International Babywearing Week 2016 – Recap

International Babywearing Week 2016 – Recap

Just when we thought International Babywearing Week couldn’t get any better this year blows us away! We had 9 different events and over $1,000 in prizes to give away! We love how our community comes together to celebrate babywearing and help spread the joy of keeping our kids close enough to kiss.

The International Babywearing Week logo is a navy blue circle containing a drawn image of a baby in a brightly striped sling with just the baby’s head in view. The words ‘best seat in the house’ are overlaid in white on top of the striped sling. Outside of the navy blue circle on the top of the logo read the words: ‘International Babywearing Week 2016’.

We would like to start by thanking all the businesses that donated so many amazing items so that we could give away prizes to make IBW even more exciting!

If you won a prize from them or hope to see their products at future giveaways please be sure to stop by their pages and tell them THANKS <3

Another BIG thanks goes to all the volunteers who have been planning all these fun events for months, spending countless hours of time and work to make sure we could line up an entire week of fun for everyone in our community. Be sure to thank a volunteer at your next event 🙂

THANK YOU!

Now let’s recap all the fun we had!!

Zoo Day

International Babywearing Week started off on a rainy day but the weather stayed nice just long enough for our group to fully enjoy the zoo with our little ones. Zoo trips are always fun and I’m glad that the weather didn’t scare off the small group who came to kick off IBW with us. We saw peacocks roaming the zoo freely, petted stingrays, got up close to tigers and laughed at the walruses all while (mostly) wearing our kiddos. The great thing about babywearing while at the zoo is that we can give our kids an up high look at all the animals but still let them down to explore as well.

Blonde toddler in a pink rain jacket standing in front of a big fish tank

Blonde toddler in a pink rain jacket standing in front of a big fish tank

Tiger getting up close to the window to look at a preschool girl who's trying to poke the tiger's nose

Tiger getting up close to the window to look at a preschool girl who’s trying to poke the tiger’s nose

Mother standing infront of the big fish tank with her blonde toddler on her back in a handmade Buckle-Bu carrier

Krysta standing in front of the big fish tank with her toddler on her back in a handmade Buckle-Bu carrier

 

 

Group photo of 5 babywearing moms with all their babies in carriers

Group photo of 5 babywearing moms with all their babies in carriers

 

Babywearing Photoshoot

Ashley Renee Photography (https://www.facebook.com/ashleyreneephotog/?fref=ts) has been working with BWI of KP for 4 years now to provide our group with amazing pictures and help fundraise for more babywearing resources. And its no surprise that this year she captured some great moments again. We look forward to continuing our work with Ashley and having these yearly IBW picture to cherish forever

(Pictures coming soon!)

 

BINGO!

This was the first time our group held a bingo night and we loved it! We had a full room of players and the cutest Bingo Callers ever. Some people were even prepared with their own bingo daubers. We are already thinking of when we can host another bingo night, be sure to bring your good luck charms with you!

VBE Samantha helps her son and friend to call out bingo numbers

VBE Samantha helps her son and friend to call out bingo numbers

A room full of players hoping their bingo card is the winner.

A room full of players hoping their bingo card is the winner.

These two players came prepaired with their own bingo daubers. Image of two women smiling while playing bingo, one wearing her baby on her front in a soft structured carrier.

These two players came prepared with their own bingo daubers. Image of two women smiling while playing bingo, one wearing her baby on her front in a soft structured carrier.

 

BWI of KP North Meeting/Babywearing Costume Contest

We loved seeing all the costumes that came to our North Meeting. Even our volunteers joined in on the fun and dressed up the demo dolls we always have available at our meetings. Try to guess which are the real babies and which are dolls 😛 We hope to see more babywearing costumes at our South Meeting (https://www.facebook.com/events/195940240841069/)

A group from our north meeting dressed up for the costume contest. Small boy dressed as a zombie soccer player, small girl dressed as Ana from the movie Frozen, VBE Haylee dressed as a rescued cat with her demo doll dressed as a firefighter, Kristina dressed baby as Dipping Dots Ice Cream, ABE Tamara dressed as a witch with a toddler demo doll dressed as a black cat on her back, VBE Samantha with her small demo doll dressed up as a bag of popcorn, Sandi dressed in pajamas with her toddler dressed as a doll, CSV Mandy dressed as a parrot with her toddler on her baby dressed as a baby parrot

 

Babywearing Flash Tattoos

This event was even better than last year. We had 4 artists from 11am – 11pm and a total of 28 tattoos! So many great babywearing, nursing and parent tattoo options were available ranging in price from $20 – $160. All the tattoos came out looking beautiful and I got to hold so many babies while their parent(s) got new ink. We can’t wait until next year! Be sure to stop by The Clinic Tattoo and leave them a review/thank them for all their work https://www.facebook.com/TheClinicTattoo/?fref=ts

Babywearing Tattoos Collage 2

Three collages of babywearing and parent tattoos. Some of the designs include dad babwearing, breastfeeding mermaids, fairies, Rosie the Riveter inspired and water colors.

Babywearing Tattoos Collage 3 Babywearing Tattoos Collage 1

 

Creek House Farm Pumpkin Patch

We had such a great time at Creek House Farms Pumpkin Patch! They had so much to do – farm animals to feed, a playground for the kiddos, slingshot water balloons, hay bale rides, and of course TWO awesome pumpkin patches! We picked out an awesome carving pumpkin, a Cinderella pumpkin for drawing on and a decorative sweet dumpling. The kids loved walking through the patch to pick out fresh pumpkins still on the vine followed by expending energy on the playground – and us parents loved the nap that followed! Looking forward to next year!

