Saturday, December 14, 2013

State of the Chapter


In a little over a month the president of our country will deliver the annual State of the Union address. It is a time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next. The leadership team thought this would be a great time to do the same and talk about where we have been and where we are going.


Looking back

It has been an amazing year filled with change and growth! Babywearing International of North Central Illinois was established in May 2013 to serve Rockford and the surrounding areas. The area was previously under served and we saw huge interest and potential, and wanted to bring the love of babywearing to Winnebago, Boone, Kane, Kendall and Dekalb counties. When we first began talking about starting this chapter we had no idea how quickly we would expand! Our long term goals quickly became short term goals as participation and memberships grew. Since May we have expanded to 5 regular meetings, seen our chapter grow to over 50 members and we currently have over 350 Facebook members.  These numbers amaze the leadership team every day and we are so excited we have reached so many of you in such a sort time.

Due to the rapid increase in meetings and memberships we have needed to increase our lending library.  We went quickly from one library to two and we have now just expanded to a third library.   Because of this we do have some debt we are working to pay off. The leadership team has made it a priority to pay off this debt as soon as we can.  We have already paid back about two thirds of the original debt.  For now, money collected in the areas of fundraising and cash donations will typically be used to help eliminate the debt.
Membership dues always go to purchasing new carriers for the lending library.  Fifteen dollars of the dues stay local and the other fifteen goes to Babywearing International for expenses at the national level. Once we have saved up enough dues we shop for that perfect carrier to add to the lending library to keep it diverse and exciting.
Each new membership helps us build our lending library which in turn helps us attract new members.  We want to thank our past and present members for their support and participation.  Without you we would not be as successful as we have been in building our library or in reaching other caregivers and spreading the word about babywearing. 

We also have some amazing businesses and individuals that have donated to the lending library and contributed to our success. Please take time to thank these individuals and businesses and support them as they have supported us.

A Portee des Coeurs
Catbird Baby
Color Dip Studios
Marsupial Mamas
Oscha Slings
Sleeping Baby Productions
Sling Rings
Onya Baby
Shiny Stars Designs
Baby Bjorn
Ergo Baby
Action Baby Carriers
Wrap Nap Fairy
Alyssa Ruben - visit her blog! -  The Mommy Dialogues
Drea Eisenberg - visit her blog! - The Maiden Metallurgist
Tess Manicki
Rashada Hamlin

Feedback needed

We are looking forward to planning an exciting 2014! To help us do that we need your feedback on how we did this past year. Your ideas and opinions matter to us and we want as much feedback as possible to help us plan activities, meetings and events.
You can fill out a survey here:
If you attended any of our IBW events you can also fill out this survey:

A Glimpse into the Future

What might you see in 2014?
  • Additional meetings and locations
  • Fundraisers
  • Play dates
  • Member only meetings and/or classes
  • Increased outreach
  • Another fun filled International Babywearing Week

We are always looking for help planning and organizing activities. If you would like to help in any way please let us know. Some examples of ways we might ask for help would be: being a greeter at a monthly meeting, organizing play dates, or scouting out new meeting locations in a predetermined area. 

Thank you to all those who have been a part of  this journey. We are excited about how far we have come since the start of our chapter and even more excited about where we are going. We look forward to continuing our reach out into the community and providing education and support to even more caregivers in 2014.

Friday, November 22, 2013


With the weather turning much cooler the last couple weeks, I think of Winter and warm drinks. It's time for coffee, tea with a teaspoon full of honey and hot chocolate with little marshmallows floating in the top. It's also time to start thinking about holiday parties and gifts. What gifts are you giving this year? Candles, bath products, baking mixes, honey? Will you be looking for natural, organic products for your friends, family and teachers this year? Will you be looking for products that are made in the USA? If we gave you an opportunity to do all that and support BWI of North Central Illinois at the same time, would you? Well, here's your chance!

BWI of North Central Illinois is partnering with Bee Authentic to bring you natural, organic products that are made in the USA! 

What does Bee Authentic sell? 

Honey! Bee Authentic has several different types of honey. Have you ever tried Buckwheat honey? Avocado honey? Mangrove honey? The honey will taste different based on where the bees get their nectar so you might just want to buy a sampler!

Baking mixes! Are you gluten free and looking for a cupcake mix? Bee authentic has both Lemon and Red Velvet mixes that are gluten free! They also have organic cookie, pretzel, focaccia and pizza mixes. 

Spice mixes! Do you want to feel like you are relaxing beachside in Key West? There's a spice blend for that! Bee Authentic also has Original, Italian and Southwest spice blends available.

Drinks! Bee Authentic buys Fair Trade coffee and roasts the beans in South Florida. You can buy whole coffee beans or ground. If you aren't a coffee drinker, cocoa is available too!

