Today's post comes from guest writer, friend and fellow doula, Piper Nard. She's sharing about a subject near and dear to my heart: babywearing. Enjoy!
I’m so excited to do a guest blog post! I’ve never been one before. Who am I? I’m Piper! I am known as the Babywearing Doula (BabywearingDoula.com). I am a certified birth doula (since 2007) and am also trained in babywearing! What is babywearing? Besides being a lifesaver, babywearing is simply using a soft carrier to carry your baby.
When I was pregnant with my first son Cale (9), I was given advice that I shouldn’t hold my baby too much because he’d become spoiled. I even heard that he would learn how to manipulate me early in his life by answering to his every cry. Every ounce of my being thought that all of this friendly “advice” was gibberish. My natural instinct was to keep him close to me so when I ended up with postpartum depression, that’s what I did. I kept him with me.
During my second pregnancy, I learned that the world of babywearing was so much larger than what I had found 3 years earlier. I started trying different carriers & researching online & found that it was more than just a helpful tool for keeping my baby close. That’s when my babywearing classes were born – August 2006.
For the wearer, it allows you to get things done! It curbs sibling rivalry and increases your confidence as a parent.
There are 4 different types of soft carriers: ring sling, pouch, mei tai & wrap. Regardless of which carrier works best for you, it is very important that baby’s anatomy & development be taken into consideration. A child’s spine does not fully develop until age 12. Who knew right? So it is important for baby to be allowed to keep his/her spine curved and not flattened out by a carrier or other device that we are told we need as new parents. The other important piece of information to remember is that a baby’s ball & socket joint of their hips is cartilage and doesn’t fully harden until around 2 years of age. Because of this, we need to keep our child’s legs & hips in the proper formation which
is a spread squat or froggy position. This means baby’s bottom needs to be below their knees and their legs at a 45 degree angle. Keep this information in your mind when choosing a carrier. A good carrier should allow proper curvature of baby’s back & proper positioning of their hips & legs. It should also keep baby in a natural carry so that baby is safe & secure and can’t slip down and fold in on him/herself.
Babywearing has come a long way since it was known as the “hippy” thing to do. Carriers come in a wide variety of colors & patterns for wearer & they can become quite addictive also!
Piper teaches babywearing classes in the OKC Metro. More information about her doula services, classes, handmade and resale slings can be found at www.babywearingdoula.com.
Love and Honey,