Category Archives: About our group

Look at All of Our Carriers!

By B

Before I show you all the pics of our fantastic carriers, I want to talk about how we got them (yes, telethon style.) Some of these carriers are donated by their manufacturer or by a retailer. If you decide to buy something you learned about here, feel free to let the vendor know that you learned about them from BWI of Peoria. We don’t get any further kickbacks, but it lets vendors know that donating to us was a good move for them. Maybe the next time they have a product to donate, it will help them think of us. Or maybe all the vendors will tell each other how wonderful we are and they’ll all want to donate. Right? That could happen, right?

Some carriers were donated to us by individuals. These were carriers that they used to use with their own kids. When the kids outgrew them, the parents donated to us instead of reselling the carrier. Since BWI is a non-profit organization, they can write off the donation. If you’re interested in donating your gently used carrier to our lending library, let us know! We loving growing our library, though not every carrier meets our criteria. You can message a VBE for more about this: info@bwiofpeoria.org

Still more carriers were bought by our group for the lending library. All of the funds we have come from memberships, fundraisers and donations. Group memberships are $30/year, half of which goes to our group. The major perk of membership is that you can check out any carrier in our lending library. BUT, even if you don’t intend to check out a carrier, you still might want to consider purchasing a membership, participating in a fundraiser or making a tax deductible donation. Why? Well, maybe you like having these carriers available, to try on, to help you make your purchasing decision. Consider the cost of doing a carrier rental program with all of these carriers! The cost of shipping them back and forth! But, thanks to the generosity of the Peoria area babywearing community, we have so many carriers on hand for you to try out. We have trained, certifed Educators to help you to safely use the carriers or even carriers you already own. Consider the value of having hands on help with any carrier, with any age baby.

Alright, enough of my sales pitch, check out all our awesome carriers! (A few woven wraps are missing from these pics; they were checked out when these were taken.)

Some soft structured carriers

Some mei tais

Stretchy and hybrid wraps

Wovens and ring slings (3 missing here)

Aren’t they beautiful? Up next, a pic of me swimming through them like Scrooge McDuck…

 

Meet Up: HELP!

By TP

 

Why go to a Meet Up? Because there’s no shame in not having all the answers. Sure, I like to be right all of the time, but sometimes I fall short; we all do. The most important thing to me is my family and our safety. So, there’s no time like the present to ensure you’re safely wearing your kiddo(s). I purchased the Boba Wrap (used to be the Sleepy Wrap) after attending my first Monday night meeting prior to the newborn’s arrival. I got it out of the package, tried it out and plopped in the new babe when she arrived. She liked it most of the time, but every now and then, she’d start crying when I placed her inside. Initial thought was – hmmmm, why isn’t this wrap calming down my daughter like I had envisioned?

 

Fast forward a month when I took my 8 week old with me to the next Saturday Meet Up and asked for help (yes ladies, we all can benefit every now and then!). I learned I was wrapping the Boba perfectly, but was placing my daughter in in ENTIRELY WRONG! EEEEK!

By TP

Thank goodness only a few weeks went by after the purchase to the meeting, because I quickly learned why I needed to place her in the wrap differently. Immediately she calmed down and napped while I looked around at other wraps. Now, that was the reality I was hoping for: pure serenity with my sweet peach napping away on me (LOVE!).

 

Another great benefit of attending a meeting is seeing for yourself how the carriers fit. I’m not a petite or average sized person. I’m a plus size gal, and I worry about all of my ‘extra love’ hanging out of the carriers or the need to purchase extensions. By going to a meeting, you can try them on before you purchase and see just how they feel, look, and most importantly, support your lil bundle. I am impressed with how the experts take the time to share their knowledge in a very relaxed, professional way without making you feel the slightest bit of ignorant. Love going to meetings and love the support and information I receive when going to a meeting. You should give it a try!

Flower Power Fundraiser

BWI of Peoria is doing a spring bulb fundraiser! This is great for anyone, not just local folk. You order through the website, using our link http://www.flowerpowerfundraising.com/campaign?campaign_id=11397 , and they ship directly to your home. You don’t have to deal with us in person at all on this. So, maybe you don’t live in the Peoria area, but you’ve enjoyed our blog, learned some things and you’d like to support us? This is a great way to do so. We use the vast majority of funds raised to buy new carriers for our lending library. No one in our group is paid for the work we do. You can feel assured, knowing that your funds will be going right where you want them to: promoting babywearing in the Peoria area! If you haven’t already picked up some bulbs for spring planting, please consider helping us out with this. The fundraiser runs until the 27th of this month.

Adorable spring time baby pic (that’s the lending library’s new Dolcino wrap, purchased with donated funds)

 

What Do We Do At Meetings?

By B

 

Maybe you’ve just stumbled onto our blog, but you’ve never been to one of our events. Maybe you’re a parent or caregiver in the Peoria area who wants to learn more about how to safely use a carrier, but you aren’t sure where to start. Let me talk a little bit about what we at Babywearing International of Peoria do. Right now, we have two different events (but, we’d love to expand that in the future). All of our events are led by one of our certified VBEs.

VBE=Volunteer Babywearing Educator. I talk here a bit about what a VBE is, exactly.

We have our monthly meetings. These are on Monday nights, usually the first Monday of the month. They are currently being held at the Peoria Public Library, North Branch. You can check out our calender for dates. Meetings run from 5:00 to 7:00 (but don’t be afraid to come later or leave earlier if that’s what works for your schedule!). 5:00 to 5:30 is carrier check-in and mingling. Meeting content starts at 5:30. We feature a different babywearing topic each meeting, like “winter babywearing” or “nursing in carriers”.

