Friday, July 6, 2012

International Babywearing Conference 2012

This past weekend, I had the exciting opportunity to attend the International Babywearing Conference, held at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  The conference was attended by about 300 Babywearing Educators and researchers, Doulas, Lactation Consultants,  Birth Professionals, and parents from the US, Canada, and around the world who wanted to learn more about babywearing and other parenting topics. 

Many workshops were geared toward babywearing educators, including Babywearing Safety, Babywearing in Clinical Settings, and Ergonomics for the Baby and Babywearer.  There was a fascinating research review from Katie Nicolai of the German babywearing group, Offene Traggegrupe Oberhausen covering topics including infant spinal stress, kangaroo care, and some of the evolutionary aspects of baby carrying. A lecture on the benefits of touch from Dr. Henrik Norholt, Chief Scientific Officer of Ergobaby discussed the relationship between babywearing and infant attachment (Dr. Norholt has some great articles based on his research on the Ergobaby blog). There were DIY workshops and  lots of classes on how to use specific carriers, including classes on tandem wearing and babywearing from a man's perspective.

There were also workshops on parenting topics such as breastfeeding, diapering, Elimination Communication, and green cleaning and some fun classes on Babywearing Yoga and Bellydance!  One day of the conference was open to the public, with 101 classes, a vending hall, and a babywearing fashion show. I especially enjoyed the keynote speaker, Rachel Coleman of Signing Time.  Her story is truly inspiring.

I had a great time! Also, thanks to Ergobaby and Babywearing International, we now have a new Ergo Sport for our Atlanta Babywearers carrier library!

Here are a few snapshots and a look at some more of the exciting workshops that were offered.

Tina Hoffman of Didymos presented a lecture on The Art of Weaving, offering a detailed look into the  process of creating a woven wrap.

In Babywearing and Culture, Arie Brentnall-Compton of the Canadian Babywearing School demonstrated a variety of carriers used around the world, such at this Scottish wool carrying and nursing shawl.

Here, Arie shows us how to use an Amauti, a babywearing parka used by Canadian First Nations. 

Arie demonstrating how to use an African Kanga. 

How to teach the ringsling workshop, with Jan Andrea Herlitzer of Sleeping Baby Productions and 
Ellen Schaad, VBE for BWI of DC/MD/VA.

Advanced Back Wrapping, taught by the fabulous Becca Morse, Babywearing Consultant and VBE of BWI of Ann Arbor.  Becca also has a great babywearing blog.

I had the opportunity to meet many of the fabulous Volunteer Babywearing Educators for Babywearing International, what a truly wonderful group!

With Faith Rayland, VBE of BWI of Central New York, slinging our demo babies. 

There was even a babywearing fashion show! 

Babywearing and happy babies everywhere! A fabulous time was had by all!