Most readers of this blog will no doubt be able to heartily vouch for the benefits that babywearing has brought to them and their families: the closeness, the comfort, the convenience.
I know for sure that whilst I go about my everyday life there are countless moments when I wonder what I would do without my trusty Connecta. My son and I have been enjoying babywearing for well over three years now. It has improved our relationship, and boosted our mental health; it has allowed me to get something of my self back as I navigate this new territory of motherhood; it has given us the freedom to have adventures that never would have been possible without this simple piece of kit.
Having access to a well-designed baby carrier has made such a difference to our lives, and whilst I know that babywearing’s not for everybody I do feel sad for people who may not have had the chance to experience it for themselves. And of course there are many people who, for whatever reason, do not have access to this thing I have come to take for granted: fortunately there are some excellent organisations seeking to put that right.
The Up Project is one of those organisations.
They have a simple but important mission: “to ensure that children in low income families who are disadvantaged are given the opportunity to experience the benefits of being carried in a baby sling or carrier”. They aim to achieve this by providing slings or carriers to families that need them, and also where necessary providing access to a babywearing consultant. They are still in the early stages of establishing their work, but are reaching out to an increasing number of families across the UK to help them through the first steps of their babywearing journey.
Other organisations are working further afield, particularly targeting refugee families as they make perilous journeys to safety.
One of these groups is Carrying Aid International.
They are “a group of babywearing Consultants and industry professionals working together to facilitate the effective collection and distribution of donated baby carriers to Refugees”. They were established in response to a need expressed in camps in Greece: when you consider the sorts of journeys refugees have to make, often with babies and very young children, it is not hard to understand why a sling or carrier could be so invaluable. What Carrying Aid International recognised was the importance of ensuring that these carriers would be used safely, and they have developed a system of packaging and classification to aid this on the ground so that baby carriers can be distributed and used safely even when there is no experienced individual present.
On September 5th, it is the International Day of Charity, established by the UN to recognise the role of charity in improving peoples’ lives across the world. You might want to consider sharing the babywearing love by promoting and supporting the work of one of these two groups, or others like them.
We all know the myriad of benefits that come from wearing our babies: let’s help others feel those benefits too.