Two objects which can help create a relaxed baby
Part I: (the advantages of a) baby wrap
I’m not sure how or when my love of babywearing started, but a friend reminded me that I carried a child I babysat in a carrier more than 15 years ago. I don’t remember whether it was an ergonomic carrier, but I know that I found wearing the baby to be incredibly practical. Later I travelled a lot, and in so many countries I saw that wearing the baby was just so normal. Maybe my passion developed there?
However it happened, as long as I can remember wanting children, I can remember wanting to use wraps to babywear. When Denny and I started babysitting my niece, Jazlyn, and my brother and sister-in-law had no objections to me babywearing with Jazlyn, I saw my chance! I bought my first wrap (this one) and a short while later I bought 2 more. In neutral colours, so that I could use it for our own baby one day, whether we had a boy or a girl. I knew exactly which wrap I would buy for a girl (this one, and we now have it!), and which one I would buy for a boy (this one)
Denny was not impressed by the idea of using a wrap in the beginning. He just saw these enormously long pieces of fabric, and thought it looked too complex. Then he saw how practical it was with Jazlyn, and especially how much she enjoyed it, and when we were expecting our baby he spent an evening practicing tying the wrap with me (and a teddy bear, since we didn’t have a baby yet). When I ended up having a c-section, it turned out to be Denny who got to carry Liv in a wrap first, and since then we ‘argue’ about who can carry her in the wrap, haha!
But what are the advantages of babywearing with a wrap? There are loads! Our experience is that Liv feels safe, and so she’s calm and quiet, doesn’t get over stimulated, can cope better with cramps and milk-regurgitation because she’s upright, and she really very seldom cries. Definitely not when she’s in the wrap, and outside the wrap we don’t often hear her cry either. In a book about breastfeeding I read that children who are ‘worn’ for more than 3 hours a day cry 43% less than children who are not worn. That’s already a great reason for us to keep babywearing! 🙂 There are many more reasons, including good development and motor skills. You can see ALL the advantages on this website.
We often say to each other: “how do other parents survive without a wrap?” We know for sure that being worn so much is a big part of why Liv is such a relaxed baby. We use the wrap when we go out (we find the pram to be inconvenient, and Liv doesn’t like it; we’ve tried twice and she just kept crying), and we use it at home too. She sleeps longer in the wrap than anywhere else during the day (bed, baby beanbag etc). In the evening she has no problem sleeping in her bed, and only wakes up to nurse (or she sleeps through the night, that happens sometimes already).
And no, it’s not heavy (the weight is well distributed with a wrap), and no you can’t spoil your baby like this. There is just nothing better for a baby than being close to mom and dad.
So, in addition to Liv enjoying it, it gives us a great deal of freedom. We are relaxed, and that has an effect on her of course. We go out for dinner, go into the city, have drinks on a terrace, and much more. Liv is always with us, in the wrap, and she’s happy with that.
Sometimes food lands on her head by accident, but she doesn’t seem to mind much. 😉 The only disadvantage we can think of is that it’s not great when the weather is very warm. You get all sweaty and sticky, which is not pleasant for us. Liv doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. There are so many different wraps, including lighter, thinner wraps for summer. That helps, but it’s still warm. But if that’s the only disadvantage…. we wouldn’t want to do things any other way. Hooray for the wrap, and our incredibly relaxed baby!
ps. I often have people asking me which wrap they should choose, but it’s so personal! There are wraps with silk (soft), with linen (strong), with hemp, with bamboo, and 100% cotton. There are different sizes, fabrics and prints. My advice? Find a babywearing consultant in your area and visit them. You can see and try various wraps, and learn to tie it. Believe me, you’ll never look back, and if you do it right, neither will your baby!
Iphone babywearing photos with my niece Jazlyn last year. Iphone babywearing photos with Liv from the last 7 weeks.