International Babywearing Week is held the first week in October (October 5-11th, 2014). This is a time to celebrate and raise awareness of the practice of babywearing. Chat with your friends, learn more, and show us why you wear!
This year’s theme is Share The Adventure – a week for you to make more babywearing friends within our group, attend your first event, or share your adventure so we can celebrate together!
Babywearing International of Grand Rapids (BWI of GR) is celebrating by hosting additional events, a week-long chance at a giveaway, and some FUNdraiser options! Read below to find out more and check out our additional events to RSVP.
Let’s start with the most important part! What can you win by celebrating with us?
Complete our Rafflecopter here
Play Along and Earn Entries
Share a photo! All photos must be posted in the daily event and/or thread. Photos must be posted on the day they are scheduled between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm. Each photo will be an entry into our Grand Prize drawing. ALL PHOTOS ENTERED INTO THE DRAWING WILL FALL UNDER OUR STANDARD PHOTO RELEASE. You must fill out the release found here or entries will not be valid. Tag all photos shared publicly with the tag #bwiofgr and #IntlBabywearingWeek. The most liked photo on each thread (Sunday - Tuesday, Thursday - Saturday) will win a key chain donated by Whimsical Treasure, MI!
Sunday, October 5th: Shout-It-Out Sunday
Shout it all the way to the roof-tops (or Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!): We love babywearing! Shout it out and tell the entire world why you wear!
PRIZE ENTRY: Share our public fan page or your own status about why you wear! Take a screenshot or photo to show that you shared our Fan Page, Fan Page Status, or proclaimed your babywearing love! Submit your photo entry to the thread of the day in our private chatter group.
Monday, October 6th: Get Moving Monday
Show us your babywearing workout! Head outside for a walk, take some trips up and down the stairs with the added weight, join us for babywearing Zumba, or try The Babywearing Workout *reminder – best practice babywearing says that you would only do activities that you would do while holding baby in arms. i.e. – no bike riding while wearing, no skiing, no horse-back riding, running, etc.*
PRIZE ENTRY: Take a babywearing selfie showing off your babywearing workout! Head to babywearing Zumba, take an after dinner walk, or get moving and get sweaty! Submit your photo entry to the thread of the day in our private chatter group.
EVENT: Zumba @ 1:30 at Trinity Lutheran Gym. Class will cost $5/Sustaining Member and $8/other.
Tuesday, October 7th: Teach Me Tuesday
Take time to learn a new technique or carry. Have someone in your life with whom you’ve wanted to share babywearing? Now is the time!
PRIZE ENTRY: Take a selfie of learning a new carry or show us a new carry/carrier you've just learned! Submit your photo entry to the thread of the day in our private chatter group.
EVENTS: Babywearing 101. $0 fee. Location – Trinity Lutheran from 6:30pm-7pm. This event is for those who are unfamiliar with babywearing and have not previously attended an event with Babywearing International of Grand Rapids. Please check the event invitation for more information.
Advanced BW Class. $5/Sustaining Members and $8/others. Location - Trinity Lutheran from 7-8pm. Teaching Double Hammock (DH) & Variations and Half-Jordan’s Back Carry (HJBC). Please check the event invitation for skill requirements. Class size is limited so RSVP to save your spot.
Wednesday, October 8th: Work-It-Out Wednesday
Babywearing is good for caregiver and baby. It reduces stress, regulates heartbeats, and reduces crying time. Hopefully it is also giving you time to keep your mind sharp but, if not, take some time to work your brain today – puzzles are known to reduce stress and calm your heart rate as well!
PRIZE ENTRY: Take a shot at our Fill in the Blank Word Search! There is no ‘official’ photo thread for today but we’ll be chatting. You will need to have completed this puzzle to earn an entry from Rafflecopter.
Thursday, October 9th: Throwback Thursday
Share pictures of your first time wearing, a favorite babywearing memory, or the people who introduced you or who you have introduced to babywearing.
PRIZE ENTRY: Share a throwback photo from the first time you wore your baby, the first time you tried a new carry or carrier, or a favorite wearing memory. Submit your photo entry to the thread of the day in our private chatter group.
