Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Babywearing Advocacy

I had the opportunity recently of helping with some photos for the International Babywearing Conference, coming up in June. It was a lot of fun, and reminded me that babywearing is something I know a lot about, and need to share more about!

Me and baby Odin, 6 months prego.
Photography by Bonnie Bunnel

For the photo shoot we had a few of my already-babywearer-friends come model baby carriers, and then some of the photographers friends came and modeled some, too. However, neither the photographer nor her friends knew anything about babywearing, so I felt like an expert in my field! It was great to be needed; running around making sure slings were properly fitted, safely secured, and used the way they were designed. The pictures turned out really great, and I felt a sense of pride in helping that happen!
Afterall, the pictures are being used for the conference, which is being held to help educate and empower families, in the art of wearing their babies. What a great cause!

Photography by Bonnie Bunnel

I would definitely like to be more of a babywearing advocate! Currently, I really like to bring up the benefits of babywearing at almost every LLL meeting, I wear my babies until they outgrow the need, I make carriers and give them away, and I share my BWing know-how with friends and strangers in the supermarket.
However, I realized that there is still so much more I could do to be more of an advocate in my community.
So I decided, "Here is something I know a bit about, and most people know nothing about--I need to teach a workshop!" (And not just one time--every few months.) So, my third workshop in three years is coming up April 26th. It is open to the public. I am excited to teach about babywearing to whomever shows up! Wish me and those helping me luck, especially that someone will come who really needs it!

Heather and baby Kameron, Mei-Tai

Rebekah and baby Kiah, Ergo

Sonja and baby Katie, ring sling

Photography by Bonnie Bunnell

To me, babywearing is more than owning a device to carry your baby in. It is much more than that. It is a continuation of the bond I felt during the 9 months of growing a baby in me. It is bringing a baby into the world and then holding his sweet smell and soft skin close to my heart. It is feeling the warmth and rhythm of his heartbeat against mine. It is always knowing he is close, and his needs are being met. It is being able to soothe him easily when he's crying, nurse him while I'm walking or out and about, take care of older siblings while he's sleeping or fussing, and look down at his sweet face while he looks up at mine.
There are a many, many benefits of babywearing--not just the convenience of having hands free to do housework, shopping, and exercise--but it also fullfills the natural, instinctual needs I have to nurture and be close to my babies. I could never imagine carrying my baby in a car seat. Never. It didn't sit well with me. And I think more and more Moms and Dads are finding that they don't want to be a part of that growing, cumbersome trend, either. Babywearing is about being close, and many parents are finding happiness in that closeness!

Happy Babywearing!

Click here on Bon's blog for some babywearing shots we did!

Click here on Bon's blog for the 2nd photo shoot pix!
Click on the IBC website to see all the rest! Under "Gallery"


Joannah said...

I wish I lived near you so I could attend your work shop. I have the metro wrap and used it a lot when Matteo was a newborn but I have no idea how to do any other wraps. I tried and I can't figure it out. He is 11 months now and walking but I wish I knew how to wear him on my back or even front facing. He is a big boy so I'm not even sure the Metro wrap would work for this. I was also thinking of trying to find one of those hiking back pack Bwearing thingys on Craigslist. Have you ever tried one of those? They look cool. Anyway, you should have some one record your work shop and post on here on Youtube so I can get some tips. ;)

Melodie said...

What beautiful shots! I love all those mama backs and babies!

Sally Jackson said...

Joannah--Thats awesome that you have a wrap--most people who first start off bwing, don't want to learn how to wrap because the skill is more difficult. I strongly reccomend this DVD:

It's 15 dollars and will demonstrate all the different ways you can wrap your baby/toddler, and other carriers, as well.
Those backpack carriers are cool, I agree, because they still allow skin to skin contact, yet also have the structure of snaps and buckles, if you want something like that.
Anyways, there's tond of tutorilas on youtube, but the DVD is the best, IMO! Wish you could come!

Sally Jackson said...

Thats "tons of tutorials". I hate fast-typing typos!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for babywearing!
Although my own children and the one I watch during the day have all outgrown the sling, I refuse to put it too far away, and can't lend it out to people. Instead I always tell my friends when they say, "does that mean you'll lend me yours when my baby is born?" that I will take them to JoAnns to pick out the fabric and I will make their own. It's my favourite baby shower gift to gift!

I still miss having the little ones snuggled in so close to me. It's just not the same when they're FIVE YEARS OLD!

Sally Jackson said...

Heather, I LOVE that you make your own slings--ring slings, right?
It's funny how everyone picks the carrier they like and gives THAT one away! Mine is Mei-tais!

arianne said...

The photos turned out great. And your introducing me to mei-tais came at just the right time. Just when the ring sling just wasn't working for us. You have done so much for our community.