To celebrate International Babywearing Week, we had a photo contest on Facebook to give away a Beco Butterfly 2 baby carrier. Although we intended to give away one Beco, we had so much participation that we ended up giving away TWO Beco Butterfly 2 carriers!

Everyone has their own babywearing story. Here’s what our first winner, Leigh Ann Hernandez, has to say:

Leigh Ann and Rio in a borrowed ErgoBaby carrier

I have 3 sweet children; Dalton (15), Sophia (just turned 2) and sweet Rio (8 months.)¬† I had never even thought about wearing Dalton when he was little. ūüė¶ I just wasn’t as educated then, and being in my early 20’s I had no idea there were so many options.¬† Things have come a long way in the last few years in educating mothers on many subjects.

When my little Sophia was born I bought a Moby.  Needless to say she LOVED it.  I loved the freedom it gave me to be able to do other things while I was still able to hold and cuddle with her.  She seemed to be a very calm and satisfied baby.

When I found out I was pregnant again with Rio I had no idea how important babywearing would become.  Sophia still wanted to be worn, but with my protruding belly I had to find a new way. I found a sling that would let her rest comfortably on my hip and not disturb my belly. It worked really well. Once Rio arrived I wore him in the Moby as well.

It is very difficult carrying around a 25+ lb 6-month-old without the help of some type of carrier. In the last month I’ve needed a more confident way of carrying him around. I posted on Babywearing International of Birmingham’s wall asking people to recommend carriers to me. In doing research I found out how expensive some of the carriers are. ūüė¶¬† I was very bummed because I just couldn’t figure out how to fit that into my budget. I have an awesome friend that was sweet enough to loan me her Ergo. The first time I used it was in the picture I entered in the contest. It seemed so perfect, but I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to manage buying one. I began searching for used ones, but they were still pretty expensive. I was even talking to the winner of last year’s contest and I told her “maybe someone will have a contest sometime soon and I can win one myself.”¬† I believe that was said on Saturday and I saw the contest on Sunday evening and entered our picture! It was the most ironic, God-sent thing I could imagine! I was determined I would win the Beco!

The only thing that made winning that Beco for myself and Rio better was you guys giving one to me and to Karla! Thank you Babywearing International of Birmingham for making two mommies and several babies very happy!

You’re very welcome Leigh Ann! Your letter really highlights why our group exists: to educate parents about babywearing and to remove obstacles to babywearing, all so that families can reap the benefits. We have donated carriers to a Women’s Shelter, taught people how to make carriers, and given away several carriers in contests or drawings. We also maintain our lending library as a benefit of membership, which at $30 per year provides an affordable way for many parents to always have access to a baby carrier.


New carriers from BWI

Our parent organization, Babywearing International, Inc., sent us five lovely new baby carriers to help us celebrate International Babywearing Week. Wanna see?

An organic mei tai from Catbird Baby

A TaylorMade mei tai

A Boba carrier

A Didymos Labyrinth wrap

And a Wrapsody breeze in the beautiful "Alice" design. Happy International Babywearing Week!

It’s the first day of International Babywearing Week 2011, and the theme for the day is Make it Monday. As it happens, we developed a very popular and easy project a few years ago that fits today’s theme perfectly: The No-Sew Fleece Babywearing Poncho. All you need is a yard and a quarter of good quality fleece and some scissors. If you find some fleece on sale, you might make this project for about $5. Enjoy!


Make a Mei Tai Workshop!

Susie and Ryan in a Ball Baby Overall mei tai, circa 2006

Celebrate International Babywearing Week by making your own faux Ball Baby Overall mei tai with us on Wednesday, October 12, from 10a.m. to noon at the Hancock Fabrics store on Hwy. 280. Basic sewing skills are needed. This project involves some straight seams, but there are no zippers, buttons, rings or other hardware to install. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Click here for all the details and to register.

Because of library programming in the conference rooms when we normally have our meetings, our May and June meetings will be held at Hoover Fire Station #7.  Take Hwy. 280 to Valleydale Road, then turn right onto Inverness Center Parkway. The fire station will be on your left. We will meet in the upstairs conference room unless we get bumped for fire department business, in which case we will meet on the enclosed playground at the fire station. Click here for a map. (Do not attempt to use GPS or Google Maps.)

December meeting postponed

Due to illness, we are unable to have a meeting on the first Wednesday of December (which is tomorrow, December 1). We will have a meeting on Wednesday, December 15, instead. Because of the change, items borrowed from our lending library in November will be due at the January meeting.

Happy International Babywearing Week! Wow, it is a busy week for babywearers around the world. To see some of the things that have been going on, visit the Facebook page for Babywearing International, or this page to see some of the highlights from last year (worth a click as there were so many amazing things, including the world’s longest sling spanning the Danube). Know any awesome babywearing advocates or groups? Nominate them for awards by October 10!

Have you found us on Facebook? We make lots of little announcements there, for upcoming meetings and anything else we are doing. Here are two things we are doing to celebrate International Babywearing Week this year:

Celebrate Babywearing Walk

On Sunday, October 10, at 2p.m. at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens,¬†Dr. Henry Hughes, education director of the BBG, will lead us and our little ones on a fun and educational walk through the gardens. We’ll have a quick safety discussion first. Carriers will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis for those who need to borrow them for the walk. All are welcome, even (especially) babywearing “graduates.” This event is made possible with help from Fresh Air Family and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Fresh Air Family would love it if you could send them an email at events @ freshairfamily.org (remove spaces) to let them know you’re coming.

Photo Contest for a Beco Butterfly (Alabama residents only)

The theme of IBW this year is “Safe Babywearing: Enjoy the Benefits.” Find your favorite digital photo that shows someone in your family enjoying the benefits of safe babywearing and email it to danagale @ gmail.com (remove spaces)¬†with “Babywearing Photo Contest” in the subject line to enter our photo contest. Please identify the brand and/or type of carrier and the age of the child being worn in the body of the email so that we can caption the photo. You may also include name the child and/or adult, but you are not required to. If you do include that information, it may be added to the photo caption.

All photos will be posted in a publicly visible album on our Facebook page. The photo with the most “likes” as of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 12, will win a new Beco Butterfly 2 baby carrier! We have some fun prizes for honorable mentions, too.

Some things to note:

– This contest is open to Alabama residents only. Leaders of Babywearing International of Birmingham and their immediate familiy members may not enter.

– Please feel welcome to include a photo showing any type of soft baby carrier being used safely.

– Only submit a photo that belongs to you; do not submit a photo if someone else owns the copyright.

– One photo per person, please.

– Please feel welcome to share the contest with your friends and invite them to vote.

– Once the photo is posted in our Facebook album, you may “tag” yourself in the photo.

– To vote, a person will have to “like” our page, then “like” the photo he is voting for. A person may vote for as many photos as she wants, but only the one photo with the most votes as determined by the BWI of Birmingham leadership team will win the Beco Butterfly 2.

РThe number of honorable mention prizes to be awarded is at the discretion of the BWI of Birmingham leadership team.  We hope everyone will enjoy the photos and have fun with this contest, while spreading the love of babywearing!

To vote, click here to visit our contest album on Facebook.