I met a kind lady last evening.
I was at a supermarket shopping for the week’s groceries.
I was wearing Lil Z in the Ergo.
Zoe was calm and dozing off.
I was comfortable and happy to have my hand’s free.
This lady kept glancing in my direction.
She had a little baby of her own in a stroller. Probably around Zoe’s age.
Finally, after a dozen or so stolen glances she came up to me-
You should not carry your baby, you know.
I smiled and babbled something.
She smiled and walked away.
The rest of the evening I was irritated and grumpy.
Not at the lady.
I’m sure she meant well.
But at my myself, for not being able to give an immediate and suitable reply.
I am not sure what she meant exactly.
Wish I had asked her to elaborate.
I looked around for her.
Could not find her.
I wish I’d meet her again.
I have so much to say to her.
About baby-wearing safely.
About securing an infant in a stroller.
About not putting a pacifier on a black thread around the neck.
Next time I shall be prepared…
As a trainee surgeon, I was taught to always ask questions and ALWAYS cite references.
All through my post-graduation/ residency/ specialization days, we spent countless hours on PubMed and ScienceDirect looking for articles and studies for our various seminars, case- discussions, pedagogy exercises, viva voces, PBL sessions….
And working on our thesis/ dissertation, further drills in the habit of literature search and review.
So, when I was looking into baby-wearing and baby- carriers, I first went to PubMed- to check if there was any worthwhile research on the topic.
Then read countless blogs, visited “attachment- parenting” forums, spoke to baby- wearing mamas, spoke to my pediatrician colleagues and brother-in-law- even read dreadful news clippings on infant deaths in slings.
I was too scared to put my floppy newborn in any carrier (I first tried it when she was five months old).
Hell, I was scared even just to hold her. Not anymore.
And next time (i.e. next baby :-)), I may do things differently. I will save my neck, back, arms and my sanity!
I had heard of infant deaths in slings (almost all due to inadvertent suffocation) and claims of hip dysplasia (when “crotch- dangler” carriers are used). I had also heard some ludicrous claims that baby wearing “spoils” your infant.
The information- hog that I am, I compulsively researched baby wearing and carriers.
Long time ago.
Started when I was pregnant.
Now I am revisiting some of those sites/ sources. I hope to write about it in detail.
I am going to follow the methodology I used to prepare for my presentations/ seminars- read and analyse every article/ study that I can get hold of.
I for one, am convinced about the safety of what I am doing. As much as I can be.
Parenting is like that anyway. You do your best and hope that the little one turns out okay.
Parenting styles can never be judged or marked. We all do what works best for us.
I hope to put up this post up in a week or so.
For my ‘peace of mind”.
To re- convince myself.
Also, for all the “kind ladies in supermarkets” and for all those parents who are considering baby- wearing but are doubtful and undecided.
Then again, this is a centuries’ old practice. Especially in the east.
The west seems to have caught on recently and have tried to make it all very hip and cool!
Till next time….