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Friday, September 26, 2014

International Babywearing Week October 5th - October 11th 2014

 Idaho Babywearers is looking forward to celebrating International Babywearing Week with the rest of the babywearing community. We hope you will join us! We will be hosting two events during IBW. 

We will be hosting a DIY Carrier Night on October 10th at the Rigby City Library from 7:00pm-9:00pm where we will be helping you make a carrier of your choice. Please see the below links for the types of carriers that you can make, as well as questions on types of fabric to buy for each carrier. Please also buy thread to match whatever fabric you buy and any other materials such a sling rings, etc. as we will not be providing any raw materials. The only rings that we endorse purchasing are from slingrings.com due to the guarantee of solid construction and safety. If you have your own sewing machine please bring it, along with any sewing tools you feel like you would need. Please note that while all of our other events are child friendly this particular event will only be friendly to children who will be worn/in a carseat the entire time or are not mobile due to the large number of sewing machines, cords, and sharp objects that will be lying around, (please use your discretion keeping in mind the nature of the event). The below links from sleepingbaby.net should answer most if not all of your questions and any other questions can be directed to our facebook page, Idaho Babywearers.

Our second event is a Babywearing Walk on the Greenbelt Saturday October 11th at 10am. We will be meeting at the North end of Memorial Drive in Idaho Falls there is a parking lot that we will be meeting next to, from there we will be walking South on Memorial (towards Key Bank) to the Farmer's Market and shopping/enjoying the morning together and passing out flyers for anyone interested in our group.

We hope you will be able to join us for one or both of these events! Any questions please direct them to one of our leaders or our facebook page. 

Also a special note - Idaho Falls meetings for the months of November and December will conflict with Thanksgiving and Christmas, therefore we will be hosting one meeting for those months on December 12th at 10am. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring into Babywearing

Please join us for this fun event.  We will be having the Babywearing 101 Class from 1:15 to 2 pm in the upstairs meeting room at the Library.  We will have all of our carriers in the basement available for borrowing, and leaders there to help you learn how to wear them.  The drawing for the free carriers will be at 2:30, so make sure to come before then.  We will be giving away two Ergo Performance carriers and an Angel Pack carrier.



This event will be taking the place of our Rexburg and Idaho Falls meetings for the month of April, so if you have a carrier checked out, or would like to check out a new one, please attend.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Our Library is Growing!

Between International Babywearing Week, donations from vendors and companies, and two purchases, our lending library is growing!  Here's a look at what we've received in the past few weeks.

Soft Structured Carriers

Tula - We purchased a Tula since they've become quite popular and are really comfortable.  We're thinking of purchasing a second Tula so more people can try it.  What do you think?  If you're interested in trying the Tula, you'll need to go to the next Rigby meeting.

Boba - Boba donated a 3G in Glacier to our library.  A perennial favorite, we can never get enough Bobas around here!

Pognae - Pognae was a Platinum sponsor for International Babywearing Week 2013 and sent many carriers to BWI and we got one!  It's unique zipper panel will be lots of fun in the summer.

Action Baby Carrier - Action Baby Carriers just changed ownership and they're reaching out to groups to help promote their carrier.  One just arrived to Kristen's house this week and is still new in the package!  It will be at the Idaho Falls meeting this week to try!


Ring Slings

Sleeping Baby Productions - SBP also helped sponsor International Babywearing Week!  We received a beautiful brown 100% linen ring sling.  It's already been checked out and is currently loving a sweet baby.

Bara Barn - We recently purchased a Bara Barn ring sling to add to the library.  It's a sling made from a wrap.  It's thin and supportive.  We chose a beautiful blue color so it would be gender neutral enough for all of our babies.


Wraps

Girasol Drop - Slingomama, a babywearing vendor in the Netherlands, donated this beautiful 4.6 meter wrap to our library after Kristen won a drawing.  Girasols are amazing wraps for learning to wrap and especially for tiny babies.

Girasol Symphuo - Heart-Hugs donated this shorty wrap to us when we purchased the Tula.  Jenni, the owner of Heart-Hugs, loves to help babywearing libraries grow.  We really appreciate her generosity!  It's a short wrap and is a diamond weave which is very different from anything else in our library.

Mei Ties

Kozy - A favorite brand of mei tie.  Kozy was another IBW sponsor and sent us a blue camo print mei tie.  Perfect for the dads!


