IRSA – INDONESIA

1. Tell us more about yourself.
My name is Irsa, 27 years old and mother of 2 boys. Our boys are a 3 years old and the second one will turn 1 in December. We are living in Indonesia and the UK is our second home.

2. Why/How did you decide to start babywearing? 
I start babywearing since my first born is about 3 months old although he’s never been very fussy but I feel it so hard to attach to him somehow. I saw many of my friends carrying their children in a sling, they do looks so close to each other, and its lovely to see them really warm my heart so then I decided to start carrying my baby and amazingly I feel closer to him every ups we did. From then I continue carrying him whenever he wants and now I even start a promoting babywearing in Indonesia by doing non-profit sling library project.

3. Is babywearing a common thing in your country? What do people think about it?
Babywearing is one of our very long tradition and still continue in Indonesia. Every mother carrying their child in long fabric called “jarik” usually they hip carry or cradle carry their little one in jarik. Babywearing give lots of benefit for us, help us to get close to our children and as a bonus it’s also give us free hands to do housework. Although still some people think that carrying baby too much would make them less independent, become late walker and won’t to be put down also some people still believe in a rumour that carrying small baby in M position will make them walk funny because the baby’s legs spread apart. Usually grandparents will think this way as the M-shape position wasn’t yet invented when they were still young or at least not very popular in Indonesia so carrying in M-shape position is still new in Indonesia.

4. What is your favorite carrier?
My favourite carrier so far are woven wrap as it is very versatile that I don’t need to upgrade it but somehow I keep buying it because there are many brands make beautiful wraps how I can not buy those lovelies! And of course Indonesian jarik sling.

5. Do you have a favorite carry?
To be honest every time I wear my baby in a woven wrap I almost always carry him in fwcc or double hammock back carry that’s what I can do easily without thinking and watching YouTube, so those are my favourite carry positions.

6. Did you feel any difficulties in your babywearing journey? 
The most difficult part of my babywearing journey was when people start commenting that I shouldn’t carry my baby too much and shouldn’t carry him in the M-shape position as what I said in Indonesia M-shape is still new so my families kept telling me to carry my baby in cradle position but since the babywearing communities growing very fast in Indonesia and actively educating people so now it become more common to carry in the right M-shape position although some elderly people still think that M-shape can harm baby’s legs development. Lots of people in Indonesia still doesn’t have access to ergonomic baby carrier although  jarik can be used like a woven wrap or ringsling but it’s too thin and not very comfortable for wearee to wear bigger baby for longer periods of time.

7. What advice would you give to new parents? 
So some of them just buying a cheap and poor quality carrier that’s not ergonomic also not so safe to wear. That’s sad but hopefully someday there will be an outfit that can help us to give access to unfortunate people in Indonesia to get a proper carrier for them to lend for free.