Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wear Your Baby to Work

I'm a little late on commenting on the sling recall, but better late than never I hope. I had mixed feelings about the baby carriers/pocket slings that were recently recalled, and the little blip in the media that followed. I loved (and still love them, of course!) the slings and carriers that we used for Scarlett. In fact, I don't think we could have managed taking her to work with us for the first year, without them. We tried to learn how to carry her properly-and are still learning-and I think that is the most important message we can take out of this recall. It is important to wear baby properly & learn as much as you can about it. Unfortunately, we (moms and society at large) have not been raised with babies in slings, so many of us are learning as we go. It is sad that its more common to see babies in car seat carriers than slings.
I try to encourage new moms in our office to wear their babies, as there are so many benefits: to make life easier for parent & baby, to give the parent his/her hands back, to help attachment, less colic and crying, to enhance learning/cognitive development & really to just continue on with life! (Dr Sear covers this so well in The Baby Book). Not to mention that wearing baby is better for mom's spine than lugging around an awkward car seat, and has anyone seen all these babes with flat heads from car seats? (I'm sure the plagiocephaly is the least of the baby's concerns).
Not to be side tracked, here are some of the important rules about baby wearing:
  • It should feel like you're holding baby in your arms, but without your arms there!
  • Keep baby close enough to kiss (that means pretty high on your chest)
  • Be able to see your baby's face-no fabric covering his airway.
  • Knees higher than bum (or at least keep knees bent and like a frog leg position)
  • No chin on chest
  • No c-curves allowed in baby's back-put a small receiving blanket behind his mid back.
  • covers many more. I'd like to think that no one drives while wearing a babe, or jogs... but who knows.

I always packed our sling or had it available for Scarlett. My goal was that I wouldn't need to use it when I saw clients, but I could put her in the sling for all my paper work & phone time. Usually if she was in it and we were moving around, all was good. On our lucky days, she would sleep in the sling when my husband wore her and I worked. I've even used my sling to hold a client's baby, as she was trying to receive a massage and baby was crying non-stop in the car seat carrier.

We've made it so far with carriers from Baby Buddha, Ellaroo, and Hotslings, and of course there is a long list of carriers that I wish I had tried or purchased. Here in Calgary, we try to send everyone who is looking for a carrier to Babes in Arms, or Bo Bebe, because they are both so helpful in sizing for carriers and offering classes or pointers. I'm a little sad that we rarely put Scarlett in her sling anymore-occasionally she'll cooperate with a back carry, but its fun that she likes to run around instead and will usually/sometimes follow in the same direction we are heading.

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