Author Archive

Authentic motherhood, on your own terms

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Authentic Motherhood I An Artipoppe Babywearing Story

Authentic motherhood, on your own terms

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Sabine Eichbauer

A woman – and now a Mother. I will forever remember the feeling when I brought my first born home from the hospital in a typical Danish baby carriage. A huge piece of my heart had been taken out of my body – away from my protection and was now lying there sleeping beautifully – my baby girl.

Sabine Eichbauer is an architect. World traveler. Restaurant owner. Vineyard owner. But above all, she is a mother of two. Oh and she doesn’t have a stroller.

When she is not kite-surfing, traveling the world to visit all 3-star Michelin restaurants, working as an architect in Munich or hosting ladies lunches in her restaurant, Tantris, she is growing grapes for the first certified organic vineyard in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy. While doing all these things, she is always a mother first, taking her little ones on her route through life. Bringing them up surrounded by exclusive experiences, in nature and in luxury. But always close, with love and with passion. And completely unimportant, always in Artipoppe. The story of @elsalovesanton for @artipoppe.

What is the most important thing in life?

“Family is the most important in life, obviously. It’s deep in our core. I was raised in a very close family. I believe that a close family relationship makes people more authentic and allows them to connect easier to others in life and to your own self.

Motherhood changes you. It can be stressful sometimes. But I try to be a calm mother. For example, when a baby cries and wants to be held or carried, you could put him in a stroller, because you don’t want to or you can’t, but then that baby is under stress and that stress is a constant companion in life. That is why I carry my kids. Sometimes I succeed being a calm mother, sometimes I don’t.”

How did you picture being a mother?

“That what you imagine of being a mother is completely different from what actually happens when you are in the moment. It just hits you hard. I thought that I could just continue my life but then with children, strollers and nannies around me. Nothing to worry about. However, suddenly the outside world hit me and I started to worry. I don’t think you will ever stop worrying, because some deep internal side of you is in the outside now, breathing and being fragile. Before being a mother, you are only responsible for yourself, but afterwards you are responsible for another human being.”

Are you comfortable when travelling with children and what do you do to make it work?

“I am more comfortable when I am on the road than when I am at home. I have lived a nomadic life all my life. My parents loved to travel and see the world. As soon as I was old enough I wanted to learn English to communicate with people I met along the way. Fortunately, I met someone exactly like me. If we could choose we could live out of a suitcase, see the world and show our children how beautiful the world is we live in. I don’t do vacation, I travel. Eat move and drink. It’s a lifestyle, it’s part of me.

The sad part of the story is that I became a baby wearer out of necessity. While I was pregnant with my first daughter, someone who was like a mother to me was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. She lived in the United States and I was too late in my pregnancy to visit her right away. So when the baby was born, I carried my baby to go see her.

When travelling a lot, you want to reduce the amount of people who touch your baby. Imagine your baby front facing in a stroller at a crowded airport, and the high the amount of impressions, noises it will bring. I believe it is much better for my kids to be close to me. I always carry them on my left side, so they can feel my heartbeat, hear me and smell me. It just feels more natural to be a kangaroo.

I was very happy when I discovered Artipoppe, a brand that fits my sense of style. I love the fact that it is so luxurious to wear Artipoppe, especially after you had a baby and you don’t feel on top of the world, and your clothes don’t fit. You have a beautiful piece of fabric and it makes everything a bit better.”

Would you say you are a fan of a certain wrap or fabric?

“I am the biggest fan of thin wraps. My favorite wrap of all times is Argus September, black and blue, probably the first Qiviut Anna did. It was made for a Dutch actress, beautiful obviously and after haunting it for a long period of time, I found it. I love it because it’s thin, strong and warm. I love silk, mulberry silk, Japanese silk and I’ve got lots of these fancy fabrics. My baby also loves it, she likes to chew on it.”

What would you like to do when your children are out of the house?

“Well, the same as I do now. I never stopped working, but I also don’t consider what I do as work. Everything I do I love doing. I keep up with my work as much as possible, until I see that one of my children is in need, and then of course I dedicate my time fully to them. The restaurant and the winery are setup in a way that they can survive without us micromanaging every single day. I hope I get better at winemaking and I hope our children like what we like.”

Do you think you are building a legacy?

“No I am not building a legacy. If you do what you do for the future generation, I don’t think you are being true to yourself. So, that the best you can do to your children is do what you love, be authentic, and maybe they catch on, maybe they don’t, maybe they do the opposite. Love what you are doing. I could have continued being partner in a big architectural firm, but it didn’t feel like me. I do what I do to have a nice life and that includes my children. We wouldn’t have bought a winery if we didn’t have children. Maybe we would have invested in wine in a different way. Part of the idea is that they grow up living in contact with nature with seasons and growing periods, witnessing and living vineyard life. I think it’s fantastic as a family to experience! When I hear somebody saying they moved to the suburbs because they wanted to have a garden, I laugh. I either like downtown or country life, nature all around.

What really kills me is that I am 43 now. When you say 20 more years it looks like a lot. But when you say 20 more vintages, then it gets different. Wine is something so substantial. You get one shot a year, you either make it or break it. I wish I had more, because you get better at it, you constantly do.”

Authentic Motherhood I An Artipoppe Babywearing Story

Why and when did you start this passion for wine?

“A long time ago. My husband and I met 22 years ago. I was already into food and wine and it was a very good match. When were into Bacardi & Cola, we were already into wine and occasionally champagne, which is a weird hobby to have when you are 21, right? He comes from a family were food is obviously very important, he inherited the restaurant from his parents. In the 60’s they were importing directly from burgundy because there were no existing importers. So, we have a very long history of drinking, eating and tasting. It’s been a ride. It is a passion that needs to be in you before, otherwise you don’t marry the guy. If you don’t drink and are able to eat a substantial amount of food every 4 hours, not being hungry every 4 hours. It sounds profane, but it was always something that held us together, a shared passion.”

What is your favorite wine?

“What are you asking me? It’s like choosing your favorite child!

