International Babywearing Week (IBW) is October 2-8, 2017. The mission of Babywearing International is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support.
International Babywearing Week is a week-long advocacy event dedicated to promoting awareness of babywearing through local and online celebrations, media awareness, and educational activities. Through this event, we hope to promote babywearing as a practice that benefits caregivers and children. This year’s theme is “Threaded Together.”
Threaded Together refers to the fact that many baby carriers are made from woven fabric. Some are machine woven and some are handwoven. Handwoven fabrics take a lot of time and energy to make and that is part of what makes them so special.
I have been handweaving for about 2 years and through this post, I’d like to share with you how the process works.
First, the fiber! There are so many fiber options when it comes to weaving! I’m personally a big fan of cotton. It’s easy to care for, it’s very soft for wearers and babies alike, and it is readily available at a reasonable price. Other options available are hemp, tencel, bamboo, silk, and wool (just to name a few).
Next, the math. Weaving requires you to do a bit of math to determine how much fiber you will need. This is dependent on the thickness of your fiber, the weave you intend to do, and the dimensions of your project. Luckily, there are several free online weaving calculators available. With the cotton I normally use, I use 24 strands per inch and a total of 30 inches wide. So that’s 720 individual strands of fiber that I first have to measure. The tool I use for that is called a warping board. So my fingers run over every inch of fiber as I measure it. After I measure my fiber, I chain it up so it is easier to handle and doesn’t get tangled. This is just for the warp, or the fiber that runs the length of the cloth. The weft is the fiber that runs the width of the cloth and can be measured using a yarn swift.
After it’s measured, I dye my fiber! This is one of my favorite parts of the creative process. I purchase natural fibers that are ready to be dyed. Some weavers purchase pre-dyed fibers and create their visions with those. The fiber must be prepared using chemicals – safety is very important here. Then the dye is mixed and applied to the fiber. There are many different techniques that all produce different and amazing results! Once the fiber is processed, rinsed, and dried, it is ready to go on the loom!
Warping the loom is the process of getting the chains of fiber onto the beam of the loom. There are different types of looms and different ways to do this. For this post, I am going to describe how I warp back to front on my floor loom. Using a tension box, I feed the fiber through a set of dowels and a comb that keep tension on the fiber while making sure there are no knots or tangles. I repeat this step until all of my chains are wound onto the back beam. The next step is called threading. This is one of my least favorite steps because it is very labor intensive and if you make a mistake, it can mean re-doing A LOT of work! Each individual thread must be pulled from the backside of the loom through a heddle to the front side of the loom. The heddles are on the shafts, which raise and lower to separating the different threads to achieve the draft. You must follow your draft exactly so that when you are weaving, you get the desired results. See example drafts to the left.
Once threading is complete, it’s time to sley the reed. The reed resembles a comb. The threads are pulled from back to front through the reed in the appropriate number to result in an even weave. The reed is part of the beater, which is a moving part of the loom. The beater gets pulled forward to force the weft yarn into place against the warp.
Next it’s time to tie all of the yarn onto the front cloth beam. This step is very important because you have to ensure that all of the yarn has the same tension. Uneven tension is a weaver’s worst nightmare. I tie a knot for each section, then go over the threads with my fingers checking the tension and tightening as needed. Once I’m satisfied that it is even, I go through and tie a second knot on each section, securing everything in place.
Finally, I have to set the tie-ups on my treadles. Treadles are the peddles you push with your feet to get the shafts of the loom to lower and raise. The draft you have chosen to weave will determine how to tie up your treadles.
Now it’s time to weave! I wind my weft yarn (which I have most likely hand-dyed) on a bobbin and place it in the shuttle. Then following the draft selected, I press the appropriate treadle and throw the shuttle between the separated yarn. That’s one pick. I continue to follow the draft pattern and throw the shuttle thousands of times per wrap.
