Fare Thee Well

I’m writing this blog post with a heavy heart and so much love for the babywearing community. It is a bittersweet farewell to a community that I helped build and that I have immersed myself in over the past decade. I figure it’s worthy of a blog post, so this is for you.

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I started Bridge City Slingers in Lethbridge, AB, in 2007 with a dear friend of mine, and moved to Calgary in 2012, where I was welcomed as an admin immediately. It was hard to leave the Lethbridge group, as I had built so many friendships there. I still have friends from that group that will no doubt be in my life forever.

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I had a big goal in mind for Babywearing Calgary, it was to encourage growth and also build a giant lending library. I have completed both of those goals, with the support and help from fellow admins.

The lending library is my baby, and I spent endless hours organizing, sending out requests, and networking with company heads to acquire the carriers. I have made so many connections that I highly value because of the networking I have done. I feel so blessed to have been able to do that, and I am incredibly proud of what has become of the lending library. I’m not lying when I say it’s one of the best lending libraries in the world. This is a fact. And it’s all for you…

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For the mom who can’t decide between x,y,z carriers, for the mom who can’t afford to buy a carrier, for the mom who loves so many wraps that she can’t commit to just one, for the mom who wants to see all her options, for the dad who needs to try them before buying them, for the parent who needs a special carrier for traveling… and for our sponsors… it is really for all of you.

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I feel like I have put in my work and finished what I needed to with Babywearing Calgary, and so it is time for me to move on. I feel like we finally have a large rad group of women fully capable to continue running the group and spreading the babywearing love. I will still be helping new moms learn to wear their babies, and I will still be doing private consults with mamas of multiples, and I will still be teaching people how to teach other people, but I just won’t be as involved in Babywearing Calgary anymore. You can find me over on The Offbeat Doula Blog if you ever want to reach out or follow along with what I’m up to. I actually have something pretty big lined up over there. 😉

I will stay a member on Babywearing Calgary, and will answer questions whenever I can, but I’ll be wearing my member hat only. The library will be moving to Emma’s house, and we may even be splitting it up to a south library and a north library. That is just how big and awesome our library is. You will be updated.

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Thank you so much Babywearing Calgary for trusting me to lead this group and trust that I always had the group’s best interests at heart. Thank you for being respectful and caring towards each other, and making my admin role fairly painless (expect that one time, hahaha, kidding, there were a few *wink wink*). And lastly, thank you for wearing your babies and willing to help other moms wear their babies.

And with that, I bid you adieu. Good luck in all your future adventures, and please remember I am just a text/PM/e-mail away.

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**ps, y’all made me feel pretty damn good, so thank you.

 

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12 Days of Christmas – Day 9 Lisa Matulka

Meet Lisa Matulka

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How did you get introduced to babywearing?

Honestly, up until about a week or two ago I had no idea! It just seemed so natural and so ingrained in my brain. When I found out I was pregnant there was no question about if I would baby wear or not, I just knew I was going to. It was only when I was discussing my stay with a host family in a small Quebec town, that I recalled helping my host mother wrap her

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3 days old!

infant daughter onto her so we could stroll down the Saint Lawrence River. It’s funny that something so small and insignificant at the time would become such an important aspect of my parenting bag of tricks.

How long have you been babywearing?

My oldest turns three in March, so a little over two and a half years. We started our babywearing journey fumbling around in a sized pocket sling trying to get comfortable. Boy, how far have we come!

How has it changed your life?

Baby and toddler wearing has allowed me image2 (1)to live my life. You hear all the time how having a baby changes your life, how you will never be able to do the things you enjoyed again and in those first couple of days home with your new squish it honestly felt that way. Then one day I woke up, partner at work, home alone with this tiny human I had to keep alive and decided I needed more then the walls around us and waiting on others to decide how we lived. I carefully placed her in my very first carrier and hoped for the best. That day was just a trip to the grocery store but it started what would become a daily occurrence. Now with a toddler and a young baby I would literally get nothing accomplished if it wasn’t for my stash of carriers.


Have you traveled and found babywearing helped?

