Peace ☮f Fabric

October 10, 2018

Burkley and I are big into babywearing. At first, it was a matter of convenience. After my csection, it was difficult for me to carry Desi, and I didn’t always feel safe doing so since I was seriously lacking in core strength, so when he needed to be walked around or bounced for comfort, that often fell to Burkley. But not having been offered paternity leave from his company (a rant for another time), the time he spent at home after Desi was born, he was technically working from home, often being forced away by phone meetings and urgent emails. Babywearing helped him juggle both: Super Dad! 

Once I felt more physically capable, I began to wear Desi, as well. It was an easy way to get him to nap well, it made public breastfeeding a little more comfortable, and it freed up my hands to do chores. It also made me feel more comfortable bringing Desi out of the house; it felt more secure since he was literally attached to me, it made it harder for strangers to try and touch him with their germy hands, and it staved off public meltdowns if we’d timed our outings poorly. It was one of my most used parenting tools. But beyond that, it was one of the most necessary and valuable resources for my mental health and my ever-growing bond with my new baby. 

Kangaroo Care is the practice of caring for newborn babies through close, often skin to skin contact. It helps with temperature regulation, heart rate regulation, hormone regulation, anxiety (for both mom and baby), and even helps with a Mother’s milk production. Through babywearing, we’ve had 9 months of Kangaroo Care. For 9 months, my baby boy has stayed close, almost as close as when he was still growing within me, and comforted. On our toughest days, my Ring Sling, my carrier of choice, was close by to help us reconnect, to help me wrap my baby in layers of arms and fabric and love, making both of us feel safe and secure and at peace. On days when I was struggling emotionally, feeling like I wasn’t good enough for a plethora of reasons, I could don my linen armor and take on the world, knowing my baby was in fact in good hands and I was strong enough to make it through the day. 

Wanting to learn more, we also joined a babywearing organization that helps members find the right carrier for them and educate them on proper and safe carrying techniques (it’s more than just sticking baby in and doing some buckles). If you’re at all interested in babywearing, I highly recommend finding a local group and attending some of their free meetings. I have learned so much, and being able to try out different carriers and different ways of carrying has opened us up to so many opportunities and possibilities, as well as making a difference for us day to day. Having learned to carry Desi on my back in a buckle carrier, for example, has made it easier to cook dinner every night, which means a lot to our family, and makes it so I can include Desi in on the experience more, showing him what I’m doing and explaining the steps for the recipes, all while keeping him safe and happy. 

Being able to hold my child close whenever and wherever the want or need arises has forged a bond like nothing else. And the smile that spreads across his face when he sees us pulling a carrier out, stretching his arms out eager to “go up,” is heartwarming. The meaningfulness we found in babywearing is part of what lead us to finding Attachment Parenting, peaceful, gentle, intentional practices that felt like crystal clear answers to how we wanted to raise our child in this muddied and messy world. 

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