When we are expecting, we hear information everywhere can sometimes contradict each other and the same is true for the topic of babywearing. As expectant and young parents, it can be stressful. Carrying your child skin to skin, carrying your baby in a sling or in a baby carrier while going about your business because you have your hands free, carrying in a vertical or horizontal position, 2 hours a day, 15 hours a day...
Keren, the co-creator of the Love Radius brand and an expert in physiological babywearing, shares her thoughts on the subject in a video: why babywear? If you are more comfortable with reading, the video has been transcribed below. The text will be divided into several parts to facilitate your understanding.
"Hello, I am Keren, the co-creator of the brand "Love Radius", "Je porte mon bébé" and of the training center "l'école à porter" where I accompany parents, future parents as well as health professionals, since 2006 to the practice of babywearing.
So today it won't necessarily be a video tutorial in which I show you or explain to you how to do it. Here, we are going to be on another register which is in the "being" and in what we are in front of babywearing or this novelty which is called babywearing.
So you see, we are not all equal in front of what’s new. Sometimes it could be described as difficult, because it is unknown. It is part of something that destabilizes us, sometimes that surprises us. And since we are not all armed, we are never armed in front of the novelty, we can approach it in a frontal way with a lot of hesitation.
Just like me right now. It's the first time I'm talking like this in a live show, in front of people I don't see but who, I know, are very present. I feel awkward, embarrassed, moved, and it's not always a very pleasant feeling. I could describe this novelty as difficult, hard to bear and I would ask myself: why? Why do I have to do this? Especially in relation to babywearing or young parents who want to carry and who have choices to make: which positions, which tool? To face this newness, there are decisions to be made.
So there you have it, I wanted to propose 5 strategies to think about the newness in the face of learning and to be able to propose things that work for me, that have worked for us as young parents as well and that I see working for other parents when I meet them during workshops.
Remember your forgetfulness
So, the first thing we could implement to develop this approach to the newness that is linked to learning, first of all I would say: Remember your forgetfulness. So what does that mean? Remember the first time you built a square piece of furniture. Well, that can be very complicated even if it's the tenth time. Or another example: remember the first lease contract you had to read or a contract your banker gave you before opening a savings account. Or simply the first time you tied your shoes.
So I'm trying to remember that first time and I don't really remember. Because, today, when I tie my shoes, it's easy for me. I don't remember those difficulties. It might take a child sometimes, who comes, and who reminds me, when I see him facing his difficulty, his frustration, his crying, his irritation, and even my irritation, to remind me in fact, how difficult it was before. And precisely, since it is no longer difficult for me, I can help him, I can say to him "you'll get there, you'll see, you practice and then it will come". Why? Because it was difficult and now it is not.
This forgetfulness shows us how interesting it is that the body and the heart remember what is interesting for them to continue to progress and move forward. We don't remember our first difficulties anymore.
Parenting, the art of imitation
Another way of approaching this novelty, which could sometimes be difficult when it is linked to learning, is in fact to remember that being a parent is ultimately the art of imitating. So, in my close circle, I don't always have a source of inspiration and I don't necessarily want to imitate my mother, my mother-in-law or my sister. It's sad to say that sometimes it's like that.
So I have to find, recharge, invite into my life people, even from far away, who inspire me. Whose way of doing things with their children I like, or dads who act in an interesting way with their children. To be able to read, to be inspired by the works of authors like "Donald Winnicott", like "Daniel Stern", like "Maria Montessori" and many others whose names I could mention to you (I will link them).
So, cultivate us, finally, raise us, educate us, to become the parents we want to be.
Learning to understand
The third point is that learning, studying, will help me to understand. And I want to try to dissect this word called "understand". I am a foreigner and one of the books that I like the most are the dictionaries in which there are all the words that come to sleep: it is the hotel of the words. When we look at the word "understand", we understand that in its etymology, it means "to grasp with the intelligence", embraced by the thought, something that will give me additional keys to be able to interpret the baby with his language which is not verbal but which is pre-verbal.
And even if I didn't understand anything...
And even if I haven't understood everything, if I haven't read all the books or if I haven't found the right people around me to inspire me, and I'm here in front of my baby right now. That I have to change the diaper, I have to give the first bath and I am completely destabilized, moved, stressed, I find myself lame, I find myself slow, I find myself completely disturbed by this experience in which I feel like I have no control. Moreover, the baby tells me explicitly, with his cries, with his way of expressing himself "no, no, in fact you are not doing well at all".
And yet I stay, and I continue, and I continue. Why? Because I have to, because that's what I do, because that's what being a parent is all about. You stay there, despite the fact that it is not immediately rewarding right now, this unique experience. Because that's what being a parent is all about.
The first function is to protect. You are there, in your instincts you feel that there is someone who needs you, who is weaker, who needs assistance, help to be able to move forward, to progress and you are there to protect him despite the fact that it is difficult for you.
Momentum and first attempts at babywearing
And the fifth point is more about time, timing, opportunity. This means that if I have really done everything, I have read everything, I have informed myself, I agree, I have watched all the tutorial videos, I have read the instructions, I have gone to see a babywearing instructor, I have even educated myself on the idea of carrying, on how to do it, I have even practiced with a stuffed animal and then I come, I take my baby and I say to him, "let's go, let's try it" and then, it doesn't work. He doesn't agree, he gets upset, he wriggles all over the place. For me it's a very trying experience, my heart is beating at 200 miles an hour.
No, that's the point. It's up to me, as an adult, to know and understand that if it's not right now, it will be right after. It didn't work this time, the baby wasn't available, wasn't willing, and well, there will be another time after. It is me as an adult, who must come to understand that there is a temporality, "that there is now and that there will be a moment after" and that the moment after will perhaps be the right moment.
So, I hope that this time has been beneficial. In any case, for me, this first experience was not easy at all and I am happy to have overcome these difficulties with courage because being courageous is not to never be afraid. To be courageous is to be afraid and to go anyway.
I thank you for listening to me!
See you soon."
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