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.

March Madness and Carrier Giveaways!

Continue reading

Last Call for Fundraising Raffles!

Raffles, Raffles, Raffles!

Why are we fundraising and doing some raffles right now?

We are a volunteer run organization. We don’t pay ourselves for time, for gas, or other incidentals. We use this money primarily to get new carriers for the lending library, whether it is to buy something used, something new that a company gives us a deal on, or to pay shipping for a donated item.  We LOVE that the lending library is so popular for the group, but it also means carriers are well loved, and see more wear and tear because of the members who borrow carriers.  So we keep track to see when they need to be replaced or pulled out of the library because they become “too loved”.  We also use this money for printing, business cards, or room reservation fees on rare occasions.

We keep 85% of the fundraising money this month (and the other 15% goes to the international organization).  Tickets will be available before, during, and after each event between now and October 25th.  You will choose which raffle (s) you would like to enter and put the ticket (s) in the correct envelope.  Before the raffles end, the leaders will combine the tickets

Our raffle tickets will be 1 ticket for 3.00, 2 tickets  for 5.00, or 5 tickets for 10.00, or 10 tickets for 20.00. So, the more you buy, the less each ticket costs!  We can take cash or a check.  Paypal doesn’t allow online raffle sales through our account, so we will not be taking payment through the group’s paypal account.  If you would like to purchase tickets, but can’t make it to an event, we are HAPPY to get you set up.  Email bwichicagoland@gmail.com or contact a leader for details.

Raffle tickets will be available at both the Grayslake Meeting tomorrow night, as well as the Mundelein Playdate meeting Friday morning.  You can get raffle tickets until 4pm on Saturday October 26th, and will be drawn after that time when leaders can meet up!

If you would like to have the raffle winnings shipped instead of picking it up from a leader, we are happy to do so if you cover shipping costs.  Good luck!

NOTE:  We received two extra, generous offers to add to the raffles.

1.  The first is a one month adult supply of Juice Plus Chewables Orchard Blend and a one month supply of Juice Plus Chewables Garden Blend (120 chewables each).  Here’s Megan’s page!  http://mv87906.juiceplus.com/  This has been added to Raffle #6, with Mary’s custom portrait.

2.  The second is a jar of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder that washes approximately 100 standard loads, generously donated by New Mother New Baby in Northbrook.  This item has been added to Raffle #8, with the little boys items.

The RAFFLES!!

Raffle #1:  A gift certificate for two months of swim lessons and registration at Goldfish Swim School in Roscoe Village, Chicago.  Estimated Value of 199.00

Raffle #2:  A one month membership for one child to the Purple Monkey Playroom in Chicago (estimated value 100.00).

Raffle #3:  A 6 pass punch card for Bubbles Academy in Chicago (estimated value 60.00).

Raffle #4:  A 5 pass gift certificate at Bloom Yoga Studio in Chicago, good for 5  drop-in yoga classes, including prenatal, mom &baby, and kids classes (estimated value 70.00).

Raffle #5: One knitted hat from Manziknitz (any size). Winner and knitter will discuss patterns and color choices after raffle ends.  Jen has made some really cute items for others in the group.  We’re looking forward to seeing what the winner has made!  This raffle also includes an adorable  unique Didymos baby bib, with the didymos logo on the front, and a 40 load bag of Norwex Ultra Plus Laundry Detergent.1238325_10201324721934904_50188713_n

Raffle #6:  Juice Plus and a Custom Portrait by Mary Haas:  Mary is one of our fearless leaders, and also an artist.  She has volunteered to donate an 8×10 matted Custom Black and White Charcoal Portrait of a Single Subject.  Details as follows:

Portrait will be drawn on archival quality charcoal paper. Portrait will be drawn from photographs supplied by client. Supplied pictures must be ones for which the client owns the copyright, and has the legal right to reproduce. Please plan to provide multiple photographs to give the artist a better sense of how the subject truly looks. Higher resolution photographs (such as those taken with a DSLR camera) are best. Additionally, the best photographs for portraits are taken in natural light without a flash. Please allow 4-6 weeks for completion of the finished portrait. Certificate does not include shipping charges, if applicable. For examples of finished pieces please visit  http://maryhaas.com/custom-portraits/

Also included is a one month adult supply of Juice Plus Chewables Orchard Blend and a one month supply of Juice Plus Chewables Garden Blend (120 chewables each).

