Akshaya in O'HappySunshine feeding kurti
Akshaya Nandakumar, is passionate about Babywearing. She shares with parents and caregivers the advantages of babywearing because she personally knows how powerful it can be, Babywearing changed her life. Let’s ask her everything about her experience with babywearing.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your family?
My name is Akshaya, and I’m a Tamizh girl living in Hyderabad. My husband runs his own company, I freelance, and somehow, in between all the chaos, we manage to raise our daughter in a nuclear home filled with laughter, books, and good food.
What’s your Parenting Mantra?
Don’t overthink it.
Can you talk a little about what brought your interest in babywearing?
I remember being a couple of weeks postpartum, and literally fainting because I was so unused to staying indoors. I’d walked and gone out with friends daily right until the delivery. Being suddenly cooped up at home with an infant took a toll on my health – physically and emotionally. In my mind, babywearing played a big part in bringing me back to ‘me’. There was the rush of knowing I was the only one who could instantly comfort my daughter in my brand new Soul ring sling. There was the familiarity of the light linen material moulding her in a baby bump against me. Both hands-free to do whatever! Baby close to my heart, where she belonged. The ability to confidently leave the house whenever I wanted. A revitalized confidence that parenting really could be as intuitive as I’d figured it would be. Oh, and P.S.? Awareness that *I* knew what was best for my baby and me, so back off please, thankyouverymuch.
What do you love about babywearing?
From outings with friends, to all girls’ vacations in Goa, from taking work calls with a baby on my back, to taking a one year old hot air ballooning, or trekking Tiger’s Nest – what I love about babywearing is that it lets me be me, while letting me be a great parent too. My sanity wouldn’t have been possible without babywearing.
What is the most common comment you get when you are out and about babywearing?
Abroad, people are usually very complimentary about how happy my daughter looks. In India, the comment I most frequently get is, “Doesn’t she know how to walk? She’ll never learn.” It’s sad that these comments come from a country where babywearing was traditionally done. I’m just glad that more parents are starting to babywear in India again.
Is your partner a keen baby wearer?
Definitely! He’s often the one reminding me to carry a carrier, even now, when our daughter is very well capable of running and jumping on her own. And I’ve to say, he’s right – when we’re on busy roads or in a crowd, there’s nothing like a carrier to comfort our daughter and make our lives easier.
What’s the first thing you’d tell someone thinking about trying babywearing?
Do your research, because the right carrier is like your favourite pair of jeans. It’ll last you a lifetime. And, just like when you’re shopping for jeans, it’s no use buying what someone else says looks good – you’ve to try on a few pairs to see what works best for you.
Is there anything that people should be careful about while babywearing?
The most important thing you can do is buy yourself an ergonomic carrier. This ensures your baby and you are comfortable in the long run. Double check certification and reviews before you commit to a brand. And do ensure you follow the brand recommendations – consider the minimum and maximum weight allowance, use the safety buckle if there is one, and wash/store the carrier per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
What activity are you most likely to rely on babywearing to get done?
I’m a wanderer, and babywearing makes my travels much easier
On a day to day basis, I use babywearing to shop, even now. Wandering up and down grocery aisles can get taxing on little legs.
And lastly, How would you explain the power of womanhood to your daughter this women’s day?
There’s nothing I feel like I can’t do if I want to.
In an ideal world, being a woman is neither a limitation, nor something to feel unduly proud of. In an ideal world, everyone has every opportunity to flourish like the strong, intelligent, capable people that they are. And no matter what else I do as a parent, I hope that I can create that kind of an ideal world for my child – one where she, too, feels that there’s nothing she can’t do.
Give me a one-word answer that arises to mind for each of the following:
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Thanks for reading!