I am a big fan of Burgundy. I like wine that has acidity, that’s why I love Brunello. I don’t look for fruit in my wine, sweetness or superpower, but freshness. I like herbal characters over fruity characters. Floral over vegetal aroma. I am less of a Cabernet Sauvignon person, although there is fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a development over time. When I started, I liked oaky, rich, chardonnay from California. It’s really an education, wine education. You get more refined and start to value the subtleness of certain things and you master your taste. I can taste the character behind wine when I know the people who made it. Again, authenticity. So, if I’m right, I like being right because I’m a woman, the wine we are making naturally will taste like our character and personalities. But I am wondering what my personality is going to do to the Brunello de Salicutti. It’s going to happen somehow, just like having children, you really don’t know. You do the best you can, make informed decisions and then the rest is up to nature and everything else right?”

What do you wish for your children besides happiness and health? How do you envision them growing up?

“The number one thing I wish for my children is health, you are right. Besides that, I want them to be empathetic. This has a lot to do with vulnerability. When you are authentic you are vulnerable, because you expose yourself to be judged as you are out there. So when I say I would like them to be empathetic, that also involves teaching them to be resilient. When you are authentic, you have to be able to deal with judgment, disappointment and failure. I start to believe that your comfort zone is a very comfortable place where nothing grows. So I want my children to be curious and empathetic. They don’t need approval from anybody else.

Empathetic human beings that have a deep sense of connection to themselves and the rest of the world. Having primal trust, having your needs met. That is why I never stop telling people how bad it is to not meet their children’s emotional needs. They have needs that go beyond a diaper change or being hungry. They need to be held sometimes, be able to explore stress-free. When they communicate with you, that is crying, you need to respond. It does not mean you are spoiling them or making them tough enough, quite the opposite. It’s almost a religion for me. There are lot of opinions you can have, but this is the truth.

My choice to give birth to Flora at home was more about me than about her. I think it is important how you come into this world, no matter what people say. If it’s stressful or not. It’s like making love, it’s two people. You and the baby. It’s not me having a child or her being born, both are involved. I needed that very much to heal from the very traumatic birth I had with Elsa. Persisting on giving birth to Flora at home was selfish of me and I am not sure if I would do it with a third. I think I now made peace with what happened and I am strong enough to have my next kid in a hospital. So maybe I endangered my child, went against what was best for the family. But it was taking a minimum risk since the closest hospital was 7 minutes away from where we live.

Judgement, that’s where the system grabs you. You do something that is not for everyone. Our full society is all about individualism and finding your true passion, while in education and birth everyone has to be the same. Everybody has to strive to become an executive, but what is wrong with being a carpenter?

There is a lot to be said about modern society. I am extremely proud of being an advocate for that. I am proud of what I accomplished, of giving birth by myself, on my own terms, but I also want other people to see that it is completely normal. That is why I take breastfeeding so seriously. It’s not that I want to show my breasts to the world, but I want to be one of those that can say ‘Normalize breastfeeding’ and if only the ones that never get published do it, it makes no sense. So for people like me, who get occasional exposure to the press, to be an advocate for that of course is essential. It’s also about vulnerability, you put yourself out there.

When it comes to travel, the places where I exposed my breasts are innumerable. Red carpets, restaurants, helicopters (laughs). It’s important, this is the most important job we have: securing a resilient, empathetic next generation. Me being an authentic raw model to my children, that is my job. That they drink an excellent wine is a bonus, but it doesn’t form a future. Me being an authentic raw model to my kids is part of that mission. I am not saying you need to stop what you are doing and be a perfect human being and be nothing but raising children, because that is neglecting yourself as a person. That is bound to backfire, and it has been shown in many instances that it doesn’t go well. It means giving up dreams and not setting a good example.”

Normalize breastfeeding I An Artipoppe Babywearing Story

How important is art in your life?

“I could say I am way too practical for art. But isn’t wine like art? Wine and Architecture have a lot in common, you take something that nature gives you and you let it be. You don’t force anything to your plans as you don’t force anything to your children. It’s less of an art if you define art as painting or sculpturing to express yourself. That is not what I believe architecture or wine should be. It should be less about your own ego. Architecture for example is translating what you interpret as being right for a certain person. I love when the client says: “this is how I want to feel when I wake up in the morning”, instead of asking explicitly for a pillar here or certain stone there. It’s about what you feel when you look out of the window. Art.”

What is your favorite place in the world and why? 

“My favorite place in the world is where my family is. But if I close my eyes and meditate, I see the ocean. When I was little, my dad was a scuba diver. Can you imagine my dad? He is very calm but loves speed and boats, and now he is a golf player. So when I close my eyes I picture myself on the very front of a boat. Seeing the different colors and still my favorite color in the world, the deep petrol color of the ocean.”

What was the happiest moment of your life?

“I hope it’s still to come.

Every time I see my children interact, I see the love for each other, I’m touched, as if the world stops. I’m lucky having that at least once a day, sometimes not at all (laughs).”

Authentic motherhood I An Artipoppe Babywearing Story

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With her, forever in my arms…

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

About motherhood joys and struggles, woven wraps, and finding inner confidence. I A babywearing story by Christina Claesen Fruensgaard

With her, forever in my arms…

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Christina Claesen Fruensgaard

A woman – and now a Mother. I will forever remember the feeling when I brought my first born home from the hospital in a typical Danish baby carriage. A huge piece of my heart had been taken out of my body – away from my protection and was now lying there sleeping beautifully – my baby girl.

She needed me and I needed her. She was very ill when she was born and we spent a lot of time in the hospital which had awoken my Mother Bear feelings in full power! My life was forever changed, I knew it, forever filled with love and forever filled with worry. Motherhood.

Years passed with her forever in my arms, growing bigger and wonderfully more independent day by day – but also heavier and heavier… Had I only known then how amazingly easy and comfortable a woven wrap would be.

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I knew I wanted to carry my son. He was growing slowly in my belly, and he was small – too small. I had wanted him for a long time. I yearned for that perfect happy pregnancy I had with my daughter, but this time it was different, difficult, depressing and each day he was still in there was a victory. Fortunately he stayed there as long as he needed and was born perfectly healthy, still very small though and much in need of his mother. My daughter still wanted her mother too, so wrapping my newborn son was an amazing gift for us both as I could take full part in her life as much as I always had.

