I gave birth to my third son, Zachary, in January. My pregnancy was difficult, and because of it, I always worried about him. When he was just under four months, Zach fell critically ill with bacterial meningitis (a story for another time). While he was at the hospital, an MRI showed a brain condition called polymicrogyria (another story for another time). When Zach recovered and was able to come home, getting him back to being the baby I knew took some time. He had been so sick, he lost his neck strength and his energy. He was (and still is, save for some solids) exclusively breastfed, which I know aided his recovery greatly (more on that when I tell the meningitis story. Long story short, he didn’t really turn any big corners until I was able to hold him and nurse him. Take that formula companies). Before his hospitalization, I had ordered a baby sling. I was interested in babywearing after a friend talked about using a ring sling. I was pregnant with my second child at the time, and when I looked into it, I was being way too frugal, and decided the cost wasn’t necessary (I WAS WRONG!!!!). She was held most of the time, but babywearing in hindsight would have been so much easier.
With each child, I’ve become a lot more crunchy. With Zach, who is probably my last baby, I decided to throw caution to the wind and get a sling. I got a Balboa Baby from the askDrSears.com website, and I love it. It took some getting used to, but it allowed me to be hands free, which is VERY beneficial to a SAHM of three kids. When my oldest son was starting kindergarted, I learned that my husband would not be able to come with us to take him to his class room, meaning I would be wrangling all three kids myself. My first thought was to use the stroller, but I didn’t want to do that because of all the space it would take. With so much commotion, I didn’t want to add distraction. So I put Zach in the sling and had two free hands, one for each of the older kids. It was perfect. Everyday when I take Jacob to school, I wear Zach in the sling. Jake’s classmates love seeing him in the sling, and so many teachers and parents have commented on what a happy baby he is. Also, it was a godsend at a trip to the zoo earlier this year!!!
Wearing Zach in the sling is wonderful. He loves being close to mama, and I love being close to him. I love having my hands free to do stuff with the big kids. I’m still working on breastfeeding in the sling, but that will get better with practice. Since he was so sick, I have become even more of a hovering, clingy, attached mom. Wearing him keeps me from sitting all day in the recliner, holding him, checking his breath, analyzing all of his movements, blah blah blah. I can relax having him close to me, and this has allowed me to cut the cord little by little. I know he’s a calm baby because of the skin to skin contact. And his head is in just the right spot to kiss him as much as I want. He’s been through so much, and is just a little guy. I want him to feel safe and happy. All of his trials have set him back developmentally, and I want to give him every advantage I can. Two ways I do that are breastfeeding, to feed him and his brain as best as I can for the best development, and to wear him so he can feel safe and still explore the world around him. I know that by doing this, he will overcome his obstacles better than if I set him on the floor all the time.
I bought a moby wrap knock off, and I think I have finally figured it out. I wish I had it when he was born! Nay, I wish I had it when my OLDEST was born! If there ever is a fourth Wolfe baby (gulp), I will be using it as early as possible.
I never knew I would be into attachment parenting, but like I said, I get crunchier all the time. I know my family sometimes shakes their heads at me and my husband for some of the things we do, but dang it if we aren’t happy. My sister called me a hippy when I got my first sling. She said I was a nerdy soccer mom when I got my van too, but I DON’T CARE! I have such a happy baby. I held my other two kids (and still do) as much as I could, because babies are made to be held! They are supposed to be with their mamas as much as possible. If I’m a weirdo crunchy hippie for doing what I do, THEN SO BE IT!!! I will write more about my take on attachment parenting as this blog evolves.