As in a vacation? What’s that? All jokes aside it is so freeing to not be

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Birds of prey in Banff

restricted to a stroller. Don’t get me wrong, as a mom of two who doesn’t drive, strollers absolutely have a place in our life but if I can go stroller free I will. Most of our travelling has been around
the province, a weekend here, a day there. We take yearly trips to Banff and it’s great to be able to take in nature with the little ones safely secured to you. There is no worrying about if the stroller will fit or the rush to get back somewhere for naps as my girls took kindly to the carrier’s sleepy dust. Not to mention it’s so much more of an experience for everyone involved when you can watch your child witness the same things you do, at the same level and be able take in their facial expressions and reactions.

 

Has there been anyone in your life that has made babywearing click for you or been a big help?

My partner, 100%. As cheesy as that sounds it is so amazing to have someone in your corner backing you up and supporting your parenting decision. The day I came to him and told him I ordered a baby carrier online he calmly replied, “cool, I can’t wait to see it.” From that point in he has become more involved and supportive, from helping me adjust a carry, not complaining about the money spent on new carriers and even wearing our children himself. He has seen how important this aspect of our life is to me and has been my rock and advocate for it and I could not have asked for more.

image4What is one piece of advice you would offer about babywearing?

Not every carrier and every carry will suit you and your baby. Every baby is individual, just as every parent and their needs are individual. Just because a friend boasts about how wonderful their Tula is doesn’t mean it will be all sunshine and rainbows for you. A parent who wants a carrier for quick up and downs with an active toddler isn’t likely going to want a woven wrap! It’s all about what works best for you and your family. Take advantage of the lending library and other mom’s that may have different carriers then you. Try them out, ask questions and when you find one you like don’t feel like you need to buy new.

What is your favourite carrier?

Tough question. I don’t think I really have a favorite at the moment since it really depends on my needs. For my toddler, I’m a big fan of our Toddler Tula. It’s been our go-to for over a year. For our newest little, I would say our Wrapsody Hybrid, although with winter wearing I tend to lean more heavily on my Sakura Bloom ring sling.

What is your favourite carry?

I’m a huge fan of baby carries since they completely free up your arms. I’m a short girl who tends to make big babies. My four month old is already wearing 9 month old clothes, so in front carries we spend a good deal of times face to face or with my chin on her head, so being able to back carry becomes instantly more comfortable for all of us.

If you could have any wrap/carrier (your ultimate DISO) what would it be?

Mom brain here, the kitty wrap? It’s woven, usually black and white with geometric type cat print on it and converted into a WCMT. Hello inner cat lady!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 8 Amanda Darker

Meet Amanda DarkerIMAG1610

How did you get introduced to babywearing?

I was introduced to babywearing by a friend who gave me my first wrap, a organic sling sisters wrap.FB_IMG_1424039074782

How long have you been babywearing?

I started wearing my daughter when she was 3 weeks old (she is now two)!!

How has it changed your life?

I couldn’t nurse my daughter and that was really hard for me to accept because I always longed for that bond. Babywearing has given me that closesness with daughter that I otherwise feel I wouldn’t have had. I also have two small children (they are 17 months apart) and if I didn’t wear my kids I don’t think I would have survived the first 5 months of my sons life!

IMAG1507Have you traveled and found babywearing helped? 

I recently went to mexico and being able to put my son in the carrier and my daughter in the stroller was a huge life saver! While in mexico I was able to wear my son and not have to stress about him while letting my daughter explore and learn all about this new place!

Has there been anyone in your life that has made babywearing click for you or been a big help?

IMAG2894My good friend Angela (Angela Bliss) has been a huge life saver in my babywearing journey and I don’t know how I did it without her before!!! Since meeting her I’ve learned tons if carries, become more comfortable and have grown even more of a love for the different wraps and carriers (although my husband would call it an addiction not love lol)! And she’s ALWAYS there when I need her, messaging you to figure out how to do a back carry and managing to accomplish it on my own just from your directions, YOU ROCK! ❤

What is one piece of advice you would offer about babywearing?

If I could give anyone advice about babywearing it would be go to a meet up and don’t be afraid to ask for help and direction in learning about the carriers or a different carry. Nothing is more important than your babies safety and we all need to start somewhere!! 🙂

What is your favourite carrier? IMAG2840

My favorite carrier is my wrap. But my go to carrier is definitely my SSC, its an ergo that I’m hoping to retire for a Lenny Lamb after Christmas!

What is your favourite carry?

My favorite carry is Poppins, so comfy and my son LOVES it!!!

If you could have any wrap/carrier (your ultimate DISO) what would it be?

