Wednesday, October 4, 2017

It's International Babywearing Week!

Babywearing International of North Central Illinois has some fun things happening and some exciting giveaways to celebrate!

Member Giveaway

We have an exciting giveaway for members of BWI of NCIL. For any member who has a current membership that will not expire before October 31, 2017, including any new or renewing members who purchase their membership in October 2017, you are automatically entered into a drawing for your choice of either a Tula Standard Baby Carrier or a Beco Ring Sling! The winner will be drawn on October 30th so if you are wanting to join, please do so before that date either online or in person at one of our free meetings.

Name Those Threads & IBW Playdates

This whole week on our public Facebook page, check out our Name Those Threads game, which has you taking a look at our lending library and figuring out the names of four close-up photos of carriers each day. Each correct set of answers gets you entered to win a giveaway that will be drawn on October 9th. Visit to get started.

Also, on the public Facebook are links to our special playdates we have going on during IBW. Be sure to hang out with us at the Midwest Museum of Natural History, come do Babywearing Zumba at Rumba Dance Fitness, or visit with us at the Burpee Museum of Natural History.

IBW Photo Scavenger Hunt

Visit our closed Facebook group for an IBW Photo Scavenger Hunt. We have a post there with all the details of the pictures you need to take and then post during this week in order to be entered into a drawing which will be drawn on October 9th. If you complete the whole list, you'll be entered into an additional drawing!

Pampered Chef Fundraiser

Shop for some awesome products from Pampered Chef consultant, Kara Atwater, and help out BWI of NCIL at the same time. Either shop at one of our meetings using the catalogs we will have available or shop online at

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Happy Anniversary, BWI of NCIL!

This month marks the 4th year since BWI of North Central Illinois began. It certainly has grown in the past four years, and even in the past year alone.

Our lending library has added many new carriers, enabling us to split four sub-libraries into six. This makes it easier to have high demand carriers at every meeting. Our ability to add to these libraries comes from paid memberships and generous donations from both members and businesses.

Recently our Board of Directors has seen a lot of changes. We thank those volunteers that have served previously and moved on to other things as their children have grown. We want to welcome some new faces as we move into our fifth year as a non-profit organization.

The current BWI of NCIL Board of Directors is:

President - Sarah Montgomery
Vice President - Alieta Guntly
Secretary - Jordana Bullion
Treasurer - Myra Walls
Member Benefits Coordinator - Jamie Symons
Outreach Coordinator - Amanda Tracy 
Training Coordinator - currently vacant

The BWI of NCIL Board of Directors, May 2017
Left to Right: Amanda Tracy, Jordana Bullion, Sarah Montgomery, Myra Walls, Alieta Guntly
Not pictured: Jamie Symons

BWI of North Central Illinois is always looking for volunteers to help in various ways with our group, and the Board of Directors always welcomes input from our members. We all look forward to continuing to make BWI of North Central Illinois a valuable resource for our area. Our group strives to help caregivers in our six county region learn about babywearing as well as to reach out and provide additional resources to  the communities we serve.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Weather Warning - Rockford meeting

Just want to put out a little warning that we may end the Rockford meeting today a bit early. There are tornado watches out for all of our counties right now. If you have a carrier to return, please try to come to the meeting as timely as you can. If you cannot make it to the meeting for any reason, including just not wanting to head out with this watch issued, please send Alieta Guntly a message. She can set up a time to do an exchange at her house within the next couple days instead.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Weather Cancellations for West Dundee & Aurora Meetings

We have discussed the upcoming storm that will be starting today and going into tomorrow. We have decided that for the safety of our members and our volunteers that we are cancelling the West Dundee meeting (which was scheduled for Friday night) and the Aurora meeting (which was scheduled for Saturday morning).

If you have a carrier checked out from the lending library that was due back at one of these meetings, please keep it until the January meeting. We do have two remaining meetings coming up in December at Woodstock and Rockford if all goes well.

We will see you in the New Year! Stay safe!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

International Babywearing Week 2016

We are celebrating International Babywearing Week 2016 with several exciting things.

IBW 2016 takes place from October 5-10 but we will be doing a special membership drive all month long!

We also have a Wrapping Workshop coming up on Sunday, October 9th from 1:30-3:30pm. BWI of NCIL members get free registration and it is just $5 for non-members. Follow this link to get tickets.

You'll find out some more fun details throughout this week so keep watch on our Facebook and the blog.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Macy's Shop for a Cause

Exciting fundraising opportunity! Our group has partnered with Macy’s for their annual “Shop for a Cause” fundraiser.

How does this work?
To participate and help out Babywearing International of North Central Illinois, we are selling Macy’s savings passes for $5 each. Once we receive your $5 in person at any of our July or August meetings before the event, we will then give you the shopping pass.

If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can also purchase passes online through Paypal using the donate button to the right. Please make sure to note with your Paypal transaction that it is for a Macy’s savings pass. After we receive your online payment you will receive an electronic savings pass through email.

How does this benefit Babywearing International of North Central Illinois?
That entire $5 you donate to us in exchange for the shopping pass gets to stay with our non-profit organization!

How does this benefit you?
The savings pass entitles you to save 25% all day on August 26-28, 2016 on select regular, sale and clearance merchandise, including home – even brands that are normally excluded!