This first period was all about meeting the needs of these two amazing individuals and I let myself be completely taken into their changing schedules, needs, and moods. Wrapping my son was what got us through days and nights as he was so unhappy most of these first weeks. My now big girl wanted to be wrapped as well and I’m very thankful that we had moments where she too experienced the special bond you share when carrying your child.

I quickly learned that a wrap was not just a piece of cloth.. I bought my first Artipoppe wrap, the Iron Stove, and I fell in love – hard. The subtle colours, the incredible softness, the overwhelming strength but above all, the empowering feeling it gave me as a mother. I could conquer the world now while breastfeeding.

About motherhood joys and struggles, woven wraps, and finding inner confidence. I A babywearing story by Christina Claesen Fruensgaard

Suddenly my life was filled with wraps, these gorgeous textiles that wrapped our little family so tight and gently together. Colours, patterns, textures, comfort, styling.. how grand it was to let creativity run free – trying colours I never would have dared before. Being able to do the things I wanted with my growing son close to my heart and my daughter in hand. Wrapped so close and still feeling so free.

Who would have known these gorgeous wraps also brought with them new friends and acquaintances from around the world – strong women, fellow fabric geeks, fashionistas, dreamers, caring mothers and fathers all tied together by the love of these elegant patterns and exquisite blends. A community that has broadened my horizon and continuously shown me how alike we all are despite our delightful differences.

Wrapping my children has allowed me to become the mother I wanted to be and it enabled me to grow as a woman feeling so proud of who I am and for the first time, completely confident in myself.

And I will be forever grateful!

About motherhood joys and struggles, woven wraps, and finding inner confidence. I A babywearing story by Christina Claesen Fruensgaard

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About style, love and how motherhood changed her

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

About style, love and how motherhood changed her.

Romy Boomsma about style, love and how motherhood changed her

Artipoppe Story | By Romy Boomsma and Vogue

In Romy Houwer-Boomsma’s Instagram you can endlessly get lost. She posts many images of enchanting interior style that you want to instantly add to Pinterest, but also her daughter, Bobby Jo (1.5) with her husband, TV presenter, model and sports gym owner, Arie Boomsma. Saying Bobby has two very handsome parents is an understatement. Romy Boomsma (26), the face of both Amsterdam’s designer label Stieglitz and Artipoppe for luxury baby wraps and carriers, has a bohemian personal style that inspires. Think: lots of print, color, stacked jewelry, flares alternating with jeans and sweats. Romy shares how she experiences the pregnancy of her second child, style, love and more.

You are now pregnant with your second child. What would you have liked to know during your first pregnancy with Bobby Jo that you know now?

“That nothing will go wrong if you let go a little. The last time I was completely seized by being pregnant, which made me become more anxious. During this second pregnancy, thankfully I can better let go and I’m less busy with it. I continue to exercise throughout and feel fitter this time. Now, I also know better what I can expect, and that has a different mental affect. I’m enjoying this time fully, and so it seems to fly quickly by. ”

Romy Boomsma about style, love and how motherhood changed her. An Artipoppe Story.

How has motherhood changed you, do you think?

“In everything, and especially in many ways that I never imagined or expected in advance. I’m totally there for Bobby, and I think that’s beautiful. Now, after more than a year and a half, I notice that I slowly create some more space for myself and that goes very naturally. I expected that I would have needed that much earlier, but I still prefer her to be as close as possible to me. ”

You are a full-time mother. Has this been a conscious choice?

‘Absolutely. I am very happy that we can allow myself to be a full-time mother, which means that, despite Arie’s busy schedule, we can still see each other as a family.”

Have you always wanted to become a young mother?

“The thought always seemed fun to me, but only when I met Arie, I thought,” Yes, you are my children’s father! “And he had the same feeling. Therefore, it did not have much to do with age. ”

In what has Bobby Jo surprised you the most?

“In a lot of ways actually, but especially in how I deal with motherhood. She’s really my mirror and in terms of character, is very much like me. This can sometimes be confrontational, but at the same time it’s very funny. ”

Romy Boomsma in Artipoppe and I Love Mr Mittens

What do you wear most during your pregnancy?

Stieglitz Flared leggings, vintage Levi’s 501 jeans in a large size, Arie’s shirts, long dresses and everything combined with oversized knitwear by I love Mr Mittens. This time and during the previous pregnancy, I have not bought any special clothes, but actually wear what I usually like. That means everything oversized. In my pregnant period, those clothes are a little tighter. ”

You are the face of Stieglitz and Artipoppe. Why are these labels written on your body?

“I think the women behind these companies are fantastic. They are my friends and both are so incredible in what they think and do. The brands are outgoing and striking and yet they speak to so many people. I think that is exceptionally beautiful.”

Romy Boomsma in Artipoppe

Which accessories in your closet are of particular importance to you?

“My gold jewelry. It is a combination of family heirlooms and presents from Arie. He knows exactly what I like and chooses the most beautiful things. I always wear them. ”

What are your top 3 beauty tips for pregnant women?

“The Soap Treatment store for the finest treatments, and at the same time some time for yourself – even after your pregnancy. A good highlighter. I like to use Girl Meets Pearl or Watt’s Up from Benefits, and good creams and oils for your skin. The Beam Cream from Soap is very good and I also like to use Kiehl’s skin products.”

What are you the proudest of Arie as your husband and father of your children?

“He works incredibly hard, but is a very engaged and loving father and man. His head is never too full to spend time with Bobby and us. He is always very patient. We complement each other well as a couple, and that appears to be the case in parenthood also. ”

Originally featured in Vogue

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Style and Inclusivity in Seoul

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Style and Inclusivity in Seoul I Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Sarah Kate Watson-Baik

Style and Inclusivity in Seoul

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Sarah Kate Watson-Baik

I currently live in Seoul, South Korea. A city that never sleeps. Much like my daughter Luna when it comes to sleeping in a bed. With this as the starting point of my story, I realize mine must be similar to many! The reality of this situation is that babies know what’s good. They like to sleep on or near their caregiver and I resigned myself to that even before she was born. I always knew I would wear her. To what extent, I had no idea.