 

Two women standing in front of a pig pen at the farm with babies on their front in carriers

Two women standing in front of a pig pen at the farm with babies on their front in carriers

Three kids enjoying the playground at the farm

Three kids enjoying the playground at the farm

Group photo of 7 caregivers with their kids, most up in baby carriers, while standing in front of a giant inflatable stack of pumpkins

Group photo of 7 caregivers with their kids, most up in baby carriers, while standing in front of a giant inflatable stack of pumpkins

 

Park Clean Ups

This year’s IBW park clean-ups were a great success! We first visited Sehmel park and ended up trimming the trails, picking up garbage, and having a great time with snacks at the playground afterwards. Our second park clean-up was at Poulsbo Fish Park. Although the group was smaller in size than the first park clean-up, it was just as big in heart and nature stewardship. We picked up trash, enjoyed our time together babywearing in the outdoors, and found some Kitsap Rocks! All in all, the company was great, new friends were made, and the parks were both very grateful for our service.

Image of volunteers and children helping pick up the trail

Image of volunteers and children helping pick up the trail

Image of 5 volunteers and their children, some in baby carriers, showing off all the trash they helped clean up in front of the fish statue

Image of 5 volunteers and their children, some in baby carriers, showing off all the trash they helped clean up in front of the fish statue

 

Art Night with #CraftWithAnna

We always have a blast with #CraftWithAnna! This was our second class with her and we got to paint babywearing self portraits. She is an amazing instructor who helps you get in touch with your artistic side, even if you didn’t think you had one. Every time we walk out with beautiful personalized works of art.

Brunette mother wearing her small baby in a purple ring sling surrounded by red and teal paint with swirls

Brunette mother wearing her small baby in a purple ring sling surrounded by red and teal paint with swirls

Teal and Purple haired mother with her baby wrapped in a pink carrier

Teal and Purple haired mother with her baby wrapped in a pink carrier

Brunette mother and baby painted in a red sling with a blue circle saying "I will carry you always"

Brunette mother and baby painted in a red sling with a blue circle saying “I will carry you always”

7 members and volunteers showing off their works of babywearing art.

7 members and volunteers showing off their works of babywearing art.

 

Scavenger Hunt

Of course the weekly scavenger hunt is now a yearly tradition 🙂 It is so much fun to see everyone capture these moments during International Babywearing Week and share them with us for their chance to win a grand prize! This year’s grand prize was a Lenny Lamb Wrap Tai in Luna from Blossom Baby, who just celebrated their 1 year birthday during IBW. https://www.facebook.com/BlossomBabyNW/?fref=ts

Sandi wearing a BWI of KP t-shirt while posing with her daughter on her back in a carrier in front of an inflatable pumpkin

Sandi wearing a BWI of KP t-shirt while posing with her daughter on her back in a carrier in front of an inflatable pumpkin

Danielle with her baby in a rainbow ring sling out in nature

Danielle with her baby in a rainbow ring sling out in nature

Group of 3 Babywearing friends posing together

Group of 3 Babywearing friends posing together

CSV Heather and VBE Haylee posing for the scavenger hunt

CSV Heather and VBE Haylee posing for the scavenger hunt

 

 

WHAT A WEEK! We got to meet new friends, win some extraordinary prizes and spread the fun and joy of babywearing. We are already thinking of ways to improve next year and bring even more excitement to IBW. If you would like to help, please fill out this survey to let us know what you thought of IBW 2016. https://goo.gl/forms/uuw1uiWQw9lIvnfE2

Thank you again to everyone who donated prizes, to all our volunteers and to everyone who came out to celebrate with us! Visit https://www.facebook.com/bwikitsap/events/ and subscribe so you’ll be notified every time we add more fun events. You won’t want to miss what we have planned for the rest of the year 🙂

 

IBW 2016 is almost here!

Leaves are falling all around, time we were on our way….to International Babywearing Week! As the leave are changing colors, our older kiddos are back in school and the delicious pumpkin spice has crept into everything, we come together to celebrate and promote the incredible practice that is babywearing.

International Babywearing Week is a week-long opportunity to celebrate, promote, advocate for and focus media attention on the many benefits of babywearing. We get to come together and celebrate with babywearing groups from all over the world. The theme for this year’s celebration is: Best Seat in the House #BestseatIBW2016

ibw2016graphic

Instagram: intlbabywearingweek
Twitter: IntlBabywearingWeek
Pinterest: BabywearingWeek

Each day from October 5-11th BWI of Kitsap Peninsula will host an event in our community to get together and spread the joy of babywearing. Not only will there be fun filled activities with all our babywearing friends but each day we will also have some amazing prizes! Each of our amazing volunteers have donated some prizes as well as some awesome local businesses. You can look forward to prizes including:

Waterproof Blanket
Donated by: Poppiez Love
www.poppiezlove.etsy.com

Hair bow
Donated By: Clarity & Co
https://www.facebook.com/claritynco/?hc_location=ufi

$25 gift card
Donated By: A Good Yarn Shop
www.agoodyarnshop.com

Custom T-shirt
Donated By: Under The Sun
https://www.facebook.com/underthesundesigns/?hc_location=ufi

