Tag Archives: Babywearing

The Importance of Cranial Rhythm and 7 Ways to Help Maintain Proper Motion

Many of us know that babies are born with soft spots where their skull is not fully bone yet. We also know that the skull becomes all bone, therefore the soft spots or fontanelles, close at a certain point in childhood (the last one closes usually around 2 years old). Most of us, however, do not realize that the bones in our head move in a rhythmic motion from before we are born throughout our entire lives, regardless of whether our cranial sutures and fontanelles close. This motion is vital to not only brain and nervous system function, but it is vital for whole body function.

Origins of Cranial Adjusting/Craniosacral Therapy

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Dr. William Sutherland, an osteopathic doctor, was the first to recognize that the movement of the cranial bones and eventually uncovered a rhythmic fluid motion that encompassed the entire body.  He called this rhythm the “primary respiratory mechanism”. This mechanism includes the rhythmic motion of the cranial bones, nervous system, and spine along with fluctuations in cerebral spinal fluid flow and shifting tension among dural membranes (connective tissue surrounding the brain and nervous system). These movements are all involuntary and completely separate from cardiac pulse and breathing. Dr. Sutherland believed that a skilled practitioner connecting with this primary respiratory mechanism could bring about a therapeutic effect and therefore enhance health.

Many other Doctors and Chiropractors came to understand the importance of cranial motion and developed their own techniques to ensure proper movement. Major Bertrand Dejarnette developed Sacro Occipital Technique. Dr George Goodheart developed Applied Kinesiology. One of the most well-known and heard of techniques is Craniosacral Technique developed by Dr. John Upledger. Over 50 years after Dr. Sutherland, Dr. Upledger discovered this same rhythmic motion in the dural connective tissue while he was preforming surgery. He notice there was movement of the nervous system and dura that was at a different rate than the respiration and cardiac pulse of the patient. He later performed many years of research that became the basis of Craniosacral Technique. This technique allows a practitioner to contact the sacrum as well as the cranial bones, and due to the dural attachement from the cranial bones through the spinal column to the sacrum, correct the primary respiratory mechanism. Both Dr. Sutherland and Dr. Upledger believed that this mechanism was a mechanism that could be used for self-healing, and that at the hands of a skilled practitioner one could see improvements in health.

More recent histological and anatomical examination of the cranial sutures have validated that they are not completely fused and in fact have intricate articulations that allow specific movements. The 106 articulations between the 22 cranial bones all are shaped and connected to allow for the rhythmic motion of the primary respiratory mechanism. This motion occurs 6-12 times per minute. Disruptions in this motion can affect the entire body and cause physical or emotional symptoms. Dural or fascial restrictions can affect cranial nerve function and stimulation. It can also affect cerebral spinal fluid flow and therefore impact the nutrient and water distribution to different areas of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. For example, dural tissue attached at the temporal bones is contiguous with fascia of the carotid sheath (this contains part of the vagus nerve), the fibrous pericardium (around the heart), and the respiratory diaphragm. Therefore, a restriction in the dural tissue at the temporal bone can affect vagal stimulation as well as cardiac and respiratory function.

A well-functioning primary respiratory mechanism allows for full cranial and dural movement, as well as proper cerebral spinal fluid fluctuation. With this mechanism working properly, there is no interference occurring in the nervous system and no areas of restriction that would hinder function in the body. However, many things can disrupt this primary respiratory mechanism and cause alterations in cranial motion and positioning. Adhesions and areas of restriction and congestion develop which can have a negative effect on the way the body functions. There are, however, things that you can do to allow for proper cranial motion in your own child.

7 Ways to Help Maintain Proper Motion

1)     Cranial Adjustments

Baby’s cranial bones are very moldable and easily shaped. Often times, babies will be born with cranial bones that have molded quite a bit. This could be from the way they were resting in the uterus or because of the pressures placed upon the cranium during labor and delivery. Nursing can play a huge role in helping initially increasing cranial motion to help return the cranium to a symmetrical and round shape. However, most of the time a trained therapist is needed to ensure that all of the cranial bones are moving properly and there are no overlaps in the sutures or dural tightness and adhesions preventing motion. Chiropractors who are certified by the ICPA are proficient in cranial adjusting as well as therapists trained in Craniosacral Technique. There are many other techniques that can be affective in cranial manipulation such as Sacro Occipital Technique and Applied Kinesiology. Making sure that you find someone who has been trained in cranial adjusting and someone who is comfortable and confident in adjusting cranial bones is important.

