by Carly Canion
I knew I wanted to babywear before I was ever pregnant. Then four years ago, when I was pregnant with my older son, I began looking into babywearing and quickly found out there was a whole world beyond Baby Bjorns! When William was born I tried several carriers (stretchy wrap, ring sling, mei tai) and settled on an Ergo. I loved wearing William in it and used it every chance I got.
I think what originally appealed to me about babywearing was the convenience aspect: hands free, baby close where you can keep an eye on them, no heavy stroller. But I had no idea just how sweet it would be. Because of babywearing I now have precious memories of walking through a park, or a grocery store, or a festival, whispering to William about what we were seeing and watching the world go by together. We have always had a close bond, and I know wearing him played a part.
Last year, while pregnant with my younger son, Shepard, woven wraps began to catch my eye and I bought one, telling myself that it would be my one wrap and I wouldn’t need or want any others. I attended a BWI Gainesville meeting when I was eight months pregnant and the VBEs taught me a beginning carry. I first wore Shepard when he was ten days old, nervously checking his breathing and his feet to make sure I hadn’t cut off any circulation. I got such helpful responses when I asked questions and posted newbie pictures to the Facebook group, which helped boost my wrapping confidence, knowing I had support.
Of course, I quickly got wrapped up (he he) in babywearing on a whole new level. Trying new wraps is fun and there is always some new beauty to be discovered. Wrapping is also very comfortable, both for me and my baby! He seems to love it as well, and when he was only several months old, he recognized when I was getting a wrap ready to wear him and would get excited. Second babies seem to grow up even quicker than the first, and I truly cherish being able to hold him close, breath him in, and feel him sleep against my chest, knowing that he will be off and running far too soon.
In addition to the sweetness, wearing Shepard is invaluable to keeping up with my three year old. It is wonderful to know that I can wrap Shepard and take William anywhere and be able to interact with him with Shepard content on me. I really think it helped the transition to having two children. We have been able to keep doing a lot of what we did before, now I’m just wearing Shepard as we go.
Being part of the babywearing community has enriched my life, as I have made dear new friends and really look forward to the meetings. It’s rare to find a fun hobby that also makes you feel like a better parent! I encourage everyone to take a look at what BWI Gainesville has to offer; you won’t be disappointed.