Friday, November 16, 2007

Bjorn Again

After our second doctor's appointment the other day (the Little Guy's almost back at birth weight - yay!), I headed out to a nearby baby store to buy...a Sling. I didn't use a sling with the Boy, I was too intimidated by the mounds of fabric. We used the Baby Bjorn instead. For the most part, we were very happy with it too, with the exception of the backaches from prolonged wearing. Still, our Bjorn served it's purpose. We used it for many a nap or stroll in the neighbourhood. The amount of spit-up covering the fabric shows just how much use we got out of it.

This time around, though, I was determined to try the Sling. I wanted to be more organic, more "Earth Mother-ish". I kept seeing all these women using a sling and it just looked so...natural. I wanted to be more natural too. I wanted to prove that I had learned something from having been a mom already. I wanted to show that I could relax and just enjoy motherhood. As far I could see, you could be one of two types of moms:

A) Sling-Wearer (ie. what I aspire to): Effortless, casual, primal, can breastfeed anywhere without embarrassment, born mother, always has the answers, this mothering gig is so easy I could handle ten babies, looks not a day over 30 eventhough she has two teenaged kids kind of mom.

OR

B) Bjorn-Wearer (ie. me): Complicated, make things harder than they have to be, clinging to active pre-baby life, how can you make your baby sleep in that position, awkward, doesn't know what she's doing, breastfeeding is a challenge, will probably buy the Thighmaster and get breast implants before she's forty kind of mom.

Anyways, I tested out a couple slings in the store and brought one home. That's when things went downhill. I couldn't make it work! It wasn't comfortable! The Little Guy was screaming, and that was the only way I could tell that he wasn't suffocating in the folds of fabric.

How was it comfortable in the store, but NOT AT ALL when I got it home??

Yesterday, I exchanged the Sling for the Active Baby Bjorn. It's comfortable. It's me. Maybe it's about time I just accept who I am. Which is not so very bad a person. Or mother. If I can be comfortable with that, it won't matter whether I Sling or Bjorn.

He won't care either way...


33 comments:

bubandpie said...

I've got Sling Envy too! I've had exactly that thought process so many times. I bought a wrap thingy before Pie was born, determined to do better with my second child (even though I'm pretty sure Bub would never have stood for any kind of cradle-hold: the only way to make a sling work would be to manoeuvre him so that he was totally upright - i.e. exactly the way he would be in the Bjorn, ern, Snugli). The wrap worked great with the stuffed monkey toy I tried it on, but I could never get it wrapped tight enough around my actual squirming baby to be comfortable (or safe). Now I have Wrap Guilt as well as Sling Envy (50 wasted dollars!).

the dragonfly said...

We couldn't use either. The Little Mister isn't at all fond of being confined in any way. So...it's either carry him, or push the stroller. We survive, of course, but sometimes I wish I had some kind of carrier...

Kathryn said...

Oh my WORD! Look at those cute little baby armpits! So cute!!!!
I have a hard time with slings too. I bought a cheap one from Target because I was so confused by the million I found online, and I had no way to try them out. The sling was a bit uncomfortable for me but luckily the little guy liked it and I was able to get some stuff done around the house occasionally.
Whatever works, right?

DaniGirl said...

Ha! So true, except even the Bjorn was a little too earth-mother-y for me the first time around. The second time around, I even MADE a sling, with fabric and the sewing machine and everything... how much of a keener am I? It was okay, but not great. I only used it maybe a dozen times or so.

I'm determined to try again this time around... although I blame my propensity for big babies for my lack of success with these things. FWIW, I've been told the sling actually works better with slightly older babies, in the 4 - 6 month range.

He is just WAY too cute, by the way!

Emily said...

I couldn't sling with the first but could with the second. That was because the second was stronger and had more neck control. So, he could breastfeed in the sling, which was a good thing because I could push a swing and breastfeed at the same time.

I like the Bjorn better. It is easier on the back.

b*babbler said...

Ah, the sling. It took us forever to learn how to use the sling before Peanut really liked it. She definitely took better to the Bjorn (although my back didn't). In the end we ended up with both a sling and an Ergo.

I love the little baby armpits. So adorable!

MaryP said...