Other

Sling Rings - Another Platinum IBW sponsor!  Sling Rings sent us ten pairs of rings to play with.  These rings are designed specifically for babywearing.  They are made from aluminum, are safety tested, and contain no seams that could pull apart during use.  One of our wearers is using them to learn different wrap carries.  I like mine for a no-sew ring sling.


What Else?

As if nine new carriers and ten pairs of sling rings wasn't enough, we are going to continue upgrading our library!  We are working on selling a few unused carriers to fund newer styles.  Also, there are a few more donations we are expecting from IBW.

If you have any carrier suggestions, please let us know!

Friday, October 11, 2013

International Babywearing Week Celebration 2013

We all love babywearing, that's why we're here!  This week is International Babywearing week and we celebrated at Marie's house last night.  Our event started quietly, with Marie teaching us about various carrier types.

Delight, Sara, and Kourtney watching Marie demonstrate carrier styles.


Marie, wearing Grace in a Wrapsody Bali Breeze, explaining the difference between a stretchy wrap, here a Moby, and a woven wrap.  James is in the bottom right corner wondering why all the little girls are playing with his toys.  (I don't know why Marie, Grace and James are sideways, I'm not that technically literate.)

Our calm Babywearing 101 course soon turned into this:


Mamas of tiny babies started dumping ring slings onto the floor in an effort to try all the various shoulder styles.  The pile started small, but eventually grew to contain every ring sling in the library.



The ring sling pile started small but grew rapidly.  No further pictures were taken.  There simply wasn't time!!

We checked out six ring slings last night to families with very young babies.  It was so amazing and heartwarming to see all the happy mommies leaving with their babies in slings.


Wrap lover Brittany, on the right, even got in on the ring sling action as she helped Sara learn to adjust the rings on a Didymos ring sling.


Delight checked out our brand new Sleeping Baby Productions brown linen ring sling.  She was one happy mama!!

I meant to snap a picture of Marie's living room floor prior to cleaning it all up, but forgot.  Imagine every carrier from both the Rigby library and the Idaho Falls library spread across the floor by helpful preschoolers and toddlers.  That's how much fun we had last night!!

Thank you everyone who attended our babywearing celebration!  We as your babywearing group leaders love what we do.  We love watching your face go from stressed to peaceful when your newborn falls asleep on your chest.  We love watching the joy you feel when you leave our meetings with a new carrier and new knowledge.  We've been there.  Babywearing has a special place in our hearts!!!


Our library would be empty without the amazing carrier companies who send us free carriers or sell us discounted carriers.  Marie is modeling a Wrapsody Bali Breeze AND a brand new Pognae, both donated to our library by the companies who make them.  This year we were lucky enough to receive many carriers in celebration of International Babywearing Week.  In addition to the Sleeping Baby Productions ring sling above and the Pognae, Kozy sent us a fabulous blue camo mei tie and Sling Rings sent us ten pairs of rings to try.





 Thank you for babywearing and celebrating our love of babywearing!



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Meet the Leaders: Kristen Hurt

Kristen Hurt was raised in Pennsylvania and moved to Idaho in 2006 to attend ISU.  She fell in love, got married, and became an Idaho resident.  Her babywearing obsession began when her oldest daughter was seven months old.  Kristen missed singing and wanted to join her church choir but the baby was too wiggly for that to work.  At her first babywearing meeting she borrowed a beautiful ring sling and has been hooked on the babywearing lifestyle ever since.

When daughter number two came along, Kristen learned to wrap and has been wrapping for hours a day ever since!  She recently became a Volunteer Babywearing Educator (VBE) through Babywearing International (BWI) and is now helping to lead meetings in Idaho Falls to help everyone else learn to wear their babies!


Kristen lives in Ammon with her husband, two step-sons, two daughters, and two dogs.  She currently teaches part-time for the Idaho Digital Learning Academy and for Idaho State University.  In her spare time she volunteers with several community and school organizations with one (or more) babies wrapped on her.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sick Baby Snuggles

Raising kids is HARD!  We all know that.  Watching your child sick or in pain is even harder.  Last month my fourteen-month-old daughter, Ella, became dehydrated after getting a stomach virus.  A trip to the pediatrician determined that she needed IV fluids to keep her hydrated and out of the hospital.  This wasn’t Ella’s first adventure with IV fluids.  A year ago when she was ten weeks old she was hospitalized for four days to be hooked up to an IV.  Apparently she likes to get poked with needles every August!


