Seasons of Change

The Early Days

As Colleen and I (Heather) retire and step down from BWI of Chicagoland, we’ve both been reflecting on what a phenomenal journey we’ve been on, from learning to use our first carriers, to learning to wear toddlers and preschoolers, to learning to spread the love, and meet so many new and veteran caregivers along the way.

I am forever grateful and appreciative of Colleen and Hyacynth (our other leader from Lake County, when I learned of the group).  I found them when I had a 2 year old and newborn.  Colleen and I both started using carriers around the same time (8 years ago, if you can believe that!!), but all I had experience with was my Baby Bjorn and an awesome ring sling.

Colleen learned about different carriers through our local La Leche League, before her first was even born!  She then found the local Lake County group through an online forum at thebabywearer.com .  Helping teach others was a calling for her.   When I met Colleen and Hyacynth, they were warm, welcoming leaders for the Lake County Babywearers, and had group gatherings I wanted to keep coming back to.  That was almost 6 years ago!  Colleen was my inspiration, and she pushed me beyond my comfort level.  “You want me to try this long piece of fabric?”  “Are you sure he’ll be ok on my back”  (remember I had only used a ring sling and Baby Bjorn before this…).  THANK YOU COLLEEN.

Back then, we were a small group, with around 30 attendees online (and maybe 10-15 adults total in person each month?).  It was a social group, and very much about wearing all the babies!  There weren’t nearly as many carriers or brands of carriers out on the market.  I will always think fondly of my early days learning from so many women I consider great friends to this day.

There has been SO MUCH growth and it is really exciting to see how many parents and caregivers are embracing different types of carriers and holding their babies close.  There has also been an explosion of education along the way, and an explosion of options.  If you’d like to learn more about our history along the way, this post has a lot of great information:

http://bwichicagoland.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/10-years-old-2000-strong/

FAST FORWARD

We’ve both grown as educators, parents, and friends.  The organizations have had tremendous growth as well over the last number of years.  But now, our kids are growing up, our lives and passions as parents have changed focus.  It’s time for us to find some new adventures!

REFLECTIONS

Almost 2 years ago I won an educator award from BWI.  When I look back at the bio, I’m reminded of the passion to help others, and the empathy needed to help caregivers effectively.  I was asked to put together a BIO for the award page.  I think about these two quotes often:

“I love sharing what I’ve learned, and want and help others see how this great tool can help make parenting so much easier.  I wish I’d have found our group earlier in our lives as parents.  I don’t think it’s important for an educator to know everything; I think it’s more important for an educator to know what resources to look for to help with a difficult situation.  I also think it’s important to listen to parents, and figure out what they’re REALLY asking, so we can meet their needs.  I love the look on a caregivers face when they find something they like, or their baby quiets down and falls asleep, or is content to look around.”

“It’s easy to forget that it’s NOT about the special fancy carrier, it’s about using some fabric to help them and their babies.  The parents are the real carriers, the fabric just helps them do that effectively.  That’s really the heart of our organization.  Thanks for letting me be a part of it.”

BEST WISHES

Sometimes caregivers will thank us, but we really need to be thanking all of you!  It was all of YOU that kept us coming back meeting after meeting, month after month, and wanting to spread out more, and stretch ourselves as a group.  To meet more of you, and share what we’ve learned about wearing our babies close.  The years have flown by.

This volunteering journey and the people we’ve met have changed our lives, so thank you for that as well!

You ALL drive this group.  You help each other socially, through questions, and support on the off topic facebook chat group.  You help each other learn about carriers, carries, and support each other in the local BWI group, at meetings, and playdates.  The group will continue to thrive because of ALL OF YOU.  If you see a post that you can contribute to?  Share what you’ve learned with others.  That’s how all of our past and present leaders learned along the way.

We love how the current and future leadership team has such passion, excitement, and “fresh eyes” to share babywearing. Their ambition and passion will serve the Chicagoland chapter well, and I’m sure they will make great, positive changes in the future.  I’m looking forward to hearing about the things they accomplish that took a back seat during our tremendous growth.  They have drive and ambition, and they will make great improvements and changes for the group!

