October: International Babywearing Week!

COLUMBIA – Babywearing International of Columbia invites the public to celebrate International Babywearing Week, Wednesday, Oct. 5 through Monday, Oct. 10 with many fun, free and cheap events and activities.

 

  • Babywearing yoga – Kick off the week with a relaxing, free yoga session with your baby on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m. at The Harvest Church, 4865 Sunset Blvd., Lexington.
  • Wednesday fundraising dinner – Join other babywearing friends and socialize over dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 5 to 8 p.m. at Moe’s Southwest Grill, 2217 Augusta Rd., West Columbia. Hang out with old and new friends, and 10 percent of all profits that night will benefit Babywearing International of Columbia.
  • Playdate at the park – Bring the kiddos and a picnic lunch to play and socialize on Thursday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Heathwood Park, 800 Abelia Rd., Columbia.
  • First Friday babywearing meeting – Learn all about babywearing or just come to hang out with friends at this monthly meeting on Friday, Oct. 7, 10:30 a.m. at Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Ln., Columbia.
  • Menchie’s Froyo Fundraiser – In the mood for a frozen treat? Then head to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt on Friday, Oct. 7, noon to 4 p.m., 5580 Sunset Blvd., Lexington. If you mention Babywearing International of Columbia, 20 percent of sales will benefit the nonprofit organization.
  • Zoo playdate – Meet up with fellow babywearers and kids at 9 a.m. at the main entrance of Riverbanks Zoo, 500 Wildlife Pkwy, Columbia. There are some free guest passes available. To try to grab one, join the Babywearing International of Columbia Facebook page to inquire about available tickets.
  • Saturday fundraising dinner – Join other babywearing friends and socialize over dinner on Saturday, Oct. 8, 5 to 10 p.m., at Jason’s Deli, 823 Gervais St., Columbia, with 20 percent of proceeds benefitting Babywearing International of Columbia. Preregister by visiting www.groupraise.com/events/15480.
  • Playdate and potluck dinner with Babywearers of the Midlands – The two babywearing groups of the area will join together for a potluck playdate on Sunday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Irmo Community Park, 7473 Church St., Irmo.
  • Babywearing hike – Wear your baby, bring the stroller or let bigger kids walk for this Hike It Baby and Babywearing International hosted kid-friendly hike, Monday, Oct. 10, 10:30 a.m. at Timmerman Trail, right before the SCANA entrance at 220 Operation Way, Cayce off of 12th Street Extension. The hike is about 3.4 miles long and is fully paved.

 

Babywearing International of Columbia will also host online games, giveaways, an auction and more fun through its Facebook group. The goal of International Babywearing Week is to celebrate, promote, advocate for, and focus media attention on the many benefits of babywearing. There is no better way to do that than through a week-long event that focuses on education and advocacy. Through this celebration, chapters all over the world will host events to help promote and normalize babywearing. Nearly 300 groups worldwide have registered as celebrating chapters.

 

“International Babywearing Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the universal practice of babywearing,” said Wendy Sparks, Babywearing International Executive Director. “Babywearing is a unique bonding activity that is accessible to all caregivers. Many local Babywearing International Chapters use International Babywearing Week to introduce babywearing to families who may not consider this option otherwise.”

 

The theme this year, “Best Seat in the House” is a well-known English language idiom and is also a babywearing term. In a carrier, the seat is designed to support a child in a seated position. Babywearing also has the benefit of literally providing a worn child with the “Best Seat in the House.” While being carried, a child gets to experience the comfort of closeness with their caregiver and to learn about the world by being exposed to much more by being worn. The benefits of babywearing are both for the child and their caregiver. BWI has a network of chapters in the United States which provide free educational meetings and local support. Thanks to babywearing, regardless of where a child is worn they will always be in the front row with the “Best Seat in the House” for any activity or adventure.

 

Babywearing International of Columbia is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to educating parents and caregivers on babywearing. It holds five to six meetings each month, all open to the public and free to attend, in order to teach people how to wear their babies comfortably and safely. It also maintains a library of baby carriers and allow people to try them on at meetings or check them out to use at home for a full month. It averages 25 caregivers at each meeting and offers fun and exciting social and outreach events throughout the year. BWI of Columbia offers memberships for $30/year. Membership allows caregivers unlimited access to the lending library, and members-only events and benefits.

