To a happy now

THE DREAM VS THE REALITY

I had this beautiful vision of what my life as a new mama would be like. I couldn’t wait for “the hard part” to be over so we could begin our journey as a little family of 3. I thought motherhood would come easily… I was wrong.

THE DREAM

I thought I’d be a stylish work-at-home mom with my totally chilled out, hypnobirthed and exclusively breastfed baby sleeping peacefully by my side. I’d kiss those chubby little cheeks all day long and meet up with friends for a quick coffee while he slept peacefully next to us in his pram. Dreamy sigh while I scrolled through someone else’s instagram feed of my soon to be life…

THE REALITY

Natural birth – that didn’t work out so well. Exclusively breastfed – that didn’t work out so well either. Flat tummy within 3 weeks because I did squats and yoga for 9 months – nope, still look pregnant. Chilled out baby – on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being yes, 10 being no, let’s pin it down at 11. I very quickly came to realise that my beautiful vision was not becoming my reality. Those first 12 weeks were seriously challenging. If he wasn’t in my arms constantly, there were tears. And an equal amount of those tears were my own.

THE PLAN

Find a way to make baby stop crying all day long. Find a way to make baby sleep for longer than 45 minutes at a time. Suggestion: Babywearing. (Thanks Donné and Jolandi!)

The stretchy wrap saved my life. Literally. If I didn’t discover babywearing, I don’t know what I would’ve done. We went from 45 minute naps that took 30 minutes to achieve, to 3 hour naps that took 10 minutes to achieve. We went from making sure we were home for late afternoon suicide hour(s), to having relaxing afternoon strolls on the beach, or even early dinners out as a couple or with friends.

But eventually, my little mister got too heavy for my beloved stretchy (tends to happen quickly when you’re born at 4.2kgs!) and so started my mission to find the perfect baby carrier – something just as soft and comfy as the stretchy, but something that could carry a lot more chubby cuteness.

After purchasing 6 different baby carriers and struggling in one way or another with all of them, I could see that I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for. So I set out to make my own. With my Dad being in the backpack manufacturing business and my Mom being a fashion designer back in the day, I could thank my lucky stars that my idea was one I could make happen!

MY MISSION

My goal was to create an easy to use, breathable and comfortable carrier that could be used from the newborn days onwards. The one thing I really liked about my stretchy, was how the shoulder straps criss-crossed at the back and distributed the weight nice and evenly around my shoulders, it was definitely the most comfortable for both of us. After many different prototypes and assuring my design team time and time again that; “okay, I swear this is the one!” – I finally managed to design my dream baby carrier.

First selfie in the very first Stage 1 💕

With my baby comfortably asleep on my chest, I could finally continue on my journey of being a babywearing mama and enjoying all the benefits that came with it. #toahappynow

THE NAME

Growing up in South Africa, I’d always seen African moms ‘wearing’ their babies and I now realize what a huge part of their culture babywearing is. They just wrap their babies on their backs and it instantly calms them, while there I was buying all sorts of ‘colic cure’ medicines, believing there was something wrong with my baby. I wanted a name with an African meaning – Ubuntu: I am, because we are. It reminded me so much of the Mother and child bond, as well as the transition into Motherhood – a beautiful, almost secret tribe of Mothers who all understand one another and what we have been through to get here.

Becoming a Mom is the start of a beautiful yet challenging journey. Ubuntu Baba would love to be there with you to help you find your balance and step out into the world again.

Shannon McLaughlin
Founder, Ubuntu Baba
xx

Meet the Ubuntu Baba team

100% SOUTH AFRICAN MANUFACTURED

Behind every great product, is a team of great people. Each and every one of the baby carriers that leave the Ubuntu Baba factory floor have been meticulously inspected by our professional staff so you can be rest assured you’re investing in only the finest quality product.

Back row: Charmaine, Nicolette, Rodney, Sandra, Franklin. Front row: Nastasha, Fazlyn, Ahisa.

Shannon McLaughlin

Shannon McLaughlin

Founder & Product Designer

The idea to start Ubuntu Baba came from being a frustrated first time Mom who had no idea what she was doing. All I knew was that my baby needed me 24/7, and the only way to make that work for both of us was to have him on my body. It fills my heart with great joy to know that as you're reading these words, there are a whole lot of brand new mama's out there, keeping their tiny humans close in their UB carriers.

Megan Eadie

Boutique Manager & Certified Babywearing Educator

Mama to 1 gorgeous little girl, Megan works from our Ubuntu Baba Boutique Shop in Westlake Lifestyle Centre. You can find her there Mon-Fri from 8.30-1.30pm where she runs the shop and does 1-on-1 babywearing consultations to make sure you're 100% happy with your purchase. She also loves a good chat about anything motherhood related and hosts our '4th Trimester Chats' meetups every Friday.

Samantha Aitken

UB Mama Tribe Leader & Certified Babywearing Educator

Mama to the sweetest baby girl, Sam has helped many a new Mom achieve the 'babywearing sleep coma' that we all strive for. She runs our UB Mama Tribe Facebook Group and is always available to answer any of your babywearing questions. Sam is great at keeping it real about motherhood! Join our FB group below to watch her live videos and see her weekly pops of inspiration (all done in a very cute British accent ;)

Heléne Brink

Creative Pixel

An amazing mama to three beautiful girls, Heléne has been with me from the very beginning (best friends since babies!), when Ubuntu Baba was still a twinkling little star in the sky. Her creative spirit is contagious and she brings so much good energy to our team. She is an amazing creative designer and thinker and we are so blessed to have her on our team. Her true passion for motherhood shines through in all that she does.

Olivia Fox

In-house Photographer

Owner of My Tiny Teepee, I fell in love with Olivia's Instagram feed about as quickly as I fell in love with her after we met. If she isn't laughing, she's crying about how much she loves her 2 little boys and she is honestly the most stylish human I've ever met. Liv moves through life with joy and laughter and when behind the lens, she is able to capture the most special of moments.

Paul McLaughlin

Head of Manufacturing

My Dad is the man that took my idea of designing my own baby carrier and made it a reality (with lots of nagging from me!) With 40+ years of knowledge and experience in the textile and manufacturing industry, he runs the show at the factory and is involved with everything from creating the patterns to testing our products with his (very cute) grandson.

Samantha Wright

Social Media Manager

Sam is an Ubuntu Baba Mama and we met through the internet, she loved her carrier so much that she wanted to work for us, although she lives in PE, and we're in Cape Town! She has joined our team as Social Media Manager and is the friendly Mama who answers all your messages and comments on our social media platforms. She also posts our daily stories and makes sure we're all kept up to date with the gorgeous pics that our customers tag us in!

Nadia Khan

Office Manager

Nadia makes sure your orders get from our inbox to your front door as quickly and as beautifully as possible, and that they're sprinkled with magical sleepy dust in the process (yes we really do that!). Mama of 2, she works from our factory in Retreat and also assists with the day to day running of the factory. She is also an amazing baker, and often spoils us with her delicious cakes! Checkout Nadia's Delights on FB. 😉