Marisa Fields, one of our Brand Ambassadors, asked us to share this open letter from us to Ryan Reynolds and all new babywearers in response to a photo of Ryan Reynolds babywearing that has led to many comments, some of them scathing and deeply unkind. We are all parents, even celebrities, and even celebrity parents deserve compassion. In fact, it could be argued that parents living life in any kind of spotlight may need compassion even more. Constructive criticism is not hard to offer with kindness — and the fear-mongering about hip dysplasia in response to this photo is ridiculous. (For those who don’t keep up with celebrity news — the photo shows Ryan wearing his 6-month old daughter in a LilleBaby carrier, but she is positioned with her feet tucked into the waistbelt instead of sitting in the carrier and legs straddling the seat, as intended. Those dubbed “the militant babywearing moms of Instagram” responded as you can imagine, rather than simply saying, “Happy Father’s Day! I just want to let you know that your daughter and you will be happier and more comfortable if you check out the instruction manual — I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know that with her feet tucked like that she may be at risk of a fall!” and moving on.
Dear Ryan Reynolds:
Welcome to the amazing world of babywearing! I, like everyone else on the planet, saw the picture of you wearing your sweet baby. I noticed that the carrier use could be adjusted so that it’s safer and more comfortable, but I also noticed the proud smile on your face. Keep smiling, and keep wearing. We all started somewhere.
I’m afraid that your fame led to a bit of a media storm about that picture. I’m here to tell you – that won’t be the only mistake you make as a parent. And that’s okay. We just do our best.
I love being part of the babywearing community. It is a community; people who share information, carriers and the love of holding their children close. It’s about that feeling of sharing something that strengthens your bond to your child, frees up your hands, and makes it possible to take your child along on life’s many adventures. It’s not about judgment. So, if you felt judged, I’m sorry. I encourage you not to give up. There’s something truly special about wearing your child. The look on your face in this photo tells me that you already know that. Safety can be taught, that bond can only be felt.
There are many resources with information about safe babywearing. Here are just a few:
- Babywearing International
- The Canadian School of Babywearing
- Wrapsody Baby Safety Resources
- Local babywearing groups
Be well, be kind, and carry on,
The Wrapsody Family (and Marisa)
PS. Love this article? You might also like to check out 5 Myths about Men and Wrapping by Slingdad Dom!