Candles! Want candles without paraffin? These candles burn longer and paraffin candles and clean the air while burning! Bee Authentic has several styles of beeswax candles available. 

Bath and Body Products! Would you like to relax with some essential oil body wash? Orange or Lavender? How about Lavender or Peppermint Bath salts for a little relaxation time? Would you like a solid lotion bar to help with that dry, Winter skin? Solid lotion bars have no bottles. They are made with beeswax, honey, cocoa butter, shea butter and essential oils. (Yes, I will be trying the solid lotion bar! Will you?)

Soap! Would you rather wash with an organic soap bar? Do you need some organic, foaming hand soap for the kids? Both Lemongrass and Lavender are available. Bar soaps come in Honey, Citrus, Patchouli, Peppermint or Oatmeal Lavender.  These bars come in three-packs so you can split the set and make three people happy! 

Garden in a box! What kind of flowers do you want in your garden next year, patriotic or sunflowers? Will your garden have vegetables or herbs? These kits have seed packets, dirt pellets, biodegradable cups and instructions. 

Seeded wrapping paper! Want a gift within a gift? Wrap your package in this seeded wrapping paper and you'll give two gifts in one! The wrapping paper can be planted to grow wild flowers! I love this idea. I need some wild flowers!

Pet products! Want all natural shampoo or treats for your dog or cat? How about some catnip? These are natural, organic products for your pet!

How do I order?

There are two ways to order. When you order from either the catalog or the website, 40% of your order goes to BWI of North Central Illinois.

To place your catalog order, contact a leader by December 2 at 11:59pm. You can also e-mail us at to place your order. Order forms will be available at meetings through December 2. If paying by check, please make checks payable to BWI of North Central Illinois. We are told these orders will be delivered before Christmas. We plan to have meetups so that we can get these orders to you. 

You can also order directly from the website here:   BWI of North Central Illinois will still get 40% but the products will be delivered directly to you! Please enter "BWI of North Central Illinois" in the box for the "Organization Name"and in the box on the checkout page.  

What if I like the products? Can I order more?

You can always order directly from the Bee Authentic website. Anything you order from the website will be shipped directly to you. Please identify "BWI of North Central Illinois" in the "Organization Name" and we'll get 40% whether it's next month or next year!

So, please support BWI of North Central Illinois with your Christmas shopping this year!

Happy Wearing!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

IBW Wrap Up

Yes, it's finally here. Our leaders did so much work gearing up for International Babywearing Week that we took it easy for a couple weeks. IBW was big for us so we wanted to share some photos, summarize what happened and make a few announcements. So, here we go!

For IBW week, we had four meetings - Sugar Grove, Dekalb, West Dundee and Rockford. We showcased traditional carriers. Attendees tried on an Amuautik, Onbuhimo, Hmong, Selendang, Kanga, Podaegi and wide-blanket pod.  The Rockford meeting was held at Rock Cut State Park and attendees went on a hike afterward.

We thank Swell Gallery in West Dundee for donating meeting space at short notice! Giveaways during meetings included items donated by Salon Ellenbe, Fairytale Journeys by Bethany, Fluff Envy and Lavender Llama.

Scare Crow Festival
We also had a scarecrow family wearing at The St. Charles Scarecrow Festival. We won 3rd place in the traditional category and got a check for $150! We want to thank Sarah and Daron Montgomery, Jacquelyn Jennings and Justine Garcia for working on this. We also want to thank everyone that came out and voted!

Big Event
Our Big Event was, well BIG! We offered Babywearing 101, Wrapping, Ring Sling/Pouch and MT/SSC classes.

Missy Bedford put together a wonderful DIY table for everyone.

We had lots of great food generously provided by Briana's Pancake House in Elburn and our kids got to play next door at Elburn Hill Church, where church volunteers donated their time! This event was also made possible by cash donations from Alice's Place and Fairytale Journeys by Bethany!

Karl had some awesome games for everyone to try including a scavenger hunt and a "guess which wrap this is" with close-up photos.

Participants and winners for classes and games were given tickets to enter into a drawing for our Natibaby Bicycles wrap donated by Marsupial Mamas. Our wrap winner was chosen at the end of the day. Kate Yoder won the bicycles wrap and immediately gave it to her friend, Jessica! Congratulations Kate and Jessica!

During IBW, we auctioned a wrap and custom dye job that were donated to us. For these items, we thank Marsupial Mamas and Crafting Out Loud!

