Melissa Kerkhove was born on July 28, 2004 after what seemed to be a normal labor and delivery. From the get go I questioned if she was OK. She slept from birth 10-12 hours straight without eating. She had very poor head control and she would always try to arch her head back. She was [...]
Carrying your baby in a baby carrier (baby wearing) has been shown to have many benefits for parents and baby. Some of the benefits include increased social skills, and brain development, less crying, less strain for the person carrying the baby, and the convenience of being able to do housework and still tend to your baby’s needs.
We have found all of these things and more in our experience with using carriers with our children. Carriers have evolved greatly since 1990, when our first child was born. We have used different kinds of front carriers, framed carriers, slings, Mei Tai, and wraps. We have come to love unpadded or lightly padded slings, Mei Tai, and wraps because they offer many carrying positions and are small and easy to transport in a diaper bag.
Certain carriers work well for other things besides carrying babies and young children. We have used wraps and slings to wrap around a chair to support a child not yet stable enough to sit in a chair and eat. Cloth carriers work well to cover baby up while nursing, sleeping, too sunny, or if it is cold. It also works as a burp rag. It can be folded up and used for a pillow.
We have found life with a special needs child to be tremendously eased because of using carriers. Most children with the types of special needs Melissa has have sensory issues. They do not like to be held or touched. This includes feeling things or touching things. This has never been an issue for Melissa, I feel, because she was kept close for hours a day from the day she was born. By using carriers with her we were also able to watch her close for seizures while still being able to get our work done. We kept her body in motion by carrying her and movement is health. Melissa has had very little illness. Melissa has not had the ability to sit up. Children who lay on their backs all the time tend to get flat heads. Carrying Melissa kept her off her back for part of the day and Melissa’s head looks pretty good. We have used wraps and slings by wrapping them around the handicapped swing at the park so Melissa would be supported to be able to swing. Melissa’s physical disability were so severe, at one time, she was not even able to hold her head up. We have been able to use slings and wraps in a variety of ways with her equipment to make the equipment work better for her.
If you keep an open mind the ideas for using carriers are endless.
There is a great DVD about wearing your baby. The DVD is called Tummy-2-Tummy. This video includes: ring slings, pouches, Asian back carriers, and simple pieces of cloth. It can be purchased on many of the websites I have provided below. I love this video and wish I would have known about it sooner.
For more information on baby wearing check out the following websites:
This website has a variety of carriers hand made by a local mom who does great work and pays attention to details.
This website carries pouches, slings, water slings, organic slings, and the Ergo Baby Carrier. You can purchase the Tummy-2-Tummy video here along with other baby wearing stuff and information.
This is a versatile Asian carrier created and owned by a mother. It has information about baby wearing and step-by-step instructions on how to use. This is one of the websites where you can purchase the Tummy-2-Tummy video.
Basic unpadded sling-website also shows different ways to carry.
This website carries the stretchy, versatile, lightweight Moby Wrap. It also has step-by-step instruction on how to use their wrap in a variety of ways.
This website has many patterns for all kinds of carriers and links to many other sites.
This website covers all forms of carriers. It has a forum to talk to others about the pros and cons of the different kinds of carriers.
This website is packed with tons of information about wearing your baby in a wrap. You can purchase the Tummy-2-Tummy video here. There are online how-to videos and directions for makings carriers as well.
Ring sling information along with other information about carrying your child.