A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

Make Babywearing Mainstream

Discovering babywearing was an empowering event for me. While I was initially drawn to the beautiful patterns and variety of carriers, it was the freedom that babywearing leant that brought me fully into motherhood. I struggled with the transition to my new role as mom. None of my friends had children, I didn’t know anyone who was pregnant along with me; I was lonely. I would see moms hanging out together in the park, but I was alone with my baby. I loved the time with him and it was exciting to discover the world through his eyes, but there were times when I longed for some adult conversation.

I started to meet some moms in my neighborhood, but the internet was allowing me to connect with like-minded moms all over the city. I started to feel emotional connections to people who were far away. I live in Chicago, it’s really big here. I couldn’t push my stroller to the other side of the city. I would see moms getting on and off buses with their strollers. How in the world did they do that?! It looked like a nightmare. I tried driving around, but my son loathed the car seat and trips always ended with us both in tears. I started to feel even more isolated.

My very first carrier was a purple Ergo. The color was stunning and I felt proud and beautiful. It took me a long time to purchase it, I was afraid it was too expensive. This thought makes me laugh now. We don’t hesitate to spend countless hundreds of dollars on non-necessities for our kids; fancy cribs, several different kinds of strollers, endless pieces of furniture and toys that crowd our minds and homes. It took me awhile to realize that a carrier was absolutely necessary and would always be on the top of my baby registry.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, babywearing son.

I started to accept invitations to meet-ups far away. I hopped on and off buses and trains. I walked miles to get exercise. I met moms in the park and at their homes. I attended nurse-ins and events tailored to my interest. I had free hands for coffee and a backpack on my back. I met more people than I had ever met in my life. Many of these women are still close friends of mine. I figured out how to breastfeed in the carrier. This gave me the freedom to go where I wanted, when I wanted and I didn’t even have to stop to sit if I didn’t want to. I could spend all day away from home. I could do whatever I wanted without thinking about much about our schedule. My son could nap at naptime and eat when he was hungry. I was totally free and in control.

Then I had another son a few years later. My freedom took a huge hit. I couldn’t just put a baby in a carrier and go. I had a toddler swinging from the curtains to wrangle! But because of babywearing my first son didn’t have to stop for long. I could chase him around, bring him to the park, cook for us and give him the attention he really needed when a new sibling entered the family.

I wish more people knew about babywearing. It brings so much joy, closeness and empowerment to families. It’s not just practicality though, babywearing is ancient and it brings that closeness to another human being that is vital for the development of a baby. Let’s make babywearing mainstream! Find out more about the benefits of babywearing at WEAR: A Babywearing Conference taking place May 27th-29th in Chicago.

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for your post on babywearing! I was just talking to someone else on FB yesterday about how we wish more mainstream social media would talk about how much freedom babywearing gives families. There are so many styles these days to fit any need. When my son was born, he hated the poofy sling carrier I had used for my daughter, but I had no idea what else was out there and at that time, the babywearing community was pretty small and unknown. I ended up making a buckle carrier of my own and starting Bloo Kangaroo Carriers which is very dear to my heart.

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