A professional wrestler herself, now married to Broken Matt Hardy, Rebecca Hardy (aka Reby Sky and Queen Rebecca), is a key member of Professional Wrestling’s most beloved family, consisting of brothers Jeff and Matt Hardy, Reby’s father Señor Benjamin, and Reby and Matt’s 1 year old son, King Maxel.
Reby’s pregnancy and the birth of Maxel led to a major transition for her career and one that accompanied a dramatic and wildly successful shift in the family’s wrestling story line.
In the meantime, Reby and Matt Hardy have found their footing as parents, with parenting practices that some would describe as attachment parenting. But Rebecca Hardy describes her parenting style as Crunchy Glamour. Read More
Below, Kadri shares her experiences as someone who had a back condition before having children. She relates how becoming a mother fueled her search for a truly comfortable baby carrier. One that would make Babywearing with a bad back beneficial and enjoyable! Read More
Mandy is a pediatric nurse. She doesn’t work in NICU so hadn’t had experience before with a baby going through withdrawal, but as a babywearing mother, when she found herself responsible for a distraught baby, she knew what she could offer him for comfort! When she shared this in our local babywearing group, I felt fit to burst with emotion: compassion for the baby and mother and also a deep gratitude for the ability to comfort babies with the simplicity of human touch; for the good fortune to know how important this is for babies; and for Mandy to be working when this little one needed that. Mandy reported that the other nurses were continuing to wear the baby so that he was not left adrift when she went home.
In Mandy’s own words, “I’m a pediatric nurse and had a baby going through withdrawal. I made a makeshift sling out of some baby blankets and “wore” him as much as I could. It was the only thing that consistently calmed him down! Wear ALL the babies, even the ones who aren’t our own!”
Tatyana relates her experiences with farm babywearing – wrapping her babies and toddlers as she and her husband Frank, always adventurous, embark on the adventure of farming:
With two babies 13 months apart, babywearing has saved my sanity way too many times! Me and my husband met hiking the Appalachian Trail, so backpacking is what we love the best. Only when babywearing your load is much more precious than a load of camping equipment. Read More
Three months postpartum with my first child, I realized I could not even touch my toes anymore. I had always prided myself on this ability – and I could touch my toes right up till the last month of my pregnancy. So what was up? If this was the post-pregnancy “shape” everyone else was complaining about, I suddenly understood.
Even if the breastfeeding / lack of sleep / lack of time to eat combo ends up all rolling in your favor weight wise, the numbers are probably deceiving. Just try touching your toes. Even if it’s doable, it just doesn’t feel the same.
Sure, you can get a sitter or hope your partner’s hours mesh so you can take an hour or so to hit the gym or yoga class or train for that half marathon you’d always said you’d do. But let’s pretend (ahem) for a moment that I was too busy, too tired, way too unmotivated to do that. It’s not that I didn’t favor a few moments to bettering myself… its just that they came at the expense of time and effort spent pumping breast milk from already overworked breasts, the emotional toll of walking out the door on a schedule when one or both of us didn’t really want that to happen, the need to squeeze in a shower just so I could go work out because, well… newborns.
Let me just spill a little secret here: it’s not magically easier when they’re older. At some point, I bought a pair of good running shoes, and left the house at odd hours to run training runs for that promised half marathon. I did so well with this plan that by the time I was at the starting line for the race, I’d run just over 8 miles total and eaten half of my energy gels as emergency nursing snacks. I ran those 13.1 miles anyway. It was thrilling. And it sucked.
My mom friends gave me that look and told me about joining the gym. Maybe I wanted to drop my kids off with theirs and come sit on some plastic machines in a big room and get it done.
But I’d figured something out between those late night practice runs and that 13.1 mile race to prove I could: I didn’t need to prove anything. And I didn’t need to get any old me back. I just wanted to be strong enough to do what I needed to do, day in and day out, and healthy enough to outrun my kids. I wanted my energy back, not my waist. Well, maybe my waist a tiny bit.