From birth she had no interest in reclining or being horizontal alone in all those things we are sold as new parents: Bouncy chairs, not having it. The highly recommended, must buy, automatic rocking cot, nope. A co-sleeper, never.

She liked one thing: For her back to be vertical and be high up, able to see the world. Her choice, not mine.

Along with that, like most newborns, my baby would only fall asleep nursing on me, next to me, or being worn. I could never get her to sleep in my rocking arms. She would muscle away from me in a way I’m uncertain how a young baby could do. Regardless, somehow being vertical in a sling or carrier was magic! It was the only thing that would allow her to relax her body enough to sleep. Once my husband and I discovered this surefire way to get Luna to rest from then on out we took the road of least resistance even if it meant wearing her for every nap and bed time. (As I write this she is eight months old and we still wear her down or nurse or a combination of the two for each and every sleep time. I have no other tricks up my sleeve. If it was not for babywearing I’m not sure where we would be.)

 

Style and Inclusivity in Seoul I Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Sarah Kate Watson-Baik

After she was about a month old I also discovered that she would sleep longer if I wore her and walked outside. I would take advantage of her extended afternoon naps to get out and visit Korean markets, department stores, and galleries. The market stall ladies would peek their head in and gasp in shock that I was taking such a young baby around with me. Despite Korea being a babywearing culture with traditional podaegis and trendy hip seats, it’s also tradition to stay home the first 100 days of a baby’s life to both keep it safe from illness and for the mother to recover from birth by eating iron-rich seaweed soup everyday. Let’s just say those early days we garnered a lot of attention that might have been a little negative as we set about our city adventures. But I do highly recommend the seaweed soup!

Getting around Seoul is very easy but not terribly so if you are pushing wheels. I found babywearing gave me the freedom of mobility and a sense of security in the hustle and bustle. I could take the bus or metro with ease, maneuver the small back alleys, and enter the many shops that included steep steps. With so many people around, and sometimes overly friendly stray hands, I also had full awareness and the ability to protect my baby. We were one.

Besides mobility, it gave my daughter a view to take in the world. I could see curiosity in those little eyes from the beginning and I’m sure Seoul was a dazzle of lights to her with all it’s neon and shiny things stacked on top of each other in the streets and markets. As she got older her curiosity only grew, even to hyperactivity. Wearing made it possible for me to calm her flurry of flaying arms and shifting gaze. Another thing I found wonderful about wearing Luna was it allowed her to be included in every conversation.

 

Style and Inclusivity in Seoul I Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Sarah Kate Watson-Baik

After the 100 days, I started wearing Luna to fashion events and even to Seoul Fashion Week where she was immediately acknowledged and greeted by others. Koreans love babies and despite it being a little weird to see a baby at a fashion event, people engaged her in cute conversation, wave or shook her hand, and wanted to take her photo. Calm and content in the commotion, her face would light up with the recognition and she enjoyed the attention. What I loved about this is that the greeting in Korea is very important. Parents teach their children to bow to elders from a very young age and the quality of your greeting skills will always mark you as a person. Not only did she learn to greet others, she has been fully included in the conversation. This perspective is more equal on so many levels. Her world included fashion shows, people’s faces, hand gestures, hugs, pretty interiors, lovely catering… whatever I could possibly be enjoying at an event, she did too. Her world was not simply people’s knees and ankles as if she were sat in a stroller. Or even just of our home if I attended events without her.

So that’s my babywearing story. As you can see everything about babywearing is for the benefit of my baby… Oh wait I almost forgot!

I love fashion. I’ve been working in fashion in Korea as a lecturer, consultant, stylist, influencer, and sometime TV host so I just love fashion and it has become so much of who I am.

 

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Babywearing allowed me to achieve two things: Be the mother I felt I needed to be, fulfilling this deep instinct to care for my daughter in a particular way that many think of as being inconvenienced. I certainly fall into the label of Attachment Parent or “crunchy mom” as the American slang goes as I not only babywear but co-sleep, cloth diaper, breastfeed and so on. Babywearing also allowed me to feel more myself, or maybe, my best self. There is no compromise.

Babywearing with wraps, and particularly Artipoppe wraps, allowed me to continue to find joy in dressing and feel beautiful and chic. Fashion and motherhood can be one. I find it so odd that many seem to see pregnancy and motherhood a time to become dowdy and matronly. I loved dressing my pregnant body and I got many raised eyebrows here in Korea for my bright bodycon dresses and kimono combinations. Indeed, it’s not easy and we have very little time as mothers but there are shortcuts and hacks to style! Simply styling a stunning wrap with a classic nursing t-shirt and wide trousers or jeans and sneakers is an easy mom outfit but actually very cool, fun, and fashionable. I’m a great lover of millinery hats and scarves, so wraps are equally as fun and simple to style. My collection of Artipoppe wraps is growing and I strategically buy them based on how I think they could be styled with clothes. The outfit can be a blank canvas, the wrap a splash of artistic paint, the exclamation mark in the sentence. Wraps are the little bit of luxury you feel you can indulge in when everything else is covered with food and your hair has not been washed. Luckily, I always rocked the mom ponytail before baby came so no one really noticed a difference in the hair department!

 

Style and Inclusivity in Seoul I Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Sarah Kate Watson-Baik

In conclusion, overall I guess I feel like people have low expectations for babies. Like babies don’t quite take in as much of the world as adults do. I want to share my life with my children not by accident. I never had the desire to leave my baby at home with a babysitter. Even I’m sure she would be bored by that as when we leave the house, Luna kicks her legs in excitement to see something different. For me the point is experience. Experience in all facets of life is the best education. It makes us better thinkers and practitioners. Babies develop so quickly that one minute they are laying on their back and then next flipping over and crawling, that it makes me think if they missed viewing the world or experience in the first year what more could have developed in their mind?

So yes: Experience and engagement. Inclusiveness. The ultimate assurance and feeling of safety. That’s some pretty awesome things to be able to offer another human.

