Babywearing Communities handhold families through their various outreach programmes. By doing this, they ensure that parents and caregivers have a smooth babywearing journey. Apart from communities, libraries and independent babywearing educators are like foot soldiers aimed to achieve the same goal.
We got in to a “right-from-the-heart” conversation with two such Babywearing Libraries in India. Prachi of Snugbub Library and Yaman and Jasmine of Live Love & Babywear Library or lovingly known as LLB share with us about their journey, impact and how they are celebrating #IBW2018. Both Libraries started with a similar goal of spreading babywearing love, to make people aware of this concept, the options available and to break the myths around it. Here is what they have to say…
Inspiration to start the Library
Snugbub: My inspiration was my own story/experience wearing my twins. One of them had extremely low birth weight. It helped us as a family immensely right from calming my babies, caring for them to exploring the world together as a family. I really wanted fellow mothers to explore this beautiful tool and that is how Snugbub was born
LLB: As we continued to stay committed to our love for babywearing, starting a sling library and mommy support community was the best way to give back and let the love grow. Along with giving us a sense of pride, it gives us an immense sense of fulfillment and joy doing what we do.
How has the scene changed from when you started v/s now?
Snugbub: Now there is a very positive change in terms of readiness to explore. At least majority of the parents have a positive mindset towards the concept. The best part being husbands being involved equally! However, in terms of carrier preference I see a steep decline towards other types of carriers as compared to the buckled ones.
LLB: (Yaman says) I have been fortunate enough to be in the Indian Babywearing scene just from the time it was nascent and a few brands were dabbling with a few products, to now, when there are multiple trusted brands. The user is spoilt for choice between Indian-made world-class products. Along with the Indian brands spreading their wings, the community has seen a steady growth in local babywearing libraries too, and the reach has widened substantially.
On challenges faced…
LLB: There has to be a lot of ice-breaking that needs to happen to reach out to people. There are several unfounded myths that need to be busted and biases that need to be tackled. We need more and more pediatricians and health professionals to be aware of these practices and benefits to gain a better reach.
What activities do you take up to support parents and caregivers?
Snugbub: We think of ways in which parents can experience the possibilities Babywearing enables- to make things happen- to be able to multitask/ enjoy even with the baby. So we do different activities each month like Babywearing lake walks, babywearing dance, babywearing workouts and so on.
LLB: We not only conduct babywearing meet-ups/ workshops regularly without fail, but also offer 24×7 online support to its community – the support has grown from babywearing to breastfeeding, postpartum health and fitness and various crunchy living ideologies (like cloth diapering, sustainable menstruation and pre-loved goods) too. Along with this we also have Baby carrier rental programmes and options to avail a personal consult as well.
Any Message to Caregivers or manufacturers or BabyWearing (BW) Educators
Snugbub: It is great to see and experience how the Indian ergonomic carriers are evolving beautifully to make the experience for a baby-wearer enjoyable and memorable! I would especially like to address the grandparents here – I have seen a lot of reluctance and negativity around the concept coming from the earlier generations. I would urge them to try wearing their grandchildren and experience the magic once. Their support means a lot and would further empower the new parents to consider babywearing without any hesitations and fear.
LLB: Trust yourself – mommy and daddy, you are enough, you are doing an amazing job. This is the first thing I think so many new parents can find peace and calm in. Although open to comparatively new concepts like this, many caregivers are hung up on theories that are irrelevant and unfounded. They need to trust themselves and their baby to feel the magic unfold.
The BW facilitators in India are doing a fantastic job in trying the very best in reaching out to more and more caregivers, and the manufacturers are acing it, by making world class products, right at home.
As an educator, I totally appreciate the manufacturers backing up local libraries who are striving to do their best in spreading the love for babywearing without any vested interest. But to be able to increase the reach, more and more of them need to be proactive and supportive of each other, to see the community flourish. The community is small and close knit, and needs to be able to get together for the larger good at regular intervals keeping trivial differences aside.
How are you celebrating #IBW2018?
Snugbub: We are celebrating in a variety of ways like a Flashmob is planned on the 6th October. We have planned Giveaways. We have also been putting informative posts regularly.
LLB: IBW2018 holds a special place for us. Though we have been in the babywearing scene for a while, it is a first for LLB, and sticking to our promise of giving our best to the LLB girls, we decided to host a giveaway. Our humble way to thank the beautiful families who have stood by us and supported us all through. Along with that we do have a meetup happening tomorrow (7th October) where we expect a good 20 families or more to drop by and let us share our babywearing love.
Do you have libraries around you that do awesome work? Please share with us about them in the comments.
(All pictures in this article are original and belong to the Snugbub and LLB. Reproducing them in any form without the permission will not be allowed.)
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