Meet Erin Kaipainen
How did you get introduced to babywearing?
I had seen sweet wraps before, but never planned to have children, so never paid much attention. When I changed my mind, a friend suggested a few different carriers as well as the intro class at Babes in Arms. I started with the two carriers she suggested, a Baby Hawk mei tai and a Beco Gemini. I’ve since sold the Gemini as I found my guy quickly outgrew it (but it rocked for a wee guy!). The Baby Hawk is my always available back up in the car.
How long have you been babywearing?
I bought my first carriers before my little M arrived, and we’ve been babywearing since day 3. M is 14 months.
How has it changed your life?
I feel like I’ve been able to do so much more with
my guy; I love to cook, we walk the big dogs, and do lots of hiking. Babywearing allowed us to take M on a short backcountry hike this fall (pack on the back, Tula on the front); I also think babywearing has helped my patience as a mother as it gives me a great tool to calm my baby.
Have you traveled and found babywearing helped?
We traveled back and forth to Ontario during my maternity leave, and I usually traveled alone. Traveling with the Tula was a lifesaver. Then, when we were visiting family, I taught them how to use it. My sister, father and step-mother have all used the Tula. My mom used the Babyhawk when M was just a few weeks old.
Has there been anyone in your life that has made babywearing click for you or been a big help?
I was pretty much on board from the beginning – I remember the first time I had him in the carrier at a few days old and we were able to walk our dogs around the neighborhood. I was convinced at that point.
What is one piece of advice you would offer about babywearing?
I think people get frazzled easily when they put a young baby in a carrier and he/she cries right away. I think we tend to take them out right away because we think they don’t like it, instead of walking around and letting them settle quickly. People dismiss it too quickly. It’s so helpful to have a babywearing mentor, and to try before you buy. Even though I’ve never borrowed from the library, I’d say, use the library! Also… I don’t think you should have just one carrier – they serve different purposes and inevitably at some point your baby is going to spit up on the carrier and you’ll need (or wish you had) a backup.
What is your favourite carrier?
Tough. I use my second-hand standard Tula the most and it’s also popular with my husband, father, sister etc. I like the cuddles I get in a Sakura Bloom ring sling and it’s so handy for quick ups, cuddling a sick child. I adore my Girasol exclusive “Hope in the Dark” because it’s about women’s journeys with postpartum depression. Was I supposed to choose one?
What is your favourite carry?
Although I wish I could do all the fancy carries that “Keep Calm and Wear Them” does… my go-to carry is a backcarry in the Tula. But, I just tried a ruck carry for the first time on my own and loved it, especially tied Tibetan. It felt so nice not to have a tie around my waist.
If you could have any wrap/carrier (your ultimate DISO) what would it be?
That’s easy. Dark Blue Sky by West of the Fourth Weaving (yay for local!). Ultimate DISO? A Dark Blue Sky WCMT converted by Little Green Wolf. I’d be happy just to touch a Dark Blue Sky.