Babywearing as a Nanny

Babywearing as a Nanny

By Candie O’Dell-Scherer

I have been in the childcare industry for almost 20 years, and don’t know how I did it before babywearing entered my life.  I had a friend in grad school who said to his wife one day as they were leaving, “do you want to wear her?”  I responded, “is she an accessory?” That comment opened my world.  I started paying attention to carriers and how they were being used, though I didn’t have any nannykids at the time who were babywearing age.  Then I started with my last nannyfamily.  I knew they had a couple carriers, but I hadn’t taken the plunge to wear the then 6 month old.

While being home with my family while my grandma was passing, my cousin had me try on carriers and wraps.  I couldn’t wait to get home to my nannyfamily.  I started first with their DIY ring sling and occasionally their older model Ergo.  I’m plus-sized and it didn’t fit well without an extender, and my bosses are petite.  I absolutely loved that ring sling.  We used that everyday until she was about 18 months.
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The bond between me and the kids, doesn’t come as naturally as it does with their parents.  But I can’t begin to describe the bond that babywearing created between me and my nannykids.  I quickly grew addicted to snuggles, sleepy hugs, and my hands being free.  We use public transit, and quickly found that babywearing was way easier for us than lugging a bulky stroller; it’s so much easier to throw a carrier in the diaper bag.  As she grew older, it warmed my heart when she brought me a carrier and asked to go “up.”  How quickly “going up” calmed tears, stopped temper tantrums, and became her favorite place to be.

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My love for babywearing and trying different carriers grew.  I joined BWI of Chicagoland, to learn about even more carriers, and meet people like me.  I don’t know how to convey how much babywearing has changed my nannying life, to the point that I became personally invested in carriers and furthering my training, when I don’t have kids myself.

I am currently with a new family and had the pleasure of wearing the baby since he was 3 days old.  There are no words to describe the sweet baby snuggles.  It also really helped us bond from the beginning, and helped when my boss went back to work.  I also wear the toddler almost daily, and love her excitement when I get a new carrier to add to our stash.  I even pick patterns I know she would like.  I now own lots of carriers, but each holds sentimental value with the kids I have taken care of, and the ones I will care for in the future.

Thank you Babywearing for changing my life!
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