What If You Carried a Baby for Hundreds of Miles…

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As the mom of a young baby I’ll admit that my mind battles a bit against thinking through “worst case scenarios” for her. I have to push those sometimes terrifying images of dangerous things that can happen out of my mind, while at the same time learning from those thoughts if they are in some way warning me of potential hazards for her. When I hear of a ferry sinking somewhere in the world I think about what it would be like to be there and trying to swim and simultaneously save my four month old and five year old.

When I hear about attacks in Paris and beyond I think about what I would do to try and keep them safe and unafraid. When I hear about all of the families seeking safety from Syria I think about the moms and babies who have to walk and travel miles and miles and miles and face uncertainty at every step.

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Sore arms after two days at Disney

My arms and shoulders get tired holding Baby S after a lap or two around the block, or even after a long nursing session. The longest I have had to hold her in recent times was while enjoying a couple days at Disney World…and after that “hard day” I went to get a massage because I was so sore. How embarrassing to even write that in the context of what other moms are going through.

These refugee moms heading across Europe don’t get the option to put the baby in the swing or the Rock-and-Play for a bit when they get sore, or retreat to the hotel spa after a couple days of holding their babies more than normal. They have to keep going. And going. And going. And I can’t even begin to know what that is really like for those families, though my mind has thought through what I think it could feel like and it is terrifying.

I know I would do whatever I had to do for my girls and my needs would be at the absolute bottom of the list in a crisis situation, but at a certain point arms need a break and you need a helping hand, literally. Enter “Carry the Future”.

Carry the Future

Carry the Future is a volunteer group started by a mom in California who wanted to help moms fleeing Syria by providing baby carriers so they could wear their babies and toddlers on their journey. That’s it, that’s all they do. I don’t care what your views on the refugee crisis are, there is no more pure goal in my mind that helping a mother and baby stay connected and safe. This volunteer group identified a very basic and previously unmet need by linking new and gently used baby carriers with moms who need them more than I could fathom as I strap my baby in her carrier to go to Target or Whole Foods or the park or some similar suburban adventure. Again, embarrassing to even write in the context of larger world events. 

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I like to support at least one charity organization a year via this site. In years past it has been the Ronald McDonald House, various animal welfare groups, and now it is absolutely Carry the Future. I write every now and then about baby gear in the context of ease of family travel, but in this context it takes on a much greater importance.

I still use my used Baby Bjorn and Ergo carriers that I’ve had since Little C was in them, so they aren’t quite ready to cross the ocean for another family, but I do plan to collect carriers from my friends if any are ready to donate. I’m also going to be sending some new carriers in the name of all the traveling families that read this site, so thank you for making that possible.

If you want to help here are some basics:

  • Send new or gently used Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs). These are basically any carrier that has clasps or harnesses, and Mei Teis (square cloth with four ties). Our favorites are Baby Bjorn, Kolcraft, MobyGo, Mei Teis, Tulla and Ergo.
  • Don’t send wraps or slings as they have to fit people very quickly, often with language barriers, and those carriers are harder to learn to use safely within a couple minutes.
  • You can pin a note to the carrier with a paper clip if you want. If your carrier has a pocket, you can also stuff it with items such as: plush toy, baby/toddler socks/hat/mittens, high protein snacks and/or electrolyte or vitamin packets.
  • Their 503c status is pending.

You can send the carriers to:

C/O CarryTheFuture
121 W. Lexington Drive
Suite L 106D
Glendale CA 91203

You can also donate money or just learn more about their mission to help the next generation. I’m absolutely honored to be able to help a mom in need with her little one. I know how handy baby carriers are just in the context of daily life and leisure travel, I can only imagine how much of a game changer they are for those who are walking towards a new life.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this. I was unaware such a thing existed. I fear some of the comments that are probably going to follow, however.

    But really, thanks again for bringing some awareness to this organization.

    • I know, but worth the risk in my mind. There’s no cause closer to my heart right now than moms and babies in need. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reading.

  2. Summer, great post.

    My kids are long past the baby carrier age, but I remember it well. This is such a good idea, and I will definitely be helping the cause.

    • Way to go! I’m sure money is always appreciated! That was my gut reaction too, but decided this could be a perfect way to stack Amex Offer Amazon savings with their current sale on certain carriers. No bad way to support a good cause!

      • Good idea! I read your blog even before I was a mother. Now having a 5 month old I relate and love every post of yours! Would also love to help out mothers in their time of need.

  3. Omg, what a great idea!! I would’ve never thought of that. That is just awesome! I just attended a fundraising luncheon today for Interfaith Ministries in Houston. They’re raising money to support the work that they do for refugee families. (Really great organization, doing wonderful work). This gives me ideas…

    Thanks Summer!!

  4. Summer,
    I was truly touched by their mission.

    In the spirit of helping, I have enlisted some Brazilian startups and friends well positioned to donate carriers through Carry the Future.

    I just wrote to their contact email to orchestrate a joint initiative, and mentioned that I knew about them through your blog. Check out the email at http://bit.ly/1lMpgco.

    If you happen to know someone within Carry the Future who is able to get back to me so we can speed things up, it’d be awesome.

    Congrats on your work on the blog, on helping them out and raising our awareness on such an amazing humanitarian initiative.

    Best,
    Fábio

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