SAMANTHA COPPING feels accepted and supported by the babyweraing community. She uses a firespiral sling (firespiralslings.co.uk)
‘I have never felt a bond with a group of people as strong as I have with the babywearing community. Our online chat groups are like a second home; a place where I feel fully accepted and free to be myself. My fellow babywearers give me confidence to be comfortable in my own skin, they support me and push me forward, and meeting them in real life was a totally obvious, and totally awesome, next step. We chose to have a mini camp and bring our families together in the middle of the country. We bought, begged and borrowed camping equipment and helped each other put it all together. We watched our children bond and play, we spent quality time together, and (of course) we piled all our slings together for a colossal stash shot! We all left on the Sunday morning feeling lighter, peaceful and truly confident that these people really are our family. A family that may have been brought together by our love of babywearing, but will certainly last long after.’
Making life easier
SOPHIE TAYLOR found that a carrier revolutionised her family life. She uses a custom-made Sleepynico, available at sleepynico.com.
‘It has really helped us bond with our baby by wearing him close but also the Sleepy Nico makes daily living more of a pleasure. It makes food shopping, walking, public transport, and pretty much most things, 100% easier - it means I have two hands! We recently went on our first family holiday to Cornwall and the carrier was the best thing we took. We carried our little one everywhere and whilst he slept some of the time, when awake, babywearing allowed him to look around and experience what we see from our viewpoint. He’s fascinated by trees and leaves for example! Overall the carrier has made a huge difference to our family life and my husband loves it too!’
DIANE WARNER is a mother of two who uses an Oscha Sling (oschaslings.com) and finds it supports her family especially with her daughter’s medical condition
‘Babywearing has meant so much more to us than just functionality. My eldest daughter has Cerebral Palsy and other medical conditions that limit her mobility. My husband and I can carry her in a sling and go on adventures and comfort her. This allows us to keep her safe on a daily basis no matter what we are doing. She gets over stimulated easily and babywearing calms her almost instantly. She is seven years old and often asks to be worn and hugged tight to feel safe or calm. My younger daughter also benefits from the sling; wearing her has allowed me to show her just how special she is though I often need to focus on her older sister. I can carry her and we can chat and have close contact while her sister is having a therapy session or doctor’s appointment. We go to many appointments a week, which takes its toll. Babywearing keeps me grounded and bonded to both of my girls in times of stress.’
Carrying three sons
BRITTANY KIRKPATRICK discovered babywearing with her firstborn and when her third child was born prematurely she went on to use woven wraps, which she says kept him out of the NICU. She now favours an Oscha Sling.
‘I realized my first tiny boy had only ever known the warm hug in my belly and I wanted to hold him snug and warm against me! When I finally found a ring sling, it all clicked. THIS was the answer to how to gracefully nurse in public and still feel like a human being. This was the answer to how I would keep up with my older boy when my second child was born. I finally found woven wraps with my third son and wearing my late term premie on my bare chest spared him from a stay in the NICU. My gorgeous cushy wovens mean I can still chaperone field trips and take my bigger boys on adventures without skipping a beat. My youngest is always contently snuggled to me and enjoying the ride through the adventures. Wearing helps me be human again, not just a milk machine. My boys are growing up secure, confident, and well adjusted. They have strong bonds with me and each other. Wearing means I don’t have to choose who to be attentive to. When I finally started researching wovens, I found the incredible wearing community and my tribe. Now it’s an art form, a community, a parenting style, amplified bonding, a collection, a hobby, and an adventure.’