How did you discover babywearing? What was your first carrier? Did you learn from a babywearing group or a friend or did you learn on your own? I would love to hear your story! You are welcome to share in the comments section below. Here's my story.
I only had a front pack with my first which I didn’t love so I only used it for a few months and I don't even have any photos (but it still counts right?). In 1999 there was no TheBabywearer.com and no Facebook so I didn’t have access to a lot of options. I wish I had have thought of making my own back then since my son would have loved being carried more! Unfortunately I didn't start making my own carriers until baby number three - I stopped sewing for a while as I found it frustrating to working in little pieces of time and being constantly interrupted (used to it now though!).
Before my second son was born I saw an ad in the back of a parenting magazine for a Hug a Bub stretchy wrap and a corduroy padded closed tail ring sling. So I bought both - through mail order! I loved both, the rings sling especially for it's very handy pocket, though in hindsight the ring sling was probably unsafe (a single layer of corduroy is not a sufficient weight bearing fabric).
I later added a Maya wrap (loved the fabric but it was the old unpadded style sized only for for the left shoulder so it was a bit tricky to switch shoulders when I wanted too). Also had a mesh ring sling which was almost impossible to get comfortable!
Thebabywearer.com started up around then and it was so great to know I wasn't the only babywearer around - (the local babywearing group didn’t start up till years later when my fifth child was a toddler and I wasn't babywearing much anymore). I learned a lot from The Babywearer forums and found the photo tutorials really useful especially when I became interested in other styles of carriers . And for a long time my internet was too slow to load any videos!
(Apologies for the quality of some of the photos which are from my photo album, some are before I got a digital camera and some I couldn't find the originals).
I wore him (mostly in the ring slings) until he was three or so.
When I had my third child (11 years ago) a few small baby wearing businesses had started up (mostly overseas ) so I bought a few slings to try and soon after also started sewing again taking advantage of some of the free patterns available on the internet. So with my daughter I had a combination of bought and handmade carriers, mostly ring slings, but also some mei tai's (meh dai's) and an ellaroo podaegi. Although she preferred the ring sling out of all of them so that's what I mostly used!
Once I discovered how comfortable unpadded ring slings were I never went back to my bulky commercially made padded ones. I experimented with a lot of different fabrics for ring slings. I made many but could not find one photo! A lot of them can be found in my ring sling patterns however. Check out my DIY page and the 'Bling for your Sling' pattern for pics.
I wore babies four and five in all kinds of carriers and thoroughly enjoyed exploring babywearing with them. With my fourth child I also discovered woven wraps. My second daughter was quite happy being carried in a mei tai/meh dai so she is the one who helped me develop my meh dai and half buckle designs. I made my first wrap conversion for her (from a striped BB Slen wrap scrap and a Didymos colourgrown waves I had dyed a lovely woodland brown).
My youngest is five now and is most likely finished being worn. I haven't worn him in a few months. Below is a full buckle I made for him - he's four in the photo. At five he still fits, he just prefers other forms of comforting now. I will miss babywearing!
I love to sew. I have five curious and active kids who keep me busy!