Babywearing has allowed me to calm my baby and get her overactive personality to sleep. It has allowed me to read her better, to attend to every need so that she knows she can trust me. It has allowed her and my husband to be totally bonded as he will wear her for every nap and other chance he can get. It has allowed her to join me everywhere I go in total ease. It has allowed her to be dazzled by city lights & sounds and perhaps develop her own style and taste. It has encouraged her to be social and adopt the social manner of her surroundings. It has allowed me to continue to have fun with fashion and share that joy with my daughter. In everything I do, I want it to be a fun adventure so being a mother has been no different thanks to babywearing. Most of all, it has allowed us to share a very amazing connection and I’m certain she know she is loved. Who would have thought a long piece of cloth, albeit a very beautiful, luxurious, and well designed one, could be so many things?

READ more babywearing stories
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Love for Babywearing Knows No Borders

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Artipoppe 2

Love for Babywearing Knows no Borders

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Daiva Petkeviciute

My journey into motherhood started seven years ago with what I thought was a perfect pregnancy and birth. Despite being a workaholic at heart, still rushing to finish a project as contractions were progressing, I was thrilled to become a mother and thrived in my new role from day one. Although dark and short days in December and icy pavements in January kept me trapped at home with a newborn for days on end, I was truly enjoying the perfectly imperfect days and nights with my son. He was a baby who let me know loud and clear that he needed to be close to me pretty much all the time. And I gladly carried him day and night, mostly in my arms.

As weeks went on, I was getting increasingly tired of never being able to put my son down. For a short period I discovered that if I put him to sleep in my arms while wearing a cozy zip-up fleece jumper, I could sometimes lay him down and sneak out by taking the jumper off, while still leaving the arm wrapped around him. A very clever trick that worked only for so long as Lukas called my bluff. I needed a solution and after a failed attempt to make a stretchy wrap work, I stumbled upon a buckle carrier that seemed to be a solution that worked for us. I loved carrying my son and took him with me everywhere I went: from boats to hiking trips, he was happily observing the world close to me.

Artipoppe babywearing story Daiva Petkeviciute

A couple of years later my first daughter was born and just like my son, she spent a lot of time snuggled up on me in a carrier. We both enjoyed being able to carry on with our days chasing an active toddler without any obstacles. Although I didn’t find the carrier comfortable for my back, it was a solution that worked and so I followed my instinct to put my kids first. My babywearing story might have ended here had I not developed severe lower back and hip pains. People around me were quick to blame my discomfort on babywearing and after excluding a variety of possible reasons I also came to the conclusion that it was wrongly distributed weight of my kids that was causing it. It was such a difficult realization to swallow and at that time, pregnant with my third baby and unaware of any other alternatives, I decided not to carry my youngest daughter. We greeted her into this world well equipped with a number of strollers.

Fast forward 10 months later, one conversation with a friend changed it all. She introduced me to Artipoppe and something just clicked. At first it was the aesthetic appeal that captured my attention. I was drawn to the idea that satisfying a basic need of keeping your child close can be so much more than that. The different blends to meet the personal preferences of each mother and child, as well as pattern-color combinations to make as big a fashion statement as one´s heart desires kept me fascinated. I tried my very first Artipoppe wrap with my chubby 10-month old and a sensitive back and it was perfect: cotton-cashmere blend provided enough support and cushiness to distribute the weight of my daughter equally throughout my body so that the pressure on my hips and lower back that I was so used to feeling was gone. I was ecstatic! For me, it meant going back to being the easy-going parent that I love to be, without needing to schedule the family days around the nap times of my youngest. It meant saying “yes” to my older kids when they wanted to go explore the world, instead of slowing them down because of the needs of the baby. Gradually I was experimenting with different blends and patterns, testing the wrapping qualities of the wraps with my not so small kids and once in a while surprising myself by my attraction to colors that I would never considered for my clothing. It didn’t take long for Artipoppe wraps to not only become a necessity with 3 kids under the age of 4, but also my number one accessory of choice.

What took me by surprise though, is that beyond wraps, Artipoppe brought into my life a community of women, a support system that I did not have and was longing for. Being a mother in a foreign country, with no family around, can be a lonely and isolating experience. As a Lithuanian in Norway, I was grateful to the health system in Norway that arranged meetings for mothers with babies close in age living in the same area so they get connected and not feel alone. During the meetings that I attended, different perspectives and takes on motherhood were enthusiastically shared in the group by mothers of different walks: from various countries, brand new moms and moms to child number two or three. Those to whom the new role came naturally and those who were notably struggling. I remember how these meetings sometimes left me questioning my own choices when it came to raising my kids. As my confidence in myself and my parenting choices I was making grew, the mother-baby meetings started in some weird way to resemble high school reunions: you meet people who you should have so much in common with, yet being in the same class or, as I discovered, having a child is not necessarily a common denominator strong enough to create lasting bonds. Very unexpectedly, to me, Artipoppe became that common denominator bringing together mothers from across the globe that share love for babywearing and beauty. Because of Artipoppe, I have met the most amazing women – from different continents, speaking different languages and raising their families in various countries – with whom I share my views on motherhood, raising children, rediscovering yourself as a woman after becoming a mother. To me, Artipoppe has opened doors to my support system, to my village that makes me a better parent for my kids.

Artipoppe babywearing story Daiva Petkeviciute

As our babywearing journey is drawing to an end, I am grateful for what it has brought to me and my family. My kids associate wraps, or “hearts” as they call them, with a special time with me. My daughters still ask to be carried when their legs get tired on long walks, or when they need to reconnect and get undivided attention. I admire their ability to recognize and voice their needs – something I hope they will carry through life. And while the kids are growing and these special wrapping moments are becoming few and far between, friendships that I have made through my babywearing journey keep getting only stronger. Love for babywearing knows no borders, and for that I am grateful.

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Finding My Own Parenting Path

Monday, January 30th, 2017

blue grape

Finding my own parenting path

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Nina Takayanagi

Since having children I find myself thinking about my own mother quite a lot. She passed away from cancer when I was 18 so I think of her while reminiscing about my childhood.

