We wear our babies because we evolved to walk upright and give birthto very premature babies that cannot hold onto us. We cannot care for ourselves while also holding a baby or child in our arms, and so we wrap them to our bodies in a sling or carrier so we can have our hands free to eat, care, adventure, work, and play.
We wear our babies because they expect to have us close to them. They are calm and safe when they are with us.
Listen to me talk about babywearing on the Mamamoon Podcast by clicking the link below. I cover the benefits of babywearing, tips, FAQs, and more.
The short answer is that in most of the world we haven't. Nearly every culture has a traditional method of babywearing, often utilizing a piece of textile of varying shapes and sizes. These traditions are passed on from generation to generation. And in many cultures around the world babywearing remains very much a part of everyday family life.
In Western-European societies we largely lost the traditional knowledge of how to safely and comfortably carry a child with our hands free when wearing our children became associated with a negative social stigma of lack of wealth and lack of education. Prams/strollers were promoted as in-vogue by the upperclass and newer, fancier styles were designed for royalty. Doctors of the time (late-1800s) began to spread advice that babies must not be held too much as they would be spoiled and this further supported the use of prams to transport babies and bassinets for putting baby down throughout the day. Today we have an abundance of medical, psychological, and developmental research that wholly disproves this advice, yet we still see the persistence of it in random tips to "not hold your baby too much."
Regional and online babywearing communities and babywearing educators and consultants are working hard to relearn, reteach, and share ancestral, traditional, and modern knowledge of babywearing. Commercial carriers and wraps draw from current babywearing techniques around the world. Modern babywearing now integrates what we are learning about infant health and development to allow for wearing in the most ergonomic and developmentally appropriate way possible. Various European cultures have fascinating and clever traditional babywearing methods that are being rediscovered and relearned as well.
As educators we dream of a day when this knowledge is once again universal and shared between generations in our society and our profession and work will no longer be needed. But until then we are happy to continue sharing babywearing with families to support their lives and their children’s healthy development.
There are endless benefits of babywearing both for the child and caregiver. Here are a few...
For baby: Respiratory and cardio regulation, temperature regulation, aids digestion and soothes reflux, soothes colic, benefits hip and spine development, benefits social and emotional development, benefits linguistic development, aids sleep, promotes breastfeeding and breastmilk production, calms baby and reduces cortisol levels, supports immune system.
For caregiver: Promotes independence and confidence, fosters resilience for parents, supports mental health with oxytocin production, fosters bonding, support for those suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety, allows caregiver to take care of themselves and work or travel with two free hands, strength training for fitness and birth recovery, important for bone density retention for birthing and breastfeeding parent.
There are many community and online resources for caregivers to learn babywearing as a skill. A babywearing consultant also provides this service privately at the convenience of the caregiver. Additionally, we work with you to help you integrate babywearing into your lifestyle however you envision. We are able to address personal and individual needs. We seek to empower you on your parenting journey by integrating babywearing into your life as a tool that supports both your and your baby's needs.
Often new parents are overwhelmed by the variety of options of carriers and unsure of how to go about using them correctly. One-on-one support greatly eases the journey into babywearing. Even though carriers come with instructions, without experienced hands-on help, the vast majority of us end up using carriers in ways that make them far less comfortable and supportive than they have the potential to be. Consultants know the full potential of each carrier and are able to make sure you are getting that full potential out of your carrier.
Similar to a lactation consultant, we learn about your journey, goals, successes and struggles, and work together to find what will work best for you and your family.
Maybe you already know how to wear your baby but want to broader your skills and options. Or maybe you are interested in babywearing because you've heard that it is good for your baby but do not know much more about it. Perhaps you have a baby with special needs and are looking to support the challenges of caring for your child and yourself with hands free bonding and comforting techniques. Or maybe your looking to get back to your hobbies and plans to travel and want to make babywearing work for your family as a tool to be active and mobile with your children.
Families seek out my help for many different personal reasons. I look forward to learning more about you and your goals as a parent and individual. I am passionate about the many ways babywearing can support our lifestyles as parents and individuals, along with being such a healthy & happy place for baby.
Before every consultation I will ask that you complete my brief intake form so I know a little more about you, your child, and your needs.
For each consultation I bring a suitcase full of carriers of different styles. I also bring a weighted demo-doll to practice with so you can learn without the stress of using baby. (This is not included in an online consultation.)
