Before I share my own story about babywearing, I want to shift the focus over to Stefani. She is an extraordinary person, passionate about babies, children and motherhood. She is also a wife and a mother of three boys aged 5.5, 2.5 and 8 months. She is especially passionate about babywearing and has been a true inspiration and help to me and countless other mothers. With her zest for motherhood, and commitment to natural parenting, here is a glimpse into her babywearing journey. In her own words, here she is!
I was 18 when my first son, X, was born. I fell in love with him instantly. I felt drawn to keeping him close, opting for him to sleep in my bed rather than his crib and to practice more naturally-oriented parenting whenever possible. I think my dad influenced me that way. He believes strongly in the use of herbal remedies and [natural] preventions, along with chiropractic care and naturally-acquired immunities. I found myself wanting to follow that path.
At my baby shower I was given a gift card for Toys R Us and was so excited to be able to get myself a high-ticket item that I’d been lusting after: a Snugli! X was a fussy baby and didn’t want to be put down, so I needed a way to carry him around and still be able to use my hands.
I encountered a problem, though. The Snugli hurt my lower back and my neck. I found myself carrying X in my arms. One day when he was about five months old, out of desperation, I tied him onto me with a lovely African scarf I’d bought at a little shop. Riding sling-style, he got a good snuggle with Mommy while I could do everyday things like locking my door and carrying my purse!
By the time I had my second son, Hedgie, I knew I needed something better. My husband and I went into a natural baby store when Hedgie was a couple of weeks old and bought ourselves a Moby wrap. I loved how soft it was and how it held my baby right against my heart. I was free to run around after X, to do crafts, to do everything I wanted to do while fulfilling Hedgie’s basic need for me. He had moderate reflux and keeping him upright made him way less fussy and he spit up a lot less.
I went to a babywearing workshop at a friend’s house and was let in the door to the world of woven wraps, mei tais, and buckle carriers. The woven wraps were more supportive than my Moby and they could be used in a variety of carries, including back carries. The asian-style mei tais were much simpler and more Daddy-friendly, and the buckle carriers felt very different than the Snugli. They kept Hedgie up close like the Moby, instead of hanging off of me. I bought my first woven wrap soon after, and was hooked!
*All photos courtesy of Stefani.