Join BWICL for our May Membership Drive!

Have you heard? Through the end of this month, Babywearing International of Chicagoland is hosting this awesome membership drive! That means instead of the usual $30 membership fee, we are offering them for only $25! You can even renew early if you’re already a member. (If you aren’t familiar with our membership, check out how to create an account or renew your membership here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/BWIChicagoland/posts/?ref=page_internal). Now that you know how to join in, why is it so important for us to keep getting new memberships and renewals?

BWICL is a nonprofit organization.  We are completely volunteer-run, and we are happy to share the love of babywearing with all of our visitors and members! All the income we make is used to further our mission to promote babywearing and its benefits for both children and caregivers, through education and support. Because we are a nonprofit organization, membership dues are considered a donation, which also means you can write off your dues on your taxes. It’s a win-win situation!

How do memberships help us further our mission?  Memberships may seem insignificant sometimes. You pay $30 and can check out carriers once a month for a year, right? It goes a little deeper than that, though. Behind the scenes, we leaders work hard to host awesome meetings, keep our libraries up to date, make sure our carriers are clean and safe, and even help us expand-we are looking at you, DuPage County! Without the income we receive from memberships, we aren’t able to do everything we’d like for our chapter. Sometimes we have to say no to buying new carriers or we can’t replace a carrier that needed to be retired. We love giving back to our members, too. In 2017, we will have our third annual International Babywearing Week Bash, which BWICL wouldn’t be able to do without all ofour amazing members and leaders! 

As a little gift to anyone who participates in the Membership Drive, BWICL is giving away a wrap scrap purse! It’s all the more reason to jump in and renew early or donate for a great cause. Are you in? 

Babywearing as a Healing Tool

Written by Nikki Patrick

Babywearing is a tool that caregivers use for a multitude of reasons. Some are drawn to the convenience of being mostly hands free and able to carry baby throughout daily activities. Some like the bonding that occurs through wearing. Some wear because they like the way their carrier of choice looks. Most are a combination of all of these things.

I was drawn to babywearing for these reasons plus one more very important reason: healing. I am a survivor of many years of childhood sexual abuse, abandonment, and neglect. The man I called my father was abusive in every imaginable way and my mother struggled with mental illness and substance abuse. She tried but her own issues got in the way of our relationship and my ability to bond with her as my mother.

When my daughter was born I experienced a flood of emotion and a deep instinct to protect her from the hurt I had experienced. As a small infant, nothing seemed better to me than wrapping her warm body close to mine and carrying her throughout my day. I started off babywearing to protect her but it ended up having a profound healing effect on me. We were able to bond in a very intimate way that is difficult for many abuse survivors to deal with. She would stare at me with her big blue eyes as she drifted off to sleep and I knew in my heart that I would always protect her as much as I was able. I nursed her in carriers, soothed her from illness, rocked her gently to sleep, and carried her as she learned to interact with the world.

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As she grew more alert and aware, I found myself doing the same. Like a child, I was experiencing the world through her eyes, something I hadn’t had the opportunity to do during my own childhood. Front carries became an opportunity to explain colors, music, and other exciting things that we’d see as we went about our adventures. Back carries allowed her independence to see something other than my chest and a small view of the world and opened up a whole new bigger view. She was still close to me, safe. As my daughter grew, I found myself less panicked at the idea of protecting her from the ills of the world and more in tune with sharing the beauty of the world with her.

We rarely wear these days at almost 4 years old but I firmly believe the year she spent riding in a carrier helped me to heal in some very special ways and forged a bond that will never be broken. I am still her safe place. She still nestles into my body to fall asleep and I fell her sweet breath on my cheek as she begins dreaming of sweet things, not the nightmares of my childhood. She now carries her babies in various carriers and I believe that one step in breaking the cycle of abuse and mental illness that plagues my family has been done. My daughter, thanks to babywearing, knows the importance of deep bonds and physical closeness.

Babywearing is such a diverse tool. Whether it’s running an errand easily, corralling one child in a carrier while holding the hand of another, or providing a place to escape a chaotic event; babywearing is useful in some way for almost everyone. For me, it filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t know existed. I’ve learned how to protect but still let go. I’ve learned that I will always be a safe space thanks to the bonds we’ve formed no matter what happens in the big world. Babywearing helped heal me, one carry at a time.

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IBW Bash Sponsor List

 

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We would like to give a huge thank you to all of our sponsors!

