Then she arrived. I remember this crushing over whelming sense of responsibility that I had to feed her and ultimately keep her safe and alive all day every day FOREVER! But I didn't have a clue how to do it?! How do you get a newborn to sleep? When do they sleep? How often should she feed? Why does she cry when I put her down? What do I do ALL DAY LONG?! After the initial haze of the two weeks of my husbands paternity leave had ended, I thought it was about time to venture out. ON.MY.OWN. We lived up two flights of stairs at the time and it turned out that Bethany would simply not be put down, or go into a buggy at the grand old age of 2 weeks. (I had no idea that baby would want to be held all day?!) and actually trying to lift a buggy down the stairs with a baby post episiotomy wasn't going to happen either.
Enter the sling. I really want to tell you that it was magic, it saved the day, and I became the attached parent I was always meant to be. Wrong. It was a bloody nightmare. I got it out, it was one of the very basic original baby bjorns. No back support just a few clips to do up and a bit of adjusting. Could I do it? Nope. I cried hysterically instead because if I couldn't even put on a sling on my own I must be the absolute worst parent in the history of the world.
Now, I'm not for one moment suggesting that anyone else will be as useless as me, but you can see why now I'm such a big fan of getting a sling AND, crucially, learning how to use it before baby is here. When I did finally get to grips with baby wearing, it did save my sanity. Bethany (and all my babies) wanted to, naturally, be in arms all of the time. But sometimes, mummy had to eat, or pee or take the dogs out, or rest her arms, or do something with the other kiddos, or walk down 2 flights of stairs! Bethany, like many other babies didn't do this magical "settle on her own" trick the books speak of (books which I panic bought and read while feeding my 2 week old) but I did discover very quickly the sleepy dust which only a sling can bring. Hurrah!
Lessons to learn from useless me? Baby will want to be held, baby will need you all the time (why didn't I realise this?!). Babywearing helps that. Get a sling and learn how to use it before baby arrives! If you're expecting for the first time, or this is the first time you've thought about baby wearing, or you've got a friend who is expecting...come along to a sling library session :-)