Posts Tagged ‘babywearing’

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.



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
DISCOVER more about Artipoppe: behind the brand
LOOK through Artipoppe collections for inspiration
SHOP the latest in babywearing fashion

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.

READ more babywearing stories
DISCOVER more about Artipoppe: behind the brand
LOOK through Artipoppe collections for inspiration
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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.


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.

READ more babywearing stories
LOOK through Artipoppe collections for inspiration
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From baby wearing to toddler wearing

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

From Baby Wearing to Toddler Wearing - An Artipoppe Babywearing Story


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.

READ more babywearing stories
LOOK through Artipoppe collections for inspiration
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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.

READ more babywearing stories
LOOK through Artipoppe collections for inspiration
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Babywearing – A Special Need

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

 Artipoppe Babywearing Stories


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


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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Metamorphosis into motherhood

Friday, August 5th, 2016



Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Julia Samokhvalova

Your baby is born, and he’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Those tiny little fingers, the fluffy hair, the angelic face… You can’t stop looking at him. You buy him these cute little outfits, the softest little blankets… You scuttle past the mirror, not noticing that you’re still in your washed out maternity pants, and that someone obviously spit up on your t-shirt. This happened to me – and more than once. A lot of mothers don’t bother much about their looks after they have a baby, and this is in no way a bad thing. But a lot of times, we really miss it. Caring for ourselves, feeling beautiful. It’s not only about looks, it’s also about confidence, control, empowerment. Yet we often choose to deny ourselves these things.

Why do we do that? Because we are tired. Because we experience baby blues. Because we’ve gained weight and got stretch marks and dislike our new bodies. Because the baby gets all of our attention and our energy. Because sometimes it’s almost considered shameful to care about our looks – we have a baby! – and so, we feel guilty for caring. Your baby deserves the most beautiful things. So when you pick out that amazing wrap, which looks so nice on you both, you’re making a step in the right direction. You feel prettier. Maybe later, you will find clothes that fit you better, and that look good with the wrap. Maybe you’ll pick up a nice matching lipstick. Or maybe you won’t – you’ll just light up and smile when the lady in the store compliments you on your wrap.

When my youngest was a few weeks old, I cried looking at myself in the mirror. I thought I was the ugliest thing ever. I had a stressful pregnancy, I had gained a lot of weight, I was exhausted. But my baby looked great, and we looked great together, especially wrapped up. We did a few photoshoots for Artipoppe a few weeks later. I washed my hair, chose some nice clothes that still fit me (very little from my wardrobe did), and wrapped my baby in these wonderful pieces of fabric. And suddenly, it wasn’t so bad.

Beautiful baby wearing

Looking back to these pictures, I think I look good. I realize that this was the moment that changed it for me in terms on confidence. In these pictures, I see a woman. A mother. Someone who really enjoys being close to her child. The beauty of a mother is sometimes very different from the beauty of a girl, but it’s in no way less stunning. It’s even more dignified. The way I see it, wraps help us emphasize that beauty. Which is why I’ll keep on babywearing – you can’t have too much beauty in your life.

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Babywearing – an extension of love

Monday, July 11th, 2016


Babywearing – an extension of love

Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Francesca Orlando

I always knew I wanted to carry my baby, even before I got pregnant. When my son was born, I had quite an impressive collection of carriers already…

It all began a few years ago. I was attending a conference in the Bay Area, and a colleague and acquaintance of mine had just had a baby. She came to this 4-day conference with her 6-month old daughter, whom she carried everywhere in an Ergo. The last day I ran into her in the morning, she was outside one of the conference rooms, rocking her fussy baby to sleep. She looked tired and sad; she looked out of place. Call it sisterhood, call it intuition, but I looked at this mother and her baby and I felt that she needed a break. When I approached her and asked her if she wanted to attend any lectures, she nodded. I offered to take her baby for a couple of hours so she could get a break and go to the lecture. I had seen her wearing the baby around the convention center, so I asked for a carrier instead of the stroller. I wore that baby for 3 hours. She fell asleep within minutes and we snuggled for a long time. I loved it so much that when my colleague was done with the lecture I told her to go enjoy some lunch. I told her that I did not want to wake her baby up… but really, I was soaking in every moment.

It wasn’t until 3 years later that my little one was born. The first time I wore Liam, he was 6 hours old. We had a very long, traumatic birth experience. After 2 days of labor, the last thing I wanted was to put my baby in the basinet to catch some sleep. The ring sling I took with us to the birthing center (we were sent to hospital after the first day of labor) was just perfect to hold him close and safe. When I was asked to write my babywearing story, I asked my husband Steve what he thought my BW experience was like, he said “Your baby wearing story is about how wearing Liam is an extension of your love for him, another way to care for him and cherish him”. I could not have said it better. Keeping my baby close has helped me overcome fears that I started to experience during labor and after my son was born. I am sure that to some extent all new mothers go through this. I was petrified; I literally was unable to put my baby down. If I did put him down, I was unable to leave his side. Leaving his side would leave me unable to catch my breath.

While trauma has been a part of my birth story, wearing Liam has helped me care for my beautiful boy while trying to carry on with my life.

This is one part of my story.


The other part has to do with my relationship with my body. Creating a life and birthing a baby has completely changed my body. I have not been the nicest person to myself, and I have struggled for months to come to terms with the fact that I was not going to get my old body back. Of course not. I am not my old self. Why should my body be? Wearing my son has allowed me to adorn my body and his with amazing works of art. It has made me feel beautiful and learn how to love this new body of mine.  My stash is not as big as it used to be. I have less than 20 wraps right now. Most of them are Artipoppe. “Why Artipoppe?” Many ask. I admire the woman behind the brand. I admire Anna as an entrepreneur, a woman and a mother. Her knowledge and use of rare and exotic fibers is insuperable. I have tried over 50 Artipoppe wraps in my 26 months of baby wearing. Artipoppe has yet to release a wrap that does not make me swoon. Artipoppe has also been involved in fundraising and charity work. I feel blessed to have been able to support some of their charity work by bidding and winning the auction for the Syrian refugees. The wraps that Anna donated raised funds to support The Urban Babywearer. The auction wraps will never leave. They are our legacy wraps and hopefully one day I will wrap my grandchildren in them.

While there are many great wraps out there, Artipoppe wraps marry my love for babywearing to my love for textile. My mother was a tailor and growing up I spent countless hours in her workshop. I would intently look at her as she drew models, cut fabric, sew parts together. I remember the brides coming in for fittings. My favorite things were the coats she made. I played with fabric scraps throughout my childhood, the best silks, the taffetas, the camel… Beautiful memories. My favorite part was when my mom had scraps for me to play with. As I grew older, I started using those scraps to make clothes for my dolls. I never followed my mother’s footsteps. I am not as artistic, nor as talented. But the love for luxury fibers has remained. My wrap collection is a testimony of that. As my babywearing days wind down, and there is not another baby in sight yet, I know that my love for wraps will stay forever, and some of these amazing woven wraps will stay with us forever too.

Nowadays wrap cuddles may be far and few. I wish I could stop these moments and make them last forever.

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Babywearing – traveling made easy

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Babywearing makes traveling the globe easier.


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 stories: Woven wraps help mothers bond with their children and make traveling easier.

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.

No stroller needed at the airport with a woven wrap carrier.

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.

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