Kids Halloween Goodie Bundle
Donated By: Stephen and Stevie Mackenzie

Headbands and Wallet
Donated By: Amber Carter
http://www.etsy.com/shop/hideandchicseattle

14423845_10100982884793183_1532966589_o

Rainbow Babywearing Hoop Art
Donated By: Tamara Younger

Free Membership
Donated By: BWI of KP
http://www.bwikitsap.org/

Surprise Item
Donated By: Angie Hotz
http://www.angiebeehotz.com/

Luna Baby Size Wrap Tai
Donated By: Blossom Baby
https://www.facebook.com/BlossomBabyNW

Surprise Item
Donated By: Nola Baby
https://www.facebook.com/nolababyco

10 Punch Card
Donated By: Ahoy Kitsap
https://www.facebook.com/playkitsap

5 Punch Card
Donated By: Ahoy Kitsap
https://www.facebook.com/playkitsap

Surprise Item
Donated By: Ahoy Kitsap
https://www.facebook.com/playkitsap

Surprise Item
Donated By: Holly Englehart

Rainbow Babywearing Shadow Box
Donated By: Alicia Young
mk.aliciayoung@yahoo.com

14359883_10155256619203275_1997210425_o

Blanket
Donated By: Scoonces Snuggletime
https://www.facebook.com/ScooncesSnuggletime

Squishiloones Pants
Donated By: Lacie Ferris

Cleaning Services
Donated By: Brittany LeCryer
https://www.facebook.com/HoneyImHomeCleaningServices

Cleaning Services
Donated By: Brittany LeCryer
https://www.facebook.com/HoneyImHomeCleaningServices

Hair Bows
Donated By: Carry Om Handwovens
https://www.facebook.com/Carry-Om-Handwovens-643657869097585/

IBW Mug
Donated By: Andria Head

Decals
Donated By: Chelsea Greywolff

$25 Gift Card
Donated By: Lee Pearson
https://www.mythirtyone.com/531367

ZAQ diffuser
Donated By: Jen-Herban Family

Wrap Scrap Necklace and Key Fob
Donated By: Kaleena Anderson

Unicorn Carrier Costume
CuddleRoo
http://cuddleroo.com

$50 Gift Certificate
Donated By: Andria Head
https://www.facebook.com/PoofyAndria

Skin Care Items
Donated By: ConSele Products
https://www.facebook.com/conseleproducts

Lipsense Collection
Donated By: Jessica Guzikowski
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1654558028195169

$25 Gift Card Lularoe
Donated By: Jessica Guzikowski
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lularoejessicaguzikowski

14467133_10100982885681403_439929412_o

If you haven’t already, check out all the wonderful companies that made donations to us this year, and products they sell!

How do you get a chance to win one of these prizes? Simply show up and have a great time! That’s right folks, just showing up gets you a ticket and a chance at winning one of these awesome prizes! If you wear a Babywearing International of Kitsap Peninsula shirt to any event you also earn a second raffle ticket! It’s so easy!

Scavenger Hunt
Along with daily in person events we will also be running a week long picture scavenger hunt that will earn you tickets and chances at our fantastic grand prize: Luna Baby Size Wrap Tai!

14455998_10100982902981733_694554844_o

The scavenger hunt lists many babywearing photo opportunities so there are plenty of chances to enter to win. You can tag us on Instagram @bwi_kitsap or post your photos on a designated Scavenger Hunt thread in our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/bwikitsap/.

We will post the Scavenger Hunt list on October 5th, the beginning of International Babywearing Week.

Now let’s tell you all about our exciting daily activities!

updated928

Wednesday Oct 5th

ZOO DAY 10AM-12PM
Join us at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma at 10am. This has always been a popular event during past years and we are super excited to visit again to kick off International Babywearing Week. So grab your favorite carrier (animal print or not) and let’s get wild!

https://www.facebook.com/events/996015310521076/

Thursday Oct 6th

Photo Mini Session 11AM-5PM
Join us for our annual BWI Mini Session fundraiser! Sessions cost a $40 donation (portion of the proceeds going to BWI of KP) and include 5 finished photos digitally delivered for download. Sessions do not have to be strictly Babywearing, you can also do family, kids, pets, breastfeeding, maternity, cloth diapers or any other style of photos you’d like to use your mini session for

To book:
1. send your $40 donation through paypal to: kitsap@babywearinginternational.org
2. Message Ashley Renee or Tamara Younger with proof of payment (screenshot) and preferred time slots. Please choose two preferred available slot times, as spots fill quickly. Multiple slots may be purchased, but slots are filled on first paid first served basis.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1660792374234070/

Friday Oct 7th

Bingo Night 6PM-8PM
Join us for a night of fun and prizes! Bingo with BWI of KP. Don’t forget your good luck charms at home 😉

Bingo Cards will be $2 each, cash or card at the event. Wear your BWI of KP shirt and earn a free card.

Players must be 18+ years old, but everyone is welcome to attend. New cards must be purchased each round. LOTS OF PRIZES

Feel free to bring and share your fav snack foods as well!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1142495129172559/

Saturday Oct 8th
We have two opportunities to participate today!

North Meeting 10AM-12PM
Special IBW Celebration! Wear a Babywearing Costume and be entered to win a prize!!!