I was born and raised in Canada to parents who emigrated from Japan in the early 1970s. I am Nikkei-Nisei, second generation Japanese. Growing up I spoke Japanese with my parents and siblings. My mother taught me to read and write, while at school I was learning the same in English. Things that were a normal part of my childhood -like celebrating Japanese holidays, and playing games which required fluency with a language that was second nature to me – were experiences that linked me to a country and culture geographically far from where I grew up. I was part of a small, tight-knit local community where I got to know other children, like myself, of Japanese descent. I remember the kinship with those who also grew up with a strong and distinct cultural identity in a society that strived to celebrate our diversity and differences. My status as a ‘visible minority’ would not define me and I defied any artificial restrictions I came across. I highly credit my parents for the healthy confidence that they fostered in me.

Fast forward a few decades later and that same self-assurance and sense of personal identity began being dismantled bit by bit. I first became a mother in 2012 but it was not for a few more years until after my son was born that the battle with anxiety became overwhelming. I powered through the first few months in a daze, but I couldn’t seem to find a comfort zone as a second time mother. Worry and fear would keep me up and I struggled in making any parenting decision. The absence of my own mother who had passed away years ago weighed heavily on my spirit. Before long I didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror before me anymore.

Dark Grey

Babywearing started as purely functional, and was an essential in my motherhood survival toolkit. At first the long piece of cloth felt heavy and burdensome in hand, but soon the process of wrapping it around myself became a ritual that would calm my nerves. It felt cathartic and allowed me to parent a precocious toddler while keeping my baby close. Slowly, I began to feel more like myself again. The sleep deprived and unshowered version, anyway.

After being frustrated with search results for a local ‘moms’ group’ to turn to for support, I found myself welcomed into an international group of mothers, fathers and caregivers who shared a passion for babywearing. Chatting with other moms about everything from wraps, breastfeeding, to juggling kid’s needs and about raising bilingual/multi-lingual children, I finally felt like I found the like-minded people that I could call my community.

Before long, what began as a parenting tool also evolved into a fun hobby. I quickly became vested in the wrap world and began to churn, read reviews of influential babywearing bloggers, and started to geek out about wrapping qualities of different fibres, blends and weaves. My appreciation of woven wraps led me to seek out brands and creators that aligned with my sense of aesthetics and want of quality textiles.

Arrow

With that, I came across Artipoppe.

Bison, babycamel, qiviut, vicuña. Soft and luxurious wools to the strong silks, I found their fibre blends and weft pairings always innovative and a pleasure to try. They have never disappointed with their beautiful wraps that I would buy to snuggle my youngest but found could equally support my older child. What impressed me about Artipoppe more than just their quality products was their commitment to customer service. Their personalized and occasionally playful or witty email responses never failed to make me smile.

Fellow babywearers have challenged me to be a socially conscious consumer and I have always considered Artipoppe with a critical perspective as necessary. I believe my voice as a person of color, mother, babywearer, and community member are not insignificant and do carry weight. Also, because change does not occur in a vacuum, I appreciate that as a brand they are open to talk about diversity and have respected my viewpoints whenever I have spoken up. In these conversations I feel empowered and like the strong, independent and culturally aware woman that my mother modelled for me growing up.

Now, I don’t know if my mother was a babywearer or not. Or whether she would laugh or encourage my passion for woven wraps. Regardless, I feel like I am doing right by her in finding my own path with parenting. So even though I know my time as a babywearer may be fleeting, it’s an important part of my motherhood journey and one that helped me find myself again. Cheers to my babywearing friends and this lovely community who have helped amplify my voice along this way.

As well, here’s to the cultural legacy I aim to pass to my children, similar to how my own mother did for me.

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From baby wearing to toddler wearing

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

From Baby Wearing to Toddler Wearing - An Artipoppe Babywearing Story

FROM BABY WEARING TO TODDLER WEARING

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Amalia Saftoiu

I discovered woven wraps quite late in what may be a relatively short babywearing stage in one´s life. My son was about 6 months old when we wrapped with our first high quality woven wrap. After a traumatic birth and an uphill battle to succeed in breastfeeding, babywearing embraced us, as it does with everyone who wants to carry a baby, be it biological parents, adoptive parents, other family members or friends. Babywearing is as rewarding as it is accessible, and does not betray your love and nurturing feelings.

Before I could acknowledge and verbalize what babywearing meant to us, the benefits and joy it brought to us, I was, strictly speaking, toddlerwearing, and no longer babywearing.  As I favored woven wraps with two wefts, and preferably with complementary blends, like cashmere and silk, from a wearing comfort point of view I did not feel the transition to a new stage of our wearing adventure or my son getting heavier, nor did I paused to think about it the moment he turned 1 year old, but the questions started.

If babywearing is getting more and more acceptance, especially with with stretchy wraps and soft structured carriers being available in the shops next to the strollers, toddlerwearing in a way, goes against a trend in the modern parenting approach – the race to get your child to be independent as soon as possible, to reach milestones and stages, to leave behind preference for things that are considered acceptable only for babies, like a comforter, pacifier, diapers, night nursing, co-sleeping, etc. “Is he not walking yet, maybe it is because of the wraps? For how long will you wear him? Until he walks? Until he runs?  It is called babywearing, doesn´t it mean it is only for babies?” I have not conducted a study on the pros and cons of toddlerwearing, so I can only share some of my thoughts and experiences while I continued to wear my child in a woven wrap past his 1st birthday.

 

Babywearing to Toddlerwearing

A woven wrap does not come with an age appropriate label, or instructions until what age or child height is appropriate to babywear. Comfort and safety aside, the act of babywearing and toddlerwearing is between the wearer and the child, and is dependent on their personal circumstances and preferences. In my view, the transition from babywearing to toddlerwearing is a process based on trust, respect – a dialogue between the mother and the child, a negotiation of both their needs.

