|Babe asleep in Ellaroo woven wrap|
Some less compassionate Australians have taken it upon themselves to publicly shame babywearers in the aftermath of this tragedy. As a babywearer there have been times when I've seen screaming newborns, unattended by parents in prams and I've seen crotch dangling babies facing outwards in baby bjorn carriers and I've resisted the urge to lecture them on their parenting, though in my case the dangers of both these things have been found, unlike the tenuous link between this baby's death and slings. But I've held my tongue, or struck up a conversation that gently introduces the concept of babywearing (or safer babywearing) and how they might find it facilitates easier mothering. We're not responsible for the way others treat us, only for our reactions.
Even before this baby's death my partner and I have endured harrassment for our babywearing. My partner was once stalked around a shopping centre by another father, convinced that my husband was going to suffocate our baby, sleeping on his back in a yamo. I've had so many elderly women lecture me about my baby's neck, my baby's legs, my baby's airway when I've been out and about in my local community wearing a sling. Most of the time I smile and let them know that I know what I'm doing. Sometimes I want to snap "You're not even the first person to say this today, shut up and leave me alone!" or "Have you ever even worn a baby? I don't lecture you about blue rinses coz I don't know shit about them, I'd rather appreciate the same in return!" I've resisted! Though I admit I've been short and sarcastic with some particularly annoying criticisms. But now more than ever before, Australia needs educating on the safety of babywearing, and my snapping will do nothing to help.
|Using the Babyhawk mei tai|
To my babywearing sister in mourning. I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your two day old son. I cannot imagine the trauma you and your family have suffered as a result of his death. It is my guess that you battle with guilt and have been subjected to terrible judgment and unnecessary comments from people lacking in compassion. I am so sorry for their ignorance and mostly for them misplacing it on you during such a difficult time. I know that no one in the world cared more about your baby's safety than you and that no one's heart is broken more than yours over his death. One thought that I had, which I hope might bring you some small comfort, was how blessed he was to have had a mother who kept him close his whole short life. And when it was his time what a comfort it must have been to him to take his last breath against the skin of the one who loved him best, hear heart, the last sound he heard. May you find the support you need to find a way to live with the grief xoxo
Links on sling safety
Is Babywearing Safe?
Not all slings are created equal - Babes in Arms