14467115_10154095631552893_1015980486_o-png

https://www.facebook.com/events/1191092364273579/

Tattoo Flash 11AM-9PM
The Clinic Tattoo in Bremerton is hosting a Babywearing Tattoo Flash event. There will be lots of beautiful babywearing designs available so you can find one that best suits your style. Prices starting at just $20 and we will show off the Flash Sheets soon!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1793613744242452/

Sunday Oct 9th

Pumpkin Patch 10AM-12PM

Creek House Farms is the perfect Pumpkin Patch to enjoy with our little ones! Pumpkins, kid friendly activities, hay rides and a petting zoo!

https://www.facebook.com/events/102386053560773/

Monday Oct 10th
We have two park clean up events you can participate in today! Let’s all get together to make some of our favorite locations the best they can be. We will meet up at the park and work as a team to help pick up any litter that has been left behind. Our group volunteer leaders for each location will have garbage bags and gloves available.

Park Clean Up: Gig Harbor 10AM-12PM

https://www.facebook.com/events/1087245751312628/

Park Clean Up: Poulsbo 5PM-6PM

https://www.facebook.com/events/1051882908244119/

Tuesday Oct 11th

Art Class 6:30PM-8:30PM
Join BWI of KP for a fun night of painting and great company.

Anna Bradshaw, owner of #CraftWithAnna, will be teaching us how to make our own personalized babywearing art to take home. Art supplies will be provided, all you need to do is show up and have a great time!

Worn infants and young toddlers welcome (if you want to bring them ) we will have a small circle hate as well.

Cost is $15 per person, please send payment to KITSAP@BABYWEARINGINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Tips and Donations will also be greatly appreciated at the event

https://www.facebook.com/events/1106601726042323/

 

We are so very excited to see you all and celebrate International Babywearing Week this year!  Please join us in the festivities and help us bring attention to and promote the practice of baby wearing in the Kitsap Peninsula!

Monthly Meeting-September South

Tuesday Sept 27tth 1:30PM-4PM

First Christian Church of Port Orchard

Monthly Meetings are always free and open to the public for anyone interested in learning about babywearing. We have demos and explanations about the basic types of carriers, general how-to and safety, offer one-on-one assistance, and provide a place of community for babywearers to come together. All skill levels are welcome! Please bring your own carriers if you would like help, or to share with the group. The monthly meeting is also when we open our lending library to members to check out and return carriers.

If you are returning a carrier to the lending library, please be on time and turn it in at the beginning of the meeting. Thanks!

*If you love our meetings and would like to see them continue please think about donating $1 at the welcome table. We appreciate every donation and thank you guys for helping keep our group running!

Monthly Meeting- September North

Saturday, September 10th 10AM-1PM

Gilberton Community Club  8050 Ilahee Rd NE Bremerton, WA 98311

** NOTE THE NEW LOCATION!! ❤️ **

Monthly Meetings are always free and open to the public for anyone interested in learning about babywearing. We have demos and explanations about the basic types of carriers, general how-to and safety, offer one-on-one assistance, and provide a place of community for babywearers to come together. All skill levels are welcome! Please bring your own carriers if you would like help, or to share with the group. The monthly meeting is also when we open our lending library to members to check out and return carriers.

If you are returning a carrier to the lending library, please be on time and turn it in at the beginning of the meeting. Thanks!

*If you love our meetings and would like to see them continue please think about donating $1 at the welcome table, to help pay the fee for some of our locations. We appreciate every donation and thank you guys for helping keep our group running!

**If you or your children are sick, please skip this meeting and catch the next one**

Lending Library Review- Yaro Turtle Brown Size 4

Budget wraps always hold a special place in my heart. As someone who once thought she could NEVER afford a woven wrap it makes me glad that the market for budget wraps has increased so exponentially. When I started wearing, which wasn’t even that long ago, your only real option were Storchenwiege’s, Lenny Lamb’s and Little Frog’s. Today the economical babywearer has a multitude of brands to choose from, and they range from cutesy to classy.

Our lending library’s Yaro Turtle is a perfect budget friendly wrap. Retailing at $75 for a size 6, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Te wrap is 100% cotton, it’s thin and airy, with just a little texture to give it a little grip. I also really love the neutral color, you can wear it with jeans (or yoga pants, who am I kidding, I don’t wear jeans), or a little back dress (which I also don’t wear, ha!).

To test out the wrap I decided to try a FWCC tied under bum, and a kangaroo carry with my 12lb.  8 week old. And to see how it held up against the might of a toddler, I bribed my 30lb, 2 1\2 year old into a rucksack, and a shepherds carry.

For my 8 week old I really appreciated the softness. While I wouldn’t describe it as “blankety”, or “kitten belly soft”, I also wouldn’t describe it as burlap-y. I happened to be the first one to play with this when it first joined our library, and it was pretty soft on arrival, and has softened further with regular checkouts.

For my FWCCtub, the wrap was easily tightened, and I appreciated the texture and slight grip for this carry in particular. I find with FWCCtub that if the wrap is too slick that the knot can be difficult to secure without baby being able to pop their seat. That was not a problem at all with this wrap

With Kangaroo carry I appreciated the wraps two different sides. The wrap is a bit plain looking compared to some of the more Lisa Frank inspired wraps,, and it adds a bit of interest to show off both the right and wrong side of the wrap. It’s also a really helpful learning tool with this carry, since when you do the shoulder flip it can be easy to get twisted or grab the wrong rail and not notice. But with the two opposing sides its obvious when you’re on the wrong track.

