This is my first Works for Me Wednesday. I often read my friend Aimee's Work for Me Wednesday and then head over to rocks in my dryer to see what others find works for them. Anyhow, what works for me is babywearing.
I am the proud momma to two cute and cuddly boys. My oldest is 2 and while we came to baby wearing a little later with him (3 months old) we did a lot of babywearing. I haven't done much wearin with now as an independent toddler but all of my carriers would allow me to if I wanted. My youngest is just 2 months old and has been in one of my carriers or another pretty much every day since we were released from the hospital.
Why does baby wearing work for me? It frees my hands so I can do other things. It allows me to have my baby close which often helps put him to sleep. I have been found, sitting in front of my laptop or on the couch watching TV in the evening with the baby in either one of my pouch slings or my cuddly wrap. Although, once a baby is asleep, it isn't terribly difficult to take them out of these and put them down in their crib/bassinet/bed. Baby wearing often helps soothe my baby when he is fussy. Have you read The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.? He says that in many cultures around the world, babies do not suffer from persistant crying. Dr, Karp goes on to explain that in these cultures, the babies are held almost 24 hours a day, fed on demand (I would assume via breastfeeding), and are rocked and jiggled quite a bit. This is similar to life in the womb, Dr Karp explains, and is why these cultures seem colic- free. While many moms have been able to figure out how to babywear and breastfeed with the carriers I have, I haven't. But that hasn't stopped me from trying, or from keeping on nursing my littlest man on demand.
Some examples of times I babywear- at the grocery store (I put my toddler in the up front seat of the cart and wear my infant, leaving the beasket of my cart free for groceries instead of being taken up by an infant car seat), at the health centre/lirbary/ bank/ any errand/store (I either let my toddler walk holding my hand or put him in the easy to transport and set up collapsable umbrella stroller and wear my infant), at the park (this allows me to push my toddler on the swings, follow him up the slide, help him on the climbing structures, play ball with him, blow bubbles with him, fly a kite with him all the while wearing my infant).
But you don't have to wear just the infant. You can wear a toddler as well. Last summer while I was visting my brother in law and his family in Seattle, I took my then 1 year old son out for a walk in his stroller hoping it would help put him to sleep. My then almost 2 year old neice wanted to come along but no other adult was available to come with us (my husband and his brother were out and my sister in law needed to nurse her then newborn). So I took out one of my handy dandy ERGO carrier, strapped her in on my back and away we went. My neice had so much fun up there, singing with me, playing with my hair and pointing out all the things she knew in her neighborhood.
I have 3 different baby wearing carriers. I use each one for different reasons but I usually use at least one of them each day. I have the Ergo baby carrier and the infant insert. This was my first baby carrier, a gift from a good friend when I had my first son. (thanks Lana!)My hasband says this is the least "girly/mothery" off all the carriers I have and since it is adjustable, he can use it as well. I have the pea pod cuddly wrap. I have heard many people say that this looks so complicated but nothing could be further than the truth. Yes, it is one big, HUGE piece of fabric and yes, I could see how just pulling it out and trying to wrap it aound yourself in the parking lot in the rain, mud, snow, slush could get very dirty and annoying, I have a solution for that! If I know I am going to want/need to use my pea pod wrap that day, I just put it on once I am dressed and before I leave the house. I can wear it without the baby in it, under a zip up sweater or jacket when it is cooler, or over top my tee's and tanks in warmer weather. Then I just plop baby in and go as I need. And if you need to readjust, you don't have to take the whole thing off. It does take a little practice, as does anything, but it is so worth it in my opinion. I also have 2 pouch slings. Similar to but not "official" hotslings. I have two because I have one that I wear with thin clothes in the spring/summer and then one a little bigger to wear over heavier clothing in the fall/winter.
Ryan in one of my pouch slings:
Adam in the Ergo on a hayride:
These aren't the best but here is a photo of me holding Adam when I had just taken him out of the cuddly wrap to nurse him at the park and then agian with him back in it (and I have a brown sweater on as well) going to do bubbles with Ryan at a party we went to at the park. The pea pod cuddly wrap is new to me. While I had seen them before, I didn't get one with my first so I have few pictures of my cuddly wrap in use yet!
Babywearing...works for me today and everyday!