We had some awesome raffle packages for IBW! For a review of our raffle packages, please look at the blog post here: Our winners were as follows: 
Package #1 (Gimme Some Love): Chris (Tabitha) Goins
Package #2 (Feeling Pretty): Rachel Dreyer 
Package #3 (Fire and Ice): Rachel Dreyer 
Package #4 (Who's Your Baby): Sarah Chrzaszcz 
Package #5 (Sirens Song): Patricia Butler Hager
Package #6 (Girls' Day Out): Justine Garcia 
Package #7 (Dipped in Stardust): Kayla Moreno 
Gift Certificate #1 (Marsupial Mamas): Erica Walton 
Gift Certificate #2 (Iddy Biddy Pool School): Kim Tibbetts 
Gift Certificate #3 (Radiant Heart Yoga Studio): Veronica Ruiz 
Free Membership to BWI of NCIL: Stephanie Ackley

We raised a few hundred dollars from the raffles. Because we are a new chapter and we set up two libraries this year, we have some debt. We decided that fundraising money should go to help pay that debt. Once our debt is paid, we'll continue to do fundraisers so that we can buy more for the lending libraries! 

These raffles would never have been possible without many generous sponsors. While we encourage you to check out "Our Wonderful IBW Sponsors" page,, here's a list of businesses who donated items for the raffles: Becoming Isis, Chunky Potatoes, Color Dip Studios,  Fluff Envy, Goodwin Homestead, Express Yourself, Iddy Biddy Pool School, KM Berggren, Lavender Llama, Marsupial Mamas, My Lil Market, Oscha Slings, Purple Elm Baby, Radiant Heart Yoga and Wrap Scrap Creations. 


Several people signed up for memberships during IBW week and one lucky person, Stephanie Ackley, won a free membership! What happens with membership money? Half of membership money goes to Babywearing International for insurance, support and sometimes new baby carriers! The other half stays in our chapter and is used to buy new baby carriers for the lending library. Since we have several new members, we got to buy some new fluff!

New Fluff
Yes, we have bought a few things for the lending library! There are also a few things that we plan to purchase in the near future. So, what did we buy? An Ellevill Ming 4 and an Ellevill Lady 6 are here!

We also acquired an Easycare #2 size 4 and a Storchenweige Cafe size 6.

Nope, we're not done yet! We're adding a new SSC that has often been requested. We know that a lot of people want to try a Tula so we're adding one to the lending library too! This is a stock photo of the one we ordered and it will be here soon!

We also got some donations during IBW! Oscha sent us a Starry Night Raven 5 for the lending library.

A Portee des Coeurs donated a Natibaby Little Dream wrap size 4.

Kindercarry sent us a toddler-sized Kinderpack.

Catbird Baby provided a new Pikkolo.

Shiny Stars Designs sent us two ring slings.

Our IBW care package from BWI came with an Onya, a Sleeping Baby Productions ring sling and Sling Rings!

We thank these sponsors for sending donations! Also, after winning a Girasol #4 ring sling donated by Purple Elm Baby during the raffle, Rachel generously donated it to the lending library.

We had a great time during IBW and we hope you did too! We appreciate all the support from everyone who came to meetings, our event and bought raffle tickets. We also appreciate all of our sponsors. Please remember that these are the people who support our chapter and lets support them too!

Happy Wearing!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Drum roll please....Raffles and giveaways!

It's time to announce our IBW raffle packages and rules. We have been working very hard to bring you some awesome IBW raffle packages and we are excited to present it all to you.

Where's the Raffle proceeds going?
BWI is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support. 85% of the proceeds from these raffles will go to our Chapter's lending library and outreach efforts and the other 15% will go to the Babywearing International for Outreach and Administration.

Ticket Prices:
You can purchase these tickets for $3 each, 2 for $5 or 12 for $25. (We put that last option in there because we have 10 awesome prize packages and we know some people will want to buy a lot!)

How to Buy Raffle Tickets
We can take Cash or Checks.

-Before and after each meeting, we will be selling raffle tickets. You can purchase these tickets for $3 each, 2 for $5 or 12 for $25. On each ticket, put your name, phone number and which prize package you are entering for. Then you'll put each ticket into the envelope that corresponds with that prize package. The envelopes will be sealed (so no tickets fall out) and then we will combine tickets to do the drawings when IBW week is over.

-You can buy Online if you can't make any meetings or are not local. If you're wanting to pay by Check, please email us at for address. If you can't get payments to us via cash or check, please email us and we will work out a way to get raffle tickets to you.

If you are not local, we ask that you cover shipping costs if you win. The drawing for the raffle packages will take place October 19, 2013.

Don't forget for every 10 tickets you buy, you'll also be entered into the drawing for a free Natibaby bicycles wrap! (See the Below for more details)

Now, we know you can wait no longer so here is a list of our raffle prize packages!

Package #1: "Gimme Some Love"
-Natibaby Decorative Circles bamboo blend ring sling from Marsupial Mamas
-Purple Momma Scarf from Lavendar Llama
-Teething necklace from BecomingIsis
This package has an estimated value of $135.