By the time kid two came around, I had less to prove. I already had that half marathon under my belt, and I knew, if that’s what I really wanted to do, I could do it. So instead, our very first week together, I grabbed my woven wrap, wrapped my baby gently, took my toddler’s hand, and headed out the front door.
The amount of time we spent exploring the outdoors, taking short walks, sitting on swings, chatting with elderly neighbors – there’s no way I would have spent that time in any sort of exercise program. But I carried her. Sometimes, once my body was ready, I carried them both. With help from experienced babywearers my wrap no longer looked daunting, and my carries supported my body as well as my child’s.
With my oldest I’d tried to use a stretchy infant-only wrap for way too long, and my shoulders and back and neck felt the pain. I’d promised myself different this time. And so I fell in love with the perfect fit and support of the woven wrap. Nestled close and supported perfectly, my newest became an easy addition to our life.
Comfortable together, we went about life. We danced, we swung, we skipped. We explored new places, baby content on my front, and later my back. Sometimes those were quiet places, like the library or museums. There, she could nurse and sleep, calmed by my rhythm. Sometimes we found ourselves in loud places: street fairs, markets, festivals, playdates. There too, I wore her and she felt safe. When the sun was out, we soaked up the rays, my tiny one protected in her woven wrap and floppy hat and sunglasses.
The benefits of being in nature, of time in the sun, are immense. So are the benefits of skin to skin time. For both baby and parent! The more I wore my baby out and about, the better I felt. I felt healthy – my immune system strengthened, my emotions steady and sure. I felt calm, and my kids were calm.
And when I found myself, at three months postpartum, copying my toddler’s silly dance, I didn’t even notice that I was touching my toes. My body moved easily, strong and healthy from daily wrapping my baby, daily supporting an ever growing and increasing weight. The thought crossed my mind then, another marathon? A challenge of some sort? A gym membership?
But I wrapped my baby on my back, chased my toddler around a field of flowers, lifted her high in the air and spun her around. Later, as we walked along, with my baby on my front, nursing peacefully, my daughter reached for my hand.
“I’m tired, Momma,” she said. I nodded. “Am I too big for you to carry?”
“Not too big,” I said, “I am a very strong momma.”
I lifted her easily, my arms used to the weight, high onto my shoulders. I kissed my baby’s head, held tight to my daughters hands, and headed home.
Jessica Schaefer is an adventure lover and world traveler turned parent. Her family run store and blog melds free play, family time, and support for parenting past the baby stage. If you haven’t met them, you need to hop on over and look around!
“About seven months after my injury I discovered I was three weeks pregnant with my first child.”
Dani’s story: In April of 2013 I was on a climbing trip in Yosemite. On the first day of the trip, we were bouldering in an area called candyland, and I had a freak fall off a tall boulder. I fell at least 15 feet, and because of this fall I ended up with three compressed vertebrae in my mid back along with many other bruised bones. The bones themselves took three months to heal, but connective tissue and muscles are still being healed, and my back still aches constantly. But I never stopped climbing, because it always made my back feel better.
About seven months after my injury I discovered I was three weeks pregnant with my first child. This was quite unexpected, and I briefly struggled with what to do. Seeing as I am single and still in school studying for a degree in Molecular Cellular biology, I realized that having a baby would be difficult. I think my mind was made up from the beginning, but I had to consider all possibilities just to be sure. Considering that many women before me have raised children under much more difficult circumstances, I decided to go through with the pregnancy. I realized that it would enhance my life. I would now have someone to share all my passions with (traveling, climbing, art, science, martial arts, yoga, etc). I also realized that I would have the privilege of learning to see the world through the eyes of a child once again. It took me less than a day to come to this conclusion. My boyfriend and father of my daughter supported my decision and decided to stay with me and raise the child together.
