Unfortunately, Natural Urban Dad is NOT going to agree with this. And to be honest, at this point I can't fathom being outnumbered by my kids or not having enough hands to hold them. Which is why I think babywearing was invented. Mamas all over the world have been doing it for centuries, and they did not have the luxury of modern birth control, so families were A LOT bigger back then.
The first time I really saw babywearing in action was in Tanzania. My husband and I went to Africa in 2005 for a friend's wedding and then on safari in Northern Tanzania. The most profound part of our trip was a visit to a Masai village. They are an amazing people; warm, musical, one with the earth and their children are simply beautiful. I wish I had taken more pictures of the mothers and their babes, but this is one of my favourites of the whole trip. And it was not only the mothers in Africa carrying their babies, but older siblings carrying younger ones, while mom and dad are out working, grandparents and extended family. Were do you think we get the saying "It takes a village"?
My next carrier purchase was a out of necessity, I swear! I signed up for Salsa Babies classes and wanted a wrap carrier that would not sag or stretch too much like most of them do after a while. I opted for an amazing Storchenweige woven wrap in 'Albert'. It was so darn comfy, that C fell asleep in every class we had and I was in love yet again--the wrap carrier kind of love!!
It was also around this time that the beginnings of Natural Urban Mamas started to form in my head and the dream to help other mamas discover the carrier love was born along with it.
From this point it became about more than simply wearing my son because it was convenient and easy and because he loved it. It became Market Research! I wanted there to be something special about the baby carriers I had in the store. They had to be unique, handmade, and preferably made in Canada/North America. And so I was off on a search for the best of the best. And I found (and still find) some incredible, little known, yet amazing artisans and WAHMs making some great carriers.
The Hot Mama Wrap, Mangobaby Mei Tai, OllieGolightly Linen Ring Slings, Pipa Pack, Blue Celery, and BabyEtte Wraps are a few of the wonderful carriers that I have found and love. When my daughter was born she very quickly became a big fan of being worn in any kind of carrier and she still is to this day. There has even been the times when I have worn both my babies! A challenge for sure and not for everyone, but it can be done!
Babywearing is a way of life in our house. Both my kids love to wear their own 'babies' and my 11 year old niece has even worn my son on a trip to Fort Edmonton park. I love passing on my love of babywearing to other mamas. It has become my passion. It is one of the driving forces of my business and it is more than just selling someone a carrier to me--it is changing peoples lives, the big people and especially the little ones. I recently got a FaceBook message from a mama that I pulled out over at a trade show. This is what she had to say:
I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU! Thank you for pulling me aside as I was carrying my fussy baby around the MP&T fair and making us try on your baby carriers. You helped us (my husband and I) try on every one of them, and we left with a happy baby and a hands free mommy. I was a little skeptical, this was the 4th carrier I had bought but WE LOVE IT and use it just about every day. Baby is still happy, and mommys shoulders and arms are not sore :) and it does fit a very broad daddy too!
That is why I do what I do. Babywearing has enhanced my life as a parent and I only hope that I can continue to share my passion with others, teach more parents about the benefits of babywearing, help them find the carrier(s) that work for them and keep finding the best, hidden gems out there in the baby carrier world.
Also, this post was just one big fat excuse to post pics of me and my babies in all of our carriers!!
Here's one more for you!!
But seriously people, what am I going to do when my babies are all big and no longer want to be carried? Not that I can see that happening anytime soon, but one day I am going to need another baby....
Stay tuned for my next post this week. Five Essential Tips to Safely and Comfortably Wear your Baby in a Carrier.