I recently got the chance to ask my new friend and baby wearing educator, Ponnie Matin, some questions about babywearing and life, in general. We had a great little chat and I'm so happy to share the answers with you!
Hey Ponnie! Thanks so much for answering some questions for me and all of the followers of Heirloom Carrier. Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Hiya I'm Ponnie, I help people get comfortable and gain confidence. I'm mom to the sweetest little girl, founder of Ponnie Matin Studios, Country Leader for Kangatraining North America, Certified Babywearing Educator and Consultant, Fitness professional, avid knitter, artist, and self proclaimed comedian...lol. I like to joke that I'm a Ponnie of many passions.
How did you decide to become a babywearing educator?
Watching my sister babywear made me realize the many benefits of it. After a car accident I turned to Babywearing to help me be able to carry my daughter. I was also missing working out a lot and could not find a fitness class that I wanted to attend postpartum. So the idea to become a babywearing educator and create my own fitness program was born.
What is the best part of your job?
I want to say helping people feel confident and comfortable, however the very best part is cuddling babies and making them giggle (I'm sort of a baby whisperer over here. lol!).
That is the favourite part of my job too! haha. Can you describe your motherhood journey so far?
Motherhood was something I had dreamt about forever. It was a long time coming and then it came and it was rough. I never thought breastfeeding would be so hard or that it could take a bit to really bond with your own baby (like you fall in love at first sight but somehow there is some doubt).
You hear it all the time, but until you experience it first hand it's hard to grasp those words to their full extent. Motherhood is the hardest job I have ever had and yet I love it more than anything else I have ever done. I am so grateful of this tiny human and in complete awe of all the little moments and small things as I watch my daughter discover the world.
Do you have a favourite style of carrier (it’s ok if it’s not a ring sling!)?
My first love is the ring sling. I wanted to learn how to use it so bad and in the early days I didn't always get a good seat. I stated slinging my arm to take the weight off while I was nursing rather than slinging the baby just to use the ring sling. Eventually I figured it out and now it's still one of my fave go tos. That being said I also adore a good soft structure carrier.
What do you wish more people knew about babywearing?
Oh my gosh Mel, where do I begin! In an effort to keep this answer somewhat short, I wish more people knew about it period. We put in so much research into everything for our babies and I feel babywearing is often sort of skipped over. It is a lifesaver, a game changer, and a baby pleaser. Seriously babywearing has so many benefits! If breastmilk don't fix it, a carrier will! The thing I wish more people didn't know about babywearing is the misinformation out there. Just because its on the web or a friend says so it doesn't always mean its true. If you're wondering about something call me, that's what I do, don't let it deter you from babywearing or toddlerwearing, or kidwearing.
Those are such good points! It is so often looked over. With that said, do you have any special tips or ticks for new parents who are using a sling for the first time?
A brand new sling out of the box can be hard to learn on. Wash it, thread it, unthread it, braid it, wear it in. When creating a seat, the fabric does not need to come to babies bellybutton, rather keep the fabric straight across knee to knee. If you pre-size the carrier to allow for minimal adjustments to be made when you put baby in, it is easier to tighten it well than if you try to get a lot of slack out from a sling that started off too big. Bloom the fabric through the rings (perform a finger walk across the fabric where it goes through the middle of both rings to ensure it is spread out over the majority of the rings and not twisted on itself). If it's not perfect the first time, be gentle with yourself and try again! I believe in you, you can, and will, master it.
Do you offer consultations?
I sure do! I offer one-on-one in person or online consultations, as well as small group consults. I also teach classes to both caregivers and birth and medical professionals.
Great news! How can people get in touch with you?
Thank you so much for answering my questions, Ponnie!
Babywearing education is so important, whether you're a first-time parent or experienced. If you have any more questions for Ponnie, please reach out to me or contact her through her channels above.