Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wearing My Babies: A Story and Call to Action!

I have written before about babywearing. I have always been an advocate for it and know first hands its benefits. I started wearing D when he was about two weeks old. He was tiny and so snuggly but I needed to get some stuff done. The automatic answer to me was babywearing. I could put him in the wrap we had at the time and I could do everything I needed to do, skin to skin with my precious little man.

Over the next year, there were days where I would wear him and he would cry when I took him out. We went from wrap to meitai to ring sling as he grew. Each time it took a few days for both of us to get used to the switch but it worked out just fine. He so much preferred to be worn than to sit in the nasty carts and sometimes he preferred the comfort of the carriers to just being carried.

I continued to wear D while I was pregnant with K and never slowed down. With a huge belly and a 30 pound toddler strapped to my back I definitely drew a lot of attention. Why would I give up something that we both loved? I didn't give up nursing him while I was pregnant, why would I give up wearing him. Not to mention it was way easier on my back to wear him than have to jut my hip out to hold him that way. It just made sense.

When K was born, he took a turn in the NICU. He spent almost all of his time snuggled up to my chest doing Kangaroo Care and he got quite used to being there, all snuggled up and warm, listening to my heartbeat. When we got home, he expected the same rock star treatment and he got it. I wore him a lot more in the first weeks that I did D. Every morning when we would get up he would go straight into the wrap. I could tend to his brother, and he got the snuggles and kisses he wanted. Everywhere we went, everything we did, K was worn.

He still is for the most part but now that he is getting bigger, he likes to be down. He enjoys sitting in the shopping cart more than D ever did. Mostly because that way he gets to watch and play games with his brother. Still though, if we are going somewhere as a family, one or the other or both of the boys still gets worn. Strollers are just too cumbersome for a family on the go.

Baby-wearing has always just been the norm for us. Its not something I talk about too much here although I have in the past. Its just what we do with our babies.

So, why bring it up now? Well, it is under attack. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is trying to regulate the baby-wearing industry. By doing so, they are taking away our options. They are trying to take away the small carrier makers that are the heart and soul of the practice. They are trying to undermine the research that shows that baby-wearing is beneficial and safe.

They have attacked a (so far unnamed) baby carrier company and forced them to stop production and have ordered them to destroy their inventory without any reasons or cite-able studies as to why. The scary thing is, they don't need a reason. They can do this just because they are the CPSC. The further problem is if they can do this to one company, they will do it to them all in time.

I know I speak for a lot of families that can say they stand firm behind baby-wearing and every thing that goes with it. One of those things is safety, yes, but that is something that lies with the parent using the product correctly, not something that can be mandated by a meddling government program.

So, what can you do? Same as I am doing along with lots of other awesome bloggers.

1. Join the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance on Facebook and join together with other outraged parents and see what you can do from there.

2. Blog, blog, blog. Tweet, tweet, tweet. Spreading the word is the best thing anyone can do right now. Even if you are not a baby-wearing parent, this is still something that can affect you, your readers, or your family. This is small business under attack and being bullied. Also, you can link up your post with Stephanie at Adventures in Baby-wearing for the chance to win a Sakura Bloom sling. Spread the word!

I hope that you can all understand why this is important to me. Baby-wearing isn't just how I carry my babies. Its a bonding thing. Its a trust thing. Its a safety thing. It has been safe for generations of parents around the world. Its a choice that I have made for my family and it is something that is in danger of being revoked by a program that refuses to give answers as to why it is taking that stance. Is that something that anyone would be okay with?

Feel free to add in your own stories in the comments, or if you do blog about this let me know! I would love to come by and read your stories. Also, don't forget to link up your post with Adventures In Babywearing to enter for your chance to wim!

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