Raffle #7:  WAHM made custom nursing pillow donated from Cygnus Lactation.  The pillow has 3 removable foam inserts to adjust to the height of the pillow.  Also includes a pair of girly reversible teething/suck pads from little trendsetters and a pair of Monkey patterned Rock-A-Thigh baby socks in size 0-6 months.  And last but not least, a fun wooden toy donated from Max and Jack’s Room.1374148_10201324722374915_2032321595_n

Raffle #8:  A Pair of new brown football babylegs (NWOT from a combo pack a leader had), a pair of boyish reversible suck pads from Little Trendsetters, a 2T-3T tie dyed t-shirt from The Pink Willow Tree, and one beautiful grad dyed mama scarf from Lavender Llama.  Also now included is  a jar of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder that washes approximately 100 standard loads, generously donated by New Mother New Baby in Northbrook.

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Raffle #9:  One beautiful grad dyed mama scarf from Lavender Llama and one Corolle mon premier 12 inch Tidoo Candy doll (bath baby) donated by Building Blocks Toy Store.  Soft and poseable, Tidoo is so light that it floats in the water. Featuring smooth, delicately scented vinyl skin and filled with polystyrene beads that dry quickly, Tidoo is a favorite playmate out of the tub, too. Designed in France and part of Corolle’s Mon Premier Collection for the littlest mommies.- (estimated value 62.00).1394033_10201324722534919_168611583_n

Raffle#10:  One pair of red babylegs, one pair of size 6-8 Rock-A-Thigh Baby socks (they run small), and one size 6 tie dye girls short sleeved dress donated from The Pink Willow Tree.

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To Purchase any tickets, please email us or contact a leader via the Facebook group and we will get you taken care of ASAP.  The raffles will be chosen after this weekend, and some have great odds right now!

Thanks for celebrating with us!

Celebrate!

This past week was about being able to celebrate.   Celebrating by spreading the “love” and sharing how your life is made easier by using carriers.  Celebrating through socializing, and enjoying each other’s company.  Celebrating by capturing those moments on film.  Celebrating and trying something new, like a ballet class with a child in tow.  Celebrating with a visit to the zoo with friends, old and new.  Celebrating by acknowledging how you can help make another new parent’s life easier by sharing your knowledge.

For some of us leaders, the celebration also included being able to just “hang out”, and socialize, and actually get to talk to people, outside of a busy meeting where we run around like chickens with our heads cut off.  🙂

We wanted to share some pics of how much fun everyone has had this fall.  A lot of these photos are from this week, but not all.

Here are some photos from EVENTS this week!  Thanks to Hy Photography, Lisa Gauslow Photography, and Lisa Shelly Photography for great photos in the first gallery- thank you also to my iPhone camera and our family camera for the not-so-great ones in the second (ballet) and third (park/photo shoot) gallery. 😉

Photo Shoots!

Babywearing Ballet at Trilogy!

Some fun attendee photos at HY Photography’s photo shoot!

And how about our great group and their fall shots                (or favorite older shots)!

There are a few shots from spectators at today’s Chicago Marathon, and a few nursing photos.  Can you find them??

Raffles, Door Prizes, and Fundraisers, OH MY!!!

We can’t tell you about all the fun goodies that are being handed out or raffled off this week without thanking all the supporters for our group.  Being able to celebrate together at wonderful locations, with fun prizes (and fundraising options), learning with great library carriers, is all possible BECAUSE of the folks and companies listed below.  We would be amiss if we didn’t send them a HUGE thank you.  We have given them their own page on our website here.  If you look up, there is a tab titled IBW 2013 supporters.  We’ll be adding information about our supporters over the next week.  The best part?  It’s almost all local.  And if you’ve ever heard us talk at meetings, we LOVE to support local businesses.  You can visit their website or online link by clicking on their name, or giving us a few more days to add details to the supporter page HERE.

The Generous Donations and Supporters

Our Gracious Hosts

Be By Baby has been a fantastic host for our Chicago meetings.  We appreciate the use of their space, and that they work with us to help the families in Chicago.

Cygnus Lactation is a long time supporter of our group.  Jeanne has been hosting our meetings for years, (since before the Lake County Babywearers merged with the Chicago group in early 2011).  Her office is the first location we ever met in, and we’re grateful for that.  Jeanne provides us space whenever it is free, free of charge, and is a kind and generous host.  She also donated a Annika print Pikkolo to add to the lending library, and a WAHM made nursing pillow for the raffles.