Cranial adjusting, as mentioned above not only can bring proper symmetry, shape, and motion to the bones of the skull, but can affect whole body function and can have a positive effect on issues such as colic, digestive issues, reflux, sinus issues, ear infections, sleep issues, etc. Cranial manipulation can impact vagal stimulation and increase parasympathetic activity. This can decrease inflammation in the gut and improve digestive, respiratory, and cardiac function.

2)     Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is extremely good for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it can help proper development of the cranial bones and mandible.  The sucking motion required for breastfeeding flattens the breast tissue up against the palate which helps shape and mold the roof of the mouth which is also the bottom of the sinus cavity. Breastfeeding allows for optimal shaping of the palate so it is smooth and rounded and not too high and narrow. High and narrow palates will cause the sinus cavity to become smaller and narrower.  This can lead to future sinus issues.  The sucking motion that presses the breast tissue into the palate helps to move the cranial bones and stimulate growth centers in the facial bones. Typically with breastfeeding the baby is held in different positions and he or she nurses on both breasts so the growth centers on each side of the cranial and facial bones are stimulated evenly. This sucking motion also aids in cerebral spinal fluid flow and helps to stimulate pituitary hormone release particularly growth factors.

3)     Lip and Tongue Tie Release

It is seemingly becoming more and more prevalent these days to see a baby with a lip and/or tongue tie. A lip tie is present when the frenulum or connective tissue between the upper lip and gum is overdeveloped and restrictive to the movement of the upper lip.  A tongue tie is present when the lingual frenulum or connective tissue between the bottom of the tongue and the lower jaw is overdeveloped and restrictive to the movement of the tongue.  Lip and tongue ties are thought to be genetic and are midline defects that are associated with genetic abnormalities that impact the body’s ability to methylate, such as MTHFR. Lip and tongue ties can vary greatly in degree and effect on function.  Lip and tongue ties restrict the function of the oral cavity. They affect the amount the jaw can open, the strength, movement and function of the tongue, and the movement, development and growth of the cranial bones. The restriction in the connective tissue extends deeper into the connective fascia that surrounds the cranium, jaw and can affect the tissue extending into the neck, shoulders, and even into the diaphragm, abdomen, hips and legs. Releasing the tongue and lip tie can have greatly relieving effect for a newborn. It is wise to have cranial adjustments, craniosacral therapy, or other fascial release technique performed after the tongue and lip tie release to ensure that all the connective tissue restrictions are released and full function is restored. The tongue tie and lip tie can be release through the use of scissors or through a cutting laser. It is recommended that each parent do their research in determining which method of treatment is available and most beneficial for their child. Release of these ties will help to encourage proper cranial and mandible development and growth. It will allow for proper growth center stimulation in the facial and cranial bones. It will also encourage full cranial rhythm and movement allowing for proper cranial and facial symmetry.

4)     Babywearing

Wearing your baby in a carrier, sling or wrap is beneficial in numerous ways including supporting cranial shape and motion. Babywearing allows the child to be upright off the floor or out of a seat so there is no risk of developing a “flat spot” from lying in one position for prolonged periods of time. The upright posture also encourages suboccipital muscle development to aid in proper occipital alignment upon the atlas (first vertebrae in the neck). Babywearing also has been connected to extended breastfeeding.  The suckling required for breastfeeding increases cranial movement and also stimulates growth centers among the facial bones allowing for full functional growth of the facial bones and mandible.

5)     No Contraptions

Coinciding with babywearing, keeping babies out of contraptions like car seats, bouncy seats and swings will benefit the cranial bones and the primary respiratory mechanism. Contraptions like car seats limit the baby’s range of motion and confine the baby to typically lay in the same position with the same consistent pressure on the same area of the skull. It only takes less than 5grams of pressure to move and influence cranial motion. So if a baby is laying in the same position with the same pressure for extended periods the cranial bones will mold to fit that pressure. This is typically how flat spots develop, and the skull should not have flat spots. Flat spots indicate that there is altered shape and motion to the different cranial bones. This affects the cerebral spinal fluid movement and can lead to adhesions in the dural tissue causing other symptoms. If flat spots do develop despite your best effort to not have them in a car seat or other contraption for long periods, then finding a practitioner who can perform craniosacral technique or other means of cranial adjusting is recommended.

