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She hates slings!????

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  • She hates slings!????

    I am new here and I am so happy to have found this forum as I think many of my feelings and observations about myself and my baby were validated when I read some of the posts here. So, first of all, thank you.

    I have lots of questions, but here's one to start with:
    I would love to wear my baby more often, especially because she does not seem to want to sleep at all during the day, but lately it has been a painful struggle for both of us. Maia is four months old, I EBF her from the start. She recently has shown signs of teething.
    At first we swaddled her a lot, and also used two different slings and they worked great- she basically went to sleep in them. In the past two or three weeks though, when I try to pop her in the sling, she kicks and screams and arches her back. I tried gently rocking, bouncing, pacifying with finger, binky, nothing works. She either falls asleep after 5 minutes of crying (which does not feel right at all!), or I end up just taking her out, almost in tears.
    Since then I experimented with upright carriers too, like Baby Bjorn, but that one only works when we go for a walk. Then she looks around happily until she dozes off and usually sleeps for an hour.
    Because we stopped swaddling her when she was about a month and a half, she now has an adverse reaction to being swaddled too. It makes things harder that recently she has been waking herself from sleep by flailing her arms or kicking with her legs. This way her nighttime routine, which used to include one nursing and lots of sleep, became a lot more intense and she now wakes every two hours to nurse.

    I just don't understand my baby. I feel horrible because I am trying to help her feel contained in her body and she seems to hate it. And if she is not contained, she is restless and irritable. I hate to make her cry...
    The only way so far (which we have been pursuing) that she sleeps better is if we cosleep at night (we've been doing crib and co-sleeping) with my arm lightly resting on her "flailing" arm... At least at those times I feel like she feels safe in mommy's arms...

    Any advice, insights, thoughts?
    Thank you so much.

  • #2
    It sounds like you might need to try more carriers. If she likes to be upright, there are a few types that work well. Try an Ergo, a Moby wrap, or a Mei Tai. If you can find a boutique that carries them, they will usually let you try the carriers on in the store. Just keep looking! My kids preferred to be upright rather than cradled as well.

    And the swaddle might be worth trying again, too, in different ways. Between my two kids, we've done a whole-body swaddle, legs only, arms only, and one arm in (trying each arm)...all at various points of their babyhood from 0-8 months, when no swaddle would work any more. Then we knew we were done! There might be a way that best suits your baby to help her sleep more comfortably.


    • #3
      It is also possible to wear a baby upright in a sling, either facing in or out. There are some great instructions on YouTube.

      Here is a video showing the "tummy-to-tummy" position:
      Here is another showing the hip position:
      And one showing the "kangaroo carry" (outward facing):

      I feel compelled to add that there are some who believe the outward facing position is overstimulating for babies (they can't find refuge by turning in to the wearer's comforting face) and not best for a baby's spine. However,if your baby is miserable facing inward, and the hip carry is intolerable for you, I still believe that a baby is better off in a parent's arms, whether facing in or out, than not. Find what works best for you and your baby.

      As for nighttime sleeping, I have heard that the Miracle Wrap allows one to swaddle bigger babies. My babe wakes himself up a lot with flailing arms, and I find cosleeping to be a great solution.

      Good luck!



      • #4
        What kind of carrier are you using and what position? If you're doing a cradle carry she may prefer an upright carry. Like pp said you can do a front carry or hip carry. In the upright carries baby can look around at the world. I've been wearing my 18 month old since he was 4 months old and I've never been able to wear him and just stand there or sit. I have to be walking around or sitting on an exercise ball and bouncing. Maybe you can try walking around as soon as you put her in.


        • #5
          Thank you for your responses. I am using a Baby Bjorn, a Hotsling and a Huggy Baby Carrier, which is also an upright one. I've heard a lot of good things about MobyWrap, so maybe we'll try that. Now, with the sling used with her sitting face forward, we tried it and she seems slouched. I have not tried the tummy-to-tummy one, just because she slouches so much when sitting that I am afraid it's not good for her back. Her neck control is very good, should I try to seat her in the sling facing me?

          Again, thank you for replying. Just that makes me feel better.


          • #6
            Don't worry about the slouching when she's in an inner-facing carrier...the position of her spine is actually under less stress this way than it is when she's in an upright/ outward-facing carrier. This article talks about infant carriers and spinal Spinal Stress. The carriers that face a baby towards towards you more closely emulate the position of being carried in-arms. But I know how you's the same thing I think when I see a baby fall asleep with their head & neck hanging in a weird position! How can they sleep like that?