Well, looks like Monday flew by...it seems like that today but it dragged on Monday. I'm getting less & less long night sleeping now, so I sleep when I can. I think Saturday I finally conked out at 3:30 am...I was so restless & baby was Mr. Ninja/hiccup central. Who knew how much that would interrupt sleep.
Anyhow, on to another choice I have made as I move into mommy hood: wearing my baby. I don't mean wearing his spit up or last night's rejected peas. I'm talking about slinging my baby....like people in many other countries do the first few months of life. OK, some of you may say "Now, you are REALLY going to spoil your baby!" But am I really? I have been looking into this for months to look at the pros & cons. Quite frankly, I see more benefits that show I won't spoil my baby, rather I will build trust with him that will last his life. I want my son to know deep inside that he can always come to me & rely on me to meet his needs to the best of my ability. Letting a kid "scream it out" so early in life seems to build distrust & a feeling of needs not being fulfilled.
Let's be clear here...I'm not saying that when my baby is a year old that I am going to not have limits for him. By that time he is mentally maturing & from watching my friends kids closely--you can tell when that happens, whether it happens at 6 months or later. I am also not saying that I'm NEVER going to put my baby down for a nap or give him time to himself. At night he is not going to be in a sling sleeping with me. First, that's dangerous & second, I need some time to recuperate from the day. If I am going to rest & nap, baby gets a nap in his bed too. I am wanting to "wear" my baby as I begin to run the house again, doing chores & the like. I want to wear him at the store so I don't have a bulky plastic carrier to lug around with the groceries. When on errands or even around the house, I can easily stop & feed him at the right intervals without exposing myself to the world or having to mess around with a nursing cover--what a bonus!
Plus, the slings I bought all have been certified as safe & never have been recalled in the umpteen years they have been sold. I chose New Native Carriers. They make slings in all colors & help you with the sizing if you need it. They have a return policy that is fabulous. If you find your sling doesn't fit you anymore or you got the wrong size, you can simply make sure it is clean & stain free, call them, then send it back & have them help you find a new size that will work better! I haven't found many sling companies willing to do that...what a guarantee! (Now, you have to have bought it new from them or from an approved retailer & have the receipt too, but still...that's more than most companies). I have another sling I love from SevenSlings that I got, but it only had a 14 day no questions asked return policy that someone had to pay extra for! Luckily they picked the right size...well, the right size when I don't have a huge belly anymore!
The book I reviewed yesterday, "The Happiest Baby on the Block" suggests slinging your baby, as does Dr. Williams Sears & quite a few other doctors recommend this for fussy babies especially. I plan on not letting my baby become "fussy" if I can. So, I figure it can't hurt to wear him from the start. Even Daddy has a sling his size. He's actually psyched about it because it means his hands will be free when its his turn. Also, who wouldn't want to reduce baby crying to a minimum? I know it wrenches your heart to hear an upset baby cry out. I want my little guy to feel secure with me, then I can hear his other noises signaling he needs something before he gets really upset & I have to calm him down before I can do anything about it.
This also doesn't mean I won't play with my baby and start him off sitting up during the first year. I'm mostly going to sling a bunch the first 3-4 months & taper it off as he get's older. Then, I will use a front carrier after 1 year old & only use the sling in the toddler style in a pinch (or if we are traveling to save on space) if need be. I want some baby time to play with him too, not just spend my whole day doing chores and other things!
One thing I've been learning from all the books I've been reading is that only YOU & YOUR HUBBY should have the final say on what you do with your little one. Its your decision as the parent, you need to do what you feel in your heart is best. Read, research & find out the most you can about all this, but ultimately you should never let someone tell you "This is the only & best way to handle your baby/kid/teen." Take advice with a grain of salt, consider it & decide if its something you want to incorporate or not. If someone ever pressures you (or a book, website, doctor, minister/pastor, friend, daycare etc.) that what they are saying is the "only" way & you shouldn't modify it or you are a bad parent, you need to disregard that person's opinion. Take what you can from the info, but I would caution using it without thinking or looking at other advice. I will discuss this later in detail, but I thought I would get this out.
Also, if you are a friend, sister, or close to any lady who is a mom or pregnant, please resist to make comments such as "You aren't going to do _______." or "I hope you decide to do ______; its best for your baby." or even nag them about doing something you found useful--once is enough. If we don't use your advice or resources, don't take it personally, but I would suggest making your advice easier to accept. If you have research, ask if I would like it if I don't ask first. If I have a question, feel free to give me places to go to get answers, but never shoot down another mom's decision. She may have taken a lot of time & thought to her decision & honestly, its her choice whether you like it or not. I say this because I see alot of women who feel they need to "show" you how to be a good mom. While we new mommies do need some help...I know I've been reading & researching like crazy--I feel like I'm back in college with a final exam coming up that I DO NOT want to fail! The only difference with being a new mommy is I'm finding there are very few things that are absolute don'ts (i.e. shaking your baby, abusing emotionally & physically, ignoring depression, and forgetting to take care of yourself) but it seems most is all what you feel is best. Help us out but don't be pushy. Take time to see where we are coming from. That's why I'm blogging these "decisions" because I want moms to feel free to read these at their leisure, take what they want & make their own decisions.
We should all give ourselves & other moms that freedom with their choices.