December 31, 2005

You Have Your Hands Full!

I hear this ALL the time- from well-meaning folk I am sure. Just days before Christmas I braved the **ack!** mall with baby, and a 3- & 4- yr old... slung the baby & made the other two walk- who wants to maneuver a stroller through THAT crowd? So, we managed just fine, but apparantly people thought I was crazy. AND, the thing is that my boys were well behaved! They listened, didn't run off, stayed right by me, didn't whine or ask for anything! (And hey- I must say this isn't the norm, but I was taking it!) Still, people would stop me to tell me my hands were full (like I didn't know that) and honestly yes, my hands are full so I don't have any time to stop and talk to you stranger about it- I must look after my 3 kids! Oh, and to all who are so curious- YES he can "breathe in that thing!" (the sling... I would never smother my children- especially in public!)

So, what is so great about babywearing anyway? Aside from the convenience (the way I happened upon babywearing in the 1st place!) - the baby loves it. Of course babies love to be held! Well, I would love to be able to rock baby in my La-Z-Boy all day long and do nothing else, but as noted earlier, I also have 3- & 4- yr old boys as well! The sling allows me to get things done and make baby very happy and content at the same time. Sometimes just me rocking him or walking with him just isn't doing the trick if he's having a fussy moment- put on the sling and pop him in and almost instantly and I mean instantly he is content and probably will nod off to sleep very shortly!

I personally have found that the more I wear Gray (my baby), the more I want to wear him. With my first two kids it was like I just held them to feed them or change them only to put them down until they needed something again. I used swings and crib gadgets to occupy or distract them from having ME put them back to sleep or comfort them. This is what I thought I was supposed to do, according to the books and experts. I always had this feeling like I was going to be in trouble if I nursed them to sleep because how in the world would they ever get to sleep on their own one day? What I was doing was neglecting my motherly instinct to nurture and comfort baby at the instant he needed me. I really wanted to nurse him to sleep- and so I should have. I didn't really want him to cry until he fell asleep, so that he slept through the night by 3 months old, but I did, and I regret that today. Yes, I had a baby sleeping through the night very early, but I was also loosening the bond between me & baby more and more. How I wish I had done things differently.

So, now I get my chance. With Gray, I have practiced "listening to my instincts and following baby's cues". It is amazing how I can anticipate his needs without him even having to let out a cry. Having him close, I know him very well. It is the coolest thing to feel that connected to another living being.

And I am happier. I am not sure if any studies have been done on the effects of wearing baby and post partum depression, but I think it may help? It seems to have done a good thing or two for me.

Well, it is time to say goodnight to the old year and welcome to 2006. Bedtime for us... more in the morning.