Friday, October 10th: Friday Funday
What adventures have you had that might not be possible without babywearing? Hiked a mountain? Walked the beach? What would be your Fantasy Family Adventure – act it out and have some fun!
PRIZE ENTRY: Babywearing is an adventure! Play along at home today by completing this photo challenge. Take a babywearing selfie pretending to be on an adventure you would like to do while babywearing. DO NOT share a photo from a past adventure - invent yours at home as best as you can! Print this doc, write down your adventure, and pose for a babywearing selfie! If you don’t have a home printer, write the hashtags on a piece of paper or edit your photo to include them! Submit your photo entry to the thread of the day in private chatter group. We will have some copies of the page at the meeting if you need to grab one!
EVENT: Grand Rapids Weekday Meet-up (visit private Facebook chatter group to RSVP).
Saturday, October 11th: Share your City Saturday
What defines your town, city, region or community? Show the rest of the babywearing world the adventures you can share in your community. Grand Rapids, Holland, or any of our surrounding cities: what makes them so special? What do you love about your city?
PRIZE ENTRY: Head outside today and take a selfie while exploring the city or showing us your favorite spots. Hit up the last days of ArtPrize, the beach, a fair, a festival, a walk through the fall trees, etc!
Total Available Entries and How to Redeem
The entry form to tally your weeks participation will be posted via Rafflecopter on Saturday, October 11th and will stay open to submit your entries until Monday, October 13th at 11:59 p.m. Prize Drawing will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 14th, entries will be validated, and winners announced Tuesday evening after 8 p.m.
What a fun week we have in store! We look forward to getting to know you more and having you get to know us. Babywearing bonding is not just for caregiver to child--we can bond and make friendships also! What prize do you want to win?
It’s hot. Hot weather is hot. Strapping another human being to your body is going to be hotter! Still, hot weather shouldn't stop you from wearing your baby! While we can't provide you a temperature miracle, we have a few tips to help you and your baby stay as comfortable as possible this summer in any carrier type.
Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs)
The open sides of a SSC allow for lots of airflow, while the quick on-and-off can let you easily take a break when needed. There are some awesome SSCs that have breathable panels made of mesh, solarveil/solarweave, koolnit, etc. Bamberoo, Kinderpacks, Lillebaby, Ergo, Beco, and Pognae are some options with breathable panels.
Meh Dais (MDs)
Like a SSC, the open sides of a MD allow for lots of airflow. A MD hip carry may offer additional cooling.
Ring Slings (RSs)
The one-layer pass of a RS will help to keep the heat at bay. A linen or linen blend fabric can increase airflow as well. Another option are mesh ring slings. Typically, mesh is most recommended for use in the water, but on a warm day they can be great! Mesh slings are very thin and can be hard to wear long-term as the thin fabric can create additional pressure points. With a mesh sling, you need to take caution that the fabric is not too slippery and that your rings stay tightened and secure on the fabric. Some sling options are Comfy Joey, Sleeping Baby Productions, BabyEtte, Beachfront Baby, and TaylorMade.
Woven wraps made of gauze, linen, linen blends, and lightweight fabrics will be some of the best options. Gauze is very thin and while the fabric has great air flow, it will feel best with multiple passes over baby. Single-layer carries with one pass over baby will be the coolest option. Try carries like ruck variations, kangaroo carry, or a simple torso carry. With multi-layer carries like front wrap cross carry or back wrap cross carry, you can leave the passes bunched vs spreading them across the child’s back. Some great lightweight woven wraps can be found in brands such as Ellaroo, Wrapsody Breeze, and Vatanai.
Take care to monitor your child as you always do while babywearing, especially for overheating.
If age appropriate, back carriers can allow for more air circulation.
Dress in light clothing that will keep your baby's skin covered. There is nothing worse than hot, sticky skin-on-skin contact when in extreme heat! This will also help protect your baby's skin from the sun. For extra shade, you can also use a large umbrella, hats for caregiver and child, or one large-brimmed hat to cover everyone!
Use chilly pads like Frogg Toggs to quickly wipe your or your baby's face or neck. To use these towels, you wet them and ring out the extra water. The towels will remain cool to the touch for hours! When trying to cool down, use the Boo-Boo Packs, chilly pads, or a cool water bottle on pressure points.
