Monday, February 7, 2011

Carnival of Natural Parenting: Ode to My Maya Wrap Sling

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Upon hearing the news of my pregnancy with my second child, I ran immediately and found my trusty pocket sling where my firstborn had spent the vast majority of his infancy. It was the only tool I had, other than my ability to nurse. It was the only help.

But even though I was the same mother, the baby that was born to me was different. He enjoyed the sling but it wasn't necessary for him. Except, I had a 22 month old and needed some way to hold my new little person as he grew.

It was then that I found the MayaWrap ring sling in a consignment store near my home. I found it in a natural, cream color. It was undyed, natural, elegant and simple. My six month old took to the sling with such zest and joy that my older son began to request a sling for his own baby. I ordered some tiny rings and fashioned him a tiny sized sling out of some fabric. We baby-wore our little ones everywhere. His baby slept a lot more than mine, and always at very convenient times.

As my younger child grew into his legs, we moved to the Ergo carrier, where he would nap on hot summer days after mowing the lawn with his daddy or attending a baseball game. The MayaWrap was hung in a closet and, though occasionally touched with fondness and nostalgia, remained unused.

Until this summer, when my daughter was born. With two brothers, ages 4 and 6, she was born into a world that demanded her flexibility and portability. She was easygoing and delightful from the start. And, 13 days after her lovely natural birth, I was ordained as an Elder in the Methodist Church. Our ordination service looks a lot like a huge graduation ceremony. I had to be there, and she had to be with me. I nursed her on the side of the stage while my colleagues were processing to the Bishop. As I was packing for the event, I knew that this was the sling that I needed to have. It was gra c eful and perfect for my newborn girl. It vaguely resembled a stole. I found it as we were preparing to leave, and she spent the entire trip nestled next to me.

I toted her from meeting to meeting, unfazed by the expectations of the other clergy. Most of them were men and had never seen a baby being worn. I did my best to make it look effortless, and mostly, it was.

This sling has provided for me a way to hold my baby close to me, even as she grows, and take her to all of the places we need to go together. She comes to work with me and frequently naps on my chest while I answer e-mails. The sling has made this possible. She has accompanied me to protests, parades, and lobbying days, always in the sling.

It is more than a tool, it is my best way of parenting. It keeps us close and happy. I can nurse her, hold her, teach her and show her. In turn, she continues to communicate with me her joy with the world.

Also, this sling has a pocket. Really, need I say more?

Find this post on Baby Center here.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Not Without Him — The love Starr at Taking Time shares with her husband is the foundation of her parenting.

  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without B(.)(.)bs — From an uneducated dreamer to a breastfeeding mother of a toddler, nursing has forever changed Kristy at Strings to Things's relationship with her daughter and her outlook on life.

  • Raising a Child in the Internet Village — When Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has a question or concern about parenting, she turns to the Internet. What did parents do before Google?

  • Partner in Crime and ParentingBethy at Bounce Me to the Moon can't imagine parenting without her husband's sense of humor - he brings her laughter and love every day.)

  • I Make MilkPatti at Jazzy Mama can't imagine trying to mother her babies without her breasts, but she could do it if she had to.

  • New Perspectives Bring New BeginningsMJ at Wander Wonder Discover, who is a former authoritarian mamma, has gained perspective via parenting.

  • Time Out!Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally.

  • Unimaginable Without HimKristina at heyred designs is celebrating her amazing partner, without whom none of her parenting experience would be possible.

  • My Parenting NecessityClaire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl needs "me time" in order to be the Mama she wants to be.

  • Babywearing As a Way of LifeDarcel at The Mahogany Way talks about the benefits of babywearing in everyday life.

  • Parenting Partnership — Sometimes Abbie at Farmer's Daughter doesn't appreciate her husband enough, but she definitely couldn't imagine parenting without his help.

  • Parenting EssentialsMomma Jorje loves her parenting products, but she needs you even more.

  • My Parenting Must-Have: SupportJoella at Fine and Fair wrote a letter to her daughter about the role that support from friends and family plays in her mothering.

  • It's More Than Just Hair — Think doing hair is full of fluff? Too girly? Useless? Karli from Curly Hairdo Ideas used to think so too.

  • The Minimalist Parent — The parents at Living Peacefully with Children embrace a minimalist perspective when it comes to baby gear. A good sling is all they need.

  • Without My BreastsCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama can't imagine parenting without her breasts; here's why.

  • Loves Books, Loves PeopleSeonaid at the Practical Dilettante discovers that the library is a perfect fit for her family's needs.

  • An Ode to the Maya WrapRevMama's next child might be named Maya, because of her fondness for the sling.

  • Avoiding the Padded RoomPecky at Benny and Bex is here to testify that it takes a village to raise a child.

  • My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrositiesLauren at Hobo Mama presents a list of parenting essentials you didn't even know you needed (and probably don't…).

  • Attachment Parenting Through Separation: It Makes It a Little BetterJessica at This Is Worthwhile talks about how she couldn't survive her separation without attachment parenting and the bond it's afforded her with her 3 year old son.

  • Parenting EssentialsDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the principles she used to parent her children from infants to adults.

  • My Parenting Essentials — The things that are truly essential to Kim at In Desperate Need of Entertainment aren't things at all.

  • I'm No One Without My Sling — How baby carrying is essential to the parenting of Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.

  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without...Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about what she needs to raise her children.

  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting — Through her experiences over the last five and a half years, Casey at Love What Is has discovered her most important tool for parenting is using her instincts.

  • CNP: I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without __________.The Artsymama discloses the one thing that gave her back control of herself as a parent.

  • Laugh Until I Cry — Laughing with her sons keeps Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes connected and grounded.

