Mother’s Day Feature: Babywearing Choices
In honor of Mother’s Day, Choices in Childbirth has partnered with four mom-owned businesses devoted to serving families. Throughout the month of May, we will feature a new mom-owned business. Enjoy!
This week, Adriane Stare, proud mama of two, and owner of Wild Was Mama (formerly, Caribou Baby) in Brooklyn, helps new parents sort out their options for babywearing. Adriane advises: “The culture of parenting is ever-changing, but one thing remains constant: Mothers (and the partners and families that support them) will always try to do what’s best for their babies. So when it comes to learning how to use a baby carrier, trying on a nursing bra for the first time, figuring out the ins and outs of cloth diapering, or outfitting your growing belly, we are here to remind you to keep it simple and trust yourself. You got this!”
I help people learn to use and choose baby carriers for a living. It’s not the most common line of work but nevertheless, I have great passion for wearing babies and this is what inspires me to work every day. Like me, babywearing educators are on staff seven days a week in my Brooklyn shop to consult new families who are hoping to figure out what babywearing means to them. Naturally, the single most common question we get is “what’s the best carrier?” This very simple question of course rarely has a simple answer. In order to help new parents navigate the sea of babywearing options in search of the Holy Grail, I often use two analogies that seem to be a good conversation starter.
- Baby carriers are like pots and pans.
Do you love to cook? If so, you probably cook a lot. If you cook a lot, chances are if I looked in your kitchen cabinets you’d and have an assortment of pots, pans and other related tools to get the job done right. Contrastingly, if you are someone who prefers dining out over slaving at the stove, then perhaps a single, sturdy, oversized sauce pan might be all you need! I love this analogy with babywearing choices because it empowers families to choose a carrier (or carriers) based on their lifestyle and budgetary needs over comfort alone. If your babywearing needs consist of quick trips to and from a car, the carrier that’s “best” for you is going to look very different from the family with no car or stroller that needs to babywear throughout the day for hours at a stretch. Depending on your specific needs, you might find it easiest to curate a small collection of carriers that meet your various babywearing needs and get the job done well.
- Baby carriers are like jeans.
This means that those J. Brand acid-washed skinnies that your best friend swears by and fits her booty like a glove has absolutely no bearing on what those jeans will do for you or your booty! C’mon ladies! We all have our favorite jeans brands that fit our own body just perfectly. This is why our shop stocks a wall of hundreds of different types of baby carriers. Although it can seem intimidating at first, I promise it’s not just to make the choice (or your life) harder! In Our staff can be quite helpful at narrowing down the choices during a consult, but when it comes to actually pulling the trigger and choosing, you gotta’ do the hard work of trying some carriers on. The carrier that fits you and your baby will be the one that’s “best” for you. Your body and instinct will quickly tell you if it’s right or not!
Comfort and Lifestyle are two great places to start when evaluating which baby carriers are right for you. But let’s not forget the most important consideration – happiness! Babywearing, and consequently your baby carriers, should bring you great joy! If you do not have the luxury of a full-service shop to touch, feel and learn about carriers, then start with what you do know. Is a carrier beautiful to you? Can you envision yourself wearing it down the street? Do you have desire to learn how to use it? Listen to your gut feeling. It won’t lead you astray.
Conversely, if you are feeling joyless about wearing your baby and a change in carrier does not spark the love either, then it could be that the “best” carrier for you is no carrier at all. All choices should be given permission and respect, even one that look very different from the one I may make for myself. Remember – more than anyone else, you will always know what’s best for your family!
Mark your calendars to check out Wild Was Mama on September 17 for Choices in Childbirth’s presentation of “Breastfeeding & Beyond”, part of our All About Birth: Workshops for Expecting Parents.