As an avid babywearer I rarely carry anything besides a wrap with me when we go out.  We don’t use strollers often.  I think my kids should be exhausted at the end of an outing and when they ride in a stroller they aren’t!  My kids are old enough that the diaper bag stays in the van and we return to it as necessary.  So, I’m standing in the pediatrician’s office with my toddler and Ella thinking, “Wait, I have to carry this bag of IV stuff with me everywhere?  How am I supposed to wrap her on my back?!”  

We pretty much exclusively back wrap and the thought of not doing that while she was sick crushed me.  Then it dawned on me, there are other carriers I can use and front wrapping is not a crime.  Sheesh.  I laughed at myself and the nurse looked at me as if I was crazy.  (I might be.)

We hoofed it out of the ped’s office and over to the IV office.  I grabbed my trusty ring sling that was miraculously in my van and held Ella for an hour as they tried to find a vein.  Eventually she was taped up and ready to go home.  The ring sling was great because her arm rested over the top and the IV tubing never got twisted, kinked, or otherwise knotted.



Eventually the ring sling was too covered in sick baby goo to continue its usefulness.  I resorted to my husband’s Ergo Performance since he was out of town and not using it.  Ella enjoyed the Ergo since she didn’t have to support her weight at all.  She sunk into my chest, pulled her IV arm in and quickly fell asleep.


Not long after her nap, Ella worked her magical sick powers on the Ergo and we switched to wrapping.  A front wrap cross carry tied under her cute little bum worked for an hour or so until she covered that wrap with goo.  Thankfully we own many wraps.


The moral of this story for me is that I need to be more flexible with my wearing preferences.  Yes, I prefer to back wrap but it wasn’t practical for me this week.  Wearing Ella helped her feel my love and warmth while she was ill.  It helped me pay attention to my toddler instead of putting her in front of the TV for three days.  And, hey, everything is getting washed for the first time in who knows how long so now my carriers are all pretty and fluffy again.

Ella is all better from her virus and is back to climbing too high and eating all the chicken she can find.  Please don’t judge all the bathroom pictures too harshly.  My husband was at training while Ella was ill and mirror pictures are better than sideways “selfies”!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Updated Summer Meeting Times

Idaho Falls meetings will be on the 4th Friday of the month at 10am. The location is at the home of Katie (one of our Idaho Falls Leaders) address: 4824 Stanfield Lane, Idaho Falls (crossroads: Hitt & 49th).

Rigby meetings will be on the 2nd Monday of the month at 6:30pm. The location is at the home of Marie (one of our Rigby Leaders) address: 470 Annis Hwy, Rigby (in between Stockham Blvd and 2nd North).

Rexburg meetings are taking a break for summer (just like the students). They will resume in the fall. Please feel free to attend the Idaho Falls and Rigby meetings.

Please like our page on Facebook for reminders of meeting times and locations.

We hope to see you at a meeting! Happy Babywearing

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Seasons of Babywearing

There are so many seasons in life.

There are times to be young and free. That feels like spring to me. Just warm enough to be perfect most of the time with a few storms here and there. Before we know it spring morphs into summer.

Ah, summer. Too hot most of the time and yet, perfect. Ice cream, long walks at night and fireworks!

Then, we hit fall. Harvest and beauty of everything green turning golden. Of course, it is also a season of preparation as we all know the snow is close by.

Winter. For some, this is time to play and enjoy and for others it is just a season to get through and wait for the sun to return again.

Parenting has seasons like this.

For me, babywearing also has seaons. Short, precious seasons.

A year ago, I thought I had reached my winter of babywearing. I started packing away the carriers and preparing for new seasons and different adventures.

Things change.
(This is the "Kimber" wrap available from Wrapsody Baby.)

I guess one more spring won't hurt me.

Of course, this time I treasure it more. I know (seriously!) this is my last spring, summer, fall and winter of babywearing. Every moment is bittersweet. My dear little baby has already outgrown clothes and I'm finding my favorite newborn carriers are being tucked away for another mama to use someday (soon I hope). Every time I tuck my little guy into a wrap or a mei tai I give him a little kiss because I know these moments end all too soon.

These moments with our babies are too short. The seasons fly by. My daughter will be a teen in a year and a half. My other sons are no longer the tiny babies I toted around, they are these big, tough boys who help in the garden and open the door for me saying, "ladies first".