  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting WithoutLuschka at Diary of a First Child realizes what the one thing she can't imagine parenting without is, and it turns out it's not a thing after all.

  • It Takes Two — Here are a few of the reasons why Jenn at Adventures Down Under cannot imagine parenting without her fabulous husband.

  • Stopping to Listen — Though it wasn't easy at first, Knocked Up - Knocked Over cannot imagine parenting her daughter without listening first to what she is telling her.

  • The Essence of Parenting — There are many wonderful resources that make life easier for Michelle at the Parent Vortex to parent, but the essence is the relationship between parent and child.

  • What I Cannot Live WithoutSybil at Musings of a Milk Maker considers her computer to be a parenting lifeline.

  • True Blessings: White Noise and GrandparentsKat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment can't live without her white noise machine and the support of her parents.

  • The Necessities! — What "stuff" does a natural parent like Lily, aka Witch Mom really need? Not much, it turns out.

  • Mama Showed MeMama Mo at Attached at the Nip writes about how parenting wisdom is passed on by example.

  • Ode to the Loo — For Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch, the bathroom is her safe place, where she can take a minute to calm down if she is feeling touched out.

  • Go, Mama. Go!Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has been able to integrate her many roles through her get-up-and-go parenting essential, exercise!

  • My Other HalfBecky at Old New Legacy realizes what a relief it is to have her husband parent alongside her.

  • Grace, Love, and CoffeeMrsH at Fleeting Moments realizes that lifelines can take the form of the profound, or the mundane. Both are ok.

  • Supportive Spouse, Check! — There are so many parenting tools and gadgets that are superfluous, but the one essential, for Danielle at, has been her supportive spouse.

  • Why I'm a BabywearerMeredith at Becoming Mamas reflects on the ways babywearing has enhanced her mama baby relationship...and made life easier to boot.

  • It's Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo!Rachael at The Variegated Life can't imagine parenting in the big city without the marvels of Prospect Park to share with her Critter.

  • Yes, Thank YouAmy at Anktangle offers tips on how to ask for and accept help, an essential for successful parenting.

  • Parenting Essentials Checklist: Mom’s Inner Rebel and Her Kids’ VoicesOlivia at Write About Birth reflects on raising global citizens and saying no to societal norms.

  • Eco-Mama Online! — An Eco-Mama living in the mountains of a nature island, Terri at Child of the Nature Isle finds it essential to connect to nature and to connect online.

  • Sorry, We Just Sold the Last OneNev at The Adventures of Lime confesses she missed out the day they handed out patience.

  • LaughTashmica at The Mother Flippin' Blog reveals her super power, her talisman agains mean mommy.

  • My Priceless Parenting Resource — What do books, a magazine community, my mother and the local playgroup have in common? Lucy at Dreaming Aloud tells us...

  • The Gift of Shared TimeTree at Mom Grooves strives to experience the world from her daughter's perspective.

  • Follow the GigglesDionna at Code Name: Mama can’t live without the sound of her child’s giggles - come watch her video and you’ll agree!

  • Can I Mommy Without Boob?Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama shares her fears about weaning and losing part of that the mother/child bond.


Momma Jorje said...

Haha, searching for Carnival posts on Google, I found yours on BabyCenter first.

Just to reiterate here (where I prefer anyway), it is so wonderful that you were able to carry all three children in the same sling at some point. I guess I could have done that if I, perhaps, hadn't spaced them SO far apart!

Anonymous said...

I kind of feel that way about the Ergo, but I don't think I'd name a child after it ;) The Ergo still helps me function when my 3 yr old is having a particularly clingy day, or when we're wandering around the zoo, etc. Carriers are the best!

I Thought I Knew Mama said...

I love the picture of your son with his baby doll in the carrier!

It's so important to find the right carrier for your baby. So glad you were so successful with this!

Unknown said...

I love my ring sling, too, but it's not a MayaWrap. This was a lovely post, thanks for writing it for the carnival!

I was so intrigued when I saw RevMama was participating in the carnival, because my mother is an ordained minister and has identified as "revmama" (coined by me as a child, I believe) for almost 20 years. At first I thought she was participating in the carnival.

Thought you might find that interesting. =) Nice to "meet" you!

RS said...

love hearing about other mothers wearing their babies to work meetings...I loved those early months when that was totally feasible! I think it's good for the culture of a place to have babies around, and wraps/slings/carriers definitely make that possible.

Danielle said...

That is my favorite sling, as well!

My nearly two year old goes in it before each nap and bedtime still and sleeps with it through the night. I think I might just have to buy a second Maya Wrap Sling before this next little is born (in less than a month) as I don't think my little guy would be willing to part with his.

Becoming Mamas said...

Glad you found the perfect carriers for you and your little ones. I'm a big believer that our carrier needs change as our children grow (or even as we change the children we are carrying!). And what a wonderful thing that you were able to attend your ordination with your little one snuggled in her sling - such a great memory!

Rachael said...

Alas, I wish I could have made our ring sling work for us, but I was just too clumsy! All the fabric would bunch up in the ring, and then my little guy didn't seem to like it so much, anyway. I'm glad that the Ergo turned out to be a different story altogether. Because wearing my baby? Is awesome.

I love the photo of you and your girl — you both look so comfy!

rae-ann said...

There's nothing so sweet as holding our babies close. Now I have to deal with a girl nearly as tall as me sitting on my lap! But it's still as special ;)

Mrs Green

Lauren Wayne said...

Maya would be a beautiful name, too! I'm not sure how I'd feel about little baby Didymos or Hoppediz or BabyHawk. I don't know; Didymos is growing on me…

I love babywearing! Your story of wearing and nursing through your ordination is so cool. I love the picture of your son with his baby in a ring sling! Isn't it nice the way they can just neglect their babies whenever they want to…? :)

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