I thought I’d take some time, telethon style, to talk about fundraising. We are a non-profit group. All of our meetings are free, all the help we offer is free. You can try on any of the thirty-something carriers in the library and get hands on help from our certified Educators at any meeting for no cost. Since all this awesomeness is available free, how, exactly do we get money?
First, let’s talk about what our money does and does not go towards. None of our funds ever go toward paying anyone involved with our group. 100% of our funds go to running the group. Our budget goes to lots of little incidental things, like our banner or name tag holders, to some important things like dues for our chapter and the domain name for our site and to carriers. Though many of our carriers have been donated, more have been purchased, generally at some sort of discount. Some vendors donate a carrier, but ask that we pay shipping. Our number one priority has been building our carrier library. We are pretty proud of it, especially for a less than one year old group, but there are a few things we have our eyes on. We would like to eventually have the funds to do larger outreach events, as well.
Part of any funds we raise goes to our parent organization, Babywearing International. These funds provide our group with liability insurance, brochures and the umbrella of a larger organization with a big name and a strong reputation, among other things.
Memberships to BWI are always available. For $30/year, you can become a member of our group, complete with the privilege to borrow carriers from our library. We also have some other great fundraisers going on now!
Between now and October 26th, you can make a purchase of fall flower bulbs through our Flower Power Fundraiser and have 50% of the proceeds go to our group! Your purchase is shipped right to you, so this is a way for people who don’t live in the Peoria area, but who maybe enjoy our blog and want to support the work we do, to help us out.
If you are in the Central IL area, you might like to buy a Peoria Dining Tour book. For $30, you get 330 coupons for 100 different restaurants and eateries, good through November 2013. These are terrific for families and make a great gift. My family loved them and we’ve found they pay for themselves in only a few dinners out. You can see a list of participating restaurants. You can pick up a book at any of our meetings through then end of the year.
Another great fundraiser for local types is the Monkey Joe’s event we have coming up! Tuesday, September 25th, from 2-5 pm, we’ll be hanging at Monkey Joe’s!
If you print off the flier (from the Facebook event) and show it to them at the door, we get a 40% of your admission! Babywearing can be a lifesaver at this place. We first took my son, then 3, when my daughter was only a few months old. Since I was wearing her, I was able to safely help my son climb into bouncers and catch him at the bottom of slides without worrying about dropping a tiny baby. We’ve been a number of times since and I’ve worn her each time.
Feel free to pop in and stay for as long as you please. Also, please share the link to the flier. Anyone can help our group raise funds during this event; they don’t have to come over and visit it they’d rather not.
We have one more pretty exciting fundraiser coming up as well, but I’ll save that for my post on International Babywearing Week events.
The Kinderpack was generously donated to the library by Kindercarry. Thanks!
I tried this out with my 11-13 month old.This is a super duper comfy carrier. It is very well thought out, with some nice little touches. Our carrier is the “standard” size and it fits baby girl just right.
Kinderpacks come in a variety of sizes, from infant to preschool. You can also get custom sized straps from petite to plus sized. Info on the standard size from the KP site:
“standard: 16″ h x 17″ w- ages 8mo-3 yrs : starting at 20lbs/28″ and up to 38″
standard is the choice for most people. Please realize that the standard will fit up to 3 years old/4T. This is the size to buy if you want to buy one carrier without having to size up later.”
Kinderpacks are made by WAHM right here in Illinois. This is another carrier you can tell is made by a babywearing mama. It has some great features that only a babywearer would think of.
The shoulder straps adjust at both ends of the buckles. This makes it easier to get the exact fit that you want.
I love the hood. It tucks into the body. The cavity then snaps closed, creating kind of a headrest, a great idea.
The website has a lot of excellent info on the carriers, the ordering process, even videos on how to wear it.
I found the whole carrier somewhat thicker than other SSCs in the body area and the shoulder straps to be wider. The fabric is soft, but sturdy.
Like all SSCs, the Kinderpack is great at distributing weight to your hips. It is quick and easy to get on and off. It can be used for front, hip or back carries. It is easy to fold up compactly to carry with you. I think soft structured carriers are also easy to wear empty if baby wants to hop out and crawl around for a bit. They offer good coverage for nursing as well.
