Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday in Honor of International Babywearing Week 2014

It's already five days into International Babywearing Week 2014 and only two days left. Bittersweet memories already in reflecting in the fun we've had in just a few days!
Wearing my third while at work. 

Today we are looking back on our personal babywearing adventures. I'd like to share a little bit of my babywearing journey with you!

I found babywearing with my eldest, back in 1999 when the Babywearing World was much different. The part that might be the most interesting about me finding babywearing back in a time when wearing was not very popular was it was actually my mother who got me into wearing.

Wearing my second at Cumberland Falls

In 1980 when I was born we lived in Alaska. My mother was a very outdoorsy type and she would often wander off into the woods to go hiking and camping for weeks at a time. On occasion she would take friends and other kiddos along with her on these trips. I remember being young and going through the photo albums of our adventures in Alaska. It was quite a site to see my petite, 90 pound mother with myself loaded on her back in one of her two carriers, (she had a framed backback and a carrier that was very similar to a common Soft Structure Carrier such as the Ergo) my four year old sister by her side, camping gear loaded up and her white german sheperd and dotson watching beside us all. A few times she actually showed me the Ergo-Like carrier that she had used with me and I remember touching the fairly worn carrier and marveling at how strong and amazing my mother was.

My Second Born in the new recalled SlingRider
but one of my first carriers. 
In 1999 I had two carriers I used with my first. A front style carrier that I used around the house and when we went into town. At that time I was a single, teenage mother so I was staying with my mother on her 30 acre farm and trips into town were infrequent! I also had a framed backpack style carrier that I used out working the horses and helping with chores once my eldest was able to sit unassisted.

Ten years passed between my first and my second. Having previous babywearing experience I knew that I wanted to wear my second born as well and I was in a few different online groups for parents at the time that had a few more natural oriented Mama's as members who in turn got me into the more modern day world of babywearing. At my baby shower my mother was very happy to gift me with the Infantino SlingRideer (Which has since been recalled) and I was excited to start my second babywearing journey. I bought myself a Moby as well and remember really wanting the beautiful woven wraps and slings that I had seen online.

My second and I enjoyed making DIY carriers together. 
I wore her once in the SlingRider at her follow up appointment after birth and decided it made me uncomfortable. I moved on to the Moby wrap which I liked quite a bit. I still really wanted all those pretty slings I kept seeing online but at the time, I had just quit my job to become a stay at home mom again with my second and it was just not within the budget to purchase them so I did a lot of research and started making my own.

There's many great tutorials online for making your own carriers. Sleeping Baby is probably my favorite for having the most information in one place. Her page features a great collection of education and resources as well as safety tips and information.

My very first woven wrap doing my first very carry!
Sometime later, on Mother's Day, I purchased my first woven wrap in lieu of accepting any other gifts I said that is what I wanted. I found a size 7 Storechenwiege Anna in a swap group that was very well loved and very much broken in so it was an amazingly great starter wrap. I've since bought new Storch wraps and I have to say, there's something for buying used as they take a bit of wear and work to make them as mold-ably soft and lovely as that one was!

Wearing my second while at work and
pregnant with my third. 

Nature Hike in the Great Smoky Mountains 

I've had so many wonderful experiences that Babywearing has brought to me! After 15 years of babywearing and 5 years of fairly "serious" babywearing there's just so many memories that each piece of cloth or carrier that has come into my home contains. 

A lot like my mother we enjoy nature hikes a lot. I have so many photos wearing my second and my third in many, many trips to the woods, mountains and waterfalls. I hope that one day they will be able to look back and appreciate the memories made while keeping them close and secure just as I have been able to.

Wearing my third while pregnant with my
fourth while my second smiles at the camera
during a nature hike for IBW 
Our BWI Group Warming Celebration! 
I hope that you have many amazing babywearing experiences
as your journey unfolds!
Happy Babywearing and Happy Babywearing International Week!

Mary Rodio 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Work it out Wednesday!

