Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meet a VBE: Nicole

Name: Nicole N.
Wrapping the 7yr old for fun!
Name/Age of Child/ren: Kadin(12 years) and Ansel(7 years)
What jobs, activities, hobbies, volunteer work, etc. did you do before kids?  Do you still do that thing?
Before kids.... I didn’t have much of a before kids! I had Kadin when I was 18, and I was thrust into responsible adulthood and had to figure it out as I went. But, I did play a lot of piano and I had various internships at different historic sites in the area.
When did you start babywearing? I started when Kadin was born, so 12 years ago! But I had worn babysitting charges as a teen as well.  
Did you know you were going to wear before you had kids, or what prompted you to try it?
I did. I was pretty accustomed to seeing parents with Bjorns and Snuglis and backpack carriers and it seemed practical to me. I had done a lot of baby-sitting as a teenager, and at times I had worn the kids I was watching, especially in one family that had toddler twins and an infant. So at 14 I was spending every afternoon with an infant strapped to my chest while feeding french fries to toddlers.
Who was the person who most influenced your babywearing and what did they do that was so influential?
I didn’t find the world of babywearing until we were in the process of conceiving our second child. I found lots of resources on the internet and that really opened my eyes. Then I found the babywearing group when Ansel was a baby, and that was it for me! I was amazed by all the options and wanted to learn everything. All of the leaders were great to me and I am so glad to be friends with them still.
The early days
If someone took away all of your carriers and said they were handing you a newborn and you could only choose ONE carrier from birth until the end of wearing, what would you choose?
A cotton 4.6 meter (size 6) woven wrap, hands down. Didymos would be my preference, probably a standard or stripes because they’re rough and tumble wraps and can take a beating.
If you had to choose ONE carrier from what you already own to be the only one you had to use from now forward, what would it be?
My Neobulle Manon Grise wrap. It’s a 3.6 meter(but measures long), if I remember right. I love it and I will never let it go.
Which carrier do you find you return to time and again, whether it be for each newborn, or just a consistent workhorse?
I had a Girasol wrap conversion Sleeping Baby ring sling that just solved so many problems for me. It was great for quick hip carries and I nursed Ansel about a thousand times in it. I have since passed it along on a long-term loan to a friend.

Tell me a story of a time that babywearing made a huge difference in the outcome of a family outing.
Aside from all of them? My family had a fondness for hiking. You can’t use a stroller in these areas, so without babywearing, we simply would not have been able to participate as a whole family. Someone would have had to stay with the baby, and since I have the boobs, that would’ve been me!
An outing downtown rallying for rights for moms
If you were stranded on a desert island, which carrier would you want?
A wrap. The material itself would have a lot of versatility in addition to working as a baby carrier.
What is your favorite thing to do while wearing?
I love cooking and baking, and I was able to juggle so much more in the kitchen by wearing on my back.
What is your least favorite thing to do while wearing?
Yardwork. It’s possible, but so cumbersome!
Why did you decide to become a VBE?
I was attending a lot of babywearing meetings by then, and I really enjoyed spreading the love. There was interest in holding more meetings each month, but there were more leaders needed to make that happen. I just loved watching a caregiver find the sweet spot, and I selfishly wanted to experience that again and again.
What is your favorite things about being a VBE for BWI of DC-MD-VA?
I love meeting so many new, awesome people! I have made so many friends through the group, my kids have made friends, and I think it is just such a great opportunity to share something I love with others.

Tell me a story about a time you helped someone at a meeting that stands out to you.
photo credit: Melody Yazdani
There have been a lot of great moments! There was one time that stands out, though, where a dad was looking for something to wear his baby in. His wife was using a Moby(stretchy wrap) and a ring sling and was happy with those, but they didn’t appeal to him or didn’t work for him somehow or whatever the reason, he was unhappy. He just didn’t understand how this could work. I suggested trying a mei tai. His baby was still very small, so she was just curled on his chest and we tied the carrier around her. When I tied the shoulder straps and let go and he realized that he was hands free cuddling his baby, I could see his facial expression change and in that moment, he got it. It was fantastic! I never saw him again, but I really hope he continued to share that time with his daughter and that they had many great babywearing memories because of it.

Thanks, Nicole!  It was great getting to know you!

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