I will never forget the first few weeks of my son’s life. He cried. I cried at least as much. His doctor thought I was just a typical first time mom. She told me that babies cry…it’s too soon for colic…etc. And of course Nate was always on his best behavior when I took him for a check up. After 3 maddening weeks they decided his spitting up and screaming weren’t normal-he had reflux. They put him on medication and thought things would improve.
At 4 weeks old during an outing to the grocery store, my son stopped breathing, his eyes fixed in one spot, and he went limp in my arms. He started breathing after about a minute but was listless. A 9-1-1 call and ambulance ride later, he was admitted to the PICU. He had numerous tests including a CT scan, ultrasound, blood tests, and a sleep study. Long story short-his reflux is severe and interrupts his breathing and slows his heart rate on occasion. He also has periods of apnea, mostly while he’s sleeping. We left the hospital 4 days later on an apnea/heart rate monitor.
Fast forward two months and we’re back in the hospital. This time Nate had a choking episode and turned white. Needless to say he’s still on a monitor and medications.
How does this relate to babywearing you ask? Simple.
I tried wearing Nate as a newborn. He hated the sling, which was all I had at the time, and after he was placed on the monitor, he would always come unplugged and set the alarm off. I purchased a moby wrap when he was about 7 weeks old and he loved it. He has always had trouble sleeping with the reflux and being carried helps him spit up less and be more comfortable in general. Both of us enjoy the closeness and cuddling time, and he cries much less when I wear him.
That isn’t the best part though.
My son has now been on the monitor for over 3 1/2 months. Some days he sets it off 20 or more times, almost always when he is sleeping alone or not being held. When he is cozy in his wrap with mommy he hardly ever sets it off! I think it is similar to how preemies react to kangaroo time-his vital signs stabilize and his breathing is more normal. I have also started cosleeping, and with the combination of the two we now have days without any alarms!
I always felt babywearing was important for both my son and myself, but I didn’t realize it would be LIFE CHANGING.
Happy International Babywearing Week!!!