Babywearing During the Holidays

Babywearing is useful during all seasons, but there are many added perks to wearing during the chaos that is the holiday season.

1) Travel: Airports during the holiday season tend to be even more busy and stressful than normal. The convenience of being able to put your infant in an SSC or reign in a running toddler in a quick ring sling can’t be overstated. Babywearing frees up your hands to carry your bags, produce the requested documents, and take off your shoes and belt through security. You can wear your baby through airport security, though additional screening is sometimes requested.

2) Don’t want to play “pass the baby” with your infant? Put them in a front wrap cross carry and all eyes, but not hands, will be on baby.

3) Want to dig into your mashed potatoes but baby wants to be held? A hip carry in a ring sling or wrap can free up your hands to eat that delicious food. Just use caution when around extremely hot food or drinks, grabby hands can move fast!

4) Toddler over stimulated by all of the lights, sounds, or activity? Babywearing can provide comfort and a place to hide out from all of the chaos around them. Snuggling next to a caregiver allows them to take a break for a few minutes and calm down a bit which can help avoid a major meltdown!

5) If you are a breastfeeding mama, Babywearing can provide a more discrete way to nurse in situations that aren’t always comfortable. I practiced in front of a mirror several times to see how much you could actually see (not much!), and that gave me the confidence to try in front of others. Formula feeding mamas can also use Babywearing as a tool to get a busy baby to calm down long enough to take a bottle!

6) Babies are busy and new places are stimulating; wrap naps can be so helpful in avoiding an overtired baby or toddler who won’t sleep in an unfamiliar place.

7) Babywearing is also helpful for that last minute shopping we all end up doing! There is nothing more stressful than pushing a stroller through crowded stores and trying to keep baby happy long enough to make purchases. Babywearing frees up space and keeps baby close enough to avoid some of the overstimulation that comes with holiday shopping.

Whatever holiday you observe, this is a busy time for all of us. Utilizing Babywearing can help make this chaotic time just a bit more enjoyable and allow you a few moments with your child amidst all of the hustle and bustle around us. From our family at BWI Chicagoland to yours, we wish you a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year! Happy Babywearing!

Winter Babywearing in Chicago

(Note:  The original post content is courtesy of our former leader Katie, who originally wrote it up for BabyCenter/BBC, and gave permission to post it here.  The photos are courtesy of our group.)

Kindercoat (Shell) in the fall

Kindercoat (Shell) in the fall

The weather is getting cold, and suddenly you are wondering how to keep baby warm. How many layers should you use? How do you get from car to carrier? What should baby wear? Where can you find a babywearing coat? What kind of cover should you get if you wrap? What bout back carries? What if you are short on cash? Not to fear – I have been there done that in wind chills double digits below zero with infants to preschoolers in my carriers (and in multiple carriers!).

The most important thing to remember is the same no matter what weather you wear in – keep baby’s airway clear. As always, chin up, a free path to fresh air, and no slumping. Second most important actually has to do with the cold weather. Be careful not to overheat or freeze baby. If possible, put baby in the carrier before either of you are wearing your outer layers, then layer over both of you. Apart from making it easier to identify baby’s body temperature, layering over both of you allows you to disrobe when you get inside without having to remove baby (yay errands!).

Dressing Baby

Be careful not to overheat baby as you venture into the great outdoors, but you don’t want to freeze them either. When the temperatures start to dip below 65F, start putting baby in an undershirt (or onesie) underneath their regular clothes. As it gets colder, add the necessary outer layers. If you are venturing out into the below freezing temps, and you have a coat on that is made for that temperature, no other layers aside from the added undershirt should be needed. If your coat or cover runs to the thinner side, you may find that baby needs an additional sweater or jacket on. Remember, the cover or coat is acting like baby’s jacket. Depending on the one you get, this may be a thin or thick layer. Hooded jackets or sweaters are a good option, or just use a hat as needed. Toddlers and older babies that prefer to ride arms out in the carrier will need their own winter coats and gloves on to keep warm.