When I’m all done weaving the warp, it’s time to finish the project. The fibers must be set by washing, drying and ironing. Care must be taken not to destroy the fiber in this process. Cotton is easy and can be thrown in the washing machine. But fibers like silk and wool must be hand washed and air dried. Then I measure twice and cut once to get the wrap to the desired size. I hem the ends and sew on my tags.
The entire process takes anywhere from days to weeks to months depending on the complexity of the weave, the length of the warp, and my ability to juggle parenting and late nights. This does not include the time I spend talking with my customers to make sure the final product matches their expectations, as much of what I do is custom work.
Babywearing is the reason I became a handweaver. I love weaving wraps for caregivers to carry their little ones. So the theme of IBW 2017 really connects for me. I have threaded together thousands of fibers for different caregivers to wear. I will always have a connection to the people using my creations because I poured so much of myself into making them. I hope that every person who babywears can feel that love!
International Babywearing Week (IBW) is October 2-8, 2017. The mission of Babywearing International is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support.
Benefits of Water Carriers
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that most babies love water! A water carrier can be a great option for cooling off with baby on a hot summer day. Water carriers help to keep baby close and safe in the water, if used propertly. Water carriers are especially helpful if you need your hands free to help older kiddos at the pool.
Water carriers can also be used in the shower. This can be great way for a caregiver to seize an opportunity to take a warm shower (while soothing a fussy baby at the same time!). I’ve also found that water carriers are a great tool for a baby that is afraid of water. My little guy was terrified of the water for a few months and wouldn’t take a bath. A quick shower in our water carrier was the only thing that kept him clean – and it also put him to sleep! 😉
Read on for more tips on using water carriers.
Water Carrier Safety
As always, safety is the main concern when carrying baby. All of the normal babywearing safety rules apply in a water carrier (support baby’s back at all times, make sure baby’s face is visible and close enough to kiss at all times, keep baby’s chin off of his/her chest, and ensure baby’s airways remain open) in addition to some extra rules specific to carrying in the water.
-Water carriers are slippery and meant to be used in the water. They are not meant for extensive use outside of the water. DO NOT use a water carrier for general everyday use.
-Front or hip carries only. DO NOT use a back carry in water. It is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to monitor baby’s face (to ensure it stays out of the water) when carrying on the back.
-DO NOT cover baby’s face with the carrier (especially if wet).
-If necessary, ensure baby’s face is above the caregiver’s chest, where water may pool.
-Water carriers should never be used in deep water or in waves where baby’s face could be submerged.
-DO NOT expose baby to cold water.
-Some carriers have SPF protection. However, always remember to keep weather conditions in mind and apply sunscreen to baby if needed (or use a sunhat).
Water Carrier Options
Water carriers come in almost as many different types as normal carriers. Most of the BWI of Central Iowa lending libraries have a water carrier available to try on and/or check out. We recommend that you start your search here and try out a few different water carriers before buying one yourself. If you will only be using a water carrier for a short time (vacation, summer, etc.), it is super convenient (and budget-friendly) to have a BWI of Central Iowa membership. With a membership you can check out a carrier for the month you will be on vacation and return when finished!
Another budget friendly option is to make a DIY water carrier. Athletic mesh can be found at most fabric stores. You can use this mesh to make a water ring sling or wrap.
Mesh water ring slings and wraps can also be purchased through several retailers. One well-known retailer of mesh water ring slings and wraps is Beachfront Baby. There are also non-mesh water ring slings available. Zanytoes makes a great ring sling out of water-resistant fabric.
Water carriers can also come in the form of a meh dai or soft structured carrier. Kokadi makes a beautiful water meh dai. Connecta Solar and BityBean are two different brands of soft structured carriers suitable for water use.
However you choose to wear your baby in the water – be sure to make it fun for baby! You can twirl, swing, and bounce to add a fun element to water carrying. Encourage baby to splash in the water. Gentle water aerobics are okay while wearing baby in the water, as well as helping older kiddos. Chances are your baby will be soothed by the water and easily fall asleep after lots of fun water play!