Hold those babies close.  They grow up WAY TOO FAST!  One day (believe it or not) they’ll get too big to want to be worn.  This weekend, we hope you all get a chance to use whatever carries at your disposal to enjoy time with family and friends!  Happy Independence Day!

(Here are some photos of us along the way.)

Changes to the Mundelein and Gurnee Meetings

Babywearing International of Chicagoland is undergoing a lot of changes right now. As we posted recently, McHenry county is now being served by Babywearing International of North Central Illinois. Some of those changes include losing some of our new and current leaders to focus on other counties in the area, as well as leadership changes within our group. We will be making some summertime changes that affect the Gurnee and Mundelein meetings as a result of those changes.

Some of our lovely leaders are stepping down to focus more on their family (and we will really miss them!) but until we get more leaders up and running, we don’t have anyone able to run those meetings. We have some leaders in training that should be able to help lead meetings soon and we can get those meetings back up and running once that happens. If you are interested in joining our leadership team, send a message to any of our current leaders!

In the meantime, Grayslake evening meetings will still be going on every month and we welcome the Mundelein and Gurnee regulars to check out that meeting! Stay tuned to our Facebook group though, because we will hopefully still have one or two meetings in Mundelein and/or Gurnee over the summer, but when is still to be determined. If you need to swap out carriers and cannot make the Grayslake meeting, then please send a message to Sara Stephenson. She lives in Grayslake and can easily set up a time for you to come swap at her house.

Additionally, we encourage everyone to host their own babywearing playdates. You can host them wherever you want but we do suggest making it an enclosed playground (or your own backyard if you want!) so that kids don’t wander too much. With warm weather coming, choose a local park, and invite everyone to come play! People can bring their own carriers and you can play with each other’s carriers a bit, or you can just watch your kids play and have a little time to chat with some adults. If you want to schedule a babywearing playdate, then just send an email or Facebook PM to any of the admins and we can set up the event for you.

Types of Carriers

There are a lot of different types of carriers out there, and new ones are being created each day. If you are at one of our meetings, you will hear about the most common types of carriers: woven wraps, stretchy wraps, ring slings, mei tais, and soft structured carriers (SSCs). However, you may come across other types of carriers that you’ve never heard of, or seen. Most carriers fall into one of these categories:

Alyssa amauti

Amauti baby carrier coat

Rachel amauti

 

  • Babywearing Clothing: Throughout history, people from many cultures simply wrapped their clothing around themselves and their babies. The African Kanga, Japanese Obi, Welsh Shawl, and Mexican Rebozo are all examples. Many of these traditional clothing baby carriers are still available for retail. Some other types of babywearing clothing are hitting the market now too, kangaroo care shirts are an example of these. (Note. Not all traditional, cultural carriers are categorized as babywearing clothing. Cradle boards, for example, have their own category!)
    • Amauti Coat: (Amauti Baby) Traditional Inuit coat with a back carrier built in. Used with newborns and up. For use in winter or cold weather climates only. Beautiful, expensive, and custom made. These only do back carries.
    • Kangaroo Care Shirt (Nuroo, Vija Designs) A stretchy shirt with a built in baby carrier. Meant for kangaroo care with preemies and newborns. Holds baby similarly to a stretchy wrap. Not for older babies or toddlers
    • Rebozo: We see these sometimes at meetings. These are a traditional Mexican shawl that doubles a a hammock, baby carrier, backpack, or whatever is needed. A rectangle of woven fabric, when worn with a child this carrier is knotted over one shoulder to work as a sling. Some people purchase short woven wraps with the purpose of doing a Rebozo carry.
Heather frame

Framed Hiking Backpack

 

