There’s a concept that exists, whether that’s just on the interwebs or within the communities of so-called ‘crunchy moms’, called NINO – nine in, nine out. It refers to the 9 month baking period of an average pregnancy, and the 9 months after birth.
It’s a time where baby is held particularly close to mom – and dad’s – heart, and it’s the period in which they aren’t usually able to move too much on their own, and so rely on mom to carry and lift them where they need to be. By nine months most babies are crawling, or almost crawling; in fact some are even walking! It’s a special time because it’s when they are the most needy and the most dependent on you to keep them safe, secure and loved.
My little Oliver just reached NINO on the 22nd of May. He is teetering on full movement, but still loves to be scooped up by me and cuddled close. It’s been an absolute privilege and joy to carry him these 18 months – 9 months in, 9 months out.
One of the best things I’ve been able to do for him and with him is babywear – it has an emotional and a practical side to it. Emotionally I’ve been able to keep him close to me, let him feel safe and be a place where he can cuddle or even sleep. Practically – oh my gosh – it’s helped with managing my toddler, it’s been an easy way to keep my hands free when I need to do a million things at home, and it’s been a great alternative to the pram when I’ve needed to be places that makes wheeling a stroller difficult.
Babywearing is an incredible gift you can give to your baby, and yourself. Just make sure you use an ergonomic carrier / wrap / sling where baby’s hips are supported knee-to-knee and you obey the TICKS rule: tight, in sight at all times, close enough to kiss, keep chin off the chest, supported back.
We started with a stretchy wrap – it’s really the best for newborns as it’s soft and cuddly and keeps them tight on your chest. I also have a soft structured carrier (SSC) which has quick-to-use buckles and allows baby to face inwards on your chest, or enjoy the view on your back when they’re a little older. Our SSC has come in SUPER HANDY on hikes and walks! I’ve also just gotten into using a woven wrap, which is a little more challenging as you need to learn different wrapping carries with a very long length of material. But it’s the most versatile as you can carry baby well into toddlerhood.
Thinking about babywearing? Check out the NINO Babywearing South Africa group on Facebook for the best advice, tips, videos, lending libraries in your area and product days where you can check out the best local suppliers. I also recommend following Keep Calm and Carry Them on Instagram for easy video tutorials!
NINO – nine in, nine out. It’s the most magical period of your baby’s life.