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Becoming a Babywearer: My Journey into the World of Babywearing

When I got pregnant I didn’t even really know the terms “babywearer” or “babywearing.”

 I did however know most of my friends had registered for a Moby and Bjorn so it just seemed like what you do.  I didn’t really know the world of babywearing beyond these two carriers and maybe a hiking carrier.  So I added to my checklist- put Moby and Bjorn on baby registry.  Then someone told me Ergo is the “new” Bjorn, so like a lot of new moms do, I hopped on trusty Google to see the differences and decided to register for an Ergo.

One of our first times babywearing

One of our first times babywearing

After my baby shower, my mom asked me about some things I had left on my registry, and when I mentioned the Ergo, she was like “oh, a co-worker of mine said she had some baby carrier thing, I think that was the name, that she doesn’t use anymore.  Do you want it?”  Do I want to save $130 and get a free carrier, umm yes!  So, after confirming it was indeed an Ergo, and after getting over the fact that it wasn’t the print I wanted (keep repeating- “It’s free…”) I had myself a free baby carrier.  

How exciting, but now, how do I use this thing?

I searched on Baby Center to see what other moms were saying about baby carriers.  This is where I discovered someone giving advice to check if you have a local babywearing group with babywearing experts.  So I went back to Google to see if there was a group near me- and lo and behold- there was!  I was brought to a Facebook page and joined their group.  Immediately, I saw moms sharing pictures of so many (I mean so many) different types of carriers.  Some were just sharing pictures, and some were asking advice.

I dipped my toes into joining this babywearing community by posting a few photos to the Facebook page and receiving some advice.  The ladies who ran the group were great at looking at photos from different angles and giving you little tips of how to adjust.  It also was a little motivating to receive support.  Those first months babywearing saved my sanity.  I found it so hard to adjust to trying to get out of the house with a newborn who wanted to nurse every 1-2 hours and using my Moby or Ergo let me just walk out the back door and take a walk on the trail behind our house.

When I did get brave enough to leave the house, babywearing was still a life saver.  

Grocery shopping was much easier when she was sleeping in the carrier and I didn’t have a huge car seat taking up the cart space.  My stepson was also playing football and I went to many games with my baby wrapped up in the Moby.  Even on chilly fall mornings, we were both so warm and snuggly with our body heat.  Babywearing allows us to do new things and have new experiences together.  

baby wearing at the farm

The Burlington chapter of Babywearing International holds monthly meetings where you can get help in person and try out carriers from their lending library.  The lending library is a library of carriers they let you check out for a month, either for a small fee or for free if you join as a member.  You can also just try out a bunch at the meetings or get help with your own carrier.  The first meeting I convinced myself to go to, Elle was about 10 weeks old.  I was a little hesitant because although I’m not really an introvert, new social situations give me a little anxiety, and seeing all these moms post pictures of these beautiful woven wraps made me feel a little behind the curve with my Moby and Ergo.  However, the topic was going to be winter babywearing and I really wanted to get some tips.  

So I grabbed my Moby and my baby, and off we went.

Within seconds of walking into the meeting, one of the leaders complimented my Moby.  What?  An expert thinking this was an awesome carrier?!?  I quickly learned how supportive and helpful this community is.  No one judges you for the carrier(s) you use, they just love babywearing and want to spread the babywearing love and make sure you are using the carriers safely and properly.  Most of the leaders love sharing carriers, helping you out, and meeting up with you if you can’t make it to a meeting.  If you are interested in a carrier and someone has it, they’ll likely try to meet up with you so you can see it in person, if not let you take it for a trial spin.

Using a wrap from the lending library

Using a wrap from the lending library

I’ve checked out multiple carriers from the lending library.  I was always intrigued by wraps and checking them out of the lending library was a fun way to explore without the investment of buying.  I’ve realized I am much more of a ring sling and soft-structured carrier person but playing with wraps is always fun.  Through using the lending library, I was able to test out different carriers to find the one I loved and decided to invest in.

I continued babywearing and even now “toddlerwear.”  

I’ve expanded my collection and gone through a few different types of carriers.  I have lots of friends now who joke about me being their babywearing friend and ask advice.  I’m certainly not an expert but I love sharing the babywearing love and am always eager to give my story and what has worked for me and of course I always encourage everyone to check out their local babywearing group for expert advice.

babywearing a toddler, or toddlerwearing

Finding this community has definitely helped me survive motherhood (so far!).  What do you love about babywearing?

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