Emotionally, I know for sure I was not ready to stop wearing my child when he turned one. As Elizabeth Stone beautifully put it, once you have a baby, forever you have your heart walking around outside your body.  That moment when you face your deepest vulnerability, acknowledging the fragility of life, but at the same time the love you feel makes you strong and eternal – the motherhood metamorphosis seemed gentler on me holding my heart closer to my heart a second longer, and a second longer… From a nurturing point of view, I have no doubt that toddlerwearing has helped us continue the breastfeeding journey longer than we ever hoped for, despite all the challenges we faced in the beginning. I feel him at peace, relaxed when he comes to nurse in a front carry, it is his safe harbor when he is tired, hungry, unwell, or just misses me being away from him.

And then it is of course the sleeping challenge…Even though we hoped for, and used many gentle sleep routines, our son´s sleep has not improved once he became a toddler, and an evening stroll cuddled in a wrap, close to my heart or with his hand around my neck remained the easiest and most reliable way of helping him fall asleep and move gently from one sleep cycle to the other.  We learned to accept this routine and make the best of it, either as a family walk, or “boys time” – my husband and him going out to explore the city. After a few months my husband became more interested in photography and his passion for city landscapes and lenses gave him a better understanding of my wrap hobby. And talking about city landscapes, we might be humming “Fields of Gold” during our strolls through Moscow, but the reality is “Big City Life” would be more appropriate.  Narrow sidewalks, large boulevards, underpasses, millions of cars, extended distances between parks and family attractions – without wearing our toddler in the busiest parts of the city, or when he is tired, our family city tours would not be possible or we would have to simplify them, limit them to the routes accessible by toddler feet, strollers or contemplate being stuck in traffic for hours.

 

From Babywearing to Toddlerwearing, an Artipoppe Story

We have reduced the intensity of the international traveling we used to do before having children, but we are travelers.  Busy places, quick transfers, piles of luggage and tight security on one hand, and curious toddlers on the other can be a challenging combination – this is where the convenience and security of toddlerwearing through airports, security controls and airport trains is priceless. The same with the comfort a familiar wrap can offer him when we are in a new place, or meeting new people, or the freedom of exploring new places knowing that when needed he can rest in a wrap or a ring sling that is easy to carry in a handbag or a backpack.

Wrapping him in his first year of toddlerhood was probably easier than before, as he was more agile at putting his hands around my neck for a back carry, communicating if he wanted a front or a back carry, a one layer carry, something with more movement freedom, or just a nursing carry I did start feeling a difference in what we have been using to toddlerwear once he turned two: we discovered the love for Ring Slings, for shorter wraps with heavier grams per square meter (gsm), and even became friends with the sturdy linen blends.

My return to work has made the most significant impact on our toddlerwearing time, more significant than his age. While the time we wrap has been reduced to evenings, weekends and vacations, wrapping is helping both of us to adjust to this change. A walk in the neighborhood after work, in a cozy wrap helps me learn so much about his day – I know from the way he cuddles in the wrap if he is tired after a playful day, or agitated, hungry, unwell, or just happy he is close to me.

While I know that soon we will not use wraps any more, and there is a bitter sweetness about that, I know that the bond that we have established and memories that we have created while toddlerwearing are a real treasure for my relation with my son and that they will last forever and a day.

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What do children say about being worn? 

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

What do babyworn children say about being worn?

What do children say about being worn?

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Abigail Jerip

Have you ever wondered what our babyworn children might say about us? Do you think they have relished in the babywearing journey just as much as we have loved experimenting with different carrying positions, brands, and blends? As a fellow pilgrim in parenting, traveling through this journey just like you, I do wonder if they have truly enjoyed this journey as much as I have. And as my son is quickly becoming a toddler, this is a natural juncture for reflection.

As a Sarawakian from Sarawak, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, babywearing is nothing new – only slightly forgotten. Currently experiencing a renaissance, this way of life was almost lost about half a generation ago.

Deemed rural-fashioned or “kampong” (village), the negative perception of babywearing sprung from the fact that it is prevalently utilized by women travelling to the city from smaller towns and rural villages. They ngiban (*Bidayuh for traditional side carry) or kabis (*Bidayuh for back carry) their child with a putuong (*Bidayuh for a piece of fabric, roughly 2 meters long used for the sole purpose of babywearing). Juxtaposed against an urban setting, with strollers by the dozens rolling by (pun intended), an understandable prejudice formed around the practice.

Transitioning into motherhood was a struggle for me – quick, common-sense adjustments guiding me along – the survival skills of first time mothers, right? It wasn’t until a dear friend brought her woven wraps over, and sat me down for a mini pow-wow, that I reconnected with my roots. Before long I was hooked, and babywearing became integral to my life and parenthood. I soon found certain modern ways of wrapping to be very convenient, compared to the simple, single-layer traditional hip carry, and the thicker woven wraps much more supportive than a sarong. Not only that – entering the world of wraps opened up my eyes to a myriad of fabrics, designs, and colors that appealed to my inner vanity. Instant love.

However, where I found joy and comfort, there were naysayers aplenty. I am a sunny side up, glass-half-full kind of person. At least I will myself to be. So, every time I heard someone warn, “Don’t spoil your child with all that carrying!”, I remembered a modern, trailblazing CEO who openly reminisced about her mother babywearing her. She fondly described those memories when she felt ‘so secure and content”, while she listened to her mother’s heartbeat – and that she’d hope to do the same for her own child too.

Then there are those who call us, “Lazy moms”, refusing to carry our babies in our arms.” And others who say, “your baby will have attachment issues, and difficulty being independent”. When I hear these comments, I think of my uncle – a close friend of my parents – recalling how his mother used to carry him as she worked in the rice fields and farming the land, “My mother used to carry me like this on the farm. I felt so safe. I felt so secure. How else was my mother supposed to plant rice or farm the land other than in sandit? (**Iban for traditional side carry). Today, he is a grandfather of four. In his prime, my uncle was a senior engineer for the government.

One of the more memorable comments was particularly presumptuous. The mother said to me, “I don’t have to bring my kids out as much as you do. And when my kids are tired of walking it is time to go back home. I don’t need to babywear”. Well, today the woman who said those very words is an avid babywearer with her own mini-stash.