Anne. (2013 May 31). A Beginner’s Guide to Woven Wraps – Everything You Need to Know and More. Retrieved from http://www.naturalmamas.co.uk/articles/a-beginners-guide-to-woven-wraps-everything-you-need-to-know-and-more/.
Babywearing International of Central Iowa. (2014). Safety. Retrieved from https://babywearinginternational.org/what-is-babywearing/safety/.
Beachfront Baby LLC. (2016). Beachfront Baby Wraps. Retrieved from http://beachfrontbabywraps.com/.
Bitybean. (2017). Bitybean – Cleverly Compact. Retrieved from https://bitybean.com/.
Connecta Baby. (2017). Connecta Solar. Retrieved from http://connectababycarrier.com/product-category/connecta/solar-connecta/.
Hayes-Devlin, K. (2005 March 23). Showering, Swimming, and Babywearing: The Complete Guide. Retrieved from https://wrapsodybaby.com/showering-swimming-babywearing/.
Mother’s Milk Boutique (2015). Kokadi Water Carrier. Retrieved from https://www.momsmilkboutique.com/products/kokadi-water-tai-tai-wonderland?variant=18484556865.
Zanytoes Boutique. (2017). Zanytoes Splash! Retrieved from http://zanytoes.net/category_29/Zanytoes-Splash.htm.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own and do not reflect the views or positions of Babywearing International of Central Iowa or Babywearing International, Inc. Please consult your carrier’s manual for full instructions for use in and out of the water. If you have additional questions on carrier usage please consult with a professional. This post is informational and we do not assume any liability for carrier usage.
Are you wondering how some other local mommas got started babywearing? Do you want to learn some interesting facts about BWI (Babywearing International) of Central Iowa’s current leaders? This month we interviewed the president, Marissa Jennings, and vice president, Cat Anderson, of BWI of Central Iowa on the thing they know best – babywearing. Read on to hear some of their heartfelt (and hilarious) answers!
When did you start babywearing? How old was your child?
Marissa: I started when my oldest was just a couple of days old. He is almost 5 now!
Cat: When my son Thor was about 6 weeks old. He’s 2 now and I still wear him most days.
Why did you start babywearing?
M: My cousin gifted me a Moby stretchy wrap for my baby shower, and she told me all about how my baby could sleep while I got things done. It turned out to be the only thing that comforted my son, who had severe colic as a result of food allergies, and it got us through teething as well.
C: I had read about the benefits and I wanted another tool in my parenting bag!
How did you start babywearing? What carrier did you first use?
M: I used a Moby until my son was about 5 months old. Once he got too heavy for that, I didn’t realize they made anything else so I quit wearing. At 11 months, he was diagnosed with severe food allergies*. We were struggling to take him places safely when a toddler Tula was suggested to me in a breastfeeding Facebook group. I ordered one, joined Tula Love, joined BWI of Central Iowa, and the rest is history! That was back in 2013 when my first child, Eli, was about 17 months old. Now my second baby, Makenna, is that age! Time flies.
C: I bought a Moby stretchy wrap and learned how to use it with YouTube videos. Then I learned about BWI of Central Iowa and I attended a few meetings to learn more.
Was there someone that got you started or that has been influential along your babywearing journey?
M: My cousin Megan got me started babywearing, and many amazing people have been influential to me on this journey. The person that sticks out the most is Suzi Lang. She was President of BWI of Central Iowa when I joined and quickly became a mentor and friend. In 2014, I became a VBE (Volunteer Babywearing Educator) with the chapter and in 2015, I became an ABE (Advanced Babywearing Educator) right before my second baby was born. I’ve made countless friends along the way and just love being part of the babywearing community.
C: I learned about babywearing through attachment parenting.
What is your favorite thing about babywearing?
