Saturday, September 13, 2014

International Babywearing Week is coming!

It’s back to school season again! With that comes new pencils and crayons, backpacks, new teachers and lots of learning. It is not just the kids that learn new things though. We, as parents and caregivers, have to keep learning to keep on top of our children. They grow and change constantly so the carrier that may have been your favorite as an infant may not be working for you as well once they get a little bigger and more independent. You may need some new tricks for that hair puller that can now reach your lovely locks. Or you may just enjoy learning about new and different carriers on the market.

International Babywearing Week is a great way to learn some new skills in your babywearing journey. Whether you are a new wearer or an advanced wearer, we have some exciting things happening. International Babywearing Week is happening October 5-11, 2014. We are busy planning all the activities for the week so mark your calendars for what interests you. Come to one event or all of them! Invite a friend who you think would like to learn about babywearing.

Our first event for International Babywearing Week is our big kick off on Sunday, October 5. This event takes place in Elburn, IL from 1-4pm and features a variety of babywearing classes. We have some favorite classes returning from last year as well as some new ones. There will be refreshments and also some great giveaways. You will have the opportunity to see all of our raffle items up close. There is free babysitting so if you want to attend a class but would like an opportunity to work on something without your little one squirming away, this is a great option. Mark it on your calendar. You don’t want to miss this!

Another great event we have planned for IBW is a babywearing yoga class! This will be held on Wednesday, October 8 at Radiant Heart Yoga in West Dundee, IL from 6-7pm. We are very excited to be holding this class. Look for more details and sign-up on our events page.

The end of International Babywearing Week will be a great opportunity to hang out with other babywearers and enjoy the day at Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora. This zoo has free admission and we will be meeting there from 10am-1pm. Pack a lunch if you want. Check out the animals – see if you can find any carrying their babies. This will be a great event to bring your whole family!

We’ll be having some other fun in there – regular meetings and online events. Watch our blog and our Facebook page for more details but mark your calendars now!

Monday, August 11, 2014

International Babywearing Week Sponsorship Opportunities

Babywearing International  of North Central Illinois is seeking sponsors
and donors for International Babywearing Week (IBW) 2014.  IBW is October
5-11 during which we will have many events and activities planned.  Our
biggest event and fundraiser will be on Sunday October 5th to help kick off
the week and will feature classes, games, raffles and lots of fun!  In
order to help fund these events we are asking for your help in the form of
both sponsorships and donations.

Our sponsorship opportunities:

$50 Sponsorship - Receive mention on our blog on a special IBW supporters
page until the following IBW, mention on flyers, in our Facebook group and
during IBW events.  You can also provide us with material to set out at our
sponsor table during our Oct. 5th Share the Adventure Event.

$75 Sponsorship - Receive the above plus your logo on our flyers
advertising the event.  There are 5 spots left at this level.

$100 Sponsorship - Receive the above plus mention in any print, online or
radio advertising.  There is one spot left at this level.

$250 Sponsorship - Receive the above plus a vendor table at our Share the Adventure Event on Sunday Oct. 5th in Elburn.  You may staff the table and hand out information and/or sell items.  There is one spot left at this level.  

Donation Opportunities:

We are also seeking donations for our raffles and giveaways.  Donors will
receive mention on our blog on a special IBW supporters page until the
following IBW, mention in our facebook group, on our flyers and at events
during IBW.   We will also have a donors table where we can put out
information you provide.


We are so excited for International Babywearing Week 2014 and hope you will Share the Adventure with us!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Reflections: One Year Ago

Today is an exciting day for BWI of North Central Illinois!

It's our one year anniversary of being an official BWI Chapter!

It's been one heck of a year!  Filled with the excitement of organizing a new chapter, building a lending library, a huge membership drive the first month, walking in a parade, decorating a babywearing scarecrow, putting together raffles and giveaways, having an extremely successful International Babywearing Week, adding meeting locations, dealing with meeting cancellations because of the extremely cold weather, putting together yet another membership drive, an educational wrapping workshop, training new educators, working expos, making demo dolls and much much more!

