Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Babywearing Beginnings

Babywearing is really a modern term for an age-old tradition. Only now us Westerners are discovering the logic in wearing our babes. And the joy.
Babywearing has become a huge part of our parenting. We wear our babies in carriers to connect with them, to comfort them, to help them sleep, to go for walks, and to get the dishes done.

Many women in the world wear their babies. Just take a look at these beautiful images.
I think this is my favorite. This seems to capture the sense of peace and acceptance in her role as mother/babywearer. Picking tea leaves, just beautiful. This picture is fun. No, I don't consider this babywearing. Possibly baby transporting, like the modern day car-seat baby. Yikes!

You can make your own baby carrier or sling, or buy one. I prefer making my own. It's fun to be crafty, and cheaper, too. Plus making something beautiful to wear your baby in is empowering! Makes me feel like super mom!

I sewed my first Asian Mei-Tai 2 1/2 years ago. I started with a pattern from this sight. Since then I have been experimenting with different fabrics and patterns to make the perfect Mei-tai. Micah has helped me come up with a design for our family that we really like. Here's a couple of my Asian Mei-tais. They are a hybrid of several different kinds:

Stretchy wraps are the easiest to make. All they require is 5 yards of fabric, 30 inches wide. I like a jersey knit-cotton blend because you don't have to sew the edges. Go to the fabric store and look for something that has a vertical stretch, but not horizontal, cut it in half, and you have two wraps. These ones below cost me 10-15 dollars each. Very inexpensive and so comfy for me and baby!
There's more ideas here for wraps.

There is a Do-it-yourself forum on www.thebabywearer.com You can find many pictures and ideas of home-made baby carriers. Get inspired.

Pouches and Ring-slings are not so easy for me to make, yet. I love them, but don't know how to make them. But other people do, so you can go give them your business if you want.

Happy Babywearing!

Odin in a pouch made by lovely Larinda hands.

I took this photo in Bali, Indonesia in 1996. This was the first time I saw someone wear their baby with a piece of cloth. Pretty cool, eh?

We Jacksons also wear our babies because we believe it is really good for them.


Anonymous said...

YAY for babywearing! (and yay that I found out that Sally is a blogger!)

As you know, I'm all about the Maya Wrap. The design is so easy for me to carry really heavy babies! They offer instructions on their site for people who want to make their own from their design (because, as they say and as we know, babywearing should be for everyone, regardless of finances.) I've made many slings for friends!


Sally Jackson said...

Hey thanks for leaving that link. I didn't know Maya Wrap offered a free pattern online. What advocates they are! I really like their products, too.