Package #2: "Feeling Pretty"
-Lavender and Pink Roses Danna scarf from Oscha
-Babywearing print from artist KM Berggren
-Mommy Necklace from Express Yourself
-Momma Scarf from the Lavender Llama
-$10 gift certificate to Fluff Envy
Total package has an estimated value of $152.

Package #3: "Fire and Ice"
-Fiery red Girasol #4 ring sling
-Icy Steel Gray Momma Scarf from Lavender Llama
-Teething Set made from Girasol Earthy Rainbow by Chunky Potatoes
This package has an estimated value of $142.

Package #4: "Whoo's Your Baby"
-Boba Wrap suitable for the little squishes
-Adorable hand-painted owl onesie from Goodwin Homestead (marked 3-6 m but runs small)
-Momma Scarf from Lavender Llama
-Wood nursing necklace from My Lil Market
-Handknit wool newborn hat by our very own Rachel Dreyer
This package has an estimated value of $115.

Package #5: "Sirens' Song"
-Indigo Natibaby Mermaid Linen blend ring sling from Marsupial Mamas
-Beautiful babywearing print by the artist K.M. Berggren
-Teething toy from BecomingIsis
This package has an estimated value of $125.

Package #6: "Girls Day Out"
-Wrap scrap infant dress made by Wrap Scrap Creations.
-Nursing necklace by becomingIsis.
-Pink Momma Scarf by Lavender Llama
-$10 gift certificate to Fluff Envy
This package has an estimated value of $94.

Package #7: "Dipped in Stardust"
-Natural Natibaby Stardust Hemp Blend wrap, size 7
- $30 gift certificate towards a Color Dip Studios Dye job.
This package has an estimated value of $210.

Gift Certificate #1: Marsupial Mamas
-$150 Gift Certificate to Marsupial Mamas
- Cute adorable Koala

Gift Certificate #2: Iddy Biddy Pool School
-Birthday Party at Iddy Biddy Pool School (Estimated $225 value, includes a cake and 2 hours of pool time.)
-Cute toys for your party or the tub

Gift Certificate #3: Radiant Heart Yoga Studio
- A session of classes at the Studio (can be used for month of prenatal or 8 week session of baby, tot, kids yoga or women's yoga, valued at approximately $100)
- Beautiful Mug
- Box of Yogi Tea

And Don't forget that there's a chance to win a prize every meeting this week...
At each of our meetings during IBW, we will be giving away an awesome prize to one lucky meeting attendee. We will be choosing a name at random from our meeting sign-in sheet and the prizes will be handed out at the end of the meeting. All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is show up, sign in, and have a good time!

For Monday’s morning meeting in Sugar Grove: Two separate prize packages will be given out from Salon Ellenbe in Geneva! One package includes a child’s haircut and Paul Mitchell shampoo, and the other includes a child’s haircut and Paul Mitchell Taming Spray.

For Monday’s evening meeting in DeKalb: We have a dream come true gift package donated to us from Fairytale Journeys by Bethany. This fun package includes an assortment of travel necessities and a $50 Disney gift card!

For Thursday’s morning meeting in West Dundee: We have a $50 gift certificate to Fluff Envy, a wonderful local shop featuring a large variety of cloth diapers as well as baby carriers and other necessities!

For Saturday’s afternoon meeting in Rockford (Rock Cut State Park): We have two separate prize packages, each featuring a beautiful hand-dyed momma scarf, 2 pairs of baby legs, and an amber teething necklace!

Plus our woven wrap giveaway at the Main Carried Away Event on Sunday!

We will be giving away a size 7 Natibaby Bikes Wisteria donated by Marsupial Mamas! This wrap is a linen cotton blend. Linen offers support while being cooler to the touch making this a great wrap to carry infants to toddlers to preschoolers!

How can you make this wrap yours? Easy, you can earn tickets to go into the drawing for this beautiful wrap. The more tickets you put in the greater your chances! You can earn 1 ticket for each of the following:

-Pre-register for our Get Carried Away Event at: (Must attend for this one to qualify)
-Attend our Get Carried Away Event, even if you didn’t preregister, come anyway!
-Bring a friend/significant other/grandparent/any other adult
-Sign up for, or have an existing BWI of NCIL membership
-Each class you attend at the event earns you a ticket
-Participate in the games
-Win a game
-For every 10 raffle tickets you purchase earn 1 wrap ticket

The drawing will take place at the end of our event on Sunday. The winner does not need to be present at the drawing to win but must have participated in the Main Sunday Event or bought atleast 10 raffle tickets this week (see above for details). All current members and those who sign up this week will receive one entry ticket. Let us know if you have any questions. We can not wait for one of you to Get Carried Away with this wrap!!!