Parenting is hard work, parenting a newborn is down right exhausting! And while we as mums crave the constant connection with our beautiful babies adapting to our new life with a newborn, whether it be the first, second or third time around requires a smidgen of normalcy to stay sane! The newborn stage or the fourth trimester is often spent in a cocoon of baby cuddles, nappies, feeds and more baby cuddles. Finding time to ‘do you’ is hard, throw a toddler into the mix and you slip further down the needs chain. Meeting everyone’s needs is just what we mothers do. But in doing so we can neglect our own needs and would benefit from a little help.
Hello there! My name is Cara. I am a wife to my pretty awesome husband and business partner Andrew; a mother to Mila aged 3 and a half and Isobel aged 14 months and among other things (I exist outside of being a wife and mother right?!) founder of the baby pouch™ It has been a long journey but we are nearly there (fist pump)! Here’s my story.
When my second daughter was born, I was recovering from a C-section, it was the middle of winter, my first born was still at home with me full time and without much family around I found myself struggling to cope, especially when my husband had to travel away for work at two weeks postpartum. I was having difficulty breast feeding and battling newborn colic and reflux and Isobel wanted to be held 23 hours a day. With my first child struggling to find her place in the new family, I was riddled with guilt over taking away her baby status and torn by my need to help her through this stage while meeting every single need of my sweet newborn. With a touch of Post Natal Depression creeping in, this guilt was compounded by my inability to effectively love both kids well – or at least how I decided I ‘should’ be loving them.
I thankfully had discovered the benefits of babywearing from the get-go with my first child. Babywearing equals happy baby, which equals getting stuff done! But my frontpack was bulky and as Isobel was a smaller baby she seemed to get swallowed up in it. My baby sling needed constant adjusting and even after a Slingbabies meeting I couldn’t get Isobel sitting right. A friend lent me a stretchy wrap which nicely cocooned Isobel against my chest but it took so long to ‘wrap’ her and was a nuisance if I had to feed her while out because I needed to re-wrap to get her back in. This just increased my anxiety about getting back home in time for feeds. When Isobel actually started to fall out I gave up! Had I not have been so busy and exhausted I probably could have managed to get it right, but amidst a haze of sleepless nights I needed simple. The Baby Pouch™ arose out of this madness.
Simple meant being able to wear my baby in a way that was easy - without the multiple youtube videos to get it her on right - something I didnt have time for in the early weeks.
Simple meant being able to cuddle my baby without the sore arms, that came with countless feeds and sleep deprived nights.
Simple meant being able to easily answer the phone and gain some adult connection while comfortably snuggling my sweet newborn.
And most importantly for me.... simple meant being able to do the normal things like nip into the store while easily slipping my baby into my pouch - no fuss.
I didn’t waste any time getting my first sample made in Hong Kong and it changed my whole world. I could simply pop on the top and pop baby in. There were no clips or ties to get my head around and the discreet breastfeeding access made it ideal to wear all day, popping baby in and out as needed. And for Mila’s sanity as much as my own I was able to head to the coffee shop and supermarket wearing Isobel. Armed with my baby cuddling top I felt brave enough to enter the world with two small children, unwashed hair (and some unforgiving baby weight) because I knew my baby was happily snuggled into me, I could breathe in her sweet smell and it allowed me a free hand to connect with my toddler.
So that was then, and now my tiny newborn is a very active, very happy, very attached sweet 14 month old little girl. She is adored by her big sister, a tribute to the fact that I must have done something right during that difficult stage! There has been a number of tooing and froeing to get the sample right, to make sure the fabric has enough support and the design is comfortable and easy to use and after months of trialling and research we are nearly there!
My initial sample was from Hong Kong. But I wanted to be more involved in the process, and I decided to produce the baby pouch™ here in New Zealand. Not only is it easier to be involved in every single step including fabric sourcing, pattern making and sampling, it is better aligned with my own values to reduce my carbon footprint. Plus NZ made products are of a very high quality which is hugely important with baby products.
While the benefits of babywearing are well documented we wanted to add focus to the benefits of babywearing for mothers. Our mission is to Empower mums through Simple Design. To us, Empower means to increase mums confidence, especially in controlling her life, and Simple Design is because an uncomplicated design is easily understood making mums life during the newborn stage just that little bit simpler. With The Baby Pouch™ there simply is nothing to learn, and that’s its biggest value.
I truly feel that the baby pouch™ is my gift to all you mamas of newborns out there, if it can help you feel more confident in your mothering, or help you to get out of the house for some fresh air, or even to brush your teeth then I have succeeded. Becoming a mother has been my greatest achievement, but it has also been the steepest learning curve, measured not just in my babies developmental milestones but in my own transformation in becoming a mother and the deepended knowledge of my own strengths and weaknesses. Heres to years of self discovery with our little ones that starts with forming that special heart to heart bond xx