Tuesday, 11 June 2013

What Do You Say When You See Something Like This......?

by Tami Grosset

I expect the first thing you might say is 'Ouch!' but you'd probably keep that to yourself, no?

Would you actually say anything to the parent wearing the baby?

Many of us would just smile and turn away but is that doing a disservice to that parent? Would we keep quiet simply because of embarrassment, shyness or fear of being snapped at a new bear mama?

When I was a first time mum I wanted to learn my 'mama craft' from the awesome women around me. My family are all overseas so I developed a tribe to help me hone my skills. Babywearing may have been around for millenia but, like breastfeeding it is a skill that requires some learning and sometimes hands on tuition.

When this question was asked in an online forum many mums replied that if they were getting it wrong and potentially putting their bub at risk they would want to know. So how do we go about approaching a babywearer who's having problems?

Here is my 4 step guide;

#1 Flatter and relate; 

'Wow that's a beautiful/awesome/fabulous carrier.'
'I love seeing mamas/papas wear their babies.'
'I wear/have worn both my babies- it was/is brilliant/so cuddly.'

#2  Show concern;

'Are you enjoying it?'
'Is that comfortable for you?'
'Does your baby like it?'

#3  Offer assistance and demonstrate your own learning curve;

'Can I help you make it more comfortable for you and baby?'
'I learned a lot when I was new to babywearing, some awesome mamas help me'

#4  Provide further resources;

'There are some excellent babywearing stores here in Ottawa' (give details for Milkface, EBS and Belly Laughs)
'Crown of Dreams offers some babywearing workshops and local babywearing walks, if you're interested.'
'If you'd like to meet some other local babywearing families and learn other ways to use your carrier you could come to one of our meets. Maybe I'll see you there sometime!' (give OBG card!!)

Of course this isn't a fail safe guide and you still might get your head bitten off by mama bear but at least you tried and maybe, just maybe you'll help someone enjoy babywearing a bit more and keep them babywearing for longer.

Now, which one of you Ottawa babywearers wants to approach Alanis and Mario?


Disclaimer: This post is not a dig at Alanis and her partner. It is great that they are wearing their child- a worn baby is better than an unworn bub. I hope that they are still enjoying babywearing!

1 comment:

  1. Just to add that if you see anyone using a bag sling it would be a nice thing to advise them that they are dangerous, have been linked to some infant deaths and have mostly been recalled. Also HC/BCIA campaign 'Visible and Kissable' would be a good source for good positioning.