Volunteer Spotlight – Abby Sines

In order to better get to know the volunteer educators for BWI of Southern Maryland, we will be featuring an interview with a different volunteer every week.

This week’s volunteer spotlight is Abby Sines!

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Name: Abby Sines
Children: Cadence 3 and Arden 1
Volunteer Type: VBE (Volunteer Babywearing Educator)
Other Accreditations: CPST, Trained CBWS consultant
Other Job: Owner, Dixie Love . . . .
BWI Meetings attended: Prince Frederick, though occasionally Lexington Park, Waldorf or Odenton.

How did you discover babywearing?

Abby: I started with the usual Moby, then to an Infantino Mei Tai, but I truly discovered the babywearing love when I bought my Boba 3G.

What prompted you to try babywearing?

Abby: I was a first time mom that knew she wanted to remain active and I loathe lugging around excess gear crap. And, all research I did pointed to babywearing increasing milk supply and success rates for nursing, which is of utmost importance to me.

Has a particular person been influential in your babywearing adventure? If so, what did they do that was so influential?

Abby: My friend from college, Danielle, had her first daughter 6 months before I had mine. She also cloth diapered and wore her baby, so I learned basics from her. Danielle was like my guide into natural parenting; She kind of paved the way and tried everything before I did, so I just did what ended up working best for her. My sister-in-law, Heidi, also had her son around the same time and so she and I jumped in to the world of babywearing together. It is awesome to have a partner in crime with whom I can geek out about new carriers and help educate our family about the benefits of babywearing.

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What is your favorite type of carrier (wraps/ ring slings/ SSCs/ MTs, etc.) and why?

Abby: I hate this question because when I answer “I like all the carriers” it seems insincere. With that said, I like all the carriers! I will say that I reach for my SSC the most since my three-year-old is ridiculously fast and its the quickest for me to load her in. I love, love, love a newborn in a wrap because, well, who doesn’t love snuggling a newborn. Their heads smell like rainbows and they sigh like kittens.

What is your favorite carrier you have owned?

Abby: Hands down my Boba 3G. It is now floppy and broken in and faded and smells like suncreen and sweaty, happy babies. It is still the carrier I reach for the most.

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What is your favorite carrier from the lending library?

Abby: I really loved the Girasol Warriors Pride, which I think is a size 4. I learned my first shorty-ish back carry with it (HJBC) and felt really comfortable in the soft cotton. The meaning behind the pattern and colors used in the design was sentimental to me and I liked feeling the babywearing love in that way, too. I also really love the new Beco Soleil, which surprised me because I am a die-hard Boba fan. The Soleil also has the option to cross the straps in the back if you’re using to front carry, which I enjoy. My hubby was also able to get comfortable in it and use it by himself, which is a huge endorsement.

How has babywearing benefited your life?

Abby: With my first kid, I wore to be active and bonded. With my second, I wore to survive. My second daughter had reflux and was, in general, a baby that needed me more. She also was allergic to sleep. So for about the first 5 months as a mother of two, I spent around 6-8 hours a day with Arden in a Sakura Bloom ring sling or our Natibaby Harry Potter wrap, frantically begging Cadence to please, for the love of Kevin Bacon, not lick the bathroom floor, or jump off the roof of the playhouse, or to simply go to sleep.

We spent a lot of time tandem wearing. Everyone was safer that way. Babywearing has been a benefit to my life by letting me live it.

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Do you have a story about a specific time that babywearing saved the day?

Abby: Recently, I flew with my two girls (at the time, 10m and 2.5y) by myself to Kansas City. My husband wasn’t able to get leave to come with us to visit family, but he came with us to the airport and got a clearance pass from the Southwest ticket counter to escort/help me to the gate. Except when we got to the security checkpoint, he reached in his pocket and DIDN’T find his wallet. Meaning no ID, and absolutely no entry past the ID/boarding pass check. The guard wouldn’t even let him go around the podium where she sat to exit. So, there I was with a 45lb 2y and a 20lb 10m, a crappy umbrella stroller, a monkey backpack, a 30lb Diono carseat, a large Lands End tote bag (diaper bag) and another medium tote with toys, etc for the ride. All of which I now had to manage by myself. On went the toddler Tula and my trusty Boba 3G. All I’ll say is we survived, but I couldn’t talk without getting choked up until we got to our hotel room 6 hours later. I cannot imagine how I could’ve managed without babywearing.

