Left: Founder Amanda Thompson with Katherine (1 yr.) Carrier: Lisca Minos Didytai; Right: Founder, Megan Clements with Lily (4 mos.) Carrier: Didymos Orient Ayana Woven Wrap, Size 5
Like breastfeeding and cloth diapers, babywearing has been gaining popularity in Memphis. I saw infants being carried in the latest accessories at the recent Cooper-Young Festival, and babywearing moms definitely out-navigated those with strollers, hands-down. Be it in a Moby, Tula, or Ergo (is that even English?), keeping baby close has its benefits.
Babywearing is just what it sounds like, carrying your baby on your body aided by cloth. It’s been done for centuries, long before the invention of the stroller in 1848, and still thrives in many parts of the world today.
Wearing your baby simulates the movement and snugness of the womb. It helps preemies regulate their breathing, forges bonds with adoptive parents, and deepens mutual attachment, especially important for mothers who may be at risk for post-partum depression. Researchers in the journal Pediatrics found babies who were worn three hours a day cried 43 percent less than those who weren’t.
Babywearing in Memphis
Amanda Thompson and Megan Clements co-founded the Memphis chapter of Babywearing International last year. “It started out just a few of us getting together and talking about different carriers,” says Thompson. “Now we have over 500 members.”
Monthly meetings take place on Sundays at Baptist Hospital for Women. The meetings are free and open to anyone wanting to try out various styles, get a spotter while learning new carries, or to meet other moms while learning about the organization. BWI Memphis has volunteer educators who teach beginner wrap techniques and is building a lending library. • Next Meeting: Sunday, October 19, at 2:30pm. See their Facebook page for details.
Babywearing International Week Activities • October 5-11
- Sunday, October 5, 2-4 p.m. Cedar Hill Farms, Babywearing at the Pumpkin Patch, $9/adult, $10/kid, 2 and under free.
- Monday, October 6, 10-2 p.m. Memphis Zoo & Overton Park, Babywearing in the Wild. Regular Zoo admission. Rainbow Lake Playground, free.
- Tuesday, October 7, 2-4 p.m., Lichterman Nature Center, Nature walk, free admission.
- Wednesday, October 8. Intermediate Wrapping Class. Go to Facebook for details.
- Thursday, October 9, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Memphis Botanic Gardens, Picnic and pictures with $75 mini-photo sessions. Regular garden admission.
- Friday, October 10. Beginning Wrapping Class. Go to Facebook for details.
- Saturday, October 11, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Potluck Picnic. Shelby Farms Beaver Lake. Free drinks and cake.
Should simulate baby being held in arms
- Two finger’s widths between chin and chest for open airway
- Nothing completely covering the face to prevent rebreathing
- Keep spine straight and supported
- Watch narrow-based carriers. Ffabric should support upper legs, from knee to knee
- Baby should ride in “M” position: legs spread apart, knees higher than bottom, head centered above hip sockets
- Avoid jarring motions or activities you wouldn’t do while pregnant
- Always monitor baby’s breathing and be aware of hazards within reach of toddlers when carried on back