An ode to Babywearing
We love babies and we love babywearing.
Wearing babies is a tried and true tradition but some of us are relearning this ancient wisdom. Mothers and carers all over the world have worn their babies for centuries for reasons both practical and life saving.
Babies are born vulnerable and with needs. They are reliant on their mother for comfort, food and love. The fourth trimester is a time immediately post partum where both baby and mother are experiencing a unique transition: a new world, a new way of being. An explosion of experiences and learning; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Holding baby close on your chest they can smell you, feel your heart beat, hear your voice, see your face and feed whenever they need to, easing this other-worldly transition.
For a new parent, particularly a new mother healing from the birth experience and physically experiencing the power of hormones, having baby close to you helps you too. Your bodies are in sync, your breastmilk a life force for this new vulnerable being. Constant exchange and communication. Having the opportunity to be close to baby is important for you. Partners bond with baby through skin to skin experiences and they too provide a warm environment. You are both teaching baby about who they are and who you are, you are teaching baby about their home.
This is not an easy task, teaching a baby about life through actively loving and living. It takes emotions and your body and your soul. It takes away sleep and sometimes you don’t feel like you know who you are anymore. During the fourth trimester haze (and beyond!) you might not know what month it is, or when you last washed your hair or if you ate at all that day but it is all temporary and you are doing important work. The most important.
So wear your baby. To keep them close. To smell their heads and kiss them. To wrap your arms around them or stroke their hair or show them the leaves hanging from the tree. To take both of you for a walk, because baby likes it and you need to get out of the house and feel the sun on your face. To make that cup of tea and nourish your body with food, or chocolate - we’re not judging. You got this.
To teach baby the world but also learn baby: learn his early hunger cues or the way she opens her mouth when in a deep sleep, cheek pressed against your chest. Your body temperature and heartbeat regulating theirs. Their body at once still and in motion while being worn: learning, stimulated and growing.
The babywearing love affair continues as baby grows and your body continues to be their constant. They are used to being at eye level, interacting with people and their environment but coming back to their constant, you, when it gets a bit too much. You are used to talking to them, looking them in the eye and the kisses; kissing their forehead never gets old.
The time you wear them becomes shorter as they work on becoming mobile, independent little beings but it never stops being important. That connection is deep.
Wear your baby.