12 May

About Us

BWI-Logo-Stacked-with-TM-300x300Babywearing International, Inc. (BWI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support. The heart of BWI is our network of local chapters which provide free educational meetings and support within their own communities.

We invite you to spend some time getting to know us.

16 May

Chapter Highlight: BWI of Savannah

slingers leader pic

groupphoto10-9In Savannah, Georgia, with two military bases nearby, a babywearing group was started by some friends who enjoyed wearing their children in April of 2012. The founder, GeorgAnna Wiley, who was part of a sling group in the United Kingdom, decided once she got back to the United States to share her love of babywearing. On June 23, 2013, they affiliated and became BWI of Savannah.

The group serves Savannah and its surrounding areas, which could be up to thirty miles away. Towns served include Pooler, Richmond Hill, Fort Steward/Hinesville, Bluffton (South Carolina) and Rincon. They have four instructional meetings per month, with their Saturday meeting being the most popular.

Since the area has two military bases, most of the leaders of BWI of Savannah are military spouses. This means that the turnover is quite high and can be a challenge, with new people always coming and going. The current group of leaders includes a mix of moms who work in and outside the home, a homebirth midwife, an engineer, teachers, and moms who love photography, Pinterest, and Doctor Who.

Back in February, the group had a carrier petting zoo, which had a great turnout. Over 40 IMG_5883carriers were loaned by members, as well as some library carriers. Folks came to “pet” and play with the carriers. Then, back in March, they had a back wrapping workshop, which also had good attendance. The group plans to hold similar educational and fun events in the future, as well as a quarterly fundraiser to help grow their library.

Their advice for other BWI chapters or unaffiliated babywearing groups is to have an off-topic group. They believe this is a great way to make friends, especially in a military community. Having an off topic group allows members to chat about other things and plan play dates, and keep the chatter in the main group specifically babywearing related.

To find out more about this chapter, you can check out their blog, Facebook page, join their Facebook group or follow them on Pinterest. You can also follow them on Twitter @bwiofsavannah or Instagram with the same name.

 

09 May

Educator to Educator: Suck Pads

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As a chapter, we noticed a need for suck pads for our buckles and mei tais. After all, those teething babies tend to suck (& drool) on just about anything they can. Our members appreciate having them available at check out and it helps keep our carriers in good condition. Win-win!

We were lucky and had several pairs donated to us, however, it was not nearly enough to cover our growing need for them. As a chapter we sat down and decided the solution was to make some. Always looking for reasons to see each other, we turned it into a volunteer get together! We are fortunate to have several excellent crafters in our organization, so we picked a day and everyone brought their equipment. While you don’t have to turn it into a get together, and it could be done by a single person, we always have a blast working together as a group!

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Our super awesome volunteers at BWI of Greater Austin hard at work on a new batch of suck pads!

Getting started:
Things your will need:
Towels
Fabric (we use scraps)
Fabric marker or pencil
Snaps
Snap press
Surger

Make sure you wash the towels ahead of time to avoid bleeding later. We tend to choose white towels, but any color will work. We want these suck pads to be cute enough that people will take them and use them, but not so cute that they will not make it back to us. As I noted, we are super lucky and have very crafty volunteers, so our items were all donated, however all of these things can be purchased easily at local stores or online.

Making the suck pads:
1. Begin with your towel and fabric.
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2. Cut into rectangles
We do six inches by nine inches, which we have found give good coverage.
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3. Line up the fabric on top of the towel and trim as needed to line them up.
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4. Surge the edges all the way around.
(Tip: we did some just made from towels and found those did not hold up as well over time, which is why we now do it with both towel and fabric)
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5. Sew on a tag now if you are going to do so.
I failed at getting a picture of this, but we learned it is easier to do it before the snaps are on. Since each of our suck pads will be individually numbered, we try to position the tags where they will be visible to our volunteers working the front desk. We have a smaller accessory tag we use for things like suck pads.

