Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why I Wear My Babies: An International Babywearing Week Guest Post!

Sarah with her youngest

I'd like to introduce you to a dear Diaper Parties, colleague, Sarah Wallace Lapham. When I signed up for the International Babywearing Week Giveaway, I knew I would ask her for input. She is a mother of five who has worn all her children in one way or another, and has even made her own wraps! She is a Diaper Parties Senior Consultant and Team Leader and is also a Doula and a talented seamstress. Read on to hear her awesome story of how babywearing has helped her in her busy mommy life!

Why do I wear my babies?  That question has been asked to me so many times in many different ways over the past decade.  I am a busy mother of five and I tell them “because I love them and I also love to be able to keep them close and be able to live too!”

My baby wearing life started when my oldest was a newborn.   We received an Infantino Snugli front carrier as a baby shower gift.  I was overjoyed to be able to keep him close and at that point, had no idea that the Snugli was less than “the best choice” to make.  We (husband and I) wore him and noticed his chubby little legs turning blue when he hung there on our walks.  Yet, he was still close and that was good! We were happy, but I just needed to figure a “better way.” 

I was shopping one day and noticed another Infantino product, the Infantino ring sling.  I bought one eagerly and used it for my son until he outgrew it.  Our second child also used this sling.  We used it until it wore out, literally.  Thankfully, we used it correctly – as we would find out many years later that this was going to be a recalled product (known as “the death bag” for improper usage).

Five years went by before we had our baby number three. Yet, when he was only four days old, I decided I NEEDED a new ring sling.  The family and I drove for two hours to get a Maya Wrap ring sling from a distributor in my area of Ohio.  This was our “go to” carrier with him.  I had him in it and I had a hand free for both of the older son and daughter.  This was the time I really realized what baby wearing meant to me.  Baby wearing equated freedom.  I did not need to be tied down to a stroller.  We could go shopping at the grocery store, I could do laundry, and I could clean the kitchen.  I would never go without again. 

With this child, I also found the love of a Mei Tai carrier.  I decided I wanted one by looking at pictures of happy mothers and fathers with their babies.  I found a tutorial on the internet and I was able to copy the fundamental construction of sewing a Mei Tai carrier – ‘Et Voila!’ we had our Mei Tai carrier right before we went to Washington DC for a vacation.  I was over the moon with this Mei Tai, and thrilled that I could jump on and off of the DC Metro trains without the bulk of a stroller.  I could also hold my older children’s hands all the while knowing my baby boy was safe and tied to me.  He would sleep in it or nurse, or be quietly alert as we sightsaw all over the City. 

Now, as I found myself a mom again for a fourth time, my ring sling from my last baby never “got dusty” between my third and fourth.  The moment she came into the world, she was placed in a snug “chest to chest carry” and she rode around like that until she was a big girl and started hip riding.  She loved the ring sling as a baby and young toddler. We even then branched out to water ring slings, for pool or beach usage.
Also at this time I started making slings for people, partly because people would stop me and ask me where I got mine (and there were no easy places to find them locally).  Thankfully, I had been a seamstress for over 20 years at that point and I knew (by reading) the way to make a safe baby ring sling. 

Finally, now with baby number five I found a new baby wearing love.  As all veteran mommies do, I looked for a newer and more exciting way to parent.  With the help of social media venues and the other internet sites in general, I found that I was missing an entire world, and entire facet of baby wearing that I had never tapped into.  This was the world of woven wraps.  I decided at the first moment that I saw them, that I would be a wrapper and really have never looked back.  Wrapping is like “baby wearing nirvana” to put it bluntly and concisely.  I have many wraps in different lengths – which some call “long pieces of pretty fabric.”  But I beg to differ, with these pieces of fabric, I can do nice front and back carries, I can do hip carries and I can turn them into ring slings (either by using a single ring I carry in my purse, or by tying a slip knot in my wrap).  My youngest child is constantly worn now.  I think this makes her a happier, more content child.  She is currently eight months old and she is almost always on my back.  I make the joke that she will learn how to cook early, learn how to wash clothes early and pretty much anything that she sees me do, from the comfort of my back, as she can see everything at “almost eye level” over my shoulder. 

I encourage everyone to try baby wearing at least once.  When done correctly, I am sure you and your baby will love it.  You will have a more relaxed child and you, as parent, will be much more gratified.

I hope Sarah's story has encouraged you to try babywearing if you haven't already! If you do wear your babies, tell me your reasons in the comments!
And don't forget to enter the International Babywearing Week 8 carrier giveaway, here!

No comments:

Post a Comment