A customer asked about babywearing and dancing. She had seen a video once of someone flamenco dancing with a baby on her back. Could she continue her traditional dances with baby wrapped up? So I asked around and I am in love with all the babywearing dancing I turned up.
Firstly, thanks to some help from the gals on the facebook page, we found the Flamenco Dancer. Love it!
Or their own Boston Babywearing version of Wheels on the Bus:
And what about expressing your love of babywearing with a music video:
When I asked the Facebook community, several people told me they dance in their livingrooms with their babies. Many prefer baby wrapped on the front so they are like a dance partner or can be cuddled while danced around. And their babies love it!
And then I googled “babywearing dance” and found out that lots of places and groups are offering babywearing dance classes. My heart swells at the thought of all the fun being had dancing and babywearing! Do you?
Our dear friend Robby took us to the most beautiful national park yesterday: Grandview in West Virginia. He also brought his camera so I have a great shot of me, my baby, and the heavenly forest surround. I also have a slightly less picturesque shot of my husband with our one year old beside a breathtaking and treacherous ravine.
So, when wearing your baby out on hikes or other outdoor adventures this summer, I think my family photos can provide an easy to remember babywearing endorsement:
In the US, we talk about babywearing enhancing the relationship between mother and baby. In Kenya, where strollers are not the norm, they worry that the introduction of the stroller “may damage the relationship between a mother and a child.”
The shift in viewpoint produces more dramatic language that specifically calls out the stroller as a potential danger. It’s interesting to note that even those of us who shun the device are colored enough by our culture to refer to babywearing–and not strollers–as the alternative, discussing babywearing benefits instead of stroller hazards.
“It’s just not Kenyan…For the child, the love will not be there if the child is cooped up in such an antisocial device.” Do we really want that description labeled “American” instead?
We nurse often, but we aren’t stuck at home because we happily nurse everywhere!
We cloth diaper, but we aren’t stuck at home because wet bags make it easy to cloth diaper on the go.
We EC (elimination communication) too, but with a potty in the trunk and lots of bushes and restrooms, that’s easy too.
We homeschool, but that takes us everywhere but home.
Yes, I have a five month old baby, but I’m not stuck at home. Thank goodness for my wrap!
I can go anywhere with my baby without the limitations of a stroller.
In the wrap we can nurse while shopping, wading, chasing, and reading books in the children’s section of the library.
While wrapped up, Belle doesn’t pee, so it’s easy to take her out when we are near a public restroom and let her pee before slipping her back in the wrap.
Wrapped up, Belle can eat and sleep on demand–so we don’t need to schedule our activities around nap time.
Because she’s wrapped up, I have my attention free to point out to my five year old the seahorses at the aquarium. And you know what, Belle doesn’t have to wait until she’s tall enough to see them too!
2.5 months old, Belle nurses in the wrap while I push Ada and her friend Mia on the swings
It became official on Thursday when I was at Busch Gardens with my girls. Annabelle was wrapped on my back in a rucksack, and I was chasing Ada from attraction to attraction when a babywearing mom ran to catch up with me and tell me that, “I told my husband it was the woman from the website!”
Mama, you made my day! And the invite to our babywearing group is always open if you ever make it closer to Dunedin! Wednesdays at 11am at the Labor of Love.
Last weekend we took our two kids–aged five years and just shy of three months–camping for three days! It was the Harvest of Hope Festival. It rained some serious rain the first day and night and was beautiful and muddy the next two days.
Our kids slept amazingly well in the sleeping bags as loud, drunk people shouted past and stumbled into our tent throughout the night. It was so cozy having the four of us cuddled up so closely on out tiny, portable room.
At night we all listened to the sound of rain on the canvas ceiling and walls and in the morning Belle gazed up with joy and awe at the glowing tent walls billowing in noisy wind. It was SO nice that my husband is seriously considering my crazy plan to live in a yurt in the mountains!
Belle gazing at the tent walls.
By day we weren’t much in the tent and Annabelle wasn’t much out of the wrap! I kept the Front Cross Carry tied on and out of the mud. The mud was so prevalent that there wasn’t anywhere to put a baby down when we weren’t in the campgrounds so she came out only for the occasional potty/diaper change, and to listen to Kimya Dawson’s childrens show while Ada went onstage to join the band!
Kids at Harvest of Hope 2010.
