Because tradition became tradition for a reason (ERGObaby GIVE-AWAY)

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Those of you who are regular Inked in Colour readers know I love wearing Bo. You’ve seen pictures of our lives, you see how often she is wrapped up against our bodies. I’ve written briefly on it before, here, but much like cloth nappies I have never seen it necessary to write too much about it… babywearing (much like cloth diapering) is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned. But, in light of this week being International babywearing week, it is the perfect time to delve a little deeper.

My aim, as Bo’s mother, is to parent her with the ultimate respect and love that all human beings deserve. To treat her with kindness and to respect her space and her needs and her opinions. After all, a person’s a person, no matter how small (Dr Suess). Babywearing is one extremely practical way for me to care for her and to give her the accessΒ  to me, her mama, so that she can communicate her needs more clearly. It has got us through sickness and travel and given me free hands in customs and airports and kept Bo safe on busy streets and public transport and crowded markets.

For my husband, Ni, who was born and raised in a small Indonesian village babywearing is not a “thing” it is a way of life. For the community which we brought Bo into as a newborn babywearing didn’t define your parenting style, it was just what you did to get through the day. Indonesian babies are worn all day long. They eat, sleep and play from the security of their mama’s arms. Bigger kids wear littler kids. It’s more than just a choice, it’s a tradition steeped so deeply in their culture that it just is. It is no surprise that this culture, one that is straddling tradition and the pull of the modern world, maintains such respect for the way that they hold their babies. Whilst they may now tend to rice fields with their traditional bamboo hats, a sharpened sickle in one hand and their fingers quickly sending a text on the mobile phone with the other, there are some things that will never change. Babywearing is one of them.

In this Western world of ours we get so caught up in labels. I think it’s sad. Baby wearers are coined as being attachment parents. Which is fine, and not fine at the same time. I hate parenting labels, with a passion. There is nothing wrong with being an attachment parent, but I don’t consider myself one and I don’t like to be assumed to BE anything… when at the end of the day the only parenting anything I am is Bo’s mama. That’s confusing enough most days, labeling it and stuffing myself into a neatly organised box isn’t going to help that. What I would love is for all of us to step back for a moment, to remember that just as our babies are little people, we are all individuals too. And what works for one won’t work for another. What I do doesn’t need a label and you don’t need to fit into a box. You don’t need to be an attachment parent to use a sling. You don’t need to be crunchy to want to hold your baby against your body and feel that sweet, sweet newborn breath against your chest as that teeny tiny human sleeps soundly. You don’t need to buy organic to know that having your baby on your back gives you two hands free to cook your dinner. You don’t need to be anything more than a mother (or a father) to know that loving your kid, just truly loving them, means being there and being present, as often as you can with your hands and your heart and your mind. Parenting labels are about the parent, babywearing… it’s about the kid.

In this fast paced world where we are stuck to technology and we are routined and organised and our lives are packed full of schedules and events and meetings and carefully planned moments… sometimes it feels like we have lost our roots a bit. Let’s get them back. Let’s remember tradition, and if we can’t, let’s make new ones. Traditions where love and respect are paramount. Traditions where we accept and celebrate our differences. Traditions where we hold our babies close enough to kiss, before we know it they will be big and running and no longer babies anymore. Traditions are traditions for a reason.

Check out the Australia & New Zealand Babywearing Week website and Facebook page for details on how you can get in on a babywearing event in your local area. There are groups of mamas and papas from all walks of life,all over the country meeting up, sharing the love and showing new parents the joy of babywearing. Don’t miss out!

In celebration of babywearing week Babes in Arms is giving one Inked in Colour reader their very own ERGObaby doll carrier in Galaxy Grey – it’s the perfect gift for any little one who want’s to get in on the babywearing love. To be eligible for this prize you must have an Australian or NZ postal address.

To enter just comment on this post and let us know what babywearing means to you… share this post far and wide and help celebrate International Babywearing week, creating tradition with love.

xox

 

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my loves…

 

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  • October 11, 2012 - 8:08 am

    Sommer - I love wearing my 7 week old, snuggling while sleeping, and feeling the weight of her body against mine as I hold/rock her to sleep. While out in public wearing her makes me feel protective of her and at the same time SO proud, I just want to announce to the world SHE’S HERE!! Haha! I have a question actually – how do you deal with the heat? My babe seems to get really hot and sweaty (tho now it’s better as fall has arrived) and the only solution I’ve come up with is to take her out and carry her. Any suggestions, especially since you live in hot weather? And side note, hope you are dong well away from ni. I was in the exact same scenario as you (without the baby or wedding vows…erm…maybe not THAT similar haha, but cross cultural nonetheless). If you both want it (sounds and looks like you do), it’ll work out because failure won’t be an option. πŸ™‚ hugs.ReplyCancel

