What you don’t see…

2 months old? Bouncing in sling while Haley surfs the internet.

Hiking..3 months?

No, we didn’t let her really have beer, but she was very determined…

The wrap you see is one I made of crinkle cotton for summer once quail was too heavy for the stretchy wrap. Here Haley is putting Sapphire to sleep on a friend’s deck.

Back carries are awesome for vacuuming, laundry, dishes, making beds etc.

Hip carry in a ring sling. Easy in and out, baby can easily see etc., Not a good longer wearing carry though.

This post was originally supposed to be about the merits of wearing your baby. Indeed, our baby (especially birth-6 months) would have been even more unhappy without it. As you can see from above pictures, she slept nearly every nap in a sling, soft structured carrier, wrap etc. She also liked to be part of the action. I can count on one hand the number of times we could put her down for sleep or awake for more than 2 minutes before she was crawling. But wearing your baby is great for you and baby even if they are less inclined to fuss anywhere but on you like our baby was. (She also had reflux so upright positions helped immensely). Bonding, getting more done around the house, being able to more easily care for other children, better gross motor skills (for baby, maybe for you as well), an average of something like 40% less crying per day if worn for a few hours (or held), higher intelligence, and I *think* better and more long term breastfeeding rates. This is the norm in most cultures and for your own ancestors as well. Some research is suggesting that the invention of the sling which freed up adults’ hand helped us evolve into the humans of today! Anyway, don’t listen to me, check out these websites for info and how to’s: http://www.thebabywearer.com/ and http://wearyourbaby.com/

The dark side, for us, has nothing to do with babywearing; if anything, babywearing has saved our sanity (I don’t subscribe to the idea that it “spoiled” her or caused her to be unable to sleep alone etc…anyway, both babies reared this way and studies would contradict that). The dark side, I thought, was maybe reflux and a super sensitive nervous system. As I write this, I am bouncing on the yoga ball (our fourth in case you’re wondering), Sapphire’s sleeping in the ergo on my front. She’s over the ideal weight for a front carry (20lbs?) and the straps are adjusted lower so she can nurse so the buckle is on my neck. My back hurts. But she’s asleep. And yes, we try EVERYTHING to get her to sleep in other ways. I really don’t want suggestions, merely to share what you don’t see in my and many other happy blog photos. To tell you everyone struggles, especially with parenting, it is meant to grow us after all. But it’s been a hellish week. Adding a teeny stressor such as Sapphire being sick to the mix disrupts our whole universe. Whatever semblance of balance we had is gone. On a good night, Sapphire stills wakes 6 times. I believe wholeheartedly in elimination communication and cloth diapering…but we use disposables at night. I have a super sensitive babe, she will not sleep through being wet no matter what kind of super soaker cloth you get…and because she nurses more at night she pees more…anyway, if she was just a quirky kid who needed motion to sleep, I would gradually transition her to rocking *though hmmm that usually results in hours of struggle and screaming aftermath…. Or we’d just wait for her to outgrow the need. I know there are other babes out there, they come forward on the mothering.com forums and admit to bouncing until their babes were 2 years old…BUT as my little munchkin struggles to claw her way out of the carrier, arches her back, screams…as I spend hours a day trying to get a very exhausted baby to sleep who brings me the carrier saying “nap mama” but then seems to stay in a weird twilight zone of no sleep forever until she gets utterly frustrated…When I lay down with her to *try* nursing again and she tries and is falling asleep and then has to move over and over and I put her back on the pillow 20 times….When I let her whine and fuss for hours because nothing I do gets her to sleep and nothing makes her happy in her exhausted state…when my husband starts falling asleep like a narcoleptic at all hours because he is so tired from being up bouncing her most nights(at 2 am), and I am snappy and irritable because I only got 5-10 mins of sleep at once for nights (that is only when she is sick or cutting teeth, of course)….when this all adds up and I see it is beginning to rule our lives and getting WORSE as she eats more solids…well, I wonder what else is going on. I never thought I’d still be here with a one year old. And as mamas, we all know our babies…I know something is up. I just don’t know what yet… though from talking with other mamas I think it’s time to look more deeply into food or other allergies. So far the doctor, paediatrician, several naturopaths, physical therapists, homeopaths, energy healers and helpful friends and relatives haven’t cracked the code. I have faith we will, but it’s a long hard road.

I promise next post will be full of birthday goodness and happy things!

Please leave a comment for this post and I’ll enter you to win a free baby pouch sling from https://www.sevenslings.com/index.php/cart I have nothing to do with this company I just happened to order two “free” slings so this is my spare, it is autumn blaze design. I would suggest a wrap, ergo, or rings sling as your mainstay of gear though.

Peace,

Laura

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4 Responses to What you don’t see…

  1. julamber says:

    I’m loving the babywearing pictures! I have a ring sling and an Ergo and have loved them both though I REALLY want a wrap of some kind for my next one. Mine had to be bounced a lot when she was little but she outgrew that when she was an infant at some point. Sadly, now she doesn’t want to be worn anymore (she’s almost 2) and has not for some time because she wants to walk, run, not be confined. I miss our babywearing days. I never could master the back carry. I’m not coordinated enough I guess. I’m thinking if I could have she would still let me wear her on occasion….maybe. I hope you figure out what could be causing the sleep problems with your little one. 😦

    • Nice to “meet” you!
      Slowly but surely we are figuring things out with her… back carries are tricky but I had a mama show me a few times with the ergo and necessity of doing things like housework with a baby who wants to be up and is too heavy really for the front made me try it. Getting her down is a little scarier….
      you’re the only one who commented on here…wondering if you want the baby sling!?

  2. Jese says:

    hi laura,
    wish i could solve this for you, but it is more of a process than a one solution problem. as you know!!! it is clear to me, and hopefully to you, that sapphire has chosen the perfect parents to help her in this life. she does have some sensitivities, but they would be ten times worse if you weren’t so committed to attachment parenting and naturopathic treatments. you are doing an awesome job.
    i love the family pics using the carrier. you are right about showing the good times. there is always struggle untold. it is very powerful that you are sharing your story.
    keep on, warrior mama. best wishes for sleep tonight.

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