The sling thing and other parenting stuff.

I do not think of myself as an attachment parent, or an earth mother type. I was quite surprised when told recently that I seemed to be a natural at it all, so not my personal opinion!

I breastfeed, yes, but that’s because on my research it appears to be the best way to feed a baby. And if you are doing anything, surely you’d want to do it the best way? I stuck it out with breastfeeding because I’m stubborn, and I wasn’t going to give up – it was a point of personal honour that Big never took formula to nursery with her, only ever expressed milk. She was weaned at a year though, as she bit :(

No cloth nappies that time around, though I did have a huggababy ring sling, can’t really remember why I got it. Must have seen somewhere that it was good for babies ;) And even at that point, despite the career and her start in nursery I was planning on home education.

With Small I was at home full time, courtesy of a redundancy package from the bank. He was cloth nappied, breastfed and slung, because it was easier. When he got to big to be comfortably carried in a sling, he graduated to an Ergo Baby Carrier, I <3 my ergo :) And he didn’t bite, so he self weaned somewhere around 2 and a bit.

He was a very easy baby though, and everything AP-style I did with him, I did because it was easier.

I don’t really understand when ppl are surprised by parenting in response to babies’ needs. It’s the way we are set up. My personal opinion is that breastfeeding on demand is likely to lead to fewer ppl with food issues – it surely can’t be helpful to start life by fooling the appetite by overfeeding to a schedule determined by someone other than the individual concerned? (which is not to say that I think formula should be banned and all mothers forced to breastfeed, I still think the most important thing for a happy healthy baby is a happy healthy mother and breastfeeding does not agree with all women!) Carrying babies makes them feel more secure, so surely will lead to more confident children, generally speaking. And cloth nappies just don’t ruin the planet ;)

So to soa and the slinging. I’m not slinging her although I do have a ring sling or two around. This is because the physio said it was a bad idea – I’ve only just discovered that the root of the pain I’ve had in my hip most of my adult life is down to legs that are markedly different lengths. So I have a heel lift in one shoe, and I’m supposed to avoid any activities that would load my body unevenly, and wearing a sling would definitely fall in that category.

Instead, I’m wrapping :) I was rather intimidated by the length of stretchy fabric to begin with, but with assistance from a handy friend and that stubbonness I referred to above, I got it cracked. Baby loves it, my back and hip love it, I love it. It’s warm for her, comfortable for me, and raises eyebrows wherever we go. Can’t lose really. I don’t often wear it just around the house, but have done in order to get stuff done, soa generally sleeps once she’s installed, as long as I keep moving, so it’s got to be good for the exercising too?

So, does all of this make me an attachment parent? Nope, it just makes me who I am. Each of my choices, to my mind, flows logically from a consideration of the best for babe and for me. And yes, sometimes I am tired, and emotional and would dearly love to be able to hand the baby to someone else and clear off for 12 hours sleep. But I know that this too will pass, and baby days will all too swiftly be forgotten. Unless I blog them ;)

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for ten years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

Comments

  1. Sounds a great solution, would love to see a picture : )
    .-= Maire´s last blog ..Our submission to the Information Commissioner =-.

  2. What a lovely typical Jax post :). Wonderful to read. I don’t have an urge to be classed as any type of parent after I’ve taken so many years to accept that I’m just who I am :P. Baby wrapping looks like a good alternative to slinging. Any idea to what age you could do that?
    .-= mieke´s last blog ..CRB Checks for Roboliticians =-.

  3. @Maire third picture down here is a looking down shot. Will have to borrow a pic from Big tomorrow as she’s got the ones of me wrapping :)

    @Mieke you can wrap babies on your back, so pretty much as long as you and they want to :)

  4. strictly speaking you are still slinging, it’s a wrap-round sling :-) as opposed to a ring sling, or pouch sling… and they’re all under the umbrella of babywearing anyway…

    and yeah, the attachment parenting thing is more or less by default of it being easier to bend with the breeze than fight against it…

  5. Yes, I get frustrated with the labels and assumptions. We just do what we think is best for our little ones, take the time to read up on things, and remain open minded enough to change our ways if necessary.

    We use slings (a ring sling and wrap) with DS (River) because it’s easiest and most comfortable for him. We also have a pram that we use at times because it’s basically a portable bed for when he needs a nap and we need a rest from carrying him.

    We EC because it’s easier than washing nappies and should hopefully make potty training redundant. However, he’s in his sister’s old cloth nappies a lot at the moment because he is teething and prone to unexpected and spectacular poos!

    We breastfeed (or at least Roxy does!) because every bit of evidence ever says it’s vastly superior to formula in every way. It’s also easier than sterilising bottles, warming milk, carrying the feeding gear around all over the place, etc. And cheaper.

    We co-sleep because research shows it is reduces the chance of SIDS by half. It’s also much easier to BF at night that way.

    We are baby-led weaning him and hope to avoid the food issues kids can gain from being force-fed food they’re not ready for with a weaning spoon from a (usually too early) early age. It can go on as long or as short a time as necessary – it’s literally up to him if and when he eats as he’s getting everything he needs from BFing anyway.

