Yes- I am late on this as I am on most things but I did not forget about it.....International Babywearing Week (yay! score for the calender!)
Those of you who know me know that I was a slow convert to babywearing but am now a devotee and the proud owner of a small-ish stash.
One of the reasons I have become so devoted to babywearing is because of my status as a NICU mom. As a mother in the NICU a helpless feeling is par for the course. There is a limited amount you can do to help your baby grow, recover, or learn- even fewer that you can do to help give your baby the best start possible. One of those things is kangaroo care. Skin to skin contact has been shown to help babies tremendously. It is great in the NICU but it can be harder to dedicate hours at home to snuggling a preemie on your chest. Babywearing is a fantastic way to hold your baby close to get some of the benefits of kangaroo care and still live in the world (somewhat).
I love ring slings for this purpose. Snuggled in an upright front carry my 3 lb babies have been very content. The sling is supportive enough to cradle them securely mimicking a feeling of being back inside me, while allowing them to hear my heartbeat, feel my warmth, be comforted by my scent- and as they grew they could nurse there snuggled close and loved. My now 19 month old and 3 year old still love the time in the sling.
Babywearing did not start out to be an extension of kangaroo care for me- it started as a necessity. I had too much to do and carry and not enough hands to manage- at first I was skeptical- I thought the sling would be complicated, hard to use, or just plain uncomfy. How pleasantly surprised I was to see that NONE of that was the case.
After I mastered the ring sling I branched out a bit- Mei Tais, Wraps, Soft Structured Carriers....all have their purposes- their drawbacks- their plus sides. But I use at least one type of carrier everyday- in fact I hear my 19 month old having an issue now- as she is teething- I bet that she will feel much better after some time on my back- and I will be calmer too.