We like to consider ourselves a fairly adventurous family. Babywearing is something that allows us to go from hiking our small little mountain near Sebago Lake, ME to navigating our way to remote waterfalls throughout the state. But it didn’t start there… When my son was just an infant, I was a single mom overwhelmed by the thought of washing a sink full of dishes because I knew my baby would need to be held at the very moment I tried to get anything done. Babywearing was my saving grace and often still is 2 & 1/2 years in. So, as we’ve grown, our babywearing needs have changed & knowing we were up for some new adventures this past summer, I knew we’d need to upgrade our carrier as well.
That’s when I met Bee from ‘Bee is for Babywearing’. A Certified babywearing consultant, small shop owner & all-around badass mama of 3 wild bees! The more I share photos of our babywearing adventures, the more questions I receive about babywearing… and while I love encouraging other mamas & papas to try it, I’d rather leave the advice giving to the professional – that’s where Bee comes in, my go-to resource for all things babywearing. We’ve partnered up to give you the gift of her hands-on experience & resources in this guest post.
After hearing from Bee, feel free to leave any follow-up questions in a comment below & we will do our best to get your questions answered or point you in the right direction. If you are local to Southern, ME, I highly encourage you to schedule a consultation with her & take advantage of her services as well as her down to earth vibe. Cause’ let’s be honest, we all need to be in the presence of someone who can relate every once in a while & if there’s anyone who’s probably seen it all, it’s her!
Babywearing has been around forever. It is not a trend, it is not something new but it is something mainstream that we are seeing more and more of all over social media. So, you’re interested and you want to know where to begin, right? There are so many different types, many different brands, and so many people telling you what you need to get, right?! As a new mom it can already be overwhelming! Babywearing is natural, beautiful and normal and it doesn’t need to be overwhelming.
One of the most common questions I hear is, “What carrier should I get?” There are Soft Structure Carriers (SSC), Ring Slings (RS), Mei Tai’s (MT), Wraps that consist of Woven, Water, Stretchy, Pouch Slings, Onbus and even more! I can’t answer this question without really knowing what you are looking for. When do you plan to babywear? Why do you want to babywear? Do you or your child have any disabilities that I should be aware of? And other probing questions to help you determine what carrier will be a great fit! The answer to this simple, common question is not easy and it shouldn’t be because every wearer will find their love for a different carrier! We don’t go to the same store and all buy the same exact size, design and type of jeans do we? No. So, why should we with baby carriers? We won’t!
The second most common question is “Are there any affordable carriers?” The answer is YES! Affordable to one person is different to another, so let’s just start below $100 – there are many amazing brands under $100. Check out this awesome Budget Friendly list by a fellow CBWS Graduate. There are new carriers on the market all the time, as well as swap pages filled with ‘like new’ or ‘gently used’ carries for under $100 that people are selling. Babywearing does not and should not (if you don’t want it to) break the bank. It is an investment though. You are carrying your baby in this carrier; like a carriage, car seat, bouncy seat, bumbo or any other baby item that many of us put on our baby registry. Also, many places now offer layaway so, you are able to slowly make payments to get your hands on your dream carrier. Check out the list I’ve compiled of shops offering layaway here!
Now, let me tell you a little about myself… The one rambling on over here. I am Bee. My partner and I met in Boston where we had our twin girls and when they were 6 months old, we moved back to Maine where my family is and where I was born. Before they were a year old, I became pregnant with my son, who is 18 months younger than the girls. So, the happy ‘bee clan’, as I sometimes refer to us, loves everything outdoors – We can’t go a day without going outdoors and babywearing has allowed us many of those adventures!
My journey into babywearing started like this; When my twin girls were 5 weeks old I decided to venture out with them and meet my partner at work. I loaded them in their car seats, into the snap and go, onto a bus, then onto the subway and for a short walk. This was a nightmare. Rush hour traffic on both, not the friendliest most welcoming people and while both were “stroller accessible”, it wasn’t easily accessible. By the time I got to my partners job, I was in tears.
Later that week my older sister handed down two New Native slings to me and I fell in love! It started with short walks around the block and then I braved the grocery store – all while my little girls slept in the slings. It was the best feeling and accomplishment to me as a new mother, I adored it and felt so proud of myself. Shortly after I made it to a Babywearing meet-up that was local to me. I found out I was using the New Native slings all wrong; they were too big, my sweet babies were too small and they were positioned all wrong! WE ALL START SOMEWHERE!
Fast forward to today… My twin girls are 4 years old, my son is 2.5 years old and I have been babywearing for 4 years now. To this day, at least one of them will want/need to be worn. I have tried all types of carriers, many different brands and I can easily say that babywearing is a necessity for me and my family. It is a way of life, a daily thing and we couldn’t get by without it! Because of my passions; my belief that babywearing is really a lifestyle and my desire to really help people – I decided to become a Certified Babywearing Consultant through The Center for Babywearing Studies in March 2015.
So, what do I do and how can my services benefit you? In the simplest terms – I AM HERE FOR YOU! Before our meet up, I will ask you a few brief questions to help our consultation go smoothly and I will go over exactly what you want/need to help me understand you and your babywearing desires/plans/goals! I will bring a few weighted dolls as well as some carriers and duplicates of each type so we can mirror each other. Once confident with the doll, you can use your own baby. My goal is to leave you feeling confident using the carrier you currently have, one you may be interested in and/or introduce you to the different types of carriers I travel with to narrow down what may be best suited for you and your baby(ies.)
I know how hectic it can be with a newborn or two, or newborn and toddlers, and this is where private consultations come into play. I can come to you in the comfort of your own home; where you can stay in your pajamas, feed your baby when you need to and you don’t have to bother picking up. Really, It’s ok, I’ve been there and so wish I had the opportunity to have someone come to me with help. After the consultation, I am available for follow ups on the same carrier or different carriers and a variety of different carries. I also do group consultations to include your partner, nanny, friend, family member. Those who may be interested in wearing your baby as well are encouraged to sit in, learn, try, demonstrate and feel just as confident. There is a carrier out there for everyone, and that is not a universal one.
If you are not local or able to travel to the Greater Portland, ME area – there are Babywearing Consultants all over the US eager to help you & can be found through the Center for Babywearing Studies. You can follow me and reach out to me anytime:
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