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Trilogy School of Performing Arts hosted our group for the first time today.  Thank you so much!  It was an absolute blast to have Kim teach a babywearing ballet class.  I had a great time, and hope the rest of the group did too!

New Mother New Baby has also been a very kind host.  Gail and her staff let us use the large (mirrored) room on weekends, and the meetings get quite the crowd! They have hosted us for IBW week in the past, and we’re looking forward to celebrating with them on Saturday! They are also going to be donating some door prizes, which we are super excited about.

JBS Wellness has a new location and will be hosting us this Friday for a Gurnee Celebration.  I’m excited to see the new location, and looking forward to celebrating with them!

Dolphin Swim Club in Crystal Lake will be hosting us for the second time tomorrow, and we are thankful for their space.  McHenry County locations have been a struggle, and we’re looking forward to celebrating with that county tomorrow!

Our Supporters 

Our supporters have donated items for giveaways, door prizes, raffles, and fundraising.  Thank you all!

Building Blocks Toy Store has graciously donated a HUGE amount of door prizes for our meetings this week.  If you come to one of our events this week you might head home with a gift wrapped in pretty green or yellow tissue paper yourself.  They are having a huge 17th anniversary sale this Friday thru Sunday, and some of the gifts included in the door prizes include a package with  a toy, flyer, and postcard with sale info or a discount good for 2014!

Goldfish Swim School has made an incredible donation of TWO months of swim lessons and registration.  One really lucky person is going to have a fun few months of swimming with their little one.

The Pink Willow Tree donated 5 awesome tie dyed children’s clothing items of various sizes.  1377413_10201293515114753_1683507446_n

Catbird Baby has always been supportive, and is sending us a Zephyr print Pikkolo to add to the lending library.6541_10152548001155858_465522172_n

The Gymnastics Spot is a personal favorite of mine since we have a gymnast on team there in our household.  The Gym Spot is donating two separate punch passes good for 5 drop in visits to “Tot Time”.  Tot time is a parent supervised open gym time for children between 18 months old and kindergarten.

Lavender Llama is owned by a local member and friend who has donated 7 locally hand dyed 47 by 47 inch multi-purpose mama scarfs.

Color Dip Studios is also owned by a local member and friend.  Alisa is a super fantastic, and she is hand dyeing 6 cotton bags that the group is super excited to see.

Comfy Joey has been generous to us this summer, by offering a 50% discount on 3 different carriers for the library, as well as a 25.00 voucher we can offer/giveaway to the group we can use for IBW  (hint hint, you’ll see some activity on that soon enough).

Purple Monkey Playroom in Chicago has donated a certificate for 1 month membership and 25 $5 off coupons.

Bloom Yoga Studio  in Chicago has donated a 5 Class Punch Card for drop-in yoga classes.

Bubbles Academy in Chicago has donated 6 punch card for open play.

Kristie from Max and Jack’s Room donated a really cool Wunderworld Musical Tree wooden toy.

Women and Children First Bookstore in Chicago donated a 25.00 Gift Certificate.

Toys Et Cetera also offered a 25.00 Gift Certificate.

The SOD ROOM in Chicago has donated two passes- Each valid for one admission for a family for one visit to the Sod Room, an eco-friendly playroom on south Michigan avenue.

Mary Haas , one of our very own leaders, has donated a Gift Certificate for a Custom 8×10 Black and White Charcoal Portrait.

Happy Family has donated 200 baby and toddler pouches and coupons for families to enjoy at our celebration events this week.  I can say that they have been a welcomed gift for a few moms with cranky toddlers already this week.  Luckily, since they are easy to find locally at most supermarkets, they were also a familiar item for the kids.1375803_10201298063948471_339463772_n

Manziknit donated free hat from Manziknitz (any size). Winner and knitter will discuss patterns and color choices after the raffle is over.

Our Local Photographer and Independent Sales Friends

HY PhotographyLisa Gauslow Photography, and Lisa Shelly Photography are all local photographers and moms in our group who are taking group and individual photos for us this week.  Eva from 31 Gifts, Sara From Norwex,  Cassia From Norwex, Mandi from Tupperware, and Robin from Lia Sophia Jewlery are all supporting us through donations or fundraising parties.

