We Didn’t Have a Village. Our Baby Carrier Became Our Village.

My grandmother raised her five children surrounded by extended family and friends in a literal village. 

I’m raising my two in sprawling “see-you-in-45-minutes!” suburbia. The family love is still there, but that same next-door “I’ll hold your baby; you take a breather” support network just doesn’t exist, and that’s why I say that my ring sling was my village.

My sling let me soothe my baby’s overtired cries, while I took deep meditative breaths to soothe my own.

My sling rocked my baby to sleep while I took care of my basic needs—brushing my teeth, using the bathroom, preparing nourishing food—without feeling pressured by the cries of a baby in another room.

My sling held my baby close, and he watched as he grew and saw that Mama had her own self too—a self that enjoyed painting, writing, hiking, and dinners out—all things I could still do with him on me.

My “village” looks different than the one my grandmother had, but one thing is the same. We both carried our babies close, and wrapped them in our love.

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Becky Patouhas, social media specialist, has been a babywearing educator since 2013. Her favorite part of her job is a tie between seeing all the cute baby pictures and helping parents get that “I can’t believe I can hold my baby AND eat!” moment. A first-generation American and mom of two small boys, she and her family live in Michigan, where she enjoys volunteering with her local babywearing group. Becky loves her Zypora meh dais (she has two!) because they’re so cushy on her shoulders. She always has a Lightly Padded ring sling in her purse because she loves the soft padding, and she thinks Isle of Skye is the best colorway out there!

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