Pregnancy sucked. No two ways about it. I was anxious to meet littles, but hated the process. I could smell EVERYTHING (including the hydraulic fluid on the escalator), couldn’t eat anything, was always nauseous, and had no energy. I had pregnancy sickness daily until month 7, but it never truly went away. On top of that I was still working and going to school. It was rough, but I was excited to meet my daughter. I continued to climb throughout my pregnancy. MadRock makes a pregnancy harness. It feels a little awkward, but at least you can climb. This helped my back significantly! Being pregnant and studying killed my lower back and stressed the muscles. Not to mention the hormone relaxin didn’t help any! So thankful that there was a way to continue climbing (even though I was limited to just top roping). Between climbing and yoga I was able to continue working out and caring for my body and back.
“I came to realize that we women are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for.”
Yet labor scared me. It always has. I (like most women in America) was convinced that labor was a scary thing. Fortunately I had a wonderful support network and was able to get all the info I needed about delivering so that I could make informed decisions about how I wanted to birth. The documentary “The business of being born” was a huge help. At first I wasn’t sure if I could give birth without an epidural since my back still hurt so bad. But in the end I was more afraid of an unnecessary C-section. I came to realize that we women are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Also, my body knew what it was doing while building the beautiful little creature inside of me, so I trusted that it would know how to properly bring her into this world. Turns out I was right.
On June 22, 2014 I went into labor. After 9 hours of labor and 6 minutes of pushing a beautiful baby girl entered the world with one hell of an appetite! Although the labor was painful and the birth traumatic (she had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and wasn’t breathing along with defecting in utero) I am so happy to have delivered naturally. It was by far the most empowering thing I have ever done as a women. I have now officially met the love of my life.
I always knew I wanted to wrap Roxanne and keep her close to me. I loved the idea of it! My dad had carried me in a backpack when I was little, and I loved it! The thought of wrapping a baby seemed so wonderful to me! Not to mention, so many cultures do it, so there must be something to it! I obtained a few hand-me-downs before I gave birth: a Seven Sling, a Maya Wrap (ring sling) and a Jersey wrap. I tried them, but nothing quite felt right. One day I stumbled upon the Wrap Your Baby facebook page, which led me to the website where I learned about woven wraps. The possibilities seemed endless! We could do back wraps, front wraps, hip wraps, and nurse in a wrap! After scouring the website I decided to get a Bali Breeze as my first woven wrap. This seemed logical since it was summer and hot here in NorCal, and it fit my budget. After ordering my wrap, I spent my time on the Wrap Your Baby website looking at as many tutorials as I could to learn the various ways I could wrap a newborn. I have been carrying Roxanne since her first week of life, and wrapping her since her third week of life (she got over being carried in a sling real quick), and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Everywhere I go, she goes. And she readily accepts new places because if she doesn’t like something, she can always just bury her head in my bosom where she feels safe.
Later I came to realize that wrapping her was also better for me and my body. Since I am still recovering from my back injury, wrapping has allowed me to actually be able to carry Roxanne for great lengths of time. I can also carry her with me around town while doing errands without having to lug a heavy stroller with me (putting strain on my back). Just holding her I tend to arch my back and within a short period of time I am in too much pain to hold her any longer. So when she’s fussy and wants to be close to me, I just wrap her up! Then I am able to do things around the house or around town and not worry about carrying her, maneuvering a large awkward stroller, or how I am going to nurse her. I already know.
Wrapping has allowed me to be close to my newborn in a way that would not have otherwise be possible with my injuries. I look forward to sharing everything I love with Roxanne, since she will be right there with me cozy and safe, all wrapped up.
Dani using the mirror at the climbing gym to get her baby wrapped safely and comfortably on her back.
Wrapped up baby adds 12 lbs to Dani's Workout!
Daddy benefits from wrapping baby, too!
You can learn to wrap your baby like Dani with a woven wrap. To wrap like in Dani’s yoga and newborn photos (first two pictures), here is how to do a Front Cross Carry.
And to wrap your baby on your back like Dani does in this post, take appropriate precautions (make sure you have help or practice safely until you become expert), and practice the Double Hammock Carry found here.