Looking back, it's been a year full of wonderful memories!   I can't thank the leadership team enough!  With Rachel, Christi, Melissa and Jacquelyn by my side, it has been a lot of work, but so much fun!  From Rachel cutting up dolls, to me always taking selfies with them, having wine and cake to celebrate successes, to Christi picking us out hats for IBW.. I have enjoyed every minute and cherish the camaraderie we share.  We took our passion and put our heart and soul into building this chapter up.  It truly is an amazing thing for us to see it grow.

Thank you Sarah, Missy, and Justine for all the hard work you all have put into the ever growing chapter!  Whether it's donating your time to build a scarecrow, work an expo, teach at 4 meetings per month, all have shown that you are all extremely dedicated and passionate to spreading the knowledge and love of babywearing.  Thank you to our new VBEs,  Ali, Jennifer, Katy and Susan for joining the team, and dedicating your time to help caregivers learn the benefits of babywearing.  Thank you Katy and Rashada, as our new chapter librarians, we appreciate you volunteering and helping to keep the libraries running smoothly. 
If there was one word to describe this year...I would say it was Teamwork!

And thank you, to all of you for coming to the meetings, telling your friends and family about us, and spreading the love of babywearing!

We begin our second year as a chapter with almost 600 FB members, 12 very active VBEs, 7 monthly meeting locations, 3 fully stocked lending libraries, quarterly member workshops, a list of member benefits, regular BW 101s throughout the community and 95 BWI of NCIL memberships!

What does the next year have in store?  I'm sure more than we can even imagine right now!  But we plan to continue to grow our library, continue our outreach efforts, add some play dates, have some fundraisers, train more educators, and hope to serve the communities we are in as best as possible!

Here's to another great year!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Big Announcement!

We have an announcement! McHenry county will now be served by BWI of North Central Illinois. BWI of Chicagoland and BWI of North Central Illinois are sister chapters. We have decided together that this will be good for the residents of McHenry county. BWI of NCIL is well-prepared to help McHenry County babywearers. With an extensive library and two seasoned educators living in McHenry county, Tabitha Goins and Rachel Dreyer, we expect a smooth transition. McHenry county members will continue to receive excellent instruction from Susan Field and Jennifer Grant as they will now be educators for North Central Illinois. If you are a Chicagoland member from McHenry county, your membership will be transferred to North Central Illinois unless you request to remain with Chicagoland. You will have all of the member privileges offered by NCIL and will renew on the date that your membership expires. The Woodstock meetings will continue as scheduled and more meetings in McHenry county will likely be added in the future. We expect this move to be good for everyone. McHenry County, welcome to BWI of North Central Illinois!

If you are looking for what babywearing serves your area, this map shows where meeting are for the Chicagoland babywearing groups.

Happy Wearing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Our wrapping workshop was a huge success!

Our first member workshop was held on a Saturday in April.  We all had a blast!
These workshops will be held once a quarter and will  focus on different skills/carriers. They are perfect for broadening knowledge base on certain carriers and working on more advanced skills.  The workshops are open to members and non members. Members receive priority registration and free admission. Registration for non members are opened up as space allows and are $5 per person.

Our first workshop was a wrap intensive workshop.  It was an afternoon full of wrapping little ones! Whether the caregiver was a novice or an expert, they all learned new techniques and carries.

It was split up into different stations: Front carries, Hip Carries, Beginner Back Carries, Advanced Back Carries and another one that showed variations of ways to make the most of shorter wovens.  
At each station, our caregivers received one on one attention with one of our accredited educators.

Have fun looking at the photos and we hope to see you at the next workshop!