This is it for me. Every hug, drooly smile... I see all my babies in the eyes of this last, wonderful baby.

Seasons change for all of us and this time to hold our little ones close will be gone before we know it.

Please, take some time to treasure it. Take pictures to remember it. Write down these moments so one day when your little babies hand you your grandbabies you can tell them how fast it will go so they will learn what took you too long to realize.

Summer is almost here, both in season for me and in babywearing. I'm going to soak in the sun.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rigby Babywearing Meeting

We are having a Babywearing Open House in Rigby on Monday, March 11th from 6:30 to 8pm.  Please stop by and check out a carrier, ask questions and learn more about babywearing.  We are meeting at Marie's house 470 Annis Hwy, Rigby.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Meet Hannah


Meet Hannah.


Hannah is a sweet six year old with an effervescent personality. She loves board games and her iPad, but her favorite person is her dad. Hannah has Cerebral Palsy due to a stroke she suffered while still in the womb. Her amazing parents recently discovered babywearing for their newest infant daughter and were surprised to find that it could possibly be an option for Hannah as well.

Hannah is 3 feet 8 inches and 35 pounds with unique muscle tone. Her arms and legs have high tone but her torso and neck have low tone and are very flaccid. She has a special wheel chair designed to help her stay upright and this chair is her main mode of transportation because most strollers aren't big enough and/or don’t offer the necessary support. The chair is cumbersome to deal with making family trips a challenge, like going to a corn maze or even the store.  
We had the pleasure of meeting Hannah at our last Babywearing meeting in Twin Falls, Idaho just a few weeks ago. Hannah's situation comes with certain requirements that had to be met in order for her to be successfully worn by her dad. She's longer than the average 2 or 3 year old that we would normally consider wearing, so the body of the carrier that we chose needed to be tall.  She also has a hip condition where the socket hasn't developed properly, this makes it a bit difficult to put her in the proper seated position but it also makes getting her into that position more important; so the base of the carrier needed to be wide enough to support her legs and hips. These are all reasons why we chose the Napsack Mei Tai as opposed to a Soft Structured Carrier. The bonus of choosing the mei tai for this family is that mom and dad wouldn't have to readjust the carrier every time they traded. Hannah's dad is easily over 6 feet tall and her mother is right around 5 ft. 
Another challenge was actually getting Hannah into the carrier, remember that low muscle tone? Wearing a child with little to no muscle control isn't such a big deal when they are only 7 to 10 pounds and somewhere around 20 inches long all curled up in a ball. You can hold them and move them with relatively little effort. Try multiplying that by 4 and stretching them out full length, this makes getting Hannah into a carrier a two man job.

Dad was a bit skeptical about wearing a bigger child, but after attending a meeting and receiving some instruction, he’s excited about wearing Hannah, although he doesn't show it. (We promise he is happy in that photo). The smile on Hannah’s face is why we work so hard to educate and bring the joy of wearing to every family.  She was so excited to be in that carrier and didn't want to get out. Shortly after that photo, Hannah's dad decided to try a back carry with Hannah's little sister, Hannah was not happy about this claiming that it was HER carrier. 
We hope to high heaven that this little introduction to babywearing will help this family be able to get out and do things they might not have been able to do other wise and make life just a little bit easier. 
Happy International Babywearing Week. 
Becky Swain & Jentri King

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Family Night

Hey family of Baby-wearers!
Tonight's the night! Let's live it up....
It's Monday Family Night of Education!
Tonight's topic:
CAR SEAT SAFETY
covering infants to toddlers!

I remember when my son was born and the VALUABLE information I received. He was 2 weeks old and I decided I would invite the instructor to the hospital with me next time so I can have a lesson on day 1! Yes, she rocked my car seat knowledge world.

I want to see you there!
7 p.m.
Marie Harris' house- 470 Annis Hwy 


Kayla and Team

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I.F. meeting date change!

Due to Labor Day weekend, we will be postponing our I.F. meeting.

Next IF meeting on Sat, Sept 8th 2:30-3:30pm at the Tautphaus Park Equal Access 

Playground ramadas. The kids can play while the mamas play!

Hope to see you there!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Twin Falls Meetings

Twin Falls had their first meeting in June.  They will be having monthly meeting and we will give you the details soon.  Thank you to Jentri and Corey King for hosting the meetings.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New! Pocatello Meetings!

