It’s probably not a big surprise to anyone who knows me, or regularly reads my posts, that the opportunity to talk about Babywearing for 3 days straight is basically a dream come true for me.
This was my second time on the Ergobaby stand, so it was great feeling a little more prepared for what I’d be doing. Last year at the Pregnancy Baby and Child Expo I’d walked past the Ergobaby stand with my own daughter on my back in our Ergobaby carrier and was asked how old my daughter was, and what did I think about my carrier and I think I said something like “She’s 2.5 years old. And it’s the absolute best thing I’ve ever bought – ever. I’ve had it for two children and used it practically every day for the last 5 years.” One thing led to another and first thing the next day I was on the stand demonstrating with practically no training, but still just pumped and excited to be there!
Seeing as I’ve already written about what I learned about Ergobaby carriers and their range last year, and not a whole lot has changed since then, I’ll just pop a link to that post if you want to read my run through of the different types of Ergobaby carriers.
This year, I did have the helpful advantage that I knew more than 12 hours in advance that I’d working on the stand and I also got to go through the actual training – which was useful. So I was much more confident with throwing out a bit of “Endorsed by the Chiropractic Association of Australia” and some “Won the Mother and Baby Gold Award for the Best Baby Carrier”, but otherwise my song and dance was pretty much the same as last year (and I was literally singing and dancing when it was quiet because it was FREEZING cold in the mornings in the big Royal Exhibition Centre, especially Day 1, bright and early at 7:30am. If I wasn’t dancing around my toes would have dropped off!)
For me the highlights were when I had a couple of people come up during the Expo with their own Ergobaby carrier saying “I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but I just can’t get this to work!” and we’d go through it together. I’d show them with an equivalent carrier and one of my awesome weighted demo dolls (my “babies”… I’ll get to them, they’re really one of the highlights for me) and after a bit of adjustment and some tips and tricks they’d get that look… that look people get when they have an Ergobaby on and once they fit the right tension on the straps and the weight of their baby (or doll) is evenly distributed across their torso and they go “Wow, that’s actually really comfortable.” So, that made me happy. It makes up for all those times I’ve wanted to race over to people in shopping centres and say “HI! You don’t know me, but could I please adjust your carrier!?”
The next great thing about the Ergobaby stand is the dolls. They’re so creepily life like. It’s funny when people walk past and go “OH! Whoa! I thought they were real!” Or…. possibly when the sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and expo crazy had set in and I startled myself thinking one of the other demonstrators was wearing a real baby. You’d think after 3 days I’d know the dolls weren’t real. But they FEEL so realistic, most of us were swaying, rocking, patting and shushing these dolls… We were overflowing with maternal instincts. I think it added a good vibe. Also, if I had a dollar for everyone who asked if they bought a carrier could I throw in a doll for free….. I’d have about 4 dollars!
While it was still pretty cool having someone come up and say “Hi! I’ve been reading up on these/my sister has one/I’m really interested in these – I just need to choose which one…” because half my work was done already, I just had to run them through the products and colour options… I must admit I loved selling an Ergobaby carrier to someone who was already wearing their baby at the time in something like a Baby Bjorn! Though the main reason I got a kick of that was the number of people I’d try to toss a card to and they’d say no, they don’t want to wear their baby because they’d had a Baby Bjorn with their first and it was super uncomfortable OR someone had told them that babywearing was uncomfortable. Grr. I hate the idea that a parent genuinely wants to wear their baby and is put off by a carrier that is uncomfortable. I started off with a Baby Bjorn too… and when I finally bought my Ergobaby carrier I finally really understood how wonderful babywearing could be…. this sounds like such a line… but…. It really did change my life.
I also loved the people who just looked skeptical. They just weren’t convinced that babywearing was for them… people who went from flat faced stare to smiling and nodding…. such a good feeling. Even better when they walked away with a carrier. Woot! Another babywearer is born!
Also, every time I made a person laugh with my same totally lame jokes. Like using a demo doll and the demo doll’s leg went the wrong way in the infant insert, I’d say “This won’t happen to your baby, because unlike my baby, your baby will have knees.” Hilarious. Telling dads as they did up the back strap “It’s just like doing up a necklace” Comedy gold. Or telling people I still wear my 3 year old daughter! Wait… that wasn’t a joke… You weren’t supposed to laugh at that… I really do still carry her!
The other great thing about the Show was that,as a stay at home mum for the last few years, being severely sleep deprived for all of that time, I have started to question my capacity to learn new things and also interact with other adults. On the last day of the show I spent the first half of the day demonstrating the Ergobaby swaddler – which I hadn’t even really seen before this weekend, but it just took a bit of training and I was confidently explaining the product and showing people how it worked. I also had absolutely no problem talking to people; I was a little nervous and stressed out leading up to the event, (because I often under estimate my ability and over estimate my expectations – which leads to large amounts of stress) but as soon as I had my uniform on and brochures in hand I was happily inviting person after person after person over for a demonstration.
The absolute highlight though was I noticed an older woman hanging towards the back of a bit of a crowd that had gathered, and I’d ran through about 3 demonstrations in rapid succession with barely a breath in between and then she came over to pick up a card, so I asked her if she’d like me to show her the carriers and she said “No, I’ve been watching you, you’re doing such a good job. I’m just waiting for my daughter. You need to show her this.” Then when her daughter and, I’m assuming, son-in-law, came over she said “You have to watch what this lady does with this carrier, she’s amazing!”
N’awwwwwwwwww. Thanks! I’m not even sure if they bought a carrier in the end, but that was my highlight. Being called amazing. (Also being called a “lady”!)
Oh! ONE more awesome thing… just a small side note… it was great when my partner, who’s been holding down the fort at home, said to me that our 3 year old whines a lot and that it’s really hard to get anything done because he didn’t realise how much attention the kids needed – like ALL day. Ha. I already know that (obviously) but it was delightful to hear him say it.
So, that was my awesome weekend. I’m physically shattered, mentally drained, I’m probably going to be selling Ergobaby carriers in my sleep for the next week, but I had the best time and I can’t wait to do it all again!