Name: PAXmommy Alena
M: There must be something in the PAX water because I hear you are pregnant, too. *wink* When is your little one due to arrive?
A: Hahaha! You have no idea, they is most definitely something in the PAX water. I am due with baby #6 in March.
M: Does your husband or anyone else in your family baby-wear, as well?
A: My husband adores his Babyhawk Mei Tai! I have tried to sway him onto other carriers but it’s his favorite. I am getting him into my Obimama and he loved the Tula we borrowed. He still prefers to tie straps over buckles for that custom fit on the go. I’m hoping he will find my love for wraps and ring slings with this new baby on the way. My mother in law is also a babywearer. She uses a traditional rebozo and has been babywearing for over 40 years! She wears all of her grandchildren now that her own kids are grown.
M: What was YOUR gateway carrier?
A: I started out as many of the moms I know, with a snugli. My oldest was 9lbs at birth, 11lbs by 2 weeks and I could not handle his weight in the snugli for more than 20 minutes. I figured babywearing just wasn’t for moms with big babies and gave up. It wasn’t until 5 years later a friend sent me a pouch sling that I finally discovered the babywearing love. From there I went to a Mei Tai, then a woven wrap, then wrap conversion ring slings and lastly soft structured carriers. Today I find them all important and keep every single type in my stash so I’m always prepared for whatever my day might bring.
M: When you see someone out in public wearing a not-so-safe carrier, do you go up and give them help?
A: I honestly have not seen unsafe babywearing ever. I have seen less than ideal, and though I would love to get them in something comfier, I don’t want to step on toes as well. Plus I don’t think my husband would ever get me out of Disneyland if I approached everyone I wanted to steer in a different direction. Moms I see on a regular basis, now that’s a different story. I usually offer my advice and help the second I know they are pregnant.
M: If you said YES to the above question, what advice would you have given?
A: Any mom I have approached, I usually invite to a playdate. You cannot put into words how incredible it is to have your baby happy and close to your heart. So I like to invite them to try some and figure out what works best for them. Anyone who doesn’t have a babywearing group close by, I recommend for them to try our rental program.
M: Ok, a magic babywearing fairy just jumped down from a rainbow to grant you ONE wish… what do you wish for?? (only one carrier, and you can’t wish for more wishes you sneakysneak ;)) Soooo, spill! What’ll it be?
A: This is actually hard! I have some incredible friends who have definitely resembled fairies at times and granted so many of my wishes. The one carrier that seems out of reach is a Pamir wrap. I have heard they are amazing, but with the price tag on those, I’m thinking it’s probably best I haven’t actually tried one.
M: If you could go back in time to your first baby, knowing what you know now, what would you differently? Would you change anything?
A: Oh my! I would change so much! My poor son (12 now) was my experiment. I had no clue what I was doing and went against all my instincts. I didn’t wear him; I fought co-sleeping with him; I actually let him cry it out a couple times. The guilt I feel is awful. With my 2nd son (only 13 months later), I still didn’t know about babywearing or attachment parenting and struggled with him as well. I wasn’t even sure I wanted any more kids at this point. Then my 3rd was born and I decided to let my heart be my guide. I stopped listening to books and magazines, even her dr. and did what my instincts told me to. What a difference! Parenting her was a piece of cake. I continue to follow my instincts now with #4 and #5. I love being a mom! I handle my 5 little ones with more ease then I did with just 2!
M: What was your funniest baby wearing moment?
A: I was pretty shy about back wrapping in public. I would use my car door as a cover and lean in as much as possible so people wouldn’t know what I was doing. On the 4th of July we decided to take the kids to the beach to watch fireworks. I did my usual car wrapping job. Tied the last knot and suddenly heard applause. I turned around to find a group of people watching. I must’ve turned every shade of red. They couldn’t believe I was actually going to wrap my son on my back by myself and were so impressed. Thankfully I’ve gotten better about my wrapping in public phobia.
M: What do you love about wearing your babies?
A: I love the bond. The incredible bond it creates and soaking up every minute of their babyhood with them as close as possible. Nothing beats it. They grow so fast and I want every second, because you can’t ever get that time back. I also love the convenience. I hate stroller wheels getting caught or not fitting where I want them to go. Esp. in crowds! I know my baby is safe and warm when he is against my chest or back, when I used the stroller I was constantly bending down to check. Or how many moms do you see pushing an empty stroller while holding their baby? Yep – that was me once upon a time as well!
M: I heard you are planning on finding out the gender of your baby at the Big PAX birthday… do you have any guesses???
A: Yes!!! I can’t wait! We wanted to do something different with this baby and a party where all my closest friends would be sounded like the perfect place. I currently have boy, boy, girl, boy and boy. So considering my track record, I’m gonna guess boy! I have become a boy expert and adore being surrounded by my little men. Though my daughter and I would adore the shopping spree if that box reveals a pink bundle! Only a few more days!!!
Thanks SO much for answering my questions Alena, loved your answers! Can’t wait to hear the results of that little envelope!!