Toddler with her own coat on

Toddler with her own coat on

Knee high socks (like Rock a Thigh Baby), and baby leg warmers (like Babylegs) are the perfect addition to your little one’s winter wardrobe. Pants have a tendency to ride up in the carrier, and the cool air that sneaks in will be sure to bite at any exposed skin. Leggings a size too large cover baby’s legs really well too.

Tip for car transferring: put your carrier on ahead of time and wear it in the car, then you just need to pop baby in, tighten and throw a coat, jacket, blanket over you both to go.


So, what can you use to keep warm? Specially made babywearing covers, coats, and vests are great for this. Many carrier companies make weather covers: ErgoBABY, Catbird Baby, and Bjorn are just a few that do this. It also tends to be less expensive to buy a universal cover. Covers are usually for front carries only. Many of them tie or snap onto the straps of carriers, so they may not be suitable for wraps, or wrap-strap carries. Some, like Jolly Jumper go around the wearer’s neck and work great over wraps. Covers are an option that works well if you are in and out of the car (side note: no coats or covers under baby’s harness straps in the car seat), because you can move the cover to go over baby in the car, stroller, or carrier. These usually fit to about 2yo (especially in ergonomic carriers). Here are some covers available:

A really wonderful option is the babywearing coat. These are awesome if you spend a lot of time walking outside or take public transit. I used mine all last winter on the bus and train. Babywearing coats also mean you have one less thing to carry with you. Many of them have back carry options too, and can go over any type of carrier. Here are some of the available coats:

Suse’s Kinder Coats (left is the fleece liner only, right is the full coat)

Amautiks are a traditional Inuit baby carrier that is built into the back of a coat. Since the Inuit people live in cold climates, they needed a carrier that could handle the weather. These can be used from newborn to preschool age, but are pretty pricey. They are built to last however. Check them out at Amauti Baby.

If a babywearing coat sounds nice but the price doesn’t, another option is a zip-in coat extender to turn your regular coat into a babywearing coat.

Babywearing vests are exactly what you think they are. A vest is kind of a cross between a cover and a coat. These are great for spring and fall, but also can be used under your winter coat to keep both you and baby warm.

This all sounds awesome, but I can’t afford it – what do I do?
There are definitely less expensive options! If you are crafty, a DIY option would be great. You can find tutorials for DIY coats, covers, vests, etc. online; here are a couple:

A DIY Zip in Insert!

A coat with a DIY Panel sewn in!

Front and Back Carrying with the same DIY Poncho

A few of us have made a poncho per the link above, and it was great, but we found that increasing the size opening of the collars was helpful, especially if you wanted to do back carries.  If the collar of the babe is “tight” and they sit lower, they tend to strangle the wearer a bit.  Here are a few pictures of the DIY poncho Heather has.  It was easy to make, fast to make, and only cost around 10 dollars with Polarfleece from Joann Fabrics.

But I’m not crafty!

Neither am I. Don’t worry, I have you covered (pun not intended!). Here are some other options:

  1. Walmart, Target, and the like sell fleece jackets that cost about $15. Get one two sizes too large, and simply zip it over both you and baby – this can even be used for back carries! Or steal your significant other’s coat if it is big enough.
  2. Take one of the aforementioned fleece coats two sizes up, and cut a hole in the back. Fleece doesn’t need to be hemmed, so you can use it just like that for a back wearing coat.
  3. Grab a couple of binder clips, a ribbon, and a warm baby blanket that you have lying around the house. Tie the ribbon to the end of both binder clips, and clip them onto the blanket. Put the ribbon around your neck, and ta da! Easy babywearing cover (and it works as a great nursing cover too!). You can also just take a blanket and tuck it around you, but the ribbon and binder clips helps it stay up.
  4. Get a nursing cover clip like LatchOn or Little Carr Cover Me, and use that in lieu of the binder clips and ribbon. 

Using a roomy coat or jacket in the winter and fall

Have you loved any winter babywearing products not mentioned here? Tell us about them!

