It’s no secret that we’ve been outgrowing the space at Cygnus for the monthly morning meeting in Mundelein. As our group has grown we’ve been evaluating options for the Mundelein Meeting. This is a good problem to have, but a problem none the less. The meetings have gotten so busy that it has become overwhelming for some of us as leaders, so we can only imagine how overwhelming it can be for new parents!
(Now, granted, this ring sling photo isn’t the best (the rings could be down lower and the shoulder a little farther out) but the photo shows from one end of the Cygnus meeting space to the other. I think I put my younger boy up to show how you could still wear a 3 year old in a ring sling. This was my handy dandy Sleeping Baby Productions (SBP) ring sling wrap conversion made from BB Slen Passion Fruit….)
We love the space and kind accommodations at Cygnus. Jeanne has hosted our meeting since long before the Lake County Babywearers and Slingers merged almost 2 years ago. It’s a free, available space, with toys and close restrooms. Jeanne, thanks SO MUCH for letting us meet at your spot.
Scheduling through libraries is actually a little bit of work that adds up all year round… figuring out schedules, not having a consistent time, asking and waiting for the ok, only being able to schedule 2-3 months in advance, needing someone with a card (and at some locations that person has to open/close the room), and constantly updating our group info with new events. Having a standing meeting is REALLY convenient for leaders. To try and keep that convenience and better meet the needs of new parents, we’re going to make some changes.
Trying something new
We have an early afternoon meeting in Gurnee, and an evening meeting in Grayslake, and both of these locations are pretty close to the Mundelein meeting. Hopefully, if the Mundelein changes don’t work with your schedule, one of the other two might be a good substitute.
The standing meeting at Cygnus the SECOND friday morning of every month will continue, but it will become more of a “Babywearing 101” meeting. The library will be available, and we will focus on more of the basics, safety, different types of carriers, general questions. We want parents to bring the carriers they have, and we will help them get more comfortable. This “101” meeting is targeted for new parents or parents who are just learning about baby carriers and are looking for basic information or help with a carrier they own. It may be helpful to come to the more basic 101 meeting a few times before moving to the playdate based meeting.
The hope for this “101” meeting is that it will be a little calmer, a little *teeny* bit quieter, and a better environment for new parents that won’t be quite so overwhelming. This meeting will be 1.5 hours, to accommodate leader schedules.
A few parents from meetings at Cygnus, who were still early on in their babywearing journey, who would have benefitted from this new format:
(Sakura Bloom, Moby Wrap, Gypsymama Breeze, and Angelpack SSC featured here)
We are going to add a second Mundelein meeting for the THIRD Friday of every month. This meeting will be more playdate based, and targeted for folks who have already been to a meeting, and heard the general info at LEAST once, but preferably a number of times. The hope for this meeting, is that it will be more playdate based, more peer-to-peer learning, and less “talking” from leaders.
Let’s be honest, some of the regulars who have come to a year or two of meetings really don’t need or want to hear about an open airway for the 25th time. Unless they want to step up into a leadership position… but we’ll talk more about that in a post in the near future.
The playdate based meeting will probably be a better option for folks who don’t get scared off by excited toddlers and preschoolers, and want to revel in some babywearing geekery. We will start off having this at Cygnus. If we outgrow Cygnus we will look for an alternate location.
Normal Meeting Information
Meetings: Our meetings are ALWAYS free. Parents and caregivers are ALWAYS free to try out the carriers we bring to the meetings. If you would like to support our group and become an official BWI Member, with privileges to borrow carriers between meetings, a 30.00 optional membership is available for a 12 month period.
The lending library will be available at both meetings.
If you *can’t* come to the meeting that best fulfills your needs, you are free to come to the alternate meeting. We’d rather have you come to the alternate meeting than not come at all. We’re just trying this option out to see if it helps everyone as much as it will help leaders.Please note: though this meeting is held at a lactation office, babies and children who are fed by both formula and breast milk are always welcomed. We can teach you how bottle feed in a carrier just as easily as we can teach you how to nurse in a carrier. Jeanne Cygnus provides her meeting space to our group for free and we appreciate the availability.
Mundelein’s morning meeting was alot of fun! We had alot of new moms with us as well as older members of our group.
We went over the various types of carriers that are used. There are 5 main types of carriers mei tais, ring slings, wraps, pouches and SSCs (soft structured carrier). Within all of these categories are many different brands and types.
Ring Slings: a piece of fabric with rings sewn on one end. Primarily worn on front or side/hip. Can be used for a nursing cover or blanket. Can be worn from newborn on up through toddlerhood.
Popular brands: Sakura Bloom, Maya Wrap, Sleeping Baby Production
Pouch: a sized tube of fabric. Primarily worn on front or side/hip. Daddy friendly, no fuss, quick and easy, small for diaper bag. These need to be sized, so most likely will need two different ones to fit mom and dad.
Popular brands: Hotsling, Peanut Shell
Mei Tai: rectangular body with two pairs of straps to tie; one for the waist and another over the shoulders
can be worn front, back or side/hip.
Popular brands: Catbird Baby, Kozy, Babyhawk, Freehand
Soft Structured Carrier (SSC): like a mei tai but with buckle style straps. Can be worn front, back and side/hip. Low learning curve
daddy friendly, no fuss, quick and easy
Popular brands: Ergo, Pikkolo, Action Baby Carrier, Beco, Olives & Applesauce
Wraps: a simple piece of cloth that wraps around the wearer to hold the baby. Worn in several carries in front, back and hip. This type has the highest learning curve but is the most versatile.
There are 2 types of wraps; stretchy(4 way stretch) and woven(diagonal give, most supportive)
Popular stretchy brands: Sleepywrap, Anaju and the Moby
Popular woven brands: Didymos, Natibaby, Ellevill, Storchenwiege
Another very useful website is www.thebabywearer.com. It can be like information overload at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to navigate.