Babywearing of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

Babywearer of the Month: Meet Caitlyn

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My name is Caitlyn. I’m 23 years old and I’m from Pipestone, Minnesota. I currently live in Virginia Beach and am the mother of a 3.5 year old little girl named Carmen and wife to Benjamin who is currently active duty Navy. 

 How long have you been babywearing? I’ve been wearing for approximately two and a half years now. I did wear Carmen when she was a newborn but I only recall wearing our Moby a handful of times. I remember going to the grocery store and Carmen was way low and I just could not figure out what had happened but it turned out she was just too heavy for it! I quit wearing her after that for quite a while until we were in the mall and I saw this sweet new momma just loving all over her baby in a front pack carrier. He was so little and every time we’d see her, she was kissing that sweet head. I was totally jealous! I had to have that kind of bond with my baby!! So I went out and bought the same carrier but it really killed our backs so we went back to just not wearing. It was sad. Carmen was about a year old and I really had the urge to wear her again. I remembered I had saved my Moby and it had a 35 lb weight limit on it so I really wanted to try it out again. I actually wore it a handful of times before thinking it was just too hot and I couldn’t seem to get it to fit very well. Thankfully I stumbled across some online babywearing communities that helped me navigate through the sea of baby carriers and I was able to wear her comfortably. Ever since, we’ve rocked wraps, ring slings, some soft structured carriers, and even some wrap conversions. I really had to try them all and I appreciated each carrier and how they could help me stay close to Carmen.

 How has it helped you or changed your life as a mom (dad/caregiver)?Babywearing has changed so much for me. I have this huge community of friends now. I’m even tearing up typing this out because I think of all the people I have met doing this and what a big part of my life they are now. Parenting can be so lonely especially as a spouse to deployed husband and the meetings we have here really brought joy each month for me while Benjamin was away. I adore seeing new faces at each meeting and helping someone and seeing it click for them really warms my heart. It lets me know that I am doing something amazing every day. I think it’s also help me learn a lot about what we go through as parents and what brings us to babywearing specifically. Whether it’s parenting solo through a deployment, or learning to be close with your baby after a failed breastfeeding relationship, chasing after a toddler with a newborn; I get just a peak into these people’s lives and I know how important babywearing can be to them.

 What is your favorite carrier (or carry) and why? Feel free to chat about what carriers you like best, which ones you’ve tried, anything pertaining to carriers.You know for the longest time, Carmen and I loved our wraps. We rocked them at every chance we had. We sported a gorgeous Didymos Indio while traveling and I always feel like a celebrity with a baby all wrapped up and my big sunglasses! I learned to love a short wrap and rock a “RUB” or a ruck tied under bum and a double hammock also tied under bum. Candy cane chest belts became my ultimate go to especially for long stressful trips where I’d need the most comfort. Totally takes all that stress off your shoulders and brings those straps out of your armpits. Now at 3.5 years old, we rock our soft structured carriers. Carmen and I have a Kinderpack from Kindercarry in a preschool size now. My husband fits great into and while I could probably use something a bit more petite, it works just fine. Carmen has these super long legs and unfortunately wrapping isn’t very comfortable for her anymore. It’s possible to do but you find your kiddos have a preference just as much as you do.

 What is your biggest babywearing accomplishment?I think being a part of BWI of HR has to be my biggest accomplishment for sure. Passing my VBE and then my ABE accreditation and I am so ready to be putting in my application for Master Babywearing Educator! I think educating in general is really my biggest accomplishment.

 What has been your biggest struggle with babywearing? 

Oh man, learning to wrap solo! I always tell people the sweat, the tears, and the pain experienced while learning to use those woven wraps are normal. I even cried my second day of learning because I just so badly wanted to use this gorgeous wrap and I wanted to tote my baby like all the other moms on Facebook! Benjamin was away for schooling and so I really had to figure it all out on my own, hundreds of miles away from any babywearing group. 

What do you want others to know about babywearing
This is tough because I want to answer, “everything.” I think that’s what’s compelled me to educate. I feel like I have this amazing secret to sanity while parenting and I cannot keep it to myself. I want people to know that you can do this and make it work and when you get it, the feeling is incredible. 

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