The benefits of babywearing

Have you heard of attachment parenting?  It’s one of those buzz words that seems to have sprung up recently and I guess it means different things to different to different people.  To me, it’s all about creating that all important bond in the first stages of life and being there to cater to the needs of my daughter, who at only a few weeks old needs nurturing while she develops the skills to do this for herself in the future.

So E isn’t attached to me permanently, hubby does his fair share of holding the baby, so to speak – but it was important for me to remain close to her in order to establish a real bond between mother and daughter.  Many mums find that bond through breastfeeding – because I havent been able to do that I’ve had to find other ways to create that closeness.  And to me that means being there to comfort her when she cries, feed her when she’s hungry, play with her when she’s awake and letting her nap on me (in the day) if she’s tired.

Constantly picking E up or having her lie on me did take it’s toll in the first few weeks and it was hard to get on with anything else in my life. I of course wanted the best of both worlds – not only did I want to have that bond with my daughter I also wanted to retain some kind of independence, well what I really mean is actually just maintaining a sense of normality and being able to do those everyday humdrum tasks without being constantly disrupted by having a baby (although I must say it’s an excellent excuse for getting out of a lot of the housework!)

The solution: Wearing my baby

I’d read about baby wearing when pregnant and thought it was something I could see myself doing. The only carrier I really knew about was the BabyBjorn so we picked up a cheap one off eBay so we could give it a try once E came along. However once E was here I couldn’t bear to put my little squish into something that looked so uncomfortable! I’d heard about a local sling library and decided to take E along to see if there was something more suitable for such a tiny baby! I didn’t realise there was so much choice, and now she’s bigger there’s even more, I can see how addictive it could become!

We started off with a stretchy wrap which was so comfortable and great for getting E to sleep, even while doing the hoovering! It was really easy to put on too so it’s a great starter wrap for someone with a tiny baby!
When we’ve had those difficult weeks with a crying, clingy baby the wrap was a godsend and helped me to retain some kind of normality whilst still feeling close to my baby.
I used it mainly round the house but managed to get out in it a couple of times (I might have gone out in it more often if it hadn’t have been so pink!)

Here’s a pic of me wearing E at our local nature reserve.

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Babywearing: Moving On

As E started to get a little bigger I found that the wrap was beginning to take it’s toll on my back so I wanted something a bit more comfortable. I also wanted something a bit more unisex so that my husband could wear E too as I know he’d been looking to it from before she was born! Back to the sling library I went!
I thought I wanted something really structured and tried a Manduca, a Boba and a Beco but as it turned out I just didn’t get on with any of them! I watched a demonstration with a girl trying on a Connecta and instantly fell in love! It looked so simple and comfy!
When I started doing some research I realised how many pretty designs there were and knew that this was the sling I was going to buy!! But which one to choose!
In the end we decided upon this Tortoise print – we love animals and it’s unisex so hubby is happy to wear it too!

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It came in so handy on our recent trip away – I wouldn’t be without it now! Trouble is I’m following the Connecta page on Facebook and they keep introducing new designs which are just beautiful. I wonder if I could sneakily buy another one…. Damn you statutory maternity pay!!

I’m after a ring sling next so it’ll be another trip to the sling library soon to see what pretty things they have to match my outfit!! 🙂

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Our first holiday

When we found out we were expecting E it was nothing short of a miracle and we couldn’t have been happier. I had one slight niggle – and it’s a really silly one – but my only regret was that I hadn’t had enough holidays!! The thing was we’d just come back from an absolutely lovely holiday and already had plans for a big trip this year (good job we hadn’t booked it) so finding out I was pregnant made me think of some of the things I may miss out on.

However I was soon excited about all the different types of holiday we’d be able to take – yes, we’d have to forego the luxury hotels but there was going to be plenty to look forward to and when I thought back to my childhood holidays I knew how much fun they would be!

After E was born hubby only had 2 weeks paternity so he was looking forward to another week off so we decided to make it our first family holiday and book ourselves a UK break. We were too scared to go abroad at such a young age – E was only 17 weeks – and also didn’t want to spend too long travelling in the car so we booked ourselves a cottage in Cumbria which is about a 3 hour drive away from home.

Here’s a pic of the cottage:

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It was so well equipped – we had all the home comforts that we needed including a travel cot for E and a high chair. She’s not weaning yet but she still had a go in it, she looked like she enjoyed it!

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It was lovely to get away – we didn’t do loads but it was nice just to be somewhere different and not be staring at the same old four walls.

It all went swimmingly

There were a few stressful moments such as forgetting to take any milk out with me on a day out and scrambling to find a supermarket that sold ready made milk (not so easy on the middle of the Lake District when you’re miles from anywhere) and a failed nappy incident at a Wildlife Park where E was up to her armpits in poo and we had to wipe her down in the boot of the car in scorching sunshine!   But there were plenty of great moments too, such as E getting to meet lots of animals at the zoo and we even took her swimming for the first time!

Her routine didn’t really get thrown off at all and it bodes well for the next time that we go away that it all went surprisingly well.

So I’m looking forward to getting away a few more times while E is still a baby (subject to how far the budget will stretch!) I know I’m not going to be jetting off to New York any time soon but I think a bucket and spade at the good old British seaside will be just fine!

Here’s a few other photos of our trip away!

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The Story of E – Season One Recap

As E was born on the vernal equinox (the first day of Spring) I thought it appropriate to refer to her progress in seasons! Normal people just count in weeks or months, I just have to be different!!

So E is now over 3 months old (15 weeks) and boy has she changed! It’s hard to believe that she’s the same tiny, squishy little baby from Day 1.

What’s she up to?

As far as official developments go she’s very alert and playful, she smiles (all the time!), she had her first giggle a few days ago and she’s starting to grab things (purposefully now rather than by sheer coincidence!).
I know a few babies who can roll over by now, which she doesn’t seem to want to do but she’s rocking tummy time – as you can clearly see below – so it probably won’t be long before she tries something new!

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We do a lot of activities at home but we always get out and about, even if it’s just for a walk around the block – or to do a circuit of nearby Cheshire Oaks.  Strictly window shopping of course!

We’ve also been to baby massage classes, Sing and Sign, Bounce and Rhyme (I’ll do a separate post about the classes) and E has made some new baby friends.  I’ve also got a couple of friends who’ve had their first babies shortly after me, so it’s been good to share similar experiences with them over a welcome cup of coffee.

E had her first bus ride the other day, which she thoroughly enjoyed (she’s very nosy so loved staring out of the window at the scenery and passing traffic) and we are going on our very first holiday soon, so there’ll be plenty more adventures to come!