Also, save 10% on electrics, electronics, watches, furniture, mattresses, and rugs/floor coverings.

*Some exclusions apply. These are listed on the back of the shopping pass. Feel free to ask us if you want to see the items excluded and we'll show you before you purchase the savings pass.

Where can I shop with my Macy's Shop for a Cause pass?
Passes are good in person at any Macy’s Store during the event dates of August 26, 27, and 28, 2016.

Just in case you aren't aware, we have three Macy's stores in the counties that our chapter covers -  Macy's Cherryvale in Rockford, Macy's Spring Hill in West Dundee, and Macy's Fox Valley in Aurora. Or you can visit any other store you are near during the time period.

There is also a raffle ticket included to be deposited at the store you shop at (1 winner per store) to win a $500 Macy’s Gift Card!

*Passes are not valid for shopping online.*

If you any questions or would like more information please contact one of our admins or visit MACYS.COM/SHOPFORACAUSE.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lending Library Love

Hi! I'm Alieta. I'm a Volunteer Babywearing Educator for the group. You usually see me at the West Dundee, Belvidere, or Rockford meetings. I took over as one of the BWI of NCIL chapter librarians in early 2016. I knew some of what the librarians do, such as checking in and out carriers so we knew what we have available. Or picking out and purchasing new carriers as we see the need arise and funds are available from your awesome memberships. And reaching out to companies, trying to request donations for carriers as well. But I had no clue it would be such a big job. I should have realized that since our 3 year old BWI of NCIL chapter already has over 250 carriers in rotation.

Yes, you read that correct. Over 250 carriers to keep track of, make sure they are clean and safe for meeting attendees and members to use, and move around so everyone has an opportunity to try out different brands. It really is awesome the resources we have available for caregivers to try on at meetings and try out at home with a BWI of NCIL membership!

I can say without a doubt that having a large lending library is one of two things that makes our chapter great. I hope you know what the other thing is - it's the amazing educators we have in our group. Their hours spent volunteering for Babywearing International of North Central Illinois are what keep the group running each month.

But hey, back to the lending library...and to my beginning.

When I stumbled upon Babywearing International, I had just a Moby. And a 1 year old. So he really had outgrown the Moby and I had no clue about all the other carriers. I thought I was done wearing when he got too heavy for the Moby to provide really good support anymore. I was also pregnant with my second child, which was due in the summer. You all know if you have ever used a stretchy wrap of any kind that they need three layers all spread out over baby to be safe. And those three layers and summer mean one hot mama! So my quest for those first meetings was just to find something to use that was not going to be so hot in the summer while wearing my baby so I could chase my toddler. And I tried on some different things while I was pregnant but was not really checking items out from the lending library at that point in time.

And our lending library could be just a library like that where people can only try on carriers at meetings. There are groups out there that are like that. But once you find a carrier you like after trying them all on, you would then need to go purchase it. No real test drive other than five or ten minutes at a meeting. No chance to see if it might fit another caregiver in your household that would wear the child as well. 

I remember trying on a certain carrier and then finding out how much they cost and thought people were crazy. So I kept visiting meetings and trying things on for a few minutes.

The fun part came once baby number two was born. He hated his car seat more than baby number one. I didn't even know that was possible! And I wanted to actually try using other carriers than my trusty Moby without having to spend big money on buying them. So I checked out a wrap, and then next month a ring sling, and maybe next month a different wrap or a soft structured carrier. I even learned there were carriers for my toddler! So he couldn't run away from me if I wanted to use the stroller for the baby. Or I could wear both kids at once, which was an even more obscure idea at the time. It saved me. It saved my arms from falling off carrying one of the two boys around at home or when we were out and about. It saved my sanity because I could get out of the house with two kids successfully on my own.

Our members of BWI of NCIL can do all those things too. With just a $30 annual membership to our group, they get those privileges to borrow from our lending library for a month at a time. 

But still, five years after finding BWI, with a few favorites that I have purchased and with obviously much bigger kids now, I still check out carriers from our lending library. To try something new. To play with a carrier I otherwise cannot afford. To be able to give good feedback on using it when someone at a meeting asks me how to use a particular carrier. And it still is that fun part being able to do that as well as helping oversee our lending library.

Our lending library is important to our community. It provides a valuable asset to give that tool of babywearing to parents who cannot afford to spend money on a carrier. Some of them can cost only $40 or $50 but we have some that cost $200 easily.

But remember, that lending library is nothing without our educators. So when you see them at the next meeting and they help you with something, appreciate them putting in their own time to helping others by sharing the babywearing love and knowledge they have. And if you love babywearing and want to help in some way, ask us how you can be involved in our group. Because more volunteers are how we keep our group growing and our members are how we keep the lending library growing.

Wearing my 9 month old son in our Moby, my 1st carrier. 
One of my first tries at tandeming was my Moby on front with my 5 month old and a Kinderpack checked out from the lending library of my local chapter that fit my 2 year old great.
Wearing the 2 year old in a ring sling, Natibaby Cyprus, checked out from our lending library.
Wearing Natibaby Clovers in a back carry from our lending library.
This day my son just loved hugging me while I wore him.
Wearing my 4 year old in a toddler size Kinderpack from the lending library.