M: I love that it allowed my son Eli to participate in normal activities safely despite his food allergies: farmers markets, pumpkin patches, trick or treating, and grocery shopping to name a few. It took a HUGE weight off my shoulders as his parent, and allowed me to protect him and feel safe holding him close. As a mom to two now, my favorite thing about babywearing is that it allows me to give attention to my older child while keeping my younger one happy and safe.
C: Being able to keep my child close and safe while being able to take care of myself. It helps me feel independent.
Where is the most unique place you have worn your child(ren)?
M: It’s tricky to think of just one place! I have been wearing my second baby, Makenna, nonstop since she was born, and she still loves to be worn several hours per day at 17 months old! I have worn in airports, on the beach in Destin, Florida, to all the awesome sessions at IBC (International Babywearing Conference) Atlanta, through all the historic monuments in Washington DC, to marches and political protests, trick or treating, cleaning my house, folding laundry, fixing dinner, shopping, doctor appointments, and everything in between. It’s definitely a way of life around here.
C: On the toilet. (Real life, ya’ll)
What is the most interesting thing you have done while wearing your child(ren)?
M: I am also a freelance Spanish legal translator, and when my daughter was tiny, I usually wore her while translating on my computer. Babywearing made working from home easy! I still admin BWI of Central Iowa as well as Tula Love, and I’m often babywearing while spreading the babywearing love online.
C: Played ping pong.
What are some of the benefits of babywearing for the child? For the caregiver?
M: Babywearing is really a style of parenting in many ways. It allows you to meet your child’s need for closeness and for safety while still fulfilling other roles you may have (employee, spouse, parent of other children, etc). It really can facilitate bonding between caregiver and child, reduce physical and emotional stress for both, and is of course fun too!
C: Babywearing helps the child bond and feel safe. For the caregiver, it helps with the same things. It also helps with sleep!
How should a caregiver who is new to babywearing wear their child?
M: There’s no one “right” way to do it. Babywearing may look different from culture to culture and person to person. We usually just suggest that new wearers try out a variety of styles to see what is most comfortable for them, best meets their needs, and is most compatible with their lifestyle.
C: I recommend using a carrier that they feel comfortable with. I also recommend getting hands on help if you have questions.
What are some great resources for someone interested in babywearing (new and/or experienced wearer)?
M: Babywearing International of Central Iowa** is of course a great resource if you’re local. The national BWI page (https://babywearinginternational.org/) has great safety information and video tutorials as well. If you’re interested in learning how to use a woven wrap, Babywearing Faith on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/BabywearingFaith) has a great collection of videos online.
C: BWI meetings** are the best place to learn about carriers and babywearing! I also appreciate the online babywearing community.
*You can learn more about how babywearing has helped Marissa and her family through severe food allergies here.
**You can learn more about BWI of Central Iowa and find out about the local meeting schedule on the Babywearing International of Central Iowa Facebook page.
Jennings, Marissa, and Cat Anderson. “Q&A Session with BWI of Central Iowa President and VP.” E-mail interview. 7 Feb. 2017.
Title image from: Keenan. Can You Pass the Question Test? Digital image. A Sales Guy. N.p., 28 Aug. 2015. Web. 15 Feb. 2017. <http://www.asalesguy.com/can-you-pass-the-question-test/>.
Getting outside in the winter can be intimidating with a baby or toddler, but keeping an energetic little one inside all winter can be exhausting. In our family, it is essential to get out of the house once a day (or at least a few times per week), even during the winter when low temperatures are threatening our mobility. There are so many fun things to do in the winter months while babywearing and the littles are usually more willing to snuggle in the cooler weather! Having the right gear can make all the difference, especially when babywearing!
The key to winter babywearing is layering. Try to make sure you’ve got three layers – a thin base layer made of wicking material, a warm mid layer, and a windproof and waterproof outer layer.
The thin base layer will help to retain heat and keep the skin warm and dry. This layer should be tight-fitting and it is best to avoid cotton, as cotton does not wick moisture well. Synthetic fabrics or wool work great for this layer. Multiple layers of socks are essential in cooler climates. Since pants tend to ride up while babywearing leg warmers can also be helpful for keeping lower legs covered.
