Babywearing is something that grows with each of us. Take Jenna Rolfe, when she was pregnant she first asked for a standard front pack baby carrier as part of her registry. She’d seen wraps, but decided they were too complicated and weren’t for her. At the urging of her mother-in-law, Jenna was offered a BECO Gemini. Her mother-in-law had done quite a bit of research on babywearing and said, “You should consider it, it’s a fantastic choice.” It’s what led Jenna to love babywearing. Now, she uses all types of carriers including wraps to carry her two children – Logan is 2.5 years old, and Mason 5 months.
How did you wear your first child?
I wore Logan facing in on the front, or in a hip carry and when my oldest was 6 months old, I started backwearing in an SSC. I wasn’t a big fan of ring slings with my first. I could never get the seat right, his feet would always turn purple. It was a mess. I felt so stupid. I just felt dumb for not being able to use something that everyone hyped up. I kept being told how easy it was and amazing it is. And I just couldn’t get it. Sometimes, we all do suck. Suck so badly at times.
What is the difference in your baby carrying journey between your first child and your second?
Nailed the ring sling!! But seriously, I’d have to say my confidence level. Like with my second, I’ve been confidently back wrapping him as of 3 months old. I had tried twice before being able to securely get him high enough. I know more, therefore know what carrier or carrying position is best for what daily activity. I have a two year old and I’m a stay at home mom. As much as I love front wearing for easy hands free breastfeeding I also need to be able to see my feet and get things done without a baby in front of me. I also found it much easier when doing groceries, baby on back, cart being pushed in the front. Babies want to be close, they want to be held and I found it hard to accomplish with a very busy toddler so back carrying really helps me be there for both my kids.
What carriers do you use now, compared to before? Do you have a favourite style? What are the advantages of your favourite carrier style?
I love my linen Soulsling. My ultimate favourite is my wrap conversion full buckle I had made for my toddler that I actually just put in a work order for my youngest now to have his own wrap conversion made for him. Wrapping a basic ruck with a woven is always my go to but the quick, easy and comfortable full buckle has me hooked.
What happened when you moved to a new city?
Moving was hard because I had just found my village back in Ottawa. Now I feel like I have nothing because it’s so different, the stay-at-homes are in their 30s to 40s and I feel like they don’t have respect for me because I planned on being a young mother. So babywearing is what helps me. It allows me to go out with both my kids, I get to be hands free for my toddler which helps a lot when you’re a mom who needs to go out. It has sparked conversations when out and about, pregnant women especially. A lot of people ask me about wrapping or when they see my intermediate size wrap conversion they are wowed at the fact my toddler loves it, even more so when they know how busy he normally is.
Babywearing has allowed me to find this community and village that I wouldn’t have known existed. I have made the bestest of mom friends, which we all know is so incredibly hard to do, based off the fact that we share a love for babywearing. I think that in itself has defined my parenting.
Jenna Rolfe currently lives in Montreal with her two sons and her spouse, Patrick Matthieu.