Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Belated IBW Guest Blog

Our last guest blogger for International Babywearing Week is a month late through no fault of hers - the fault lies solely with me!  My apologies.

Sheena is a blogger at The Attachment Diaries and is our newest VBE.  Without further ado, here is her post.

The theme for this year’s International Babywearing Week is “Share the Adventure”, which for me brings to mind the many ways that babywearing has enabled me to share in adventures with my son at a deeper level of bonding and experience for both of us.

A great example are a couple trips to zoos that we took together. Since he was worn on my back, my son Jackson was able to see the animals with a greater vantage point than if he were in a stroller or walking. I also didn’t have to keep lifting him up, or letting him climb on and touch the fencing and guardrails. With my attention being right there with him, he pointed to many things that excited and amazed him. Not having to worry about his immediate safety, I was free to relax and share in those joys with him, asking and answering questions, which added to the richness of the day for both of us. Had he been in a stroller, I would have missed out on seeing the incredible beauty of the world through his eyes. I might have quickly pushed the stroller through the maze of people, pausing only briefly here or there, bored with seeing the same animals that I have become so accustomed to. But instead I ambled casually and easily through the crowds as one body, and embraced his complete awe at the world around us. I was able to slow down and see the animals with fresh eyes; his eyes. We watched an elephant for five minutes once. And in toddler time, that’s an eternity.

He has also been to many sporting events, which can be an overwhelming experience for a small child.  But safe and secure, nestled against my body, Jackson was able to watch the crowds from a higher vantage point and truly observe the action. Activity that can be loud, over stimulating, and instinctually dangerous for him becomes an exciting new adventure when held safely in his mother’s arms. By feeling secure in his carrier, Jackson was able to watch and learn so much from the world around him. A task that would have proven achingly uncomfortable, and potentially not happen, for us without babywearing.

When your child is close enough to kiss, you are able to see the world through their eyes, and them through yours. Discussions over what is around the both of you become almost second nature, even if those conversations might be a little one-sided early on. These interactions offer so many learning opportunities for them, where they can see and experience everything while feeling safe and secure. And if the world ever becomes too much, it is so easy for them to return to the peace and quiet of their parent’s snuggle and recharge, before once again looking back out into the world for more.

I am so grateful for these moments that I have shared with my son, and look forward to those that I will share with my newborn daughter. I have enjoyed the slower pace and fresh perspective his eyes have brought to mine as we share in the joy of the world around us. Maybe for you it’s not an elephant, but instead a butterfly, or the trees, or maybe a fireworks show. But I encourage you to slow down, wear them close, and watch them as they watch the world. Share the joy. Share the magic. Share the Adventure!

Friday, October 10, 2014

One Less Thing

Here's a blogpost from our second guest, Kate Black.  We first met Kate last year, shortly after her little one was born.  Since then she's become a strong part of our community and we couldn't imagine BWI of Atlanta without her!

Picture this: two adults, one infant, two 90 pound dogs and all of our trappings (including a bazillion toys) tightly packed into our car for a week's vacation ("vacation"?) at my mother-in-law's. We packed the playpen, discovered just how much room cloth diapers really do take up, loaded the dogs in the back of our Honda Pilot and stood looking at each other.

"Do we need it?"


"Well, we're going to the zoo.."

"I'll wear him at the zoo; he can see much better."

"So, we really don't need a stroller?"


My husband looked at me uncertainly.

We have made the drive to Miami from Atlanta four times in my son's sixteen months. Not one of those times did we bring a stroller, and I have never regretted it.

Babywearing in Miami? You'd better believe it! To the zoo, Vizcaya, Matheson Hammock, South Beach, Biscayne Bay, the Perez Art Museum, and, of course, the grocery store. Our wraps and SSC have been a source of constancy amidst new surroundings.  They have been a sun shade, hammock, a fort, and beach blanket, and they take up far less room than a stroller ever could. Yeah, it’s hot.  But, you know, strapping another human to you is bound to be hot, right?

Babywearing on the road is really no different than it is at home, with the exception of not having the stroller to lug the diaper bag, lunch, extra clothing, and whatever else I cram onto the stroller at home. Instead, babywearing on the road offers extra opportunities to snuggle, an opportunity to see the barnyard animals from a safe distance, and one less thing to pack. Which, after packing for two adults, one kid and two dogs, I will take one less thing!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Traveling Light

This guest blog is by one of BWI of Atlanta's members, Zarya Alexandra Rubin. This is our first post in a guest blogging series that will help restart BWI of Atlanta's blog!  International Babywearing Week this year is all about sharing the adventure, and our globetrotter Zarya is no stranger to travel.

I'm packing for another trip. The suitcase is full and I still have essential laundry in the dryer, so I'm probably going to have to do the unthinkable and take a second bag. I used to pride myself on traveling light - I once made a year-long solo voyage across Europe with nothing but a single backpack. It was my mission to squeeze it all in and still make carry-on status.

