BABY WEARING: Old Tradition Becomes New Trend

You may have noticed more parents using special carriers around town at places like the Farmers’ Market or mall.

The practice of babywearing has been around for centuries, but it’s becoming more popular across the country as parents look for easier ways to keep their kids close at home or on the go.

You can’t help but notice a trend in this room of moms. Mom Amanda Brezina says, “This is Jovie, and she’s 6 months old, and I have worn her since the day she was born.”

Mom Katie Kelly says, “This is Finn. He’s 11 months, he’s been worn since he was almost two weeks old.”

Suzi Lang says, “I’ve been babywearing since my 7 year-old was like two weeks old, and gone through every carrier there is.”

Babywearing is the practice of keeping your kid close in a carrier around the house or around town. Kelly says, “It’s about the only way I achieve anything in my house, laundry, cooking everything.”

Mom Katherine Gamble says, “Strollers are wonderful and great, but sometimes it’s great to have a baby right on you, you’re moving through crowds, farmers’ market is a great example of that.”

You’ll find a variety of carriers online and even in big box stores ranging from $20 to $1,000. While the wraps may look complicated, The moms showed how to safely get your kids on your back or close to your heart in less than thirty seconds. Gamble says, “What we never want to see, we never want to see baby’s chin on chest. We always want that airway nice and visible and clear. We also want to see baby’s back supported, and we really want to see them nice and upright when they’re old enough.”

The women are part of a group promoting the safety and benefits of babywearing. Gamble says, “We are Babywearing International of Central Iowa.”

The group is growing in popularity. They meet the first Tuesday of every month in Beaverdale. Meetings are free and open to the public. Gamble says, “It’s really just a place for you to get hands on help with your carrier, try on different carriers, see what you like, meet with other like-minded parents that are babywearing.”

The group even includes specially trained and tested volunteer educators, which help moms and dads learn to use a carrier. Kelly says, “I was really intimidated by getting him on my back by myself, so it was really nice to have someone who knew what they were doing, spotting me to get him up there.”

The next Babywearing International of Central Iowa meetings are Tuesday, June 3rd at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The group currently meets at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverdale. You can also learn more at the group’s booth at the Downtown Farmers’ Market June 14th.

The group has about 70 active members. They pay $30 dues and get access to the lending library of carriers. About 700 people belong to the Babywearing International Central Iowa on Facebook.

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