Manteca, California babywearing mama, Jennifer Silva, has worn both her kiddos since birth. Though her aunt first introduced her to the art of babywearing, she says that the support of other moms via in-person meet ups through groups like La Leche League (LLL) and local babywering groups have really helped her along the way (and allowed her to help others just starting out in the world of mommyhood). Keep reading for her advice to moms considering babywearing, and to find out which types of carries she prefers for different ages in this Q&A from the Journey of a Babywearing Mama Series.
Q: How did you learn about babywearing?
Jennifer: I first learned about babywearing from my aunt, who was a LLL leader for around 30 years. She gave me a ring sling and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, which also mentioned the use of a Sling.
Q: What was the first baby carrier you bought?
Jennifer: My first purchase was a Boba 3G soft structured carrier. I was 27 and my first was around 6 months old. I had the ring sling my aunt gave me, but was looking for something that would distribute weight evenly and something my husband could wear. I asked on an online babywearing forum for suggestions, and decided on the Boba.
Q: How many carriers or wraps do you have now?
Jennifer: Right now I have 6 carriers: A Tula, the Boba, a wrap conversion ring sling, a woven wrap, a mei tai, and the first sling my aunt gave me. I have had several other carriers throughout my journey so far, and have sold some as I’ve brought others in.
Q: What’s your favorite carry style?
Jennifer: I have favorites for different occasions and ages. I like front carries for ease of nursing and for when they are babe. I like hip carries for nursing when they are a little older. I like back carries for when they are older and for getting work done around the house, or for long walks.
Q: How do you feel about babywearing?
Jennifer: I feel that babywearing is such a natural and easy way to do everyday things. Especially with new additions, it is wonderful to be able to meet the needs of both my children by babywearing. I love the ease of nursing hands free, and love the closeness that it brings.
Q: What are some reactions you got when you first started babywearing, and what reactions do you get now?
Jennifer: I have mostly received positive reactions from babywearing. When I first started I received some comments from loved ones like, “Put her down already!” but now they don’t say much. Overall, I get compliments or comments like: “I wish they had those when my kids were babies.”
Q: What’s your favorite thing about babywearing for you and your little ones?
Jennifer: I love the closeness that I have with my littles when babywearing. When they’re little, babywearing keeps us both happy because she is safe and content, right up against me, and I am able to move about my day. When they get older and aren’t carried as much, wearing them is a comfort. I still wear my 3-year-old from time to time when she’s sick, unhappy, or just wants to be up. It brings back memories of where she used to be every day.
Q: Do you have tips for someone new to the world of babywearing?
Jennifer: My tip would be to try to find a LLL chapter or babywearing group nearby. Real person and hands on help are valuable to finding what works. I [also] just want to mention that babywearing can be achieved with 1 carrier or 20. One type of carrier may work for one, but not all. Practice makes perfect, especially for ring slings and wraps, but eventually you will be a pro! Hold your babies close, because with the blink of an eye they will be driving.
A special thanks to Jennifer Silva for sharing her story with Savvy Every Day for this post.