Friday, September 28, 2012

Mark Your Calendars! International Babywearing Week 2012

International Babywearing Week 2012 is coming up fast!  This year IBW is Oct 8-14, 2012.  This year's theme is "Carrying On Traditions."

This year we are planning slightly more laid back events after the huge conference we did this summer, but low key doesn't mean low fun!

Our first event is the Silver Spring meeting which will be held from 9:30am-11:30am on Monday Oct 8th.  LOCATION CHANGE!!!  - This meeting will be held at Kemp Mill Park at the corner of Arcola Ave and Lamberton Dr. in Silver Spring, MD.

Our second event is the Tysons-Pimmit meeting which will be held from 10am-12noon on Wednesday, Oct. 10th.  This meeting is held in the meeting room at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, VA.  This meeting is often followed by a social lunch together at a nearby restaurant.

Our main event will be a fashion show event held at Abby's Lane store in Manassas, VA.  The fashion show will be held at 12noon on Saturday, October 13th.  The store is located directly across the tracks from the train station in Manassas.  We are so grateful that they are willing to host our special event!

At each event you will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for our drawings.  We have a few smaller prizes, plus we will have an Original Ergo carrier, 2 Beco Butterfly carriers, Ergo will be donating another Ergo for giveaway, a Boba Wrap, and Abby's Lane has donated a Petunia Picklebottom Ergo in the Holland print to our drawing!  The drawing will take place directly following the fashion show on Saturday.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wearing a Newborn

When T and I went to our Bradley classes for Devon, as soon as we heard about babywearing, we knew we wanted to do it. Especially when about half way through our classes, we found out he’d be leaving soon after birth. Our instructor loved the moby, but also insisted that there was something for everyone and to look up a local babywearing group. I found one on google, and started stalking their yahoo group and watching the meeting schedule. I hadn’t picked a carrier yet, but was given a pouch and one of the old infantino SSCs from a friend who tried them and didn’t like them. When Devon was born, T and my mom were able to wear her immediately, in the pouch, and while neither were huge fans of it, it worked for the time. It was too big for me, and we didn’t go to a local meeting until she was almost 6 weeks old, just because the first one was two weeks after she was born, and right after T and my mom left, so we just stayed home. Luckily for me, no one judged me that I brought my sleeping baby inside in a carseat, and one of the women there owns a shop, so she had a whole variety of things for me to try. I tried Devon in a RingSling, which was awesome, but really fell in love with a wrap. The first time I wrapped Devon by myself was right before our flight home, and she was 7 weeks old.
Which, while she was still tiny at that point (less than 10 lbs, probably 8-9?), was NOTHING like wrapping this:
Piper was 5’12 at birth, 18 inches long, and Devon was 6’11, 20.25 inches long. When we brought Piper home the first day, she was just barely over 5 lbs. Wrapping an itty bitty for the first time was a little intimidating, but awesome. I have worn Piper EVERY DAY since she was born. I’ve almost had to just to keep up with her big sister, but knowing what I do now I probably would have anyway. I’ve been amazed at how much wearing a newborn has improved our lives, and allowed for me to bond with Piper without having to sacrifice as much time with Devon. (To be honest, I think Dad is getting a little jealous :) I keep telling him he could wrap her, but he’s “not in to that”, and since she won’t fit in his ergo, he just holds and carries her a lot.) Devon has even learned to share some of her wraps!
Being able to wear Piper has helped a lot with more than just bonding, though. It was great for keeping her warm while in the hospital and giving her skin-to-skin time, which was a huge priority because she was so small and just barely past preemie status at 37+3. It has also helped with nursing, especially because newborns nurse a LOT, so being able to keep her close for easy and discreet access has been a life saver. I wore for her big sister’s birthday party the day we came home, and out for lunch at a restaurant the next day. It kept her warm, close to my heartbeat, and sheltered from the outside world while still letting me be up and in it.
At four days old I wore Piper to an interview and she slept through the whole thing. She stretched a few times though, and the physical therapist granting the interview was in absolute awe of her neck strength and head control. Wearing stimulates the vestibular system, helping the baby develop balance and trunk and head control. Because Piper was a little early, we’ve also had a little trouble with GI issues. Most have been cleared up by recognizing food allergies (which run in our family) but the leftover issues both during the transition and as a result of her being a little early are greatly improved by her being vertical during and after eating, and babywearing has made that possible.
The other bonus of babywearing a newborn that I wish I’d known about with my first daughter is water slings. I can wear Piper in the shower in a water proof wrap and help her younger sister shower, shower myself, and shower Piper without having to use a tub, a separate sink, or worry about her slipping or getting dropped. She is slowly moving from legs in to legs out, but I leave it up to her at this point.They can also be used for pools, the ocean, etc, but I didn’t get one for Devon until she was much bigger.
  It was definitely an adjustment after getting used to wearing two year old (ahh!) all the time, but we have loved every minute of it. Devon has even begged me to let her wear her sister, but we’ve had to tell her not yet. Maybe when they’re both bigger, or maybe the next one 
Posted by Kit

