Friday, 27 June 2008

Any baby wearers out there?

Here's a nice thing.

When Mog was a baby, she cried all the time. All the time. Not in the "all babies cry" sense, but in a desperately lonely, lost, kind of a way. We carried her. All the time. It didn't stop her crying, but it reduced the intensity of the cry, it gave her comfort. And it certainly helped me to feel less useless; I might not have been able to stop her from crying but I could at least make sure she was snuggled and loved and could hear my heart beating as she cried. And eventually, things did change. She stopped crying when she was held, and only howled when she was put down. A long time later, she was able to be happy even when she wasn't being held all the time. Even now though, when she is miserable and confused and lost, she needs to be held and rocked for comfort.

Once she had grown out of her sling we used it for other babies, we used it for Little Fish when she came to visit. And it sits in the cupboard now, waiting to be needed again.

I do love the convenience of a sling. A buggy holds everything you could wish for and more, but with a sling you have a little baby moulding themselves to your body. The action of walking rocks the baby more naturally than the fanciest of battery operated vibrating musical swings can. You have eye contact just by looking down, and you are never out of earshot. Never out of sight either, which was handy with Mogs vomiting abilities (and a carefully tucked muslin saves most of the mess). You don't have to worry about moving the baby from cot to pram in order to go out, just wrap a cloak around the pair of you. And with a nice soft cloth sling, once you get back in again if the baby is still sleeping and you want a break from carrying, you can simply slip the sling off complete with child and leave them to sleep somewhere safe.

Especially with a fostered child, the sling provides a connection. I may not have been able to shelter this child before they were born, or from whatever they have experienced between birth and getting here, but a sling provides a safe shelter, a cocoon, as the child grows to know you. At the same time, the sling creates a barrier; the child can hide inside and strangers cannot easily reach in to pat heads and tug cheeks. When the world has not been a safe place, a sling can provide a sanctuary for the child.

So, here's a competition for anyone who has babies, or is hoping to, or who knows someone else who might benefit. Or anyone really!

Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)


Lauren said...

Sadly the competition seems to have ended!

Tia said...

Nope - running until the end of July!

Lauren said...

Ooh would you look at that! That's really not the page that came up earlier!!


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