High needs baby: tiny, beautiful, reluctant to be put down
When our daughter was born she was tiny, beautiful and extremely reluctant to be put down! She was a high needs baby. We were both keen to carry our baby for various reasons; such as skin-to-skin time, and hands-free convenience. However, our baby was incredibly unhappy in the bouncer, playmat or pram so none of these things got more than a few minutes’ use during the newborn phase. We were often and about, carrying the baby in a sling and using the buggy to carry everything else!
Fortunately a friend introduced me to Vija kangaroo care tops when I was pregnant. Our godson’s family lent us a Moby stretchy wrap too, so those got us through the first few weeks. Carrying became especially important to my husband as a way to bond with our baby. By the time he got home from work each evening I was extremely ready to not be wearing said high needs baby for a bit; he, on the other hand, was excited about snuggles with his daughter! We both looked forward to this time!
A happy day at Edgbaston with a sling
We spent a happy day watching England beat Australia at Edgbaston when she was six weeks old. We’d balloted for the tickets months before, for my dad’s birthday assuming we wouldn’t get them. We realised that the day was actually easily doable with a sling! We attached her firmly to her grandfather using the Moby wrap and I enjoyed the match while she slept contentedly. My dad was less relaxed at first. He kept a tight hold on the sling until England got a wicket, at which point he leapt up and threw both arms into the air! After a panicked moment he realised the baby was still perfectly secure.
Having discovered there was a whole world of slings out there that we didn’t know much about, I popped along to our local sling library when she was a couple of months old. If you have a high needs baby who wants to be carried all the time, you may as well play around a bit! We tried wraps which I couldn’t get the hang of. Ring slings which made me feel wonky. However, we both fell in love with meh dai, especially the Fidella Fly Tai with its padded shoulders and adjustable panel. Apparently, I’ve hired most of the buckle carriers in the sling library now too! I like the speed of getting them on, especially useful for back carries when out and about around London or in less accessible places like old castles and steep cliffs).
Slings made parenting our high needs baby enjoyable
At the age of almost eighteen months our sleep-refusing baby still naps best in a sling. You can often find me bouncing on our birthing ball; which was not much use during labour, but invaluable once the baby was out; watching trashy TV and relaxing for a bit with a snoozing baby on my front. For us, slings have made parenting our high needs baby enjoyable rather than something to be endured. We cannot imagine how we would have coped without them, and will be forever grateful that we didn’t need to.