Friday, October 24, 2014

Cold Weather Babywearing

I don’t think of it too often but we are really lucky to live in a place where we can experience each of the four seasons in all of their glory.  They really are amazing when you think about it, and I find myself always looking forward to each of them (with exception of this year, I will admit I am not quite ready for winter again if it is going to be like the last one!). Fall gives us a bit of a break from the warm weather, beautiful colors and plentiful harvests.  Winter gives us snow to play in, hot chocolate to sip and lots of time with family.   It also gives us more reasons to wear those babies while we get outside and enjoy the outdoors.  I love babywearing in the cooler weather, I feel like it gives me a much better sense of how warm or cold my little one is and I usually have a much more willing wearee in the cooler months.   Hopefully you can find some tips here to help with everything from those quick trips into the store to those all day outdoor adventures. 

In general there are several things to keep in mind when wearing your little one out in the cold. 

1.       Safety First - The same main babywearing principles and safety precautions need to be followed.   Always keep your little one close enough to kiss and their face always needs to be visible.  Their chin should be off their chest and their back well supported to keep them from slumping in the carrier.   Take care to tighten properly if using winter coats or bunting to ensure they are well supported since the added bulk can give the illusion that a carrier is tight enough when in reality it isn’t providing proper support. 

2.      Dress Appropriately - Dressing in layers for both you and your little one is always a good idea as it is proven to keep you warmer.  It also means that if you end up indoors you can remove a layer or two to keep you both comfortable while inside.   Don’t over dress though.  Keep in mind that your body heat will be adding warmth and the carrier provides another layer also.

3.       There’s a lot more bulk!-  Added layers and thicker materials mean less flexibility and range of motion for both you and your little one.  Your muscle memory can be thrown off and the way you normally get your little one in a carrier is going to feel a little different to both of you.  You need to be extra aware of this and really focus on those times when you are getting your little one in and out of the carrier.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Back carries especially can become tricky when dealing with extra layers and bulk.  Even if you consider yourself an experienced wearer I recommend practicing with a spotter or in a mirror a time or two so you can get a feel for it.  Mei tais, soft structured carriers and wraps can easily get caught and stuck on sweatshirts, jackets and hoods, keeping you from getting the carrier all the way up over baby’s back so make sure you check in a reflective surface, with a handheld mirror or ask another person to make sure baby is safely seated in the carrier. 

 The Basic Essentials:

There are many options when it comes to cold weather wearing (more on those later!). You just need to find what works for you and your child.  For me, there are several things that I consider a necessity, I keep these in my car during the fall and winter so that I always have them handy.  This way I am prepared for quick trips into the store and also for longer or unexpected periods of time outside.  

- Blanket - I like to use one that is soft and warm but not too thick to use as a make-shift carrier cover.  It is something that I always have available and it doesn’t cost me any extra money since I already have plenty of blankets.  I simply feed the corners of the blanket through my carrier to create my own cover.  This can be done in a front or back carry with any carrier type and it provides great added protection from the elements. 

- Hat - Make sure to choose one that secures under the chin especially for those older babies and toddlers on your back.  Having a hat that secures under the chin might seem like a silly small detail but it's not much fun getting your little one all ready to go on your back only to see their hat lying on the ground. 

  - Leg warmers - Perfect to cover that gap between pants and socks that inevitably happens, you don’t even have to take shoes off or get your little one out of the carrier to put them on which makes life so much easier!   



 So many options

Below is a list of items that are great for cold weather wearing.  This is just some ideas to get you started and not a complete or endorsed list of options.
Leg Warmers/thigh high socks -  Agoo (great for bigger kids), Babylegs, Rock-A-Thigh Baby Socks (check these out for socks to match your Beco Carrier!)  Also make sure to check out the many tutorials available to make your own leg warmers and thigh high socks.
Carrier Covers -   Catbird Baby, Diva Milano , Ergo, Infantino, Kowalli, MaM, all offer carrier covers.  There are great tutorials out there for making your own cover also.
Babywearing Coats -   Boba Hoodie, Boba Vest,Diva Milano, MaM has several options, Suse's Kinder-Coat,.  There are many options on Etsy and there are many great and simple tutorials available on how to make your own.   You can also use a coat that is a couple sizes too  big to use for front carries without making any modifications. 
Jacket Inserts/Extenders -   Hatch Things, Make My Belly Fit, several options on Etsy
Additional Accessories - You can use multipurpose straps to attach a blanket to your carrier. Try a  Cover Me Strap, one from etsy or you can make your own.