This week we are celebrating International Babywearing Week. This week we are doing many events to show our love for babywearing in and around the community, in person and online. Monday we had a blast with our online scavenger hunt, Tuesday we learned something new from our Volunteer Babywearing Educators, and now for Wednesday we are going to Work It Out!

Now lets face it strapping extra weight, in some cases 30 or more pounds, can be a work out in and of itself. Doing everyday chores like sweeping, laundry, or even walking the dog will boost your burn by just wearing your snuggly baby. Be prepared as you may be distracted by your baby's cuteness, I consider this an added perk. Who doesn't love looking at their little one while being productive?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Adventures in babywearing

Adventures in Babywearing!!
Babywearing was a life saver for me this summer! I'd like to share some of my tips and experiences from 3 different trips I took, the carriers I used, and why. Babywearing made flying effortless and helped me participate in fun activities with my family and friends that I personally think would've been a challenge without a baby carrier, and even a few things that would've been down right impossible. 

Baby's first trip was to visit old friends on the coast in Virginia. We really enjoyed our size 2 woven wrap on this trip. It was super hot in July and the shortie was nice and versatile while keeping us cool. I could keep baby snuggled on my front in a torso carry, nurse in a rebozo carry or I could put him in a back carry when I needed some freedom. Babywearing is especially handy for beach trips since it's next to impossible to push a stroller through the sand. You can keep baby close and still enjoy all the beach has to offer. Other outings like an amusement park and water park were a breeze with baby happily strapped to me. I also loved our Kinderpack soft structured carry for ease and comfort.

Our next trip was to go visit family in Indiana.  I opted to fly with baby since he hated the car and we had just had a very long road trip the month before. I usually prefer to bring a car seat on the plane
for safety reasons; But for this trip a happy baby won out since he typically screamed in his seat and I didn't want the entire plane to hate me. Many people travel with their babies under 2 as lap babies. It is recommended that baby be strapped into a carseat but is not required as it is safer to fly than it is to drive statistically and airlines know that many people would object to purchasing a full price ticket
for their baby. Do your research and do what is right for you. I was aware of the risks and opted to keep baby on my lap versus a seat, but have and will buy a seat for my babies in the future so they can be properly restrained. When wearing your baby through the airport you are typically allowed to keep baby in the carrier through security, though they will do a special screen on your hands. I used my shortie for this trip again because of the versatility and the fact that I couldn't easily wrap with a long wrap on a plane. A ring sling or buckle carrier would be great options for this reason as well. My little guy fell asleep right as we were boarding and unfortunately airlines require you to take your baby out of the carrier for take off. I asked the flight attendant what the reasoning is for this and her guess was that your weight could crush your baby in the event of an accident. It seemed unneccessary to me but we obliged. I popped baby back into our pre-tied rebozo carry to get off the plane and off we went.

Our final trip was local to Gatlinburg for the weekend. Long days of wearing out around town called for more supportive multi-pass carries in our longer woven wraps. Our second day there was spent hiking in Smoky Mountain National Park. This is another activity that would literally be impossible without wearing. Baby happily snoozed in the carrier while we hiked some fairly challenging trails and soaked in the sights, including a gorgeous waterfall. This day my husband shared the wearing with me so we used the Kinderpack since it was his preference. I definitely didn't object. Many people use carriers specifically designed for hiking, although a soft structured carrier provides the same function and is more practical for everyday use; A woven wrap would be a good option too. I would recommend a back carry for hiking so you can watch your footing. At one point baby was fussy and only happy on my front and it made things much more challenging. I wouldn't recommend a sling for this since something more balanced and ergonomic would be more comfortable for both Mom and Baby. I would definitely not recommend dangerous hiking while wearing, but there are plenty of trails out there that provide beautiful scenery as well as a challenge.

  Just because you have a baby doesn't mean that your travels and adventures need to stop. Babywearing provides a lot of opportunities for fun activities! Always remember that the rule of thumb is generally not to do anything wearing your baby that you wouldn't feel comfortable doing carrying your baby. Use your best judgment and if it's something you are questioning it's probably best to avoid it. But otherwise, grab your baby carrier and enjoy some great adventures with your little one!