He was exceptionally irritable and cried constantly. Every time I tried to put him down, he would crumble in to a full-scale meltdown. It wasn't a situation that I could let him fuss a little bit to learn to soothe himself. He never just fussed a bit. Within seconds he would be crying, screaming, choking, gagging, hyperventilating and sick to his stomach. The only way to keep him calm was to have him attached to me. All the time.
Aside from keeping him relatively happy, babywearing helped me keep my sanity. It's beyond difficult to listen to a crying child all hours of the day and night. It was also the only way that I got anything done, even basic things like eating.
I have always been interested in the idea of babywearing. I like the idea of having my children close and and secure. I received a Bjorn as a shower gift with Baby J. I tried to use it and I tried to love it but it just didn't work for us. It was incredibly uncomfortable for both me and Baby J. I have since learned that despite being expensive and the most readily available carrier, it is also inferior to many others and can also be considered, in some ways to be unsafe. Bjorns and similar carriers are known as "crotch danglers" in the babywearing community (yes, there's a community - go check out thebabywearer.com) for very literal reasons. They can cause hip and back problems. I wish I had known that before I registered for one. I figured it out on my own though because it killed my back and Baby J hated it.
When I was pregnant with Bean, I knew I wanted to wear him since I was going to have two under two and I would need my hands to care for his super active brother. One day, I saw a Moby wrap for half off on babysteals and ordered it. Little did I know that it was the start of a minor addition for me and a great source of comfort for Bean.
A stretchy wrap like a Moby is great for the newborn stage. It got us through those countless hours of incessant tears. I really credit it with reducing his reflux because he was upright and had moderate pressure against his tummy.
If I didn't wear him when we were out and about, we would have to deal with an epic meltdown. Having him in a carrier also enabled me to nurse him discretely when we were running errands. He never ate well. A minute or two at a time. So he nursed very frequently and I wouldn't have been able to go anywhere if it wouldn't have been for my carriers. It became a way of life for us.
When he started to get too heavy for the Moby, I decided to try out some other carriers. I now own a Babyhawk, woven wrap, gauze wrap and a Boba. I bought Husband an Ergo so he could get in on the fun. It sounds like a lot of carriers, and it is, but they all served a purpose.
Baby J even developed a love for being worn. Every time Bean went up, Baby J wanted to be worn, too.
Bean doesn't need to be worn so much anymore. He's more interested in playing now when we are at home and he likes to be able to move around and look at things when we are out and about. I still wear him sometimes, though and we really enjoy the closeness. I'll never forget that that first year. Babywearing saved my life and my sanity. And there's nothing better than sweet baby snuggles...