From my first fumbling attempts with a ring sling, babywearing became a great comfort and necessity in my life as a new parent. Mothering a newborn with reflux meant LOTS of crying - but as soon as I popped my daughter into a carrier and went for a walk, she was out like a light. I continued to carry her throughout her infancy and into toddlerhood - I remember strapping her onto my back at one point during the Great Glebe Garage sale.
Now my 2 year-old asks to be put in the carrier, and it helps to soothe her while I'm trying to get dinner made or laundry done. Babywearing is a great way to be hands-free for other tasks (and plus, it'll save your back and arms!)
While searching for tips on which carrier was the best for my second daughter, I stumbled on a local Facebook group. The Ottawa Babywearing Group (OBG), born in March 2012, is the baby of local mom Tami Grosset. By its first birthday it had totaled over 450 members and is now 3,500 members strong. OBG is a local community group with a focus on all things babywearing - there are regular meets around the city where parents can learn more about babywearing in all its shapes and styles. The Facebook group is a lively space where members share a love and enthusiasm for wearing their babies, as well as share expertise and experience. The Ottawa Babywearing Group is a great space for finding a local used carrier at a great price, or maybe just borrowing one for a trial. Join the OBG on their dynamic Facebook group for all things babywearing!
On Saturday June 13th the OBG will be holding their annual "Big Meet" at Maki House (19 Leeming Drive in Ottawa) . Donations at the door will go to the Sling Library (a way to borrow various types of slings for trial, for free!) and Babies of Peace Project (providing carriers to families in need).
At this event you will find a wide variety of vendors (JackWraps, Cherish the Child, and Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company, to name just a few), and there will be demonstrations on babywearing techniques and Babywearing Fitness and Yoga (with Fitness With Kate), Babywearing Latin Dance (with Esther America Dance/Danse) and a presentation on traditional First Nation babywearing practices from members of the Odawa Native Friendship Centre.
Guests will have an opportunity to buy and sell used carriers in person or get help with a carrier they are struggling to love. There will also be a bake sale and a chance to meet and socialise with members of this vibrant community. Photographer Joseph Allain will be at the event taking candid shots of guests as they enjoy the event, and Stephanie de Montigny of Pure Natural Newborn Photography will be offering babywearing mini sessions.
Did you enjoy babywearing as a new parent?