Remember to watch baby’s airway, temperature, and extremities this winter when you are out and about!


Updated 10/2017

Nursing in Carriers

Nursing in a Catbird Baby PIkkolo!

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we figured it was a good time to talk about nursing in carriers.  We celebrated World Breastfeeding Week with the Breastfeed, Chicago group.  Sara and I presented a session on breastfeeding while babywearing after The Big Latch On was complete.  

Here is some info about their group for any locals:

Nursing photo from the Breastfeed Chicago event!

Nursing photo from the Breastfeed Chicago event!

This post consists ENTIRELY of photos of moms nursing in their carriers. Sometimes you can tell, but sometimes you can’t!  That is also why some of the photos have a baby that is positioned lower than we normally recommend.  And we encourage baby to be tightened up and “kissable” after nursing is complete.

During the session, we did demos of various carrier types, and gave tips on how to successfully nurse in them.   We talked about Pouches, Bag style, narrow based carriers, wraps, mei tais, ring slings, and buckle carriers/ soft structured carriers (SSC’s).  While I like my weighted doll, it was fabulous to have moms who were able to do real, live demonstrations.  It was also great to see some moms nursing in a carrier for the first time, or feeling more comfortable nursing in a carrier because of the discussions we had.  I thought it would be nice to share a few of the tips and general things we went over.

Note:  Though this post is focused on breastfeeding, bottle feeding in a carrier is ALSO a fantastic option.  It’s a great way for dad, the babysitter, or other family members to help out in an environment (the carrier) that the baby feels safe and comfortable in.  One of the other BWI chapters did a fantastic blog post on bottle feeding in a carrier.  It can be found HERE.


Breastfeeding in a Carrier, the Basics:

It’s best to learn to nurse, and learn to use your carrier SEPARATELY before trying to do the two things together.  We recommend the following:

1.  Learn how to breastfeed (or rather wait for your baby to learn how to breastfeed, you really just learn how to help them if needed…)  

    • Make sure breastfeeding is well established.  It’s really important to make sure breastfeeding is going well before nursing in carriers, especially for moms who haven’t been breastfeeding very long.  Breastfeeding is a skill, sometimes it starts off wonderfully with a bang.  Sometimes it’s a bit of a learning curve for both mom AND baby, and can take a bit longer to figure everything out.  
    • If the baby is latching well, removing milk effectively, gaining weight at a recommended level, and moms nipples have healed if there was any trauma, then it’s a great time to think about nursing in your carriers.

2.  Learn how to use your carrier (if you’re a new parent and haven’t used one yet).  This may take a few minutes, or a few days, or even a few weeks, depending on how everything is going as a new parent. 

3.  When you’re comfortable with 1. and 2. above, put the carrier on, get the babies mouth to your nipple, and nurse them. 🙂  That sounds easy right?  For some new moms, it’s just that easy.  Other moms find that some of the tips below help (these are tips from the session handout).

One nursing session from 4 different angles

One nursing session from 4 different angles


General Tips for nursing in a carrier:

  • You can breast or bottle feed in almost any carrier type.

  • You will probably prefer to use the carrier you are most comfortable with.

  • Other caregivers can easily use baby carriers to bottle feed by just loosening the carrier up a little, and offering the bottle.

  • Practice at home first, in front of a mirror.

  • Latch baby/ begin nursing before baby is starving/ upset.  It will help prevent the frantic, noisy baby cries, which will help you stay calm.

  • Washcloths, burp rags, or a hand can be used to help support the breast.

  • In general, the carrier must be loosened, and baby can be moved or “bounced” down to the breast.  Some moms also drop the waist of their carrier if it is a mei tai or SSC.

  • Some moms (particularly shorter or larger chested moms) find it is MUCH easier to get the baby into a good position by shifting the whole base of their mei tai or SSC to the opposite hip that the baby will nurse from.  This is easy to do after loosening straps if you hold the base of the carrier body and shift the entire carrier to the opposite hip.  The base of the carrier sometimes looks more like a hip carry than a front carry in this scenario.  Sometimes this really helps for shorter moms as their kids get older as well.