For my rucksack carry with my 2 1\2 year old, the wrap did get a bit diggy, and I had her up for less than ten minutes. There really isn’t much cush in this wrap, which is a bit of a compromise. I did really appreciate the thinness. It was over 75°F the day I wrapped her, and temperature wise I didn’t really notice that I had a huge, sweaty, toddler on my back.

Sheperds Carry is one of my favorites. With this carry we were able to counteract some of the digginess we encountered with the ruck, by spreading the shoulders out a bit. And the second pass helped enormously with bearing her weight. And again, the thin, airiness of the wrap came in handy we weren’t hot at all even with the second pass.

img_20160407_194622624 img_20160407_201744448 img_20160411_105246102

Hike It Baby meets BWI

On May 6th BWI-Kitsap VBE’s joined forces with Melissa of Hike it Baby Kitsap. Hike it baby is a free group for families to organize hikes with other local families. BWI was asked to join a hike and be there to help Hike it Baby members out with baby carriers.
It was a beautiful day at Evergreen Park in Bremerton. Once the whole group arrived, We were able to do an introduction, and give one on one baby wearing help to those who needed it. Once we began our hike the kids got to lead the way around a loop ending at the playground. When the hike ended, VBE’s Nicole, Samantha, Jen, and Haylee were able to do more one on one help with baby carriers. Overall it was really fun getting out and getting active in the nice spring weather with the community.
IMG_20160506_105300462
FB_IMG_1462930871926
FB_IMG_1462930859981
FB_IMG_1462930844998
FB_IMG_1462930837602
IMG_20160506_115236290

Lending Library Carrier Spotlight – Natibaby Donny Rockstar

Donny Rockstar – Natibaby size 6

index
This amazing Natibaby linen blend wrap not only has an amazing story (for one of our own ABEs Lori nonetheless) but it has amazing versatility. I have a love/indifference relationship with wrapping, when I love it I really love it, but it has to be a wrap that I love to wrap with; it has to mold well, flop around, and have support. Donny definitely fits my needs as a wrap, my toddler felt weightless and it held up for my 5-year-old as well, bribery may have been involved for that though. It’s a sentimental wrap, as it is made in honor of Lori’s brother who passed away after battling kidney disease and having a transplant, Natibaby donated proceeds in his honor to Make A Wish. These things are completely amazing, and hit home for me as my son passed away after a heart transplant, before he was old enough to make his wish. I was so honored to wrap my princess up in this amazing wrap. I tried a few carries with it, it’s longer than necessary for unpoppable and half Jordan without flip with a toddler, but still amazing to wrap with and I got no complaints from my silent (except when she doesn’t like something) dictator and it was perfect length for half Jordan without flip for my 5-year-old.

-Samantha Garcia, VBE

12516321_10205444892873366_2069189647_n 12788046_10205444967315227_1503327573_n 12804545_10205444967235225_968039020_n

Babywearing for Two

Babywearing for Two –  Tips and Tricks for Babywearing While Pregnant

 

Pregnancy and Babywearing can go together! Babywearing is a great tool to use to care for your littles and is something you can continue to use even while pregnant. It can help you care and meet the needs of soon to be big siblings and also be used to help some of the discomfort caused by pregnancy (belly wrapping).

 

Babywearing is considered a physical activity, so be sure to check with your medical professional that you are okay to wear your child. In most cases if you are able to carry your child in your arms then you’ll be okay to wear them. But above all listen to your body. You may find that some carriers are just not comfortable during different stages of your pregnancy or that babywearing won’t be comfortable. Do what feels right for you and follow the advice of any medical professionals who know your particular circumstances. Stop or modify your babywearing if you feel any pain or discomfort.
Why Babywearing While Pregnant can be Helpful

VBE Michelle and Nicole helping members at our workshop

VBE Michelle and Nicole helping members at our workshop

Babywearing while pregnant can help give your body a break by letting the carrier do the work to support your child. Carriers can lessen strain and be more comfortable than holding your child in your arms (especially as your belly grows bigger). Carriers can also provide additional support when your arms, hips and back could use some help.
Another perk of babywearing while pregnant is having your arms free to get other responsibilities accomplished. You’re free to work on nesting, preparing food to nourish the growing baby inside you, toting your other child(ren) to and from school/appointments/errands and treasuring these moments with your current babies before they become big siblings. It also gives you the opportunity, if you choose, to leave behind the heavy stroller instead of carrying it in and out of the house or car.
Babywearing has so many benefits for you and your child. Keeping them close to help meet their needs as well as reassuring them of your love and support as you prepare for your new baby’s arrival is so important for both of you.

 

Using Different Carriers while Pregnant

 

You may find that what was a comfortable way to wear your child before feels completely different now that you are pregnant. Luckily there are many options and tips to help find comfortable ways to babywear. You will typically find hip and back carries to be more comfortable and helpful during pregnancy.
Soft Structured Carriers

 

Member Patricia comfortably wearing a SSC at 17 weeks pregnant

Member Patricia comfortably wearing a SSC at 17 weeks pregnant

When wearing a soft structured carrier (ssc) your level of comfort usually depends on where you place the waist belt. You’ll find about a 50/50 split on how other pregnant mothers like to wear their carriers. You might also find that you like to wear the waistband one way during the beginning of your pregnancy and another way towards the end. It all depends on what is comfortable for you. One example of this would be finding the waistband more comfortable above your belly, up at your waist, from weeks 0-20 so it’s not putting any pressure during the bloating or beginning bump stages and then below your belly from weeks 20-40+ which can also help provide some hip/belly support. Just be sure you are listening to your body and what feels comfortable.