    • October 11, 2012 - 8:48 am

      Sash - Hey Sommer. Thanks! You are right, when failure is not an option – then you won’t fail. I’m OK. Thanks for asking. As for carrying your bub. What carrier are you using? When it’s hot the type of fabric is really important. Natural, breathable fabrics work heaps better (cotton, linen or bamboo or a blend work best), and dressing your bub in cotton too helps. We’ve never had a huge problem. A bit sweaty sometimes but never alarmingly so… Congratulations on your little girl! Best thing in the world, these babies are.ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2012 - 9:14 am

    Tasha - Babywearing for me is an awesome way to be close to my baby girl and strengthen our bond. And I know she loves being close to me too. She gazes up at me and smiles. I get in lots of extra cuddles when I’m wearing her! I just love it.ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2012 - 10:22 am

    Deb Thomson - I have worn my little man since he was born. Being a mum of three other kids who have lots of things happening I needed to be able to transport Lucas around easily and comfortably. I also loved the newborn closeness – just looking down at my chest and seeing my little man asleep gave me so much joy. Even today as a big 9 month old, putting him in my baby carrier while out is the only way he will go to sleep for me. Its lovely that he stills wants to be that close and of course it makes my heart sing.ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2012 - 2:15 pm

    Lila - Babywearing for me is calm. Eve had a rough few weeks when she was first born as we didn’t realise she was allergic to dairy and she would scream and scream. Putting her in the sling meant calm walks in the breeze or just cooking dinner without her in distress. I don’t think we’d have realised so quickly what the issue was if I hadn’t held her so close all the time.ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2012 - 6:04 pm

    Kate - I was just looking at the ergo baby carriers for kids last night because I thought it would be the perfect gift for my sister and her niece. She is due at the end of the month and loved her ergo with her first child so I thought it would be nice to give a big sister gift so my niece can be like her mum and dad holding her baby. She already tries to breast feed her little people dolls when she sees me breast feeding my daughter. So cute and she will be two in two months πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2012 - 6:11 pm

    Erica @ Expatria, Baby - Babywearing to me also just something that is a way of life. It’s getting things done, easing colic, comfort and calm in a crazy world. When we moved to Indonesia a few months ago, my two-year-old suddenly wanted to be carried in her carrier all the time. She knew it as a safe place in a new and strange world. So that’s what we’ve done. Since then, she’s taken to a selendang, and even wears her own baby that way.ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2012 - 6:19 pm

    Cath - Baby wearing saved me for the first few month at home with a new baby. As well as the obvious loveliness having baby so close, it was also super handy for keeping Miss (not so gentle and sometimes jealous) Frankie at bay while we were all settling in. Gorgeous post as always my dear. XReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2012 - 10:15 pm

    Heather - I wanted to comment, although I’m in the US and thus not eligible for the giveaway. I, too, am not a fan of the mommy labels. I’ve worn all 3 of my babes, and I love the closeness that it gives. I prefer the Moby wrap in the first few weeks of life, but then I use my Ergo religiously. It’s especially helpful now that I have 3 kids, because then I have my hands free to wrangle the older two. My youngest will be 7 months old soon, and we rarely go anywhere without her in the Ergo. I also love when my husband wears the baby. Here in the US, especially in the deep south where we live, you don’t often see men wearing babies. I find it extremely sexy, ha!

    Anyway, love your blog. I find it so intriguing, and I wish your sweet family nothing but the best!ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 6:31 am

    Rochelle - Babywearing for my husband & I means being able to share the joys that the world has to offer with our child/children. Our son has seen so many things right on our backs, not the usual sight of people’s bums from a pram haha. Not to mention a pram wouldn’t make it up a mountain or down into a cave. He is safe and happy, what more could a parent want?! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 10:32 am

    Stacey - I have 2 daughters and used an Ergo carrier for both from when they were born.
    I believe it has definitely strengthened our bond. I have had people criticise me, asking why I don’t just put them down to sleep, or push them in a pram instead.
    I do it because I love being that close to my baby, feeling their little body snuggled into mine, allowing them to see and experience what I see. I love that they feel so reassured and calmed by my presence. I believe some of the best and deepest sleeps my girls have had are whilst strapped tightly to me. I love that I can give them that!ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 4:03 pm

    karleigh - For me babywearing is just what we do. My big girl needed that close contact and my little girl loves being up where she can keep an eye on the all the action. The husband loves babywearing too πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 5:42 pm

    Helene - Hey Sash and Bo

    Just wanted to say that I loved your post and that it has confirmed that I am wanting to delve into the world of baby wearing. When I first had Sophia I was terrified that if I wore her too much,she would become too dependant on me. It hit me when thinking about all the other cultures that have existed for centuries and your blog that clearly baby wearing does not result in a clingy low self esteem child. Sophia is now 9 months and I feel I have missed precious wearing time so I’m going to buy a baby sling and def have my eye on an ergo carrier!

