Why Dads Babywear – Reasons from Dads…

17 Nov
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When we had this conversation and brain storm about the best way to convince less than enthusiastic Dads to get on board with the idea of babywearing this time last week and I made a ‘sub-par’ attempt at a mind map for an infographic which James just blew off immediately, we had no idea this is where it would take us less than seven days later…

This time last week, Thursday morning is when I schedule my “office time” particularly for writing and certain other projects.. and I spent all day writing, but it was completely off topic from where I planned and all about what it means to be a “man”…


After exploring into research about PND and just how many Dads are also affected by perinatal mood disorders and it got me thinking in a somewhat random direction…

I wanted to try and find a way to get more Dads on board with this concept of being more hands on, or I guess specifically, carriers on, with their kids… There are so many benefits.. I wanted to find a way to get that message across more successfully.


The Why Dads Babywear – 100 Reasons from Dads project was NOT a result of all that effort I put in hahaha it was the result of my husband dismissing the stuff I had worked on because it “sounded like a mum trying to write from a Dads perspective” (yep that’s a certain limitation I am stuck with hahah) and it also “just sounded like YET another mum telling a Dad what to do”… hahah


So in a bit of debate and discussion I replied, “well, you’re a Dad, why the f&*k do you babywear then?!”


His response, quoted as reason number one, was “so they don’t run off and cause shit when I have stuff to do.”


Kinda typical with a toddler the age of ours in the house.


I snapped back, “Well what do you want me to do with that? Put it on a f&*king poster?!?!”


“You could… It might make a good poster..” he replied.




He was being a bit facetious but it gave me an idea… so I made one, almost just to be a bit of a dick…

Then I asked a friend, and fellow consultant to get her husband to do the same (thanks Sandy & David & Aoife from SnugLove Babywearing and their friends Kenny & Karyn & Ezra who also helped us out x) and then posted the three of them on my Facebook page and shared it in a few babywearing related and educator groups I am in on Facebook asking if they would be happy to do the same.


I hoped in the best case scenario I could draw together maybe 30 or so of these and then to print them at a photo shop to use as a resource in workshops and consults with reluctant Dads there…


Well… Wow…


Less than seven days later and we have been so overwhelmed with the support and enthusiasm we have seen others sharing for this message since then..


In less than 24 hours we had nearly 50 reasons from Dads and photos…


Blown out of the water but also entertaining and celebrating our eldest sons 4th birthday party at the tramp park local to us the same day, we were even more shocked to watch more and more people share it and submissions, photos, comments and quotes get flooded to us from all over the world in our absence!


Less than 48hs in & I said to James, “Shit babe I think this might go on forever! There are sooooo many I am getting sent right now…”

“The point was less words babe. We have to stop at some point or no one will read them” was his incredibly useful ‘dad’ insight at that point…

So we started to ‘get picky’ about our favourites for the last 50 or so because when we realised how much love this was getting, we had to put a finish number on it… An endless amount of me making posters of Dads babywearing and their reasons was not going to help our family buy groceries next week..

We ‘co-share’ child care roles, well James has less hours on his freelance projects at the moment so he is pretty much a stay at home Dad, we have a separate cottage/outhouse/sleep out at the bottom of our property that we take turns working out of among other things… but I, Jess, am the main bread winner right now, if I am not earning money, we don’t get luxuries the following week… so if I spend all day making posters and trying delete trawlers and hater trolls being dicks to the families featured, I am not making any money, so hopefully you get my point…


And we tried to include as many of you amazing Dads as we could and wait for as many people who we contacted hoping to feature and other who told us they wanted to be included but needed to dig up their favourite photo and we even did a collage at the end to try and capture more…


But do you know what, I have no idea how many we missed… And examples of amazing fathers and father figures and male role models wearing slings and carriers to care for their children just keep coming…



We did receive this exact phrase and many variations of in in the last few days, countless numbers of them even! And as a carrier avid family who literally survive balance working from home and co-sharing care giver roles, we whole heartedly agree! Hence why I finished our Facebook 100 Reasons Dads Babywear on it 😉



And we love this celebration of fatherhood, of active and positive male role models, of involving our children in our lives instead of pausing it for them that we want to continue it… (but we also want to eat more than just the food we grow in the garden haha)


So we have thought of two ways to celebrate this project and concept and message more…


First is a print edition.


I initially envisaged printing this as an educational resource, as one version for myself… Potentially I thought it could be used to help babywearing and sling educators, groups and organisations around the world conquer the hesitate some dads have to getting on board with using these tools… I imagined they might download a small Facebook album and print it as photos themselves…But the dad jokes are strong and the “mum porn” an obvious draw card haha so who knows where this will take us.. 😉


Our initial print run will be VERY small. We will need waivers & more details from everyone (please see this downloadable PDF form here waiver-form) and that probably means not all of our 100 dads featured on the Facebook album will be able to be signed off as one of our main featured 100…

We also want to include and feature as many babywearing dads from all over the world as we can for feature art even if we can’t fit you all in the 100 reasons so if you are keen to be involved in any aspect of that project, fill in the form and email it to us at whydadsbabywear@gmail.com

We are so f&*king excited about this! What an amazing ride guys, thank you for letting us be part of it!!



OMFG this is sooooo exciting!!!! Do you know what we are looking at?! Printing samples!!!! For our OWN book run from the publishers!!! Holy heck ?

Why Dads Babywear – 100 Reasons from Dads is going to be an actual book!!!!


The other element to this now ongoing project, is we don’t want to be exclusive about only celebrating a certain “top 100”, the Facebook album grew organically as we received them and we know we missed some of you amazing dads out there…


But Babywearing with Jess and the services and workshops I run in Auckland, New Zealand, is the way we earn money to buy what we need each week and cover our bills…If we continue to keep celebrating this there, our kids are going to complain and whinge to a degree that strapping them to us isn’t really going to help at some point haha


So we love that you are supporting and following along with us there but to free up business operations some, we need to move it on to continue the party…



Hello, Why Dads Babywear 🙂


Follow us along on Instagram if you are there, we will continue to share highlights and “most populars” with you on Babywearing with Jess (as well as the sometimes poor attempts at humor, general family life shit and hopefully sometimes helpful and useful content about slings and carriers) and would love to continue receiving your messages, quotes and pictures… Even more so, we are excited to get to have a print version celebrating awesome Dads all over the world, hopefully available for you guys in time for Christmas!!!!!!!!!

Any questions, feedback, suggestions, anything at all about this project, just shoot us an email at whydadsbabywear@gmail.com so at least I can share the load of the content creation stuff more with James hahah



For me, its now back to business, I have a workshop on Monday, I almost forgot haha 😉








We didn’t really plan for this process or amazing outcome, we love how many of you jumped on board… When it comes to actually making a print version though we need to make sure we have a completed waiver and submission of the photo, quote and extra details..


On this form it asks for details of photographer, featured person and child guardian, in some causes the same person maybe all three. That is ok, just do it three times… we are just dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s here guys… any issues or questions, feel free to shoot us an email us at whydadsbabywear@gmail.com


Also don’t forget to include a copy of your image when you send us your form!!


Thanks again for helping us celebrate both fatherhood and slings and carriers guys x

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