Keeping Baby Close

I know I know, you spend all that money on a pram and you still go out and buy a sling wrap and/or a carrier. Yes I know they are basically the same as well but they both work in different ways and can also have pros and cons. The wrap was used more when my little one was younger as he couldn’t fit into the carrier properly, however now he is older it is quicker to use the carrier than to always set the wrap up. Then again if you are getting him in and out all the time the wrap is better because you can put it on and it just looks like a top. It can also be easier for him to breastfeed in the wrap if you get him positioned right. A wrap can also be used as a breastfeeding cover if you are out in public and don’t want to take mounds of fabric.

So why buy a separate carrying device as well as a pram? Well sometimes a pram is just not handy. We went to the local park to watch the fireworks this bonfire night, a pram would not have worked as it was all muddy, so having my little one in a carrier was perfect. It also meant that we were able to share body heat so I knew he would be warm enough. It is important to remember that you are sharing body heat when they are in carriers, especially a wrap, if you overdress them as well they will become too hot. It is important to keep checking them and work with layers instead of just putting them in the warmest outfit they have, then if need be you can slip some layers off. It is also useful when going shopping to have them on you rather than bringing your pram or placing them in the seat on the trolley. There was an incident not long ago where a child got very ill after being placed in the seat as they can carry lots of germs and spread infections, if you do use these seats please bring a blanket for your child to rest on, that you then put into the wash when you get home, or bring wipes so you can clean the seat beforehand as they are not cleaned after each child.

Skin to skin. I am led to believe it is not a normal occurrence straight after birth in a lot of countries, it is however part of the labour and delivery process in the UK unless mother or baby are too unwell to partake. If mother is not able to then the father is able to remove his top to do skin to skin with his child. You may have recently seen that in America a couple got charged extra for this as apparently it is hospital policy to have another nurse on hand to look after the baby. To us in the UK this seems a bit odd as we get one midwife, unless it is a home birth, even then they will leave you to it, it seems an odd concept that  you need a nurse to look after the baby while you are doing skin to skin as there is nothing for the nurse to do. However I am not in America, I don’t know if something happened for this to become policy so who am I to criticize this.

Don’t pay attention to people that say if you don’t breastfeed you won’t have that special bond with your baby. That is a load of bull. Something every parent can do is have skin to skin with their baby. This is the only thing breastfed babies get more regularly than bottle fed babies, as they are put to the naked breast and sometimes just to the naked upper half of the mother when it is convenient. It is normal for a breastfeeding mother to just be topless as airing their nipples helps when there is soreness. You can still do this if you bottle feed, all you have to do is find some time through the day, maybe morning and/or night, after a bath, just whenever you have spare time. All you have to do is strip baby down to their nappy and place them on you skin to skin. If you are cold you can drape a blanket over you both or place them inside your top. Skin to skin is said to regulate a baby’s temperature, breathing and heartrate. It is also a great way to calm them and make them feel safe and secure. This is also known as Kangaroo Care in the neonatal world. It is actually used as an effective treatment for babies who are born early or sick. It is also a good way to make baby feel less stressed after the traumatic experience of being birthed. There have also been many cases when babies have been born and are moments from death and skin to skin has helped them enough that doctors are then able to successfully resuscitate them.

You and your baby have been a duo act for the past 9 months. You have been everything they need for all their existence. Just because they are now out in the big open world does not mean they rely on you any less. They find being out of their little bubble scary and they need you close to protect them. You may also find that you want nothing more than to have your baby close to you, it is as if your body just craves their cuddles. This is why as awkward as it can be to learn to properly fix a wrap to you, or try and get a crying wriggly baby into a carrier, I promise you, both you and your baby will find it is worth all the hassle (and it does get easier to secure the wrap and get a wriggly baby in a carrier as you get used to it, I promise!)

It is also a great way to get housework done and help baby fall asleep at the same time!

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