My ultimate DISO would most likely be a custom but if I had to pick something other than the custom I want it would be a Pelli (popart candy 😍😍😍😍)IMAG1490_1

12 Days of Christmas Day 7 – Bronwyn Butler

Meet Bronwyn11069741_10155442824215195_9219838068017501090_o

How were you introduced to Babywearing?

I was introduced to babywearing mostly when I was pregnant. I had seen others before out and about wearing their kids and I thought I need to do that for my little bundle. I liked the hands free and no stroller aspect. So I researched babywearing lots and talked to my mom about it to. Luckily, I was gifted an ergo and a chimparoo woven wrap at my baby shower!

How long have you been babywearing?

I have been baby wearing for 16 and a half months!

11707522_10155872123635195_408595673177657695_nHow has babywearing changed your life?

Babywearing has changed my life so much I think! It’s made caring for and calming my son so much easier. He is so much happier and content when being worn. We get around the city in a much more comfortable way. I don’t have a car and I find using a stroller difficult on transit. Thankfully I can just wear my son and get everywhere I need to go without him fussing and without taking up so much space! Babywearing also changed my life because it created a sense of community and friendship I didn’t have before. Talking to and meeting other moms who babywear really brings you closer together and allows you to bond without even speaking or knowing each other. It helps open up lines of communicating and creates friendships you might not have created otherwise.

Have you traveled and found babywearing helped?11822657_10155997962145195_4213776814141505622_n
In July my son, husband and I traveled to Hawaii for my son’s first birthday, stroller free! This was all made possible by my trusty Luna Lenny Lamb SSC. My son was happy on the plane, airport and walking around all day being up on my chest. He was able to nap when he needed to and get that connection with me that he needed while in a foreign place. We also go on quite a few hikes that we wouldn’t have been able to do without wearing! Wearing my son while travelling and hiking also allows for an easy hands free way to discreetly nurse on the go, which is a definite must for me!
Has there been anyone in your life that has made babywearing click for you or been a big help?
The one person who has been the biggest help and support in my babywearing journey has to be my husband. He is great, so supportive of getting and trying new carriers and always helping me tie wraps or do up my carriers. He even got up early for me one day to participate in a Lenny Lamb stocking! He’s always been there to help when I get frustrated with babywearing and ground me and make it work! So kudos to him!
10988474_10155472677215195_4867354993590692731_oWhat is one piece of advice you would offer about babywearing?
One piece of baby wearing advice is to always practice the 3 P’s. Practice, patience and perseverance. Baby wearing isn’t always easy, especially when trying to deal with a baby or toddler on a difficult day. But practice makes perfect! Keep trying and it will work and it will all be worth it when you can kiss that sleeping baby on the forehead. Always remember why you’re baby wearing, simply for love of your child and connection. You may not always wear perfectly or have your diso or the fanciest wrap, but as long as you’re wearing your baby you have that amazing connection and love of baby’s closest to your heart and that’s all that matters.
What is your favourite carrier?11390311_10155711408940195_7935465061328929291_n
My favorite carrier is my Lenny lamb Luna SSC.
What is your favourite carry?
My favourite carry is probably just an easy front cross carry. I don’t like wearing on my back too much as I miss my guy too much!
If you could have any wrap/carrier (your ultimate DISO) what would it be?
I love all my carriers. I guess my ultimate DISO would have to be a Lenny Lamb plum lace SSC, or size 5 wrap!

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12 Days of Babywearing – Cheyenne Macgregor

Meet our first community member Cheyenne Macgregor.
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How did you get introduced to baIMG_4797bywearing? 

I first started babywearing in 2012 when I had my first child. My father was actually the person who purchased me my first baby carrier. Our son was very colicky and wanted to stay very close to me. My father thought that it would help me get a lot of stuff done around the house if I could wear my baby.
How long have you been babywearing?
I have been baby / toddler wearing for 4 years
How has it changed your life?
Baby wearing has change my life by allowing me to do my normal day to day activities while holding my baby. I’ve been able to accomplish the smallest chores, to hosting events to climbing mountains with my little ones close by.
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Have you traveled and found babywearing helped?
We haven’t been outside of the country baby wearing but we have done a lot of traveling within the country; where a baby carrier has helped a great deal. We can easily pack up and go and not have to worry about space in our vehicle for a stroller.
Has there been anyone in your life that has made babywearing click for you or been a big help?

