"My babywearing journey all started with an adorable, spirited baby girl who wanted nothing more than to be held, and that is what it will always be about."
Bonnie L. Stafford, Babywearing Consultant, Master Babywearing Educator
I knew I wanted to wear even before my daughter was born. We didn’t have a lot of money, so I started with an off-brand stretchy wrap from a discount website, and a simple pouch sling. I put my daughter in the stretchy wrap when she was about three days old, and I was hooked. That wrap helped us transition into parenthood because it was so easy to simply fold her into our life.
Then, at about 4 weeks, she developed colic. The crying was seemingly endless. Nothing seemed to help… except that wrap.
Then, at 6 months, my husband went back to school at night. We both worked outside the home from 8am-5pm. Then he was in school from 5:30-10:30pm Monday-Thursday. My mom helped a lot but when we went home, it was just me and baby girl and she did NOT want to be put down. Our stretchy wrap was no longer working and I was struggling to even carry our stuff in from the car in the evening. I was sinking fast. I could feel a depressive episode (something I’ve struggled with most of my life) coming on quickly.
Then, miraculously, a friend invited me to a sling party with the local babywearing play group… and it changed my life. The leader showed me how to put baby girl on my back and let me borrow a soft structured carrier. Suddenly, I could get us packed up and out the door in the morning. I could bring our stuff in from the car in the evenings, sort the mail, eat at my own house (even if it was cereal while standing up) not to mention grocery shop and a million other things that allowed me to feel like I could do this mom thing. And all while keeping baby girl close, which is what she needed.
From then on, we were a team. With her on my back, we could conquer the world. I became increasingly passionate about helping other caregivers in similar situations and when the leader of that local babywearing group decided to step down, I offered to take over. Given our hectic schedule and my extremely limited knowledge, I still wonder what I was thinking. But I knew how much babywearing had helped me in my journey and I wanted to pass that on to others.
Over three years later, that little play group is now Babywearing International of Charlotte. Along with my co-leaders, we have literally helped thousands of caregivers over the years.
I have also grown significantly as an educator. I am now an accredited Master Babywearing Educator through Babywearing International, Inc., the highest accrediting they currently offer.
In addition to my volunteer work which will always be near and dear to my heart, I want to offer paid consulting services for caregivers who prefer to get help on their schedule.
My babywearing journey all started with an adorable, spirited baby girl who wanted nothing more than to be held, and that is what it will always be about.