Keeping My Baby Close To My Heart

I never planned of babywearing when I got pregnant with Baby Shiko. I wasn't familiar and educated about it. I see people using baby carriers but I never knew that there are a lot of benefits from it aside from the convenience when we need to bring our baby with us somewhere. A friend of mine introduced me to a Facebook group named Babywearing Philippines. I got curious and started reading about it and I found out that the principles behind it all makes perfect sense. The benefits of baby wearing are also supported with scientific research and proven studies. Of course I cannot write everything in this post, and I know there's  a lot of questions (and superstitious beliefs, and myths about raising a child), and this blog post is not written to persuade anyone, but for me to just share my baby wearing experience. If you are interested, I encourage you to research and read about it on your own. I am sure you will also be amazed with the facts. Babywearing International is a good place to start.

I was in high school when my mom brought home a baby monkey from the mountains of Mindoro. We named him Robin. He was so cute and was very small. His bskin appeared bluish in color because his hair hasn't grown yet. I did not know the whole story as to what happened to his mother, but poor little Robin was only a few weeks old when he became a part of our family. I imagine how anxious he must be to be separated from his mother so early in his life. During his first few days with us, he would attach himself to my leg (or to anyone's leg that's available) and would hysterically cry when we try to detach him. He would also not sleep at night, and we would hear his heartbreaking cry of loneliness and fear, unless my brother cuddles him in his arms. We figured out, that in order for him to survive in this world that is so new, and so wide, and so complicated for him, feeding alone is not enough. He needed to feel secure, safe, warm, and loved.

I share this, because this came to mind when I started to understand how important it is for my Baby Shiko to always feel close to me. I find it funny that I needed to use our pet monkey as an example, but I realized that both baby animals and humans have similar needs. The first few days of Baby Shiko at home was chaotic as he would always want to latch on to me, and would always cry whenever I put him down. Well-meaning friends and relatives advised us to just let him cry so he'll get used to not being cradled and it will be more convenient for us in the long run. I did want convenience of course, especially that I was still recovering from the pain of my CS Operation, but my mother's instinct always told me to pick him up whenever he cries. To embrace him, to rub his back, to comfort him and to let him latch on for as long as he wanted to. It dawned upon me, that indeed, my baby not only needs to be fed, or to be diaper changed, he needs to feel secure, safe, warm, and loved because this world is so new, so different, so wide, and so complicated for him.

Shiko was only 6-week-old when I started wearing him using a Ring Sling. I bought our slings from an online shop named Shadrach's Collection. They have beautiful designs to choose from, and I am proud to say that they are all locally handwoven. I've already purchased two slings from Shadrach's, the first one is Lime, and my most recent purchase is the Goddess of Beauty. Shiko is now more than 7 kilos and I can attest to their quality and comfort. Mommy Jen, the owner of the shop is also very friendly, accommodating, and supportive to answer the questions of first time baby wearers like me. I highly recommend her shop if you are looking for budget friendly slings and wraps with good quality.

Shiko just turned four months and so far we're loving it! I don't only wear Shiko when we go out, I also wear him at home. I am able to get some light chores done, and I am also able to do some graphic designing and video projects. As I am writing this, Shiko has already been sleeping on my ring sling for almost 3 hours. There are times when he would even sleep in it for four hours straight (he'll wake up only because he's hungry). More than having both of my hands back, my favorite benefit of baby wearing is feeling intimately close to my baby. I noticed that he would at first feel anxious when we bring him out to church or to the mall because there are so many things happening around him that are so unfamiliar to him, but because he is closely attached to me, I can sense that it makes him feel secure that he can hide his face in my chest whenever he wants. This reduces the possibility of him being overstimulated. I love that he gets to explore his Mommy and Daddy's world without feeling overwhelmed or afraid. He knows that he is safe and close to Mommy's heart. 

Shiko also started having regular, long, good night sleep when we started baby wearing. He's been sleeping for 12-15 hours every night since he was 6-week old. He would latch on while sleeping when he's hungry, and would seldom wake up when I change his nappy. I've read that researches found out that baby wearing for three hours a day reduces infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours. We can attest to this fact! Maybe they cry less at night because they're no longer seeking for reassurance because his need to feel secured has already been provided throughout the day. Being often on skin-to-skin contact with our babies also increases the milk production of our bodies,  so yes, I also give some credit to babywearing for our four months of exclusive breastfeeding journey.

Overall, Babywearing has been a blessing to our family. Every mother wants what is best for their children, and I am thankful that God brought people in my life to help me learn and discover these things. I hope this blog post also encouraged you the way I was encouraged by other Moms who has been doing this for many years. Happy Babywearing! :) 

My first time to babywear.
Shiko at 6 weeks.

Baby Shiko's first worship service at CCF.

Ringsling: Lime by Shadrach's Collection

He loves being worn!

Close enough to kiss! 💋

Ringsling: Goddess of Beauty by Shadrach's Collection

Keeping my Baby close to my heart while working some graphic design and video projects.

Sleeping soundly at Church.

Rare moments when he is awake while I'm wearing him.  Our ringslings come with a lot of sleepy dusts!

Sleeping Shiko during Bible Study Sessions.

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