Babywearing International of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

Babywearer of the Month: Meet Shawna

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Hello!  I’m Shawna, mother to five beautiful girls.  🙂  Their ages are 11, 9, 6, 4, and 18 months.  I am originally from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, we moved here in 2001 when I began working at CHKD as a clinical pharmacist, although I’m now a SAHM and homeschooler.

My husband and I both wore our first daughter on occasion, we had a homemade ring sling and a Baby Bjorn.  Since she was an “easy” baby however, we didn’t really wear her that much and I didn’t really use it as a parenting tool, just as a convenience.

That all changed with the birth of our second daughter only 23 months later.  She was a high-needs baby from the beginning, and I quickly discovered that the only way to give her what she needed (to be as close to Momma as possible at all times) was to wear her.  I almost wore out my Baby Bjorn!  I used it with her until she was at least 16 months old, and when it reached the point of not being at all comfortable for me I just would carry her in my arms.

When our third daughter arrived I discovered wrapping, and the rest, as they say, is history.  I started with a Moby wrap and quickly moved onto a Didymos woven wrap.  With each of my later babies wearing and wrapping them has been a key point in my parenting.  I don’t know how I would as effectively mother my girls without babywearing.

My favorite carriers are definitely woven wraps, I’ve probably tried over 100 total over the years!  I’ve also tried many different brands of ring slings, mei-tais, and soft-structured carriers.  My stash right now consists of wraps, one ring sling, and one Kinderpack SSC.  Each carrier fulfills a different need in my stash.
I would say my biggest babywearing accomplishments have been the ability to participate in activities that would be extremely difficult or impossible while using a stroller, and to keep my high-needs babies close to me while still being an effective mother to my older girls.  My family has taken hikes in the mountains thanks to babywearing.  We have navigated airports and Disney World, all without having to fumble with a stroller.  I’ve been able to read books to my toddlers, help my older girls with their schoolwork, cook meals, cheer at soccer and football games, all while babywearing.

I am so happy to see babywearing becoming more common.  🙂  When I was wearing my third daughter I was the only one at our church who wore their baby.  Now, we use ring slings in our church nursery, and I have been able to teach and help many, many Mommas learn how to wear their precious babies.  I was even able to help our pastor’s wife choose a wrap for her new baby born earlier this year!  It warms my heart to see so many babies being held close to their Mommas and Daddies.  Some people still think that holding babies close so often makes them too dependent on Mommy and Daddy later on.  I say, it’s just the opposite.  When you give them the closeness and comfort that they need when they are small, then they gain the confidence and independence to go out and explore the world around them, always knowing that they can come back to Mommy or Daddy for some close cuddles when they need them.  

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