I didn’t know much about baby-wearing when I was pregnant.
I had a baby carrier written down in my list of things to buy but that was primarily because I knew that I wanted to get back to some semblance of working really soon – here’s how that actually turned out.
The first time I wore Baby M in his carrier is one of those days that I will be telling him about until he’s 18. The word ‘Fiasco’ doesn’t do it justice.
He was only 16 days when we decided to go out for lunch as it was mom’s birthday. Admittedly, it was my first day using the carrier but M screamed the house down while I tried to strap him in. I bravely ignored my family’s comments on how I was damaging his spine by carrying him and made it as far as the restaurant. Then, I had to feed him and doing so in the traditional carrier was impossible. More so, he was only happy in the carrier outside the restaurant and refused to let me sit. He cried until gave in and removed him from the carrier. I burst into tears seeing my baby so upset and the less said about all the glares I received from family and guests in the restaurant the better.
Luckily, a couple of days later a friend of mine dragged me to a baby wearing event hosted by Mumbai Sling Library. It’s not an exaggeration to state that coming to this event changed my life. It’s here that I first found out about various ergonomic baby wearing options like wraps, slings, SSC’s and mei tai’s and more importantly got to try them all. At first glance they all seem a bit confusing to wear but Baby M looked so comfortable in the Cuddle n Care Mei Tai I tried out that I went ahead and ordered one.
And from that moment on wearing baby went from being a potential fiasco to something I now do to prevent a fiasco. Here’s why I simply love wearing Baby M now!
Better and More Sleep
Wearing M in the mei tai gets him snuggled in high into my chest and after he has observed the world from my shoulder for a bit he generally just goes to sleep with all the warmth both our bodies generate. Not only is it a great feeling having your baby burrow into you but he actually sleeps much longer this way (his usual nap length is 15 mins and something I am desperately trying to correct)
I was insistent in getting a car seat when M was born even though its not mandatory in Mumbai simply because its much safer this way and good habits are best formed early on itself! What I didn’t realise is that BawaGroom would have the car most days and I’d have to travel by cab (without the car seat). To make up for this I get M into my Mei Tai before we get into the cab and this way I know he is safely strapped to me. Added bonus is that he can no longer feel all the jerks from the potholes and/or crazy drivers and so he’s much more peaceful than if I had to carry him on my lap.
I was sold on ergonomic baby wearing the moment I found out that one can breastfeed in it! The first couple of times I went out with M in a cab and he needed to feed were traumatic. Between balancing his head due to potholes, inclining his body to the right position and wearing a ‘feeding apron’ so that the cabbie didn’t keep looking at me, it was too much to juggle. With M in the Mei Tai, I just have to scoot him lower, attach him and then put the head cover on and that’s it. Not only is it great for feeding in public but its also super in the home when I get annoyed with having to sit in one location hours on end when M goes through his cluster feeding stages.
Great for walks
The last thing on any mom’s priority list is stepping out to exercise – especially when there’s still so much to do in the house! I am trying to get back into going for a walk everyday, less to burn calories and more to get M a bit attuned to nature and fresh air. While we got gifted a pram, the roads in Mumbai are not suited for prams at all (unless you go walking in a mall) and carrying a baby in your hands for anything more than 200 starts getting uncomfortable. If you’ve got a brisk walk in mind, baby wearing is the way to go.
I don’t know about you but M seems to have some internal alarm clock which rings just when mom’s food is hot and ready to be eaten or when mum sits on the couch with a cup of tea. While I chalked it down to coincidence the first couple of weeks, this soon became a regular occurrence and since I love hot meals I started resenting have my food in peace. Not only that, going to a restaurant and keeping M entertained in the pram or on one’s lap became super hard as he only wanted to be stuck to me (Yes, I am that awesome). Solution? Baby wearing! Now, I put him into his Mei Tai while the food is heating up and then sit down for my meal in peace while he looks around everywhere or simply falls asleep. The downside is that I do end up spilling a lot of crumbs on his head but I hope he will learn to forgive his mum for that!
Have you tried wearing your baby? What’s the best thing about it – do tell me in the comments below!