    Hope you and your family are well
    HeleneReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 6:03 pm

    Amber Lee - Baby wearing to me means hands free & convenient but much more importantly I know it comforts my daughter and makes her feel more relaxed and content than if she was in the pram for example. She’s peaceful & warm & I love it when she strokes my face πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 6:12 pm

    Poppy Atheis - Baby wearing just feels so right! It means I can get things done without having to put my bub down. Putting her down feels wrong. I also love the benefits of physical and emotional development that baby wearing provides but it’s hardly surprising it’s beneficial for bubs when it’s really just where they are biologically designed to be!ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 6:30 pm

    Tracy - Baby wearing to me in one word is independence. I can take my little man everywhere I go and know that he is safe and secure snuggled up against me. It also gives me so much more freedom to enjoy outings with my older son. I don’t have to stay attached to a pram, I can run, chase and play with him and follow where he goes with ease.ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 8:21 pm

    felicia - I don’t but into parenting labels either, I didn’t know that us carrying our little man in a sling was even called “baby-wearing”, it just seemed natural to keep him close to us as much as possible!ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 10:20 pm

    Corinna Winen - With my 2nd baby, Charli, who is 9 weeks old. First of all it was out of necessity. Charli has bad reflux, I have remaining pain and difficulty with Symphasis Pubis Disorder so am unable to push trolleys and prams. So to go anywhere or get anything done I had to start baby wearing. Now I will never look back! I am in love. I am in love with my baby girl and I am in love with wearing her. She is in love with me wearing her. We have bonded beautifully and I am thoroughly enjoying her. I didn’t have such a positive experience with my firstborn 6 years ago. That could have been very different if I had of been aware of babywearing back then.ReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2012 - 7:00 am

    Jess - We have a pram, it takes up the whole boot, we rarely use it. And when we do, little man tolerates the novelty for a short time, then we end up pushing it around empty, while we carry him. Babies are smart, and know what they need. I made a promise to my son, to trust his instinctual wisdom, to trust him to tell me when he’s hungry, and when he’s full, when he’s tired, and when he’s busy learning, when he’s comfortable exploring, and when he needs to reconnect, or just see the world from a loftier viewpoint. He knows that he needs to be close, so we trust his wisdom and carry him. I guess then, ‘babywearing’ means honouring my son’s wisdom, and keeping a very important promise.

    PS I only found your blog this week, and I am really enjoying it. Thank you for writing so honestly.ReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2012 - 11:46 am

    Nicole - Baby wearing means I can snuggle a little longer in our busy lives !ReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2012 - 12:10 pm

    Rosemarie - Babywearing for means closeness and cuddles, and keeping my smallest girl safe while I am running after her sister! Her favourite place is on my back, peering over my shoulder at whatever I’m doing.ReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2012 - 1:40 pm

    dina hameed - Before I welcome my daughter I thought having a pram to chart her in when out and about would be enough. My daughter had other ideas and babywearing very quickly become the only way I could feed myself, do washing or go for a walk and in the same time keep her happy.

    As she grew I just loved it more and more. It kept her happy and safe and was so easy on public transport. Every time I saw a mum (or dad) struggling with a pram on the tram I kept thinking to myself – If only they had a carrier.

    Our ergo has come with us all around the world. It was a lifesaver through busy airports and on narrow and busy streets in my husband’s home country. We also used it when we went on a 2.5 hour hiking trip up the mountains in Norway and our daughter slept most of the way.

    She is now almost 4 and to tall for me to wear her and I miss it greatly.ReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2012 - 4:49 pm

    Beck - My 9 month old loved being carried from day dot, I used to be able to feed her, and tend to my 2 year old so easily. And whilst we haven’t worn her for a while, I will always be eternally grateful for the sling and the baby carrier that bonded me and my children from so early on.ReplyCancel

  • October 14, 2012 - 3:29 am

    Alissa - I love wearing my 4 week old daughter! It allows me to do things and spend time with my 2.5yr old and play with her as I have my hands free but know I am still bonding with my newborn. She is a much more settled sleeper when she is on me than in her cot.ReplyCancel

  • October 14, 2012 - 5:20 am

    Naomi Heckendorf - I started babywearing with DS #2 so that I could settle him easier and still look after our 2 year old. It enabled me to be able to get out of the house and do things.ReplyCancel