I would say the Almighty Internet. I can easily Google videos and read blogs to better my baby wearing ability. Joining baby wearing Calgary has also been a huge influence in our babywearing journey.

What is one piece of advice you would offer about babywearing?
Practice makes perfect.
What is your favourite carrier?IMG_6131
I loved our soft, squishy Natibaby ring sling for carrying my newborns & have fallen in love with my Lenny Lamb SSC now that my baby is a bit bigger.
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What is your favourite carry?
I love carrying my baby in the front so that I can easily kiss her little head. I really like the look of the poppins hip carry and would try to master that if I ever purchased a woven wrap. If I need to get some heavy duty housework done, I prefer a back carry.
If you could have any wrap/carrier (your ultimate DISO) what would it be?
Natibaby Luna Selene 🌙 Either a size 5 or wrap conversion SSC

The 12 Days of Christmas – Babywearing Edition

Babywearing Calgary has a vibrant community of people. We are a peer-to-peer learning group who holds monthly meetings and runs a very active facebook group.
This year we decided to showcase 12 members of our community with their stories of babywearing. How they began, their favourite things and what babywearing has done for them.

Keep a close eye on the blog, Instagram and Facebook the next 12 days and read their stories.

Babywearing Calgary featured at the Maternity Care Provider Fair

Happy end-of-October babywearers!

We are sure many of you are frantically preparing for Halloween, and thinking of fun and creative ways to incorporate babywearing into a costume.  Remember to showcase your creativity on Instagram by hashtagging your picture #babywearingcalgary so you can be featured on our account!

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We would like to share a recent event that Babywearing Calgary participated in.  On Saturday, October 24th we featured a booth at the Maternity Care Provider Fair.  It was held at the Pineridge Community Centre from 10am – 4pm and highlighted both pre and post-natal information from providers including midwives, doulas, massage therapists, chiropractors and Babywearing Calgary! The event was organized and hosted by Birth Unlimited (who we love BTW).

Our table included information about who we are, what we do, our upcoming meetups and featured many different types of carriers!  We had a ‘stroller check’ so mommas and dads could try out various carriers and get help and direction from our many Babywearing Calgary administrators who were on hand to help out.  For those who were expectant parents we had a babywearing doll so they could still have a hands on experience with babywearing.

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One of the (many) highlights of the day was the fashion show at noon.  We began the show with a step-by-step demonstration of a front wrap cross carry with a woven wrap.  Following the demonstration we had 11 amazing and beautiful volunteer mommas show off their babywearing ways including: SSC’s, Ring Slings, Woven Wraps, Hybrid Wraps, Mai Tais, tandem wearing and one sweet toddler wearing his doll in a toddler carrier!  The show was a huge hit and generated a lot of interest.

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A huge thank you to all the volunteers that helped make our fashion show possible.  We love our village so very much and we are beyond thankful that you help spread babywearing love in Calgary and beyond!  Have a wonderful week.

Sincerely,

Debbie

#IBW2015 Carrier Drive for Pregnant Teens

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Babywearing Calgary is running a carrier drive between now and December 15th, 2015. On January 14th we will be going to The Elizabeth House for pregnant teens to run a hands on workshop and teach the new moms/moms to be how to safely wear their babies. This is something we have done in the past, and we are thrilled to be able to offer it again. If you have any quality carriers that are not being used at the moment, please consider donating them.

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What should you donate?
Ring Slings
Mei Tais
SSCs
Wraps

What should you donate elsewhere maybe?

Pouches
Narrow base carriers

(sorry, we have nothing against these carriers, but given that we will be providing information and instruction, we prefer to work with the carriers that we know will be easiest and most beneficial. Pouches are sized, which makes it hard in this sort of situation.)

THANK YOU!!

To maintain some privacy for our members, the community location addresses are only being posted on the Facebook event, so either drop off at one of the three store locations, or join Babywearing Calgary on Facebook to get the addresses.

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IBW2015 – Embrace Your Options!

Welcome to day two of International Babywearing Week 2015.
Today is all about Embracing your options.

Grab a wrap or carrier today and try something new! Embrace your confidence to try a back or hip carry. Check youtube for tons of tutorials. Always do the same front carry? There’s more options for that!

Check out our Lending Library and try a new wrap or carrier! It’s a great way to explore your options

Have a friend that has a nice carrier stash? Ask to have a play date and try one out.