Tuesday, December 23, 2008

N.I.N.O. - I did it!!!

For those who don't know: NINO stands for "Nine-In-Nine-Out" and refers to an organization/group who support "baby-wearing" or using slings and wraps to carry babies during the first nine months of their lives. There is a TON of well-documented, positive research about the benefits of baby-wearing, and the NINO group is a support group.

As for my story, Aaron and I used a sling for the first few weeks of Ben's life, but we didn't really know what we were doing. It wasn't super comfortable, and we somehow came up with the strange idea that we shouldn't use it too much because it made him sleep "too deeply for too long" which we worried would make him sleep less at night. (Keep in mind that this was our colicky infant we were talking about!! Here he was, sleeping contentedly in a sling whenever we wore him, and we took this as a bad
thing!!??!!) So after about 4 weeks, we never used it again.

Well, sometime after Ben was quite a bit older and before we were pregnant with Molly, I heard about the NINO organization. I looked it up to see what NINO stood for. When I read "Nine-In-Nine-Out", I was incredulous. I thought, "sure, maybe we could have worn Ben for a few more weeks, but there is NO WAY HUMANLY POSSIBLE that someone could wear their baby until they are nine-months old!! No way!".

But as Molly's birth got closer, I starting thinking about the logistics about holding a newborn and still being able to play with a 2-yr-old. So I did a little further research (Thanks Mothering Magazine Online - MDC!), and talked to some mamas who had been there and done that, and decided that I should give baby-wearing a little more of a try the second time around. Though I knew my first step would be to find something more comfortable than the Target brand sling we had used for Ben, which had since been recalled for it's habit of breaking!!

So, again after much MDC and other research, I decided to purchase a Moby wrap. Now, I am not kidding at all when I say this: this Wrap was a life-saver, back-saver, arms-saver, Gift from God Above to mothers!!! I used it almost daily for SIX MONTHS!!!! It was the single biggest factor in me surviving the transition from one child to two. I could wear Molly in the wrap, asleep or awake, facing front, facing back, and even laying down, and still have 2 arms free to play with Ben.
Then when she was bigger and really only wanted to face forward, I switched to a Hot Sling (which is so easy to find now that I actually bought mine at Target!) She could be cradled in it first, and as she has gotten older, I now use it to hold her on my hip so my arms don't get tired. Especially on walks outside, in the mall, or at church when I need to sing.

So, I just had to write about this experience, and share my own joy and surprise that, though I have never actually joined an NINO group, I have actually worn a baby for 9 months, and, in fact, since I just wore her this morning (her 10-mo-birthday) while I was vacuuming, I see no end in sight!

Enjoy some pics!

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