Hopefully you’ve been enjoying our Meet a Leader series. Maybe you’ve been wondering what exactly it means to be a leader for Babywearing International (BWI).
BWI certifies leaders to be a Volunteer Babywearing Educator (VBE), Advanced Babywearing Educator (ABE), or Master Babywearing Educator (MBE). For simplicity’s sake, we’ll refer to everyone as a VBE in this article.
All of our VBEs are well versed in all kinds of babywearing: one shouldered carriers like pouches and ring slings, Asian-inspired carriers like mei tais, soft-structured (or buckle) carriers, and wraps. While we each have our favorites and our strong suits, each leaders has trained to help you with any type of carrier and is versed in front, back, and hip carries and breastfeeding in each type of carrier.
During a meeting, VBEs may teach in a variety of forms. Many meetings start with a Babywearing 101 session modeling the major types of carriers and safety basics. After that, we like to work in small groups if people with similar questions. It’s a great way to learn through listening, seeing, and doing, and to start to meet others in the group. When one-on-one assistance is needed, we do our best to be available for that.
Only BWI certified educators can instruct at a meeting, but we welcome other volunteers in supporting roles like greeter, librarian, membership sign-up, and behind-the-scenes things like marketing and web support. Having volunteers in these supporting roles is key to allowing VBEs as much time to teach at a meeting as possible.
The V in VBE is key. Each one of us is a volunteer. From the Board of Directors on down, BWI is completely volunteer-run. Our leaders have kids that range from newborns to 12 year olds. Some are stay-at-home-parents, others work part-time or full-time. We volunteer our time because we want you to love babywearing and to be successful with it. We all look forward to meeting you at a local event soon.