 

Learn more about Babywearing International and find a listing of chapters, by visiting www.bwiofcolumbia.org, www.babywearinginternational.org, or www.facebook.com/groups/BWIofColumbia.

R is for Ring Sling

Happy August everyone!

We are going to start something new with this newsletter and our website blog. We want to keep everyone informed and up-to-date with all of the happenings in our organization, especially what happens at our meetings.  We know that sometimes it is difficult, especially during the summer when vacations happen, to be able to attend.  This newsletter will now be updated monthly and go into detail about the topic of discussion from the previous month’s meetings.  There may be additional postings to our website blog to check out during the month as well!  We hope this will help make our community grow together in the babywearing love.

In the month of July, we discussed ring slings.  For those of you who are reading this and have never tried or even heard of ring slings, I hope I will be able to leave you with some information to get you started.  If you know all about ring slings, hopefully this will help with trouble shooting, confidence, and leave you with something more than you knew before.  (Didn’t you ever hear, “you learn something new everyday”?)

Ring slings are one of my absolute favorite carriers.  I have used one with my (almost) 19 month old since she was born.  They are wonderfully snuggly carriers for newborns and can be comfortable, if worn correctly, through toddlerhood.  They are easily adjustable between caregivers, great for quick ups and downs, my most preferred carrier for infant feeding, and infinitely customizable!  They come in a variety of shoulder styles (how the rings are sewn to the fabric), fabric colors/patterns, and fabric blends (as simple as a table cloth all the way up to woven wrap conversions).  **They may not ideal for a caregiver who has had major back surgery or abdominal surgery without clearance from a physician, including cesarean section births**

The lowdown:  Ring slings are simply a long piece of fabric attached to two rings at one end.  The fabric end without the rings is “threaded” through the rings in order to secure the carrier, instead of tying a knot like wraps.  They are worn over one shoulder with the rings at the shoulder and the pouch under the opposite arm.  It is personal preference of the wearer which shoulder the rings are on.  The child is placed into the pouch part of the sling and the fabric is pulled through the rings to tighten.  The child can be worn either tummy-to-tummy, the hip, and (with experience) can even be worn on the back!  Once the child is ready to come out of the carrier, it is simply loosened and can be left with the fabric threaded in the rings, ready to go for the next time!  Ring slings aren’t typically available for purchase in local baby stores, but are available from several online retailers.  Our library has obtained carriers from trendybabywearing.com, 5mr.com, birdiesroom.com, marsupial-mamas.com, and sleepingbaby.net.

Here are a few links to some great instructional videos!
https://youtu.be/ePFc4Izx_Ug (how to thread a ring sling by Wrapping Rachel)
https://youtu.be/VGPlG4NOZ8o (newborn ring sling by Babywearing Faith)
https://youtu.be/eWxJMXF-1Vs (nursing in a ring sling by Angelique Geehan)

This month we will be talking about carrier care, how to clean and maintain your carriers for the longest use!If you haven’t tried one yet, I encourage you to give ring slings a try at your next meeting.

August Meeting Information:
-Friday, August 5,  10:30 a.m., Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Ln, Columbia, 29210
-Tuesday, August 9, 10:30 a.m., Anglican Cathedral of the Epiphany, 2512 N. Beltine Blvd, Columbia 29204
-Saturday, August 13, 10:30 a.m., Anglican Cathedral of the Epiphany, 2512 N. Beltine Blvd, Columbia 29204
-Thursday, August 18, 10:30 a.m., The Harvest, 4865 Sunset Blvd, Lexington, 29072
-Thursday, August 25, 6:30 p.m., Babies R Us, Harbison, Blvd, Columbia, 29212

We hope to see you soon! Happy babywearing!!

 

Lindsey Giglio, VBE

lindseyringsling

Why Lending Libraries Are Important

This quarter BWI is focusing on why lending libraries are important! We recently reached out to our leaders and members to compile a list of reasons why our lending library is important to us in Columbia, SC!

cvLLmodelChapter Volunteers modeling lending library carriers.

“The lending library has been important for me because it let me test various types of carriers out before shelling out the money to buy what I really ended up wanting. It helped me play with different lengths of wraps and take a look at different types before deciding what our family needed.”

“Carriers can be very expensive, but more importantly having the ability to find the right fit for you and your kiddo is so valuable.”