6. Add snaps.
For this it is helpful to decide where they are going to be and use the fabric pen to mark where they need to be put on the opposite side.
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Done! 
That is it, you now have easy suck pads for your library carriers!
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Look at all the suck pads we finished that day! Go team!
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Everyone who checks out a buckle or mei tai gets a set. When they return the carrier, the suck pads are removed, put into a bin for dirty ones and cleaned between meetings.
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A stack of brand new suck pads all ready for our carriers at our meeting!
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We have found this to be an easy and affordable way to keep carriers clean and in good condition. I hope you and your library have found this helpful!

02 May

The Best of TBW: Summer Babywearing Resources

Hanging out by the pool with kids splashing nearby. Enjoying a tall glass of lemonade on the back porch, watching the evening sky. A long day enjoying rides and shows at a theme park. Relaxing with friends by the campfire.

Summertime is my favorite time of the year and babywearing has always made it easier to spend time with my family, making memories and having fun. But hot weather can make it harder to keep everyone comfortable and keep you wearing through it all. I am often asked for tips about summertime babywearing and luckily there are some great resources to help people keep on wearing even when the temperatures start to climb.

First, let me say this; Having a little human strapped to your body can be hot and in hot weather and climates, it will only get hotter. You can find carriers that are better for hot weather wearing and we will talk a little bit about what features you are looking for in a summer carrier, but most caregivers find that they  do not need to purchase a new carrier specifically for the summer time.

Dressing yourself and your baby appropriately is the first step in summer wearing and it can make all the difference. The carrier adds layers to the baby, so a comfy cotton t-shirt and a diaper is usually plenty of clothing in warm weather. With very small infants, remember that they are not very efficient at maintaining their own body temperature, however, an adult body is great at it and as you wear your baby your sweat that will help cool your baby.

Drinking lots of water and offering fluids to your child often is going to help keep you both hydrated. Another important thing to consider is sun exposure. Make sure you take the time to use sunblock and hats when exposed to direct sun. This great thread has some discussion about how to keep the sun off of your baby while babywearing. A sun hat is essential when in very strong sun, but be sure that the hat you choose still allows for plenty of fresh airflow to your child. Remember you want your baby’s face in view at all times.

Wraps and Ringslings:

Wrapping in hot weather is overwhelming to some wearers. Layers and layers of fabric seems like it wouldn’t be something you would want in hot weather, but single layer carries and thinner wraps can make all the difference and allow you to wrap all year long.

Ring Slings are a fantastic summer option as they are one layer and come in a variety of fabrics, from 100% linen to a thick dense wrap conversion, because there is just one layer of fabric over baby and wearer they are generally the coolest carrier style. Check out this thread about the best blends for summer slings.

Wearing a mesh ring sling at the beach

Mesh water slings and wraps are also available and perfect for wading with little ones. Please remember that babywearing is not to be done while swimming and to use your best judgement when babywearing around the water.

Short wraps tied as a rebozo is a fantastic shorty carry with medium/thick wraps. If you enjoy a multi layer carry, choosing a thinner wrap with more open weave will allow for maximum breathability. Check out The summer wrap resource which breaks it all down and has suggestions of different brands that work best in different carries.

Another great thread to check out is the summer wrap boot camp. Learn some tips and techniques to help you wrap with thinner wraps — even with bigger kids! Wrapping thin wraps can actually help you become a better, more careful wrapper, so don’t be afraid to try a thin wrap.

Mei Tais and Soft Structured Carriers:

There have been a lot of new carriers that have come on the market in the past couple of years, many are hot-weather-friendly featuring cool mesh panels and moisture wicking fabrics. I am often asked if these mesh panels make a difference in how cool the carrier is and the answer is yes, but it makes the most difference for the baby.