  • Frame Backpacks: (Kelty, LittleLife, Deuter, Osprey) for the outdoorsy family, framed backpacks protect the baby from harm. They are comfortable for a day of hiking, and often sold at sporting goods stores. Use with older babies and toddlers. Interior frames (with the frame inside the material of the backpack) are becoming more popular than exterior frames. These tend to fit people with longer torsos better than people with shorter torsos.
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A Mei Tai being used in a front carry

  • Soft Unstructured / Asian Style Baby Carriers: A rectangle or square of fabric with ties that secure baby to you. These are unpadded and not structured traditionally, however western customization can make for more variations. Easily adjustable to different wearers. Mei Tai (pronounced “May Tie”) is popular, others include Hmong, Onbuhimo, Podaegi, Chunei, and Bei Bei.
    • Mei Tai: (Catbird Baby, BabyHawk, Kozy) an easy to use Chinese carrier for all different ages, comfortable for short or long term carries. An unpadded waist strap is a plus here, the bottom can be rolled up to make a smaller body size to fit a younger infant.
    • Podaegi: (FreeHand) A Korean carrier that is traditionally worn on the back. It is basically a blanket with a long strap over the top. The strap goes over the wearers shoulders and back under the baby’s bottom. It is used for newborns and up. Narrow blanket Pods have become more popular in the west because they tend to be airier.
    • Onbuhimo: (FreeHand) A Japanese carrier that is very similar to the Mei Tai, except, instead of  bottom straps it has two loops that the top straps are threaded through.
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An ergonomic SSC, KinderPack, being worn on the back

  • Soft Structured Carrier (SSC): Easy to use and position baby. Great for travel, can be used from birth until toddler depending on the carrier. Often padded for greater comfort. Usually uses buckles or snaps to secure baby safely. Easily adjusted between wearers.
    • Front pack: (Bjorn, Britax) A usually front only carrier that does not use an ergonomic seat. Better for short periods of wearing with smaller babies.
    • Structured Hip Carrier: (Scootababy, Mei Hip) A carrier for parents and babies who love hip carries. Structured with one shoulder strap. For babies 6mo+.  These can also be used on the front or back, but they do hip carries the best.
    • Ergonomic: (Ergo, Beco, Boba) A front/back carrier that hols baby in an ergonomic position. Best for older babies and toddlers, although can be used with younger infants with an insert). Comfortable for both baby and wearer, these can take the place of a framed backpack. Men tend to prefer these types of carriers because they work more like a backpack.
    • Half Buckle: A structured waist supports baby’s weight, and mei tai shoulder straps allow for easy adjustments
    • Reverse Half Buckle: Structured shoulder straps provide total comfort, while a tie waist allows you to place the waist wherever you want
Heather

A traditional, open tail ring sling being used with a newborn

  • Sling: a piece of fabric that is looped around the body, usually over one shoulder. Strains shoulder if worn for extended periods of time
    • Pouch Sling: (Hotslings, Slinglings) A loop of fabric folded to create a pouch. Easy to use, but sized by the wearer, so they cannot be shared between caregivers unless everyone is the same size. Not great for newborns.
    • Adjustable Pouch: (Zolowear, Mama’s Milk) A pouch sling with some adjustability in length to help get the right fit. Not nearly as adjustable as a ring sling
    • Bag Style Pouch: (Premaxx, SlingRider) NEVER USE with babies – babies have died in this type of carrier, giving all carriers a bad name. These carriers are non-adjustable pouch slings with elastic edges and a deep pouch. They lay very low on the wearer’s body, certainly not keeping baby “close enough to kiss.” The deep pouch curls baby’s body into an unsafe position, and the elastic edges close over baby’s head to prevent fresh air from entering the carrier.
    • Ring Sling: (Maya Wrap, Sakura Bloom) Easily adjustable to different wearers, features a ring over the shoulder, which material is threaded through. Works well for newborns through toddlers. AKA traditional or open tail ring sling.
    • Close Tail Ring Sling (Hava, Sling EZee): Similar to an adjustable pouch, this is a ring sling with a strap to adjust instead of the rest of the fabric. Does not adjust evenly like an open tail ring sling, and can be tricky to use with a newborn because of that. Some (like Balboa Baby) have extra padding and elastic edges that can create more slack.
    • X-Sling (Cashmere Cuddles, Michiko Baby): These are not very common in the US. This carrier has a loop over each shoulder, and is sewn together in the middle. This makes an X on the wearer’s front and back. Baby is slipped in to the X for an easy two shoulder carry. Usually not adjustable.
    • Stretchy X-Sling: (K’tan, Blue Celery, Caboo) Like a X-sling, except that the material is stretchy. These can be used to hold one or two babies. Holds baby like a stretchy wrap without the tying. Great for newborns, generally too stretchy for older babies and toddlers. Most brands are not adjustable.
Kokadi Erdvogel woven wrap (size 5)

