As my daughter approaches three years old, there’s not a whole lot of babywearing going on in our household anymore, but I still try to attend my local babywearing meets regularly. Here’s my top five reasons why, if you don’t already, you should consider attending a babywearing meet near you.
Getting out of the house
In the early weeks and months of parenthood, particularly if you have more than one child, getting out of the house can seem like a mammoth task. But staying at home every day isn’t great for your wellbeing, and a babywearing meet can be a good excuse to make the effort to get out and have some adult company and fresh air. Babywearing meets are often held at parks and playgrounds, so they are good for older children to burn some energy, too. It’s worth the effort!
Opportunity to see and try things you can’t buy in store
While most baby stores stock a small range of babywearing items, there are many, many carriers and wraps that can only be bought online. For some, buying without trying isn’t ideal, so a babywearing meet is a great place to come and see for yourself what a woven wrap or custom half buckle (for example) is really like so you can feel confident in your next purchase.
Seeing something you hadn’t even considered
Before I attended my first babywearing meet, I didn’t think woven wraps were for me, I found them a bit intimidating. But as luck would have it, within an hour of my first meet, I’d purchased a gorgeous Didymos Lisca from Baby Wearing Buy Sell Swap. And so began a delightful relationship with woven wraps. With so many different options on the market, many of them not available in stores, it can be hard to know what will suit your needs. So come along to a meet and maybe you’ll find something that is just right for you!
Finding your tribe
While babywearing is for every parent, if you find yourself drawn to it, chances are you will find an affinity with other parents who are also drawn to it. Finding your tribe, a group where you feel a sense of belonging and shared interests, helps you feel connected and offers a safe place for you to grow and thrive. While you might get lucky and find yourself in a mother’s group or playgroup where you fit in, sometimes that is not the case. Babywearing meets can be an opportunity to find a group of like-minded parents that might become your new tribe.
Supporting the practice of babywearing in your community
Babywearing is such an important tool for parents, and spreading knowledge about safe and comfortable babywearing helps bring the joys of babywearing to more people. A strong babywearing community, with a large, connected group of people who regularly attend meets and embrace newcomers helps to spread the babywearing love and give new parents the confidence to keep their children close.
So how do you find a babywearing meet near you? Most major cities and some regional areas have babywearing groups, who generally have a Facebook group to connect people and advertise meets. Carry My Baby has a reasonably extensive list of groups in Australia. In the US, Babywearing International has chapters across the country. Asking in a support group like Aussie Babywearing Support on Facebook is also a good idea if you can’t work out who holds meets in your area. If there isn’t a meet near you, maybe you could consider starting one up – helping other parents learn about how babywearing can help them is extremely satisfying!
Do you attend a meet regularly? What do you like best about meets?