 

Platinum Level Sponsors

JuJuBe

Whole Love Organics

Tekhni

MommyCon

Hera’s Gift 

Jolie Images

 

Gold Level Sponsors

Holcomb Hollow

Chompy Chic

Miss Jamie from the Farm

Cygnus Lactation Services

Marsupial Mamas

 

Silver Level Sponsors

Spectra Baby USA

Solly Baby Wraps

Buncha Farmers

Goldfish Swim School – Roscoe Village

Baby K’tan

Smitten With Wovens

Risaroo

Fresh Monster

 

Bronze Level Sponsors

Bamboobies

Macaroni Soup by Miss Carole

Chicago Wolves

Chicago Bears

Chimparoo

Freemie

Thirsties

Pouch Pal

Poofy Organics by Jess Brandt-Eco Friendly Mama Made in the USA

Babylonia

Love Auntie Liz (Etsy)

Smiling Tree Toys

Trendy Mommy Designs (Etsy)

Firespiral

Beachfront Baby

Tilia Hills Designs

Redmond

Perfectly Posh with Marissa Owens

Birthways

Wiggle Bear Wovens

Old Fashioned Girl Modern Mama

Stomp and Shout

LuSa Organics

Breastfeed Chicago

Enough Said Mama (Etsy)

Keeping it Crafty

Lisa Kelsey LuLaRoe

Hippo Campus

Leaping Lizards Events

Babyloafs

IBW Bash Platinum Sponsor Highlight: Holcomb Hollow

Written by Nikki Patrick

Our platinum sponsor, Holcomb Hollow is an amazing family run business specializing in gluten free vegan pastries and fresh fruit jams and spreads. Their products are all vegan, no animal products are used in their production (including eggs). They are also gluten free and tested using the ELISA assay. 

With bold combinations of flavor, Holcomb Hollow has managed to make delicious products for almost any consumer’s dietary needs. 

We would like to thank them for their generous donation to our VIP bags and raffle, and will have muffins available for purchase at the Bash! 

You can find them at 

http://holcombhollow.com/

Or on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/theholcombhollow/

As well as at local farmer’s markets throughout the year!

IBW Bash Platinum Sponsor Highlight: MommyCon/WEAR

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Join us in thanking MommyCon for being sponsors of our IBW 2016 Bash!

MommyCon, a family-run business, is a boutique-style nationwide convention series dedicated to creating and nurturing a community of modern parents and parents-to-be in celebration of natural parenting.

MommyCon takes a gentle and positive approach to educating parents about the emotional and physical benefits of natural birthing, breastfeeding and babywearing. They advocate values of holistic health, eco-friendly diapering, child safety standards and procedures, and female self-care and wellness. Their mission is to create a community of support, acceptance and non-judgement for women journeying through parenthood. The seminars and workshops include babywearing, birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, car seat safety, natural health and medicine, baby gear, childproofing and so much more!

The MommyCon team is also responsible for Wear: A Babywearing Conference.  This conference, which will be held in conjunction with MommyCon next spring in Chicago, is focused on promoting safe, comfortable and accessible babywearing education. The conference seeks to educate and preserve indigenous babywearing practices while showcasing the latest in babywearing fashion, design and innovation.

They have generously donated 3-day passes to the conference next spring!  Thank you MommyCon!

 

 

IBW Bash Gold Sponsor Highlight: Chompy Chic Chewelry

Written by Nicole Navarro

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BWI would like to say a big “Thank You” to one of our local sponsors, Chompy Chic Chewlery!

Chompy Chic is located a bit north of Chicago in Janesville, WI. They offer handmade, stylish teething, nursing, and babywearing accessories for moms to wear and babies to play with and chomp on- hence the name, Chompy Chic!

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This lovely shop has a wide variety of products, colors and textiles to choose from and they even take custom orders. Best of all they are safe!  Food-grade silicone and hardwood maple are used to create this unique chewelry.  All of their products pass third party testing and are CPSIA in the USA. Make sure you head over to the Chompy Chic Facebook page to “Like” and follow for the most current updates on products and giveaways. You can shop online in their Etsy shop, in select baby boutiques and you can see them at the Bash on Saturday! Thank you to Chompy Chic!

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IBW Bash Platinum Sponsor Highlight: Whole Love Organics

Grace’s Story, edited by Lynn Guerra

Whole Love Organics was born from Grace Soraparu’s need to create. A couple of years ago, she started with coconut oil, arrowroot powder and beeswax and made her first stick of deodorant. She found her calling and the rest was history! 


As a mother of three boys under 5, she was getting a little frustrated at home. Whole Love Organics has become her creative outlet; her lifeline. A way to get out and spread love. She is passionate about quality ingredients, products that are made with love, but that are affordable at the same time. It has never about making money (breaking even would be nice!), but about getting quality ingredients onto people’s skin (including her family and friends), after realizing most people have no idea what they are putting on the largest organ of their body!

Come check out everything Whole Love Organics has to offer at BWICL’s IBW Bash 2016, or visit her shop on Etsy. Thank you for being such an amazing sponsor!