The caregiver will still be pretty hot, but the baby will be cooler as the heat can escape from the carrier easier. The open sides also allow for more airflow and so mei tais and ssc’s can be a great option for people who want less fabric overall and carriers with thinner/less padding are generally cooler too, so keep that in mind when looking at your options. The SSC/MT Summer Resource is a list that is updated every spring with links to all of the brands and options out there so check it out if you’re looking for a list.

ToIMG_1362 conclude, I want to touch on how to stay safe during the summer while babywearing. As always, follow the labeling and instructions included with your carrier. You don’t want to do anything while babywearing that you wouldn’t do with your baby in your arms. These include things like horseback riding, biking, ATVing, boating, SUPing and water skiing. Choose alternate activities like hiking or splashing in the sprinklers or at the splash pad. I touched on swimming a bit already, but always be mindful around water. Babywearing can be great if you’re wading in the shallow end while watching your bigger kids, but always have an action plan and have an extra adult nearby just in case.

Have a safe and cool babywearing summer!

26 Apr

Babyearing Adventures – Gardening

gardening with big kid and pointing at something with baby on back in ergo
Fall gardening in a rebozo carry

Fall gardening in a rebozo carry

Babywearing is so helpful in the spring when you are trying to get things done in the garden!

First, a word of advice. Only do what you are comfortable doing – that goes both for babywearing abilities and just what your body can handle. It’s hard gardening with another human strapped to you! If you start to feel uncomfortable in any way, stop and readjust or stop until another day! The garden can wait; your safety cannot!

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, what carrier should you use? Choose a carrier that you are very comfortable using, as you’ll be doing lots of moving around. Preferably also one that you don’t mine getting dirty. I most prefer SSC for gardening (though I have also used wraps and mei tais). The absolutely unpoppable seat and little need for adjusting once on means there is one less thing for me to worry about once I’m elbow deep in soil. My old, soft, grungy Ergo is perfect for messy tasks like gardening!

ergo-selfie

Don’t have a carrier you mind getting dirt on? Cover up an SSC or a mei tai using baby legs (or socks with holes cut in the toes) on straps and/or a tshirt over the body of the carrier (just unbuckle straps and slide it on).

ergo with tshirt cover

If wrapping, choose a carry you are comfortable with that won’t need much adjusting. I also prefer one with tails tied in back so they are out of the way as much as possible. If you are still front carrying (in any carrier), keep in mind you will be more limited in what you can do.

toddler in an SHBC

Remember also to put protection on you and baby! Sun hats, baby leggings, sunglasses, and sunscreen may be needed depending on where you are. Cooling towels can be used on your own neck, but generally should not be used in between you and baby, as it could cause unsafe temperature regulation in baby. I also choose to wear pants that won’t require constant adjusting. Pulling up your pants constantly while gardening is annoying regardless, but extra annoying with a baby and baby carrier in play! I usually use gardening gloves anyway, but always use them when babywearing so I can pull them off and have mostly clean hands to tend to baby.

squatting while gardening in an ergo

The main word for gardening while babywearing? SQUATS! So. Many. Squats. Because you have a tiny human on your back, your ability to lean over will be very limited, so you’ll mostly be squatting to reach things – weeding, spreading mulch, planting, etc. Just go ahead and count it as your butt and thigh workout for the week! If you need to keep something stable nearby to use to help yourself get up (wheelbarrow, small shovel to use to put your weight on, etc) – go for it!

woman holding gardening shears with baby on back in ergo

Safety first! Be sure to keep any sharp items away from baby (both baby’s hand’s and eyes). Keep in mind that you have someone on your back when tossing dirt, mulch, or weeds…you don’t want to toss them on your baby! If you are weeding or pruning anything prickly, poisonous, or otherwise dangerous….leave it until you are doing it without baby. And last but certainly not least…take plenty of hydration and cool down breaks – both you and baby! Though you are doing most of the work, baby will need extra hydration as well. The gardening can wait while you take a break!

gardening with 4yo and baby on back in ergo

17 Apr

National Volunteer Week 2016: Outstanding Volunteer Nominees

Babywearing International Logo

It has been such a pleasure getting to know several of the amazing volunteers with Babywearing International throughout this past week! To wrap up National Volunteer Week 2016, we would like to recognize the many others within our organization that were nominated as outstanding volunteers. It is inspiring to hear of so many BWI volunteers that are positively impacting their chapters and communities, and committed to spreading the babywearing love. And a big, heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our volunteers within BWI for your time and dedication!

