From newborn to toddlerhood and beyond. More than a tool. A journey. A relationship. Growing into your role as a new mom, a new dad, a new family.
The first touch, skin to skin, holding each other in those moments that feel like an eternity but pass in the blink of an eye.
Sitting, standing. Learning to get used to this body again. Remembering what it feels like to balance and walk without another being inside of you. Sore here, swollen there. But present. Alive. And keeping another being alive. Fumbling, reaching, holding.
And then it’s time. You’re ready. Ready to leave your cozy nest and stretch your legs and start to feel like yourself, even if just for a moment. But your new, precious baby is not ready, not yet. So you scoop her up, curled up tightly on your body, just like when he was inside. And you wrap her in the softest knit, close to your heart, and you tighten, and it loosens, and you tighten and you learn. And soon, you’re swaying and enjoying the moments together, whispering to your sweet child that he’s safe, she’s loved. Mommy’s here. Daddy’s here. Warm and snug.
Up early with baby, the sun is smiling, and you decide to take a walk around the block for the first time. You want something light, supportive, and easy to help you enjoy this walk and enjoy your still-squishy little bundle. You effortlessly tie or buckle your meh dai, wrapping it around the two of you. Confident, calm, secure, and you’re off. Your sweet baby rests in the comfort of your heartbeat and the warmth of your chest.
Errands. At some point we have to return to life outside of the home and introduce our sweet babies to unfamiliar world “out there.” You’re feeling a bit nervous. A bit like you’ve travelled out of time, as something that was so easy and familiar has suddenly become so much … more of everything. More time. More planning. More packing. More tears. Step by step. Piece by piece. Set a time. Miss it. Set another. And you’re there. And you pause. No one wants to fuss with baby in the parking lot. You pull out your SSC. A quick buckle, place in baby, put on the straps. Like a backpack—something familiar and quick, a welcome sight. The woven wrap fabric molds to you both. Cozy and quick, you shop and it’s almost as if you’ve been doing this forever.
Getting into a rhythm, it’s time to clean and straighten. Your baby doesn’t know what cleaning is, though, and can’t bear to be apart. So up you go, scooping him up again. Into a ring sling she goes, and you’ve got the hang of this now. Sweep up, give a kiss. Start the vacuum and your little one falls fast asleep as you sway.
It’s been a long night of teething and growing. Your body aches. Your baby needs more. What more can you give. You decide to have a warm cup of tea. You turn on some soothing music, dim the lights, and gather your sobbing little one into your arms. You wrap them in your woven wrap and tighten each rail, a calm and methodic rhythm together. And then you dance, slowly, a perfect pair. You offer your baby some milk and she accepts, blissfully, finally falling asleep. You hold him just a little longer, breathing in her perfect scent. Then gently you lay him down and you all rest together.
Your baby is older now, more alert and eager to see the world. You step outside to harvest from the apple tree and little one wants to come with. He wants to feel the leaves of the pine as you walk by and to reach and pick the apples alongside you when you get there. You balance her on your hip, put his feet in the straps, and rotate her up high in your onbuhimo. Now you both can see the world!
How did your little one grow so much? Off to nursery school to play. When pick up time comes, you scoop your little one into your favorite carrier. Maybe you even nurse your little one. And you gather them and snuggle together as you head back toward home. You are your little one’s source of comfort and relief.
Babywearing is a way of parenting, of communicating with the needs of your little one and embracing each stage as they grow and change. An art and a tool and a connection. The days are long, but the years are short. You'll never regret too many snuggles with your little one. Your little one won't, either <3. You are their whole world.
What does babywearing mean to you?