Today marks the second annual Babywear to Thrive Day, hosted by Lift Me Up. Lift Me Up is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting special needs families through the distribution of ergonomic baby carriers. Babywearing is a great tool in every caregiver’s belt. For a special needs family, it can be life changing. Babywearing open ups a world of possibility where one once saw only obstacles.
Local educator Jade wanted to share how babywearing helps her manage daily parenting with a special needs child. For another great story, check out this guest post by Diane from International Babywearing Week 2015: Special Needs Babywearing.
Often times when I go out with the girls, I’ll wear the oldest while putting the smaller one in the cart. This always results in stares and commentary about how big E is. To the average bystander, it makes more sense to carry the lesser load. What they don’t realize is how amazing of an escape artist E is.
Stores and crowds are overwhelming and tend to send E into hyperdrive. She slithers out of the belt and prepares to jump out of the seat. If she sits in the basket, E either cart surfs or lifts the back and climbs in and out. Basically it’s misery.
On the outings where I put E up in a carrier, she calms. Trips are enjoyable and exploratory. It allows E to take in the world around her with a sense of safety and comfort. Carriers also apply pressure around E, satisfying her sensory need for compression when overwhelmed. This is especially true in crowded spaces, like fairs, grocery stores, or babywearing meetings.
Basically, wearing the preschooler is exactly what we both need, even if it looks backwards. It’s my best tool in my belt for succeeding at parenting. I can’t imagine life without it.
This post was originally shared on JK Penney Blog
Jade is a local babywearing educator and a parent to two girls. E is an autistic 3 year old who manages varying areas of sensory processing disorder.