Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adventures in babywearing

We're babywearers around here. Basically what that means is that instead of schlepping Her Majesty around in an infant seat, we put her into a sling or a pouch and go about our business with her snuggled up to Mama or Daddy's chest and at least one of our hands free to do other things. (At a recent Koala Mommas meeting, Elizabeth and I tried out a mei tai carrier and I think I'm hooked. Baby carriers are addictive things...like Trumpettes socks and Feltman Brothers dresses. But I digress.)

The reactions other people have when I'm out in public wearing Elizabeth in her sling have been very interesting. Many times, people are charmed by the sight of her all snuggled and sleeping. Frequently, if the observer is a mom with older (high school and up) children, she'll comment, "They didn't have anything like that when I was having babies!"

Actually, babywearing is a very, very old practice, but the only people who were doing it in the late 70s/early 80s were the parents who were crunchy before crunchy was cool. The first baby sling I ever saw was a homemade one that my partner for the eleventh-grade baby project brought in. His mom had used it with all three of her kids, and I thought it was really interesting at the time. Interesting enough that I remember it 10+ years later.

If the observer is a mom around my age, nine times out of ten she'll say "I tried a Maya Wrap/Peanut Shell/Hotsling with my baby, and s/he just HATED it!" I'm not really sure how to respond to this one, because most babies actually do like being cradled in a baby carrier as it's pretty close to the womb environment. Most moms, however, have never seen somebody put a baby in a sling or practiced it, and it does take some getting used to on both parts. I was sweating with nerves by the time I got Elizabeth into her sling for the first time when she was about a week old. She slept through the whole thing. Now I can pop her into and out of it with barely a moment's thought, and she smiles when she sees me put the sling on. The first few times, though, it was imperative that both she and I were relaxed and happy.

I feel like I should offer some help; I felt much more comfortable with various carriers and carries when experienced moms showed me how to use them correctly. On the other hand, I don't want to come off as pushy or preachy. I love babywearing and it's a practice with a lot of positive outcomes for both parent and baby and I do feel pretty passionately about it. Plenty of stores have started carrying baby carriers because they're becoming more mainstream; Target carries Hotslings and some Targets have Maya Wraps. What they don't have are people who are knowledgeable about the arcana of babywearing and can help new babywearers feel more comfortable and enjoy it more.

The other response I've gotten is "Nobody can see the baby's outfit when she's all wrapped up in that thing!"

Can't win 'em all. :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Flickr update...

LB added a couple of new shots to the site.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Meltdown in Reactor E!

Elizabeth is generally such a laid-back, easygoing baby that it's both shocking and distressing when she isn't. We've learned to recognize some of her growth spurt signs -- eating more frequently, fussing because she can't eat fast enough, spitting up for a couple of days before the spurt starts -- but the big sign is the nuclear meltdown crying jags she has. She cries frantically and inconsolably for anywhere from 20-40 minutes at a stretch and it seems like none of our comfort measures work for longer than a minute or two at a time.

According to the books, the next growth spurt won't be till she's about six months old. I hope they're right!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Family Update

Dear Elizabeth (or Gloriana as I sometimes call her) has been sick with a head cold which has made her (and her parents) miserable. Last night I came home to find a very tired wife, and a baby who just wanted to be held while she whimpered. I took us all out to IHOP for dinner, and tried to keep watch on them (more or less successfully). I ended up getting Elizabeth to sleep in her car seat. Sitting up was the only way she could sleep and breathe. She was still sleeping this morning when I left, and mother was dozing as well.

The weather is GORGEOUS, and was even cool this morning at 42 degrees. Leaves have started falling, and I'm hoping that perhaps we can go to the Greek Festival this weekend. Gina and I went last year and had a lot of fun doing so. We saw greek dancing, had GREAT greek food, perused arts and crafts, and generally just had a relaxing day. We also made "Big Fat Greek Wedding" jokes. Going this time and taking a baby is sure to get "oohs" and "ahhs".

My hope is to get out this week and take some pictures with my camera, as well as get some tasks finished around the house. A mirror needs to be hung, we need to call a handyman to do some repairs on our deck, and the yard could use some clean-up.