We have a location for Pocatello and thanks to DOVE-Idaho, we will be bringing our lending library to YOU!

Information:
Johnson Family Chiropractic;
Corner of Poleline and Cedar, Pocatello
Every 3rd Thursday, 7PM
Contact:
Angela Geurts (208) 637-1343 or cell (801) 637-1343
or
Kimber Tower 208 227 3200
 
 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Babywearing Family Night

Babywearing International of Southern Idaho is excited to invite you to a fun babywearing family night, tonight Monday, March 26th at 7pm at the Rigby Library. Bring the entire family for a fun hour long event! Meet Melissa and Hamilton Radcliffe, owners of Freehand baby carriers and creators/owners of the Peekaru vest! Everyone who comes is entered to win a Free Hand Mei Tai carrier right there! Toys will be there for the kiddos! Invite your friends and win a prize!



The Rigby library is located at 110 North State Street Rigby, ID 83442 http://g.co/maps/pvazn

We hope to see you tonight!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Extreme Babywearing: Fun or Foolish?

(By Kimber Tower)

Babywearing has a lot of lingo. It takes awhile to figure out what a veteran babywearer is talking about sometimes.
I mean, if I told you, "I took that 4.6 and I started with a hip scoot onto my back, then I rucked the shoulders but changed my mind and went with a tibetan tie... I know, I know, I could just do a double hammock, but I didn't want to adjust the center mid-tie," you would probably have me committed.

(However, all the babywearers out there followed what I said and each of them probably had a better idea for what I should have done because if you can count on one thing in babywearing it is that we are always coming up with new ideas for how to tie a baby on.)

On top of all the lingo, we also have a lot of catchphrases. "Close enough to kiss", "Spread the babywearing love" and "chin off chest" just to toss out a few.

Of all this babywearing specific chatter, there is one specific quote that I have heard the most since I began to babywear: Safety First.


Safety first means a lot of things. Check baby's positioning and monitor him while he is sleeping. Be careful walking through doorways. Have a spotter when you are learning a new carry. Be quiet, the baby just fell asleep! (Okay, that one goes for all parenting, but seriously, when you have a baby who hasn't been sleeping great who finally passes out, it WON'T be a safe situation if someone wakes that kid up!)

Today we are going to talk about safety in babywearing in regards to what you are doing when babywearing. While I personally love to proudly brag up the fact that you can do ANYTHING while wearing your baby, it seems I need to clarify that. You CAN do nearly anything while babywearing. That doesn't mean you SHOULD do certain things.

I live in Idaho and we are an outdoorsy people here. We have lakes, mountains, hot springs and lots and lots of cows. The winters are frigid and the summers are steaming. We ski and snowmobile December through June (seriously) and we water-ski and cliff dive in August when it is finally warm enough to do something fun. Extreme Sport's middle name should honestly be Idaho.

With that in mind, I've seen some seriously extreme babywearing around here from time to time. I am ashamed to say I often mentally cringed when I saw it but said nothing for fear of "rocking the boat".
Yesterday I read an article that tipped my little boat over and I can't just sit back anymore. It is about a young mother who is defending her choice to wear her baby while she is rock climbing. (You can read the article HERE.) There is a picture with the article of this mother rock climbing 30 feet up with her baby on her back in a carrier. The mother is wearing a helmet and the baby is not.

Okay. I'm not going to judge this person as a mother because my thoughts are that I don't want her to judge me as a mother. We all make different choices and I don't want someone judging me because I do all sorts of things some would find completely horrific (*cough* cosleeping, extended breastfeeding and virtual schooling plus I refuse to buy garbage bags *cough*). However, I am going to judge this woman as a babywearer and my judgement is that she is not honoring "Safety First" when she is babywearing while rock climbing. Now, while I am a bit of a babywearing expert, I am NOT a rock climbing expert. So I asked a few what they thought. The overwhelming concensus was there are too many variables in rock climbing to make it a smart idea to strap a baby to your back for fun. Even worse, that baby is not capable of understanding the risks of their situation so if they were to be injured or killed it is even worse. Simply, rock climbing while babywearing is taking an unacceptable risk.

The long and short of it is this:
If you have to wear a helmet or any other special safety gear to participate in an activity you should NOT be wearing a baby while you do it. (Unless you in a life or death situation. Then do what you need to do to for you and your little one to survive.)


