Salt Lake City Based Photographer Timbra Wiist owns/operates Landslide Photography & Photographs the Journey of Motherhood (see bottom of page or sidebar for more info. . .depending on what this blog is choosing to do for the day).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wearing her everywhere

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about babywearing. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st! 
 


I started "babywearing" and not knowing that it was called that, when my first daughter was just a couple of weeks old. I only had a baby bjorn and wasn't knowledgeable about ANY baby wearing at all, later I learned that this type of carrier is not ideal for little ones under 6 months. I also had a commercial sling. I thought this would be a DREAM for wearing and nursing her, but alas, I tried to put her in this at only days old and she cried, I tried at other intervals and crying only ensued, so it was upright carrying for us.

Soon I was wearing her in that bjorn everywhere, even to go to the bathroom when she wouldn't let me put her down without crying, and it was a dream come true. Generally my baby girl liked to just sit with me, looking at me, but we lived in a culture where much walking was required and so into the bjorn she went.

My baby girl grew fast. I wore her in that bjorn well past when it was comfortable for me to do so. A friend suggested a mei tai and a woman online who made them. So I contacted this lady when my little one was about 10 months old. All sorts of drama and ridiculousness, it literally took 11 months to get to me. . . .I can't believe I toughed it out that long. And I won't go into the whole story as to why this woman had trouble after trouble that delayed the making and then the shipping. But. . . . my wonderful mei tai finally arrived when my little one was 21 months old. I can't remember now if I had been using other carriers, maybe a "moby" style wrap. I have several and can't remember the timeline now.

I know that I wore her in that bjorn frequently until at least her 1st birthday, and that at different times for the next 6 months or so, definitely in airports everywhere we went, as the stroller I'd push along just became a "glorified luggage cart."

When my first daughter was 21 months, we got that mei tai in the mail it and changed our lives. We got it just before a big trip, she was super mobile, super fast, on the move and in a stage of not being a great listener. Plus she was getting to an age where I was feeling more leary of nursing her in public, eventhough now when I look back, she was still SUCH a baby!!! The trip we went on was a workshop/conference and we were with people, old friends, from morning until late at night for several days in a row. I was able to put her on my back, sway her to sleep and naps and it was awesome. Plus I could keep tabs on her at all times.

By this time I'd also begun wearing a type of moby made out of a material I could wear in the pool, so I was able to wear her around in our indoor local pool.

A year later, baby wearing proved to be awesome while I was pregnant with our second little girl. I wore my oldest until at least 6 months pregnant with my second. She was nearly 3, and I definitely did not have the energy to always be chasing her. Our laundry room was in the building next door to our house, I would strap on my daughter, carry a huge laundry basket and my big pregnant belly around. It was so much easier than having to carry her on one hip and the laundry basket on the other, or drag her along, or even have her crying as I walked ahead with the laundry basket, not having the energy to either carry or drag her along. There were many times when I would wear her because I could see her neediness for holding and touching when I was just exhausted so much of that pregnancy. I was thankful for times I'd wear her to the park, because I can't imagine if I'd let her walk there and had to carry a tired tot back.

I wore that kid at concerts and "secretly" nursed her, I wore her in the cold just so we could be warm together, the pool, trips to the park, just to be close sometimes. While traveling on my own, about halfway through my pregnancy, oh. . . .and I have almost always worn her when traveling, especially on my own with her. . . . while traveling back from my in laws, she got sick, so I wore her through the airport to check in, and when we got to the next airport I wore her some more. Because she was so sick (molars, throwing up, fever) and there were people on standby, I opted to take the vouchers and stay overnight in Chicago. It was SIX HOURS before we would know if we'd need to catch a flight that night or not. . . .BLECH, and I wore her in the airport the entire six hours. Halfway through my pregnancy, wandering back and forth to find food and carrying all of the bags I had with me. . . . I was so thankful for baby wearing (though the stroller WOULD have been a nice addition at this point. . . but she stopped using the stroller about 15 months before this time, so I no longer took it anywhere with us).

