Wrap-up and get babywearing

Guest post from Michelle Mattesini from Devon API.

My nearly 3-year-old daughter came across one of my chunky knit scarves the other tonight in a drawer she had not previously explored sufficiently. After various attempts to attach herself to the knitwear she was able to discover a way of enveloping her stuffed toy pig into the ‘wrap’ and allowing it to breastfeed! I realised that her blossoming skill is something I will be able to help her with if she chooses to babywear her own little ones. It struck me as strange that babywearing is something I do every day and yet something I had to learn as an adult – there was no inherited skill to be passed down or modelling to absorb or any direct wrap-related experience as a child that would infuse me with a sense of what to do. 

Michelle with her eldest in the Moby in Tromso, Norway during a house-swap holiday

I admit that the initial arrival of my 6m long Moby Wrap was tinged with the idea that this was unfathomably complicated and more Asian than Devonion. An Eeyore toy assisted in some pregnant wrap practice and I now hope  that rather like riding a bike, my ability to unfurl, loop, throw and tie a piece of fabric to turn it into a baby’s favourite place will stay with me forever.  The wrap was a Moby, a conservative choice in black, no rings or buckles and made in Thailand. What was made in the home of a Thai woman was then the home of our first daughter for at least 8 months. Sometimes I felt like a curious oddity, but very quickly I felt undressed without it! The benefits were wonderful – I have beautiful memories of looking down at her blue eyes as she woke up from a snooze, of friends cooing at her sleepiness tucked up and cocooned through the winter months, of being able to hold on to her when otherwise she may have been unnecessarily prodded, stroked or pulled away.

My husband loved wearing the Moby too – he would walk for hours along the seafront listening to audio books while our baby slept. I often stayed home tucked up and grateful for some precious extra sleep knowing she was safe and happy. My husband is a large guy so with his coat done up over the wrap on a cold day he cut a strangely malformed silhouette that was often only explained by the emergence of a tiny hand. That waving hand transformed my husband from would-be beast to adorable dad! As our daughter grew we bought an Ergo having read every review and blog posting and forum we could find – it became an obvious next step and that Ergo is now literally coming apart at the seams from near constant daily wear through the last stages of my first daughter’s babywearing life (via Spain, Portugal, Norway and further afield).

 I was excited about reviving my Moby for the arrival of my second daughter – I even went a little wild and bought a silk shimmer Moby D – but I couldn’t quite find a position that worked (that dodgy shoulder) so we bought an Ergo Heart2Heart Infant insert. After 6 months we are both weaning ourselves off the comfort of the insert and enjoying so much feeding in the Ergo that I regularly forget how eye-opening my profile view often is.

An elderly gentleman noticed our baby in the Ergo today and only later, when I realised I hadn’t bothered to pop my nipple back in my shirt, did I wonder what or who he was referring to when he said ‘what a bobby dazzler’! Even without the insert, heart-to-heart we remain and perfectly positioned for lots of love-gazing.

Next month we head to South America to stay with friends.  Travelling with the carrier always reminds me of how safe baby and I feel together, we can float through airports (even through security scanners) and having hands for luggage and other little hands is incredibly helpful. We also discovered with our youngest daughter that once she was up and walking, the wrap was great in crowded places because she was above the dangers of cigarettes, shopping baskets, elbows and licking dogs! The wrap also allows us places a buggy couldn’t go…through dense forest, small shops, across sand dunes, over the many stiles where we now live. Sometimes, not being able to see your own feet ensures a need for extra cautiousness, but it’s nothing pregnancy doesn’t prepare you for!

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