Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A peek at the world

For Maxwell that is. Max hit a big milestone today, he now wants to look out, snuggling inwards just won't cut it.

I was doing errands today, with Max in the sling, where he and I are happiest. I'm a big fan/advocate of the baby sling. My baby's love to be in there, feel comforted and close to mama and usually cozy in and fall asleep. I love that they are happy, and I love that my back isn't breaking while attempting to lug the heavy and awkward car seat around. So Maxwell's infant car seat is just that, a seat for the car, and most of the time I take him out for errands and plop him into the sling.

There's recent controversy about slings due to news coverage of infants suffocating in them. My response to this? As with anything, you need to be careful and attentive to baby. I didn't use the sling with Max until he was about three weeks old, when I felt he fit and it worked for us. And then in the early weeks of using it, you still pay attention that the baby is positioned properly and can breathe. Common sense really. Babywearing has existed safely for thousands of years, and I feel this panic is the usual media driven negative response to techniques that are old, assuming that new must mean better. But today's babies spend so much time alienated in plastic seats, from their carseats to their swings and their strollers, limiting their closeness with mom, and later, limiting their opportunities to explore. Seth's physiotherapist has even commented on the rise in cases she's dealt with of flat head's in infants from the combination of the new back to sleep recommendation and extended use in all of these hard plastic seats.

I made my first sling way back when Thane was a baby, a simple tube of fabric reinforced at the shoulder with four or five seams. I still use that one occasionally. I eventually bought another sling second hand, made by Peanut Shell, and on their site I came across an excellent section on how to position baby. It was a really helpful guide in how to use the sling, making the sling even more useful for me. Back to my original train of thought, up until now Max has been happily snuggled in the sling in the cradle carry, the position that works best for newborns, supporting their heads and snuggling them horizontally, in towards you. Today though, he kept squirming and just didn't seem content in the sling, which was unusual. Then it dawned on me, that he's almost two months old and maybe I should try the next position, where he can face out. I situated him around into the 'kangaroo carry', with his back to my chest and his legs curled up crosslegged, and all of a sudden he was happy as a peach, peeking out at the world, making all the passerby's melt at his cuteness.

My baby's getting bigger.

Claire, snuggled in kangaroo style in 2008, at 6 months old.

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