Hi, I’m Whitney and I’m addicted to babywearing. Okay everybody join in — “HI WHITNEY.” I had to do that. I’m 25 and live in Hampton. I was born in Newport News. My parents split and my mom took me on a road trip to West Virginia that turned into a 7 year stay, and then we came back when I was 10. Fast forward to age 24, year 2011, and I had my first and only (so far!) child, Layla Mackenzie. She is now turning two in two weeks! I work at a thrift store and Layla is my boss. No really, she comes with me so I consider that to be a true statement.
How long have you been babywearing?
I have been babywearing since Layla was about 2 weeks old. I was at a local children’s consignment shop and saw a woman with a brown piece of fabric pre-tied around her and said to Layla’s father that I wondered what it was for. The cashier piped up with “It’s a Moby, we have some over there.” That moment was the beginning of a glorious journey. I bought one and fell in love.
How has it helped you or changed your life as a mom?
Layla was a super high needs baby. I held her 23 hours out of the day and what a relief it was to do what I felt was only natural and still be able to tend to the other things I needed to get done. Later when we went to work, babywearing allowed me to do my job. It’s been amazing to bond with Layla the way that wearing allows. I account Layla’s advanced speech, intelligence, and empathy towards others to the fact that she was worn. Babywearing has also given me a community of moms that parent similarly to me to turn to. I value the relationships that I’ve formed with other women in this group as well as abroad. Okay — enough of the sap. I know some of y’all are pregnant.
What is your favorite carrier (or carry) and why?
I used our Sleepy wrap, that I bought shortly after the Moby, until Layla was close to a year old. I bought my first woven after that, a Didymos Lilies rosenquarts. Since then I’ve owned 16 different wraps, two wrap converted mei teis, a wrap conversion full buckle, an Ergo, a KP [Kinderpack], and a ring sling. My favorite carrier is a woven wrap. I love exploring the different textiles and patterns.
What is your biggest babywearing accomplishment?
I feel the biggest accomplishment that I’ve ever had during my babywearing days is when I got Layla wrapped on my back for the first time. It was in our Easycare #1, size 4 and I secured a simple ruck but it changed our lives… Again!
What has been your biggest struggle with babywearing?
What do you want others to know about babywearing?
You don’t have to own the most expensive, highly sought after or hard to find wraps or carriers in order to hold your baby close. It’s fun to collect, churn and stalk the makers’ pages trying to get your hands on the next big thing, but at the end of the day all your baby cares about is snuggles with you no matter what the fabric may be. (Queue the music…Can I be crowned Miss Babywearing International now?) But seriously, I mean that whole heartedly mamas!
If you were on a cruise with your children heading to Australia for two weeks, what carrier would you take and why?
If I were going now, at the age Layla is, I would bring a full buckle for ease and durability while sight seeing and my pretty Oscha “English Tea” roses shorty because it’s Layla’s favorite nap wrap right now and its nice for when we’re going out.
|Whitney with her daughter in a Kokadi Nixe conversion.|
Thank you Whitney!! (… and now… back to the swap!)