I’ve been wrong. For nearly seven years now, I have been a babywearing advocate. Before I was a volunteer with BWI Austin, before I was their bloggess, before I carried around cards and thanked random strangers for babywearing in public, I still loved babywearing and was wanting to share. I gifted carriers whenever possible, lent out my Moby wrap or Ergo to anyone who would wear it, and for seven years now, I’ve been wrong.
I’ve always been quick to point to blog posts, product reviews, advocacy groups, and meetings in your area. I’m fast to share resources and research, citing this expert or the other.
I like to think that my profession as an ambulance chaser and professional liability monger* has clouded my judgement. I like professional opinions, research, law. The tangible, measurable, and verifiable things in life make the most sense to me. I’m quick to talk about the statistical advantages of kangaroo care and the science behind attachment theory, the measurements of carriers, and the “best” carrier for what age, etc. What can I say? I think research is king… so it should be that way in babywearing as well. It is. The research behind babywearing and carriers is important, but it’s not the place to start.
I’ve been wrong.
Instead… Start Here.
Start with you. Start with the babywearer.
YOU, babywearer, are this baby’s person. YOU chose babywearing as a caregiver in order to give more of your comfort and closeness to this tiny person in your care. YOU know this baby better than any of us do and so before you get lost in warp and weft or half buckles, bukleboos, quarter buckles, or ring waist, trust YOURSELF.
There is LOTS to know about babywearing. So much so that it becomes people’s full time hobby (ask me how I know). I think that before you go down that road, first trust yourself as caregiver. YOU are the snuggler-in-chief, yo! Don’t let babywearing confuse you, YOU tell babywearing what you need from it!
Like any other parenting tool, once you can use it safely, take the parts that serve you well and leave the parts that do not. Don’t care to learn wrapping? That’s fine. Only want to wear through infancy? Cool. Want to start wearing when your baby is a toddler? Awesome. Need something that is a budget-friendly alternative? We have that! Forward-facing-out only? Great. Are you a non-parental babywearer? Love those!
So, start here: “I am doing a great job. Go me.”
THEN ask : “How can I use babywearing as a tool to make me even more awesome?” and “What parts work for me in the place where I am right now?”
After that, and only after that, can the research and the science and the blog posts, and the meetings, and the carrier measurements come.
Start with you.
*Perhaps not my actual job title, but I do speak to groups about liability law and offer risk management consulting. So, I go with it. 😉