Yesterday I had an interview for a nanny share. I met both moms and both newborn babies. The best part about interviewing has to be getting to cuddle so many newborns!
This particular interview went a little differently than I had planned however....
The families live in the same building. I went to the host family apartment, and the other mom brought her six week old son up in a stretchy wrap. Specifically, the Sleepy Wrap (now called Boba Wrap). This is a great carrier. I own one, and quite like it. It is an awesome newborn wrap. However, I could see that baby was poorly positioned in there. He was curled in a cradle carry, and his face was not visible. These are two very big babywearing cautions, but he seemed to be breathing easily, so I decided to let it go for the time being.
Our interview started, and everything was going great. The moms were awesome, and they seemed to like me. But then I started to hear something that frightened me. The baby curled in the wrap was having some breathing difficulties. He was taking short, half-breaths that were very loud. To me they screamed danger! However, to a first time mom it probably seemed just like another strange newborn noise. If you've ever had a newborn, you will know they make some funny noises. She thought that since she could hear him breathing, he was doing fine.
I interrupted the interview, and apologized if she felt that I was over-stepping. I told her I teach Babywearing 101 classes at a local store, and that I work with a few babywearing groups. "About his breathing," I said.
She interrupted to note that she could hear it. Not in any kind of malicious, back-off type of way, just casually observing.
"Yes. It sounds like he is having trouble breathing." Of course, that frightened her. She immediately pushed on his back and he stretched and squirmed a bit, but was still taking those half-breaths. I started talking about the dangers of cradle carries, and how we teach wearing upright, tummy to tummy. She attempted to move him, still in the wrap, more upright. It did help a bit. He took a giant, deep breath that clearly indicated his difficulties. Well, clearly to me, I'm not sure mom caught the deep breath. I asked if I could help, she said yes. I asked her to take him completely out so we could start over. Then, I asked her if I could touch him, and I washed my hands.
**If you notice a baby having breathing difficulties, always take baby completely out and start over from scratch.
She took baby out. He took another deep breath as he straightened, then started breathing normally. I gave my OK to try again.
The rest proceeded like any stretchy wrap lesson. I held the baby while teaching her how to tighten the wrap so baby could just fit in. I asked permission to touch mom before testing the tightness of the wrap. Then I taught her how to put him in a PWCC (pocket wrap cross carry), tummy to tummy, legs out, and face tilted up. Once back in, he settled down and fell asleep, breathing normally! Mom commented that he felt much more secure in that position too. Then we went back to our interview.
There were some firsts for me there. It was the first time an interview turned into a lesson, the first time I approached a mom outside of a meeting about positioning, and the first time I'd heard a baby make those noises in a stretchy wrap.
Luckily, everything turned out ok. And luckily mama was receptive to getting advice. Some people get defensive in those situations. It helps, if you ever come across it, to be self-depreciating and to always ask permission to help out, to ask permission to touch the baby (if necessary), and to ask permission to touch the mom. Mention your credentials, and tell them about your local babywearing group if you have one.