6)     No Headbands or Bows

Having two little girls myself, I know that a headband with a big bow or flower on it can look very cute. However, like I mentioned above, it takes less than 5grams of pressure to influence the cranial bones shape and motion. So placing a tight headband that constricts the cranium will not only change the shape of the head but will decrease the movement of the cranial bones and negatively impact the primary respiratory mechanism. Many parents who have little girls who are bald for a long time will want to always have a headband on their baby since they can not clip on bows to her hair. This will always constrict motion of the cranial bones and work towards altering the shape of the cranium. Typically a headband will wrap around the occiput, temporal, sphenoid and frontal bones. Even slight alterations in the shape or motion of the occiput can cause misalignments in any other cranial bone. This again will cause adhesions in the dura and affect the nutrient saturation of the nervous system. One lesser evil that I encourage moms to do is to keep the headband or bow in your bag and only slip it on for pictures and then take it right back off. Look for red marks and signs of the bow on the head after you take it off. The more marks and redness you see left behind after the bow is off tells you there is more pressure being applied by the headband. Bows and headbands look cute, but have a huge impact on the shape and motion of the cranium.

7)     Vary Sleeping Positions

Many times parents will place their baby in a crib, basinet, or co-sleeper for naps and bedtime. These devices then stay in the same place and the baby is placed in the same position in them. This can cause the baby to develop a flat spot from continual pressure in one area. The baby will often develop a more comfortable sleeping position they prefer to obtain while in the crib or sleeper. Moving the crib around the room or placing the baby in the crib facing the opposite direction will help to vary the position the baby maintains during sleep. It will also give variability to what side the baby is approached from when he or she wakes up. Therefore the baby will not grow accustom to turning one way to wait for mom or dad when he or she wakes up. Altering sleeping positions for the baby will give him or her varied stimulation and change the way pressure is placed on the head due to the direction he or she will look depending on the position of the crib or sleeper. Back sleeping has been supported by the American Pediatric Association to help prevent SIDS but this campaign has also contributed to flat spots due to back sleeping. Ensuring that there are varied sleeping positions and plenty of tummy time is vital to maintaining cranial symmetry and function if the parent chooses to encourage back sleeping.

 

Many things can contribute to proper cranial motion and function. These suggestions can help parents to take actionable steps towards improving their child’s health through properly functioning cranial movement and rhythm.

Babywearing While Pregnant, Part Two (Guest Post for Onya Baby)

Be sure to check out Dr. Dodge’s guest post for Onya Baby – Babywearing While Pregnant, Part Two: Safe Carrying Options. It follows to Babywearing While Prengant, Part One over on the Onya Baby Blog. Dr. Dodge is often asked by his prenatal chiropractic clients if it is safe to continue babywearing an older child while pregnant. It is important that mothers chose methods of placing the older child on their back that do not involve twisting, so Dr. Dodge’s second post covers a few ways to put the baby on your back safely. Happy Babywearing!

Babywearing While Pregnant: Part One


The first in a two-post series about babywearing while pregnant, written by Dr. Daniel Dodge, DC, CACCP

Photography copyright Dodge Family Chiropractic

The wonderful team at Onya Baby invited Dr. Dodge to guest blog for them! He wrote a two-part blog post about babywearing while pregnant! We hope you enjoy it!

“It is completely safe for most women to continue to babywear throughout pregnancy. There are many benefits to babywearing, for mother and baby, and these benefits do not have to end when expecting a new brother or sister. To ensure that babywearing continues to be safe and comfortable for both the mother and toddler, there are additional factors to consider during pregnancy. The health of the mother, her level of babywearing experience, the stage of pregnancy, and the weight of the ‘wearee’ should all be taken in to account, as well as any recommendations given by a healthcare provider.”

Be sure to read the full post here!

Be sure to read the follow-up post for this two-part series: Safe Carrying Options for Babywearing while Pregnant!

Dr. Dodge Learns to Wrap – Coolest Hip Carry



Hey DFC family and Holistic Living readers! Today I am sharing the “Coolest Hip Cross Carry” with you. This one is great because it is really simple to learn, easy to do quickly, and it is a position a curious baby enjoys. With this carry, you can tie it on before getting in the car to go somewhere, and then put the child in it right as you get out of the car. It is great for short trips or tasks, especially when your child just wants to be held, but you need your hands!  I’m not sure how it got the name “coolest,” but it is pretty cool. The passes create a crossed seat, so it feels pretty secure for a hip carry. Charlie seems to enjoy the combination of being held on the front, but able to look forward and backward. He says its “conftatle” (comfortable). Thanks for sharing the “learning to wrap” process with me!

