Babywearing of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013


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Babywearing as an Autistic Adult

Babywearing is a fantastic tool for parenting an autistic child. It allows us to meet the world where it is without fear for safety in crowds or over stimulation. Both are still a factor, but wearing E makes them easier to manage. This is all really great, and I’ve touched upon it before in the post titled Sensory Overload.  

[Jade wearing A in a rainbow buckle carrier. Both are looking at the camera smiling. E is sitting next to them with a huge grin at the camera. ]

How does babywearing affect me as an autistic adult? It’s actually helped me in a few ways as a parent and as an individual. As a parent, it makes going out seem possible. Outings are overwhelming and exhausting. I typically limit myself to one errand a day as more than that has me burnt out for days after.  When I need to take the kids with me to do these errands, even thinking about the day’s tasks feels like more than can be done. Babywearing transforms these mountains into manageable tasks. It does this because it puts the  children in a visible, contained space. They climb out of cart belts, let go of hands and disappear, and E even figured out how to lift the back panel of a cart to climb in and out. When I wear them, I can focus on the tasks without fretting about the children’s safety, thus lessening the anxiety that surrounds it. 

Babywearing also helps to satisfy E’s need to touch me while considering my adversions to being touched. It’s really difficult to remain present and kind with E when she is constantly touching me. I don’t like being touched and honestly half the time it makes my skin crawl. Wearing her gives her that close contact she craves without it being focused to the surface area of her tiny hand. This makes it significantly more bearable. 

As an individual, babywearing helps me to disengage with the surrounding public. You can’t politely stare at your phone in crowded gatherings. You can, however, disengage by cuddling your kid. I can go out and be social without being forced to maintain eye contact, small talk, or acknowledging the discomfort that comes with standing close to too many people. This is especially good because I don’t want to be antisocial. I enjoy hanging out with friend and forming new relationships. The process to it all can just become terribly overwhelming and taxing before it does for others. 

Overall, Babywearing is a win for everyone. The kids are happy. I’m happy. And strangers are happy that they don’t have to bear through awkward small talk. Cheers all around!

[Jade wearing E in a blue-green buckle carrier with boats on it for bed time snuggles. Both are smiling at the camera. ]

This piece was originally posted to JK Penney Blog



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Water Wearing!


It is swim season! Pools are opening and we are all rushing to the nearest beach to stay cool during this hot weather. Babies get very slippery in the water so what do you do? I know what you are all thinking now…”What do I do with my slick my baby at the pool?” The answer is easy.

Water carriers!

 These carriers are often made of bathing suit material or athletic mesh. They are lightweight and fast-drying which makes them great for the pool bag. They also are pretty breathable. 

Wraps-These are normally wrapped just like a stretchy carrier, using the pocket wrap cross carry. There are a many retailers who sell these. Numerous people make them on their own as well. This is a great option for those who love wrapping!
Our friend Jenny wears Gideon in a water wrap at the pool!
Ring Slings– Water slings are a great choice! These are made with mesh usually, and have plastic rings. There are also water slings that are made from a polyester/elastan blend. Water ring slings are a popular choice because of their availability. They are also easier to use than many other options. Popping baby in and out is fast! Our Southside lending library has a mesh water sling available for checkout.
VBE Dani is using a water ring sling here, and  says “Wearing in the pool last summer made it so much easier for my little one to stay warm against me while also enjoying the water. We wore her everywhere and she got used to the water really fast!”
Pouch Slings– Like ring slings, these are also readily available. It is also easy to pop baby in and out quickly!
CSV Anne says “Wearing allowed us to play along the breakers at the beach. It kept my daughter secure and allowed her to feel safe. It also made it easier to carry my daughter to and from the car with all of our stuff.”

   

VBE Brittany enjoys using a regular ol Seven Sling poolside and in the pool.


Always remember to pay attention to where your baby’s head is while in and out of the water. You may go a little further out in the pool or ocean than you realize. Don’t forget that the ABCs of babywearing apply in the water as well!

There are numerous shops online that sell these water carriers. I recently even saw water mei tais! If you have any questions about how to use these carriers or where to buy them, do not hesitate to ask in our chatter group! We look forward to seeing you there!