Thursday, May 19, 2011

How Babywearing Benefited Us

While I was still pregnant with Maia, I came across this show that featured baby wearing. From that moment on I only demanded two things from myself -- that I should exclusively breastfeed and that i should wear her as much as I can. I wanted to breastfeed until Maia is 2 years old. But I didn't get lucky on that one, I had to undergo mastectomy 3 months after giving birth and my body totally stopped producing milk after the surgery. Having failed on my first goal, baby wearing became more than just a requirement for me. It felt like a test I had to pass or else I’m a failure. Yes, I was crazy like that. But it turned out to be a good crazy thing for me and for my daughter.


MAIA @ 3 months and trying out the ring sling for the first time

Since my body had other plans for me and did not cooperate on my breastfeeding goal, I went and got myself a ring sling. The first time I put her on it, she gave me a big yummy gummy smile! And so Maia rode her sling, and that made difficult things more achievable for us. I can do my chores at home while lulling her to sleep. I can run errands while she feeds (sadly, from the bottle). So we went to do more things together -- doctor’s appointments, took trips by land, by air and by sea, rode the MRT, took weekend strolls. We went to discover the world around us…with her on her sling and the sling wrapped around my body. It bound and bonded us perfectly.

Maia worn by her Dad while strolling and by me while grocery shopping

Eventually, we convinced her Dad to join us in our baby wearing adventures. It turned out to be way better – Maia got to bond with both her parents. We took turns wearing her till our shoulders gave up. Now that she’s two, we still bring our sling to our adventures. So just in case she gets tired of walking and running we can always wear her. And to date she still knows how to ride it like a pro! 




TRAVELING WITH MAIA USING A SLING, HERE AT THE ILOILO AIRPORT


I am glad I chose to babywear. I did not only prove to be very functional and practical (we survived the first year without the aid of strollers) but more than that developed in me a certain level of parental consciousness. I became more sensitive towards my little girl's needs. I became more responsive and proactive. 


Since baby wearing was really beneficial to us, I started encourage mommy-friends to try it as well. Some tried and succeeded, others never considered. But still, I am hoping that eventually more moms and parents at that, would try it too.


Here's a list of benefits that parents and their kids get from babywearing (text taken from ParentingWeb):

Baby wearing is common in many cultures around the world. Due in part to the promotion of slings in attachment parenting books, in stores and on the Internet, more and more American parents are learning about baby wearing. The sling is the most practical, comfortable and versatile method of carrying your baby. Unlike front pack type carriers and back packs, slings can be used for newborns and toddlers alike. Slings make breastfeeding easy and discreet, and slings are much easier on the easily wearied arms and backs of parents. 

The Benefits of Babywearing

-Wearing your baby helps you develop a secure mutual attachment. 

-Babywearing increases parental sensitivity to a baby's needs. 

-Babywearing simulates the sensations of pressure, motion, warmth and security of the womb. 

-Carrying your baby in a sling reduces her level of stress hormones. 

-Babywearing can greatly reduce crying and fussiness. It also helps your fussy or tired baby fall asleep. 

-Babies sleep longer and more comfortably when in a sling. 

-Sling babies have a reduced incidence of colic and are less susceptible to vomiting and excess spitting-up. 

-Toddlers who were/are carried in slings initiate separation sooner, and become more self-reliant.

-Babywearing has been shown to strongly benefit premature infants and lower their mortality rate.

-Parents who wear their babies can more easily accomplish daily activities, tasks and chores. 

-The natural movement and stimulation provided by being in a sling promotes neurological development.

-Babywearing gives children the message that they are safe, secure and loved. 

-Babywearing is the most comfortable way to hold a baby. You can use a sling on your shoulders, back or hip distributing your baby's weight evenly. 

-Wearing your baby in a sling provides her with constant and easy access to breastfeeding, and makes nursing in public easy and discreet. 



MAIA TRYING ON HER RING SLING 

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