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Babywearing as a disabled parent

Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,672 Disability Gamechanger
edited September 2020 in Disabled parents
This week (28th September - 4th October) is International Babywearing Week. I hope this short piece will explain what that is and who this could be helpful 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:
"Babywearing allowed me to independently move around with my daughter, safely.

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 is sat in a wheelchair with her daughter in a sling which is on her back

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:

Have you heard of babywearing? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!
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Replies

  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 6,386 Disability Gamechanger
    I hadn't heard the term 'babywearing,' but, altho I didn't have a diagnosis (of my genetic disorder) at the time, with all 3 of my children I used a baby sling. Eldest daughter rarely slept, but using a baby sling, even in the house to get vacuuming done, etc. seemed to soothe her (that & playing my Leonard Cohen tapes!). Help, she turns 40 next week, so altho I never met another Mum using one at that time, I thought a baby sling was amazing then.
    I think for any parent, disabled or not, baby slings are a wonderful idea. It's great to realise these can also help a disabled Dad; I do think they help form that special bond due to closeness. Yet this is not something new, as far as I'm aware, some Mums in parts of Africa traditionally use them. :)
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,484 Disability Gamechanger
    I didn't know the term 'baby wearing' related to this so I've learnt something new.  

    I think it's a great way for disabled parents to build a close attachment to their children and it's heartwarming to hear Richard and Tania's stories  :)
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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,672 Disability Gamechanger
    I previously wan't aware of this so it was great to learn more about it. :)
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  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 388 Pioneering
    What a great idea....it let's you chat to your baby and let's your baby see what's going on . I remember as a youngster ( many moons ago ) 🙂 Gipsy women used to carry there babies about like that. I thought it was a great idea . I have seen photos from the early part of the last century and the women in tenements used to carry their baby around like that . I suppose trying to get a pram up and down loads of stairs was not a very good idea . I must add that I never liked the buggies where the child looks out in front of them and does not see their baby while walking around . I would like to see this catching on once again.👍 
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