Do you have a funny babywearing story?

Abby: That time I forgot that I had nursed Arden in the Boba and when I unloaded her my boob was still out. Which I didn’t notice until about 15 minutes later. In the parking lot. When a lady rolled down her window to tell me.

When do you babywear most often (either during a particular activity, time of day, or place)?

Abby: I wear most often at the store or in the evening, both of which are probably when everyone wears most. Lately, I’ve been wearing while gardening, which has been much more pleasant than I anticipated it would be. Nothing beats the feeling of a sleepy baby head in a floppy hat nestle in while you water the flowers.

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You are having a baby and you can pick any carrier (but only one) to last from the newborn stage to the toddler days, what do you pick?

Abby: A SSC, although one would need an insert/modification to accommodate a newborn. I really think for flexibility a wrap would be best, but newborns are only so little for a short time and my kids are impatient. So, whatever is quickest has been the best choice for long-term wearing for us. Thus, bring on the buckles.

There is a zombie apocalypse. You have time to grab only one carrier, what do you grab?

Abby: My RS, because its rings can be used as weapons. And it is so pretty.

You just woke up from a babywearing dream – what carrier were you dreaming about and why?

Abby: My Natibaby size 6 Indigo Indivisibility Cloak. Oh so fondly known as my Harry Potter wrap. My first wrap, linen cotton blend, and beautiful. So soft. My daughters love to cuddle with it, I love the geekery. And its so soft. (Did I say that?) I’m currently selling it for funds. My broken heart will dream about this one forever.

 

Why did you decide to become a VBE?

Abby: I wanted to be taken seriously. Babywearing is a tool that when used correctly has endless benefits. I felt like I needed to have some sort of title so when I spoke about it to family, friends, that lady in at the Farmer’s Market I wasn’t just some crazy mom having verbal diarrhea about how awesome it can be for your baby to be strapped in that backpack thing. I so strongly believe in the fundamental reason behind babywearing (a baby is meant to be held) that I needed a way to better spread the word.

Do you have a favorite moment assisting someone with babywearing?

Abby: My favorite thing is seeing the A-HA! moments when something clicks and a wearer finally gets it. When an exhausted new mom figures out the trick to a stretchy wrap, or a grandma gets the SSC just right to hold her squirmy grandkid, or when someone gets their first ruck seat (YES!!). That’s my favorite. Oh, and when someone I’ve taught comes back and tells me about a moment when they spread the babywearing love, too.

What do you love most about BWI of Southern Maryland?

Abby: I was a semi-experienced babywearer when I discovered that there was an actual organization that I could join. When I moved to SoMd I had very few friends, most of whom were my hubby’s firefighter friends, and my close friends were all at least an hour away. I met Lucy and Ryann at my first PF meeting, and walked away feeling so grateful that I’d found my village. [cue lump in throat]

My favorite thing about BWI SoMd: these people are my village.

Is there anything babywearing related you are still learning or looking forward to improving?

Abby: I’m bound and determined to improve my confidence when it comes to wrapping. In the grand scheme, I’m a newb compared to some of the other VBEs.

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What are your other hobbies/ interests/ passions?

Abby: I’m in training to become an IBCLC and a Doula so I can be a resource to my local moms. I’m a CPST for Dunkirk VFD and am working on launching their car seat check program in Calvert County. I am a former EMT and EMT instructor and am married to a firefighter. I am pretty passionate about community services. I’ve recently discovered a love for gardening (but only if I don’t have to pull weeds) and am working on making fried chicken that is better than my husbands (impossible). I love to be active with my kids, we have memberships to several museums and the Baltimore Zoo, so if we aren’t walking with the Calvert Mommies we’re usually out exploring. This year will be Arden’s first year kayaking with us. I’m very passionate about running through the sprinkler because it is so fun no matter how old you are. I’m a Harry Potter geek, I love musical theater, and I love to travel.

What do you like to do when you are not babywearing?

Abby: Shower.

Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with babywearing or children or your Mom status.

Abby: I was a bartender at a very busy college bar for 11 years. They were some of the best years of my life and many of my closest friendships are with people I met there. While I don’t miss the hangovers, I truly miss the job.

Thanks for sharing Abby!

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