When baby 2 came along, I started wearing her pretty much right away. She loves to be worn. She'll nurse to sleep almost anywhere as long as she's in that mei tai. With my first daughter, though she has always been a mama's girl, she did allow me to leave for periods of time. This second one, even to date (11 months old) can only stand about 45 minutes of mom being away before she's in total melt-down. So, I have worn her in every store in this city it seems. Baby 2 is a bit more "touch hungry" having to be held for naps, worn almost always, held constantly. And I am SOOOO thankful I am aware of baby wearing now. Even to date, I still wear my little one when she's tired and it's time to cook dinner, or do the laundry. When we walk to the park, eventhough she now happily sits in the stroller, I always bring along the mei tai because it's almost certain she'll become completely discontent at some point of the journey.

. . . I've worn both girls in two separate mei tais at the same time. . .my oldest LOVES that!! Once they BOTH fell asleep during a 30 minute walk through a store. . . one had her head hanging back away from my back, another hanging away from my front. . . . both girls have always liked the upright carrying systems.

I have used a variation on the moby wrap, which was great for going to the gym and walking the track (until baby was 6 months, because our gym doesn't allow baby wearing past that point on the track. . . an entirely different subject! And strollers aren't allowed on our indoor track either). I also had a variation of the moby wrap in a great fabric for the pool. I use the mei tai almost daily! I have THREE now. I used that bjorn for the first year and a half of my oldest daughters life. And on a very rare occasion I've used a ring sling that I had available, but I'm not very good at it and the girls don't prefer it.

Baby wearing has been so awesome for us. Without it I would surely have gone insane and not known how to deal with some of the "twos" that coincided with my pregnancy. But on those days I would just have to remind myself that I had baby wearing as an option, and an otherwise clingy, needy, fussing 2 year old would be completely calmed by her mama just strapping her on and going about her business. There have also been times with my new one where I was busy planning or preparing for some event or another and didn't get as much time with my little one during the day as SHE needed, but as able to strap her into the mei tai while shopping, giving her a nap, nursing her and getting in an extra hour or more of touch time to make up for it all.

I can not tell you HOW MANY complements I've gotten on my mei tais and how many people ask me where I got them or what they are called. I love to wear my babies to show other women that they could go into a store "carseat free," enjoying a CRY FREE shopping session with their babies, getting in extra snuggle time, breastfeeding without a blanket or having to pull over to the side of the store to sit down somewhere, and just seeing an overall happy baby swinging her fat little legs out the side of the mei tai as we wander the store.

I LOVE BABY WEARING!!!!
 
 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.
  • Sylko @ Chaotic Mama—Breastfeeding Carnival: Babywearing

  • Emily @ Baby Dickey—do you babywear?

  • Shelly @ Lousy Mom—Babywearing vs carrying

  • Amy @ Anktangle—I love babywearing

  • Claire @ The Adventures of Lactating Girl—Our Babywearing Journey

  • Kimberly @ Monkey Tales Mama Thoughts—Wearing My Baby

  • Lexi @ Life As A Mommy—Baby on Board - Literally

  • Sarah @ Most Revealing—Do you babywear?

  • Kate @ KateIsFun—Babywearing

  • Melodie @ Breastfeeding Moms Unite!—Do you wear your babies?

  • Renee @ Just the 5 of us!—Wearing My Babies

  • Timbra @ Babes and Bosoms—Wearing her everywhere

  • Natasha@naturalurbanmama—Breastfeeding and Babywearing

  • And of course the guest poster on the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Blog today is Amanda Watsky—My Evolution in Babywearing
  • 3 comments:

    Amy said...

    Great post! I also really love my mei tai, and I'm finding it very easy to breastfeed in. (I also hope I get the chance someday to wear two kiddos at once!)

    Melodie said...

    I wish I had had a mei tai. I really regretted never getting one. They are so gorgeous and they sound so comfy. I would have loved wearing both my daughters at the same time too!

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