A woven wrap back carry

  • Wrap/Wraparound: a long piece of fabric that is wrapped and tied around the wearers body. Baby is slipped into the fabric for a secure hold. Distributes weight evenly for long carrying. From birth until 40lb +. Easily adjusted for different wearers. Can carry two babies at once.
    • Stretchy: (Moby, Boba) A carrier made of a length of 4 way stretchy fabric. These ones are popular and easy to adjust, great for newborns. They tend not supportive enough for older babies and are hot in warm weather. Front and hip carries only.
    • Hybrid Stretchy: (Wrapsody) A stretchy wrap with 2 way stretch. Tends to be more supportive than a normal stretchy, and can do back carries. These can be slightly diggy though and require more precise wrapping.
    • Simple Piece of Cloth: Exactly what it sounds like, a sheet, blanket, shawl, or length of fabric wrapped around wearer. As long as you test the seams and body, then it is perfectly safe for baby.
    •  DIY Wraps: Pieces of fabric, often Jersey, Osnaburg, and cotton jacquard, that are cut and hemmed to a babywearing wrap size.
    • Woven: (Didymos, Storchenwiege) If you were going to have only one carrier, this would be it. Woven carriers are stronger than stretchy ones, meaning no need to adjust tying during the day. Can be used from a newborn to as long as you feel like wearing. These have a steeper learning curve than other common carriers but they are the most versatile. Woven wraps come in sizes for a variety of carries.
    • Mesh/Gauze Wraps: (Wrapsody, BabyEtte) Somewhat stretchy and cool for summer. Many prefer to use a lightweight woven wrap when it gets hot. The mesh ones are often used in water. Less supportive for heavier babies.
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A wrap conversion SSC in a front carry

  • Wrap Conversions: (Didy Tai, Two Mommas Designs) These aren’t really a different type of carrier. Wrap conversions just use woven wraps as the fabric to make other carriers. Most commonly you will see unstructured carriers, soft structured carriers, and ring slings made as wrap conversions. Since these are usually custom made, wrap conversions often have many options for additional padding, different sizing, and different strap styles.

10 Years Old – 2,000 Members Strong!

Happy 10th Birthday to us! We’ve grown to 2,000 members strong on our Facebook group!!!

LPZOO01

To celebrate we want to give you a little history of babywearing in Chicago. Pay attention because there will be a quiz! (kidding!) People have been babywearing in various ways for centuries, but it is unusual to see carriers in modern western culture. Strollers came into fashion and babywearing went out. Now we are seeing a rise in babywearing love, and it is fantastic!

Many, many years ago, not long after the invention of the Ergo, a group of plucky mothers decided to defy the norms of their time. The Midwest was a peaceful place of good manners, fried food and strollers. Caregivers of all kinds lived happily. It was a simpler time. Giant Graco strollers fought for room amongst a sea of running toddlers. If you needed to carry your baby, by God, you used your arms. Young children were tied to a line and marched from place to place. That is, until these fearless women paraded in with their spit up covered peasant tops, and against all odds, fought for the right to #wearallthebabies.