We also feature one carrier from our lending library at each meeting, demonstating it and talking about the benefits of that particular carrier. After that, it’s hands on help from our VBEs. Saturday meetups have no meeting content and are all hands on help. You can drop in any time during the Open Help Hours and stay as long or as little as you wish.

What kind of hands on help? Well, you can learn to nurse in a mei tai.

 

You can learn to wear your twins. (note: this isn’t ideal positioning here. We’d like to see baby’s knees higher than his bottom, with fabric tucked to the knees. This is this mama’s first time wearing them both. We should’ve checked more carefully before we took the pic.)

You can bring your own carrier and get help on back carries.

You can find the right carrier for your newborn.

You can practice your wrapping skills.

Or try your hand at wearing two.

 

You are welcome to bring your older children to the meetings. There are generally several older siblings there. Feel free to bring a snack and a quiet activity for them.

Our events are free and open to anyone. We do encourage you to consider a paid membership. Membership funds help us grow our lending library. Borrowing from the lending library is a perk of paid memberships, though certainly not required to get hands on help from our Babywearing Educators. If you have questions about how to wear your baby in a way that is safe and comfortable for you both, I encourage you to attend one of our events!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fundraiser

We are offering Smencils as a fundraiser.  Smens, Smencils, and Colored Smencils bagsets will be available for you to purchase and our group gets to keep a portion of the money.  This will close on 2/1/2012 and money needs to be paid by that date.

 

The Smens bagset contains 10 Smens for $20 each.  The scents that will be in the set are:  Aloha, Mocha, Creamsicle, Ninja Berry, Red Licorice, Passion Fruit, Mystery Scent, Black Licorice, Pink Lemonade, and Banana Fo Fana.

 

The Smencils and Colored Smencils each contain 10 Smencils for $12 each.  The scents in those sets are:  Bubblegum, Cinnamon, Tropical Blast, Grape, Cotton Candy, Black Cherry, Watermelon, Orange, Very Berry, and Rootbeer.

 

Smencils are pencils and pens made from rolled sheets of recycled newspaper. Smencils and Smens work the same as any regular pencil or pen, but they smell way better, and they’re good for the environment too!

We will have some Smencils at the January meeting (1/9) for your sniffing and buying pleasure!

About our reviews

We have a lot of parents working on reviews. Keep an eye out for many great posts  coming soon! We like to have many parents, with different body shapes and babies of different ages, review each carrier. We find different perspectives helpful and hope you do, too!

To be upfront, all of the carriers we review are either donated to us or sold at a reduced price. We never review carriers that we wouldn’t recommend, though. We only solicit donations/discounts from companies whose products we would wear and recommend anyway. Many of the brands we have in the library are also owned by BWI of Peoria members. It’s important for us to be able to give our honest impressions on the carriers we have. We would never encourage anyone to buy a product that we found to be less than high quality. Not every carrier is a great match for every wearer, but every carrier reviewed here is one we find to be high quality, from a reputable company, a good carrier for some.

December Monthly Meeting

Here’s the Facebook event page for our monthly meeting. All of our monthly meetings are open to anyone interested in learning more about how to safely use a baby carrier, anyone wanting to support our group and those looking for some babywearing friends! You can bring a carrier of yours that you need help with. We will have our lending library carriers there. You can try your baby in any of those. We always have one or two VBEs (Volunteer Babywearing Educators),who are knowledgeable in safe babywearing, to help you out.

This meeting’s topic is Winter Babywearing. The featured carrier is Sleepy Wrap.

The schedule of meetings will be: 5:00-5:30: carrier check ins, mingling; 5:30-6:00: introductions, spotlight topic and carrier; 6:00-6:30: one on one help, group help; 6:30-7:00 carrier check out.

Feel free to come late or leave early. You are encouraged to bring the baby/child you’ll be wearing, if possible, so you can try on carriers together.

Hustlin’

Interested in helping your new favorite babywearing group raise funds? We’re
working hard to expand our sling library! (Details on that coming soon) Well,
you can!

2 ways:

Join Babywearing
International
! We get a portion of the proceeds from all membership dues. To
become a member of BWI of Peoria, just Paypal $30 to heartofillinoisbabywearers@gmail.com Put
“membership” in the subject line so we know what it’s for. You can send
donations the same way, just put “donation” in the subject line.

OR

Buy a Peoria Dining Tour book from
us! These things are terrific. My family had one last year and gave 2 as gifts.
You can see the list
of 100 restaurants
in the book. There’s a wide variety, from fine dining to
fast food. The book is filled with Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupons. It will pay for
itself in just a few meals out. Every restaurant is in the Peoria area, from
Lacon to Pekin and all over Peoria. If you’re interested in buying a book ($30),
shoot us an email at info@bwiofpeoria.org We’d love to hook you and your holiday gift recipients up!

So, what is a VBE anyway?

VBE=Volunteer Babywearing Educator. Each group must have at least two, at least one being a non-vendor. We take both a written and a proficiency exam. The proficiency exam is either in person, if you live in an area close to a certifier, or via Skype, how I did mine. You do some Q&A, demo carries, and talk the tester through carries as though she were a parent needing help. BWI really wants to make sure that VBEs know what they’re doing, it seems! I’m very for this. This is my 3rd year doing babywearing education. I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t have passed the written exam when I first started. Or, at the very least, I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to actually turn it in.

Our group is led by two VBEs, Beth and Kirsteen. We are working on “about” posts for each. VBEs lead the meetings and help get babies into carriers. We also do BWI outreach events, presenting about safe babywearing in the community. If you’re interested in having our certified VBEs present to your group, send us an email info@bwiofpeoria.org