Belle listening to the concert.
Ada plays with Kimya Dawson at 2010 Harvest of Hope.
Wrapping liberated me to go camping with my kids and I am so glad!
I’ve got it pretty easy. My big kid is five–a much more cooperative and responsible age than, say, three–and my little kid is only two months old, which means she’s easy to keep track of!
So shopping is not difficult. I buckle in Annabelle. Ada buckles in herself. When we get there, Ada lets herself out, carefully staying near the car, while I unbuckle Annabelle and slip her into my wrap (pretied in a front cross carry).
When we get into the store, Ada rides in the shopping cart and this is the only tricky part! With a baby wrapped on my front, it’s surprisingly difficult to lift Ada straight up and into the seat.
Out is easy. If I take the cart to our car, Ada enjoys climbing out into the trunk of our minivan and from there into her seat. I just hold the cart still. That is her preferred way but she can as easily climb out of the cart into the open side door next to her booster seat.
If we don’t take the cart into the parking lot, I just turn my back to Ada, and she climbs out of the cart onto my back and slides down. This is actually not awkward, difficult, or uncomfortable at all. I should have my husband video tape it sometime to demonstrate!
But getting Ada in the cart is difficult. I can manage it, by picking her up toward my side so as not to squash her sister, but always prefer to have her climb in without me if she can. We look for steps, or short walls that give her a boost into the cart.
It would be much easier if I had Annabelle on my back but she is almost always nursing while we run erranhds so for now, we make do.
Babywearing, and nursing, at the Florida State Fair:
Nursing on the Ferris Wheel
Goat, Annabelle, and I
Sideways in the Front Cross Carry
Above you can see where I put Annabelle in the front cross carry sideways. I figured it would give her a view while still supporting her in a physiologically safe way, and giving her a way to cuddle against me before she became overstimulated. I think it’ll work great, but the fact is that right now all she wants to do, especially in a noisy public place, is nurse. So she soon ended up tummy to tummy again. Also known as mouth to nipple.
Once or twice we ended up stuck behind a clunky stroller trying to maneuver through the muck of the fair. I was glad not to be so burdened, and also not to be burdening my fellow fair-goer!
I felt great after Annabelle was born (perhaps due to consuming the placenta?) and was eager to go out with her after the first few days. I wanted to show that baby off!
I turned to the front cross carry for a poppable, pretied carry. It is perfect! I tie it on at home and often use it to carry Annabelle to the car when I need my hands for the diaper bag, snacks, jackets, library books, etc. I take her out and put her in the carseat, leaving the front cross carry tied on me. When we park, I take Annabelle out of her seat and pop her into the wrap without retying. I do adjust depending on whether she wants to nurse or not—for nursing I usually wear her in it upright but a lot lower so that her mouth lines up with my breast.
When we get back to the car it’s the same routine—pop her out and into the carseat. When we get home, pop her back in so I can carry groceries, bags, etc.
The front cross carry is often touted as being the much more poppable carry over the front wrap cross carry, but I have found FWCC to also be easy to pop my newborn in and out of. There is one additional pass of the wrap with the FWCC, so that means three pockets to sort out putting the baby into, but this has not been difficult.
However, I eventually settled on the front cross carry as my preferred out and about carry and this is why. First, the knot is tied in the front, so that I am not leaning back on a big old knot while driving. Of course, one could use a longer wrap for the FWCC and bring it around to the front to tie and solve that problem. Second, the FCC is very easy to tie on without your baby, and approximate the fit so that there is little adjusting needed when you do slide your baby in. With the FWCC, I need to have baby in it when I tie it.
Another carry that I love for poppability is the hip cross carry. This one could also be tied on without baby and fit fairly well with little adjustment. However, with a newborn nursing almost constantly, I prefer the discretion offered by the cross carries. A one shouldered carry like the hip cross carry just doesn’t provide adequate cover. I use it for nursing at home, but despite being a fairly unashamed breastfeeding mother, I want more modesty at the grocery store. The hip cross carry is fairly discreet when nursing on the same side that the wrap goes over my shoulder, but when we inevitably switch, I’m feeling too much of a breeze! Nursing in the HCC in a cradle position is fairly discreet, but I prefer the convenience of nursing my baby upright so that she can switch sides and doesn’t need to be taken out to be burped.
Thus, I’m loving my front cross carry for traveling!