Here’s my “Coolest Hip Carry:”

 Dr. Dodge Learns to Wrap: Front Wrap Cross Carry



As I mentioned in my post yesterday, wrapping is an excellent babywearing option for both the wearer and the baby. I asked my wrap-enthusiast wife, Claire, to teach me a couple of wrap carries so that I could wear our two children better than I have been with other types of carriers. In this post series, I’ll share with you my experience learning a front carry for my infant, a back carry, and a hip carry for my toddler.

The “Front Wrap Cross Carry” is up first! My biggest motivation for learning how to wrap came when Charlotte was born. I used the stretchy wrap a few times, but wasn’t happy with the fit. I felt it was either too tight or too loose. I didn’t like the positioning – her knees sunk lower and lower as I wore her. The wrap also started to sag, so she’d end up much lower than where I had placed her originally. The stretchy wrap was a great introduction to wrapping, but we are both much more comfortable in the woven wrap. When I have my daughter secured in this carry, she feels weightless. She truly feels like an extension of my chest, and she stays exactly where I put her.

I loaded a slideshow of me wrapping Charlotte in the FWCC to YouTube:

https://youtu.be/gwwgMqZip-s

Woven Wrapping – The Perfect Babywearing Fit


There are so many great options for wearing your baby. Parents can choose from stretchy wraps, slings, mei teis, soft structured buckle carriers, and woven wraps. Babywearing is good no matter how it is done, but there are definitely optimal ways to carry your baby. The goal in choosing a carrier is to find something that works well for both the wearer and the baby  – if you both like it, you will babywear more frequently. The more a baby is worn, the more they benefit from the positive effects of babywearing. With two years experience and having tried all the options, I believe that using woven wraps is the ideal way to wear your baby. From my chiropractic viewpoint, I see lots of ways that wearing baby in a woven wrap is ideal. As a dad with a tiny 2 month old and a much bigger two year old, I also can attest to wrapping with a “simple piece of cloth” as my favorite way to wear my children. This was not always the case, so to bring you fully through why I recommend mothers and fathers learn to wrap, I will share my experience.

When our son was born, I tried both the long stretchy wrap and the soft structured carrier with an infant insert. The fabric was so long and I felt like I just couldn’t get it right. The soft structured carrier was okay, but with the infant insert our son was clearly just not comfortable. In order to wear him, I made due with the stretchy wrap, even though it wasn’t something I felt I had the hang of.  I often deferred to my wife, Claire, wearing our son instead – she had it figured out and could put it on so quickly, and it was still a challenge for me to get the right fit. When he was ready to sit with legs splayed out in the bigger soft structured carrier, wearing him became my job. I am tall and lean, so even with the ease and convenience of just buckling here and tightening there, I never really felt like I had a great fit. When Claire learned how to wrap with our first woven wrap, I could tell that it was the best babywearing fit for both her and our son. Our newest addition presented new opportunities to wrap with the stretchy wrap again. After a few less than optimal attempts, I decided I wanted to learn how to wrap with the woven wraps. I am still a “beginner” wrapper, but I am definitely experiencing the benefits of using a woven wrap compared to other carriers.

Primarily, wrapping allows for ideal fit – both for the wearer and the child. Because I view babywearing from a chiropractic, biomechanical standpoint, a perfect fit is pretty important. For the wearer, no matter what your size or shape is, woven wrapping allows for baby to be placed high enough for ideal posture. As you begin to wrap, you will learn how high on your front and back you like to carry your child. Wearing them securely at the exact right height on your body allows you to stand up straight, comfortably maintaining proper posture rather than hunching your upper back or hyperextending your low back.  When baby is too low, the wearer will compensate with poor posture.  Because woven wraps are not stretchy, they can be tightened exactly as much as needed. The wearer can tighten the wrap over the the child as much as needed, securing them in an ideal position. With a stretchy wrap, tighetening only does so much – the fabric will sag and stretch within minutes of putting it on. With buckle carriers, you can only tighten as much and where the carrier allows. With a woven wrap, you can also tighten exactly where is needed by targeting different sections of the wrap.  Because the wearer can get such a custom fit with a woven wrap, it allows for evenly distributed pressure on the child’s back, which means a lighter, more “weightless” feeing for the wearer.  Test this out after you’ve mastered a high back carry like the ‘double hammock.’ Your child will feel much heavier in the soft structured carrier compared to the woven wrap.