Now I'm going to get specific about things that just are NOT safe to do while babywearing:
  • Rock climbing
  • Skate boarding
  • Roller skating
  • Skiing (and all derivatives)
  • The Luge (is it luging? Either way, I actually don't know that anyone should attempt this, but I digress)
  • Snomobiling (I was raised by a professional and I am certain my dad would agree with me, not a smart idea)
  • Sky diving
  • Kayaking and rafting
  • Hockey
  • Parkour 
  • Bicycling (and any and all derivatives to the more or less extreme side)
  • Anything that involves being in the air yet not in an commercial or other passenger airplane
  • Atv riding
  • Surfing 
  • Water skiing
  • Swimming (I don't mean hanging in the kiddie pool with a baby in a carrier or jumping around in the ocean while the waves go up to your thighs, I mean swimming laps type swimming)
  • Juggling with knives or fire
  • Pretty much anything involving knives and fire
  • Horseback riding 
  • Bull riding
  • Mud wrestling
  • Sumo wrestling (however, toddler wrestling is approved as it is usually inescapable)
  • Gymnastics
  • Recreational drug use
  • Drinking (alcoholic beverages and hot drinks specifically, though I have been know to spill some Kool-aid on a newborns head when I develop that dreaded "hole in lip" so if you don't want your baby to have a spot on their head dyed "Rockin' Ragin' Red", maybe be careful with all beveragesAlso, I'm not talking a glass of wine, I'm talking throwing back shots or frolicking about with scalding hot tea or coffee. I have a child with a scar from scalding hot water for tea that she got as a toddler. It happens)
  • Driving (a baby carrier does NOT replace a car seat ever ever ever)
  • Drag racing
  • Shooting guns (this comes from someone who believes in the right to bear arms, in case you were wondering)
  • Dog sledding
  • Committing petty crimes such as breaking and entering or vandalism (really I think that grown ups should be avoiding this too, but at the very least don't give your kid a record before they are old enough to use the potty in jail on their own)
I think that I covered most of the important things and some of you may feel like I was stating the obvious. Here is the deal: I have seen many of these activities attempted by parents wearing their babies. I have had parents ask me if these activities are safe in the past and while I've said "no" when asked, I realize now that if a few people are asking there are probably a lot more people who would benefit from know this information too. So, there it is. You CAN do nearly anything while wearing your baby, but you SHOULDN'T.

I realize I am risking offending people I know by writing this article and I apologize for any offense given as that is certainly not my intent. I'm not casting any judgement as a parent, but as a babywearer, there are just some things that are not safe for the general public to attempt and someone needs to say so. I hope you can respect where I am coming from and know I write this out of concern for the safety of babies and parents who don't fully understand some of the risks they are taking when they choose to pair babywearing with certain activities.

I also know that there are some cultures where it is the norm to ride a bike everywhere or a horse or perhaps your only means of travel in the winter is by snowmobile. You are probably an expert at those means of travel and I doubt you would take any unnecessary risks with your child during these activities. The key to all of these is the risk level and how necessary it is. Another key here is having the ability to assess your situation and know your level of expertise and then being able to make a safe choice for that situation. Take horseback riding and babywearing. Riding a sleepy horse in a circle is one thing, barrel racing is entirely another. The problem is that not everyone knows their limits or cares and so there needs to be some sort of safety line drawn in the sand to assist those who aren't sure what is safe and what is not. When in doubt, just don't. Your baby is too precious.

Safety first. Always.

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's cold out, but that shouldn't stop you from going out

**This month we are focusing on babywearing in the winter.  This post was previously published on our blog in Feburary and we thought it was still appropriate, especially now that it's getting cold again.  Happy Babywearing (in the cold!)**

In celebration of Idaho's sub-zero temperatures this week, we're going to talk about babywearing in the cold.

First, I want to stress that sub-zero temperatures are really cold.  And you should know your limits, as well as make conservative decisions while out in the cold, especially with your baby. 

There are a many different reasons we take our babies (and by babies I mean babies and toddlers) out in the cold. We need to go out to the store, or to a meeting, or general errands, story time at the library, sending an older sibling off on the bus in the morning or outdoor chores. 

More reason we might take our babies out in the cold is that we are out skiing or snowshoeing or just taking a brisk walk around the block a few times to get our blood moving and get out of the house for a bit.  It's good for the soul and makes us happy, healthy parents.

