Confessions of an Accidental Babywearer

The McIntyre family had the pleasure of hosting longtime friend Britteny Burlingham and fam for an Atlanta getaway. Intown Baby and 11.5-month-old Alina got along like gangbusters and enjoyed each other so much--we can't wait to visit them in Virginia ASAP! 

While they were here, MMT got to speak with Britteny about motherhood and parenting, specifically baby wearing. Britteny is a wrap maven, boasting a prolific stash of twenty-two woven wraps in different sizes, styles, and fibers. 

MMT: You were tossed into parenthood sort of by surprise. Before you found out you were pregnant, did you actively think about parenting and how you would want to mother your child?

Britteny: No, not really. I always just assumed I would do what the families I nannied for did with their children. I didn't know there were any other schools of thought, I guess it didn't occur to me to explore that. But, also, I do remember that I would quietly rebel sometimes when nannying when I couldn't reconcile their desires with the realities of the day. Instead of leaving charges to cry it out at nap time, for instance, I would nap with them in my arms. I just couldn't do it any other way. 

MMT: Did you know about baby wearing before having a baby?

Britt: I did, but I didn't know about the wrap world. A horse trainer I worked with when I was younger wore her baby while doing farm chores so I knew I would need to be wearing my child to get any of our chores done. 

MMT: Have you ever identified as a "hippie" or as "crunchy"

Britt: No. The opposite, even. I'm more J. Crew. I mean, I'm an equestrian and I wear pearls and sundresses on the regular. I'm from Charleston [SC] and I feel like I really embody that shrimp-and-grits, crescent-and-palm lifestyle. So this idea that people who wear their babies all dress or think or parent alike is pretty off-base. 

MMT: So when did the wraps come into play? 

Britt: I was poking around on Facebook when Alina was 3.5 months and just decided I was going to be a wrapper; I thought they looked so beautiful and the versatility was appealing to me since I wear for hours every day. And honestly? I liked having something beautiful and fun to buy, sell, and trade. The online baby wearing community I am in now is so helpful, caring, and accepting and it's one of the best things about wrapping for me now. 

MMT: Gimme the deets on your stash. 

Britt: I don't even know what I have right now; I always try to have varying sizes and fiber blends and weaves. Everything has its own purpose. Thin cotton or linen is better for summertime, and then you have thick wool where it's great for winter when I am wearing Alina doing farm chores. Thin wool for summer repels water in the rainstorms. I always have a ring sling for quick things like running into the post office. My favorite brand is Pavo; they really do your homework for you in terms of where you are buying items from and if the items are ethically sourced. I use Woven Wings a lot, which is a British company. The owners are active in the community which I like--it really matters to me how a company interacts with the world and how it treats its customers and employees. 

MMT: If there was a zombie apocalypse and had to evacuate and only grab one baby wearing item to take with you...what would you reach for?

Britt: I want it on the record that I hate this game because choosing a favorite is akin to choosing a favorite child. But since I have to, I will say Pavo Parterre Cobalt. It is indestructible. It will outlive the world. I mean, it is near impossible to pull and you can get any stain out of it. It's solid and I can wear it for hours. If the zombies come, that's what I'll reach for