Raffles, Raffles, Raffles!

Why are we fundraising and doing some raffles right now?

We are a volunteer run organization. We don’t pay ourselves for time, for gas, or other incidentals. We use this money primarily to get new carriers for the lending library, whether it is to buy something used, something new that a company gives us a deal on, or to pay shipping for a donated item.  We LOVE that the lending library is so popular for the group, but it also means carriers are well loved, and see more wear and tear because of the members who borrow carriers.  So we keep track to see when they need to be replaced or pulled out of the library because they become “too loved”.  We also use this money for printing, business cards, or room reservation fees on rare occasions.

We keep 85% of the fundraising money this month (and the other 15% goes to the international organization).  Tickets will be available before, during, and after each event between now and October 25th.  You will choose which raffle (s) you would like to enter and put the ticket (s) in the correct envelope.  Before the raffles end, the leaders will combine the tickets

Our raffle tickets will be 1 ticket for 3.00, 2 tickets  for 5.00, or 5 tickets for 10.00, or 10 tickets for 20.00. So, the more you buy, the less each ticket costs!  We can take cash or a check.  Paypal doesn’t allow online raffle sales through our account, so we will not be taking payment through the group’s paypal account.  If you would like to purchase tickets, but can’t make it to an event, we are HAPPY to get you set up.  Email bwichicagoland@gmail.com or contact a leader for details.  We are going to run this Raffle for 2 and a half weeks to accommodate anyone who wants to purchase tickets but can’t meet up with someone.  The raffle will end on or after October 26, 2013, based on timing of gathering up the leaders with tickets.

If you would like to have the raffle winnings shipped instead of picking it up from a leader, we are happy to do so if you cover shipping costs.  Good luck!

FINALLY, The RAFFLES!!

Raffle #1:  A gift certificate for two months of swim lessons and registration at Goldfish Swim School in Roscoe Village, Chicago.  Estimated Value of 199.00

Raffle #2:  A one month membership for one child to the Purple Monkey Playroom in Chicago (estimated value 100.00).

Raffle #3:  A 6 pass punch card for Bubbles Academy in Chicago (estimated value 60.00).

Raffle #4:  A 5 pass gift certificate at Bloom Yoga Studio in Chicago, good for 5  drop-in yoga classes, including prenatal, mom &baby, and kids classes (estimated value 70.00).

Raffle #5: One knitted hat from Manziknitz (any size). Winner and knitter will discuss patterns and color choices after raffle ends.  Jen has made some really cute items for others in the group.  We’re looking forward to seeing what the winner has made!  This raffle also includes an adorable  unique Didymos baby bib, with the didymos logo on the front, and a 40 load bag of Norwex Ultra Plus Laundry Detergent.1238325_10201324721934904_50188713_n

Raffle #6:  Custom Portrait by Mary Haas:  Mary is one of our fearless leaders, and also an artist.  She has volunteered to donate an 8×10 matted Custom Black and White Charcoal Portrait of a Single Subject.  Details as follows:

Portrait will be drawn on archival quality charcoal paper. Portrait will be drawn from photographs supplied by client. Supplied pictures must be ones for which the client owns the copyright, and has the legal right to reproduce. Please plan to provide multiple photographs to give the artist a better sense of how the subject truly looks. Higher resolution photographs (such as those taken with a DSLR camera) are best. Additionally, the best photographs for portraits are taken in natural light without a flash. Please allow 4-6 weeks for completion of the finished portrait. Certificate does not include shipping charges, if applicable. For examples of finished pieces please visit  http://maryhaas.com/custom-portraits/

Raffle #7:  WAHM made custom nursing pillow donated from Cygnus Lactation.  The pillow has 3 removable foam inserts to adjust to the height of the pillow.  Also includes a pair of girly reversible teething/suck pads from little trendsetters and a pair of Monkey patterned Rock-A-Thigh baby socks in size 0-6 months.  And last but not least, a fun wooden toy donated from Max and Jack’s Room.1374148_10201324722374915_2032321595_n

Raffle #8:  A Pair of new brown football babylegs (NWOT from a combo pack a leader had), a pair of boyish reversible suck pads from Little Trendsetters, a 2T-3T tie dyed t-shirt from The Pink Willow Tree, and one beautiful grad dyed mama scarf from Lavender Llama.559439_10201324722174910_270398864_n