  • October 14, 2012 - 3:36 pm

    janelle odwyer - i have worn both my baby girls using the ergo carrier. πŸ™‚ love it πŸ™‚ hubby and i got married when dd1 was 9 mths old she was right there when we cut the cake and had our first dance. πŸ™‚ i love to baby wear as my babies can be right there with me loving life life, keeps them happy and sleepy when needed πŸ™‚ allso more convent when travelling and walking in the lovely out doors.
    janelleReplyCancel

  • October 14, 2012 - 5:53 pm

    AnnaJ - Babywearing for me means the best of both worlds. As a new mum you wish you could stay snuggled with bub all day long – life, however, has other plans. Babywearing allows you to snuggle all day AND cook, run errands and visit with friends.ReplyCancel

  • October 17, 2012 - 4:15 am

    Jennifer Miller - I love babywearing…I wore my daughter so that I could get things done (and snuggle). Now I am pregnant again and plan to wear this baby so that I can chase my daughter!ReplyCancel

  • October 18, 2012 - 10:58 am

    Darlene L - I love this post so much! I hate being ‘defined’ as well. Baby wearing to me is a way to play at the park with my 5 year old if my 5 (6 next week) old daughter doesnt want to be in her stroller. It means having two hands free which is SUCH a blessing with a billion things to do!ReplyCancel

  • October 18, 2012 - 12:09 pm

    » Being great… and admitting it. Inked in Colour - […] and confusion rife this week… we are a little behind. We will announce the winner of the Ergobaby doll carrier in the next post. Thanks for your patience, […]ReplyCancel

  • October 19, 2012 - 3:20 pm

    Diana - your baby look so cute. i hope when i have a baby, the baby look cute like yours.ReplyCancel

  • October 20, 2012 - 12:43 am

    Nicole-Lynn - These pictures are so beautiful!

    Baby wearing to me is a priceless bond, moments of closeness that you share with your child.

    Seasidesmitten@aol.comReplyCancel

  • October 22, 2012 - 12:09 pm

    » Open for transformation. Inked in Colour - […] winner of the Ergobaby Doll Carrier competition is: Amber Lee. Congratulations Amber!! Your email address has been passed on to Babes in Arms and […]ReplyCancel

  • October 24, 2012 - 8:53 pm

    Christine - My mother’s family are Malaysian- Chinese, my father are Australian through and through. (Except my father has never been scared of other cultures.)

    I was raised in Australia, but I made frequent trips home to Malaysia. And see? I call it home, because most of my family is over there! On my father’s side there are no children except me, so how my mother’s large family raised a family has completely influenced how I want/ed to raise my daughter. Babies always slept in hammocks. Babies are carried, not pushed in strollers. Babies are the center of families.
    Since having my daughter, I feel like a lot more of my mother’s culture has come out. And it’s weirdly hard, because my daughter’s father refused to accept a different culture. He couldn’t understand how you could be two things at once.

    To most people, I look like a tall, dark haired Australian girl. And it’s weird how they will assign labels to me- that I’m a hippy, that I’m into attatchment parenting. But I’m just doing what feels right to me.

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m flunking this parenting thing because I’m not worried enough. Am I dangerously over confident? Should I be feeling insecure that I’m NOT feeling insecure about my child’s abilities at 2.5 to read Harry Potter?

    I feel better about my place in the world since having Willow. And I feel better about the choices I make- maybe because I feel like I’m a better person.

    I feel weird writting the bio on my blog because so many other parents seem to write a list of what they are- vegan, cloth nappying, attatchment parenting, christian, waldorf steinering, whatevs. What am I? I’m a bit of this and a bit of that. I do what feels right for us.ReplyCancel

  • December 9, 2012 - 5:40 am

    Sarah - I just have to say, your significant other has some awesome hair. I’m totally a sucker for pretty, long hair on guys, and he has some long beautiful hair!!!! I know that was really random and probably sort of creepy, but I just had to say it! Hahaha!ReplyCancel

    • December 9, 2012 - 7:33 am

      Sash - Me too Sarah πŸ™‚ Me too.ReplyCancel

  • December 9, 2012 - 5:42 am

    Sarah - Oh yes, one question – what type of carrier is he wearing in that last picture? It’s really nice! I’m scared to try back carry, though I really want to! Do you have any YT videos you’d recommend to watch?ReplyCancel

    • December 9, 2012 - 7:33 am

      Sash - That’s a Selendang – a traditional Indonesian cotton fabric sling. He’s not very confident with the back carry either. It’s not a traditional carry for the very traditional wrap… but I like to experiment πŸ˜‰ReplyCancel

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