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Monday, November 8, 2010

Entries for IBW'10 Contest 6: My First Babywearing Experience

Entry 1

Despite having two kids already I only started babywearing only recently on my third child. I was actually more then ever determine to embark into babywearing this time around as the previous time I did not have the chance to do so. Furthermore back then all these babywearing gears was not easily made available, nontheless I was willing to try. I made extensive research on the type of babywearing gears and at that point of time with the limited amount of budget plus thinking of the challenges that I might have to go through in babywearing i.e think I’m the only one who will babywear for the first 3 months thus I decided to go for the Sized Pouch.
My Babywearing experiment started possibly before the end of my confinement, wanted to start sooner but since I am a c-sec case thus only manage to experiment after the 30 days. At that point I have started doing extensive housework like laundaring and so sometimes the baby needs to be carried. Coping with a recuperating c-sect scar and babywearing was a whole new added challenge altogether. I was not really scared but rather anxious and apprehensive.
Initially I would have wanted to try it out with my husband, then after a few thoughts, scared that he might disapproved of me trying to babywear while confinement I decided to just go ahead and try it on my own with the most confident state of mind and when I am ready. Standing right infront of a big mirror all alone with the baby and also looking at the leaflet manual, it was infact an interesting juggle for me.  For the first time lucky enough baby was co-operating rather well despite the shortcomings of me being totally clueless on hands on babywearing. Scooping the baby gently and supporting her on one hand before trying to lay her in the pouch as infact not so easy. I thought I might break her in the process and me being small too it does have some form of psychological effect. I was holding on to the baby quite oftenly thinking that she might just slip off or something, But the baby didn’t even cry, she was only making squeking sounds, probably thinking my mummy is trying to learn something here I must give her space to do so…  She seems to like it but after a while I realise that I was actually doing it all wrong! No wonder I felt something was amidst, I didn’t fold the pouch as it was supposed to. Lucky me and also baby, nothing bad happened. I was infact carrying the baby as if I was a STORK!!!!! I was thinking. Gosh!!! I’m a total IDIOT. Adjusting the baby while trying not to hurt her or simply accidentally bending her as well as trying not to touch my scar was infact the biggest hurdle for me. That did not deter me to try again the next day. Thus after a few rounds on YouTube Learning, I finally got it right.
Entry 2
My firstborn was a fussy baby. He needed to be carried during the day… He needed to be carried during the night. My husband and I would take turns to swaddle him to sleep, day and night. By the time he is content enough to sleep, it’s time for the next feed. Looking back, it seems like we’ve accomplished a very challenging task.
All through confinement, I’ve been thinking of this piece of cloth I’ve seen people use to swaddle their babies… something I saw with rings on the shoulder. I did not know a thing about the terms ‘babywearing’ and ‘slings’. I did not even know where to start searching.
When my baby was about 3 months, the Parenthood Expo took place in Mid Valley. We grabbed the chance to visit it, hoping to find something we can use to carry baby in. Surprisingly, back then, we knew that the crotch type carrier is not what we want. It was where we learnt there’s the ring sling and the pouch. Somehow, the ring sling did not appeal to us so we went for the pouch. Inexperienced as we were, we went for a size that suited my husband (who’s 3 sizes bigger than me) so we could share.
Back home,  I was very excited to start wearing my baby while my suspecting in laws looked on with fear and anxiety. “Are you sure this is safe”, they asked. My husband was very supportive and kept persuading them it will work.
Baby in hands, cradled… legs in first… we try to remember the steps. Sadly, it did not work out (remember I had a pouch 3 sizes bigger) as we wished it would. Baby seems very wobbly in there as though he was going to fall. It was not safe at all. Without thinking twice, my Father in law took the baby away, deeming the pouch not safe. It felt that way to me, too. I wondered why…  it seems so comfortable for both the adult and the baby when we looked at pictures. “Well, pictures can lie”, I thought to myself. “They are advertisements, after all”, I kept thinking. As a result, the pouch got stashed away for the next few months… until I gained confidence to start all over again (that’s another story).
Entry 3
Place: Our bedroom
Time: Morning
Date: March 2010

