My youngest and I are often attached. I've had four children, and this statement has been true of each one. It is probably more true of my two-year-old and I than any other -- though I did hold his eldest brother a lot. As an infant, I would comfort Ches often with my body. When he cried incessantly, exhausted and unconsolable, I wrapped him up against me, skin to skin. As with all my babies, I breastfed my littlest one for the first year of his life, and by then I had come back to where I started -- feeding almost entirely according to demand.
Always protecting. Always near. A reflection of our good Father.
I remember a nurse explaining how I shouldn't let my baby use me "as a pacifier" while I was trying to figure out this newborn parenting gig for the second time. Eventually, I realized I have nothing against being a physical comfort to my little one, so I was always the pacifier. Even now, though my breastfeeding days are well-behind us, you can still catch a little hand slipping under my shirt collar. To my children I am a sign of safety. To my youngest, I, physically, am a safe, comfortable place, often the only such place he knows of.
I don't generally force the children to stay with someone else against their will, particularly before they've developed enough language to understand my explanations. Daddy doesn't count as "someone else." Times such as Sunday mornings or at doctor appointments, I always have my youngest with me. I expect that the littlest ones don't understand me when I tell them I'll be right back. All they know is what is happening right now.
This is not to say that I never let my children cry. Anyone around us would quickly see this isn't the case. Kids get upset about a lot of things, and they cry out regularly.They cry when they fall or when they run into walls while looking at something behind them. They cry when their unrealistic expectations are not met. Sometimes they cry for no reason that I can tell. My husband and I do not, however, commit to follow tradition or fashion as we discipline our children. There are times when I've thought another mom would handle things differently, and I've come under enough criticism about spoiling my little ones that leads me to suspect we are outside of the norm. Still, if they are crying aloud about a need that they depend on me to meet, then I'll meet it. I won't leave them crying.
I wonder if children intrinsically know that the world is an unsafe place. And that not all people are to be trusted.
And that your mother and father are safety. Always protecting. Always near. A reflection of our good Father.
Check out WrapYourBaby.com for some helpful babywearing videos and step-by-step instructions for many different holds. Just glancing through the site now has me browsing through the about section. I love Diana and what she's done through this site.
The wrap I currently use is one I made from cotton and organic knit fabrics. I may do some more adjustments, but a wrap is simply fabric long enough to cover yourself and your child and strong enough to hold his weight. Making one is simple; still, the many options in woven wraps, fabrics suitable for the summer for instance, make looking into buying one worthwhile.
Check out Wrap Your Baby for some helpful babywearing videos and step-by-step instructions for many different holds.
Before finding WrapYourBaby.com, I used a Moby Wrap, which worked well. The one I have is of a winter weight, so it gets uncomfortably warm to wear. Usually, I'd wear it instead of a shirt -- often over a nursing tank while out. I found the front carry instructions to be simple to follow, and I liked that I could keep the wrap on while taking my little one in and out as needed. This came in handy as we decided to forgo getting an infant car seat with one pregnancy, instead starting out with the larger convertible seat.
It looks like there's a new Mei Tai-style carrier from Moby that would be fun to try.
Before the Moby Wrap, I had a sling from HotSlings, which I used constantly with my eldest two. This was before the controversial recall of sling-type baby carriers and also before the company changed over to their adjustable model. I loved the sling because of how simple it was to figure out and use. Also, it was small, unlike most babywearing equipment, and easy to carry around in a diaper bag. I could slip the sling on and off, popping my little one in and out, quite quickly. The full wraps are better in many ways, but they are certainly no match for the pocket sling's ease of use.