Babywearing Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

Babywearer of the Month: Meet Chrissie!

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Hello! I’m Chrissie Riese. A 27 year old working mom to McKenzie, 16mo, and wife to Kyle. We PCS’ed here about 4 years ago from Charleston, SC; but, we’re originally from Shepherdstown, WV.

When I was pregnant I put a Moby wrap on my registry, because when you’re pregnant with your first, you must have EVERYTHING at Babies ‘R Us. Right? My sister in law gave me the wrap during my shower. I don’t think she quite realized how monumental that gift would become. Miss McKenzie came along and my husband’s daddy leave ended, leaving me stranded with a newborn. I had spent the majority of the previous 21 days in a comfy chair with a little squish attached to my breasts. But now, my husband was gone and I needed to feed myself and maybe get some housework done. I had a good bit of anxiety leaving Kenzie out of my direct line of sight- even with a baby monitor. Enter the Moby wrap. 

We spent the rest of my maternity leave cuddled together in our Moby. Don’t worry, Daddy got in on the baby cuddles too. Our lives were forever changed. I could give my baby a safe, secure environment to explore her world while I still had the use of both hands. I found that I could prevent or significantly decrease crying time; and a happier baby meant happier parents. As a side effect, my parenting stress and anxiety significantly decreased. There’s just something calming about holding a little person close. It’s 16 months later and I’ve never looked back on the decision to wear my child. 

We’ve tried MANY different carriers over our wearing ‘career’: kinderpackbabyhawk MT, ring slings, tula, pouch sling, wovens, tulalenny lamb SSC, ring and buckle onbu… just to name a few. My current #1 is our buckle onbu. It’s the perfect marriage between a woven and an SSC

Comfort finally meets convenience. Seriously, you must try one of these. My #2 is a DRS2S (double rezobo shoulder to shoulder), because nothing beats wrap cuddles. I love how secure the carry feels and the multiple seats make life very hard for my seat-popper. And finally, my #3 is a good ‘ole ring sling. It’s great for quick trips and nursing in those early days. Looking back, from a little nursling in a ring sling to back carriers with a toddler we’ve had many babywearing successes and struggles. 
Sticking with wearing into toddlerhood is easily one of my top successes. When I first started, I figured I would only wear until she could walk. Now, I cherish every time we go up because I know, sometime in the future Kenzie will not want to go up anymore. Second to that, my biggest accomplishment has to be NAILING the double hammock. Learning new carries is never easy. The first time I tried the DH, I wound up covered in sweat with a screaming child on my back. Yep. Not glamorous at all. But in that moment, I knew I could DO this and it has launched me into another phase in my babywearing journey. I would love to teach others how to achieve this same sense of accomplishment, so I’ve started the VBE process. Keep your fingers crossed for me! 

I always end up getting covered in crumbs, drool, spit-up, pee (yep, it’s happened)- really any combination of bodily fluids or food. The struggle is real, but it comes with the territory. I’ve learned just to carry an extra shirt, just in case. The bigger struggle for me was my love-hate relationship with wovens. I wanted so desperately to love them, but I hated them. Despised even. But for some reason, I kept coming back to meetings and trying them. I learned new tricks and eventually, something clicked and I became a wrapper. My first carries were a FWCC, r-ruck, and Robin’s hip. Looking back, I can’t believe how far we’ve come. 

The beauty of babywearing is that it’s dynamic; find the babywearing love and challenge yourself. Try a new carry or carrier, get involved with our chapter by volunteering. There are always new things to experience. There’s something for everyone, don’t give up. Keep trying until you find what works. It’s worth it.

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