After the base layer think about another sweater or fleece. If wearing baby close to your body, you may not need a second layer. A full body option is great for smaller kiddos (like fleece PJs) and as kiddos get older two pieces may work better. If using footie PJs, make sure they are not too tight. Since these ride up when babywearing it helps to size up to avoid cutting off circulation in the feet.
If baby is exposed, the outer layer should be windproof and waterproof. Keep in mind that extremities can get cold fast so also make sure to keep baby’s head, arms/hands, and legs/feet warm, dry, and covered. One-piece suits that zip at the diaper or have built in hoods, boots, or mittens are really handy! But, these can be worn separately as well. A hat with a chinstrap is great for a baby that likes to pull their hat off (especially when wearing on the back). Soft-soled down or synthetic booties work great for non-walkers or young walkers. Avoid heavy boots or shoes, as they can cut off circulation on dangling legs. Adult wool socks that reach up to baby’s armpits are a great alternative to gloves or mittens and tend to stay on better.
Babywearing jackets, jacket extenders, and carrier covers (or blankets) are other great options for the wearer! These can be expensive, but are well worth the money if you are able to shell out the cash. However, if you can’t (or don’t want to) splurge on a babywearing jacket, there are lots of DIY options. A large maternity coat or a large men’s jacket can also work well if wearing baby in the front.
All of this gear can be expensive and really adds up over time (especially when kiddos grow so quickly). Be sure to research different brands, but also check online, in secondhand consignment shops, or in swap groups to save on costs.
Below are some additional winter wearing tips:
- Never use hot water bottles or heating pads to keep young kids warm. These can be dangerous to infants as their bodies do not disburse heat as well as adults.
- ALWAYS make sure baby’s airway is free and DO NOT cover baby’s face.
- Use your best judgment and watch for signs of overheating. Babies worn close to the body can soak up body heat and overheat if bundled too warmly.
- If baby is in a stroller or is being worn away from the body in a frame carrier you will need to add an additional layer (or blanket).
- Keep in mind that winter wear can add lots of bulk and restricts your range of motion. You may need to loosen a ring sling or the straps on a buckler carrier to accommodate the added bulk.
- Always make sure that your carrier is tightened properly, check baby’s position frequently, and use a spotter or mirror when practicing getting baby on your back while wearing a thick winter coat.
- And, since it gets dark much earlier in the winter months, make sure you are easily seen if out and about after dark. Older kids may have fun with glow sticks, flashlights, and headlamps. Reflective clothing works great as well.
Many of these tips apply to older children as well! Once you’ve got all of your gear ready, take a test walk around the block to make sure everything works for you and baby. Don’t forget, if you need help with anything babywearing related, please join us at a BWI of Central Iowa meeting. You can find meeting dates and locations on our Facebook page. Our educators can give lots of good advice and provide hands-on help! Happy winter babywearing!
Peters, Christel. “Winter Hiking – How To Layer For Infants.” Hike It Baby, 15 Dec. 2015, https://hikeitbaby.com/winter-hiking-how-to-layer-for-infants/. Accessed 27 Dec. 2016.
Peters, Christel. “HIB Hacks For Winter Weather Fun.” Hike It Baby, 22 Jan. 2016, https://hikeitbaby.com/hib-hacks-for-winter-weather-fun/. Accessed 27 Dec. 2016.
Augustine, Melissa. “Cold Weather Babywearing.” Babywearing International of North Central Illinois, 24 Oct. 2014, http://bwiofncil.blogspot.com/2014/10/cold-weather-babywearing.html?m=1. Accessed 27 Dec. 2016.
Babywearing International, Inc. “Winter Wearing – Be Aware of the Bulk.” Babywearing International, 2016, http://babywearinginternational.org/what-is-babywearing/resources-for-educators/winter-wearing-bulk/. Accessed 27 Dec. 2016.
