Ashley Family

Hi, I am Jessica and am a mom to 5 awesome kids ages 21, 14, 11, 3, and 1. I began my babywearing journey 14 years ago with a ringsling that my mom bought me from a local shop. I loved carrying my sweet girl around in it and while I didn’t know it at the time, I officially became a “babywearer.” I used it with my second daughter and again with a little one that I babysat. When a new little baby joined my in home daycare, I was interested in trying a stretchy wrap. I was on a tight budget so I found some knit and made my own for around $15. It made taking our morning walks possible since I only had a double jogging stroller and it was full with 2 other toddlers. A few years later when I was pregnant with number 4, my mom bought me a moby wrap. I was out visiting some yard sales and happened to end up a Valerie Walters house. She noticed my wrap (and the tangled mess I had gotten it into) and invited me to the Gainesville Babywearing group. I have learned so much since then and have tried lots of different things (which in turn has given me a good idea of how the swaps work If I had to choose just one carrier (which would be super hard) for newborn to toddler, it would have to be a ringsling. They are so quick, comfortable, and easy to nurse in. My next choice would be a woven wrap because of the flexibility of carries and comfort for longer wearing. If you would have ask me 2 years ago what my favorite was, it would definitely have been a WCMT (wrap conversion Mei tai) with wrap style straps.

One of my favorite parts of the babywearing world is the budget area which brought me into a love for DIY carriers and budget line wraps. With the help of some awesome moms on The Babywearer who have taken time to post safety tips, patterns and ideas, I was able to learn to make Mei Tai’s and Ringslings. I have also tried out several budget line wraps and have been very pleased with them. I have come to the conclusion that you don’t have to have an expensive wrap to have a comfortable one.

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Babywearing has allowed me to stay close to my little ones as our family grows, while still spending time with the older kids. I have been able to homeschool older kids, milk dairy goats, water my garden, feed farm animals, hike, grocery shop, exercise, fold laundry, wash dishes and perform many other tasks with a baby on my back. I don’t have to worry about naptime if we are out and about, just stick baby in the wrap or carrier and out they go. My older girls have also been able to bond with their brothers through wearing them in wraps, ssc’s and Mei tai’s. My 14 year old did a successful solo kinderpack carry the other day Babywearing has also allowed me to meet many other awesome moms and I have been able to learn a skill that I can share with others.

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