You already carry your tiny baby and you will give birth soon. The transition from the womb to the new world is not a smooth happy journey for everyone. You might be the exception and then you can prove me wrong. But hear me now and we will see later.
Every baby is unique and every mother is unique. I truly believe that mothers have magical skills to bring new life to Earth. To create something from nothing. Mother Nature and the nature of Mothers will always keep me inspired and I will never stop admiring Mothers. While there are not two births the same, one thing is always the same. Babies grow in the body of their mothers and they live a life before birth and after. The life before birth is a peaceful lullaby which is torn apart by a sudden storm to put baby into a new life where nothing is known, nothing is peaceful – only the Mother.
Every baby needs time to process this transition. No exception.
There might be babies who immediately accept everything they get, this is how their personalities will shape their behaviour. Others might fight for a while but will adapt easily. And then there are babies who cannot tolerate changes so well. Every baby will need his mother but some will need more attention than others. And this is life. This is normal. This is natural. If you do not feel that your baby wants to be in arms that much, you might be right. There are babies who are happy on their own and they are very busy observing the world from day 1, and there are babies who want to be carried all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They might suffer from reflux, might have other problems. Also we see babies with different needs and in between the ’leave me alone’ and ’never leave me alone’ types. However, if your baby wants to be carried, you will feel the urge to pick him up and hold him always and forever.
And you can.
Carrying your baby forever is one of the best thing you can do for your child as long as your child is happy with that.
You can carry your newborn in arms, most common is the cradle position. Always be careful that you support your baby’s head and you hold him under bum against gravity. Try not to put any pressure on the spine nor the neck. Always make sure that you keep checking the airways; nose and mouth should always be visible and at least two fingers should fit in between his chin and chest. This is the same when you carry your baby in upright position. Make sure that you support your babies natural position and you do not force him into any position where his spine is straightened or his legs are over spread. Then you can carry your baby in your arms close to your chest. You can sit with him, you can relax together.
What happens though, if you need both your hands? Or if you are a type who likes eating alone and not just being fed? What if your child really wants to be carried more than your arms can support you?
This is the stage when your most gentle solution is to pick a sling.
It will give you back your two free hands, it will help your baby remain content and calm. You will be able to interact more and you will have a chance to know your baby better. It is your choice. It is not the alternative to a pushchair, it is not a competition how expensive your sling is. You can choose as you like. A baby knows nothing about slings but that they want to be carried (and some love to be carried a lot).
A baby carrier is just a tool to help you. It will not make you a better or worse mother however, it might make you more peaceful and relaxed.
The next article will tell you more about the benefits of a sling.