Note from Naomi: Today's post is an interview with the lovely Emma from Emma and Family. She is a 24 mum of one who lives with her partner. She has been blogging for about four months, and today has shared her experience of baby wearing with me.
How many children do you have and how old are they?
I have one child, a boy called Harrison who turned 2 at the beginning of November.
How would you define baby wearing?
I would define baby wearing as using a sling, wrap or carrier for as little or as often as you like. If you have carried your baby once and loved it then you are a baby wearer in my eyes.
For me, when my son was tiny I carried him practically all the time. I carried him around the house in order to get things done; and whilst out and about because it is so much easier than a pram or buggy - as well as lovely and snuggly.
What made you decide to baby wear?
I decided I wanted to baby wear when I was pregnant. I am quite into the whole ‘crunchy’ mum thing - although I would never call myself that in any kind of seriousness. I wanted to go as all-natural as possible so I breastfed for as long as he wanted to; I use cloth nappies; and baby wearing seemed to naturally come hand in hand with it all.
I was quite worried during pregnancy about developing Post Natal Depression, and had read that the physical closeness from baby wearing can often help prevent or alleviate feelings of PND. I didn’t develop it; whether I would have done if I hadn’t baby worn who knows but I like to think it helped.
Did you baby wear from birth?
I started baby wearing when my son was around 2 weeks old, that was when I got my first wrap. With my next baby I will probably wear them earlier as I already had a sling. A simple stretchy wrap is in fact my go to present for baby showers for new mums along with the offer to show them how to use it when their baby is born.
Are you still baby wearing?
I am almost still baby wearing. I would love to still wear him out and about regularly - as I live in an area great for hilly walks that are no good for prams - but as with many 2 year olds, he is far too stubborn to go up in my sling very often anymore.
If he is having a tired day I will still wear him and I still take it out with me just in case.
When do you plan to stop?
I am probably reaching the end of my baby wearing journey with Harrison now - because of his stubbornness - but if it wasn’t for that, I would probably carry on carrying him on occasion until he is old enough to walk reasonable distances; without throwing a temper tantrum because I didn’t let him jump in the puddle for half an hour that he wanted to!
Do you breastfeed and find that baby wearing helps with breastfeeding?
I did breastfeed, although I’ll be honest as say I never managed to get the knack of breastfeeding whilst baby wearing.
There are accessories such as twiddle necklaces available for use with baby wearing. Is this something that you use?
I didn’t use any kind of accessory with my baby wearing.
Does your partner baby wear too?
My partner baby wore once but he felt worried he was going to fall over or trip constantly so didn’t enjoy it. Which is a shame because I think if he had given it more of a go he would have loved it.
What type of sling(s) do you use and which is your favourite?
When my son was little I used a Boba Stretchy Wrap, and then moved on to a Moby Stretchy Wrap. I would definitely recommend stretchy wraps for when they are little!
I now use a Connecta - which again I love. It’s easy to use, comfortable and available in so many cute styles. They are both favourites for different age groups. I moved him up into the Connecta when he was around 5 months old I think.
What does your child wear while in the sling?
A sling counts as a layer when thinking of clothing a baby in a sling. So I also just followed advice for what they should wear in whatever the weather was and then subtracted a layer.
In the summer months when he was little he was just in a onesie pretty much all the time, or if really hot just a baby grow. In the winter I dressed him in a little more but I did also invest in a fleece that could be worn around us both to keep us both warm which worked really well.
I’m currently suffering with really bad PGP, SPD and other problems in pregnancy. Do you think someone like me would still be able to baby wear?
I didn’t suffer with SPD so I can’t say for sure. However once your baby is born - and you are feeling a bit more 'you' - then I’m sure you will be fine to baby carry!
In fact I imagine baby wearing so the weight on your baby being evenly balanced in your center will probably be better for you will be better than when you hold your baby - as we naturally hold them towards one side and balance their weight unevenly.
What is your favourite thing about baby wearing?
My favourite thing about baby wearing was being able to get on with things with my baby in my sling because he was a very clingy baby (he still is really); and didn’t cope with laying down in his Moses basket due to reflux.
Having him upright and with me without me being stuck on the sofa cuddling him constantly really helped me adapt to motherhood.
What is the top piece of advice you have for anyone considering baby wearing?
My top piece of baby wearing advice is to go and talk to a sling library if you are unsure but think you want to try.
They will help you find the perfect sling for you and give you all the advice you need to make sure you can wear confidently and enjoy the experience.
Would you do it again?
I would 100% do it again, I can’t wait!