 

Mei Tai

Using a mei tai while pregnant is very similar to using a ssc. Change up the placement of the waistband depending on where you find it most comfortable. One added perk of a mei tai is being able to do a tibetan finish. For experienced wearers, try tying the waist strap up in a tibetan finish as well for a carry with no weight on your belly at all.

 

 

Ring Slings

Hip carries are easily done using a ring sling and they help position your child off your belly. Be aware that doing a hip carry with a larger child might throw off your balance/weight. Make sure to alternate sides semi frequently. For experienced wearers, there is the option of using ring slings for a back carry. In order to do this carry, a person should know how to neatly thread the sling, strand by strand tighten, approximate the size of the pouch, and make a nice deep seat for the toddler.

 

Woven Wraps

No straps, knots or weight on the belly

No straps, knots or weight on the belly

Many women love woven wraps the best when it comes to babywearing while pregnant because of how versatile, comfortable and moldable the fabric is. There are a ton of different carries to do with a wrap, including many that tie at the shoulder or chest and leave no weight or knots on the belly at all. Here is a small list of different carries you could try:

Christina’s Ruckless:

Half Jordan’s Back Carry with CCCB:

Ruck Tied Tibetan:

Member Miranda showing off a Ruck tied Tibetan

Member Miranda showing off a Ruck Tied Tibetan at 28 weeks pregnant

 

Belly Wrapping and More

 

Carriers aren’t just helpful for supporting babies. Woven wraps and ring slings can be used to:

  • Increase your comfort during pregnancy
  • Help turn a breech baby head down
  • Ideally position a baby for ease of birthing
  • Ease the pain of contractions or back labor
  • Support you in the ideal squatting birth position
  • Provide leverage for pushing
  • Assist in regaining your pre-pregnancy health, fitness and shape by using as a belly band

Here is a great article by Wrap Your Baby that has more information on using wraps during and after labor http://wrapyourbaby.com/blog/2013/03/using-a-wrap-for-labor-and-birth/

 

Greenberries Co Blog showing how a woven wrap can be used for hip support

Here is a great article by Wrap Your Baby that gives information about using wraps during and after labor: http://wrapyourbaby.com/blog/2013/03/using-a-wrap-for-labor-and-birth/

 

Belly Wrapping with a Ring Sling:

VBE Michelle using a ring sling to help support her belly at 40 weeks pregnant

VBE Michelle using a ring sling to help support her belly at 40 weeks pregnant

Belly Wrapping with a Woven Wrap

Greenberries Co Blog showing how to use a woven wrap for belly support

Belly Wrapping for Separated Abs with a Woven

 

There are many benefits to babywearing while pregnant but above all make sure to always listen to your body. If something isn’t comfortable, try a different carrier or way of carrying your child. If that still doesn’t work, it is okay to not wear your child during part or all of your pregnancy. It’s most important to find what works best to take care of you, your new baby and your older child(ren). If that means getting your cuddle time on the couch instead of in a carrier that’s okay. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to use all those carriers soon enough!

Caring for your Carriers

Caring for Your Carriers

Along with safety and techniques for using your carrier, knowing how to properly wash and care for all your baby carriers is important. Whether you received a carrier brand new from the manufacturer or second hand from a buy/sell/trade site, washing your carrier when you get it is always good practice.

In this blog we will be going over:

  • Laundry symbols
  • General guidelines for different fiber care
  • Safe detergents and stain removers
  • How to wash other types of carriers
  • Breaking in carriers
  • Folding and storing
  • Fixing flaws

 

Laundry Symbols

 

All carriers will come with care tags that explain how they should be washed, dried and ironed. If you are not used to reading laundry care symbols they might seem confusing. Here is a chart that shows many of the symbols that you might come across:

Print

These symbols will be able to tell you exactly how your specific baby carrier should be washed. When in doubt always refer back to these instructions.

 

General Guidelines for Different Fiber Care

 

In case your carrier didn’t come with a tag or you just need a general guideline for how to care for different fibers, here is a chart showing many different popular fibers:

Fiber CareWash IntructionsDry InstructionsIroningSpecial Notes
CottonCold or warm on normal or gentle cycle, low spin

Line dry or tumble dry low
Steam iron on cotton setting
Can be prone to some shrinking
LinenCold or warm on normal or gentle cycle, low spin (especially important as linen can be prone to shifting)
Line dry or tumble dry low
Steam iron when not completely dry.
Prone to perma-creasing, which ironing can help prevent. Not usually prone to much shrinking.
HempWarm or hot temperature on normal or gentle cycle.
Tumble dry low or medium
(hemp softens with heat but high heat could cause shrinkage)
Steam iron


Prone to shrinking
TencelInitial wash with warm water, subsequent washes in cold water on gentle cycle, no spin
Air dry or tumble dry low.
Iron on wool setting, warm. Some tencel has been known to get pilly but that is just a habit of the fiber.
WoolLukewarm water and hand wash only
Air dry flat
Iron on wool setting with steamUse only wool wash.
Sudden temperature changes can cause felting
Wool is very delicate while wet, never wring out or spin in washer.
SilkLukewarm water (hot water shrinks the silk and cold water reduces the luster of the fibers) Hand wash or use hand wash cycle, no spin
Hang dry out of direct sunlight (which can cause discoloration)Low heat, no steam. Do not spray with water while ironing.
Use only detergents for delicates/silk/wool
BambooCold temperature.
Bamboo viscose is handwash only while natural bamboo can be washed on gentle cycle.
Air dry flat, bamboo can shrink more than other fibers
Iron on low or medium temperatures.
Never be washed for longer than 40 minutes.
Use only detergents for delicates/silk/wool

Note: Whenever you are washing a carrier that has a blend of fibers you always want to wash according to the most delicate fiber.

