Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Babywearing: On dreams and opportunities

In celebration of International Babywearing Week 2010, I'm writing about the benefits of babywearing for both mom and baby today, Friday and Saturday. I'll be sharing my own stories and stories from other families in my local babywearing group.

Our group, The Lake County Babywearers, will be hosting a huge celebration Sunday here in Lake County, IL. Check out our blog to see more details. {It will be worth you're time as we're raffling off an Action Baby Carrier donated by Heavenly Hold, an Anaju Bamboo Wrap donated by 3Tree Design, a Pikkolo buckle carrier donated by CatBird Baby and a Sakura Bloom ring sling, just to name a few items. And, yes, you can purchase tickets -- 3 for $5 if you contact me.}


It wasn't my dream to own a Curves.

Though I'd loved Curves and what's it's done for my body and self image, I'd never had a burning desire to, you know, run a place of my own.

But at seven months pregnant with our second son, John and I prayerfully considered it and ultimately decided to seize the opportunity.

I never would have even considered buying our club, though, if it weren't for the awesome freedom babywearing gifted our family by allowing us to remain close to our little ones while also going about other tasks.

Because while I felt God had pressed it upon our hearts to buy our local Curves, I knew even more deeply that he wanted us to focus first on our family, on raising our boys.

But we felt like both were possible because of babywearing.

We knew if we bought the Curves, I would be able to tenderly and lovingly care for my newborn while also tending to official business at the club simply because I could wear my baby at work.

Wearing Baby E. in my Anaju Bamboo Wrap comforted him while I was leading meetings, coaching the circuit and attending training sessions.

{Note: I was monitering eight-week-old Baby E's breathing by looking down into the Anaju Bamboo Wrap carrier while walking at our Strides Walk. His nose and mouth were clear of fabric and material.}

At six weeks old, I even traveled to Nashville for Curves Camp and wore Baby E. for the entire 3-day training event, making him the youngest Club Camp attendee in Curves history.

Women continually commented about my calm, content baby.

{And while Baby E. has a generally mellow and happy personality, he had some major discomforts during his first few months of life including a thrush infection and high palette, which made nursing difficult for him.}

But while wearing Baby E., I could nurse him, snuggle him, comfort him, carefully monitor him and just generally respond to his needs while bonding with him and simultaneously participate at Club Camp. {What baby wouldn't respond happily to that kind of intense closeness?}

I could effectively attachment-parent my tiny baby even during rough patches and tend to business because I had a carrier that allowed me to keep him safe, happy, healthy and warm.

And though owning a Curves wasn't my dream, it's been a wonderful opportunity-turned-reality.

We've learned awesome lessons about leadership, time management and entrepreneurship, and we've met wonderful women who have blessed us in such amazing ways. We've also learned how the importance of being servant-leaders.

I know we were supposed to assume ownership of our club even though when I was seven months pregnant it seemed daunting to try and welcome a new baby, love on a toddler and run a new-to-us business while still maintaining our marriage, volunteer posts, community commitments and John's full-time job.

But we never could have done it this well without babywearing.



{Baby. E., about six months, asleep in our Iris Didymos shorty}

Because though owning a Curves wasn't our dream, being attached, loving, attentive parents to two caring, compassionate souls was our hope, our deep desire.

And babywearing has made both our opportunities and dreams become realities.

Want to read about babywearing best practices to ensure happy, healthy wearing for both mom and baby? Check out these pictures and guidelines.

Also, please read Melissa's story about babywearing and post-partum depression. Babywearing truly is such a gift.

Linked up with Stephanie's babywearing is safe call to action.

7 comments:

  1. I "wore" all my babies, back when it wasn't nearly as comfortable or as easy. Back then we had snugglies. I made my own with my oldest daughter who is 33. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, and I always had wonderful, contented, children. Great article about a practice that should be talked about more!

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  2. LOVE IT! I love my Moby Wrap.. and loved wearing my kids. For me? there was no other way. I have given away most of my baby stuff and yet I just can't part with my wrap.. weird?

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  3. I loved reading about how freeing it was for you to wear your baby (and that bamboo wrap is gorgeous).

    Yes, babywearing is amazing and I love it too! Beautiful post

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  4. I didn't wear my son that often, I didn't know about baby wrapping the time. But I held him nonstop. He was a calm and happ boy because of it. I do plan on wearing any future kids that we are blessed with.

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  5. wow, i am new to the mommy world (my babes was born on mother's day) and have never heard about baby wearing but was doing it instinctively.

    i attended a conference on tuesday and had to take my baby along because i breastfeed. some women actually did not want me to sit by them because they were afraid of my baby disrupting the seminars but he was an angel, just sleeping against my chest.

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There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.

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