Monday, October 04, 2010

Calling all Babywearers

Every family has a story, and babywearing is part of ours.  After Nathan was born, babywearing entered our lives, and we are profoundly grateful for the connection, bonding, and ease of the babywearing way of life.  From chasing cows to coping with a child in the hospital, babywearing is an integral part of how we parent.

 Nathan's now 2 1/2, and most of the time much happier to be on his own two feet (which is fine, since he's also 30 pounds now), so he isn't being worn any more...but I cherish all the memories of kissing his sweet head while he was snuggled up securely in his sling or mei tai.

By the time Miriam came along, I'd found my babywearing groove, and was excited to be able to wear her a lot more than her brother.   Tandem babywearing  made our year of 2 under 2 much, much easier. When she  was born, Nathan had been walking for a week. There was no way he could toddle all the way across a parking lot, far less walk through a store.  And if you've ever tried to navigate a stroller through a crowded, treasure laden thrift store (start by getting in, the doors aren't automatic!), you'll understand why strapping 35 pounds of baby to your torso is comparatively easy.

 I didn't want to be home-bound just because I had two very small children, and thanks in large part to babywearing, I wasn't.  And I not only shed the baby weight pretty quickly (try squatting down to get a can on a bottom shelf at the discount grocery with 35 pounds of extra weight and you'll see why!), I enjoyed making fun memories with them at the same time.

When we found out #3 will arrive next spring, one of the wonderful things we started looking forward to was wearing a snuggly little newborn again!  My husband laughed at me when I said that... and then later said he's really looking forward to getting to babywear a newborn too!  He loved the Moby wrap, and this time around I'm trading another carrier for a pretty indigo Moby.  Can't wait!

I know I've been rather silent around here, between morning sickness, a horrific cold *achoo!*, and a broken camera, so you might be wondering what brought me out of the woodwork.

Babywearing is in crisis, and just as babywearing helped us, we need to turn around and help the babywearing industry stay beautiful, vibrant, and diverse.
While I've made many of my own carriers, not every mama can, and we need a variety of big and small babywearing businesses that can provide those families with the tools they need.  When I'm stopped on the street and asked about my carriers, frequently I say, "I made this one, but you can buy a similar one from (fill in the blank depending on the type.)"  Often that person will write it down or take one of my babywearing cards with more information.

Losing those businesses due to expensive testing, prohibitive regulation, or sheer bureaucracy is not acceptable. 

What if I can't refer them to somewhere they can buy a similar carrier anymore? Or if eventually even sharing patterns and tutorials for DIY carriers is curtailed because of regulation?  How will that harm babywearing?  I don't know and I don't want to find out.

The CPSC is trying to regulate the babywearing industry, and there's a risk more of our favorite carriers will disappear,  like Hotslings.  Babywearing is a parenting choice, and by restricting our access to carriers, the CPSC is going to limit our ability as parents to choose what we feel is best for our babies.  This is totally unacceptable.

Please go connect with the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance on Facebook to stay updated.  A recall of a major baby carrier (at the moment unnamed) is being forced through this week.  The Baby Carrier Industry Alliance states that this is a safe carrier and the CPSC is very much in the wrong to be forcing a recall.   More details here, please take the time to read and act.  If this can happen to one carrier, it can happen to them all.  All our carriers are in jeopardy.  

If you are represented by any one of the legislators listed here, PLEASE call and write them! 

Also, if you're a blogger, the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance needs you... please go here and read their call to action!  We need to be vocal right now about how important babywearing is to us! If you write a post, be sure to post it on the BCIA Facebook page AND add to the linky over at Adventures in Babywearing... one linky participant will win a Sakura Bloom ring sling!   And if you share your babywearing story and link up at the Wrapsody Baby blog you'll be entered to win a Gypsy Mama microfleece wrap (perfect for fall!)

Whether you wore your babies, would have wanted to, are a current babywearer, want to babywear someday, or just plain care about people having the right to make their own parenting choices without heavy handed government intervention, please take the time to act.  For the small businesses. For the parent's who need their hands back.  And for the babies... and their babies.

1 comment:

Amber Morrisey (@BirthRoutes) said...

Well said!!

I am RTing, sharing on facebook and will post a blog myself - as a babywearing educator I teach safe wearing - up to the families which they buy or make etc, but hope they remember the safe ways to wear.

Thank you so much for sharing!