 

Safe Detergents and Stain Removers

 

Look for liquid detergents free of optical brighteners and softeners. Wool and silk wraps are protein fibers and will require a special enzyme free detergent meant for delicates.

 

Liquid detergents are recommended for washing carriers because most powder detergents contain fillers that do not dissolve completely. These particles can get trapped in hollow fibers (such as linen and hemp) as they swell in the wash. Once dry, the fibers shrink again but the solid filler particles do not and can damage the wrap from inside out.

 

The reason we try to avoid optical brighteners is because they include a variety of chemicals, some of which have been shown to irritate skin allergies for some people.  In woven wraps they cause spotty discoloration, usually bleach-like or marbling, and/or a bluish-green hue.

 

We also try to avoid fabric softeners. Fabric softeners work by coating the fibers. This leaves behind a residue that can build up over time and damage the fibers. It can also cause the wrap to be slippery. Dryer sheets work in a similar fashion and leave behind a residue. Dryer balls are a great wrap safe alternative. As a bonus, dryer balls tumbling around with a wrap can help with the breaking in process!

 

Here is a list of detergents that are recommended for washing baby carriers:

 

  • All Free & Clear from Military Commissary ONLY (will have dog tags and say optical brightener free). All Free & Clear purchased elsewhere will contain optical brighteners and not be suitable for woven wraps.
  • Allens Naturally Laundry Detergent Liquid
  • Attitude
  • BabyGanics Loads of Love 3X*
  • Bio-Kleen Laundry Liquid
  • Bio-Vert
  • Charlie’s Soap Liquid
  • Citra Suds Liquid 2x
  • Country Save Liquid
  • Dapple Baby Liquid Detergent*
  • Eco-Max Liquid
  • Ecos Free & Clear
  • Ecover Liquid
  • Green Works*
  • Honest Company liquid detergent
  • Mountain Green
  • Mrs. Meyer’s detergents*
  • Planet
  • Seventh Generation*
  • Soap Nuts
  • Sport-Wash
  • Thirsties Super Wash*
  • Vaska
  • Wonderwash
  • Ecover Delicate
  • Eucalan
  • Kookaburra
  • Unicorn Fibre Wash

*contains enzymes– not recommended for washing silk or wool.

 

When it comes to stains the best advice is to not let the stain dry before you can treat it. If necessary add water to keep it wet. Most of the time a normal wash will do the trick but realistically there will be times when a stain slips by our watchful eye and won’t be spotted until after it’s been washed and dried. Some products you can use to spot treat stains are:

 

  • Dish soap (Some contain enzymes and can be harsh on fibers if using long term)
  • Buncha Farmers Stain Stick
  • Rubbing alcohol for ink stains
  • Hydrogen peroxide for organic stains
  • Sunlight

 

Taking good care of a wrap and preserving its lifespan will help with future resale of the wrap. It is well worth the investment to use products to help keep your carriers in the best condition.

 

How to Wash Other Types of Carriers

 

Washing carriers with straps, rings and buckles can seem intimidating at first but a few tricks will help make washing easy and stress free.

 

Soft Structured Carriers: Loosen all the webbing and make sure all the buckles are connected. Place the entire carrier inside a pillowcase or net laundry bag and then wash according to manufacturer recommendation. Placing the carrier in a pillowcase helps prevent the straps from getting tangled up and keeps the buckles from banging against the inside of the washer.

Mei Tai: Wash the same as you would a soft structured carrier by placing the carrier inside a pillowcase or net laundry bag to help the prevent the straps from getting tangled up. Wash according to fiber content and manufacturer recommendation.

 

Ring Sling: Unthread the rings and use a pair of socks to slip over the rings to help keep them from banging around inside the washer.

 

How to Break in Your Baby Carrier

 

The biggest thing that will help break in any type of carrier is constant use. The more you use/wear a carrier the softer it will become. Some added tips on how to break in carriers are:

 

  • Sitting on them
  • Sleeping on them
  • Letting kids play with them

Braiding wraps and slings

Using sling rings for wraps and ring slings

Running wrap through a knot

Pretty much any activity that engages and helps break down the fibers so that they soften up.

Here is a link to our periscope broadcast with all the above information we talked about:

http://katch.me/bwi_kitsap/v/71dea657-68a4-3cda-972d-7b677871bab7
Folding and Storing

We all love having a beautiful stash shot to share and keeping your carriers organized and stored nicely will help extend the lifespan of the carriers, as well as prevent perma-creasing in some fibers.

Wraps can be folded or rolled up
Ring slings work great on coat racks

Soft structured carriers and mei tais can be rolled up and clipped/tied closed for easy storage.

