Rightly pointed out by the young mothers from the Pune Babywearing Group, if Rani Laxmibai could fight her enemies with her baby tied to her back, Mary Kom could prepare herself for the Olympics with her twins, there’s no reason for urban mothers to refrain from doing the same with their babies.
The group works together to spread awareness about babywearing. So much so that when they participated in the 13th Global Harmony 2017, presented by Akhil Bhartiya Sanskrutik Sangh (ABBS), they used the platform to demonstrate how cool it is to dance while wearing your baby. The group won the second prize and are registering to represent the country in the finals to be held in Spain soon.
Devika Ghogare, who participated in the dance, says, “There are about 40 mothers in the Pune Babywearing Group, but eight of us took part in the competition. Since most of us live in nuclear families today, mothers don’t get much help to take care of the baby. We are trying to promote the concept of wearing your baby while you go about doing your usual work through the day.”
“Babywearing is like wearing a hug. The best way to cuddle your baby and keep them safe. I do all my daily chores and also manage my small scale business by wearing my daughter,” she adds.
This results in happy and healthy babies, makes parents more confident and loving caregivers. It is also a convenient and comfortable method of parenting, the group believes.
The mothers danced while wearing their babies who were from a few months to two-years-old.
Putting up a show like this certainly required lots of practice. Ghogare talks about how tedious these practice sessions were. “We practised in the morning from six to seven. Since I run a business from home, it was easier for me to take out time for the practice, but there were some working women in our group, so we decided to practise early morning.
We decided to do it for an hour every day but that would turn into two hours because we would end up taking breaks because our babies would get a little cranky for the first few days, and that added up to an hour or so,” says Ghogare.
She adds that once the babies got a hang of dancing with their moms, they really enjoyed it. In fact, during their actual performance, the babies were seen kicking their feet in the air to dance along with their mums.
The choregraphy was done by Poonam Mathrani, who also danced along with her baby Kris in the group. Says Mathrani, “Baby wearing has taken my passion of dance and choregraphy to a whole new level. It has even made travelling so much easier.”
Another participant, Sapna Labde, who danced with her baby Aaryansh, says, “Baby wearing is changing the world, one life at a time. I love the feeling of carrying my child just inches away from my heart. We embrace each other and dance together. In addition to all this, we won the competition and it feels like being on the top of the world.”