INTERNATIONAL BABYWEARING WEEK
It’s International Babywearing Week, which has me thinking about how grateful I am for babywearing and the many ways it has made my life as a mother so much better. In our dear Olympia babywearing is quite popular, but it’s not so common in other places. When I was growing up in Mexico the only people I saw babywearing were the local indigenous tribe: Rarámuris. Nowadays the global ancient wisdom of carrying our babies is being popularized again and for a good reason: it’s a game-changer! So today I’m going to share with you my babywearing love story.
I had a quite unconventional life when I was pregnant with my first child. I spent most of those nine months traveling through the States and Mexico, camping, hiking and making friends with strangers. I loved it.
But on the downside, I was far away from all my family and old friends, so I didn’t have a strong support network during pregnancy and postpartum. No baby shower or meal train were possible. I did get two gifts, one of them was mailed from across the country, and the other one was brought to me by a friend who flew from Germany to see me when I was half way through my pregnancy. And both those gifts were baby carriers.
I didn't know then how much the carriers would mean and help; I really never imagined how little I knew about life with a newborn. Breastfeeding was a challenge, feeding myself was a challenge, diapering was a challenge, sleeping was a challenge, doing laundry was a challenge, and finding the way to make all these things work while keeping my sanity seems unthinkable without babywearing.
At the beginning, I was quite intimidated by the long piece of stretchy gray fabric my friend’s mom had sent a gift. I looked at the instructions and I was overwhelmed. My husband however, bravely grabbed the carrier and with a little bit of trial and error managed to securely wrap it around his body and slip our tiny floppy baby inside. It was amazing.
TIME TO GIVE BACK (BECOMING A BABYWEARING EDUCATOR)
It’s crazy for me to think about life without wearing my babies. It’s been now almost 4 years since I started babywearing and I have now became a Volunteer Babywearing Educator in our local Babywearing International Group. I had the honor to have Ricki Franklin, AKA The Babywearing Boss, be my mentor. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to learn about so many different carriers that can fit people with different bodies, babies and needs, because I firmly believe everyone who cares for a baby can benefit from babywearing. It’s a true joy to be able to support my clients during postpartum visits in learning how to confidently wear their babies, to keep them close, strengthen the bond, and give them that sense of safety.
If you, like me, feel intimidated by those pretty carriers that are sitting in a box inside your closet, reach out to your local Babywearing International Chapter. You can find the Olympia area meetings here. You will get great information and find an awesome, supportive community. Don't have time or energy to go to a meeting? Ricki offers private consults in your home to get you confident using any kind of carrier.