When our first child was between three and four weeks old, her docile and sleepy personality suddenly changed.
Our sweet, drowsy newborn was suddenly a red-faced, screaming changeling whom we had no idea how to soothe. Desperate, I began buying books and searching online for tips to battle colic. One of the things that was suggested for fussy babies was "baby wearing" I was willing to try anything. I already had an infant carrier--one of the most popular brands on the market that had been handed down to us by a friend. I had originally thought I would use it for hiking or shopping but I started to use it around the house. Soon I was sweeping, doing dishes and fixing meals with my baby girl sleeping on my chest. She loved being in it--it was snug (almost like being swaddled), she was close to me, and she seemed to like the constant gentle movement. It was as close to getting back in the womb, which I think she missed, as she was ever going to get. When our second daughter was born, my sister introduced me to the "baby wrap." This is a single piece of fabric that is expertly wrapped and woven around the body in such a way that the baby is literally swaddled to your body. Our second daughter was not a fussy baby but I ended up wearing her a ton because I needed two free hands to care for Daughter Number One, who by that time was a very active toddler. Not only was the baby wrap super comfortable, it was convenient--I could fix meals, take the dog on walks or push a grocery cart with my older daughter in it--all while wearing the baby. I especially liked this because I am a believer in attachment parenting and having my baby safe and close to my body was important to me. Subsequent children get less attention that the first child for obvious reasons but wearing my infant daughter made it possible for me to spend quality time with both children at once. Cooper is now four months old and despite the fact that I told him several times while he was still in the womb that I would appreciate it if he was a mellow, easy going baby, he's actually turned out to be colicky (thank goodness that has passed!) and slightly high maintenance. He is happiest when being held and starts protesting immediately when he is put down. The baby wrap and baby carrier that I use have been life savers. How else would I be able to care for a five year old, a three year old and a fussy newborn alone? I have one hand for each girl and Cooper snuggled against my chest. I've swept the floor, baked cookies, gotten the girls dressed and even done some writing, all while wearing my sweet boy.