by VBE Sarah
(note: a lot of the carries we demonstrated were inspired by this blog post)
For our special topic this month, we talked about the ways in which babywearing and baby carriers can be very useful in emergency situations.
1) First we talked about uses (other than wearing a baby) for wraps or carriers in an emergency
-you can use a wrap to cross a waterway or pull someone up, as a splint, or as a tourniquet
-you can use any carrier to carry supplies
-you can carry an injured pet (although as a side note, a pillowcase is a MUCH better impromptu cat carrier than a woven wrap (eek!)). In an emergency situation, you may not have free hands for your little bitty dogs, or what if you have a really large dog that you have to move? A carrier may be the easiest way to get to the vet.
2) Next we discussed some carriers that are useful to keep in an emergency supply kit, in your car, or even under your pillow or bed
-Has your child outgrown a carrier? Instead of selling it online (the market is super slow right now), what about keeping it as an emergency carrier?
-Maybe you want to buy a specific carrier just for emergency situations. A pouch sling is an excellent choice. Pouch slings are very inexpensive and compact. Remember, though, that they are not one size fits all – you have to size a pouch sling to the wearer (different brands have different sizing schemes, but the main rule is that the sling should fit from one shoulder to the top of your opposite hip). There are also some great sscs that fold up nice and tiny, like our lending library’s Bitybean or Connecta.
3) Finally, our VBEs demonstrated how to fashion carriers out of everyday materials.
(As a general disclaimer, none of these are tested for safety. You should always use your best judgment for whether something feels safe to you. Some of the front carries we demonstrated are not entirely hands free, so always be aware of your child)
Jill showed how you can use a scarf to do a rebozo carry (or even just pretied it to fit from one shoulder to the opposite hip)
Kirsteen demonstrated a strap carry. You can use anything strap-like (a bunched up long scarf, the belt from your robe, or even some nylon rope) to carry your child on your back. This carry is exactly like a ruck tied under bum, just make sure that your child cannot get their arms under the straps, or they could fall out
Kirsteen also demonstrated how to use a bed sheet, folded lengthwise, for a rebozo carry
This isn’t pictured, but Kirsteen also threaded the scarf through a shirt for a makeshift podaegi. Sarah showed how you can also thread a scarf through the sleeves of your shirt that you are wearing to make a pocket for a newborn. Tie the tails under bum and you’re good to go!
Sarah showed how you can put a belt over your shirt for a newborn carry (not hands free, by any means!)
Sarah also demonstrated a torso towel carry
Finally, Sarah wore Jill on her back in a strap carry, to show how you can even wear an injured or infirm adult in an emergency situation
Hopefully none of us will ever need to test these skills in an emergency situation. But in the meantime, it’s not a bad idea to think about how babywearing could help you in a disaster. Do you have an emergency plan?