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Guest-Poster Day: Professional Postpartum Doula On Babywearing

Today’s guest post is by Lisa Erbes, Welcome Baby Care Professional Postpartum Doula, Certified Birth Doula, and Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. She is also the mother of two daughters: Erin, age 10 and Maia, age 8.

I have two daughters, ages 8 and 10. I took to wearing my oldest, Erin when she was a newborn, using a Maya Wrap. I started reading Dr William Sears’s book during my pregnancy, and knew from reading his words on Attachment Parenting I wanted to wear my baby! Once I found babywearing to be not only easy, but enjoyable, I never went back.

Newborns spend the first nine months of their lives inside their mothers,
gestating all the anatomical features they need to be PHYSICALLY functional
once born. But we forget that the second nine months, really the first YEAR,
of a baby’s life, outside the womb, is also a gestational period. This is
the time that baby is emotionally gestating… acquiring everything they need
to function emotionally and psychologically outside the womb.  This is the
time they learn to communicate their needs by crying, and they learn that
their cry has value because someone responds to them. Babywearing and skin
to skin contact are some of the easiest and most basic ways our babies learn
to trust the world, and this trust is called ATTACHMENT.

I wore both my children almost constantly until they could walk. My first
-born napped in only two places, her swing… and in my sling! Nowhere else
would do! Compared to my friends’ babies, who often were in strollers, or
carseat buckets, my daughter seemed to cry so much less and sleep so much
better than the other babies. She was an excellent breast-feeder…I fed her
in public all the time using my sling, and no one ever knew I was feeding,
it was so discreet. With my second, babywearing became an absolute must….
she was a “high spirited baby” who needed to be held and carried a lot due
to some sensory processing issues.  She only slept well while being held and
she was also an early crawler and walker (9 months!) and she got into
EVERYTHING! Wearing her kept her safe and the rest of us sane! 🙂

Because wearing my second baby kept my hands free, I rarely felt like I was
short-changing my other daughter, at the time 2 years old, by having to
spend so much time with her very needy newborn sister. I could still hold
her hand in parking lots, have her sit safely in the front seat of a
shopping cart (instead of my newborn being in her carseat in the cart), and
paint with her and play dolls with her, even while breastfeeding my newborn
in the sling….in fact, she saw her baby sister in the sling so often she
took to wearing HER baby doll all day (attached is a picture of Erin aged 26
months, 3 months after her sister Maia, was born, with HER baby doll in a
sling identical to mine).

I found that I could meet the needs of both my children by babywearing. It
made my babies happier and healthier and more securely attached. It made
breast- feeding in public easier. They cried less, slept more, were safe and
secure and most importantly, they were being held and fed and responded to
“on demand”…. The very thing they needed, to learn to trust the world and to
communicate their needs. Win-win!

And Don’t Forget–Free Book Giveaway!

This week we’re discussing Attachment Parenting and one sure-fire way to attach yourself to your baby is to wear her. This fun, picture-filled book teaches you the multitude of manners for sportin’ your little bundle of joy. Great for yourself or win it and give it to a pregnant friend. Here’s how to win Baby-Gami: Baby Wrapping for Beginners:

  • Comment below on this question: Did you wear your baby? Why or why not? If you are pregnant now or thinking of kids in the future, do you plan to make babywearing a part of your parenting practice? Why or why not? No criticism here ladies, just a chance to share perspectives. (make sure to leave your email or a link so we can contact you)
  • Contest runs until Saturday, August  2o, 2011 midnight CST.
  • Winners will be chosen at www.random.org on Sunday, August 21 at 8:00am CST
  • Increase your chances to win by letting us know (in the comments section) that you have done one of the following (you can perform several actions and leave comments for each to increase your winning potential!):
  • Twitter: following@babycaretweets = 1 entry. Click here.
  • Facebook: “Like” Welcome Baby Care = 1 entry. Click here.
  • Subscribe: receive blog updates in your inbox (click button above) = 1 entry.

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