 

This video shows our periscope broadcast of how we folded various types of carriers:

http://katch.me/bwi_kitsap/v/656b6512-3b33-397e-8df6-0d748e4c04ac

 

Here are some additional videos to help show you ways to fold each of your carriers:

 

Double sided fold for woven wraps:


Ring Sling:

Soft Structured Carrier:

Mei Tai:

 

Fixing Flaws

 

Sometimes just from normal wearing you’ll come across a flaw that will need to be fixed.

With woven wraps you can come across “pulls”. A pull is when thread(s) have snagged on something and can get pulled out from the rest of the weave. They look like small loops sticking out from the rest of the fabric. Most tend to be small but sometimes they can be long and take quite a bit of time to work back into the wrap.

How to fix a pull:

 

Sometimes the pulls turn into broken threads if they aren’t fixed right away. A few broken threads alone do not make a wrap unsafe but they are something that will need to be fixed to make sure the broken threads don’t turn into holes in the wrap.

How to fix a broken thread:

 

With any buckle type carrier sometimes the buckles can become flipped backwards on the webbing. Some carriers are designed so that the buckles have the ability to easily be flipped around for different ways to wear the carrier. But for brands that aren’t made with that function, flipping the buckle can be a struggle.

Here is a video that helps show how to easily flip the buckle without having to unthread the webbing (shown with a car seat belt buckle but the same method applies):

 

Here is our Periscope Broadcast going over all of these issues:

http://katch.me/bwi_kitsap/v/fd51777e-8a6a-3038-9242-0289e65f0968

 

We hope this information will help you the next time you need to wash and care for your carriers. Happy babywearing!

Baby Got Back

Baby Got Back – Tips and techniques to help get baby onto your back for babywearing

VBE LoriVBE Lori and VBE Tamara showing off some back carries in Daiesu tester wraps.

VBE Lori and VBE Tamara showing off some back carries in Daiesu tester wraps.

It’s an exciting milestone to reach in your babywearing time. Your babe is finally ready for some back carries! So let’s get that baby on back. 🙂

Our stance on back carries as Babywearing International is to wait until the wearer has sufficient practice in front carries and the babies are able to sit up completely unassisted. We recommend this because at this stage it insures that the child has enough core strength to prevent unwanted sagging down into the carrier. We want to always monitor when we are back carrying to make sure that the child isn’t slumped down into the carrier and their airway is always open. Just like with front carries we want to make sure the carrier is fully supporting their body in a nice seated squat position.

Back carries with younger babies can be done safely in woven wraps and some mei tais, but it is considered a highly skilled carry and caregivers need to use their best judgement. Back carries with newborns can be tricky to even well experienced wearers. Also given feeding frequency and the need to constantly monitor positioning, front carries are usually the best option for a newborn.

When first practicing back carries, make sure you are working in a comfortable environment. Practicing near a couch or the edge of a bed and making sure baby’s needs are cared for before attempting the carry are good rules of thumb. A happy, well fed baby with a clean diaper always makes trying a new carrier a little bit easier. 🙂 If you still feel unsure, ask someone to spot you. Coming to one of our monthly meetings is always a great resource for getting help.

 

VBE Nicole helping CSV Kaleena work on getting her baby on her back in a woven wrap.

VBE Nicole helping CSV Kaleena work on getting her baby on her back in a woven wrap.

There are several ways to get a baby onto your back. The three most well known ways are the Santa Toss, Superman and Hip Scoot.

Santa Toss:

Superman:

*you want to make sure you are grabbing as close to their body as possible and not down on their arms to prevent strain on their shoulders/elbows*

Hip Scoot:

There are also different variations and personal preferences when it comes to getting baby on back, but each way you want to make sure that you are supporting baby.

With soft structured carriers (SSC) you can also try the “Walk like an Egyptian” method:

VBE Tamara demonstrating how to get baby down deep into the carrier. Her two and a half year old daughter is still securely supported in a standard Tula.

VBE Tamara demonstrating how to get baby down deep into the carrier. Her two and a half year old daughter is still securely supported in a standard Tula.

Once baby is on your back you will want to make sure you get a good secure seat and carry.

For mei tais and soft structured carriers getting a good seat involves making sure that the child is deep in the carrier. You also want to make sure the top of the panel comes up to provide ideal body support. This video helps give some tips to make sure you get a deep seat:

Sometimes people feel unsure if the carrier they are using is big enough for back carries but it could just be an issue with making sure they are all the way down into the carrier.

 

With woven wraps you will want to make sure you are creating a good supportive seat as well as a secure carry. This video helps give tips on how to make a deep seat and tighten the wrap to make the carry secure as well as supportive:

VBE Nicole showing a Shepherd's Back Carry while VBE Desiree helps member Stephanie with her SSC in the background.

VBE Nicole showing a Shepherd’s Back Carry while VBE Desiree helps member Stephanie with her SSC in the background.

Now that you’ve gotten baby up and rocked the back carry for a bit (maybe even did some multitasking other than taking a bunch of selfies #totallyguilty), now it’s time to get baby down. Always making sure to support baby still with the carrier, you can hip scoot them back around to front. You can also carefully ease them back onto a chair or bed.

Backwards Hip Scoot:

Member Sydney showing off a ruck carry

Member Sydney showing off a ruck carry

CSV Kalenna has her toddler all comfy on her back

CSV Kalenna has her toddler all comfy on her back

As with all new carries, practice makes perfect. Before you know it you’ll be able to get baby up onto your back with ease!