  • When learning, it can help to sit down, loosen carrier, latch baby, then resume activity.

  • It doesn’t matter if the breast comes to the baby’s mouth, or if mouth moves to the breast, as long as the two connect with a good latch.

  • Always be aware of the way baby looks and sounds when nursing.  A baby nursing in a carrier should sound the SAME as a baby nursing who ISN’T in a carrier.

  • ALWAYS return the baby to an upright and supported position after nursing (if nursing is in a more cradled position).  EVEN if baby has fallen asleep.

  • Always re-tighten the carrier so the baby is kissable after nursing.


Toddler nursing

Toddler nursing


“Hands free” nursing:

  • Hands free nursing is *technically* possible, but not likely with young babies.

    • A loosened carrier needs to be monitored closely to keep baby secure.

    • Young babies typically do not have adequate head, neck, and trunk control to nurse unassisted.

    • Think of it more as “one handed nursing” when they are younger.

  • Nursing in a carrier gets easier and easier as baby gets older.

  • It’s a truly great option with toddlers.

    • Children eventually get enough control and awareness to “take over”.

    • Older children often hold the breast themselves, and require no adjustment or assistance other than a little loosening of the carrier.

R. nurses to sleep


Clothing choices:

  • Baby carriers sometimes shift clothing, or make adjusting clothes for nursing a bit more tricky.

  • Consider whether you will pull down your shirt, or pull up your shirt (or open a little slot).

  • Two layers offer discretion and comfort for buckles and straps.  Two layers also help for buckles and mei tais, one layer can stay under the waist band/ buckle or strap, one layer can sit over it for additional discretion (or to hide any spots you might be less comfortable with).


YOUR turn!

If you are a nursing mom, and haven’t ever tried to nurse in a carrier before, now is a great time to try!  Or if you’re a bottle feeding mom, give it a go as well!  We’d love to hear how it works for you.  Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

Wintertime Information for Meetings

So, it’s that time of year again.  It gets cold, snow starts to fall, and it seems like every school aged kid gets sick.  So of course it’s time for our annual group announcements.

Winter Weather

Winter Weather


Cancellations or Single Leader Meetings

We try really hard to keep all meetings going that we have scheduled.  Inevitably, one or two meetings each year get cancelled or changed because of either the weather, driving conditions, or health of leaders or their children.  Some of the leaders drive over an hour to get to some of the meetings, IN GOOD WEATHER.  If the weather is poor (or there is sickness), we may still have a meeting, but it  might have less educators there to help.  We ask that you please try and be patient with us.  We also ask that folks who are comfortable helping out let a leader know you are willing to come and help.

Meeting Napping

Meeting Napping

In the event a meeting or playdate is cancelled, the following will happen: it will be changed in our Facebook group, on the Facebook event, the calendar here will be updated, the location will be notified, and we make a quick post to let everyone know.  For this reason, PLEASE check one of these locations before the meetings this winter.  Because there will be multiple notices everywhere, we will hope to catch everyone.  And for BWI members, if a meeting is cancelled and you have a carrier checked out, we will notify you of how we will handle carrier swaps or holding the carrier an extra month.


Cold and Flu Season

Newborn Wrapping

Newborn Wrapping

With the winter flu season approaching, we want to send a few health reminders out. We have pregnant mamas and newborns coming to our meetings every month.  We also try to keep leaders healthy so we can still come lead other meetings in different areas each month. Sick leaders also mean cancelled meetings, and we try and overlap to avoid this.  It’s just that time of year.

Baby Snuggles

Baby Snuggles

Please STAY HOME if you or your family are feeling sick. We all understand teethy kids, but if you or your child is actively sick, has the flu, has been running a fever within the last 24 hours, or has a rash of any sort related to previous fever/sickness, please wait to visit us until the next meeting.