Title image from:
Brentnall-Compton, Arie. “We Know Cold – And We Still Love to Babywear All Winter!” Canadian Babywearing School, February 2012, https://canadianbabywearingschool.wordpress.com/tag/babywearing-coat/. Accessed 27 Dec. 2016.
Have you ever looked at a babywearing post online and thought to yourself, “What language are they speaking?” Trust me, we have all been there. With all the abbreviations and special terms used in babywearing, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Here is a list of some commonly used babywearing terms and abbreviations. This is by no means an all-encompassing list! However, after reading through this you will be well on your way to understanding the language of babywearing!
Stretchy wrap: A length of stretchy knit fabric that is tied similar to a woven wrap. Great for newborns, but sometimes uncomfortable for older and heavier babies. Some common brands of stretchy wraps are Moby, Baby K’Tan, and Solly.
Woven wrap: A length of fabric made from handwoven fibers, which is tied into place. Made in several different sizes and is suitable for many different carries (front, back, and side) and all sizes of babies.
MT – Mei Tai: Asian-style carrier with body panel, waist straps, and wrap-style shoulder straps
RS – Ring Sling: Sling style carrier with rings used for adjusting at shoulder
SSC – Soft Structured Carrier: A carrier with a structured body panel, arm straps, and a waist strap (usually fastened with a buckle). Some common SSC brands are Tula and Ergo.
PFA – Perfect Fit Adjusters: These cinch down the straps of a SSC more than the regular buckle straps to further customize the fit of the carrier.
Onbu (Onbuhimo): A carrier with a body panel and arm straps. The body panel curves up and under the child to form a wrap-style seat.
ABC – Asian-Style Baby Carrier: Includes mei tais, onbus, podaegis, etc.
TC – Table Cloth: A woven tablecloth used as a wrap (commonly referred to as TCMT, TCRS, or TC Shorty).
Pouch sling: A sling carrier without rings. Most come in multiple sizes.
WC – Wrap Conversion: A wrap converted to another type of carrier.
WCMT – Wrap Conversion Mei Tai: a Mei Tai converted from a wrap
WCRS – Wrap Conversion Ring Sling: a Ring Sling converted from a wrap
WCHB – Wrap Conversion Half Buckle: a SSC style carrier converted from a wrap with a structured body panel, arm straps, and waist straps. A half buckle only has one set of buckles and the other set of straps are wrap-style straps.
WCFB – Wrap Conversion Full Buckle: a SSC style carrier converted from a wrap with both sets of straps (waist and shoulder straps) fastened with buckles
SPOC – Simple Piece Of Cloth: Similar to a woven wrap, but not made specifically for babywearing. Could have safety issues.
Wrap Carries and Finishes
Descriptions for the wrap carries will not go into great detail, as it is much easier to learn a carry in person (through a video tutorial or from a VBE). Attend a meeting and we can help you learn any of these carries!
FWCC/PWCC – Front Wrap Cross Carry/Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (Moby)
RRR – Rear Reinforced Ruck
DH – Double Hammock
FCC – Front Cross Carry
RTIF – Ruck Tied In Front
RTUB – Ruck Tied Under Bum
TAS – Tied At Shoulder
TT – Tied Tibetan: a knotless type of finish
CB – Chest Belt: a finish with one or both wrap tails running across the wrapper’s chest
CCCB – Candy Cane Chest Belt: a finish with the wrap tails twisted (like a candy cane) across the wearer’s chest
Ruck pass: Goes over baby and then over both of the wrapper’s shoulders.
Cross pass: Crosses over the baby diagonally, with one end going under the baby’s leg and the other end going over the baby’s shoulder and usually over the wrapper’s shoulder.
Torso pass: Goes over the baby and then under both of the wrapper’s arms. Frequently used in a FWCC.
Reinforcing pass: A reinforcing pass comes under the wrapper’s arm and across the baby horizontally or diagonally.
Bunched pass: For a bunched pass, the wrap is gathered or bunched together and then passed under/over the baby. Frequently used as safety crosses.
