Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Happy International Babywearing Week!

It's International Babywearing Week everyone! So here's the what, why, where, how, and when of our babywearing experiences and some cute pics. In fact quite a lot of pics. I'm a little obsessed! Share the experience!

What is baby/child wearing? 
It's using a piece of cloth, structured carrier, blanket, towel or something similar to carry your baby on your body. It is traditionally used all over the World to allow care givers to continue on with their daily tasks while keeping their baby or child close and safe. The TICKS guidelines provide safety outlines. 

Why do we wear our children?
I initially started wearing Elijah because I wanted him close to me and to be hands free. I used a stretchy wrap called a hug-a-bub and loved all the snuggles and how easily he settled. We rarely used a pram because out shopping, at markets, at parties etc I would wear him. It's important to me that my kids feel emotionally secure in crowds of people and in public places and babywearing provides this for me. These days, convenience is a major factor. Juggling a new baby and a two year old was so so so much easier whilst wearing my little Amelie. Two hands free to carry the shopping and hold my toddlers hand, or cook dinner, or make a cuppa, or dig in the garden, or sew at my sewing machine. Now I find myself mostly wearing them when they need some close cuddles or they're tired. 

How do we babywear?
We have used many types of carriers. Stretchy wraps, woven wraps, mei tais, ring slings, soft structured carriers (we currently use a manduca), and baby hiking packs. They each have their benefits. You can read lots of comparisons over on the Babywearing Victoria website. Some of those have been DIY by myself or other friends and some I have bought. I have mostly learnt from watching youtube videos on channels like Babywearing Faith, Keep Calm and Carry Them, Wrapping Rachel and Babywearers Western Australia . People are ALWAYS asking me how I learnt and isn't it hard etc. Yes there's a learning curve but women and men all over the World have learnt to wear the children so surely you can too! Now I go to a monthly sling meet which is local to my area to help others gain confidence and learn to safely wear their babies and children. The babywearing community is such a supportive bunch! I occasionally wear both my kids at the same time (tandem babywearing) but that's not for the feint hearted (or weak!). 

The Quirks:
Yes I do go to the toilet whilst wearing my children - quite regularly. 
No I don't need some money for a pram, despite you yelling that at the top of your voice old man. 
Yes it is 'legal' and I have been asked that more than once. 
Yes I have had baby vomit down my top and my hair pulled and my arms scratched and drool down my back. 
My 3 year old still asks to be wrapped or carried and I LOVE IT when he does (though my back doesn't thank me all that much). 
Yes my kids have many of their day sleeps whilst I wear them. 
Yes babywearing is more comfortable than carrying babies in arms and toddlers on hips. 
Yes there is an 'art' to a babywearing 'selfie' and I'm well on the way to mastering it!
Yes I will be very sad when the days of wearing my children come to an end - hopefully in many years to come! 

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