Wear all the babies!
When James came home from hospital, Scott took 2 weeks off work. We made up for lost time and held him all day, every day! I would feed him to sleep, and then we would cuddle him and waste the day away. When Scott went back to work, I tried to continue this routine, however I soon realized that without Scott doing the dishes and the washing (bless his cotton socks), I needed to get shit done! But I wasn’t ready to give up the snuggles, and neither was James! He had gotten used to the cuddles and trying to put him into his bassinet for his day naps was like handling a ticking time bomb (not to mention his reflux was a bitch & laying down wasn’t comfy for him)!
Thankfully, a lovely Mumma from work sent me a message (I swear she could sense my lack of productivity) and offered to lend me her wrap so that I could babywear. Not only that, she sent me video tutorials, tips and tweaks for wearing newborns, and then posted in the local babywearing support group asking for advice on wearing premmies (James was only 2.5kg at this stage). I don’t think she’ll ever know what that meant to me. After a lot of research and a lot of tips from experienced wearers, I strapped my teeny little man to my chest and in that moment, I felt more in love than ever before. James fell straight to sleep in his favourite place and my heart exploded with happiness. I can’t even describe the feeling, but it was as though he was back where he belonged, curled up in a ball as close to his Mummy as possible. He should have still been in my tummy at this stage, but wow, this was definitely the next best thing. From that moment, I was addicted! I wore James every single day. Some days the jobs got done, and some days they didn’t. But I didn’t care.
I remember feeling so anxious about wearing James when he was that little, so fragile and floppy. But I want you all to know that it’s possible, it’s magical, and the benefits are endless (for both Mum & Bub). Just ask Ashley, Mumma to 23-weeker Hazel. Ashley wore Hazel towards the end of their NICU journey and it helped Hazel settled, improved her numbers & cemented a bond that will last a lifetime. If you are still in hospital, don’t be afraid to ask your nurses if you are able to babywear once bubs is stable enough – you’ll be surprised how much they will encourage this.
I recommend using a woven wrap initially in the front wrap cross carry. This video is the one I found most useful when I was learning, it has some great tips & tweaks for the littlies:
It will take you a while to get used to, especially tightening the rails while holding bubs in place, but have someone help you for the first few times and you will soon master the juggling!
Here are the most important things to remember & my fav tips:
Use a rolled up facewasher behind the neck for support! This was a lifesaver for James and his floppy little neck – no if’s or but’s, do it!
Place bubs’ head back ever so slightly so their chin is up and you can see their face (I love the tip of learning forward & holding bubs close while tightening the rails to encourage this position)
Check head position frequently – if their head drops forward or back too far, this can obstruct their breathing
Tuck bubs’ legs right up under them in the wrap like a frog to avoid pressure on their hips. Premmies should not be forced to have their legs out of the wrap, but as long as they are in an M position they should be safe (try and imagine what bubs would look like through the wrap)
Yes, it WILL feel tight & high – this is good! Bubs needs support through their spine & shouldn’t be slumped
You may need to adjust it a few times throughout wearing – it is normal for them to slip slightly, but they should ALWAYS be visible and kissable.
You can bring the inner rail of the shoulder strap slightly over bubs head when they are sleeping for extra snugness, or if it’s cold outside (this is also handy in public to protect bubs from germs & nosey nelly’s!)
Remember, practice makes perfect! I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.