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BABYWEARING FOR SAME SEX PARENTS

Ranae is same-sex parent to 2 daughters aged 3 and 9 months. She and her wife Audrey conceived through Reciprocal IVF. Ranae carried both pregnancies and has become an outspoken advocate for equal LGBTQ parental rights in Ireland. She is passionate about babywearing, breastfeeding and supporting working parents. Ranae writes for many publications including Mums + Tots Magazine, GCN Magazine and Family Friendly HQ. She also speaks regularly at events about parenting, her activism work and fertility treatment. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or check out her website. On Today´s blog Ranae shares how babywearing has been a big part of her parenting journey.

There is no denying that babywearing is an incredible way to bond with your baby. For parents, family members and caregivers alike, wearing your baby in a carrier or sling gives you the chance to have uninterrupted one-on-one time with your little one.

 As a same sex mama, I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of babywearing for same sex families. Many people assume that because we are both mothers, it’s been smooth sailing when it comes to bonding with our kids. That’s a stereotype... and just not true. I don’t feel like it is a gendered issue- but it comes down to the practicality of ‘who gets to spend more time with the baby’.

The main caregiver often has many opportunities to nurture a strong attachment with your baby.  However, it’s equally important the other parent finds ways to bond with your baby too, and babywearing would be my number 1 suggestion. For the person who didn’t give birth- and in our case is not breastfeeding- wearing your baby can be an incredible way to develop a strong connection with your child. In the case of families with 2 dads, I’d highly suggest babywearing for both fathers.

Wearing my children has always been like a reset button for me. With our older daughter who is 3, sometimes I pop her up in the sling when she is getting a bit overwhelmed. It allows her a safe space to calm down and regulate her emotions. After 15 minutes or so, her mood will be considerably improved and she is ready to get going again!

With our youngest, who is 9 months old, wearing her in a sling is one of my strongest parenting tools. I genuinely wouldn’t know how to parent without babywearing. It’s a place of safety for her. Where she can sleep, rest, feed, be comforted and learn about her surroundings. And also of huge importance, is that she can be involved in whatever the rest of the family are doing. Often babies get left out of the equation- but if they are on you, they will be doing whatever you do. Simple.

It can be daunting trying to decide where to start, if you’ve never worn your baby before so here are a few pieces of advice:

Firstly- it’s never too late to start. Just because your baby is past the newborn phase, it doesn’t mean you can’t start. Our oldest is 3 and we have no plans of stopping wearing her. It’s just ‘toddler wearing’ at this stage! There are unique benefits of carrying babies and young children of all ages.

Secondly- I’d advise to go along to a babywearing group or library where you can be offered peer to peer support and the option to rent slings before deciding on what to buy.

Here is a link to Baby Wearing UK and Baby Wearing Ireland - two valuable resources for anyone starting out on their babywearing adventure.

Happy babywearing- I know you’ll love it.
Ranae x

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