Sarah Anton, BWI South Chicagoland

Kijafa Smith, BWI Atlanta

Shanna Straut, BWI Rock-West

Caryn Schajer, BWI Rockland- Westchester

Elizabeth Morton, BWI Phoenix

Natalie Thornberry, BWI Akron Youngstown

Christie Everett Chapman, BWI South Western CT

Kelly Feinstein-Johnson, BWI Denver/Front Range

Dana Karstensen Bryan, BWI Hampton Roads

Autumn Bruington, BWI Greater Austin

Kayo Higashimura, BWI South Jersey

Brittnie Johnston, BWI South Jersey

Mich Conway, BWI Rock-West

Amique H., BWI Atlanta

Jillian Droppo, BWI Fayetteville

Kathy Low, BWI Grand Rapids

Ashley Teller, BWI Knoxville

Amie Kanengeiser, BWI Cleveland

Tracy McBride, BWI Cleveland

Becky Jeffrey, BWI LA County

Jill Stickhost, BWI Peoria

Joni Anderson, BWI Denver/Front Range

Ellen Schaad, BWI DC MD VA

Caroline Boucher Hutton, BWI Washington

Sarah Sakai, BWI DC MD VA

Thank you to the over 1,200 volunteers putting in countless hours for your chapters and your communities.

To read our other entries from National Volunteer Week 2016:

Rosemary Cox

Lauren Maynard

Chrissie Riese

Stephanie Springer

Sarah Ludwig

Erin Fabian

 

17 Apr

National Volunteer Week 2016: Outstanding Volunteer Erin Fabian

Rounding out our group of outstanding Babywearing International volunteers that we have been featuring for National Volunteer Week 2016 is Erin Fabian from BWI of Cleveland!

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Erin is a full-time working mom of two (a 2-year-old and 4-year-old) and “wife to one (37-year-old, I think???).”  She is a pharmacist by training, but is currently working for a medical information company, specializing in toxicology. She writes information for first responders/healthcare providers that treat poisonings and overdoses.  Erin’s family is in the midst of a huge house renovation and anxiously awaiting their “moving home” day!

13045611_10209343480254148_292480142_nWe asked Erin why she wears, and her answer was simple: “I babywear to survive!”  She first learned about babywearing when her older sister (her “mom-idol”) wore her son in an Ergo before Erin had even “started reproducing” (the sense of humor is strong with this one!). She saw what an impact it had on her sister’s life as a mother and knew that babywearing would be a part of her parenting practices, too, without question.


“She has been a leader in our chapter from the moment she said ‘yes’ to becoming an educator. She has been a steady guiding hand in a chapter where we put the cart before the horse and suffered from educator burn out and leadership turn over.  Any time we’ve had trouble Erin has stepped up to bail us out and keep our large chapter rolling smoothly. Her compassion in educating meeting attendees and fellow educators alike is contagious.”  -Karyn Tankersley, BWI of Cleveland

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Erin is currently a Master Babywearing Educator (MBE) and began volunteering with her local chapter, BWI of Cleveland, when her second daughter was about a year old. She says she is pretty sure she was that “pesky attendee who insisted on peer-to-peer teaching…then got suckered in!”  Erin continues to volunteer because she loves her community of babywearers; they are like her family and she loves watching them succeed and become empowered caregivers through babywearing.

