Babywearing as a disabled parent
What is babywearing?Babywearing simply means carrying your baby in a sling or baby carrier. This could be while you're out and about, instead of using a pushchair or buggy.
Or you could just do it at home, so you can get on with your day while your baby naps close to you.
How have disabled parents found babywearing?@Richard_Scope (our very own CP officer) is a wheelchair user and used babywearing when his daughter was younger:
It meant we did things together, I saw what she saw and I could constantly talk with her.
Something else that was really important for me as a dad was the level of closeness it helped to provide which, I'm certain helped create the bond between us."
Tania (who blogs at When Tania Talks) has been a real advocate for babywearing as a disabled parent. She has documented her experiences and even wrote a piece on the realities of back carrying as a wheelchair user. Here is what she wanted to tell Scope's online community about her experiences:
As a wheelchair user, babywearing has allowed me to get out of the house with my daughter, independently. Because of this, I've been able to attend baby groups and connect with other families, make long journeys on public transport, run errands and more! All with my daughter in a sling, safe and comfortable. This has had such a positive impact on my confidence as a disabled parent.
Finding the right sling for me was challenging. I'd spent most of my pregnancy researching different options, but still ended up having to buy several different types of slings before finding what worked best for me. I'd recommend trying some different styles out before you buy a sling. Sling libraries offer the ability to hire a sling and are run by experienced babywearers who can advise with your specific needs in mind. Many are now offering remote services.
There are also several disabled babywearing educators, who understand the challenges faced by new parents, having faced many of them ourselves. If you need help or have questions, please reach out to us.
Resources that might be useful:
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