BABYWEARING – TRAVELING MADE EASY
Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Julia Samokhvalova
I have been a vagabond my entire life. I moved houses dozens of times as a child, changing cities and countries. Even when we were living in one place, my family always loved to travel. Traveling is embedded deeply into my being, it is a part of who I am.
Then, my first child was born. And suddenly, it wasn’t as easy anymore.
I was a young mother – I didn’t really know anyone my age who had children, so instead I was surrounded by older women conveying their experience from a different era. ‘You can’t travel with a baby’. ‘Changing climate zones is really bad for children’. ‘Traveling with your little one will just make him fussy and nervous, and the trip will make all of you unhappy’. And so, we mostly stayed put. The sight of the stressed parents in the airport with the screaming kids and the Titanic-sized strollers made me uncomfortable. That wasn’t me.
It started to change with my third baby. Tim and I spent a lot of time in the hospital in the first months of his life, he was spitting up a lot, and he had a huge need for constant physical contact. The loneliness of being a mother to three kids under four turned me to mommy-groups, and that’s where I saw woven wrap carriers for the first time. Real people, tying their babies to their bodies with long pieces of fabric! I was sold instantly. I had used ring slings with my older girls, but this was so much better.
Babywearing was a big part in my relationship with my son. It helped me keep him close and keep active at the same time. Wherever I went, my son was content, wrapped up tightly to my chest. His home was where he could hear my heartbeat, and it didn’t matter what continent we were on.
But it also helped me transition back to …well, me. Being a mother didn’t seem to be limiting any longer. I could live the life that I wanted to live, together with my kids.
I have since had two more babies. They were both wrapped and flying to other sides of the world by the time they were two months old.
While I sometimes bring a stroller along, I never actually use it while traveling from one place to another. Nothing beats a wrap in the airport. Baby overwhelmed by all the people? He’ll feel safe wrapped up close. Tired baby falling asleep while you are moving through the airport? Not a problem, no need for getting out of a stroller for security or to leave it at the gate. Chilly on the plane? A wrap will keep you nice and snug. And it’s definitely your best option for shopping in the airport – those duty-free shops tend to have quite narrow aisles…
My youngest baby is less than a year old, and he has seen both coasts of the United States, the Alps, several European countries, and big parts of Asia. He saw them all wrapped up, and we got to share the experience of seeing the world together. And I got to be everything I wanted to be – a mother and a traveler.