Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baby carriers for mom's little baby

I love finding new, interesting blogs and it turns out my latest find is a fellow Clever Girls Collective member. Thanks, Mail Carrier is by a mom of two who writes:
about the love that my daughters and I have for receiving mail and how happy the mail carrier makes us when he comes driving down our street.
She does reviews and giveaways of mom- and kid-friendly products. One of her November posts made me smile: an Ergo baby carrier for kids! Or more specifically, for their dolls.
Courtesy of ErgoBaby
I have loved my Ergo baby carrier and extol its virtues to every new parent who asks about carrier options. But I had to introduce my mom to the benefits of babywearing back when Ava was an infant.

While I was busy reading reams of pregnancy and child development magazines about new research in baby development, attachment parenting and the nurturing needs of newborns, my mom and aunts were convinced that the long-since debunked advice they'd been given 30+ years ago was all that was needed to whip this new, needy (in their eyes) family member into shape.

Case in point: Ava preferred to be carried a lot as an infant (still does) and would cry a lot with my mom initially, who split caregiver duties with J. for most of the day when I went back to work after three months maternity leave.

My aunts, calling from across the country to check in on the new grandmother and new great-niece, could hear all the crying in the background, and told my mom that holding the baby would spoil her and to feed her rice cereal from birth (!) to make her sleep longer and cry less. "That's what the baby nurse told me when your cousin was born," she explained. Said cousin now being in his mid-30s.

Ahem. I was SO not cool with that and explained (diplomatically) what doctors have learned about the immaturity of the infant digestive system and I trusted my gut, which told me that Ava just needed to be held and interacted with, not left in a swing or crib for hours on end, which was the norm back in the day.

So I took a sling infant carrier I'd been using at home to my mom and had her try it. She called me at work hours later to say, "I've had her in this thing all morning and she hasn't said a peep! She's just as quiet and content, hanging here on my hip just looking around." Oh really. Imagine that. :-)
Ava - 10 months
As an older new mom friend of mine told her skeptical mother who pooh-poohed her swaddling and babywearing techniques as 'Not what we did when you were a baby': "Yeah, it's amazing what can change in 40 years!"

We tried out several carriers after the Bjorn and the sling, finally discovering the Ergo. Ava at 10 months in the Ergo weighed much less than 20 pounds. J. and I loved that we could each use it it with minimal adjustment for each of us, rather than having to use separate carriers as we'd done up until then: one for his large frame and one for my smaller one.
Dylan - 9 months, Ava - 3 years
Fast forward three years and Dylan, at nine months, weighed about 25 pounds - just a couple pounds less than his three year old sister. But he still rode (and currently rides) comfortably in the same Ergo. He's 11 months and 27 pounds pounds now and though I still carry him for short trips out and about, afterwards, it feels like I've done a major buns and thigh workout, sans elliptical.

With Christmas just around the corner and Ava in need of a doll to replace one left somewhere while spending the weekend with my folks, I may spring for the Ergo Baby Carrier and a new doll for her. After all, it's never too early to teach kids how to be loving parents to their babies.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! Thank you so much for the mention, I'm so glad that my review could help be the inspiration for such a great read.

    Ava and Dylan are adorable and I couldn't help but laugh at your mom and aunt's parenting advice from 30 - 40 years ago. Times have clearly changed!

    Thanks again! :)