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.