Yesterday, October 8, 2012, marked the first day of International Babywearing Week, a campaign that aims to “celebrate, promote and advocate the many benefits of babywearing. [It] is also an occasion to focus media attention to this beautiful and beneficial practice.” The whole month of October, in fact, has been deemed World Babywearing Awareness Month.
In an article published on PRWeb.com, Ann Marie Rodgerson, the president of Babywearing International Inc., explains the theme behind this year’s International Babywearing Week, “Carrying On Traditions:”
“It’s a chance to look at traditional methods of carrying children, and look at the new traditions we are creating in our own families… Anthropologists have posited that a baby sling was one of the first tools developed by early humans to care for children while hunting and gathering. There is a long history of babywearing around the world, but in modern societies it is seeing a renaissance as parents see the convenience and comfort babywearing brings.”
In the Philippines, the Filipino Association of Babywearers (or, simply, F.A.B.) was created last year to help promote babywearing and encourage families to support the babywearing lifestyle. The women who founded it, Buding Aquino-Dee, Jen Tan, Jenny Ong and Eliza Santiago-Ypon, also happen to be active breastfeeding advocates and are certified breastfeeding peer counselors under L.A.T.C.H.
What is Babywearing? Babywearing, defined as “the practice of wearing or carrying a baby or child in a sling or other form of baby carrier,” has actually been practised around the world for hundreds of years. Although some people may think that babywearing is a “new fad,” this is actually not the case.
I actually realized this when our family and I visited places like Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, and I would get these questioning looks when people would see our toddler in the ring sling we used. It seems that there is a need to explain this practice and the benefits it gives, especially in the more developed countries of Southeast Asia.