1. Tell us more about yourself.
I’m Anela Paparevic- Felegyhazi. I’m 29 and have two children: Benjámin who is almost three years old and Noé who is almost one year old. Currently me and my family live in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I’m a PR by profession and do photography in my free time as a hobby. Because of the nature of my husband’s job every few years we are changing a country of residence. I’d say we are living an exciting and a challenging life. And our children spice it up a bit as well, we are never bored.
2. Why/How did you decide to start babywearing?
Before I even got pregnant, I saw my Mongolian friend carrying her boy in a stretchy wrap. He was so calm and happy and my friend had her hands free to make some jewelry with us (which we sold on a charity event). Then I decided I want to do the same- I want to wrap my child(ren). So I did start with a stretchy wrap. Then I saw beautiful full wrap conversion soft structured carriers and I got one… and then I saw all the beautiful woven wraps, so I got one as a birthday present from my husband. Many others came after that. I was drawn to babywearing by my curiosity, a wish to try out something different and make my life easier.
3. Is babywearing a common thing in your country? What do people think about it?
I’m from Bihac, town in North- West Bosnia and Herzegovina where babywearing is growing now, but when I got my first boy we were living in Podgorica, capital of Montenegro. There, people very rarely wear their babies, and if they do, it is in narrow based buckle carriers. I think I was like a walking circus to most of them. I was the first one to carry a baby all around in a carrier (first one in local media as well), first one to use a woven wrap and the first consultant in the country. I used to get all different comments, from “Your baby is lucky, he is at the best place, close to his mother!” to “Dear lord, is your baby breathing? It’s too tight, you are going to choke him”. Some people even tried to “help” me while wrapping my baby, I know it was in good will, but I found it dangerous. In B&H now it’s another story, there are consultants in many cities, few sling libraries and babywearing community is growing, day by day.
4. What is your favorite carrier?
My favorite carrier of all is a woven wrap. I love it’s diversity. And I love challenging myself to learn new carries.
5. Do you have a favorite carry?
I do! My favorite carry is Double Hammock Rapids. It’s done easily, I do it quite fast which is great if my baby is fussy and starts popping the seat. I finish the carry before he gets a chance to do it. And a bonus- it looks great.
6. Did you feel any difficulties in your babywearing journey?
When I started babywearing, as I mentioned above, I was hundreds of kilometers away from the closest consultant, babywearing caregiver or a sling library… so I learned all by myself with a help of YouTube videos and with support of our regional babywearing Facebook group called Nosenje djece (Babywearing). I had no troubles with a stretchy wrap, nor with a buckle carrier. My difficulties started when I tried carrying my child on my back, especially learning multilayered back carries. With the help of sweet experienced mommas from above mentioned group I did learn how to do it. Some time after that I finished entry level course in bw school Die Trageschule to be a consultant and help other caregivers and parents to learn how to carry their children.
7. What advice would you give to new parents?
Baby carriers are a very powerful tool, use them since they are available and some of them really affordable; a carrier will make your life easier, make your baby happier and cry less. Don’t be scared of learning something new, it’s fun as well. As a bonus, babywearing will bring to you a big group of supporting caregivers and parents, online and in real life. You’ll most likely get quite some new friends, as I did. Babywearing is connecting us, not only with our children, but to other baby wearers as well. Babywearing will make your life better in many aspects, I can promise you that.