Mel has written and published 2 books so far, both on the subject of in-arms carrying. A big focus in her work is establishing it as the biological norm and working towards proving that clinging is a physical developmental process. As in-arms carrying is free, almost all caregivers do it multiple times a day, and it’s usually a fairly accessible activity, it makes sense to help others make this everyday task more enjoyable and comfortable by ensuring it’s a two-way activity. Babywearing beautifully complements the “original baby carrier” which is our arms, by providing another way of holding them when they are tired or asleep (when they turn into a “dead weight”), and being a handy tool for facilitating holding in a society which doesn’t always allow for the baby/child’s clinging needs to be met each and every time.
In her debut book, Mel gives an introduction to the multi-faceted area of infant development that is in-arms carrying. She illustrates with pictures of her own children and others, showing that human babies are designed to be active participants in the carrying process, thereby making much less work for the carrying person. This revolutionises the way we look at babies and children as passive riders in-arms, and provides caregivers with information to encourage their own babies to learn voluntary clinging once the reflexive phase passes.
Book 2 is aimed at academics, researchers, educators and in-arms carrying enthusiasts. It takes a closer look as some of the many things which make clinging possible, have an effect on it or result from active carrying. It brings to life Dr. Evelin Kirkilionis’ discovery of human infants being in the “active clinging young” category, exploring reflexes, voluntary actions, communication, properties of skin and hair, the breastfeeding connection, evolutionary links, the role of the senses and so much more!