Elisa is a local fostering mom who came to Fort Worth Babywearers looking for help. What she got was a community of support, supportive carriers, and the open-door to a more nurturing relationship with her foster babies. Read her tips and reasons why babywearing isn’t just for biological caregivers as we finish out National Adoption Month.
As a foster parent, we encounter many challenges within our homes sometimes quicker than the season change. At times, providing the love and basic needs for a child isn’t enough with children from hard places. In my experience with infants, it became increasingly difficult to soothe a child while also tending to my other daily responsibilities. My solution came with the use of babywearing! These are the top reasons why I choose to babywear as a foster parent, which has greatly improved my relationship with the child as their current caregiver and mother.
The infant/toddler can see, hear, touch, smell their caregiver at all times. Many children in foster care are often scared and terrified in an unfamiliar place. Once they recognize that you will provide and love on them, they begin to trust you. Babywearing will help in building that security and trust with a child in your care.
Many infants in foster care are so neglected sometimes from birth until they are placed in the arms of a welcoming foster parent. I can recall many times feeding an infant who would not make eye contact with me because of their experienced short-coming on what a caregiver is. Babywearing provides an opportunity to bond with the child while allowing the infant to be close to you to hear your heartbeat, the echos of your voice, and even the motion as one walks all provide a unique experience that the child possibly missed from the time in the womb.
Many infants placed in foster care are drug exposed at birth, in which they may require increased holding to help soothe the effects. Babywearing aids in less crying and provides soothing where the child hasn’t quite learned how to self soothe or help overcome the exposure of withdrawal.
CONTRIBUTES TO CONVENIENCE
As a foster parent, we are always headed to meetings, appointments and seminars. I used to be that foster parents that lugged a huge stroller everywhere I went. Pushing my way through crowded and cramped spaces. Not to mention the weight of those things and needing a full training class just to learn how to open and close those apparatuses which can be downright intimidating. Now the convenience of grabbing a bottle, diapers and wipes stuffed in a small bag and my baby carrier. I can sit in my back seat and not wake a sleeping baby, strap on my chest and off we go.
As a foster parent, many times placements come in multiples. Having the ability of carrying a baby to needs it while being hands free to tend to the needs of multiple children has been a blessing in itself. I can cook, clean, shop and have even been known to garden all while babywearing. As a foster parent, multi-tasking is a must, but to see the delight in a baby/toddlers face when the baby carrier is pulled out, is absolutely rewarding in itself.
Somehow even carrying a larger infant is much easier as the weight is distributed evenly. I can recall only being able to carry a 20 lb baby in my arms for about twenty minutes before I felt the fatigue setting in without babywearing. Now with baby wearing, I can go hours without the soreness setting in all while providing a bonding experience we both need.