City Slingers

A City Slingers Meeting, 2007

Ok, it probably wasn’t that dramatic. There were baby carriers commonly in use in 2004 – pouch/bag slings, front packs, and framed hiking carriers probably being the most popular. You just didn’t see them much. The women mentioned above started the City Slingers back in 2004, and their group was small. They spread the love though! They got the word out and the message grew.

By 2007, peasant tops were out of style, but babywearing was in! Lake County Babywearers was born as more Northsiders wanted to experience meetings but did not want to have to drive into the city for them.

2008 was a big year for the City Slingers – they organized themselves, trained their leaders and joined Babywearing International! Now with liability insurance, Babywearing International of Chicago became the first area BWI group and one of the first BWI chapters.

Within a few years, both Lake County Babywearers and BWI Chicago were overloaded with requests all over the near Northside for meetings. The two groups had friendly leaders and an awesome idea. Why not merge (they were so close together after all) and have more leaders, a larger library, and the ability to serve more people. In 2011, BWI of Chicago and Lake County Babywearers merged and adopted the name name to BWI of Chicagoland.

BWIC old

Though the Northside was taken care of, the Southside suffered. They wanted to wear, too! But to wander into Cubs territory? No way! Think of the children! It’s a long hike from the far south suburbs to the Northside for a meeting, so Babywearing South Chicago and Kankakee Area Babywearers were both born in 2012. It’s pretty incredible; they both have several hundred members now in just two years!

Babywearing everywhere was growing by leaps and bounds. Where Babywearing International had only a dozen or so chapters a few years ago, they were quickly gaining to almost 50! Non-affiliated groups were popping up everywhere too. BWI of Chicagoland was now so large that it encompassed the city, north suburbs to WI, and they wanted to move west as well. It was a huge area and difficult for the leaders (who were spread out themselves), to accommodate so many eager people. A few of the leaders broke off in 2013 to form Babywearing International of North Central Illinois to meet the growing needs of the area. It just didn’t make sense to try to cover such a huge area with only one group. North Central Illinois was able to pick up where the Chicago group left off and expand further to support more people.

In May 2013, Babywearing International of Chicagoland had 845 members, a large amount that had quickly grown. Now, exactly one year later we are 2,000 members strong! Babywearing took off in this city in the past year, and we are in the process of training more leaders and adding more locations to accommodate our growing group. We couldn’t be happier with how fast and the group has grown – it’s more than doubled in just one year!

Babywearing South Chicago is looking into becoming BWI affiliated as well, so soon we may have 3 BWI groups and 2 non-afilliated groups in the area! Altogether, we are serving more than 3,000 families! Keep spreading the babywearing love!

Wondering which of the five Chicagoland babywearing groups is closest to you? Take a look at the map: http://tinyurl.com/illinoisbabywearing

Babywearing International of Chicagoland – Cook & Lake County

Babywearing South Chicago – Will, S Cook (below I-55), Lake IN, & Porter IN counties

Babywearing International of North Central IL – McHenry, Boone, Kendall, Kane, Winnebago, DeKalb counties

Dupage Slingers – DuPage County

Kankakee Area Babywearers – Kankakee County

Exciting Announcement about McHenry County!

We have an announcement! McHenry county will now be served by BWI of North Central Illinois. BWI of Chicagoland and BWI of North Central Illinois are sister chapters. We have decided together that this will be good for the residents of McHenry county. BWI of NCIL is well-prepared to help McHenry County babywearers. With an extensive library and two seasoned educators living in McHenry county, Tabitha Goins and Rachel Dreyer, we expect a smooth transition. McHenry county members will continue to receive excellent instruction from Susan Field and Jennifer Grant as they will now be a educators for North Central Illinois. If you are a Chicagoland member from McHenry county, your membership will be transferred to North Central Illinois unless you request to remain with Chicagoland. You will have all of the member privileges offered by NCIL and will renew on the date that your membership expires. The Woodstock meetings will continue as scheduled and more meetings in McHenry county will likely be added in the future. We expect this move to be good for everyone. McHenry County, welcome to BWI of North Central Illinois!