Friday, September 7, 2012

Babywearing While Pregnant: Part 2

To get ready for International Babywearing Week 2012 in October, and to raise funds to pay for the bills from the International Babywearing Conference 2012 from this past summer, we are doing a membership drive!! 

This is open for ANYONE who meets any of the following criteria: 1) becomes a NEW member during the month of Sept; 2) RENEWS their expired membership during this month; or 3) EXTENDS their membership in the group.

To help you make the final decision as to whether you want to become a member of BWI of DC-MD-VA, we will be doing a raffle during IBW 2012 for at least two carriers---a BRAND NEW Ergo and a BRAND NEW Beco . Upon becoming a member during the month of September, you automatically be given 5 tickets to the raffle. Of course, during IBW 2012, you will have the opportunity to purchase more tickets if you wish.

This offer is only valid during the month of September. VBEs are eligible for this membership drive. Any membership applications received after the 30th will not be eligible for the raffle tickets.
On to Babywearing While Pregnant part 2
Ever since I discovered the full world of babywearing with my second baby, I have been an equal opportunity babywearer.  I use ring slings, mei tais, soft structured carriers (SSCs), and woven wraps.  Just after I had my second baby, I discovered woven wraps, which I thought were awesome since you could even wear them when pregnant.
 I thought that wovens were my only option because I had failed at babywearing while pregnant with #2.  I only had an ergo, and it pressed against my belly in an uncomfortable way once I got pregnant.  
With pregnancy #3, I got help from Babywearing International of DC-MD-VA and discovered that I could continue to wear my young toddler in other carriers as well.  I found that SSCs with dual adjust waists worked really well for us since I could put the buckle under my belly.  My kinderpack (my current favorite SSC for back carries) became my go-to carrier for shopping trips and playgrounds where my young toddler tired out more quickly than her three-year-old brother. 
Some women really like ring slings while pregnant since they don’t have to wrap anything around the belly.  I tried to use ring slings with this pregnancy, but I found that I personally couldn’t use them with my toddler much because of my bad back. 
I also started using wrap conversion mei tais a lot.  For me, mei tais offered some of the versatility of a woven wrap, but required less time and fuss.  This was important since pregnant mamas can get uncomfortable fast, and young toddlers are notoriously fickle about wanting “up” and “down.”  I only used mei tai front carries when my baby absolutely insisted since back carries were more comfortable.  Early in my pregnancy when I would go to evening bible study, my then 15 month old would want to nurse and go to sleep since it was past her bed time.  The mei tai was perfect for these occasions.  I couldn’t walk around with her on my front with the extra baby weight from being five months pregnant, but it was perfect for the nursing and the gentle swaying that she needed to soothe her to sleep.  By the end of pregnancy, she was no longer nursing, but she was very clingy before breakfast every day, and I found it impossible to cook breakfast with her hanging on my legs.  We started using our beanslings wrap conversion mei tai in a back carry, and our problem was solved.  Depending on my various pregnancy aches (I have some pre-existing health conditions that get worse during pregnancy), I would tie the mei tai different ways.
I am so glad that I was able to learn how to wear my toddler while pregnant.  Because I will have carried her during the whole pregnancy, it won’t be hard for me to transition to tandem wearing when I need to with the new baby, especially since I will have a newborn, a busy nineteen-month-old, and a curious three year old all at the same time.

Posted by Raagen