For general errands, I don't worry too much about my baby getting cold.  I put him in a couple layers, put his little wool socks on him and this amazing wool hat.


Then I put a ring sling on, put my coat on and pop him in and out from his car seat.  The same pop-in and pop-out idea works well with nearly any carrier if you tie it loosely and put your coat on over it.  If I feel it's breezy or too cold, I do just wrap my coat around him, use the ring sling tail as a wind shield, and kind of hunch over with my back to the wind.  If you aren't sure how to make it work, try it at home in the warmth of your living room a few times to get it down.

The reason I don't worry too much about him getting cold on quick trips is because he's up against my body and my body heat keeps him warm.  Plus, that little hat is amazing.  I feel like it keeps the wind from going all the way to his core.  If I feel like it's going to be too cold, I put a little fleece outfit on him, which could be his fleece footie jammies.  The issue is also that I don't want bulky clothing on him in his car seat. 

Now of course there are those times when you will be out for extended periods of time getting your Christmas tree, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, or whatever you like to do in the winter snow and cold.  (You probably want to refrain from things like downhill skiing and ice skating with a baby on your back.)

If you aren't into buying extra baby gear, you still have options.  This is a great example:


She put her baby on her back in her Ergo and put her husband's coat on backwards.  Of course she needed help to get it zipped up, but it worked and she got out and had a great time in the great outdoors. (Notice also that she's using poles.  A great way not to fall down!)

Along the same lines you can wear a too big coat the right way and the baby on your front.  Many of us have husbands that are bigger than we are, so that can be convenient.  And inexpensive.

Here's another example:


It was a gorgeous day that day and I felt that I didn't need a ton of layers.  So I just wore a base layer with a fleece over it and put him in a few fleece layers, including that awesome hat and wool socks and these awesome little wool mittens.  (He got all his awesome wool for Christmas.)

When I got back to the car and all back in his seat I felt his hands and feet. He was toasty warm still.  He also slept through the whole adventure.  (Notice also that I have poles.  Again, they are a great way to not fall down with a baby on my back!)

Something else you can do is put your baby on your back and wrap a large blanket around you and the baby.  This is basically what many traditional cultures did, even using the blanket as the carrier.  You can find some good instructions with photos for a front carry here.

And while we're on the subject of traditional carriers, we can't forget the Amauti.  The Amauti is a traditional carrier of the Inuit people.  It's a coat that goes on over your head and it has a large pocket in the back.  It also has a large hood that goes over both you and the child.  On first glance it may look like the child is in the hood, but that is not the case. 


Here the baby is pretty bundled because it was so cold.  But again, after our trek out to get the Christmas tree I checked his hands and feet and he was toasty warm.

And here's a picture of it with the hood over both mom and baby.



The trick is finding an Amauti.  The design is legally protected by the native people and they are not mass produced.  But with a little determination and a little help, it's very possible to find one.  There are individuals out there who make them or they are available used as well.

There are other great options when it comes to clothing made specifically for babywearing in the cold.  There's the Peekaru fleece vest:



This vest can be worn with a front or a back carry over your favorite carrier.  On not-so-cold days you can wear it with just a base layer.  On colder days where you need a coat, you can put your baby in a front carry and put a coat on.  You probably won't get it zipped, but you are both still plenty warm.  The same company also makes an amazing coat, The Peekaru Soft Shell, that can be worn in either a front or a back carry.

Another option is the Kindercoat. Made by Childrens Needs, a company out of Utah.  It's a great option for both front and back carries with your favorite carrier.  And the way it's made, it converts easily into a nice coat when you are not babywearing.  Check out their many other outerwear options as well.


If you are looking for something more fashion conscious, the MCoat may be be just what you are looking for.  It's an amazing down coat that works as a maternity coat, a babywearing coat, and a regular coat with just a couple zips.  It doesn't work in a back carry, but it is a gorgeous and warm piece of clothing.


Yet another option is a simple accessory for a carrier.  Catbird Baby makes a carrier cover that tucks around your baby and creates a windproof barrier as well as providing warmth.  It's inexpensive and very practical. 

If you are more of a do-it-yourselfer, there are patterns for babywearing coats like this one or you can just make something up. 