Christi teaching caregivers how to do a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry
looks like everyone is learning lots

Christie and Denise deep in conversation
learning new carries
we had lots of mirrors so everyone could see how the carries look

Jacquelyn teaching Danielle how to do her first back carry!
Sarah's explaining how to do Robin's hip carry

Jacquelyn helping Kim do her first back carry
Melissa teaching Christina's Ruckless

learning advanced back carries
Tabitha teaching how to do a slip knot

A happy ending to a wonderful workshop!

Feel free to leave us a comment or a picture of what you learned!  It was a lot of fun and we can't wait to do it again!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Memebership Drive Wrap Up and Lending Library Additions

We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who supported our efforts during the March membership drive.  Each one of you that became a member, renewed your membership or spread the word about our organization, we thank you!

Even though we ended a little shy of our goal,  It was still great to be able to give some things away, add to our lending library and grow our member base!  We finished the month with 21 new/renewed memberships which allowed us to purchase several new carriers for the lending library.  

Now for the fun part! What did we get for the Lending Library?!?!
Our new and renewed memberships allowed us to purchase the following:

Comfy Joey Linen Ring Sling (size large)
Comfy Joey Mesh Ring Sling (size large)

Toddler Tula - Ukulele (pic to come!)
This will be traveling to each of the April meetings so you can all see it and try it before it gets checked out!

Still on the way: Wrapsody Wrap DuO, additional water ring slings

More additions to the Lending Library

The following carriers were purchased before or after the membership drive or are recent donations:

K'tan - Donated to BWI by Baby K'tan
Ergo Original - Galaxy Grey
Beco Soleil - River - Donated by Beco

Standard Tula

Chimparoo SSC  - Donated to BWI by Chimparoo

Natibaby Ring Sling
Standard/Standard Kinderpack                                                            

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Membership Madness!

As you may have heard we have some awesome plans for 2014!  A lot of these plans revolve around how we can maximize the benefit of being a BWI of North Central IL member.    Our goal is to make being a part of this chapter fun, educational and rewarding.  We have been hard at work preparing some special incentives for chapter members. We hope you are as excited as we are about them!

March Membership Drive

From March 1st - 31st we will be holding a membership drive with giveaways  and incentives for members of the chapter!  We are setting a goal of 30 new memberships or renewing memberships this month which will allow us to purchase some amazing items for the lending library.  As we move closer to our goal we will also have some exciting prizes for you along the way.  I will talk more about those later though. Right now I want to talk about the benefits of being a member because there are so many!

Benefits of being a member

Lending Library Access

When you become a member of BWI of NCIL you pay $30 for a 12 month membership. During that time you can check out 1 carrier a month from our lending library. This means  You can wear your child everyday for a year for only $30!  This is such an incredible value! There are not many carriers on the market for that price and when you consider the quality of carriers and the variety available in the lending library you will undoubtedly find something to meet your babywearing needs.  You can view some of our current carriers here.

You will be Supporting Our Mission

The goal of our chapter is to support and educate caregivers about the art of babywearing. As a non-profit organization the leaders spend countless hours preparing for and running monthly meetings, doing paperwork,  planning, promoting, continuing education and more. As volunteers our payment comes in the form of seeing the chapter grow, helping caregivers find the love of babywearing and seeing little ones safely and happily enjoying a "ride" (as we call it at my house!).  We  know that like us, each of you sees babywearing as a valuable parenting tool. What  better way to show your support of something you love than to become a member of an organization that shares that idea?

Member Only Discounts

We have partnered with some local and online businesses to bring you special discounts and offers!

becomingIsis - 12% off regularly priced items of $10 or more*
Fluff Envy - 5% off *
Iddy Biddy Pool School - One open swim pass for each member
Marsupial Mamas - 15% off
Purple Elm Baby - 15% 0ff**
Zerberts - 10% off through April 15th and 5% off through 2014

We hope to add additional businesses to this list so keep watching for more offers!
Existing members can contact a leader to obtain special coupon codes.
* Some restrictions may apply
**Must sign up for Purple Elm Baby's newsletter to qualify. This offer is open to all verified members of BWI of NCIL's Facebook page.

