The story behind “The Carrying On Project” is simple but meaningful. The founders are Kit and Rachel, who are DC area residents, which is filled with past and current DoD employees, and the home of almost a dozen military installations. Kit was brought there by the Army and is married to an Active Duty member who is currently overseas while she keeps up with their two children, one almost eight months (born 7/2012) and one who is nearly three (born 7/2010).
This is not their first deployment with children, and probably won’t be the last. When her first daughter was born, Kit’s husband was slotted for deployment and nearly missed the birth, but was able to delay a few days. He left when their newborn was ten days old and they lived on the opposite side of the country from family. They had
Kit, with her youngest daughter and Rachel's youngest son
learned about babywearing in their prenatal classes, and while they were interested in it, it was the first few days after her husband left that sent her running to the closest babywearing group, especially before they realized that her daughter had both a gluten and a dairy allergy, which was causing her to be colicky and need to be held constantly. They taught her how to use a ring sling at the meeting, but someone lent her a wrap, and she and the baby both fell in love. She was able to cook, do laundry, grocery shop, and most importantly, travel home to see family. She and her daughter even went on vacation once!
When her husband came home, he had a back injury that made it hard for him to hold their daughter for long periods of time, but they found him an SSC and up until he left for their second deployment as a family, he was still wearing their by-then two and a half year old. When their second daughter was born, it was a week before her husband left for two weeks of training, and she managed a newborn and a busy toddler by herself thanks to babywearing. Kit even wore her new baby to an interview when she was hardly a week old! Her husband left right after the holidays, and she attributes her “survival” of this deployment to babywearing and her local support, which is largely composed of the area’s babywearing group members.
Whenever Kit finds out about a friend, especially from her own prior military service, who is having a baby, she suggests babywearing, but wanted to take it one step further to be able to provide carriers for military families who need them. The needs of the military don’t wait until your children are self-sufficient and many a spouse has been left at home alone with a young or new baby, and then again and again as the family grows larger, and something as simple as a piece of cloth could make a huge difference. After seeing several families that would benefit, Kit mentioned her frustration about not being able to buy everyone a carrier, and trying to start something to Rachel, who was immediately on board.