Life’s a journey. As time, circumstances, and age evolve, so does one’s journey. This evolution, of sorts, can be apparent in education, careers, relationships, and especially parenting. My Babywearing journey, funny enough, began fours years before I even became a parent. On a “Girls” vacation with all the women in my family to Savannah, GA, my 5 month old niece was in tow. She was the first grandchild in our family and was of course, doted on by her three aunts, grandmother and two great-grandmothers on this excursion. Many of us took turns holding and carrying her. Then, as we took a tour of the city, my sister pulls out her Baby Bjorn and wears her around. Being quite curious, I took a turn. My little niece loved being so close to loved ones and enjoyed being able to see everything from an adult’s viewpoint. It was so easy and freeing to have her strapped to my chest. I only wore her for a few hours, but from those moments, I was hooked.
Fast forward four years and when my first child, a daughter, was born, that same Baby Bjorn was gifted to me to keep her close and both of us happy. From vacuuming our home to hiking the Stone Mountain in Atlanta, GA, that little carrier helped baby Eden enjoy the world around her. I wore her for about 5-6 months, because she became too heavy and the straps of the Bjorn became too uncomfortable for me. My husband did the majority of Babywearing on our many hikes of Northern GA until Eden was about a year old.
When was just two years old, Eden became a sister to a baby brother, Will. Since my sister had another baby at the time, it was time for myself to buy my own carrier. So of course, I purchased a brand new Baby Bjorn (not knowing of any other options). I also received a newborn sling as a gift. Even with these two options, Will was only worn for about four months or so because of his size (9 lbs at birth and continued to be in the 90th percentile until he was a year old). Looking back, we both could have benefitted from a longer Babywearing relationship. He was a tough baby and had I known of other more comfortable Babywearing options at the time, we both would have been happier.
The stars aligned just two years later and my true Babywearing self evolved when I happened to find a barely used Organic Ergo carrier at a yard sale for only $35. That month, I found out I was pregnant with baby #3 and I would be nannying a 1 year old full time until my baby would be born. Three mornings a week, I would strap Wyeth to my back and sign Eden in at preschool. That Ergo became super helpful when I had both of children by the hand! And it gave me a glimpse of what it would be like to have 3 children.
Now I have a 4 month old, who has been blessed to be worn in so many carriers, wraps, and ring slings thanks to the generosity of others. My younger sister has let me borrow a Solly wrap, which is lightweight and super comfortable. My friend, Liz, gifted me a membership to the Gainesville Babywearers group and I have been so grateful! Rhys is by far, my most content baby and I owe it all to Babywearing. We have tried SSCs, ring slings, and mei tais, and all have been magically donned with sleepy dust. Thank goodness, because his older siblings are quite loud.
My eyes have been opened to a wider, more broader and more knowledgeable Babywearing world. And I have my sisters, my friend, Liz, and many new friends in the Gainesville Babywearers group to thank for that. My baby (and possibly future babies) are grateful, too!