“The lending library has helped me explore all types of different carriers that I didn’t even know existed. From wraps to ssc, and in between. We can try different ones before making a commitment of purchasing, which is great too!”

“The lending library has opened a whole new experiences for me and my family! I wanted to know how to baby wear and what would be best for me and my family! I’ve tried the ergo lillebaby ring sling and another I can’t remember! But one thing they’ve all help me with is keeping my baby close and safe while also being about to keep up with my daughter! And giving them both equal attention! Without the lending library I would have given up on my baby wearing journey before I even got started! So thank you so much to all the volunteers and leaders that keep this going and all the baby wearing mommas and Daddies that post on here sharing your journey! It’s very inspiring and motivational!”

“The lending library is wonderful! Without it I may have never joined the world of babywearing–at least not in the same manner I did. I was loaned a carrier and absolutely loved the feeling of wearing my son. I knew I was meant to wear my son, but looking for my first carrier was completely overwhelming for me. I literally searched all day and night for weeks but I had absolutely no idea what I was looking for. The shear number of options was too much to take in, let alone understand. I didn’t attend meetings bc I didn’t have a way to wear my baby and I felt silly just showing up. I ended up winning a mei tai which allowed me to get a set of babywearing pictures. Guess what was at that photo session? The lending library! It was amazing getting to touch so many different carriers in person. I took my pictures and left that photo session knowing that I would attend the next meeting. I learned how to wrap and I learned how to properly use a ring sling at that meeting. I tried so many carriers that day. It was bliss. I got a feel for what I liked, felt a few things I never wanted to touch again, and found something I just had to take home. Having the option to try before I made such a significant purchase helped me have complete confidence ordering my first wrap. I knew I would like it, therefore, I was willing to make the investment. Also, it’s amazing to go to a meeting with so many new faces but still have something to talk about. “Hey, have you felt that didy over there? No? Girl lets walk over there and get it. You need to try it!” If he/she has tried the carrier it’s even better. Then you get to nerd out and discuss the details. The lending library was an avenue I had to walk down to truly experience babywearing bliss!”

“I’ve gotten to use different styles of ssc’s and wraps and such. I’m working on saving up enough money to buy a kinderpack. “

“The lending library is important to me because it has allowed me to try some carrier brands I would not otherwise have had the chance to try. It is an asset, as an educator, to be able to try brands not in my own carrier collection so that I can recommend carriers that I might not necessarily own myself. For example, the kinderpack- I’ve borrowed the library kinderpack, and I love it, and I will recommend it to other caregivers who have toddlers and preschoolers who are still needing and wanting to be worn.”

“I love having access to the lending library because it’s allowed me to try things I otherwise wouldn’t have access to, and it also helped me discover whole types of carriers I would have been to intimidated to try, like woven wraps. Now I pretty much solely wrap and I find it the most comfortable and versatile way for me to carry. From different sizes to different brands or fabrics, I’ve learned so much from our library and what I like.”

“I love that our library gives the opportunity for people of all backgrounds and financial situations to have access to quality, safe carriers so they’re able to keep their babies close. Babywearing offers countless benefits for both babies and caregivers, and the library gives a lot of people access to carries they may not otherwise be able to afford. It also allows people to evolve with their babies without having to buy all the carriers.”


catbirdanatole
Anatole using the library’s Catbirdbaby mei tai.

I’d like to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who shared their story for this blog post. Thank you for spreading the lending library love!

As an educator I love our lending library! It allowed me to learn every carrier when I was becoming an educator without having to purchase my own. It continues to allow me to try new things as we add them. I like being able to try all the carriers I can to better help our caregivers we serve. I’ve tried many different wraps and blends thanks to our awesome lending library! BWI of Columbia has around 100 carriers in our lending library. We keep carriers that are relevant and easy to find. We are also always adding things and expanding what we can offer to our members! Want to see what’s in our library? Visit our MyTurn lending library webpage! Thanks for reading!

-Rachael F.
Advanced Babywearing Educator

Welcome to Our New Website!!!!

Hello and welcome to Babywearing International of Columbia’s new site. We are revamping our presence online outside of Facebook and will be using this as our main page for news, announcements, and developments with the group at large. Events and meetings can be found posted here as well as on our Facebook Group and our Page.. Helpful information, tutorials, and other educational materials will be available here as well. Please take a look around and join our group!

If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions please feel free to contact us!

 

Thanks!

– BWI of Columbia