Raffle #9:  One beautiful grad dyed mama scarf from Lavender Llama and one Corolle mon premier 12 inch Tidoo Candy doll (bath baby) donated by Building Blocks Toy Store.  Soft and poseable, Tidoo is so light that it floats in the water. Featuring smooth, delicately scented vinyl skin and filled with polystyrene beads that dry quickly, Tidoo is a favorite playmate out of the tub, too. Designed in France and part of Corolle’s Mon Premier Collection for the littlest mommies.- (estimated value 62.00).1394033_10201324722534919_168611583_n

Raffle#10:  One pair of red babylegs, one pair of size 6-8 Rock-A-Thigh Baby socks (they run small), and one size 6 tie dye girls short sleeved dress donated from The Pink Willow Tree.

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Good luck and happy International Babywearing Week!!

Thank you for the Goodies!

We’re gearing up for International Babywearing Week (IBW), and life is pretty hectic for our group right now.  We actually have 9 events planned over 6 days next week!  Can you believe it?  All of our events are listed on our blog calendar HERE.  And we did a preliminary post HERE.  We have gotten two packages in the mail from BWI recently, and we don’t want to forget to say THANKS!

THANKS BWI, Moby Wrap, Boba, Slingrings.com, and Comfy Joey!

We are a large group, and we actually have a really nice lending library.  But we also have a lot of members who borrow the carriers frequently, and get great use out of their optional membership, so we see a lot of wear and tear from use on them.  Between the 4 libraries and around 8 monthly meetings, we’re often running carriers from leader to leader before meetings, to ensure we have adequate carriers for folks to try on at the free meetings!  We are really, really thankful for donations of carriers for the library.  We appreciate the support as we all help support one another in this parenting (and caregiving) journey.

A few weeks ago, we were sent 3, count them 3 Boba carriers!  Boba was kind enough to make a HUGE donation to BWI that was distributed throughout the chapters.  We are really grateful for these carriers.  We get a ton of requests for Boba carriers in our group, so this was a welcomed package at my doorstep.  We received:

  • A black Boba stretchy wrap
  • A striking blue Boba Air carrier
  • A very gender neutral “Safari” Boba version 3G carrier

Much of our group had never seen a Boba Air in person, so we’re excited to hear the feedback from our group on it!  They are very well made and well loved carriers.  You can find more information about them HERE.

Here’s a quick photo:

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Then today, low and behold, another package arrived from BWI.  It contained carriers that were donated from sponsors of this year’s IBW Celebration.

Today’s box contained these fun goodies:
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We received:

  • A black MobyGo carrier with a very pretty pattern called “Barberry”.
  • A few reusable bags that say “International Babywearing Week 2013 Get Carried Away!” and have logos for peace, love, and babywearing.
  • A few coupons included for online retailers, as well as pamphlets that we can give to new attendees at meetings.  (I know a few of you missed those recently while we waited for more to arrive).
  • Multiple sizes and pairs of slingrings, that we can use with woven wraps to show caregivers additional versatility of wraps, with variations on standard and nonstandard carries.
  • Last but not least, a beautiful gray Comfy Joey linen ring sling in “Storm Gray” that has a gorgeous tail accent in “Surf Blue”.

Comfy Joey is Extra Awesome!

We also have an extra thank you for Comfy Joey.  They gave a number of lending libraries a 50% discount to purchase carriers this summer.  We purchased 3 ring slings, one of each type.  We bought:

  • A royal blue water mesh ring sling
  • A toddler width linen sling (Sipadan Island- teal green linen)
  • A regular width linen sling (Sullivan’s Bay- sea green linen)

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Here are two of our members rocking CJ ring slings. 😉

If you’d like to find out more information about any of these carriers or accessories, here are the websites that can help you.  We’d also LOVE it if you thanked them for their generosity!

Boba:   http://www.bobafamily.com
Moby:  http://www.mobywrap.com/mw/Home.htm
Slingrings:  http://www.slingrings.com
Comfy Joey:  http://www.comfyjoey.com/index.php

Stay Tuned!

The next week or two will be a flurry of fun activities and information!

IBW Week 2013- Get Carried Away!

We have been busy planning activities to celebrate during IBW week next month.  Are you wondering what IBW week is?