Airy: Term used to describe a wrap of looser weave (opposite of dense).
Bounce: Term used to describe a wrap with some give in the fabric.
Cush: An attribute given to describe the cushiness a wrap has or how padded it feels on the wrapper’s shoulders.
Dense: An attribute given to a wrap of tighter weave.
Felting: Damage caused to a wool wrap from improper washing. Results in a wrap shrinking in width and getting very fuzzy. A felted wool wrap is not safe to use.
Grippy: An attribute given to a wrap to describe how easily it slides when wrapping.
Moldable: An attribute given to a wrap to describe the way it forms to yours and baby’s body when wrapped.
Natty: A natural or un-dyed wrap
Saggy: An attribute given to a wrap to describe a wrap that does not hold it’s shape when wrapping and baby changes positions. A saggy wrap can become uncomfortable quickly.
Slippery: An attribute given to a wrap that slides very easily when wrapping (opposite of grippy).
Pull: A loop of yarn that has been pulled up in the fabric as a result of snagging. Cosmetic flaw that can be easily fixed.
Nub: A lump or thick piece of yarn in the weave. Common cosmetic flaw, especially with handwoven wraps and certain wrap blends.
Slub: Similar to a nub
Supportive: An attribute used to describe a wrap that carries the weight of the baby very well without becoming uncomfortable (opposite is saggy).
Thread Shifting: A flaw where parts of the weave shift, causing the wrap to become very thin in places. Can cause safety issues if it turns into a hole.
Permastash: A term used to describe a wrap that will be staying in your permanent collection.
Unicorn: Used to refer to a person’s ultimate dream carrier
C&C: Colimecon et Cie
Buy, Sell, Trade Terms
Buy, Sell, Trade groups have LOTS of acronyms and terms. We will just go over the basics here. Watch for a future post with more BSTing details.
BST – Buy, Sell, Trade
BNIB – Brand New In Box
BNIP – Brand New In Package
DISO – Desperately In Search Of, (VDISO = Very Desperately In Search Of)
EUC – Excellent Used Condition
FS – For Sale
FSO – For Sale Only
FSOT – For Sale or Trade
FTO – For Trade Only
GUC – Good Used Condition (VGUC = Very Good Used Condition)
ISO – In Search Of
NWT – New With Tags
NWOT – New Without Tags
PPD – Pay Pal Domestic
MMARO – Message Me A Reasonable Offer
TV – Trade Value
BWI – Babywearing International: An organization with locally-run branches that promotes babywearing and assesses educators for teaching others.
VBE – Volunteer Babywearing Educator: A volunteer who is assessed in writing and with a practical demonstration of their knowledge in all areas of babywearing by Babywearing International representatives. Want to learn more about VBEs?
ABE – Advanced Babywearing Educator: An educator who is trained in advanced babywearing studies.
BW – Babywear
BF – Breastfeed
Leg straightener: Used to describe a child who frequently locks or straightens their legs when wrapped. This makes it difficult to wrap well.
Seat popper: Desribes a child who likes to straighten legs and “pop” their seat in the wrap (when bottom rail comes out from underneath baby’s bottom).
LL – Lending library: A library of baby carriers used for lending out to members (could also be used for Lenny Lamb – a brand of carrier)
LO – Little One: Refers to child.
Squish: Used to refer to brand new, newborn babies.
ASTM – American Society for Testing and Materials: Organization that sets standards for testing carriers.
BCIA – Baby Carriers Industry Alliance: An organization that helps maufacturers meet standards.
It can be nerve-wracking to go a new place, meet new people, and try new things. But I promise it is so much fun going to a Babywearing International meeting! My mission is to answer all of your questions about a typical meeting so you know what to expect.
