There is a sad time that comes in this babywearing community. When children become too old to want rides and snuggles. For some this comes sooner than others. You might ask why we would tell you about aging out. After all, many of you are just beginning this adventure. Unfortunately, some day that little babe in your carrier will not be so little anymore. So what happens when you age out?
What is aging out? Aging out is when your little babe no longer asks to go up. It’s when you are no longer able to carry the weight of a sweet child. It’s when the babywearing relationship is no longer beneficial or enjoyed by one or either of you. As with all stages of your child growing older - it can be both celebrated and missed. The only thing certain in life is that time will keep moving on. Babies will never be as young as they are today and today will never happen again - unless you get caught in some weird Groundhog’s Day special effects.
A few ways that you can savor the memories:
1. Keep your friendships and your community. You are always welcome to continue coming to meetings, getting more involved with the community, or just take a parents night out with some of those great friends. Turns out that as much as you love your babywearing friends - your kids start to love each other also.
[Image: On the left is white man is wearing a white toddler girl on his back in a polka dot patterned soft structured carrier with navy blue straps. On the right is a woman of color with dark natural hair wearing a toddler on her back in a coordinating polka dot soft structured carrier with pink straps. The toddlers are holding hands.]
2. Keepsakes - some people will keep keepsakes of their time like photos, pieces of wraps, custom ornaments, wrap blankets, scrap purses, etc. Check out Bijou and Tekhni for wonderful blankets, Carry Me Close for babywearing dolls and ornaments, Little Zen One for a custom babywearing watercolor painting, or professional photography like Stamped In Time to commemorate your days.
[Image: White woman with dark hair is looking toward the right edge of the frame into the middle distance, wearing a white infant boy on her back in a galaxy dyed woven wrap. The infant is looking in the same direction as the woman. To the right of the figures is a watermark that reads 'Stamped In Time Photography.']
3. Share the love and help start new babywearers among your friends and family. Tell your family and friends about how babywearing has helped you. Purchase doll carriers for your kiddos to carry their dolls and grow up to be babywearers themselves.
[Image: White woman with dark hair and glasses is wearing her niece, a white toddler girl, in a rainbow patterned meh dai carrier. The toddler is looking into the middle distance and is wearing a white wide-brimmed hat and the woman is smiling at the camera. The are standing in front of a tiger information board at a zoo]
4. Sell off carriers, pass to a friend, or donate them to organizations - World on My Shoulders, The Carrying On Project, 3.21 Carry, BWI of Grand Rapids, and more!
Again, many of you may just be starting, so why are we talking about this? We need your help! We need to tell you today because our group is experiencing a big transition of wonderful volunteers and educators that have begun to age out. Over the last year, you may have noticed a big change in the names of volunteers and educators at the top of our Facebook group. Our group runs on volunteers alone. When a volunteer retires to spend time on family or focus on their big kids interests, moves to a new job, we are down! We need volunteers to help us keep the group available and successful.
Volunteers help us run our meetings and our group from online to in person. We need hands to help keep the group alive. We are not in dire positioning, we have educators and volunteers to continue, but it is time to think about the future of the group. Have you loved being involved at meetings? Please consider becoming a volunteer. Have you found yourself in love with sharing all about babywearing and telling your friends? We train new educators out of our volunteer group. We will provide training and support for everyone who jumps in at any level.
You can find out more about our group on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 24/7/365! We look forward to connecting with you soon, and happy wearing!