Valium for babies. Liberation for parents hands …
During my recent baby-showing tour of the UK, a kind-hearted Aunt asked if I ever longed for a moment of my ‘previous’ life. I understood what she meant. I adore my girl. But the idea of a swift pre-baby 24 hours in which I could sleep solidly, pop out to the house to the shops without it being a major event and perhaps drink too much has a certain appeal.
Sleep acquires a whole new significance as a parent. Shut-eye is no longer dictated by the moments when you feel tired. It’s defined by when your baby fancies a rest. This is a daily lottery. A day filled with several settled naps and long blocks of night sleep can be immediately followed by a day of absolutely no sleep and continual grizzling. Sadly, humans have failed to master unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, which allows one half of the brain at a time to sleep while the other stays alert. More’s the pity.
"Sadly, humans have failed to master unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, which allows one half of the brain at a time to sleep while the other stays alert".
Loss of control over the day can be frustrating and demoralising. I used not to understand why non-working parents didn’t take all, or at least the lion’s share, of domestic responsibility. Now I realise that, even though you may be in the house most of the day, you may not have a second to yourself if you have a demanding infant.
And herein, in the battle between sleep and freedom, lies the simple beauty of the ERGOBaby Original Carrier.
My little V can be wailing like a banshee, but the moment I pop her in it her head donks onto my chest and she’s out like a light. This means, whether my intention was to go out, or purely to do some jobs around the house, that my arms are liberated. Happy baby. Happy Mummy.
The ERGOBaby also offers that other number one parenting priority: safety. There are a number of articles – like this Australian one – arguing that forward-facing carriers are a bad idea, risking hip dysplasia among other things. As the ERGOBaby carrier has the baby positioned facing you, it’s potentially better for the baby.
The carrier is sturdy and relatively easy to use – the top back strap is a bit fiddly to do up without help.
It might not help in the epic task of increased night sleep. But something that guarantees that at least some of my day includes a comfortable, snoozy baby is good enough.
In Amsterdam, you can buy the ERGOBaby carrier in Baby Boem
Do you use a baby carrier? If so, which one? Or do you have any other magic tricks to encourage sleep?