Keep them close

( Image from The Littlest by Sarah Yates)

If there was only one piece of advice I could give all new mums it would be to carry your baby close to your heart. Babywearing has been around forever, it’s only in fairly recent western history that infants have been expected to be separated from their mothers, put to sleep in cots and pushed at arms length in strollers. Then there’s that nugget of wisdom that a baby will be ‘spoiled’ if you hold them too much. To me that just makes no sense. What does make sense is holding them close, letting them hear your heart, feel the rocking motion of your walk,  and listen to your voice.

Like most newborns Lachie fed often, cried a lot and slept in painfully short bursts. Then a friend lent us a sling and suddenly caring for this tiny little human felt so much more natural. When he woke I fed him, often while I worked at my desk. When he started to cry I would walk with him, the gentle sway of the sling and the beat of my heart lulling him to sleep. I walked everywhere with him snuggled close to me, like he had been all that time in my belly. Everyday tasks and outings became so much easier. I didn’t have to choose between having an unsettled monster or the use of my arms. Eating out at cafes, going for walks, doing the groceries was so much more simple. And besides the practicalities, I loved having Lachie close to me that I could bend down and plant kisses on his impossibly smooth forehead and breath in that inexplicably sweet new baby smell.

As Lachie woke from his newborn haze and started to take in the world he would watch in amazement as we walked, taking it all in as I described our everyday adventures. And because he was up high, at adult level, people would often talk to him and even if they didn’t he was still there, part of the conversation, his sponge-like brain soaking it all up. As he has grown the carrying positions have changed but we still do things together with him cuddled close in the sling. I’ll admit that having such a physically active toddler does make it hard to ‘baby wear’ at times as he’s prone to try and backflip outta there but a pram often isn’t any easier. We’re planning some overseas trips in the next six months and I know ‘wearing’ the monster will be the best way to get around in countries that have notoriously dodgy footpaths. It will be a good excuse to finally get the highly coveted (in mummy circles anyway) Ergo Baby and maybe even one of these beautiful slings.

I’d love to hear about your experience of babywearing.

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5 comments
  1. Jess said:

    Beautiful, Laura. I couldn’t agree more! I just wish I had the opportunity to wear Leo more often. Next time, I’m getting a sling; not a baby Bjorn.

    • lauragofton said:

      Thanks Jess. I had a baby bjorn first too and even when Lachie was tiny it still hurt my back. It’s crazy that they are so expensive but so crap and yet so popular. They must rely on their marketing to first-time mum’s who don’t know any different.

  2. tinystepsbigjourney said:

    I used a moby when my wee one was just wee. Now we use the ergo, and I love it. I have been wearing her or holding her since birth, and will continue to do it. As long as she will let me. To soon it will change to “what ever mum” and her hiding in her room.
    I still get the you need to put her down more and you hold her too much from far too many people. But I don’t care.

    • lauragofton said:

      Hi thanks for taking the time to comment. You’re so right, they are little for such a short time that it will all be over in a flash. I’ve found most strangers quite positive or at the very least intrigued when I carry Lachie in the sling. Lots of mums would ask where I got it from, was it comfortable etc. I’m already missing carrying him a lot, think I need to invest in an ergo so we can continue on.

  3. Jaclyn said:

    I have been wearing my little guy who is 5 weeks now and I love being so close to him while doing everyday tasks. We are still getting the hang of it with our sling but my husband has been able to participate as well and it’s so sweet. We have an Ergo which I am looking forward to using when summer comes around and he has a little more head control. 🙂 i too have coveted the beautiful Sakura bloom wraps, they look so lovely and the fabric appears so breathable.

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