Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baby Wearing Wednesday - Guest Blog

The following blog is a guest blog, thanks to an old high school friend of Jenn's. Hopefully, her baby-wearing experiences can be useful to other parents out there! Please feel free to leave comments!! Thanks, Kecia!

Hello patrons of this wonderful site! I come to you as a fellow reader. I have followed this site, not so much for the great knowledge it provides on Disney World, but more so for the trial and tribulations of mommy- hood that the bloggers provide. The reason that I am so interested in these trials, is that my son is close in age to Jenn's son, Noah. I went to high school with Jenn and had lost touch until the greatness of Facebook brought us together. We were both pregnant at the same time, with Jenn due in November (I think) and myself due in January. Well with an interesting turn of events, Jenn being significantly overdue (I'm sure Jenn didn't find this so interesting more so annoying) and my water breaking early, we both have sons born in December. I was actually due January 15th and my son Barrett was born on Dec. 24th. {Editors note: Jenn's due date was November 28th, but after a long induction, Noah was born on December 6th}

With Barrett being born 3 weeks (and a day) before my due date, we had all the essentials but not the "extras" that I thought we may want, like a sling or a carrier (an Ergo is the one most highly recommended on Baby Bargains- if you don't know about this book and are expecting-- check it out). Anyway, when Barrett or The Bear as we call him, was about 2 weeks old, I posted on The Bump (if you are looking for something time sucking and you haven't been sucked dry by Facebook, try The Bump) to get some recommendations. I posted if anyone had any good swing, sling, or other carrier recommendations. Although The Bear was born at 5lbs 14oz., he still felt heavy after carrying him for hours and I needed some type of relief in the form of a swing or a sling or just something-- ANYTHING.

One response that I received said that the Peanut Shell sling website was having a super sale. If you didn't mind a grab bag-- you could get a sling for 10 dollars-- plus shipping of 10 dollars. I thought, "what the heck I'll give it a try." My pink flowered sling came in the mail. My sling didn't come with an instructional DVD, but I have purchased others that include them. You can go online to the website or YouTube to get information about how to do the carries. I tried the cradle carry with the Bear, but he didn't particularly like it. I didn't use the sling for a while. Then I checked out the other carries. At probably a month old, I tried the tummy-to-tummy carry. The Bear really liked. In fact, there would be periods of the day when he would become really fussy and I would say, "must be sling time." I used the tummy-to-tummy (with legs out) carry for shopping if it was quick trips or in the house to have hands free.

At about 4 months The Bear wanted to see everything. This is when I switched to the Kangaroo carry. The next picture is him in the kangaroo carry at a friend's bonfire. He really enjoyed this carry, though it took me awhile not to be nervous about him facing out. Also, it's important for the baby to be big enough when carrying in this position.

I started using the hip carry around 5 months when I was sitting down. I ran into the problem of The Bear not wanting to chill in his car seat while we went out to eat, but not being able to sit up independently in a high chair. I would wear him in the sling on my left hip, freeing my right hand to eat with. This works fine as long as you don't have a two-handed meal like a taco. Note-- the kangaroo carry doesn't work because you won't fit in a booth and you'll be dropping food on your child's head.

Barrett outgrew the Kangaroo carry around 6 months: he was sticking his feet out of the top, so we moved to the hip carry. One of the things you should know about the hip carry is that if you do a "shoulder flip" to bring the baby in closer. I have a reversible sling so if you notice in my pics, you see the light pink fabric that's the "shoulder flip." I use the sling almost every day. It seems I always need a free hand. For instance when going to the gym and taking Barrett to the playroom, I need to bring in from the car; my gym bag, Barrett's diaper bag, my yoga mat, and water bottle. I feel like this would be impossible for me without the sling.

Though I haven't been to Disney with a baby, I recently took The Bear to NYC and the sling came in very handy when riding the subway. We had an umbrella stroller, but it was impossible to use inside the station thanks to the stairwells. So, I would put Barrett in the sling and keep him in the sling during the ride. When we were in the Museum of Natural History, The Bear started fussing in his stroller and wanted to be at a level where he could see more, so I used the sling for probably about 1 1/2 hours there. I alternated between the hip carry and tummy-to- tummy carry (with his legs out). Now at the end of this time, my neck and shoulders did hurt a bit so, I would say that this is the max. length you would want to use a sling.

I know this blog is getting too long. So, I just want to say that the sling is an easy thing to bring with you because it can easily fold small enough to put in a diaper bag. I have also used it as a nursing cover, eliminating the need to bring a blanket or some other cover.

I'm not sure how I would have managed to take the Bear to NYC without the sling or nursing in public (NIP). But hey, NIP is a whole different conversation.

Please feel free to leave comments for me if you have any questions about my sling experiences. Again, my experience is limited to about 7 months and can only comment on what "The Bear" enjoyed.

Happy Slinging to all!

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