You've done the research, bought the sling and are completely committed to wearing your baby. So what does a new sling mumma do if their baby doesn't seem to 'like' being worn?
We've all experienced some degree of difficulty in those early days of babywearing, so here's a few ideas for successfully working through those hard times, and wearing your beautiful newborn successfully and safely. These tips are based on our own experiences of those early days of babywearing, and what we did to overcome our own personal hurdles.
- Practice the different carries first with a teddy or doll. The doll won't wriggle or cry like a newborn baby might, but the practice will set you in good stead for when the baby comes along. This is particularly important with a wrap sling, so you can understand the body mechanics required for wrapping your baby.
- Practice putting your baby in the sling when she isn't too tired or hungry. Often people use slings as a last resort as a sleeping tool (I certainly did!), with first attempt when baby is completely overtired. This may mean that the experience of getting baby into the sling is traumatic both for the wearer and baby - it is no surprise that many people give up if this happens a lot.
- Have your partner, friend or relative be a support person when putting your baby in the sling. Your support person can assist hugely by boosting your confidence and keeping you calm while you put the baby in the sling. They can also assist with the more difficult wrapping techniques. However, you may find that once you get your wrapping mojo, an extra pair of hands can be more of a hindrance than help.
- Enlist the help of an expert, preferably in person. Babywearing Wellington committee members are available to give advice whenever you need it. We also hold monthly slingmeets, which are a brilliant place to get some help and practice the different carries.
- Don't be rushed. Take your time to get the carry right and don't be afraid to start again from scratch if you need to.
- Try different carrier types. Sometimes a baby won't enjoy a wrap sling, but will love, love, love a mei tai! Sometimes the wearer will find a certain sling type or brand uncomfortable, but finds another type or brand to be the perfect fit. The Babywearing Wellington Sling Library gives you the opportunity to 'try before you buy'. We have a range of sling types and brands that might just be perfect for you.
- Be patient and keep trying if it doesn't work the first time. It may also help to have a break and come back to it again later (after a nice cup of tea and a well deserved piece of cake!).
The most important thing is to feel comfortable asking for help if you need it. We are a phone call or email away, and are ready and willing to help you with any aspect of Babywearing. Don't hesitate even for a second to reach out to us. :)
The Babywearing Wellington Team