If you are looking for what babywearing serves your area, this map shows where meeting are for the Chicagoland babywearing groups: http://tinyurl.com/illinoisbabywearing

Babywearing in Summer!

VBE Sara,  and her son Ronan in their Wrapsody Water Wrap

 

Babywearing is hot. Just in general. But how do you combat extreme heat when you have literally tied a little space heater to your chest? In Chicago we see highs in the 90s to low 100s, and humidity levels that make the rainforest seem like a desert. Combine that with a sweaty, needy hotbox and… wait, where are you going?

Overheating can be very dangerous for babies, especially for infants under 6 months, who lack the ability to regulate their own temperatures. Use common sense, and go back inside when baby seems to be overheating. Take breaks from the sun when you can, and make sure baby and you stay well hydrated. Don’t feed a baby, less than 6 months old, water without your doctor’s permission, and don’t add excess water to their formula, or any water to expressed breastmilk. Use sunscreen according to the directions, and according to your pediatrician’s recommendations, to prevent burns. Take your baby out of the carrier if it seems to be causing them to overheat.

Carrier choice:

  • Soft structured carriers (SSC) are usually fairly cool. Any heavier fabric SSC may be a little more uncomfortable than one with a lighter fabric or a breathable panel, but just because you have a heavier SSC doesn’t mean you can’t use it comfortably in the summer. Infant inserts, on the other hand, can cause overheating. Use caution with infant inserts and speak to one of our VBEs if you have a younger baby and a SSC in the summer. There are often tricks to remaining cool that we can help you with, depending on the brand of carrier
  • Asian baby carriers, such as mei tais, tend to remain nicely cool in the summer. The exception being where they are made out of a heavy fabric or cover most of the body (as in a traditional, wide blanket podaegi). You can often work around a heavier fabric by using ice packs and remaining in the shade.
  • Woven wraps – depending on the weave and fabric, wovens can either be the coolest choice or make you feel as if you are descending to the depths of hell. If you have a warmer wrap, try one layer carries and use shorter wraps so there is less excess fabric. If you have only long wraps, still aim for one layer carries that eat up some of the length, like a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) with the passes bunched.
  • Stretchy wraps are very warm. They don’t breathe well and you absolutely have to have all three layers of fabric over baby. See ‘Remaining Cool’ in the below section, and stay in the air conditioning as much as possible!
  • Ring slings are your summer friend! By their nature, ring slings have only one layer of fabric, and it is often a very breathable one, like linen or cotton.

Planning on hitting the pool or beach this summer? There are some great carriers specifically made for water usage you can find! Although you can often use regular carriers in the water, they will become heavy, and the colors may fade or bleed in chlorine, or even regular water. ***For safety reasons, use caution in the water, and don’t attempt to actually swim or go in deep water with a child tied to you. Nor should you babywear on a boat or anywhere else a safety device is needed that babywearing would interfere with.*** The most common types of pool carriers are mesh/SolarWeave ring slings and mesh/gauze/nylon wraps.

Remaining Cool:

You don’t need a special carrier for warm summer wearing. There are a few tips for staying cool in the heat no matter what your carrier is:

  • Dress for the weather. Remember that your carrier is another layer. It’s fine to dress baby in just a onesie and diaper, or just a diaper, when you’ll have another layer over them (watch for sun exposure though).
  • Dress yourself for the weather. Wear moisture wicking clothing, and make sure you and baby aren’t skin to skin. When your skin meets, you both get hotter. Wear a thin shirt with a higher neck to keep you both from sweating.
  • Dribble water on their heads, arms, legs, and any other part sticking out. Some people I know carry around a spray bottle to add a little mist, but letting a few drops drip from your water bottle works as well.
  • Frogg Togg Chilly Pad! These became popular a couple years ago, and really hit the babywearing community last summer. You can find them in big box stores and online. They are similar to a chamois – you get them wet, and the evaporative technology keeps them cool for hours (or even days!!). Lay them over baby’s legs, dab baby’s cheeks and the back of baby’s neck. We just got back from the desert, and this is what helped the best to keep baby from overheating.
  • If you don’t want to buy anything new, you don’t have to! Wet a cloth diaper, paper towel, sponge, or anything else absorbent, and put it in the freezer. It makes a great moldable ice pack that absorbs the water as it thaws. Just don’t soak it, then it will drip, damp is fine. You can also use a Ziplock bag to keep it from getting you wet.
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible. The sun is hot, and it’s not great for the skin anyway. Keep baby in a hat to block the sun, and put a light, breathable blanket over baby (Aden and Anais blankets work great for this if you have them).
  • Since sunscreen isn’t recommended in large amounts for infants under 6 months of age, try to keep younger babies in the shade as much as possible. This is easier said than done, especially if you have an older child to chase after. There are a few companies that make carrier covers that are 100% UVA/UVB. Monkey Pocket and Rain or Shine Kids makes them, and you can sometimes find old Peekaru ones that were discontinued. Bjorn makes a UVA/UVB cover that fits over their carriers too. Outfits that have sun protection are also recommended. A light blanket as stated above can help too.

*A note about sunscreen: Sunscreen is going to be a necessity on any day for a baby older than 6m (and even under 6m according to the AAP), but it can stain your carriers. Follow the general guidelines for using sunscreen by applying 15 minutes before going out. That should be enough time to protect your carrier.

Shameless plug: Don’t forget about your local lending library! If you need to borrow a carrier for a vacation or want to use something lighter in the summer without actually buying a new carrier – check one out from the group! You can borrow one carrier a month for $30/year.

Happy wearing, and stay cool!

Many thanks for new and visiting carriers!

We are so grateful for all the new carriers we’ve gotten here in our Babywearing International of Chicagoland library! We have gotten five new carriers with either a significant discount or for free. We also had a tester woven wrap come through our group for two weeks that got a lot of play at our meetings (it is actually still here for a couple more days, so it can make it to the rest of our meetings).

In no particular order, the carriers we’ve gotten either at a discount or for free are: Natibaby Valentina *aubergine* wrap conversion ring sling (size medium), Poésie Tissée Harlequin Neige woven wrap (size 5), two standard sized Tulas in the Ukulele and Retro Bikes prints, and a Kokadi Erdvogel woven wrap (size 5). The tester that came through was a Baie Slings Filagree Ivory Hemp (size 5).

We received a Natibaby ring sling through PaxBaby. They have an ongoing deal going where, for every 10 members of our group that purchase something from them, and mention our name in the order comments, we get a punch. Once we receive 10 punches, we get a free ring sling as a prize. Pretty awesome! Thank you to our awesome members who have purchased from them, and hopefully we will be able to get more in the future!

The Poésie Tissée woven wrap was won through a Facebook giveaway. Many thanks to Nancy Sutherland, the owner, for her generosity!

The two Tulas and the Kokadi all came from Heart Hugs. They offered us a generous discount to purchase the Tulas and then they threw in the Kokadi for free as a bonus. It was extremely awesome of them to give us that Kokadi woven wrap for free! What a great company!

Last, but certainly not least, is the tester wrap we had visiting us here for a short time. The tester came from Baie Slings. It is a hemp blend (75% combed cotton, 25% hemp to be precise). It was extremely soft and lovely to play with, yet still rock solid when wrapping up our toddlers. A great wrap to add to anyone’s stash!

Now for the best part – pictures! The pictures are set up in a slide show format so just click the little arrow buttons if you want it to progress through the slide show faster than it already is.

Natibaby Valentina *aubergine* wrap conversion ring sling (size medium)

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Poésie Tissée Harlequin Neige woven wrap (size 5)

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Tulas in the Ukulele and Retro Bikes prints (standard sized) – stock photos

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Kokadi Erdvogel woven wrap (size 5)

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Baie Slings Filagree Ivory Hemp (size 5)

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