Lingering runny noses and leftover coughs seem like a normal part of wintertime, but we want to ensure people who are ACTIVELY sick wait to visit us.  We promise, we’re not going anywhere.  We will be here next week, or even next month.  This is not meant to cause stress or concern, it’s just the annual reminder since wintertime tends to coincide with children and adults who are ill.

If you really need help and are sick, we can make arrangements to meetup after the meeting when you or your children are feeling better. Or feel free to pop by for a moment and exchange a carrier if you are a BWI member and need to trade something out quickly.   We will work with you to swap carriers, and depending on the area you live in, there might be another accessible meeting the next week you could attend as well.


Wishes for a Healthy December

We hope you all have a healthy month.  As I sit here with a sick first grader who is WAY too big for me to wear him, I’m reminded of two great benefits to using carriers that I miss now with my older boy.  It’s a great way to comfort and calm a sick child.  Sick kids usually just want to be held all the time anyway, your carrier can help you do that.  It can also to keep folks you don’t know from pawing at your new little babe!  Take the opportunity to wrap them up nice and close, and keep them safe and secure.



Today we want to feature a few friends who have written blog posts about their babywearing journey.

To make it easy on us, we’re going to provide a few links from friends who’ve already posted their stories online.  🙂

We hope you read, enjoy, and comment!


Mandi’s Story

Mandi, one of our members, wanted to share this great story and a TON of wonderful pictures with you all:

Read here story HERE.


Susan’s Story

Susan, another member, wanted to share this guest blog post she did.  Susan also works at New Mother New Baby, a local brick and mortar store that provides baby products, mama products, lactation services and classes.

Read her story HERE.


Katrina’s Story

One of our members, Katrina, wanted to share this story directly with you.

Baby wearing has always been very important to me, however it took on a whole new role when my son ( who makes babe 4) was born. 
Coming early into this world after a fight to keep him cooking longer. Weighing in at 4 lb 9 oz and 17 in long this tiny peanut would change everything.  Wearing him in a wrap and snug to my chest almost 24/7 made the world of difference for him.  It helped with his body temp and regulating his heart rate.  Not to mention just the closeness feeling so good and comforting to him.  As a very frequent eater I could nurse him very easy and he stayed snug and warm wrapped to me.
Just as things were looking up he got very sick at 2 months and landed up at Lutheran General. With all the monitors, wearing him was not an option but I was able to fold a blanket up and “wear” him in the chair.  This is also how we slept for the next week.  The nurses that it was just wonderful that I fashioned a baby wrap so to speak and was able to hold him skin to skin non stop. 
It was truly amazing to see the difference in his stats when he was snug to me or being place in the hospital bed.  I sadly encountered some not so cool nurses that thought it was best he stayed in his bed. I would watch all the monitors start to go off. He would struggle to breath and fight so hard. Soon they learned I knew what he needed and that was tight to me.
Unfortunately we were back and forth 2 more times. I continued to repeat the “wrap” so to speak with a blanket and keep all his leads and wires were they needed to be but him where he needed to be the most.
Now at 8 months he is much better though we continue with some things.  The bond of wearing him then and now is immeasurably.  At times that is the only way I get things done.  I would not have done things any differently.
Thank you for taking the time to read Kaenon’s story.

Heather’s Story

Yea, so I know it’s my story, and I’ve posted it in parts before.  But today I want to link a post that is near and dear to my heart.    
I find myself reflecting on our soon-to-be-over babywearing days and I really love this post.  And we have a lot of new members who probably don’t know much about our family either.  So I’m sharing, again. 😉
HERE is how our journey began.  If you want to know how it ends, you’ll just have to stay tuned a little longer… The young child who was 2 in this story has somehow turned 4, and still begs to be on our backs from time to time.

Do you have a story you’d like to add today?  Please forward a link or story to and we’ll add you on to this post!

And don’t forget, BWI Chicagoland facebook and meeting folks- the post below is the Ergo giveaway post!  Please comment and join in for your chance to win an Ergo for yourself (or a friend in need)!