Baby Lisa was kept close while her mother worked on graphic design in 1988. She must have learned a thing or two because now she’s the one designing with a baby wrapped up on her chest! Lisa and her mother work together in graphic design now with baby Zeke in attendance: a true family business!
Lisa says, “My mom and I both are graphic designers, though back in the day she called it ‘desktop publishing.’ I learned the ropes from her and now we work together! I couldn’t wish for better.”
“My husband and I are new parents to our son, who is 4 weeks old. My interest in baby wearing started years ago, long before I was pregnant! We have spent years traveling and living abroad, and have seen baby wearing in action in many countries. From the streets of Nicaragua, to the mountains of Laos, to the riverboat houses in Cambodia and the markets of Thailand. Babywearing is a normal, natural part of many peoples lives!
“We are currently living in a rural town in the mountains of the Philippines, where I work as a missionary midwife. As I spend so much of my time around new moms, I couldn’t help notice that many of them wear their babies. Its not exclusive to mom and child either. Dad, grandma, even the older sister, will frequently wear the baby!
“I knew that baby wearing was gong to be a major part of our lives once baby arrived. Between the unpaved, uneven roads and crazy traffic, a stroller was completely out of the question!
“So when my friend gave us a beautiful woven Girasol wrap, I was ecstatic. When our bundle was 6 days old, our baby wearing journey officially began and, despite the high heat, baby loves being wrapped! In a world of no seat belts or carseats, Babywearing allows me to keep my son safe and close by as we travel and explore our area and will allow me to continue my work as a midwife at the clinic!
“He will spend hours strapped to my back as I do prenatals and baby checks! We are both happy when we baby wear, as we are exactly as we should be, connected and close!”
Wrapping allows Lacey and her daughter to keep up with work on their ranch.
My babywearing story of the day: I go out to do chores this morning and saw a baby calf that wasn’t doing very well just below the pens. So, while my little one is wrapped on my back, I catch the calf, carry her to the barn (she’s pretty new – so she isn’t that heavy – probably 50ish pounds), milk the goat, feed the calf the goats milk, feed the other bucket calf (bottle fed calf), feed the chickens, and feed the 2 heifers that are in the corrals learning how to take care of their calves. Win.
We have all first calf heifers (first time moms) and sometimes they just don’t understand what it means to be a mom or really want to be a mom. We “assist” 400 heifers during their first calving season and help when needed. Sometimes, the heifers have problems either during calving (labor and delivery) or taking care of their calf once it’s born. If need be, we assist in the delivery and we will even help them learn how to care for their calf on their own. But, sometimes it just isn’t in the cards, so we bottle feed the calf ourselves. Out of 400 head, we have one bottle calf, and the 2 heifers that I mentioned above who needed help.
When my husband gets home from assisting another ranch with their branding, he will go find the baby’s (that I found this morning) mom by matching the ear tag. He will put the two in the barn and help them become a pair. If it doesn’t work, then the baby will become a bucket calf and we will take care of her. The heifer will be sold in the fall. We do everything we can to make it work and help both the new mom and her baby.
I was born and raised ranching. It’s all I know. I want to pass the love I have for agriculture on to my daughters. I want my children to respect, have compassion, and understand livestock. It sure is something to watch my 5 month old daughter get her little arm wiggled out of the wrap (on my back) just to feel and interact the goat as I milk her. My babies are learning valuable life lessons at the youngest of ages…always safely of course! Babywearing has allowed me to share a special bond with my children and to continue to do my small part around the ranch. In my opinion babywearing isn’t only a necessity, but a privilege.
12 days before I gave birth to our 7th baby we found my husband had a brain tumor, only making this news worse is my first husband died from a brain tumor as well.
This is the first baby I have ever wrapped with, on his first plane flight at 3 weeks old. Now baby is 4mo and we have traveled across the US to seek non toxic holistic treatment for cancer. Now half way through treatment, we all are doing well!
How does baby wearing relate? Keeping him close and safe had been paramount to making our family function, to making lunches, to walking through airports, to working my small home business, to playing at the park. We are all safe and mobile and it is because I learned about baby wearing!