is that you will be taking baby along to the soccer game, the dance class, or the Girl Scout meeting.  When baby is in a sling you are able to more actively participate, and more easily get everyone where they need to be.

And don't forget you!  No matter how you brought baby into the world, and no matter the size of your family, nutritious food and some exercise are essential.  And while we all have eaten something cold and straight out of a can in those first crazy post partum, babywearing means that putting together a tasty plate of food and grabbing something to drink is possible more often in the course of your day. 

Now, a few cautions.  Babywearing is a safe, beneficial thing for your baby, but ONLY if you do it right. Like everything else you do with this new little one, being careful and conscientious are key.  Get yourself a good sling that is meant for carrying infants.  Learn to use your carrier, and practice the type of carrying you plan to do.  It is a really good idea to work with a doll or teddy first, and then have someone there to act as a spotter when you start working with the baby.  Because of their lack of head control, a young infant needs better head and overall support than an older child. You have to be extra careful about making sure the infant is NEVER positioned chin to chest in the carrier, as this compromises the airway.  You should start with easy carries.  Tummy to tummy carries in a stretchy wrap, ring sling. or soft structured carrier designed for an infant are probably the most popular because they are easiest to do correctly and place baby in a natural habitat, on an adult's chest.   Go slow, be careful, and not expect everything to be perfect on your first try.  You'll get the hang of it, and everyone will benefit.

So enjoy the babymoon, and the weeks and months that follow.  Wear your baby, close to your heart, you'll never again have the chance to be this connected to one another.

Posted by Amy

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Babywearing Triplets: Holiday Happiness

Part 2 in our series on babywearing with triplets.

As an early Christmas present our baby girls were taken off their apnea monitors! We were thrilled and finally could move around with the girls. After having been fairly immobile during the second half of my pregnancy, being horribly sick after the babies’ birth and being strapped to monitors I kept forgetting that I could walk around and go places.  I was asking people to get me things when I could, in fact, get them myself! As I got used to the freedom it was wonderful to move around more with the girls, and S even got to go to the bus stop one day.

As the Christmas season entered full swing I was determined to give the big kids a regular, magical holiday season. Mostly, I think that I reached my goal. Christmas decorations were up quickly and Christmas stories were read each night before bed. An important part of Christmas, for me, is baking together, and thanks to baby carriers, help, and persistence, we were able to bake a few times. It was a combination of organization, lack of sleep, and tons of help from friends (and strangers!) that we made it through the holidays and kept it magical for our kids.

Trader Joes offered us sugar cookie kits and my nanny made the dough in advance and put it in the refrigerator for me.  Our babysitter watched the kids while we decorated. One of N’s preschool teacher’s teenage girls wrapped all our presents.  My parents visited and did laundry and held babies. We still had meals in our freezer from generous friends. The list goes on and on. So, while I was determined to make Christmas normal, so was everyone else around me, which is how it all really happened.

Of course, on Christmas Eve, the babies were wide awake and fussy when we were supposed to be putting presents under the tree. Thankfully, baby carriers work just as well in the middle of the night as in the middle of the day. In the end there was a tree with gifts stuffed underneath and memorable smiles with squeals of delight from my children on Christmas morning. I can only imagine what next year will be like with a 6 year old, 3 year old, and three 1 year olds! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

What We Did for Winter Break

Winter Break provided many holiday wearing opportunities.

As the season kicked off we wore our babies shopping for holiday essentials and non-essentials .

We wore our babies to light the menorah (hey Victoria, where's the pic you promised me ;) )

We wore them to decorate the Christmas Tree

We wore our babies on ICE!

and in the snow:

We wore them to visit the National Christmas tree

We wore our babies to bake holiday goodies (and even nurse babies at the same time!):

We tried out carriers received as gifts:

We wore them to experience family fun:

But mostly we wore our babies (and toddlers) to get everything done we wanted to do over winter break!

I'm sorry so many pictures are of my family, but it's YOUR fault for not sending me pics. :p