IBW Week 2012- A Week to Celebrate and Share Your Knowledge

International Babywearing Week 2012

So, by now you’ve probably heard all the hoopla about our special celebratory week that happens every October.

Well, this year our celebration “officially” begins Monday October 8th and goes through Sunday October 14th.

The theme for this year is “Carrying on Traditions”. What does that mean to you?

We’re also going to be announcing some exciting giveaways and fundraising raffles before IBW week starts. You’ll have to wait just a little longer to hear about some of the goodies we’re raffling off, giving away, or adding to our lending libraries!

Week at a Glance

We have a few potential events in process right now, but many events have been firmed up. Here is our tentative schedule of events for the week:

Monday October 8th: GROUP PHOTOSHOOT- We’re firming up details for 1-3 locations to meet up and get some group photos taken. There will be more details to follow on these events.

Tuesday October 9th: ZOO MEETUP- We’ll be meeting up at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago at 10 am, pending favorable weather. This zoo is free to enter, and it’s not as large as Brookfield Zoo. It will be easier to find each other. For questions or meeting up, details will be posted both here and on facebook shortly before the event. Alternatively, when you get to the zoo (if you’re late) you can text Laura or Heather for directions to the group.  Details will be posted as an event on the calendar.  If the weather is not favorable, this may be moved or postponed since it is an outside event.  If that were to happen, it would be posted both here and in our group.

Meet new friends at the zoo!

Second event for Tuesday October 9th: BLOG POSTINGS- We would love you to link a personal blog post about how using baby carriers have positively impacted your life as a parent or caregiver. Or a blog post about why using carriers is important to you. And we’ll be linking them all up on our site here. Alternatively, if you don’t have a blog yourself, we’d love to share your story here. If we have a lot of stories to share, we’ll do some just before or after Tuesday. Please forward your post information to with the title IBW WEEK BLOG POST.

Wednesday October 10th: FACEBOOK GROUP DAY- We’ll be doing some online activites in our facebook group. Asking some questions… maybe what’s your…favorite carrier, favorite carry, favorite memory wearing your child, favorite benefit. Who knows? You’ll just have to wait and see!

Thursday October 11th: PHOTO CONTEST- We will be having a photo contest of caregivers and children using carriers. There will be a few categories, as well as a few “guidelines”. If anyone takes any individual photos on Monday, they can be entered into the photo contest!

Meet up with other parents who use carriers

One of the categories will be focused on SAFE hands-free activities while babywearing. These will be posted on this public website, so we’ll require that caregivers are appropriately dressed, we’ll be including family friendly photos. As a general rule of thumb, if you would be embarrassed your teenage son looked at this, it’s not appropriate. 😉

Friday October 12th: MEETING CELEBRATIONS- There will be a celebratory meet ups at two different locations. There will be a northerly meeting in Mundelein, at Cygnus Lactation, at 9:30 am. IBW week happens to fall during our normal meeting time! Details will be posted on the Calendar.

There will be a meeting in Sugar Grove at 10 am as well (slightly south and quite west of Chicago). This will be the second meeting for Kane/Kendall County. We’re looking forward to seeing you there! Details will be posted on the calendar.

Saturday October 13th: WEEKEND CELEBRATION EVENT- New Mother New Baby in Northbrook has volunteered to host us for a weekend celebration.  It’s a nice room, with a wall of mirrors to check your carry out.  New Mother New Baby has donated some items to raffle off and give away at this event.   Details will be posted on the calendar.

Sunday October 14th:  HISTORICAL BABYWEARING- Historical babywearing photos will be posted both here and on our facebook page. It’s a way to think about how we are “Carrying on Traditions”, following the theme of this year’s celebration.

We can’t wait to share more information over the next week or two as we approach this very busy week!  Won’t you join us?

Playdate September

Changes this Fall

International Babywearing Week 2012 is just around the corner. For those of you who’ve never heard of this and think “What the heck, there’s a babywearing week?”, let me explain. For a week each October, the international organization that we’re a part of holds a celebration.