Where do I go? Check out the pinned post in our Facebook group. In it you will find a link to the ‘Events’ tab, which will show you the date, time, and location of upcoming meetings. In the same post, there is a link to subscribe to the events and meetings so you never miss one. BWI of Central Iowa chapter has 4 meetings per month: the Ankeny meeting, West Des Moines morning meeting, West Des Moines evening meeting, and an Indianola (South side) meeting.
How much does it cost? Attending meetings is FREE! If you’d like to join the group, it is $30/year. This gives you the ability to check out 1 carrier/month.
What do I need to bring? Bring yourself. Bring your baby. The VBEs offer hands-on help with or without your baby present (we love to help expectant parents too)! Bring your family members. Bring your spouse, older children, parents, daycare provider, or anyone else that might be wearing your child. We can help anyone and everyone babywear. Bring your carrier if you have one you would like help with, or come try out some of the lending library’s many options.
What should I NOT bring? Please, no food or drinks at the meetings. Water, breastmilk, and formula are fine. We have several kiddos with severe food allergies, and we want our meetings to be as safe as possible. Germs–if you or your loved ones have been ill recently, please do not come to the meeting. We want to do our best to provide a healthy environment, especially for the brand new babies and kids with compromised immune systems.
What happens at a meeting? As you walk in, you will be greeted by our lovely volunteers and asked to sign in. The sign in sheet asks your name, email, if you’re a member, and if it’s okay to take your photo. There will be tables set up with different types of carriers around the room. One of the VBEs will welcome everyone, introduce the volunteers, and explain how the carriers are organized. Then you can browse carriers, try them on, and get help from a VBE. This time doubles as a playdate for your child, and you might just make some friends in the process! At any point in the meeting, you can sign up to become a member. We usually have about 60 minutes for testing the carriers and asking questions. Then check out time will be announced by a VBE.
How does the checkout work? At checkout time, everyone goes to the table of the carrier they want. If more than one person wants to borrow the same carrier, one of the volunteers will flip a coin to see who gets it. Then you take the carrier you want to the checkout table. The CSV will check the carrier number, log it on the checkout sheet and have you initial. The carrier will go in an orange bag with our policy and terms conveniently attached. You may be asked to show an ID at the time of checkout.
When do I have to return the carrier? Carriers must be returned the following month. Because our chapter has four meetings each month, we keep separate libraries for each meeting. So if you check a carrier out from the Ankeny meeting, you must return it to the next Ankeny meeting. Please make sure to return the carrier within the first 15 minutes of the meeting to avoid a $15 late fee. This is to ensure that everyone has sufficient time to try all of the carriers during the meeting. If you cannot make it to a meeting and you need to return a carrier, just go on to our Facebook page and message one of the admins. We will arrange for return of the carrier outside of the meeting. Communication is key–we understand that life happens!
How do I care for the carrier? Treat your lending library carrier as if it were your own. Use it as much as you want! There is no need to wash a lending library carrier if it is used for normal, everyday use. If baby has a blow-out or something else that warrants a washing, message one of the admins on the Facebook group for proper cleaning instructions. Please do not smoke near the baby carriers. Please keep your pets off of the baby carriers. If couple stray hairs from your pet make it onto a carrier that is not a big deal. But if there is significant pet hair on the carrier, please message us for washing instructions. Again, we need to be sensitive to our members with allergies. If a carrier is returned dirty, we will charge you a $5 laundering fee.
How do I join? You can fill out the paperwork, pay for the membership, and check out a carrier all at the same meeting!
What type of payment is accepted? We accept cash, check and PayPal. We can also send a PayPal invoice to your email that you can pay with your credit card.
What else should I know? We love babywearing! Share your photos on our Facebook page. The VBEs will do a fit check and give helpful tips if needed. We often play games, geek out, and share our love of babywearing through social media.
A final note – We love all babywearing. Whether you have a hand-me-down carrier or the newest wrap on the market, or no carrier at all, we love all babywearers. Our goal is to make everyone feel welcome and educated about how to wear safely.
Written by Cat Anderson and Emily Shafer
Review of one of our New Additions: The TwinGo Baby Carrier!