During the consultation we discuss what you are looking for and what you have already tried. If you are relatively new to babywearing I usually demo and explain the differences of the main styles of carriers. I then teach, step-by-step, how to use the carriers you are most interested in and/or already have. We practice together with the demo doll. I always try to help you get your baby up in the carrier at least once during the consultation. Throughout the consultation we also discuss ergonomics, safety-checks, and how to incorporate babywearing into your life to best support you and your baby's needs. We discuss and problem solve around any special needs your family may have, such as back-issues, medical-issues, etc.
After the consultation you will receive an email from me with a comprehensive list of links to video tutorials and websites for shopping for the carriers we focused on, as well as a pdf handout that reminds you of important body awareness checks for babywearing, and any other resources we discussed.
Always included in the consultation fee is my continued support via email, whatsapp, facetime, etc. You may always send me questions and photos to check-in and ask for tips as your baby grows and your babywearing evolves. I also welcome my clients at my monthly meet-ups to get more hands-on help for free. And I love checking-in and seeing how baby is growing and how you are doing!
For every consultation I will be purchasing an inclusive book from https://www.educulture.store/ and donating it to a school in Amsterdam. My business is small but this is one thing I can do.
Hello! I’m Zyanya, and I’m excited you want to learn more about babywearing!
Here’s a little about myself and my journey into babywearing and working with postpartum families…
I was introduced to babywearing by my cousin who is a babywearing consultant in Belgium and the Netherlands. She wore her young daughter with a beautiful woven wrap and made parenthood seem so easily integrated into her everyday life. She taught me a basic front carry with a wrap and I loved the concept. My introduction to babywearing was well before I had a child or even considered having children, yet it felt natural, having a family member show me how to carry her daughter with a soft, beautiful piece of fabric, like she was passing an important tradition on to me. In that moment it was already understood that I would pass on this knowledge to my friends that were expecting babies and one-day use it for my own baby. I did not understand at that time how subversive babywearing remains in our culture today or how far we are from returning to a common tradition of each generation teaching the next how to carry our babies on our bodies.
Once I did have my own child I began to appreciate babywearing at a whole new level and it quickly became part of my day-to-day life. With each new carrier I tried and each new carry I mastered I was more excited to share my new knowledge with my friends and family. I continued to learn much more from my cousin, the internet, and attending my local community meetups in Seattle. I began volunteering regularly with my local babywearing community group to help others find effective and comfortable ways to carry their children, and I soon decided I wanted as much training and education as possible so that I could be more effective as an educator. I attended the Center for Babywearing Studies' Foundations course in NYC to learn more about sharing babywearing and become certified. The depth and breadth of material we covered impressed and amazed me. I am continually working to build on my skills as a consultant with the objective of fully supporting each parent's goals on their own journey.
My prior education and experiences teaching and traveling shape how I appreciate and share my knowledge of babywearing. I hold a B.S. in Biology (with a focus on evolution and ecology) and a J.D., both from the University of Washington. I have years of experience teaching adults in various capacities and various subjects, including math, science, and dance. And I have had the privilege of traveling, working, and studying on 5 continents. Together these experiences, I believe, contribute to my passion for babywearing. Each time I take a moment to wrap my child to my back I feel a sense of connection to the generations before me and the families around the world that have found new, ingenuitive, and beautiful ways to comfortably bear the weight of their children for hours and miles, during giggles and tears, songs and stories, journeys and bedtimes. Thanks to both its practical and emotional benefits, babywearing has been a refuge for me. I hope to be able to share this beautiful tool and skill with you!
The more I have interacted with families during their early postpartum weeks and months the more I have grown passionate about supporting parents during their transition to parenthood. It is a beautiful and exciting time, but also one that comes with inevitable stresses and challenges. I am thrilled to now collaborate with two other postpartum professionals to offer a unique workshop to expecting families that addresses the realities and expectations for partners headed into parenthood - When 2 Become 3: Preparing your Partnership for Baby.
I am from Seattle and half-Dutch. My family and I moved to Amsterdam in 2018 to explore my Dutch-roots and heritage and this amazing city. I can frequently be seen on walks with my husky, my toddler, and my baby around Amsterdam's parks. I also enjoy dancing, cooking, exploring nature, and diving headfirst into my next passion and project, whatever that may be.
I am a graduate of CBWS. I speak English and can understand, but not [yet] speak fluent Dutch.
Zyanya* Kortooms Breuer (she/her)
*pronounced Zee-anya, but I also go by Z!