Mumbling to myself (monolog)
"Ring sling - checked!
Baby - awake - checked!
demo videos @ youtube - watched!" 
Am i confident? Yes!
Am i happy? Absolutely! :-)

Okay, i need to do threading now.
Pull the tails through both ring...easy
Now i have to put tail over first ring and through the second ring. 
ok...looks fine and the fabrics is not twisted. 
Now, i have to spread the fabrics evenly get twisted now...
Oh,,,why i can't find the fabrics end????
looks all cramp here


Yes, above is the first baby wearing's chapter in my life. It actually started when i came across baby wearing articles to deal with fussy baby in internet. I fall for ring sling and can't help thinking to get one for me. Hence, when we accidentally saw a ring sling during shopping at one baby store, i grab it without second thought. 
It is a cotton ring sling, very thin cotton and come with big steel ring. It cost me only RM 39.90 and was wondering then why people pay hundred dollar for ring sling. Hahahha...

Okay, threading had took me forever and it was time to put Alesya in. She was very supportive. Enjoyed her every moments and it motivated me to keep on trying. Put her through was not difficult but to adjust the ring sling, really tested by patient. The fabrics got twisted and it looks horrible.

However, after struggling i managed to do tummy to tummy, cradle carry as well as forward facing style. It hold Alesya nicely but was with ugly twisted looks ring sling. Oh, my happy meter drop to zero!

Yes, my first experience was not a beautiful one yet i never lose interest in baby wearing. I I study from forum and learn from seniors whom had their experience with ring sling. I'm happy that i bought another ringsling made of linen which definitely a right purchase. 

I still keep my first ring sling but i have expand to another ring sling and two SSCs. I'm glad that even though i had reason to give up on baby wearing but i don't. I take that as a challange and it worth more when knowing that i made the right choice for Alesya too.

Entry 4
My first experience in babywearing using DIY Batik Sling
I came across babywearing in a forum while searching for breastfeeding info. At that time, I was not really interested on babywearing and believe that a mama who pushes a stroller looks more stylish than wearing the baby like ‘bibik’. But when the topic became more interesting, I thought of give it a try. I bought a pair of ring from a local online store with no idea on how to do the threading. Despite of referring to the illustrative step by step instruction from Jans Andrea website, I still failed to thread it. My hope to babywearing was almost dying.
My First Babywearing Gear: DIY Batik Sling
I met Shida in a gathering in Penang. She was really helpful to show me the correct way to thread the DIY ring sling. I could not thank her enough for helping me on this. I was excited and nervous at the same time. As you can see in the photo below, my hands were holding Hadiff’s bum. I was actually afraid that he might slip from the sling. If the image is in video mode, you could see that my hands were actually trembling! I was also afraid that the cloth might slip from the ring as there were no stitches to hold it. However, the feeling of wearing my baby was precious and I was really proud of wearing him, my best accessory. Hadiff was very understanding and he seemed to enjoy the closeness we shared. I felt like I had found a new passion. I bought my own batik on the very same day and that day I became a converted babywearer.
I used the batik sling almost everywhere, to the mall, night market and even when we were visiting friends. I did not care if I looked like a bibik though I used to get such remarks once in a while. To have a calm and happy baby is more important than the way I looked. Now the obsession has turned to addiction. Having a new baby, means new carriers and I really love trying different types of carrier like wrap and mei tai. Babywearing a gift for me and my children.

Entry 5
My first babywearer was a sling, a beautiful and soft sling. I used it when Ethan was younger and felt it is helpful and many people will ask about the sling and admired it.
But as you see at the picture, the baby position is not exactly right (chin can't touch the chest), lucky Syaz from Jumpsacbaby told me so that i won't repeat the mistake ;)

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