Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Begin our Blog with Congratulations!

Beltway Babywearers Wins Award for Outstanding Babywearing Outreach Program by a Non-Vendor
Beltway Babywearers at the CapitolBeltway Babywearers, a nonprofit organization located in the metropolitan Washington, DC area, is the winner of the Outstanding Babywearing Outreach Program by a Non-Vendor Award from the nonprofit organization Babywearing International, Inc., as part of its International Babywearing Week 2009 awards program.

The term “babywearing” means carrying a baby or young child using a cloth baby carrier. Babywearing allows parents to have both hands free while carrying their children, and research indicates that this practice has numerous benefits for children.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics in 1986 found that 6-week-old babies carried at least three hours a day in a soft carrier cried and fussed 43 percent less than others overall, and 51 percent less in the evening hours.

Another study, published in the journal Child Development in 1990, found that mothers who were given cloth carriers at birth were more responsive to their babies and had babies who were more securely attached than mothers who received plastic infant seats.

“International Babywearing Week is a wonderful time to recognize the advocates who are helping parents learn about and become successful at babywearing,” explained Susie Spence, president of Babywearing International, Inc., the nonprofit organization that coordinates the event.

"Beltway Babywearers has run a consistently excellent babywearing outreach program for years,” Spence said. The group has up to four free-to-attend, volunteer-led educational meetings every month where members of the community can learn about babywearing and try a variety of different baby carriers to find what best meets their needs. Also, the group has hosted major events such as their volunteer-run DC Baby Carrier Expo in 2007.

“In an area where our families frequently come and go due to relocation, I'm very proud that we have continually run a group that so successfully combines top quality babywearing educators with eager new individuals,” said Lindsay Killick, one of the group’s leaders. “The vast majority of our moms and dads come to spend time with us every month, most multiple times a month, to support others -- and as their personal skill sets are polished, time and time again our newer members choose to come back and share their own skill sets and tips with others."

International Babywearing Week 2009 is being celebrated by nonprofit groups around the world. “We have Official Celebrating Organizations in fifteen countries around the world,” Spence said. The groups are hosting babywearing workshops, photography exhibits, walks, picnics, and other events to raise awareness about babywearing and help parents and caregivers learn babywearing as a skill.

The Award for the Outstanding Babywearing Outreach Program by a Non-Vendor is sponsored by Sleeping Baby Productions, a small company that offers custom-sewn baby slings as well as instructions for do-it-yourself projects through its website, Sleeping Baby Productions is awarding Beltway Babywearers a prize package of several baby slings for the group’s baby carrier library.

International Babywearing Week is supported by funding from presenting sponsor ERGObaby Inc., and general sponsors Moby Wrap, Inc., and DIDYMOS Erika Hoffmann GmbH.

Press release courtesy of BWI.
Photo courtesy of Melody Yazdani