My Evolution in Babywearing

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about babywearing. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


While I was pregnant, some dear friends gave me some pouches to use when my daughter arrived. I’ve always been drawn towards natural parenting methodologies, but babywearing was something I looked at more with admiration and not so much as being practical for me. With all the different choices, I was so overwhelmed. Brands, fabrics, carries, front vs. back, forward vs. tummy to tummy… it was another language to me. And, to say that during my life I’ve never considered myself to be coordinated is an understatement. I’ve heard the old ‘can’t walk and chew bubble gum’ cliché more times than I care to admit, and when you throw a new baby and sleep deprivation into the mix… I honestly thought I just wouldn’t be able to pull it off.

And then, my daughter arrived. My world changed, was turned upside down and I was thrown for a triple loop. She entered this world with an opinion and the desire to let everyone know that she was here and not willing to settle… for anything! She was never, and still isn’t, much of a sleeper. She’s a mixture of loving life to the fullest, so much so that she can’t even sleep, and a little bit of just not wanting to miss out on anything. By some people’s standards she is a high needs child, some may just think she has diva qualities, to me… she is my mini-me. Some may call me a high needs adult, so I feel like I instantly understood her need to be permanently on someone, the need to be involved or sometimes just to be held. We were rockers, swayers, deep-knee lungers… anything to get her moving and close to us to keep her peaceful. She and I slept face to face throughout the night, heartbeats and breaths matching each others. She’s a baby of rhythm and motion, as I know most babies are… but she’s always been our exponential child. I love her with my whole heart, but it just always seemed like she needed touch, soothing, calming exponentially more than other babies I’ve known. And in return we have always tried exponentially to create a safe and comfortable environment for her.

So began my journey into babywearing officially. I used the pouches that my friends gave me, not knowing that they didn’t fit properly, until a woman introduced herself and commented on how uncomfortable I looked. After adjusting it’s placement and eventually buying a proper size, I still felt like I wasn’t all that sure about what I was doing, but I was learning. It was a short time until I bought my first wrap. A Didymos linen indio arrived shortly and I thought then I was officially over my head. I remember the first time I broke it out in front of my family my mom said, “What are you doing with that baby and that curtain??” My family has always been supportive, but they don’t hesitate to ask me about what I’m doing. And at that time, I really did feel like I was trying to wrap a baby up in a curtain. It was half comical, half discouraging. Within a week, I was wrapping a front cross carry like it was nobody’s business. After another couple of weeks I had her up on my back confidently. I never have been, and may never be a pretty wrapper. I get self-conscious at times that people are watching me wondering what I’m doing or if they are also a babywearer looking at me like I’m doing it wrong. I’ve always been safe about it, but I’m just an ugly wrapper. My shoulders get bunched, my tails get tied… anything to feverishly put it on and get her in it and happy.

And, despite the ugly wrap jobs, it worked. I think in the past I would have thought of being wrapped up as being constricting. Wearing my daughter was the most liberating secret I discovered about motherhood. She could nap where and when she wanted. I can say, without a doubt, that babywearing saved our nursing relationship. From the beginning our nursing relationship varied, everything from latch issues to her love of comfort nursing. Once I started wrapping her, we could nurse anywhere, for as long as she wanted, and no one was the wiser. I used the wrap to make a cocoon for her. She was snug, I was relieved, and we were all happy. That Didymos brought us peace. It was worn during the day during nursing marathons in the middle of Target. It was worn in the evening in walks around the neighborhood. It was even worn during the wee hours of the night during croup fits and wearing it brought us sanity a couple of times in the emergency room.

Now our babywearing days are coming to an end. I’m grasping at fringed wrap edges trying to keep it alive and well, but now my little one, who was so timid and out of her comfort zone, is perfectly happy being in her own skin, her new comfort zone. I’m branching into ring slings, for easy ins and outs with her now that she is too cool for school. I’m also looking forward to creating a new stash for a little one if we are blessed. I’m actually so excited to wear a newborn since I started a little later with my daughter. I’ve also been working with another momma locally to resurrect a local babywearing group… as a matter of fact, that momma that helped me with my very first pouch. In the group, I intend to spread the word about babywearing. Tell people how much easier it can make their lives, that it can be wonderful for kids. In my case, it liberated me, got us out of the house, and kept our nursing relationship going. And, I will be sure to tell people, that if your baby is safe and you are comfortable, it is totally okay to not wrap perfectly. Babywearing mommas are all for helping each other. We want to spread the word to get their babies close, keep them safe. And I want to spread the word that if your tails get tied in the process, so be it.

Today’s guest post is from Amanda Watsky. Amanda, in chronicological order and not order of importance, is a friend, biologist, wife and mother of one beautiful daughter. Twenty four hours a day she is an AP, BFing, BWing, CDing, Cosleeping mother. By day, she is a research biologist and by night she co-owns an eco-snazzy online store (www.thegreenpair.com)

 


 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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4 Comments

Filed under Babywearing

4 responses to “My Evolution in Babywearing

  1. Thanks for having me participate in this! Such a great way to get people to connect and share stories.. I had a great time writing it and reflecting on her growing up. :)

  2. breastfeedingcafe

    Thanks for blogging with us, Amanda!

    For anyone interested in sharing about babywearing in the Cafe, or learning more, mark your calendars for August! On Saturday August 7 from 1 – 2 pm Darleigh Webb will host a babywearing fashion show. Come see some fun carriers and feel free to strut in slinging or tying your own baby or toddler. On Monday August 9 from 3 – 4 pm Heather (our highlighted blogger from “Tips on Nursing in Public”) will host our babywearing how-to session. Newcomers to babywearing will learn to tie and sling their babies. Babywearing pros are welcome to come share their tips and meet other like-minded moms.

    Local La Leche League groups sell slings as a fundraiser to support their work with breastfeeding moms. (Check the links to the right under Breastfeeding Support.) You can make your own sling with the help of Maya Wraps’ free pattern. (Claire links the pattern in her babywearing post at The Adventures of Lactating Girl.) Tie wraps come in different configurations and can be purchased or crafted at home. Join us in the Cafe on August 7th and 9th for more inspiration!

  3. Amy

    This is a beautiful post, Amanda! I love your description of your daughter (she sounds like someone I know very well). I also have a Didymos, and hope it is as well-loved as yours is when our babywearing days wind down. =)

  4. Your mom’s line about “that baby and that curtain” is hilarious. I love your transparency that it was hard at first, but went on to become second-nature. I think it can be tempting to give it up before giving it a good chance, but pushing through is so rewarding! Hope you’re blessed with another soon!

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