It’s a great time to celebrate, first and foremost.  So, every cause and group has a special celebration time, right? Well next month is OURS!  It’s called International Babywearing Week, and this year it will be held from October 7th, through October 13th.  We realize this is just a few short weeks away, and we will be posting a full schedule over the next few days.

We are one of 52 chapters of Babywearing International in the U.S.  That in itself is CRAZY!  Some of us remember when we were one of seven chapters!  Well, all the chapters of BWI will be celebrating with all the other babywearing related organizations and individuals throughout the world!

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This year’s theme is: GET CARRIED AWAY!! Here’s the international blog info about it: http://babywearinginternational.org/pages/babywearingweek.php

We will be posting a full event lineup, but we wanted to give you a taste of some of the fun we plan to have next month.

Monday:  We will have some group photos.  There will be one group photo shoot in Lake Zurich.  We are working on one to two possible other locations as well.

Tuesday: Babywearing Ballet at 9:45 AM in Lake Zurich, and a meetup in Chicago at 10 am at 31st St. Beach.

Wednesday: Celebration at Dolphin Swim Club in Crystal Lake, and a meetup at Lincoln Park Zoo that will include a picnic lunch.

Friday: Morning celebration in Mundelein, location TBA.

Saturday: Morning Celebration in Northbrook,  at New Mother New Baby.

We’re still figuring out if there will be anything official planned for Thursday or Sunday.  Is there something you see that you’d like to do?  We’d love to have you plan something near you!  If you have an idea for a playdate, park day, visit to a children’s museum, whatever you can think of!  If you’d like to organize it, we’re thrilled to post about it.

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We will have some giveaways at some of the events.  We’re really looking forward to an opportunity to visit, socialize, and celebrate.  The events won’t be regular “meetings”.  They are an opportunity to celebrate YOU, and YOUR families, and how you are using your carriers to make your life as parents easier.

How would YOU like to celebrate with us?

CatBird Baby Pikkolo Review- and a thank you!

If you’ve been to a meeting, you’ve probably realized we talk a lot about Catbird Baby products.  Catbird Baby Pikkolos and Catbird Baby Mei Tais are well loved in our group.  We’d like to send some huge thank you’s and point out why they are such a hit here!  We received a donation of two newer style Pikkolos earlier this year, and are super excited and wanted to say thanks.   The four libraries have practically had to fight over them they are so popular… We also wanted to share why we love the Catbird Products.

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1.  They are fantastic quality, durable, and a great fit for differently sized babies, caregivers, and caregivers of different abilities.  

They work for small, petite parents, and also taller, fluffier parents alike.  The traditional mei tai is generously sized, easily adjustable, and high quality.  The Pikkolo soft structured carrier (SSC) fits many caregivers easily.   The dual adjust shoulder buckle can be adjusted from both directions.  This means it’s easier for parents who have limited mobility or shorter arms, to be able to adjust them easily.  The buckles can always be pre-set to allow the wearer to pull forward to adjust, which can be a make-it-or-break-it point for some parents.

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2.  They have a truly one-of-a-kind product in the market.  

They are the neatest form of “hybrid” for a carrier that is SSC based, with some of the more traditional, asian style mei tai features blended in.  How is that you ask??  Unlike other SSC’s, where there is a padded waist support, Pikkolo gives you the option to have a padded or unpadded waist.  Without the waist support belt, it is worn in the traditional “Mei Tai” style, also called apron-style, or J style.  Here is a great explanation on what that means:  Defining apron-style

Sometimes caregivers don’t like the waist padding, and prefer less “stuff” around the waist, or might just like the mei tai feel, but want an easy buckle adjust.  This Pikkolo SSC gives that option.  And as babe gets bigger and heavier, the optional support belt can be added!  The dual adjust buckles and strap length allows the carrier to be worn in the X pattern across the back for a front carry.  Many parents find this to be the ULTIMATE carrying position for a front carry.

It’s also a fantastic younger baby carrier because the combination of the unpadded waist and ladderlock buckle (to adjust down the base of the carrier) allows it to be used for smaller babies without any special inserts or attachments.  The buckle just gets adjusted as babe continues to grow, and is a great fit.

They can be worn on the front facing in, on the front facing out (when babe has good head, neck, and trunk control), on the hip, and also on the back!

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3.  They are helping us “spread the love”.

