Babywearing Journals – Cheryll

Hello, I’m Cheryll. I have one baby girl, currently 11 months old and roughly 21 pounds. My babywearing journey started at my registry. I knew there were things I needed to buy, so I relied heavily on the opinions of two of my friends (one has four kids, the other two). From them, I knew about the Ergo and Hotslings—that is, I knew they existed and they could be used to hold children. That was the extent of my knowledge. Through Amazon, I also decided to add a Moby to my registry (thank you, Amazon recommendations).

So, I actually sat down to do research (this was after an exhaustive amount of research on cloth diapers) and learned there was a lot more to babywearing than what I knew. I was excited because I love learning, trying new things, snuggles and geeking out. I’m a gadget lover, a gamer, and a geek; previously, one aspect of my job was to play with various online tools and to train teachers about whatever tool seemed to fit their needs (I worked at a community college). That’s what I love about babywearing–you can be absolutely practical, buy one carrier and get along perfectly with it, or you can have a handful of carriers that meet your various needs, or you can completely geek out. And yes, I dove into the last option.

I started practical, though. I wanted to do the middle option, have a few carriers that would work for different situations. I bought a Moby, an Ergo, a gauze wrap (cause I heard they were awesome for hot weather) and someone gifted me a ring sling. I started with the Moby, though I didn’t realize at the time that BWI educators were a better source of help rather than the manufacturer’s or retailer instructions. I was nervous about putting my 7.5lb baby in there when the instructions said 8lbs and up. My husband loved the Ergo, in fact, our personal trainer wears our baby in it while we work out. I learned how to use the ring sling next, but didn’t like the gauze wrap and so I sold it. My research told me Vatanai would be the next best thing (I no longer have that wrap). I’ve since learned that trying it on for yourself is really the best course of action. That’s why I’m so excited to be a babywearing volunteer educator and to be part of the group that launched our BWI chapter

I moved quickly onto wraps and did front carries until my first wrap conversion mei tai (WCMT) came along. I practiced back carries, infrequently, when my baby was three months old but I couldn’t get the hang of it; my baby was too small, I was too inexperienced and neither of is were confident enough.  I probably only tried a handful of times until she was five months old.  That is when I got the WCMT (my baby was sitting up pretty well by then).  Through my WCMT, I learned how to hip scoot my baby onto my back (I used the superman method when I was practicing with wraps and could never feel good about it), I learned how to tighten strand by strand, I learned how to spread the shoulders for comfort. It was amazing, especially finding out how a good, tight carry should feel. Most importantly, I finally had my baby on my back and could DO stuff, like housework, cooking, real shopping. 

At the same time I started trying to nail down the ruck.  The skills I learned from using my WCMT helped so much; I could focus on learning new skills like holding tension throughout the wrap and how to position my baby, and a couple months later I could ruck with anything!  It was then I tried Christina’s ruckless and double hammock. I couldn’t figure out double hammock (DH) so Christina’s ruckless was my go-to until DH clicked. I primarily use DH and am continuing to perfect the technique.

I enjoy my various carrier types—i regularly use ring slings, WCMTs, an wraps. I hope to own a soft structured carrier (SSC) soon.  I’ve enjoyed trying a bunch of different wraps of various blends and manufacturers. I love experimentation but I am also very practical. I’m trying to perfect my stash down to under ten carriers that I can use on my baby girl and a future baby.

I love babywearing because there is a progression, a journey, involved. I love meeting other families and helping caregivers with their own babywearing journeys while at the same time exposing my child to other kids and hopefully finding play dates.  I wish there was such an active community and a lending library when I started my journey (so does my husband and our bank account). Most of all, I love the community and mindset of babywearers and hope to be a part of the community for a long, long time!

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