Babywearing children with special needs
Why this article? Isn't every child "special?” Certainly, for their parents, they are! ❤
But sometimes parents are surprised with a certain special extra and unfortunately there are hardly any articles about carrying these children. Didymos was and is the only babywearing brand I know of that consciously and naturally draws attention to World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March. So, there is nothing more natural than to share our babywearing journey here.
Mainly to allay fears, but also to share what it looks like wearing children with special needs.
Dear babywearing friends,
I am Antje, mum to 6 wonderful children. My eldest is already 22, my youngest is a 1-year-old. My oldest wrap is a very old Katja (a colourful striped pattern), which has been around for more than 20 years but is still as beautiful as ever.
I would also say that there is plenty of babywearing experience in this home.
Nevertheless, with our 5th child everything was suddenly different...
You will never carry this child, he will not walk, perhaps never eat, speak and so on... Are you even sure... Suddenly, our world was turned upside down.
Despite all the doctors' opinions, we made a conscious decision in favour of our little frog and despite all the opinions we heard, we now have a wonderful little mister sunshine who enriches all our lives in every way.
He loves being carried more than anything, especially in wraps that have a special touch.
Babywearing is particularly possible with special children!
Why is there so little to be found?
As I think this is a great pity, here are a few reasons why babywearing is so beneficial - from the perspective of my family:
Quite simply, our child is a baby of a species carrying their babies. Like every child regardless of whether he has one more chromosome or not. He has a basic need for love, security, cuddling, and leaning on others.
Every child likes reassurance, especially in special or unusual situations such as visits to the doctor or hospital stays...
Everything that a competent, high-quality babywearing consultation offers also applies to children with special needs and perhaps even a little more.
Unfortunately, the topic of "special or even sick children/infants" is often not even addressed. Even more so, it is simply swept under the rug. These children may have special needs, they may be exceptional, but carrying them helps so much!!!
A lot of educational work is still needed here.
Childwearing gives freedom and independence. Free hands for the parents, but also the fact that the child with special needs can be with you everywhere and at all times.
Snuggled up with mum or dad, in the middle of life, at eye level, instead of in a rehab buggy somewhere on the sidelines...
The sling, the baby carrier as a safe place, as a home, as a comfortable and natural place. As a familiar place with mum, dad, or siblings. Especially during long stays in hospital, always have a piece of home with you, as a source of comfort, as a cuddly wrap, as a hammock.
This may not be appreciated everywhere.
But in our case, it has helped a lot. In the upright position in the cross wrap carrying position, his blood oxygen level was immediately better. Plus, there’s so many other advantages.
As a mum, I can say that carrying helps endlessly, carrying heals.The bond with the child becomes strong, hormones flow.
The child is always in the centre and very close to the heart. We were also able to breastfeed for a very long time.
I would like to say to all (future) parents of special children: Try it!
Being there, feeling love, giving a feeling of security - you will love and often really appreciate babywearing.
When doctors or surgeries are hard to reach with buggies and co, ring slings are worth their weight in gold.
A wrap is also unbeatable in winter under a babywearing jacket, well protected from wind and weather.
There is so much more to mention...
Dear babywearing consultant,
Dear midwife, Dear reader,
Encourage parents to take care of their children with special needs just like any other child!
Sometimes you just have to listen to your instincts. Muscular hypotonia, heart defects, so many things can be treated well today. And carrying is almost always possible!
Our little big frog has proven it. We wouldn't want to miss a single moment of babywearing, even if it wasn't and isn't always easy.
Try it out! If it doesn't work with a wrap, try a Didyklick, or vice versa.
Your children will show you the way.
We are currently wearing tandem, because the little sister also loves being carried and every moment is so precious!
We from the DIDYMOS team would like to thank Antje very much for her insights and are happy to answer any questions you may have!
This blog was written by Antje L.