Many of these features allow for a perfect fit for the child as well.  Bigger and older babies can be placed high on the back, and in my experience they are more comfortable and can see what the wearer can see. A wrap exceeds all other carriers in the ability to tightly wrap over every part of baby’s back. Because wraps can be tightened evenly from the nape of the neck down to the bottom, pressure is placed evenly across the back.  This allows for less pressure to be placed directly on the baby’s bottom, which helps to maintain the optimal C-shape of the baby’s spine. Babies who are worn in a carrier that fails to maintain a C- shaped curve before the other spinal curves and musculature are developed have a greater risk for damaging their spine or developing a spondylolisthesis (forward shifting of a vertebrae in relation to the one below) from the forward shearing force of a hyperextended low back.  Wrapping also helps to ensure that the baby’s hips remained splayed in a natural position, with knees higher than hips. Infants maintain a specific hip position that is flexed to 90-110 degrees and spread outward about 45 degrees. This is the position that an infant naturally takes when laid down or held upright on a caregiver’s chest. Infants have a very shallow acetabulum (hip socket) and the natural position they take allows the head of the femur (thigh bone) to be forced into the joint and begin to establish a deeper socket and more stable hip joint.  Therefore it is important to find a carrier, like a wrap, that enables and supports this positioning.  When newborns begin to “unfurl” on their own and begin to hold their heads up, sit up, stand, and walk, evenly distributed pressure from wraps is still ideal.  It allows baby to feel more weightless themselves, and they will be more comfortable being worn for longer periods of time.

Though wrapping is not something you can learn and perfect in a day, with a little effort and practice it is the most versatile of babywearing options.  You can select a wrap in different lengths and fabrics, helping wearers find that ideal, custom fit. If you chose a medium length wrap, one wrap is really all you need to be able to carry newborn to preschool age (or longer – woven wraps can securely support as much weight as you can hold). There are hundreds of different carrying options for carrying your child on your front, back or hip. Believe me, if I can learn to wrap, so can you!

International Babywearing Week – Why Your Chiropractor Loves Babywearing

 

Happy International Babywearing Week! Babywearing is defined as simply wearing baby with some sort of carrier, be it a buckled soft structured carrier, sling, or simple piece of cloth. As a chiropractor and father, babywearing is something I am passionate about. Why are so many chiropractors outspoken proponents of babywearing? The overarching reasons are twofold. One, today’s U.S. culture has mothers and fathers carrying their infants and young babies in car seats, which, when done for an extended period, can have serious consequences for infant development. Two, babywearing has a large number of positive benefits, especially for the physical, social, emotional, and neurological development of the infant. There have been many great articles written on these two topics – both the negative effects of portable car seat overuse, and the positive effects of babywearing. Below I’ve provided links to a few articles on these topics.

  • ICPA – Benefits of Baby Carrying: This article primarily discusses physical benefits for the infant, such as general physical development, spine development, prevention of ear infections and respiratory issues, improved balance, increased neurological stimulation, better physiological regulation, and decreased fussiness/crying. http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/
    The-Outer-Womb/the-benefits-of-baby-carrying.html
  • ICPA – Car Seats are for Cars: This article discusses problems arising with routine overuse of infant car seats, and how babywearing is a safer, healthier alternative.  Portable infant car seat use has contributed to an increase in plagiocephaly, or “flat head syndrome.” Extended use of portable car seats also places unhealthy strain on the infant due to poor positioning, and strains the adult carrying it as well. Infants who are left in the car seats beyond the car ride also receive less touch and interaction, which affects development. http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/The-Outer-Womb/car-seats-are-for-cars.html
  • Andrew Dodge, DC – Babywearing vs Car Seat Carrying:This article, written by my twin brother who is also a DC, discusses the physical and neurological effects of car seat carrying, contrasted with babywearing being ideal for baby’s physical, neurological, and emotional development.  https://onyababy.com/2012/06/benefits-of-babywearing-vs-carseat-carrying/
  • Sears – Benefits of Babywearing: Dr. Sears discusses benefits of babywearing in the context of attachment parenting, a parenting style he has spread which encourages the natural, intuitive, and biological bonding of parents and infants. https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/baby-wearing/benefits-babywearing

This week Claire and I will share a few more blog posts on babywearing and our favorite way to wear our children. This week is a celebration of keeping your children close via babywearing, however you choose to do it. If our posts bring up any questions for you, don’t hesitate to ask me. Happy International Babywearing Week!

– Dr. Dodge, DC

The Doc’s Wife – My Babywearing Journey

Happy Babywearing Week, Holistic Living readers and Dodge Family Chiropractic family! This is a happy week for me, indeed, because I absolutely LOVE babywearing. I just want to share a little with you as to how babywearing became such a big part of our lives!