Member Workshops

Introducing member workshops which will be held once a quarter and will  focus on different skills/carriers. We are really excited to offer these! They are perfect for broadening your knowledge base on certain carriers and working on more advanced skills.  These workshops will be open to members and non members. Members will receive priority registration and free admission. Registration for non members will be opened up as space allows and will be $5 per person.  Our first workshop will be Saturday April 19th and will be a Wrap Workshop! We will have more details on this specific workshop in the coming weeks but there will be something for beginners to advanced wrappers.

Additional  Benefits 

  • Each month we will draw a name for a member to check out an extra carrier from the lending library for that month.
  • We will have drawings from time to time at meetings for items such as gift cards or small prizes. 
  • We also have an awesome opportunity once a quarter for someone to borrow a Natibaby tester! These testers are new releases from Natibaby that we would love feedback on.  They are available for you to borrow for a month in addition to your usual check out. You can do a guest blog post or review about your time with the wrap or if blogging isn't for you (I never thought I would do it, but it's fun!) just enjoy your time with the wrap and this amazing opportunity.
As you can see there are so many benefits to being a member of BWI of NCIL! In addition to these great benefits you will also get to know other caregivers, make new friends and become a part of an awesome community of people!

The Goals

As I mentioned we have a goal of 30 new or renewing memberships this month to help us add some carriers to the lending library.
We have a tiered system to help keep track of our progress. Here's how it's going to work...

When we reach 5 memberships:
    We will give away a set of Sling Rings and we will purchase a new Comfy Joey Ring Sling for the lending library.
When we reach 10 memberships: 
    We will give away a $25 Comfy Joey Ring Sling voucher and we will purchase 2 Zanytoes water Ring Slings,
     1 Comfy Joey Water Ring Sling and a GMBB water wrap for the lending library.
When we reach 20 memberships:
    We will give away an Ergo and purchase a Toddler Tula for the lending library.
When we reach 30 memberships:
    We will give away a wrap and purchase a wrap conversion mei tai and a new Kinderpack for the lending library.

The Giveaways

 How you qualify 

  •  Each member that has a current membership as of 11:59pm on Feb 28, 2014 will receive an entry for the drawings.
  • Any new or renewing membership in March gets an entry. 
  • For each person you refer who becomes a member during March you get an entry. 

This brand new Ergo could be yours! 

The wrap giveaway will be for one of the wraps pictured below! 

The fine print

You must be a BWI of NCIL member to win a giveaway. There is no limit to the amount of referral entries you can receive.  Any renewal membership will have 12 months added to the end of their existing membership. 
We will do the drawing on the day after we hit a goal.  All memberships that have been paid in full by 11:59pm on the day of hitting the goal will qualify for the drawing on the following day. There are no restrictions to the amount of times you can win. We will use to generate a winner. We can get your prize to you at the next meeting you attend, you can come pick it up at a leaders house or if you would like to cover the cost of shipping we can mail it.

A Method to the Madness

International Babywearing Conference

Some of you might be aware of the International Babywearing Conference (IBC) coming up in Arizona this summer. The conference and this membership drive are sponsored by Babywearing International, our chapter's parent organization. I mentioned earlier about our leaders' continuing education and the IBC is a great place for us to do that. This month for every membership NCIL gets we will get a raffle ticket in a drawing for funds to help offset the cost of travel for the leaders who will be going to the conference.  We will also be entered into a drawing for a Pavo Textiles woven wrap for the lending library!

We want all caregivers to be able to experience the joy, freedom and cuddles that babywearing provides.  We need your help to do that though.  By supporting this chapter you're supporting  the practice of babywearing.  Making it visible and accessible to more and more caregivers and little ones in our area.  We hope you will come along for the ride!

If you would like to become a member today please visit the "Become a Member Tab" at the top of this page.  You can also join at the next meeting, you can contact a leader through our Facebook page or you can email us at