Babywearing International of Birmingham was founded in 2006 under the name “Magic City Slingers” by Kristen Stewart and Susie Spence. In 2008, the group became one of the first chapers of Babywearing International, Inc. Crystal Knezek and Amanda Boggan came on board in early 2013 as Volunteer Babywearing Educators. Our librarian is Dana Bush, our Treasurer is Tracie Rowe, and our leadership volunteers include Tonia Mayton, Angela Shook and Christi Adkins.
I’m a stay-at-home mom to a daughter born in 2001 and two sons born in 2006 and 2008. As an infant, my daughter was definitely low maint
Unlike his sister, my first son was high maintenance from the beginning. As I struggled to find ways to cope with his generally fussy demeanor, a friend loaned me a Nojo padded sling. I tried it. He hated it. I gave up. He still wanted to be held all the time. So I did some research and tried the sling again, with a bit more success this time. The sling was too big for me to wear comfortably, but it was what I had, so it was what I used while I searched for alternatives. I searched and I searched, and I finally found good online resources with information about different kinds of baby carriers. I bought a pouch first and was delighted to be able to carry my baby securely in the tummy to tummy position. Our whole quality of life improved!enance. When she was about a week old, I got a Baby Bjorn because the book Baby Bargains recommended it and I thought it was the ‘gold standard’ for baby carriers. We used it for grocery shopping and a few other things, but she gained weight rapidly and we could only use it for a couple of months.
Because there were no local resources to help me choose or learn to use a carrier, I ended up spending many hours ferreting out information on the internet. I’m excited and proud to help give the Birmingham area a source of free, in-person help with learning to use baby carriers. I’m also excited to have helped start an organization that’s focused, in such a practical way, on helping parents more easily meet the needs of their babies so they can focus more on the joy of parenting than the job of parenting.
When my first daughter was born prematurely, I searched for a way to keep her close and warm. A hand-me-down Baby Bjorn did the trick, but was uncomfortable for me. I started looking for other options and found Babywearing International of Birmingham. I remember my first meeting – scanning table after table of wraps, carriers, slings, buckles… I allowed my daughter to be securely tied to me with what to me looked like a piece of cloth. But it felt so good! She fell asleep almost instantly and I was comfortable. She was upright and safe! I took that wrap home and wore it every day. Month after month, I returned to meetings and tried many different carriers and wraps. I looked forward to the meetings and was thankful for the opportunity to learn to wear my baby.
Two years later I had twin boys and the only way I was able to meet the needs of my rapidly expanding family was to wear someone. Back to Babywearing meetings I went. This time, I was able to help and mentor other moms. When I went out while wearing the twins, many people stopped to ask questions about my carriers and babies. I developed a bigger passion for something that, for me, was absolutely a necessary part of my life. So when the twins were a year old, I became a Volunteer Babywearing Educator. Now I still look forward to meetings, but for a different reason. I am so happy to give new moms and caregivers some tools to help bond with and nurture their babies in a convenient and easy way.
You can see me to learn how to use a wrap or carrier or to ask general babywearing questions.
From Dana Bush:
9 years ago when my first daughter was born I tried and flunked the Bjorn and the Nojo sling. It wasn’t until 2007 that I really discovered the joy of babywearing when my second daughter was born. I attended a Babywearing International Meeting (Magic City Slingers at the time), and got educated on using the carrier I already had.
I became a leadership volunteer and Librarian because I truly believe that the ‘help’ to moms of young children, particularly if there are multiple children, of having your hands free while also keeping your baby close and content is immeasurable.
You can see me to check out carriers or get any advice on selecting a carrier from our library to try on or check out (because I am a babywearing geek and I know way too much about way too many different carriers) so I can help you find one that best meets your individual needs.
I dabbled in babywearing with my first son in a Hotsling six years ago,
when I noticed that he wanted to be held a lot. I had a convertible seat installed in my car, so I wore him whenever we went shopping. The weight of him all on my one shoulder really hurt my back (and I have scoliosis), so when he began to sit up, I quit wearing him. When I was pregnant with my second son, I researched quite a bit. I knew I wanted to carry this one longer and I also knew what was not a successful carry for me. I purchased a gender neutral Ergo during a one day sale and still use it today. I also feel that Babywearing and nursing go hand in hand with me. Without Babywearing, nursing in public would be much harder, in my opinion. him. During my pregnancy with my second child, I had when I really n
I believe Babywearing allows me to be close to my baby, not only supporting his physical needs, but emotional as well. My baby is happy being carried. I would encourage anyone who is about to have a baby to read up on the benefits of Babywearing. It feels very natural and it is universal as most of the world carries their babies for a time. I hope that I can be of some help at the meetings. I am glad to assist in any way, although I have no formal role. Just being a word of encouragement to another mom can be enough though. I hope to pursue my Volunteer Babywearing Educator in the near future.
You can see me for general babywearing questions or for help with a specific carrier.