I WEAR. DO YOU?
Do you want to build a snowman? Whilst scaling Mt Everest with a child strapped to your back? Well, now, you can! In fact, you can do ANYTHING once you have discovered the secret art of BABYWEARING! Baby wearing, is a secret society, albeit, almost a ‘cult’ of likeminded, new-aged independent women who strap their babies to their bodies in order to go about living their lives with minimal disruption. They are superwoman who cook, clean and keep house whilst juggling the demands of a young child with ease. And what makes baby wearing even MORE fascinating is that most babies LOVE it. They feel the closeness to their mothers and they settle if they’re crying, they sleep if they’re tired and they relax in the safety of their mother’s arms, or chest or back as it may be. It quiets a colicky baby, it soothes their reflux and it comforts them when they’re sick. It’s a magical secret, but the word is getting out.
It is no wonder that BABYWEARING works – it’s a practice that’s been around for AGES – the Inuit wore their babies on their backs, the Africans did, and even the Welsh did! So it’s not a new practice, but it IS a good one! Try it and see – there’s no room for scepticism here.
So how DO you babywear? Obviously you need a baby – but what guidelines should you follow to do it correctly? We’ve used the T.I.C.K.S rule for safe baby wearing – which focuses on keeping your baby close and safe:
T – tight (slings and carriers should be tight enough to hold your baby close to you)
I – in view at all times (you should be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down)
C – close enough to kiss (by tipping forward you should be able to kiss your baby on the forehead)
K – keep chin off the chest (at least a finger width between babies chin and your chest)
S – supported back (in an upright carry your baby’s back should be in a “neutral” position with their tummy and chest against you).
Instructions start getting complicated when we start talking carriers, wraps and rings and slings! But it’s an enjoyable and pleasurable pastime. There are Facebook groups, walking groups, baby wearing meets and expos – but all with one simple, common theme – “We are all in this TOGETHER!!” So it may be the current trend of the moment – but I’m PROUD to be a baby-wearing mother. I’m proud to be accepted into a group of wonderful strangers who I can rely on for help and advice when the stove boils over, the baby is teething, you’ve had barely five hours of sleep all week and you’ve run out of coffee. It’s nice to know – you’re not alone.
Images taken from: Wrap Your Baby.com. Home-Page. Available: http://wrapyourbaby.com/blog/2013/02/cultural-babywearing/. Accessed: 18 August 2015.
About the Author: Charlene is a physiotherapist – and a good one at that. She has an adorable and vivacious 10-month-old named Elijah who keeps her extraordinarily busy whilst she is not running her business or volunteering in the local community. She teaches at Curtin University, School of Physiotherapy and is often seen instructing a Pilates class with Elijah strapped securely to her chest.