Can you use a stroller in the heat? Of course! Strollers are always a great option, especially for older children. Always do what is best for your family and situation.
If you want to learn more about hot weather wearing or check out the cooler options we have in our lending library, consider attending a meeting!
1. Let us know you are coming! RSVP to the events so that we can do our best to have enough educators and volunteers available! If you decide last minute you are available, join us anyways! We’d love to see you!
2. Bring your own carriers. We are advocates for practice, not product! Our educators have a working knowledge of just about any carrier on the market. Our goal is first to help you feel comfortable and happy with what you currently own. If you want to try something new, you are welcome to try out the many carriers in our library. If you do not own a carrier yet, you are in luck! We have plenty for you to try and feel so you can be confident in your purchasing decisions.
3. Plan ahead for your child(ren). Kids of all ages are welcome at our meetings. Please come with whatever you need to keep your child(ren) happy: snacks, drinks, toys, books, whatever that may be. We ask that it be quiet and not messy as we meet in donated spaces. If your child has a special toy that would be stressful to share, consider leaving that in the car. When packing snacks, avoid nut products and be aware that many of our participants have food allergies (especially nut, gluten and dairy). We ask that you keep snacks contained (within arm’s reach to limit your child leaving food or drink where someone else could pick it up), and avoid sharing or offering snacks or drinks to other children.
4. Make Yourself Comfortable: We don’t set up chairs in any specific order, as whatever we take out we have to put back and many of our volunteer leaders have to leave as soon as the meeting is finished. If you would like a chair, grab one! Sit on the floor. Lean against a wall. Put a blanket down on the floor. Whatever makes you comfortable! Our meeting locations vary but you are welcome to make yourself comfortable as each location deems. Join us. If you come in late, that’s fine. Just slide right in.
5. Put Your Child’s Needs First: Feel free to parent your child. Our leaders will sometimes have to pause instruction or conversation in order to parent their own children, and we understand that you may need a break to do the same. The children are why we’re here, after all so do not worry if you have to step away to change a diaper, take someone to the potty, or sit down and feed your child. Please know that many of our leaders are stay at home moms or are working moms with some schedule flexibility, so we often have our children with us, too. Our leaders have kids that range from newborn to 12 years old. Many of us couldn’t volunteer as educators if we couldn’t bring our kids with us. Our leaders and attendees will also have older children that they need to bring, especially when school is not in session. We all try our best to keep older children calm and contained, but towards the end of the meeting especially, their patience may be wearing thin and hunger is setting in. If you see a safety concern, inform one of the leaders and/or the parent of the child.
6. Ask lots of questions! Please speak up and ask a question or ask for help when needed. It is not rude. If you need something repeated, just tell us. If you asked for help and we have not gotten to you, please remind us. Please do not leave if you feel like you still have concerns or questions. We want to help!
7. Trust Us: All of our educators are well versed in all the carrier types. While we may each have our own favorite(s), we are capable of helping you with what you need. For example, if an educator is wearing their child in a ring sling, it is still okay to ask them about soft structured carriers. If one of our educators can not answer your question, they will direct you to one who can or is best suited to help you.
8. Remember, we’re here to help you!! We volunteer our time because we want you to love babywearing and to be successful with it. At one point, we all walked into a babywearing meeting, unsure of ourselves, a little bit intimidated, not knowing anyone, and probably tired and frazzled, as well. But something special happened for us, and we came back again. And again. And again. And now we’re the ones standing in the front of the room, tossing a baby on our back again and again and again so you can learn to do it, too. We hope these tips will help make meetings a better experience for all of us, and allow us to better meet your needs and make you feel included. Happy wearing!
Much thanks, credit, and blatant copying comes from the amazing BWI of DC-MD-VA (Beltway Babywearers). If you are looking for an amazing blog to follow, this is a great one. To find the source of stolen and copied information, please see here: http://www.beltwaybabywearers.blogspot.com/2014/04/maximizing-your-meeting-experience.html?m=1. Special thanks to Ann Marie - for the many many many ways she has given to the babywearing community and for granting permission for the copying of her smart, educated, and well thought out words!