I have a sling, which I have used with dozens of kids over the years -- and I don't really like it. But I'm cheap, and I bought the damned thing, and dammit, I'm going to use it! Besides, I have few alternatives: I like Snuglis and Bjorns even less.

It could be I'm not using it properly, but after all this time, I don't think so. What I don't like about it is that you (well, I do) always have this feeling that, in order for the kid to be totally secure, you have to hold the outside with one hand. Just in case.

Which kinda defeats the whole hands-free idea.

I do like that, UNlike the more complicated Bjorn or Snugli, when the child falls asleep I can slip out of the sling and leave them sleeping somewhere. THAT's huge.

If I were still caring for really small babies, I'd probably make my own damned sling. A secure, non-fall-out-potential sling. So there.

painted maypole said...

i never liked the sling either... too much weight on one shoulder...ouch!

by the way, someone just gave me the recording to Spring Awakening, and who did I think of? YOU, of course! :)

Badness Jones said...

I could never manage a traditional sling, but I bought a 'Peanut Shell' sling at BellyBumpsandBabies in Richmond Hill and they were amazing about helping me get the right one, and told me to bring it back if it wasn't comfortable and we'd try again. It doesn't have any buckles or straps, and after a couple days of practise it made everything sooo much easier. I got the fleece one, and all last winter Badness was totally warm in it without any coat or hat or mitts, just cuddled up against me, while I walked the girlie to school, etc. If you get a chance, go try one!

Don Mills Diva said...

I wanted so badly to rock the sling or the bjorn but Graham screamed bloody murder every single time I tried either one. Sigh.

kgirl said...

we had sling woes with bee because i bought the wrong size and it just never worked for me. the bjorn was much better.
this time around, i am also determined to be a slinger, so i bought an adjustable ring sling, and a good friend and very proficient babywearer is coming over to help with it.
All babywearing is good, so props to you.
He certainly looks relaxed :)

ewe are here said...

Nope, no sling for me either. We did use a Baby Bjorn with Ramekin, well, my husband did on occasion, but I am a stroller mommy.

:-)

motherbumper said...

I bought the most natural, beautiful, wonderful sling in prep for bumper's arrival and she.hated.it. Bjorn became my best friend.

Mad Hatter said...

I hated the Bjorn (which I had as a loaner, thankfully). It killed my back. I could get the sling (also a loaner) to work until she was about 5 months old and, then, PABAM it was the charm. I spent about 5 months straight toting her everywhere in that thing and then she simply got to heavy.

cinnamon gurl said...

I used a sling but it was definitely awkward. I used it, once, successfully when Swee'pea was about 6 or 8 weeks old, then not again until he was closer to six months old I think. After that, it was all sling all the time... well not really, but you get the picture. A ring sling was good for a bit, but it was bulky and hurt my shoulder as he got heavier. So I got one that's not adjustable, folds up small, and spreads the weight from neck to elbow for our trip to South Africa... I used that one quite frequently until he was probably 14 months old. If you want to give a sling a try when he's a bit older, I'd love to help you out. There's a woman in Guelph who makes beautiful slings: www.sewfunky.ca.

Lisa b said...

Oh that photo! what a guy
and yeah, I try and try and I am almost a sling girl
almost

bren j. said...

Damn those slings! I was thinking along the same lines as you, bought the sling - custom-made, even - and she HATED it. Plus is was so uncomfortable and horrible for my back. We finally got an Ergo and I'll never recommend another carrier. It's perfect and it looks so good on the Little Goat's Dad! heehee

kittenpie said...

I didn't think I could figure out the sling, and they all seemed ugly to me, though now I am seeing nice looking ones that seem more streamlined and in nicer fabrics.

Pumpkinpie wasn't really into the Bjorn, either, but it saved my life a few of the nights Misterpie was away at school. I remember needing milk one night and it was a blizzard, so I popped her in the Bjorn, wrapped my coat around her, and ran out to the corner store a couple of blocks away. She was not happy about it, but it was at least POSSIBLE!

Tracey said...

I used a pack carrier with my first and a sling with my other 2. Actually, I used a pack carrier from time to time with my 2nd and
3rd, but they liked the sling, so I stuck with what worked.

Like what you're doing... Stick with what works. Any way that the baby is happy, the family is happy.

Tracey said...

I used a pack carrier with my first and a sling with my other 2. Actually, I used a pack carrier from time to time with my 2nd and
3rd, but they liked the sling, so I stuck with what worked.