Obviously this is not a complete list of all the cold weather babywearing options, but it ought to be enough to get you started and get you thinking.  The whole goal is to keep your baby warm while getting out and about, whether it's a quick trip to the store, outdoor chores that must be done, getting an older kid on the bus, or an all day excursion in the great outdoors.  Basically, you can't do it wrong if your baby is warm and comfy and you get done what you want and need to.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bowl, Baby! Bowl!

We had a little bowling party this week.  Babies came, too!


And, the baby got to bowl!


So did his big sister.  She was pretty excited!


Go play!  Babywearing makes it so much easier!  And so much more FUN!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I love babywearing meetings

I think my favorite part of babywearing meetings is the brand new moms.  I really wish that I had discovered babywearing with my first baby.  Because it's so powerful!

These brand new moms come in looking for something.  I'm not convinced they really *know* what they are looking for.  They are tired--the kind of tired you only get when you have a newborn.  They are not quite in their element because this "mom" thing isn't quite who they are yet.  But they are looking for *something*.  Sometimes *anything* will do. 

And then we throw a carrier on them and get their baby all snuggled in.


And suddenly, there is a baby who is comfy and happy and a mom who suddenly feels that everything in the world is right.  Or at least it can be.


Behold, the power of babywearing! 

And then these moms who came in weary and unsure nearly skip out of the meeting full of confidence and hope.  I've seen it over and over and over again. I am just as in awe of it now as I was the first time I witnessed it.  And every time I see it it brings those feelings I had when I first figured it out rushing back so powerfully that I nearly cry.

Hold your babies close!  It's where they are supposed to be!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

IBW 2011: Make it Monday

The Idaho Babywearers have been busy this year!
We were able to help organize International Babywearing Week for 2011, and boy has it been fun.
One of the events was "Make it Monday", a day when we were able to teach others how to make their own safe baby carrier.
We had a blast!








Woo hoo!


Our newest Volunteer Babywearing Educator, Rachel was teaching a mama how to use her mei tai.


Our President Angela and darling new Melina in the super awesome wrap donated to us by Didymos in honor of International Babywearing Week! Thank you Didymos! (Now all of you come check this wrap out from the library, it is awesome!)


Our other President Marie with James wearing a Boba donated to us in honor of International Babywearing Week! Thank you Boba!


Looks like one baby doesn't want mama to sew right now!


Here is another little one (almost) patiently waiting to be worn in her new carrier!


Check out our new leader in training (in the middle) Kendle Hammon! We are so excited!


VBEs and buddies.


All of our leaders who were at the meeting. We are excited that nearly all of us have our Volunteer Babywearing Educator Certification. By the end of the year we hope all of our leaders will be certified!


Katie modeling the awesome Taylormade mei tai also donated to us for this week! Thank you Taylormade! (That babydoll is kind of scary though.)


Angela modeling with the read deal.



Our first finished carrier! What sewing skills and what a good looking mama!

We had a great turnout, a fantastic time and we hope you will all come out and sew with us again!

Thursday we will have a Babywearing 101 class, come join us! Check out our facebook page for details!
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Walk It Wednesday!

To celebrate International Babywearing Week, we’re going to strut our babywearing stuff for “Walk it Wednesday” down at the Idaho Falls Greenbelt Trail! We’ll meet at 1pm at the corner of Memorial Drive and E Street (there’s a bandstand and picnic tables at this area of the park along the river). We’ll walk south toward the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho where there's a playground for kids--about a 15 minute walk. There is easy parking across the street from our meeting point at the LDS church (north corner of Memorial Dr and Riverside Dr/E Street). See you this Wednesday--let's gather in mass and turn some heads!
Here's a map of our meeting point: Memorial Dr & E St

Monday, October 3, 2011

Preparing for International Babywearing Week 2011

The Idaho Babywearers have been a BIG part of International Babywearing Week 2011!
We helped plan the activities for the week, organize the awards and help get sponsors.
One of the biggest jobs we had was to send out the packets to groups all over the world!

Rachel, Angela, Marie and Kimber got together last week to get the packages ready.
(Melina helped too!)

The official Babywearing International Groups got some extra goodies in their packages! Another reason we are thrilled to be a part of BWI!

Kimber was very excited about the packages!

Melina got a bit tired. Poor thing.

But Angela worked through the night getting boxes ready to ship out, complete with duct time in true Idaho fashion.

Wanna know what we got in OUR kit? Keep watching for a blog post!
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