We celebrate and advocate for all the parents and other caregivers who use baby carriers to benefit themselves and the babies they carry. This year’s theme is “Carrying on Traditions”, and we’ll be celebrating October 8th through 14th. Here’s a little info if you’d like to learn more:

To give the leaders a little breath, time to reflect, and time to prepare together for October’s activities, we’re canceling the majority of the meetings in September. The McHenry meeting will still be held, as will the Chicago meeting, and the newly announced Kane County meeting. There will be no meetings for Gurnee, Mundelein, Grayslake, or Des Plaines in September.

If you are a BWI member, you’re free to hold onto any carrier you have for an extra month! If you decide you really want to try something different, contact a leader to swap your carrier out. If you come to where the library is held (in either Chicago, Waukegan, Mundelein, Harvard, or Algonquin), you can swap your carrier out.

Plan a Playdate

Now here is the fun part, the part where we need YOUR help. We’ve decided to try something new for the month of September! We’re making September “PLAYDATE SEPTEMBER”.

We’re encouraging all our members to PLAN PLAYDATES. Meet up with others who live close to you. Meet up with other who have similar interests, schedules, or kids the same ages. Meet up with others who you’d love to learn a skill from. Meet up to socialize and have coffee or tea while your kids play. Meet up to play with your fluffies! Weekdays, Weekends, days, or nights, it’s your choice!

Here are some suggestions of places you can meet up with others:

Farmers Markets



Houses where kids can run free in the backyard

You can also meet up at libraries, coffee shops, malls, it’s your choice. September is also such a fantastic month to spend at the park! The possibilities are endless, and it’s up to YOU, the members, to make some friends and learn a little along the way. You all have things you can teach each other, whether it’s about babywearing, life, or being a parent.

Capture the Memories

And we’d REALLY love it if you’d take some photos and send them to us. You can send them directly to the leaders, through Facebook, or to our group email ( We’d love some great photos we could use on our blog, if you’d like to offer them up as well.

We can’t think of a better way to foster new friendships, skills, and strengthen the little village we have here. Enjoy!!

Babywearing to reconnect

Somehow in our babywearing journey, we’ve gone from here at 3 months old (in a moby D stretchy wrap):

to here at 3 years old (in a toddler kinder pack):

Babywearing can be an invaluable way to bond and reconnect with your little ones.  Whether it’s the initial bonding with a new little squish or reconnecting after a long day of work or trip out of town, it can help ease those transitions.

I just came back from a visit AWAY from my boys (the two little ones and the big one).  They stayed home and fended for themselves just fine.  I spent some nice adult estrogen infused time with some of my husband’s family.  We had an entertaining road trip, the boys had some great bonding play time at home.  It was a win-win.

However, between the daylight savings time change AND my first 3 day solo adventure without K, I was kind of dreading my return.  Wondering if the small bit of freedom would end up being worth it in the end, if you know what I mean.  Pondering the future whiney, clingy, needy, out of control boys that I might return to.

And yet again babywearing SAVED THE DAY.

K is 3 now, and doesn’t get worn as much as when he was little.  It’s usually because “we’re going to miss the bus” so I pop him up.  Or “he’s super tired”, or “won’t stop running away”, etc.  Well, yesterday it was just “because”.  He asked to be worn- his idea- a few different times.  And he picked which carrier he wanted and brought it to me.  If he hadn’t been used to this comfort zone, as I like to call it, it could have been a REALLY ROUGH DAY.

Sure, the people at gymnastics probably thought we were nuts, but that’s ok.  He begged to go uppie, but of COURSE not in the back, that would have been too easy.  He’s 3, average height, and a skinny 28#, so I prefer back carries or a short trip in a ring sling.  Front carries, honestly- not my favorite now that he’s a preschooler.  But I obliged, and he was happy and content on my front, sucking his little thumb, playing with my hair.

Close enough to kiss?  Hehe, definitely not a problem.  However, we’ve changed roles apparently, and I was the receiver, not the giver.  It was very sweet.