Like what you're doing... Stick with what works. Any way that the baby is happy, the family is happy.

Beck said...

You use what makes you comfortable, of course.
WE were full-fledged sling parents - I have a picture (taken my ME) of my husband with The Baby in her sling in the delivery room. But that's just the way we feel comfortable parenting and not some sort of gold standard or anything.
You're a good mama and your little boy is BEAUTIFUL.

Maddy said...

I found them both useful at different times, but like you say, I don't think he'll be overly fussed.
Best wishes

Christine said...

it is all about loving your baby the best way you can. i almost wrote what i used, but you know what--it doesn't matter. either way it is all good.

Bon said...

my god he's beautiful. love the spread-eagle pose, just chillin'.

i had a pouch, which was great when O was tiny (though i could never imagine actually DOING anything like cooking with him in it, i never quite got comfortable taking my hands entirely away) and then got good again somewhere about six months old. it spread over my shoulder so was reasonably comfortable. but we also use a front pack thing, which had its purposes...

whatever works. :)

Kyla said...

Cuuuuute. But my kids hated the Bjorn. I never tried a sling, we had already wasted the $ on the Bjorn. It just wasn't meant to be for us. But they made it through okay.

crazymumma said...

my ovaries just exploded. Thanks. If I have a baby at age 46 it WILL be your fault.

I found the slig very hard to learn. Tooks us ages. He won't know the difference.

Oh goddess. he is fine.

Susanne said...

I have to admit I'm one of the more aggressive sling wearers. I even teach people how to use them. I did use a stroller though unlike a friend of mine who tried being mother earth just a little too much and resisted the stroller for more than a year. (Just typing this makes my back ache.)

I'd say having something to carry the baby in is better than carrying it in your arms alone. The baby Bjorn isn't recommended for babies that small because it's not that good for their backs.

If you want something like a Baby Bjorn, easy to use with straps and such you might try an "Ergo Baby Carrier" (I'd try to get one used because they aren't cheap.)

But then just use what you're comfortable with, he won't mind. (And he really is a cutie. How's the older brother doing?)

Mimi said...

Damn! I can't see the pictures!

We used the sling. It was awkward at first, but then became second nature: we could sit her up in it, lie her down in it, gently unfasten it and put her in her crib in it ... I was never good a breastfeeding her in it.

You use what works. I just found our sling in the front hall, and relegated it to the attic this weekend: ahhh, memories of colic, begone!

ali said...

i couldn't use either...what the hell kind of mother does that make me???!!! :)

Nora Bee said...

We used the moby wrap, and have fanatically strong feelings about its wonderfulness (I promise I don't work for them). But I think they all work for different occasions. Good luck!

Jenifer said...

I thought I was the only one with "sling envy" I always wanted to try one...and I guess all that went with it.

I had a Snugli as a gift and Papoosie Girl was never crazy about and actually, neither was Rosebud. They much preferred their car seat bucket or swing.

When I see parents toting their precious bundles in slings I always feel a twinge.

painted maypole said...

regarding your comment on my post (I don't see an e-mail for you, or else I'd answer that way)... I auditioned for the theatre company's GENERAL audition (they do plays, musicals and operas) with a song from Avenue Q - I never in a million years thought I would even be considered (or did I WANT to be considered) for the operas. I picked the song (It sucks to be me) because it's more about acting and humor (what I'm better at), and LESS about singing. The artistic director then asked me if I had something else to sing (yes, a song from Chess...) and then as I was leaving asked how my Italian was ("non existent") and if I ever sang in choirs ("occasionally, but it's been a few years") And thus, I was offered a part in not one, but TWO operas. I can't do the second one because of another play commitment, but there you have it. I was also cast in the chorus of Fiddler on the Roof, and asked to come back for a call back for Ruthless! the musical, but was out of town for callbacks, alas. And THAT is how I ended up doing an opera. Nutty, I know.

I had worked with this theatre once before, so they did know me.

Brenda said...

we can start a 3rd category. I bught a slingeze and hated getting it on and never felt right with it. i borrowed my slingin' sister's baby bjorn (hubby felt more masculine with this she said) and loved it. but i am all number 1 except i hate slings for me. love the bjorn, baby! congrats on the wee one!