In-arms carrying is a fascinating thing to study – it’s an often forgotten practice in places where baby “containers” (prams, slings, baby seats, bouncers, car seats etc.) are used a lot. “Forgotten? We still carry babies in our arms loads!”, you may say, and yes, you’re right. BUT – we’ve forgotten HOW to carry them. How to carry them in ways where they’re as actively participating in the carrying as we are.
In-arms carrying is an area of special interest to me, and this is because of my third child, Xander, who was carried in-arms much more than my first two. As my interest developed, I realised that there are things that make babies “clinging young” from birth, but also that it’s possible to teach older babies/children to be active participants in carrying too. It’s a bit like Elimination Communication vs. Potty Training – you can encourage the natural instincts from birth or as a young baby, and they won’t disappear, but if you use nappies it doesn’t mean they will never be able to re-learn how to recognise the need to go, or to use the toilet themselves!
My fourth, Isaac, is what I call an “in-arms baby” – he loves being carried in-arms – it’s his favourite place to be (apart from on the boob), and enjoys going in the sling, but prefers the freedom of movement from being in-arms. He’s so used to active carrying that he’s easy and fun to carry, so I’ve not needed the sling so much. It’s been a fascinating journey, working day-to-day with 3 different children in 3 different scenarios, and learning more about the reflexes and muscles involved. Stripping back the layers has shown me how this thing that we take for granted is so complex, yet so simple, in its makeup.
Observing other babies, their carrying patterns, and developments has added another dimension to my understanding. Much of what I cover is anecdotal in the form I present it in (as in, in-arms carrying), purely because there’s no interest in this sort of research because carrying is a stage that is generally missed in terms of child development, but the research related to it is fascinating and seems to back up the benefits of carrying.
In-arms carrying is yet another everyday thing among an abundance of others that technological advances are eradicating without us even really realising. It’s something I believe is important to start claiming back an understanding of, and practicing, for both our children’s health and our own. In our ignorance of “how” to carry in-arms, we’re both carrying less and messing our bodies up when we do.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Some of you may be interested in carrying your babies/children in-arms more, and some of you may just want to learn how to make the times when you need to carry more comfortable – the knowledge works either way! There are ways of holding to make it more comfortable for you even with babies with low muscle tone, and ways of teaching babies/children to hold on long past the integration of the initial carrying reflexes.
If you work in the babywearing industry, this is a subject that can transform both your thinking and practice! Our arms are the original baby carrier, and babywearing is an extension of in-arms carrying. Insight into how and why we carry in-arms, and the developmental processes babies go through in relation to this will offer you another perspective when working with babies and their carers. With the full course, there’s a bonus module – “Translating to Babywearing” – which is designed to both challenge existing ideas and encourage a new way of thinking, to make babywearing both more inclusive and look at it from an angle beyond the “sling police” era.
If all this interests you, I’ve got 3 in-arms offerings coming up in June – something to suit everyone from parents/carers to professionals, and for different budgets!
IN-ARMS CARRYING BOOK
I’m excited to share that I’m self-publishing my first book! After I realised how much content I had when transferring it from brain to paper, I knew that getting some of this out in an easily accessible format for anyone with any sort of interest was essential. I want as many people to learn more about in-arms carrying as possible, and you can’t really beat a book for accessibility and reach!
Paperback (colour): £29.99
Paperback (black & white): £14.99
Kindle edition: £9.99
Launch date: 14th September 2017
IN-ARMS CPD SHORT COURSE
This online short course is a great way of getting in some CPD without having to travel or invest lots of money. You can study at your own pace and at times that suit you. This is suited to babywearing professionals and those who work with families ante- and postnatal, looking to learn more about babies and how they develop, plus parents/carers wanting to learn more about how to make in-arms carrying both more enjoyable and beneficial to all.
You will have lifetime access to the content, meaning if anything is updated or added, you’ll benefit from them at no extra cost. You will also have access to educational videos for your personal use. Included is a certificate of study.
Launch date: Autumn 2017
IN-ARMS CARRYING COURSE
This online course is much more in-depth, and covers all of the above as well as going further into each topic covered, and covering other areas. As with the CPD course, you will have lifetime access to the content, so if anything is updated or added, you’ll benefit from them at no extra cost plus the access to educational videos for your personal use.
In addition to this, you will be provided with an online toolkit of teaching materials, such as infographics, pictures and videos for you to use in classes or consultations you may deliver.
You will receive a certificate of completion once you’ve completed the assignments, and will have the knowledge and skills to teach classes or do consultations specific to in-arms carrying.
Launch date: Autumn 2017
Any questions or comments, please email Mel at email@example.com