Posts Tagged ‘benefits of babywearing’

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
SHOP the latest in babywearing fashion

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
SHOP the latest in babywearing fashion

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.

READ more babywearing stories
LOOK through Artipoppe collections for inspiration
SHOP the latest in babywearing fashion

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.

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

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.

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

Babywearing – from necessity to style statement

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Amalia Saftoiu on babywearing as fashion statement


Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Amalia Saftoiu

For the past two years we have been living in Moscow. A city where I find women are not afraid of expressing their style and femininity. Strong, diverse and multifaceted femininity. I find that being original, elegant and following your own style is almost considered etiquette.

As for myself, having had the opportunity to work and live in countries with a diverse background, I understand the impact the way you dress can make, that it is beyond just clothes; the way you dress is a communication tool, and a sign of respect in some situations. All of my previous work places in Europe, U.S.A., Middle East and Central Asia had a strict office dressing code policy, and naturally I have a certain affinity for learning how to develop a style that is adaptable to my environment, my needs and who I am. Whatever I thought I knew about this changed with the arrival of the children, and adding to that a body in transition, or transformation, the effect of the passing years on what I used to like, and yes, I was ready to start fresh and reinvent my style.

Babywearing my son started as a mindset, a positive projection used to deal with the uncertainty brought by our high risk pregnancy and the scenario of a premature birth. After reading about the benefits of kangaroo care (the act of carrying your baby), I started picturing myself carrying my baby, and that became my daydream. A positive image that kept me company counting the weeks, hoping to carry the pregnancy for one more day, and one more day, and one more day…

Amalia Saftoiu on babywearing as fashion statement

A few months after the birth, during one of those long nights holding my baby, sitting in our gliding chair, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across a dreamy motherhood image. I saw a confident woman, a happy mother, a content baby, the power of their beautiful bond, all these wrapped together in a glowing fabric. Magic! I clicked on the picture and read the description of the wrap: natural mulberry silk, natural baby camel, turquoise mercerized cotton. It sounded like wizardry to me. I wanted to grab it, wrap my baby, leave the house together and rediscover the world, and myself. And so my Artipoppe hobby and adventure began.

I never expected myself to get so happily caught up in a hobby; dive into the world of handwoven wraps, blends, patterns, carries; flirt with the idea of being an amateur babywearing model; have family fun with photo shoots in Paris, Florence, Amsterdam; all while getting insight into a business mind that I admired tremendously and along the way getting inspired to reassess and redefine my career aspirations.

What makes babywearing so appealing to me is that it is centered on my baby, my relationship with my baby, his comfort; and that it is just as much about myself, my style, what I wear, my play with color combinations, stylish patterns, luxurious yarns. It is a refreshing, and revitalizing feeling. I have never seen a pair of old jeans and a baby burp stained t-shirt look more fabulous than with a gorgeous splash of color wrapped around the mother and the child, just as I have never seen something more stylish, feminine and extraordinary as a mother dressed in an evening dress and carrying her baby close to her in a beautiful baby wrap or ring sling. I admit that I look at the fashion magazines now differently – not drawing moustaches on the covers, but drawing ring slings or wraps to make the outfits complete. And yes, I am more likely now to buy clothes to go with my favorite wraps, be that just a simple t-shirt in a right shade of red, blue, green, pink, etc. While black and white is my ultimate love, I have never worn so much color since we started babywearing.

Since the wraps I wear are the first thing people will notice about me, I prefer to go for something that represents me, and I am at the same time looking for the story behind, the why behind the wraps. It starts with the quality of the yarns. After spending a few winters of my life in countries like Kazakhstan, Norway, Russia I do know that not all wool or cashmere is created equal, or will pass the same test of cold and time, so I can spot the difference in quality with my eyes closed, and independent of the price tag. I love Artipoppe’s search and passion for luxurious yarns, be that the softest cotton and the silkiest linen, the most precious underbelly vicuna, their exclusive qiviut, the shiniest seaweed and silk yarn. By wearing certain wraps, I want to support originality, commitment to quality, dedication beyond the business success, dedication to an idea.

Artipoppe as a brand is taking babywearing to the next level. Making it inclusive, accessible and translatable to a larger audience of parents, opening a window into what babywearing can be for the baby, the mother, the family, outside the traditional roles or the traditional images in the modern society, while still projecting a contemporaneous image.

Beyond what Artipoppe means to me through my relation with the people I have met through this hobby, beyond the confidence boost it has given me, the inspiration, it is part of our lives now during pretty much every occasion, and our Artipoppe wraps are joining us on our walks, visits to the playgrounds, dining out events, and traveling. So beyond their functionality, the Artipoppe wraps became and are my shell, my canvas, my introduction card and my style statement.

Babywearing is also bringing our family together. With every carry, with every walk we have been taking together, my husband and I and our children, it is helping us verbalize our beliefs and intentions regarding our parenting mission. We started babywearing from necessity and have found our gentle parenting style as a family along the way during our Artipoppe experience.

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