I tried my 4.5 year old in it
For a large kid in a carrier not really designed for a giant child, this was pretty comfy. Even though this is sized for a much smaller person, he still has a nice seat in this, with good positioning.
Bottom line: Kinderpacks are a very comfortable, very customizable carrier with a lot of special touches.
This next tip is pretty easy but I’ll admit that it took someone sharing it with me before I realized what a good idea it is. This tip is about mei tai straps. I am using the library’s Catbird Baby Mei Tai with my 14 month old. When wearing a mei tai or a SSC it is very important to undo the wrap strap last. This is so your baby doesn’t fall. It is easy to know the waist strap on an SSC but it can be trickier with a mei tai.
It is awful when your little one isn’t feeling so well. Babies who are sick need to be held close and snuggled; they need mom or dad to help get them through this crummy time.
Babywearing makes it so easy to give your little one the extra they need. My son was sick a few weeks ago and we snuggled up in a woven wrap (the woven pictured here is the Dolcino from the BWI-Peoria Library). Woven wraps allow your to bundle up your child and keep them comfy and cozy. I used a front wrap cross carry, even though we usually do back carries, so he could stay right up on my chest.
Once he was feeling better, he was up on my back ready to see what he had missed while he was sick!
We took the Onya on our vacation to Boulder, Colorado, this summer with our almost two year old who is about 25 pounds.
Since I was recovering from a slow-to-heal stress fracture that was acting up while we were there, I wasn’t able to do as much hiking as I hoped. I had planned to for my husband to use the carriers. So we didn’t do as much babywearing as planned.
That said, these carriers still made our trip so much easier.
One huge benefit was getting around the Denver airport. My husband was even allowed to wear our son through security! He had our son in the Onya while we rode a shuttle bus from the car rental drop off to the airport, on the escalators, on a train between concourses and on several moving sidewalks. It went so much more smoothly with the carrier than if we’d tried to manage a stroller and our luggage.
We never had the right carrier and table set up and toddler temperament coincide to try the high chair feature out. But I was excited about the potential and think this be a great feature to use.
Oddly I’ve never nursed in a carrier before—I get overwhelmed trying new things and the situation never arose where I decided I had to figure it out previously—but I managed to figure it out when we got to Boulder Falls as my son had been wanting milk for most of the drive there and was not going to let my husband wear him. I was impressed how well the carrier worked for discrete nursing as this was a popular spot.
We do have a ring sling and an Ergo that we use sparingly and left at home. I can say I’m very glad we listened to our friends and borrowed a toddler friendly carrier for our trip.
As my collection of wraps have grown, I have acquired some that I really love. I wear them often but sometimes I want the convenience of a ring sling. A No Sew Sling Ring is a way to have the best of both worlds. You can wear a beautiful wrap but you can have the ease of the ring slings.
For many months, babywearing involves a snuggly sleepy little baby and then one day… BAM- Grabby hands!
I first experienced grabby hands when my son was about 7 months old. I was wearing him on my back and we were shopping at a small store and when I got to the counter to pay, I realized he had picked out another shirt from the rack and had been carrying it around the store! I had to start paying attention, so we would not be arrested for shoplifting.
Things will take you by surprise. For example, I cannot walk by the refrigerator door without my son grabbing it tightly and stopping me in my tracks and opening the refrigerator results in him grabbing the ketchup bottle every time (even though you would think I have learned my lesson!). Just the other day, I was shopping in a store with breakable items, thinking to myself how awesome babywearing allows me to go to such a place with my 18 month old, when he grabbed a vase of flowers off a table behind me that I hadn’t noticed. You get so used to your child being with you, that you often forget their burning desire to explore their world will happen whether they are being worn or walking!
Once the grabby hands phase starts, it becomes important to monitor your environment for safety hazards, just like you do when your child is crawling or walking. Notice what is in their reach from the carrier and make sure it is safe. You will be amazed what your child can reach, even from your back, so make sure sharp objects, cleaning supplies, and other hazardous items are out of grasp. You can also limit grabbing by giving your child a safe object to hold such as a toy, nursing necklace or even food. (hint: this also cuts down on hair pulling!)
Enjoy your babywearing journey and let us know if you have an interesting “grabby hands” stories!