Name/ages of children: Annie, 5 years old; Paul, 3 years old; Jack, 3 years old
When/with what did you start wearing? My babywearing journey started in 2009 when my daughter was born almost 2 months premature. She needed me to help her regulate her body temperature, and I needed to eat! So I used a peanut shell pouch and a hand-me-down bjorn while she was really small. I could keep her skin to skin which kept her warm and helped us to bond, and meet my needs at the same time. She grew fast and I soon realized I needed something that was better suited to the long-haul so I found our chapter of BWI. Two years later, I was blessed with twins and babywearing became not just a luxury and convenience, it became a way of life. I had someone tied onto me every day for the first year of the twins' lives. Babywearing gave me the confidence I needed to feel that I could parent three children under 2 years old.
How did you first hear about/what first brought you to BWI B’ham? I was part of a breastfeeding support group and the Lactation Counselor mentioned it while I was there. I was desperate to find something that would fit us better than the peanut shell and Bjorn I was currently using, so when she mentioned it, I was excited to get to a meeting.
Favorite part of volunteering with BWI? I love being a part, however small, of our member’s babywearing journeys. Whether I get to help a first time mom wrap her weeks old baby or teach a nanny to wear her toddler charge in a Beco, or I give a refresher to a mom who comes back after having her second or third little one, I am honored to get an opportunity to help empower caregivers through babywearing.
What’s one thing you wish you could tell all new babywearers? Two things: First, it would be that carriers are like the perfect pair of jeans. Each person has a perfect carrier match. It’s worth the time to try several different carriers, and several different brands, to find one that you truly feel good wearing.
And second, you don’t need an expensive, beautiful carrier to be a babywearer. For centuries, people have worn their babies in whatever piece of fabric was convenient. Don’t get caught up in the latest and the greatest, instead stay focused on the best and the most comfortable.
If you could only have one carrier what would it be? A Wrap strap Mei Tai. All the versatility of a wrap with all the convenience and versatility of a structured body panel.
Most, in your opinion, underrated carrier in our library? The Olives and Applesauce Toddler Buckle Carrier. That thing is down-right comfortable. I could wear my 5 year old in that carrier for hours and not be sore. If you have a big toddler, check out the O&A. Or maybe, don’t check it out. Because then I won’t get to use it as much. Ha!
Favorite thing to do while babywearing? Hike. I still commonly wear one of my 3 year old twins on a long hike. No strollers on hikes, and my babies still have little legs.
Care to give a shout out to someone (doesn’t have to be part of our group) who inspired you or helped you find the babywearing love? Susie Spence, our former leader, really empowered me to embrace babywearing as a way of life.
Sleeping on the ground in a tent is...? A wonderful memory I have from when I was a kid and something that makes me very thankful we have a motorhome now.
If a friend suddenly dropped by to watch the kids for the rest of the day, what would you end up doing? Grovelling at her feet. No really, I would go do something totally flippant, like get a pedicure or go shopping. I’d turn the radio up really loud in the car too.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever got? No one can make you feel inferior unless you first give them permission. My high school mentor told me that and I have to remind myself on a daily basis.