My babywearing journey began with my experiences in college – I majored in Psychology and Education at William and Mary, and I took a number of child psychology and development classes. In many of these classes, theories of attachment were discussed – how infants and parents bond and interact, and how those attachments affect all areas of development, especially psychological and emotional development. What I learned made sense – babies cry because they have needs, and these needs are met by the caregiver. I liked the idea that babies that were held “all the time” and didn’t “cry it out” weren’t being spoiled, they were simply being babies, and their parents were simply being responsive. These concepts made so much sense to me that I remembered them when Daniel and I began to dream of a family. I eagerly looked up “attachment parenting” and found books by Dr. Sears and other professionals. The idea of “babywearing” came up then, as one of the tenets of attachment parenting.

The more I read about babywearing, the more it made complete sense. There was no question in my mind – I was going to be a babywearer! The physical, emotional, and neurological benefits of babywearing were exciting and encouraging – wear your baby and they will be happy and healthy! When we were expecting our son in 2010, my husband was in the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) diplomate program. In this program, chiropractors learn how to meet the needs of expecting mothers and growing children.  With all of the well-documented research out there for babywearing and the infant’s development, Dr. Dodge (aka Daddy) was excited as well. He wasn’t too sure about the stretchy wrap I had picked out, so we also registered for a soft structured buckle carrier. One Moby and one Ergo in tow, and we were ready for that baby! After our son was born, I started wrapping him in the Moby wrap very frequently. Dr. Dodge and I agreed to only use the car seat in the car, so that meant more babywearing and holding. I wrapped Charlie up to do dishes, make dinner, and other household chores. I wrapped him up for naps, especially when he was very little. I wore him while we went on walks, I wore him at the grocery store and in the mall, I wrapped him up at church. We went to Disney World as a family when he was four months old, and I am pretty sure my in-laws and sister-in-law thought we were nuts for basically never putting him down! Dr. Dodge was always eager to have his turn wearing Charlie too, and especially enjoyed using the Ergo when Charlie was a bit bigger. Charlie loved (and still loves) to be worn. When awake, it would calm him down and entertain him. Often, with some bouncing and back-patting, he’d fall asleep while being worn and take lovely two+ hour naps (where did those go, little son?!). It’s hard to explain, I just knew how much he loved it. As he got bigger, the stretchy wrap became uncomfortable and I switched over to the Ergo with Dr. Dodge.  We continued to love babywearing, all three of us! When we discovered we were expecting our second sweet little one, I wasn’t ready to give up babywearing, but the design of the Ergo wasn’t going to work anymore. A phenomenal leader of the Fort Worth Babywearers taught me how to wrap with a woven wrap (similar to the Moby wrap, but not stretchy and therefore safe and supportive for heavier babies). I learned a back carry that ROCKED MY WORLD. I was hippy dippy crazy love HOOKED on wrapping! He could see over my shoulders, he (at 20+ pounds) felt much lighter, and there was less wiggling and more security. We continued to “wrap up,” as he called it, until I was about 34 weeks pregnant and it was just no longer a smart thing to do. Now, as you can imagine, I am still hippy dippy crazy love addicted to babywearing Charlotte and Charlie in one of our two woven wraps.  I have a favorite front carry for her and sometimes put her on my back as well. We are probably wrapped up at least six hours a day. Wearing bitty Charlotte allows me to take care of both of my children the way I want to – I can give Charlie attention, I can hold him, read to him, play with him…I can even chase him around while nursing Charlotte in the wrap, hands-free! There are so many more reasons babywearing has helped me get through these early weeks with a new addition, but you get the point. It makes my life easier, she is much happier being held than anything else, and Charlie likes that I can still give him both of my arms when he wants them. Babywearing is more than a “parenting choice” for us – it is a lifestyle, and it makes our lives easier and more enjoyable.

Now, as much as I love babywearing and wrapping, I am also a bit pushy an advocate for other mamas to learn to love babywearing too! I am still sorting out life as a new mom of two, but as I get the hang of it and Charlotte becomes more independent, I look forward to teaching free wrapping classes in Coppell! So many women approach us and ask about our wraps and how they work, or ask for me to teach them how to do it! Learning how to wrap definitely takes a little practice and is best done with direct, personal instruction. Once you get the hang of it, though, it is completely awesome. So get ready, DFW families – we’ll have you wrapping soon! If you want to learn how to wrap before I start teaching group classes at DFC, just give us a call and I’d be happy to set up a wrapping play date!

 

– The Doc’s Wife, Claire