The theme of International Babywearing Week this year is Carrying on Traditions. As babywearers, we know that parents have carried their babies since the dawn of modern man, first in arms and then in slings. We love the fact that we are getting back to a way of interacting with our children that pre-dates car seats, prams and bouncy chairs (useful though all these things are). But this year's theme made us wonder, what are the babywearing traditions we are creating nowadays?

Sling Meets
Our favourite babywearing innovation! We at Sheffield Babywearers are very proud of our Sheffield sling meets - friendly, accessible, regular and helpful. We're having a special weekend sling meet this Saturday 13 October, 2-4pm in room 5 of the Showroom Cinema, Sheffield (many thanks to the Showroom for donating use of the room). We hope that babywearers new and old who can't attend our usual weekday meets (we're thinking particularly of dads) will be able to come along.
Another modern tradition that we love is taking photos of ourselves and our children, especially when so many beautiful slings are available. We're having a photoshoot on Thursday to get some professional pictures so we can better promote babywearing (have a look at some of the fabulous slings we're using). 
Social networking
And finally, babywearing today wouldn't be the same without the internet. Most of us do everything online short of the actual babywearing - organise meets, share photos, ask for and give advice, and buy our slings. Our Facebook group is an important part of Sheffield Babywearers as it allows us to communicate and help each other out quickly and easily. As part of our online celebration of IBW, some of the members of our group tell us below what it means to them to carry their children in our modern world. Click on the pictures to see a description of the type of sling used.
Head and heart
I love how I can chat to my daughter as we walk along. I love how close she is, and I love having my hands free. Carrying her in a sling is incredibly practical but also emotionally fulfilling, as I feel like I'm meeting her needs. Liz
Keeping a tiny baby close
My daughter was born at 31 weeks and when I first carried her in our stretchy wrap she weighed just 4lb. My husband and I both loved having her close, and she loved being close to us too. Rachel
Babywearing dad
I didn’t carry my daughter much at first, as I couldn’t get on with all that fabric my wife used. But with the help of Sheffield Sling Library we found a soft structured carrier I liked, and now I carry her everywhere! James
Holding my baby
I got into babywearing because I never felt like putting my baby down or in a contraption. Lizzie
Outdoors fun
Going for walks is so easy when babywearing, and it's lovely to talk about everything we see and sing songs together. I do have to ask my toddler to stop giddying-up while I cross stepping stones, though! Kat
Surprisingly easy
The other day I used the buggy… and it turns out that pushing my chunk of a preschooler is harder work than tandem carrying both her and her little sister! Kirstie
Brilliant for two children
I had two children within two years, and my sling was brilliant -  cuddles all round, a very settled baby as he was on me all the time, and a contented toddler still getting fuss and attention. Charlotte
Rest and snuggles
Now my daughter is 2, I carry her to rest her weary legs after lots of walking, for snuggly sleeps during the day, and for trips on the train to see grandparents. Kate
Babywearing comes in handy as a way to get my daughter to sleep, because she doesn’t like being cuddled when she's tired and grumpy. Sally
In the early colicky weeks when I couldn't put my daughter down, day or night, I think I would have gone mad without my woven wrap. Katherine
Essential for velcro babies
I seem to be blessed (!) with very cuddly children so babywearing has been a necessity. Sharon
Freedom and comfort
I enjoyed the freedom of being able to get out into the countryside without being hampered by a pram - it was only later that I realised that I was comforting and soothing my baby while he was being held close to me so effortlessly. Laura 
Cuddles and kisses
I love being able to give my baby son cuddles and kisses all day. Sarah
If you want to know more about babywearing, then have a look at our pages on babywearing and sling types, come to one of our Sheffield sling meets or join our online chat

Read the full versions of the above stories on our babywearers' stories page.
Natural Mamas IBW Blog Carnival
We're part of the Natural Mamas Blog Carnival 2012! Check out the other fabulous blogs about International Babywearing Week 2012.

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