Guest writer and Basic Babywearing Instructor candidate, Shannon shares her unique babywearing situation.
Our son was born with bilateral club foot. We were very concerned about our ability to wear him, as he was projected to have casts on both legs from nearly birth until about 10 weeks. Once he was born, it was a lot of trial and error to get something that fit him, us, and didn’t put pressure on his legs with the casts. The joy of babywearing is that there are many different carriers to find one perfect for you and your situation.
Our first carrier was one rented from the library, a ring sling. With casts on both legs at 7 days old, it
was important to have something to keep him close for comfort and all those basic newborn needs. He was always so secure and loved being worn. The ring sling made it easy to adjust where the bottom rail hit his legs to avoid pressure on his thighs. The other carrier that was very useful to us was the Moby wrap. This was also easy to adjust the passes under his bottom to make sure it was not putting pressure on anything to hurt him. These carriers are the two most common ones for use with an infant as well.
We were super excited to be able to do something just as normal as any other parent in terms ofbabywearing, in spite of the casts.
Once he was out of the casts, he was in a brace. This was boots on both feet, with a metal bar between them. The biggest concern with ensuring the ideal “M” position with knee to knee coverage, was that we would then put undue pressure on his knees when snapping the bar back into place.
For this stage, we used many different carriers. We did a mei-tei, Beco Gemini, and still used the Moby. The biggest concern was the pressure on his knees, so we always made sure that the carrier was just inside his knees, so they bent freely. This is important in all aspects of babywearing, but that much more so for us. We successfully wore him for 3 months when he was in the brace full time.
The moral of this story is that it IS possible to wear your child, no matter the challenges you face. The amount of different styles and manufacturers of carriers makes it possible to find at least one way, generally more than one, to safely, ergonomically, and comfortably wear your child.