Friday, January 22, 2010


Wearing my baby is such a sweet, wonderful, common-sense... theory.

I love the idea--my hands are free to handle household tasks and cuddle older children; baby is snuggled warmly and safely against me; supposedly, with some types of carriers, he can even breastfeed while I move about my daily business.

One of the differences between theory and practice is that in theory, there's no difference between theory and practice.

For me, I can't seem to make it work.

I have tried the breastfeeding-in-sling thing with Firstborn. It might work with practice, but I can't see making it work while in motion, so what's the point?

It kills my back. I've tried three types of carriers and every one is bad for my back. I end up in pain after even a few hours. Granted, carrying the baby around is at least as bad, so Love or I will often wear Peter when we are out and about and that's the easiest way to do things. But wearing Third is not an every-day around-the-house option because of this.

Skin to skin contact is supposed to be one of the best ways to convince a little one to breastfeed, though, so last Saturday I decided I was going to wear Third all day, at least for the day. The back pain was worth it to get him "back to breast." I used a carrier where plenty of skin would be exposed, stripped him to his socks, and buttoned a sweater around him. Not modest, perhaps, but I wasn't planning on going out.

Firstborn was most interested in my "baby shirt" and wanted one herself, so we found her a toy carrier so she could wear a doll--very cute.

Ideally I also would have done nothing but tend to the baby all day--but that wasn't happening. So I tried to do normal things--things like baking and unloading the dishwasher. Saying that I had my hands free would not be quite accurate. I did, yes, but there was also this large baby between them, impeding my vision and range of motion. If I bent over, I had to support him with at least one hand. Everything took twice as long as usual, at least. And anything that would require having something against my chest or stomach--like doing dishes in a sink or carrying something big--would have been an impossibility.

He also was not waking up well that day--maybe because he was too comfy, or maybe because he was getting sick--but I blamed comfiness and by Firstborn's naptime I was just holding him a lot, and putting him down when I had to do so.

I also don't cloth diaper or cosleep. I've tried making my own baby food and bread, but have never done much. (I'm not breastfeeding, either, but that I'm giving my best shot!) I admire all those fun crunchy attachment parenting things... but for various reasons, they don't work for our family.

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Anonymous Jodi said...

I've never been much of a baby-wearer myself. I use a carrier when we walk places out of necessity (two other little ones fill up my double stroller), but when we're home, I deliberately try to get my baby used to being put down. I totally get doing it to try to encourage bfing though, and I admire your perseverance with that!

I guess I'm crunchy in a lot of ways (have done some cloth-diapering, bf for over a year, even had a homebirth!), but on the whole, I'm not a fan of the whole attachment parenting thing. Of course my kids get plenty of love and cuddles from me, but it's also important to me that they be able to play independently, and feel safe and secure enough to be watched by someone else for an hour or two and (most importantly) go to sleep without my help.

I know many will disagree with that, and I'm certainly not trying to stat a debate. I just wanted to share what's worked best for our family. Hope that helps a little :)

1:28 PM  
Blogger Young Christian Woman said...

Yes, getting Third used to being put down is important to me--his sister never really got that as a baby, which worked okay (not great) when she was an only, but this time around, there's no way I can hold him all the time.

Hannah certainly plays independently. Sleep is occasionally a struggle.... She never went to sleep without breastfeeding for most of the first year, and when she was first weaned, she did go to sleep just fine. But now it sometimes takes a long time, especially for naps. Don't know how much of that is my fault for not forming better habits when she was little--but my mom says I was always breastfed to sleep, too, and I can fall asleep anytime, anywhere. But with Third, that's not an option, so maybe I'll find out the difference.

I've never really heard that AP makes kids less secure--the opposite if anything--but I know I would have a hard time leaving my kids if they didn't want me to go. Luckily, Firstborn is usually very good about that, if I take the time to get her settled in, and she knows the person taking care of her or at least gets a chance to hang out and bond a bit before I go. Right now, at least, Third just plain doesn't care as long as he's held and fed. Especially fed.

2:12 PM  

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