Currently serving as chapter President and a member of BWI of Cleveland’s Board of Directors, Erin has also served as Vice President of Education for her chapter. Nationally, she is one of BWI’s Higher Accreditation Coordinators, in addition to serving on several committees.

“Erin holds a special place in her heart for BWI. She is always involved in leading others. She currently is acting president after the previous president resigned. Erin doesn’t even complain about what needs to be done, she just does it.”
-Tracy McBride, BWI Cleveland

Even though Erin doesn’t live very close to the city and works full-time during the day, she strives to meet the needs of her chapter and community from afar by offering online support and organizational help from behind the scenes. With meetings that occur when she cannot be in attendance, Erin longs to be there, teaching. She does get to feel that sense of community, however, as she gets online and “watches the photos come through on Facebook and smiles at the smiles from the caregivers in attendance!”

“She is president, assists with education, and generally fills in wherever help is needed.”
-Shayla Davis, BWI of Cleveland

12980436_10209343491014417_367704502_nThank you, Erin, for all that you do for your chapter and local community, as well as at the national level! Thank you, Karyn, Shayla, and Tracy for taking the time to let us know about your appreciation for Erin and all that she does to spread the babywearing love!

 

 

 

 

To read our other entries from National Volunteer Week 2016:

Rosemary Cox

Lauren Maynard

Chrissie Riese

Stephanie Springer

Sarah Ludwig

16 Apr

National Volunteer Week 2016: Ourstanding Volunteer Sarah Ludwig

IMG_9855We are so happy to spend time this week to highlight some of our amazing volunteers. We are so appreciative of the support you offer to your communities. Our next Outstanding Volunteer nominee is Sarah Ludwig.  Sarah was nominated by Katy Turnbull.

She is a mom to Cole (6) and Lulu (4). She owns her own small business, teaching childbirth education and offering labor and postpartum doula services. She spends time volunteering at her temple, as well as with her local SafeKids coalition as a CPST. She says, “I am rarely home, frequently triple booked, and ever-grateful for my very patient husband, Adam, who picks up a LOT of my slack at home.” Babywearing International offers our thanks for Sarah and Adam for helping to spread the practice of babywearing.


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Sarah did a lot of reading when she was pregnant with her son and was really attracted to babywearing mostly because she could not wrap her head around letting anyone else ever hold her baby. Then he was born and had colic and acid re-flux – and screamed for the entirety of his first 8 months. Babywearing went from a nice idea to a life-saving necessity. She started with a HotSlings pouch and a Moby, which she  lived in for her son’s first year. By the time her daughter was born, babywearing was just an integral part of her parenting and she could not imagine any other way.

Sarah volunteers because she feels strongly that surviving as a parent depends greatly on finding the community that rallies around you when you need help or the ones that just to listen to the stories of the life with small children and commiserate. She feels she
is very lucky to have made wonderful friends through babywearing and likes to help others navigate early parenthood.

“Sarah is a VBE and Vice President of Education with BWI Rock-West. She is an invaluable asset to our chapter, both at meetings, and also as the person who trains all of our VBEs. She has been a babywearing educator for several years before she started with BWI, and her knowledge is unmatched in our area. Her patience, energy and organization with the new VBEs is amazing to behold. She still wears her 6 year old. In short, she rocks.” Katy Turnbull
IMG_3089Sarah is a Volunteer Babywearing Educator with Babywearing International of Rockland-Westchester, and she serves on their Executive Board as Vice President of Education. She coordinates their annual theme and carry of the month calendar, organizes elections, teaches their VBEs in Training, and otherwise provides support where she can to the rest of their leaders. She also teaches at meetings at least once a month.
She says, “My all time favorite chapter event was our first annual International Babywearing Week Flash Mob – we had SO much fun, and being in a flash mob has always been a dream of mine, so I was just super-excited to find people willing to go along with me!” Sarah also notes that she is really looking forward to a fundraiser event BWI of Rock-West is hosting at a local baseball game next month.
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Have you missed previous days of National Volunteer Week 2016?
15 Apr

National Volunteer Week 2016: Outstanding Volunteer Stephanie Springer

Volunteers with Babywearing International often wear more than one hat within their chapter. They generously contribute time and energy to offering babywearing support and education, work to establish and maintain carrier lending libraries, and strive to facilitate outreach efforts in their communities. Some volunteers also turn their focus to raising funds for their chapter to be able to better support all of these endeavors. Nominated by Sarah Dilks and Kara Trowbridge from BWI of Tucson, Stephanie Springer is an invaluable asset in this department!