I later became an expert executive traveler: suits, dressy evening wear, was all about the shoes. Whittling my choices down to five pairs was actually quite a challenge. Shoes did me in.

Of course that was long before I had babies...and wraps. Now my packing dilemmas center around which wraps do I bring? How do I stuff them in carefully? How can I leave any of them behind? What if, god forbid, THEY LOSE MY LUGGAGE?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

March Membership Madness!

Look at that sexy alliteration up there!

BWI mothership has thrown down a challenge and so once again, it's membership drive time.  I won't do the guilt trip this time.  I suspect that last June was good enough, right?

In all seriousness, it's good for us to have membership drives a couple of times a year.  The baby years are such a fleeting time in our lives and thus the lifespan of a dues-paying member is generally only a year.  However, our needs are constant and we must find new members to help us continue to build our library, create educational materials, and keep BWI of Atlanta a worthwhile organization to join.

The truth is that we are growing rapidly, and it is no longer feasible for us to bring one library, or even multiple libraries, to multiple locations.  Our goal, then, for this membership drive is to separate our current library into three libraries, each as well-stocked as the other.  This means the library tab on the webpage will have a tab for each area instead of one large tab with a giant, confusing wall of text.  It makes the checkout process easier for all of us and will help us better track usage statistics for each area.

Our drive isn't going to get us everything we need, but it will be a very good start if we can hit our goals.  Here's the breakdown:

5 memberships: 2 wrap conversion ring slings
10 memberships: 1 wrap conversion mei tai by Chrysalis Designs
15 memberships: 1 Didymos ruby hemp indio, size 5
20 memberships: 100 (or more!) BWI of Atlanta car magnets, one for every member who joins or renews during the drive, and all members in good standing
25 memberships: 1 standard Tula
30 memberships: 1 standard Kinderpack
35 memberships: 2 size 4 Natibaby hemp blend wraps
40 memberships: 1 standard Tula
45 memberships: 1 standard Kinderpack
50 memberships: 1 Hop-Tye
50+ memberships: ?????

Current members who would like to renew their memberships may renew during the drive and extend their current membership to a year past their original renewal date.  So, for example, if Sally Slinger joined in July of 2013 and she renews during this drive, that would extend her expiration date from July of 2014 to July of 2015.

50 members feels like a lot, but our last drive was a huge success!  We smashed our goals and then some.  I think we can do this!  We can do this!  Tell everyone you know to join!  BWI members get many, many perks throughout the year, from a running discount at New Baby Products to special members-only workshops and giveaways.  Becoming a member of BWI is worth your $30.00.  Trust me.

And you know, I'm not just the president... I'm a member too!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gratitude and perspective

As the calendar year draws to a close, and we celebrate holidays with friends and family, I've found myself more and more motivated to write a blogpost about giving thanks.  A lot has happened since we became BWI of Atlanta last October, and much of it could not have happened without the support of the babywearing community, friends, and family.

First and foremost I'd like to thank all the people who keep Babywearing International of Atlanta funded - the members.  Without our members we can't have a lending library.  That is the biggest draw for anyone joining this organization.  Our lending library has mushroomed and it's all because of people joining and paying dues.  All of the educators at BWI of Atlanta are volunteers, which means that 100% of the chapter's share of dues go straight towards the lending library or advertising.

Of course, we can't have a lending library without the vendors and manufacturers that donate carriers to us or sell us carriers at a discount.  If you've been a longtime reader of this blog you will not be surprised to hear that Jennifer Harris of Marsupial Mamas has been instrumental in helping us build our lending library.  The vast majority of our wraps have come from Marsupial Mamas and I could not ask for a more wonderful, generous person with whom to do business.  When we are in need, I turn to Jen first.  She comes through every time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

IBW sponsor shout-out

Pavo Textiles has made International Babywearing Week an extra special one for us this year.  Much love goes out to Jen and Erin for working tirelessly to support the babywearing community and provide an American-made, beautifully designed, high-quality product.

Image credit Malia Drake

Image credit Malia Drake

Pavo S.T.I.C.K. bags also make it easy to remember the cardinal safety rules for babywearing:

  • Supported back
  • Tight
  • In view at all times
  • Close enough to kiss
  • Keep chin off chest
Happy International Babywearing Week, with thanks to Pavo Textiles!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

IBW Membership Drive

Membership drive details!

The drive runs from Sunday, 9/29 through Saturday, 10/12.  Any new or renewing members that join during the drive will get double the number of bids for the members-only giveaway.  Existing members will get 15, but new and renewing members will get 30!

To be very clear for others, purchasing a membership is the only way to gain bids for giveaway prizes.  Bids are a part of the membership package.  If you would like to donate to BWI of Atlanta, you are of course welcome to (donations may be written off) and anyone who donates will receive a voucher good for a members-only event.

What are you waiting for?  Join us!  Resistance is futile.