    We home educate because … well, you know all the many many reasons, but as a whole it’s because school is such an inefficient way of getting knowledge into kids, and such a good way of encouraging unnatural social responses in them.

    We don’t use punishments or rewards as it has been proven to us that such things often produce children who will do the Bad Thing anyway (but will do better at not being caught) or who will not do the Good Thing (if they aren’t likely to get a reward or praise for it).

    All of this, according to many people, makes us crunchy, alternative, attachment parents. I just think it makes us the normal ones. After all, we are doing pretty much what the majority of people of the world do and have always done since humans evolved. It’s the rest of the country that’s doing the alternative!

    Here’s a pic of River in a ring sling:
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3811373&l=941fd95e9d&id=572756353

    And one of him in a wrap:
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4396970&l=4ea4dee620&id=572756353

    Roxy’s done a video of putting River in the wrap on her back, and I must get it onto YouTube one day!

    Thanks for another great post! :)
    .-= Jem´s last blog ..The impact of the impact assessment =-.

  6. Mieke: Poppy was in the (wrap) sling until she was at least three. She could actually still go in it now at age 6 if necessary! With older kids it would be like an assisted piggy-back!
    .-= Jem´s last blog ..The impact of the impact assessment =-.

  7. I’ve wrapped my 7yos on my back :) What a lovely post :)

  8. Try a woven (non-stretchy) wrap- more supportive on a bad back.

    Not sure about the labels either- other than in than they’ve helped me find some good friends (who are also unsure about the labels!).

  9. “I’ve wrapped my 7yos on my back”

    At the *same time*.
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..Short week =-.

  10. Wow, even 7 yo’s! That’s good news! Am expecting a 5yo with attachment disorder and was afraid it might be too late for wrapping or slinging, but will def try it when appropriate :), as research proves (!!) that with these children it’s important to do the babying all over again.
    .-= mieke´s last blog ..CRB Checks for Roboliticians =-.

  11. @mieke will depend on size and cooperation levels I suspect – I certainly wouldn’t have wrapped either of mine at 5 as I wouldn’t have been able to walk very far under the weight ;)

    @sarah I’ve got a woven wrap on loan to try out, will be giving it a go soon, but the stretchy wrap is oh so comfy. I don’t have a traditional bad back as it were, my problems are all in the hip, I’m just being very careful not to aggravate anything.

    Wow, this post has really struck a chord with ppl!

  12. With Lynz being unable to carry Pal when he was tiny I carried him around in a wrap / sling that we made. I too had back problems at the time (Prolasped disc with sciatica down right leg) but found the close fit and centre of gravity thing really helped. Pal didnt like being wrapped from about 9 months as he was very active and preferred crawling etc, I mainly used the wraps around the house as I couldnt manage physically outside the house, walking long distances was a no go, so we tended to go everywhere in the car lol. sorry have waffled now.

  13. Mieke I have wraps you can try if you like :) Wrapped here mostly too.
    .-= Tech´s last blog ..Dreams and beliefs =-.

  14. Great post Jax. That answers my question then! ;)
    .-= Clare´s last blog ..Porridge =-.

  15. Ooo, Tech! That would be great! Not that I needed an excuse to come and see you, but the plan to travel your way has now gone up with another ten points!
    .-= mieke´s last blog ..CRB Checks for Roboliticians =-.

  16. After a baby who loved and loves any kind of slinging, I now have one who is really not so keen! But he doesn’t like the buggy either, so we have felt a little bit trapped indoors. He hates wraps, he hates mei tais (back carry worked a little better but not much) and he hates ring slings. Well recently we’ve had a little joy. But I am not holding my breath.

    Anyway, I still use all 3 types of sling with Mollusc who is GIANT and I can’t see that we’ll stop anytime soon, lovely :)

    Pah to the labels too – I completely agree with what Jem said.

  17. I found that my back was a *lot* healthier when I was wrapping – it deteriorated when I stopped.

    Incidentally, useful new website with lots of links to video demos of sling techniques: http://www.slingguide.co.uk :)

  18. i discovered ring slings when I was searching for an alternative to the frankly awful backpack but on your front thing I had (hope that makes sense) with baby number two (now nearly 9) fell COMPLETELY in love with it and have never looked back. it is the single most useful piece of baby equipment EVER – helps out my back and arms etc and protects them, and I can still snuggle and carry the baby while life goes on (as it does when you already have other children). It also works great with todlers.

    With babe no 3 I fed him in the sling standing at the touchline at football matches in winter A LOT, boy did it save our sanity!

    tbh, my parenting desicions are mainly based on my comfotable laziness! Slinging makes life SO MUCH easier for both me and baby, ditto breastfeeding and co-sleeping. Breastfeeding makes being out and about a TON eaiser, same with the sling, plus all of the above mean more sleep for me, sleep being a thing dear to my heart you understand and a requirement for me to be a near human parent, never mind a nice one.

    so while I think all the attachment parenting theories are great and noble and idealistic, if i’m really honest, my motives are a lot more selfish! :D
    .-= mamacrow´s last blog ..November non topic round up… =-.

  19. Yeah we had a front backpack for Big too, was seriously awful and I think went in the bin when I discovered ring slings :)

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