Photo credit to Kimberly Fyffe Photography

Stephanie Springer is a babywearer, hula hooper, public health educator, and amazing mom to an increasingly independent and funny two-year-old.  She and her partner, Adam, currently reside in Tucson, Arizona.

She is also a second generation babywearer. Her mother wore her and her three younger siblings as babies, and currently wears her grandchildren! Stephanie started her babywearing journey with a Moby, a narrow based carrier, and a homemade mei tai style carrier that her mom had worn her in. When her son was around 8 weeks old, her sister-in-law loaned her a woven wrap – a Storchenwiege. It was learning to use this wrap that led Stephanie to her local babywearing group, Babywearing Internantional of Tucson, where she “learned an incredible amount about proper babywearing technique, and even more valuable, was introduced to some extraordinary people (who are now great friends!).”

 

Photo credit to Kimberly Fyffe Photography

Photo credit to Kimberly Fyffe Photography

“Stephanie is a crucial member of our babywearing team. She’s outgoing, incredibly welcoming to new members, an outstanding educator, and hands down the most impressive fundraising guru out there. She’s really helped to emphasize the aspect of community in our chapter and bring knowledge of what we do to our entire city.” – Kara Trowbridge, VBE, BWI Tucson

Discovering the love of wearing her own son and supporting her partner and mom in their babywearing adventures started Stephanie on a path of sharing the babywearing love. She  introduced babywearing to her friends and other new parents, and also enjoyed ‘geeking out’ with established babywearers. Through all of this, Stephanie found that officially volunteering with BWI of Tucson as a Volunteer Babywearing Educator was a natural extension of her love of babywearing.

Her initial involvement as a volunteer with BWI of Tucson started during the months leading up to International Babywearing Week in 2014.  She joined her chapter’s Leadership Team and took on the task of coordinating fundraising efforts and community support by organizing a percentage event fundraiser at a local brewery, as well as diligently working to secure some local business donations for giveaway prizes.  But her aptitude for fundraising didn’t end there.  The following year, under her guidance, the BWI Tucson’s fundraising team was wildly successful and brought in over $3,000 in donated prizes from nearly 100 community and national sponsors for the chapter’s celebration of International Babywearing Week 2015. These donated items were used in participation giveaways and also as fundraising door prizes. With Stephanie at the wheel, the fundraising committee for BWI of Tucson was able to significantly increase chapter revenue and membership numbers from the prior two years with more than half of the chapter’s income directly related to their efforts.

Her enthusiasm doesn’t just center around raising funds for her chapter, though. Stephanie is focused on continuing to spread the babywearing love and building up her local babywearing community: “Long before I was a VBE, and well after I had tried nearly every item in our chapter’s lending library, I kept attending lending library meetings to chat with parents and caregivers who were new to babywearing. Of course, now as a VBE, those meetings are much busier for me, but I still appreciate the chance to casually chat with and encourage other caregivers as they explore the many ways to babywear.”

Photo credit to Heather Whitten Photography

Photo credit to Heather Whitten Photography


“Stephanie puts in super long hours answering questions, helping organize events, fundraising & finding donations for prizes all after a full time job. I don’t know how she juggles it all especially with a toddler.” -Sarah Dilks, BWI of Tucson member

Thank you, Stephanie, for all that you do to spread the babywearing love. Your chapter and the Tucson babywearing community is lucky to have you! We can’t wait to see what you have in store for increasing community support this year! Thank you, Sarah and Kara, for taking the time to share your appreciation for Stephanie and all that she does for BWI of Tucson.