They have offered carriers in the past for the library, so we have some, and have used them extensively.   🙂  They have always been generous, and our group has all loved them… some past the point of retirement.

4.  They are local and we “know” them personally (full disclosure here).  

Catbird Baby is a Chicagoland based manufacturer and distributor, and we love that.  They started out in our neck of the woods.  And the two women who developed both the Mei Tai and the Pikkolo are both FANTASTIC, and we consider them friends.  They were also both involved in the leadership of the two previous groups that merged to form our combined group in January 2011-  (the previous BWI Chicago City Slingers group and Lake County Babywearers group).  One was with Slingers, and the other with Lake County Babywearers.  We love to support local based businesses that have fantastic products.

Beth, the owner of Catbird Baby sent us two newer style Pikkolos earlier this year.  They were so well received and well loved.  I say “newer style” since the version we had previously was the toggle adjust at the base of each side of the carrier, not the current ladderlock buckle.  We still have the older toggle adjust Pikkolo in the library, and they still works great, and are constantly checked out.  We hope to replace more with the newer version this year, since those are close to the point of “too loved to lend out”.

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Photo taken by the 5 year old brother 🙂

5.  They are super easy to find locally.  

It was really great to get the current styles in the library to show what can be found at some of the local stores.  Three local stores that carry her products also offer us free space for our free meetings  (Be By Baby, New Mother New Baby, and Cygnus Lactation).  We also want to say again thank you to these businesses as well!  You make our lives easier, and we appreciate your help!

It’s really nice when a parent is in the market to purchase one and we can show them a Pikkolo and they can actually order or buy it on the spot if they love it.  It’s great when parents find carriers they love and we can help make their lives easier!  Beth has been generous to Babywearing groups in the past (not just ours).

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We want to send a HUGE thank you to Catbird Baby for the donation!!

Playdate this Friday, July 26, 2013

The normal playdate meeting that was scheduled for Friday in Mundelein is being tagged onto a playdate happening close by a bit later in the day.  Sara is planning a regular playdate at Warren Township Park for 11 am on Friday morning.  The location of the park is about 10 minutes north of Mundelein Playdate meeting.

And to entice you further, we’re including some photos from last month’s park playdate meet up!

Preschool Snacking at Kracklauer Park

Preschool Snacking at Kracklauer Park- 4 year 11 month old in a Toddler Kinderpack with the hood hanging out

If someone would prefer to just swap carriers in or out with Heather in Mundelein on Friday, that is also an option. Send an email to bwichicagoland@gmail.com or contact via Heather Facebook to swap carriers in Mundelein.

Toddler Snuggles at the June Park Playdate!

Toddler Snuggles at the June Park Playdate!

Otherwise, plan to visit Sara at Warren Township Park.  Warren Park is *technically* Gurnee, but still really close for those who were planning to come to Cygnus.  Enter the park on Almond Road.  It is at the Southwest corner of Almond and Washington streets, and only about 10 minutes north of Cygnus Lactation.  If a BWI member plans to check in our check out any carriers, please send an email to bwichicagoland@gmail.com or send Heather a facebook message through our closed group.  Sara will be bringing ONE SMALL suitcase for swapping stuff out.  This won’t be a regular meeting, but will be an opportunity to swap carriers in or out. It’s also an opportunity to drop off carriers that are due.  We just need to know what you’re interested in by Thursday mid-day!

Back Snuggles in an Action Baby Carrier (ABC)

Back Snuggles in an Action Baby Carrier (ABC)

Warren township does have a sand area that also includes some water features/ spouts, and regular bathrooms with flushing toilets and sinks.  The park is lot of fun for the kids.  A little more parental effort is needed to keep track of kids who run/ take off in parks, since there are some openings to the outside, parking lots, etc.  Just wanted everyone to be aware; it’s a great park, but not a small one you can just let preschoolers run wild and still be able to see them everywhere from sitting on a bench.  It’s a favorite park for some of our families, because there are great structures for younger and also older children (and adults too)!  If your kids like sand/ water sand, consider bringing a change of clothes to leave in the car. 😉

Park Playdate!!

Warren Township Park is located in the Warren Township Center (Campus), located at 17801 W. Washington Street, Gurnee, IL.
Here is their website information:   http://www.warrentownship.net/campus.html

Thanks,
Heather

Membership Drive and Trade-In Event!

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