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In the early days of my motherhood, all of the research I had done for infant massage also brought me to conclusions about other practices I wanted to implement for my baby and our bonding. I bought a “snugli” (front pack — the first of its kind, invented by one of the mothers I knew) and carried my baby in it all the time. Ashley Montague, author of Touching, recommended it, saying a front pack, with baby facing mother, was a wonderful bonding tool, as it mimicked the way that mammals cared for their young. My baby loved it; when I wasn’t carrying him in the snugli, my husband was. Often, I’d wake in the night, venture into the baby’s room and see my husband, fast asleep on his back on our big bean bag chair, with our baby in the snugli, sleeping deeply on his chest.  I also breastfed on demand and massaged my baby every day. Joseph Chilton Pearce’s words were guidelines for me; here was an “expert,” a highly regarded physicist, author and researcher, who I could quote to uphold my own ideas about raising my baby in a good and natural way.

 

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“Baubles hung over a crib catch infant’s eye, but this is not audiovisual communication,”

he said. “It is a form of entertainment, better than a blank wall perhaps, but a poor excuse for that face and all that goes with it. Far better than crib and bangle-dangling is the snugli for ‘baby wearing.’ Not the outward-facing child carrier, which offers no face for communication and gives the infant a feeling of constant falling forward. The snugli with that magical face and heart six to twelve inches away, works best by far. Communication involves eyes and voice, a voice to which the infant has responded since the fifth month in utero.”

 

I have always felt that the best mobile for a baby to gaze at, besides his mother’s face, is the gentle waving of leaves on a tree, the ocean moving over the sand, his siblings playing, and other natural things of which he is a part.

 

by Vimala McClure

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