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Abigail Jerip

Looking back at it all, I realize love-centered parenting has a way of enduring those unpleasant retorts. All along I only had to look to my heart, my friends, peers and elders to find assurance. In the end, it is also not hard to find adults who were babyworn in Sarawak. Today, plenty are well-balanced adults who have nurtured the community. They are pivotal characters in nation building – men and women who actively give back to the state and society. My own parents, whom I love and respect, were babyworn themselves. And with my entrance to motherhood, it is a beautiful culmination of three babywearing generations.

Now, as my son learns to walk, finds his voice and eventually grows into his own person – I hope he reminisces on these moments together. Like when mommy wrapped him close to her heart after working long nights delivering babies at the hospital. Or how he went on adventures with daddy, tied high and secure on mommy’s back. And of course, his (very serious!) supervising role on carwash day, perched in daddy’s carrier. I hope in looking back on all these memories of feeling included, he feels rooted enough to venture off into this crazy world that is both scary and exciting.

*Bidayuh, also known as the land Dayak, is the collective name for several indigenous groups found in southern Sarawak, Malaysia and northern West Kalimantan, Indonesia, on the island of Borneo.

**Iban, are a branch of the Dayak people of Borneo.

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Babywearing – A Special Need

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

 Artipoppe Babywearing Stories

BABYWEARING – A SPECIAL NEED

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Anna Sophie Poirier

Paul arrived in our lives on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. We had been anticipating his arrival for quite some time and we already knew he would be extraordinary. Immediately after his birth, tests quickly confirmed Down Syndrome as well as a cardiac abnormality that would require open heart surgery within his first months of life.

From the first hours after he was born, dad and I took turns at his bedside keeping him warm with skin to skin contact. Babywearing was a natural choice as we didn’t want Paul to be anywhere else but right against our hearts. I wore him, rocked him, cuddled him; at home, on the road, in hospital hallways, to and from exams and appointments, and also simply for the sheer joy of it. For the only reason that I wanted to take in all that he had to give.

Babywearing took on a big role in our lives and during all those difficult and stressful moments, it was not only imperative that I kept Paul close to me, but vital to my confidence as a mother and as a woman. I did not have any control over the events that were unfolding; fear and the unknown were constants in our daily lives but giving my baby this comfort, this closeness, this security and an abundance of love was a tangible way of making sense of this frightening whirlwind.

It is also through babywearing that I was able to discover an exceptional community. I met extraordinary mothers and developed close friendships. I found support, willing listeners and incredible open-mindedness. This support system has made a huge difference in our journey and has brought us so much comfort.

Paul underwent open-heart surgery at the age of two months. He left for the operating room the morning of June 25th, enveloped in our favorite woven wrap. He returned to us with a freshly mended heart and a tiny scar so we would not forget the warrior he had become.

As we learned more about Down Syndrome, we discovered that it is often associated with delays in gross motor skills such that children are likely to walk a little bit later than average. What joy! I knew it would be a pleasure to hold him close to me and to help him discover the world wrapped snugly on my back. We would follow his rhythm and adapt our lives to him.

Little by little, my appreciation for wraps evolved into a true passion. I was a seasoned knitter with years of experience and was already a lover of fibers, fabrics and design. It was inevitable that I would fall into the rabbit hole! Not only did this textile art help make me feel beautiful and elegant, but I was able to carry the most precious thing in the world to me, my baby.

The world of babywearing has provided me with a number of opportunities to demystify and familiarize people with Down Syndrome, and to open their eyes to the differences we encounter in our daily lives. This has also led to becoming a certified babywearing educator, allowing me to share my love and passion for babywearing and wraps. My dream is for every mother to have the necessary tools and support to forge this crucial bond that is so important between her and her child, particularly with children with special needs.

True beauty can be found in our differences, our diversity and our relationships with others and I really believe that being able to babywear my son reflects all of this. For me, wraps become an extension of my internal beauty and my maternal love, one carry at a time.

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Babywearing – Staying Active Together

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

Active baby wearing

BABYWEARING – STAYING ACTIVE TOGETHER

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Marije Visser Bregman

Playing sports has always been an important part of my life. Until my oldest son was born, I played handball at a high level and I was training and exercising on a daily basis. This was my life. Being fit and active is very important to me and makes me feel good.

It was no surprise to anyone that I chose a career in that direction. I became a physical education teacher and work in a secondary school with teenagers from all sorts of backgrounds. I experienced that the importance of health and also of normal, healthy food, is not something that all children get brought up with as standard. I vowed to do that differently if I ever had children myself and that I would teach them to be active and fit and eat healthily.
And then my first two boys were born within 18 months of each other and I found out that combining an active lifestyle with the care for children, a household and a job was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. I exercised less than I had planned and found it hard to find the time. I was very happy when a friend introduced me to the concept of babywearing. Wearing my kids allowed me to be a lot more active. It was so practical! We would take the kids out for long walks, often around town, but during the weekends also into the countryside, the nearby forest and what we love the most, to the beach! We could go for active walks, run around, have fun and go to places that a stroller could never handle.  And now with three boys running around this still hasn’t changed. Besides the active things we do with our boys we also love a bit of me-time now and again and cross-fit is our game now. Great for strength and super challenging, and also so much fun! I am glad I have managed to become as fit again as I was before I had children.

Active babywearing

 

Another passion of us is snowboarding and these holidays are great with little kids as well, as long as we bring my wraps. In-between boarding sessions, while the oldest two have skiing lessons, I love taking the youngest for long walks on my back in a snuggly wrap. The super blends of Artipoppe make even carrying a heavier kid for longer periods of time easy, and doing so is great for core strengthening!

And what started off as a practical solution soon became much more than that. Babywearing has helped me bond with my boys, keeping them close and seeing to their needs. I love how a beautiful wrap can make the simplest outfit look super stylish, and I like playing around with accessories to match, both for myself and my kids. A year ago, a friend and I started a small business doing babywearing consultations. It is amazing and so rewarding to help new parents during their first steps into the babywearing world.

staying active carrying your baby

I hope to continue to carry my youngest for a bit longer and more than that, I hope that I can give my children my love for an active and healthy lifestyle. Judging by their energy and their love for going on trips and adventures, I think I am on the right track.

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