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Babywearing > Allergy Test

I recently took V (2 years, 4 months) to an allergist for a skin prick test as we navigate the cause for his persistent eczema. While this test isn't supposed to be painful, it is definitely unpleasant to have 30+ needle pokes on the back followed by 15 minutes where you can't touch the itchy poke sites.

The possibility of getting a two-year-old through this without a major tears and a huge temper tantrum seemed small. But, I hoped that babywearing might just save the day. I had already taken V in for muscle testing/applied kinesiology with alternative medicine practitioners and found that wearing him made the sessions more pleasant than holding him (albeit, it is a gentle form of testing). 

When I asked the allergist if I could wear V on my back during this test, he didn't know what to make of it. He said that most parents just hold their kids down face-down on the exam table. I balked. That mentality is exactly why we'd ruled this test out for a year. A battle-of-the-wills or making my child feel voiceless is the opposite of what I work for everyday in my relationship with him. I said that if it came to that, we would skip the test. Then he suggested I hold V on my lap. I liked that idea better, but my intuition was that wrapping V was going to be best for everyone. Doc admitted that a calm child is the best kind, so I should work it out with the nurse.

When the nurse came in to administer the test, she was willing to give it a try. As the mama of a two-year-old herself, she got it. I chose a double-hammock carry because I could keep the fabric low on V's torso. She watched as I wrapped him on my back and shared that in her country, women use a short wrap (rebozo) to wear babies, carry groceries, etc., but she'd never learned how.

V was very calm for the first 10 pokes; he started to cry for the next 10; and for the final 10 he whimpered. So, it wasn't tear free. But, it was an atmosphere of awareness and instant comfort. Because he was at adult-height, V was able to look in the mirror (his choice) and understand what was happening. I could reach around and pat his bum in comfort. To help manage pain, I started doing deep, rhythmic breaths which V could feel through his whole body via our bodily contact and so he started doing them, too.

As soon as the pokes were done, I reached back and handed him a toy and started walking around. Had he not been wrapped, it would've been tough to pick him up without touching any of his poke spots, let along trying to manage that for the whole waiting period. For the next fifteen minutes we paced, talked, looked in the mirror, and watched the construction site across the road. With hands and mind occupied, he never once tried to scratch his back.

When time was up, the nurse was able to read the results and clean V's back all while he was in the wrap. When the doctor came back to finish things ups, he said that they have never had a child be so calm during the test. He said he'd never seen a "contraption" like our wrap, but now he was a believer. Babywearing for the win!

As for the allergies and eczema, we didn't learn anything revolutionary. Everything was in-line with my observations, intuition, and the muscle testing. That said, the experience gave me the confidence to continue on the holistic path we'd been on. I guess I'd better get my wrap ready for our next appointment...

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