Want to learn more about National Volunteer Week 2016 and our other Outstanding Volunteers?

Rosemary Cox

Lauren Maynard

Chrissie Riese

14 Apr

National Volunteer Week 2016: Chrissie Riese

11206087_719861067367_6916556027463406344_nOn day three of National Volunteer Week 2016, we are going to celebrate and thank someone who is passionate about babywearing and outreach. Today we are featuring Chrissie Riese from Babywearing International of Hampton Roads. Chrissie was nominated by Jade Penney and Brittany Marsh.

Read More

13 Apr

National Volunteer Week 2016 : Outstanding Volunteer Lauren Maynard

Volunteers with Babywearing International are committed to bringing babywearing support and education to caregivers, not just through online support, meetings, and Lending Library events, but also through dedicated outreach efforts into their local communities.  Community outreach is a forte for our second Outstanding Volunteer in our celebration of National Volunteer Week 2016,  Lauren Maynard of BWI of Phoenix, nominated by TaiLeah Madill.

 

Lauren's favorite babywearing photo, taken in Antelope Canyon in northern Arizona.

Lauren’s favorite babywearing photo, taken in Antelope Canyon in northern Arizona.

Lauren and her family live near Phoenix, Arizona. Before having her daughter, Audrey, almost 3 years ago, Lauren was an elementary school teacher, and her husband owns his own business. For fun, they attend almost ever Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game and enjoy traveling the world. Along with her husband, Lauren has explored the world while babywearing: Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands so far. These world travelers are planning their next trip as you read this, and we can’t wait to hear where you wear next, Lauren!

Babywearing became a part of Lauren’s parenting because she loves the closeness with her daughter, and has found that babywearing has allowed them to “explore the world with her on my back”; hiking and sightseeing in places that would have been impossible to do without wearing her little one.

Lauren says she is a volunteer with her chapter because, “I am passionate about babywearing, but teaching is my first love. Volunteering with BWI gives me a chance to teach something I love while still being a stay at home mom. I didn’t even realize how much I missed teaching until I felt that fulfillment after my first meeting as a Volunteer Babywearing Educator.”

As a volunteer, Lauren is currently an Advanced Babywearing Educator with Babywearing International of Phoenix.  She is on the Board of Directors for her chapter and also serves as the Vice President of Outreach.  She coordinates all of the outreach classes and fairs, and has been focusing on working with local businesses and underserved populations. Lauren is most excited about the work they have been doing with local outreach: their chapter has been collecting donated carriers and distributing them to families in need and also working with a few local family-based homeless shelters. She is “excited to be spreading the love and convenience of babywearing throughout (her) community.”

TaiLeah nominated Lauren with the following entry: “Lauren is a great asset to our chapter and to BWI as a whole. She is our chapter’s VP of Outreach. She is an ABE and currently pursuing her MBE. She has been instrumental in coordinating our outreach efforts and bringing them to a unified front. She has increased our presence in our community at events and groups outside of our meetings. She is working on a huge outreach endeavor with a local homeless community non-profit to establish an ongoing education series for their clients. Lauren is also our communications lead. She is one of our chapter’s best communicators and mediators and is always willing to work with the difficult situations and can find the most amicable path to take. Her sensitivity and understanding help her to navigate difficult situations and personalities, both within our leadership and in our community. Her guidance has been instrumental in keeping our chapter running smoothly and mitigating the few situations that could have created rifts in our group. She is irreplaceable!”

Thank you, Lauren and TaiLeah! Your dedication to volunteering with BWI and spreading the babywearing love in your community is appreciated.  We look forward to hearing more about the successes of your outreach efforts!

See our additional 2016 Featured Outstanding Volunteers:

Rosemary Cox