In the end, it’s all he apparently needed for the transition.   I guess I worried for nothing.  Let’s just hope and pray the next few days go as well.  Oh wait, I still have my carriers, so I think it’s a definite possibility!

Stay tuned for another post on the benefits of bonding with new little squishes!

Maybe like this one…

or this one…

or this one!

A World of Possibilities

A world of possibilities.  Hmm.  When I first saw the theme for this year’s International Babywearing Week (IBW), I’ll be honest, I really had no idea what that was supposed to mean.  After I thought about it a little more, I think that it’s supposed to be interpreted individually.  If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will tell me.  🙂

The world of possibilities babywearing has opened for me may be COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than the world of possibilities it has opened for my friends, my neighbors, and those I’ve never met before.  So I guess I can only share what it means to me.  So here goes…

It means more opportunity. Opportunity to learn, interact, or visit with others while my little one slumbered on my chest.  It meant going to weddings and feeling calm while my family with little kids were running around chasing the children like crazy people.  Ok, well aren’t all families crazy anyway?  So maybe that one’s a bit of a stretch…

It means bonding. My husband could bond with our boys through wearing them.  Whether it was the Baby Bjorn early on or the ergo sport later, he has been able to also care for them the way they’re accustomed to being comforted with me during the weekday.

It means protection.  People seem less likely to want to put their dirty hands all over your newborn when they’re wrapped up tightly to your body.  Little kids reach for feet, not baby faces.  And it means comforting them when they’re sick (and fall asleep on your back in a wrap… and let you get them in bed still asleep!!).

It means freedom.  It means vacation.  Hiking and camping in tents.  Exposing our kids to nature. In bear country in the Rocky Mountains.  And the Smoky Mountains.  Even though we call Illinois our home.  It means we can take the train downtown and not HAVE to lug a stroller around.  Don’t get me wrong, I have strollers.  I’ve been thankful to occasionally use the jogging stroller to exercise- though it’s not a very pretty or fast sight.  I’ve been thankful for their storage when Christmas shopping.  It just means I have an OPTION.

It means I could be a more “lazy” mom.  Babies who are worn cry significantly less than babies who aren’t worn in those early days, and also beyond.  Babies cry for all sorts of reasons.  Sickness, overstimulation, health problems, missing naps, the reasons can be endless.  I’m all for making my life easier.  And opportunity to feel less stressed?  I’ll take it!

And as my child gets older, ahem, I’ve also been known to use it to calm my kids down.  I’ve been overheard on numerous occasions saying “that’s it, if you can’t XYZ you WILL go uppie until you can calm down”.  XYZ means anything in my world from running into traffic to hitting his older brother to touching every.possible.thing.breakable in a store.  Sometimes I’m surprised by the hands up in the air wanting to jump up for a break.  Sometimes I’m quickly tossing him on my back.  I then feel him sink against me and settle quickly, contently.  Sometimes it’s instead it’s after a momentary yet futile resistance. 🙂  A few minutes in that safe place can calm the overtired, overstimulated toddler or preschooler just as easily as it does a baby.  Photo  of his favorite beloved Kinderpack courtesy of Kristy Garceau Photography:

And being part of this BWI organization means I can help other caregivers.  It’s really a “caregiver to caregiver” organization.  It doesn’t mean I have to know EVERYTHING about babywearing or  know EVERY single fabric, length, or fiber of carriers out there (and believe me I don’t).  It also means I can defer to others who have more experience or knowledge of other specific carriers or carries.

It means I can take what I’ve learned from other caregivers, and share that knowledge with other caregivers.  This can be a foster mom who just wants ONE carrier to help juggle her day, a nanny who’s passionate about caring for her littles and wants a few options, or even a dear friend who wants 20 to play with them all.


We’d love to hear your stories!  And don’t forget to send me your photos for the contest by Sunday evening to  Sunday evening we’ll also be letting you know what special raffles and giveaways we will have over next week.  Stay tuned for some items that could be coming your way!