Saturday, July 10, 2010
The Frog Leg Position
Sling Baby by N.R.
Dear readers, I'm so sorry for my absence these days! I am in the midst of studying for a big exam, not to mention being mama to my new babe! I hope you are enjoying the hot summer. My exam is over at the end of the month, so in the meantime, a little tidbit on baby wearing. Enjoy!
Soon after my daughter was born I received this sling as a gift. Besides being a phenomenal (and pretty!) way to carry your baby, it comes with a slew of information on the benefits and justifications for baby wearing. One of the most fascinating arguments for why babies should be carried is simply physical. They title it, The Frog Leg Position. The idea is that babies physical bodies are a sign to us that they should be carried, rather than bumped around in their car seat all day. And, that their frog legs are developmentally geared towards being carried. Their rounded backs, frog legs, and palmar grasp reflex, are cues to us clueless parents, "Carry me!"
To quote from the Didymos booklet, "....infants are especially adapted to being carried on and against our body. Thus, it is possible to make a statement about the carrying position: with widespread flexed legs, slightly rounded back and oriented towards the carrying adult." This is a good proof to me that babies were created to be carried. Ever try stuffing a baby in their car seat, they don't fit so well. And they don't like it!
Recently, there have been a spate of sling recalls. Mothering magazine addressed the issue in an hour long podcast found here. Slings are becoming increasingly popular in America and with that popularity, there has been an increase in sling manufacturers. Most of the slings recalled are the slings newer to the baby wearing market, the slings that have not withstood the test of time.
There are so many benefits to wearing your baby. I recall being in Senegal, where women wear their babies on their backs constantly, starting from the day they leave the birthing clinic until they are about two, and not being able to hear a baby cry at all. In the middle of the rural Senegalese street, you couldn't hear a pin drop, much less a baby cry. I would attribute much of this to the ubiquitous baby wearing. Strollers and car seats would be greeted with riotous laughter there. Here are some more great benefits that result from baby wearing. This is a picture of my son as a babe, being carried by one of the midwives, Khadija, in Senegal. See how much he liked it!! I hope you and your babies enjoy lots of baby wearing, those days go so fast. Here's a good website with lots of different types of slings, and the pros and cons of each. I'll be back regularly in a couple of weeks. Thanks!!