Monday, May 16, 2016

Our Babywearing Journey and WEAR: Babywearing Conference

WEAR is coming to Chicago in 10 days!  I'm super excited to be surrounded by babywearing people, especially considering how far we have come in our journey.  It started out with a teary-eyed trip to the WIC lactation consultant almost 6 years ago with a 4-day-old Pete who was having a hard time nursing, an overtired and worried mama, and a oh so confused, worried and overworked father.  The lactation consultant helped us fix the latch issues and calmed my concerns and suggested a carrier for skin-to-skin contact and to keep him happier.  She gave me a printed out sheet of paper on how to make a basic stretch wrap like a moby, My mom was coming down for a visit so we whipped one up on the jankiest sewing machine known to man (no really I ended up getting one for a graduation present because it was so bad), and we loved that wrap.  Pete was happy; I felt I could have a life again; and Phil could interact with Pete and help out while still getting school work done.  It wasn't anything fancy at all but it was glorious!  Alas, that baby grew very fast and those wraps are only good for about 15 pounds. Being in college still, we didn't have the funds to buy the snazzy Ergos that were popular and the only ergonomic carrier that my limited world view had ever seen, so there ended our babywearing days with Pete, other than our Tough Traveler hiking backpack.

The first try - don't judge on the wrapping job!

So sweet!
ToughTraveler carrier on vacation in Bryce Canyon

Fast forward a bit until I was pregnant with Nora and researching my eyeballs out with all things baby and I KNEW I wanted to be able to wear more; I also knew the budget just wasn't there for a fancy carrier that I dreamed about, but I did find an infantino Mei Tai, only $20 bucks on Amazon! I used my baby registry list to buy it for myself and loved it once Nora came; that carrier still tops the charts as Phil's favorite overall carrier-though we've never tried another brand, but I'm totally open to trying... .Ergo ended up running a crazy good sale right after my birthday in July; I have a great family that still gives me money for my birthday; and I splurged and got my Ergo. I was on cloud 9 because I'd hit the ultimate goal: an Ergo!  Fast forward a bit more and with the help of a couple side gigs my "stash" has grown to include: A Standard Tula, Toddler Tula, Sakurabloom Ring Sling, and Infantino Mei Tai.  I've since given away our first wrap to a mom that didn't have one for her newborn, sold that Ergo, and loaned out the standard Tula and Mei Tai to moms that didn't have carriers.  Right now I've only got the Toddler Tula and Ring Sling, which lives in storage since Nora learned to get out of it.
public transit to see the lights in Temple Square in SLC in the Ergo

summer hike in North Caroline in the ring sling
WWII airplanes with the mei tai
Raking leaves in the tula
Toddler Tula with dad at Menards
Babywearing has done so much for our family.  We really love it. Phil and I fight over who gets to wear Nora. Now she gets to pick who wears her, and she generally picks daddy (if he's around) or grandma.  Some people gawk at the prices of carriers and say they can't afford it. My first carrier I made cost $5 in materials at a time when I had $30 a month for groceries and went back to work at 2 weeks postpartum, so it is attainable. Ask groups, and find babywearing educators and babywearing enthusiasts: We love helping find carriers for families and spreading the joy around.  There are loads of babywearing groups you can find on facebook and locate groups locally that will welcome you in with open arms and let you try out their carriers.  The babywearing community has grown so much since just the time we've had kids and is growing so much more now!

babywearing grandma
That's why I'm so excited to go to Chicago and be able to learn and see and interact with so many other families that love and live it!  I get to be with 350 other people that love holding their munchkins close all while having their hands free.  If you still need to get a ticket to come join us, use my code - HOOSIER16 - to save $5.

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