by Kathleen Weinert
I was initially attracted to babywearing because i thought it would allow me to incorporate my baby into daily life. My husband and I enjoy hosting friends and family, we are passionate about serving in our community and we enjoy exploring locally and beyond. Bringing our children into this lifestyle was and is important to us. However, we had no idea how much our lives would be changed by our precious little boy. We would never be the same and our lifestyle would never look the way it did before him, but we are ok with that. In fact we are thrilled by that.
My babywearing journey began with a stretchy wrap. I wore my boy in a boba to soothe him during the sun downing hours when he was a few weeks old. We would walk around in the house or the yard. I developed the “bounce and sway” that babywearing moms know well. But the boba was hot and we were limited to only a few carrying options. I was excited when he was big enough at six weeks old to fit in the Ergo 360.
When I met Alexandria Sutherland at Lucky’s Market in Gainesville she told me about BWI of Gainesville, Fl and gave me a card that had the Facebook group info on it. I checked out the group online and was introduced to the wide world of babywearing that’s more than stretchy wraps and ergos – it includes woven wraps, ring slings, many brands of soft structured carriers and parents with an amazing love for their children. I learned a lot from the babywearing posts in the Facebook group and much more from the first meeting I attended. I previously had no idea that I could continue to wrap my baby after he outgrew the boba. I was intrigued by woven wraps and quickly learned how to wrap with one.
By this time I wanted to wear my baby not simply because I wanted to incorporate him into my lifestyle, but because life with him is just better than life without him and babywearing enables me to do life with my boy. Exploring and taking walks while wearing him is more fun because I experience up close his wonder as he sees the world for the first time. Hosting with him brings an element of delight into every gathering. Comforting him is soothing for both of us because I can offer him physical closeness that is good for a growing baby and good for my mommy heart. Babywearing has also allowed me to tend to the necessities of daily life like cooking, walking our dog, and cleaning house while keeping my child close. One of the things that has been most beneficial is that babywearing allows us to reconnect after I’ve been at work all day. He reaches for me when I walk in the door in the evening and most days into the wrap he goes until bedtime. It’s rejuvenating for both of us.
Babywearing and BWI of Gainesville have deepened my relationship with my son and kept me sane in these early months of motherhood. I’m thankful for babywearing and the group of people that has encouraged me and equipped me to develop this life-changing “skill.”