A world of possibilities. Hmm. When I first saw the theme for this year’s International Babywearing Week (IBW), I’ll be honest, I really had no idea what that was supposed to mean. After I thought about it a little more, I think that it’s supposed to be interpreted individually. If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will tell me. :)
The world of possibilities babywearing has opened for me may be COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than the world of possibilities it has opened for my friends, my neighbors, and those I’ve never met before. So I guess I can only share what it means to me. So here goes…
It means more opportunity. Opportunity to learn, interact, or visit with others while my little one slumbered on my chest. It meant going to weddings and feeling calm while my family with little kids were running around chasing the children like crazy people. Ok, well aren’t all families crazy anyway? So maybe that one’s a bit of a stretch…
It means bonding. My husband could bond with our boys through wearing them. Whether it was the Baby Bjorn early on or the ergo sport later, he has been able to also care for them the way they’re accustomed to being comforted with me during the weekday.
It means protection. People seem less likely to want to put their dirty hands all over your newborn when they’re wrapped up tightly to your body. Little kids reach for feet, not baby faces. And it means comforting them when they’re sick (and fall asleep on your back in a wrap… and let you get them in bed still asleep!!).
It means freedom. It means vacation. Hiking and camping in tents. Exposing our kids to nature. In bear country in the Rocky Mountains. And the Smoky Mountains. Even though we call Illinois our home. It means we can take the train downtown and not HAVE to lug a stroller around. Don’t get me wrong, I have strollers. I’ve been thankful to occasionally use the jogging stroller to exercise- though it’s not a very pretty or fast sight. I’ve been thankful for their storage when Christmas shopping. It just means I have an OPTION.
It means I could be a more “lazy” mom. Babies who are worn cry significantly less than babies who aren’t worn in those early days, and also beyond. Babies cry for all sorts of reasons. Sickness, overstimulation, health problems, missing naps, the reasons can be endless. I’m all for making my life easier. And opportunity to feel less stressed? I’ll take it!
And as my child gets older, ahem, I’ve also been known to use it to calm my kids down. I’ve been overheard on numerous occasions saying “that’s it, if you can’t XYZ you WILL go uppie until you can calm down”. XYZ means anything in my world from running into traffic to hitting his older brother to touching every.possible.thing.breakable in a store. Sometimes I’m surprised by the hands up in the air wanting to jump up for a break. Sometimes I’m quickly tossing him on my back. I then feel him sink against me and settle quickly, contently. Sometimes it’s instead it’s after a momentary yet futile resistance. A few minutes in that safe place can calm the overtired, overstimulated toddler or preschooler just as easily as it does a baby. Photo of his favorite beloved Kinderpack courtesy of Kristy Garceau Photography: www.kristygarceauphotography.com
And being part of this BWI organization means I can help other caregivers. It’s really a “caregiver to caregiver” organization. It doesn’t mean I have to know EVERYTHING about babywearing or know EVERY single fabric, length, or fiber of carriers out there (and believe me I don’t). It also means I can defer to others who have more experience or knowledge of other specific carriers or carries.
It means I can take what I’ve learned from other caregivers, and share that knowledge with other caregivers. This can be a foster mom who just wants ONE carrier to help juggle her day, a nanny who’s passionate about caring for her littles and wants a few options, or even a dear friend who wants 20 to play with them all.
The important question is: WHAT WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES HAS BABYWEARING OPENED FOR YOU?
We’d love to hear your stories! And don’t forget to send me your photos for the contest by Sunday evening to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sunday evening we’ll also be letting you know what special raffles and giveaways we will have over next week. Stay tuned for some items that could be coming your way!
ADDING INFORMATION…PLEASE NOTE: THE PHOTO CONTEST, SPONSOR, RAFFLE, AND GIVEAWAY INFORMATION WILL WILL BE POSTED MONDAY OR EARLY TUESDAY. SORRY FOR THE DELAY!