In 2004 our oldest son was born and we had a small encounter with babywearing, wearing him in a homemade stretchy wrap. It was very warm and certainly not ergonomic the way we used the cloth.
In 2006 our second son was born and again I got that homemade, hot and impractical cloth out of the closet. He soon landed back in the closet. When he was six months old, through the breastfeeding forum I came to visit the very first Dutch babywearing forum. A whole new world for me and I ordered my first sling. Since then he has been worn a lot. Just like the kids I babysitted for a while.
In 2008, my journey into the world of babywearing took a different turn. I started a sling shop called Lilababy. I received a lot of questions about different ways of carrying a baby. Therefore I wanted to learn how to wear better. After a babywearing workshop, I sat with two ladies to muse about how we could become more professional teachers to parents in the babywearing area. I made contact with a babywearing school from Germany and organized the first course.
In late 2008 it took place and I was officially a babywearing consultant. Between November 2008 and November 2011, I organized fourteen courses for the German babywearing school in the Netherlands. The Dutch babywearing and breastfeeding Forum, the successor to the first sling forum which was lifted in early 2008, made contact with interested parties easy.
In January 2009 a group of consultants (to be) formed an official association, the Association of Babywearing Consultants (VDC). I was elected chairwoman. Together, we have since worked to help make babywearing better known in the Netherlands and Belgium. At this moment I no longer have a function within the board.
In November 2009 together with Petra Mengerink I organized the first Naturally Parents expo. Where information and more around babywearing, breastfeeding and natural parenting all came together in one place. After that first year I said goodbye to the expo because it was impossible to combine with my other work.
In August 2010 I had the opportunity to become owner of the Dutch Babywearing and Breastfeeding forum. With great pleasure I cooperated with the moderator team to developed the forum into the great platform and community it is today. Work on the forum is never dull and never stops.
Beloved Burden was a wonderfull exhibition at the end of 1993 early 1994. Or so I am told. I’ve never been there. Unfortunately! Luckily there was the book of the exhibition. A very nice reference book. And in Dutch. Around 2010/2011 the book was sold out every where even second hand it was hard to buy. Together with Karin Jeucken from Little Shop Around the Corner we tried to get it into reprint and succeeded in doing so. With a new frontpage and the associated leaflet integrated it rolled down the press in November 2011.
In 2012 I started shaping my ideas for a Dutch and Belgium babywearing consultants training school into reality. Next to Lilababy and the Dutch Babywearing and Breastfeeding forum the Instituut voor Hechting (Institute for Attachment) was born. In October 2012 the first courses were realised and many more followed after that.
In November 2012, a new “babywearing project” was born in to our family. He is being carried with great love and fun.
I’ve stopped selling slings because in a short time many shops were established. I now focus on educating parents and professionals, provide (group) consultations, training consultants, the Dutch Babywearing Forum, the Institute for Attachment and development of my ever flowing stream of ideas.
I am by far not finished with my journey in the world of babywearing!
Kirsten, married and mother of three breastfed and carried boys