 A Few Quick Tips 

 Ring Slings -  Use the tail to double back over the main pouch and add an additional layer to cover baby.  Use the tail to cover their legs or use it like a hood to protect them from rain or snow
SSC or Mei Tai -  Put a rain coat over your carrier by placing the straps through the sleeves to help protect it and your little one from the elements.  
Wrap -  Use a wool and/or densely woven wrap for added warmth.  Use a long wrap and a multilayer carry for added layers. 

How to create a carrier cover with only a blanket -

Happy Babywearing!



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cause an Effect with Chipotle!

We have to share with you this great fundraising opportunity coming up at Chipotle. Make dinner a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser to support Babywearing International of North Central Illinois. Just come into one of the following locations on Monday, November 3rd.

Bring in this flyer, show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier you're supporting Babywearing International of North Central Illinois to make sure that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to BWI of NCIL.

The following two locations are participating for our fundraiser - be sure to pay attention to the times as well!

Chipotle in Aurora - November 3rd from 4-8pm 

1480 N. Orchard Rd. Aurora IL 60507

Chipotle in Dekalb - November 3rd from 3-7pm 

1013A West Lincoln HighwayDekalb IL 60115

If you live up more north and want to visit down south to support us, you can make a trip to the Dekalb Chipotle location for dinner and then come on over to the BWI of NCIL monthly Dekalb meeting the same night at 6pm!

When we receive membership money a portion goes to our parent organization and the rest stays with the group so we can purchase more awesome carriers for our lending library. Fundraising helps us offset other costs our group encounters. This includes costs associated with things like our scholarship program starting soon, intensive wrapping and carrier workshops that we provide throughout the year, and outreach efforts. Help support the group and have some great food at the same time. Remember to give a big thanks to Chipotle for helping us out and donating to our group!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

BWI Wrapsody Headband Preorder!


Friday, October 3, 2014

Our amazing Giveaways & Raffles for IBW 2014!

We are so pleased that we have had very generous donors this year for our raffle items and giveaways that we are doing for International Babywearing Week. 

The Big Event Giveaway!

Announcing our first IBW giveaway...A Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Ergo!

This Ergo was designed in homage to the founder of Ergobaby, Karin Frost, and the beautiful pattern featured on the hood and interior of the carrier represents Hawaii, the birthplace of the Ergo. This special Ergo has not been made available to the general public. You can win this unique carrier by coming to our FREE Big Event on Sunday, October 5th! You will get an entry ticket for each class you attend as well as for participating in other activities during the day and we will draw the winner after the last class has concluded. We can't wait to see who will get to take this home!

BWI of NCIL Member Giveaway!

This next giveaway is to show our members how *lucky* we feel that you're a part of the BWI of NCIL family. 

We are giving away a gorgeous size 6 Didymos hemp/cotton Shamrocks! This one is for members only. If you are a current paid member of BWI of North Central Illinois by 10/11/14, you will be automatically entered into the drawing to win this wrap! We will draw the winner on Sunday, October 12th. To renew your membership or to become a member, please message any of our leaders or stop by one of our fun events during International Babywearing Week!

Raffles! Raffles! Raffles!

Let's first explain how to win these amazing raffles that we have for this year during International Babywearing Week. Raffle tickets may be purchased in person at the Big Event or at any of our scheduled events throughout the week. We accept cash or personal checks. If you cannot make it to any events but would still like to purchase raffle tickets, please message Jacquelyn Jennings, who will be checking her Others message folder daily during IBW.

Ticket prices
1 ticket   = $3
2 tickets = $5
10 tickets = $20
20 tickets = $35
30 tickets = $50

The raffle winners will all be drawn on Sunday, October 12th so everyone has a chance to get their entries in throughout the week. Enter one, enter them all. It's up to you! So let's get on with the fun and introduce these raffle packages to you!

Package 1 - Share the Adventure!

Let this beautiful designer series Lillebaby Complete take you into the wild! Complemented by an adorable wrap scrap elephant by Blissed Out Gypsy and a chewable babywearing accessory by Chompy Chic Chewlery to keep your little one occupied as you take on the world. 
Estimated retail value: $170

Package 2 - Love is All Around You

Snag this gorgeous 5 meter Kikoy Olpejeta woven wrap by Toto Wrap. This beautiful, lightweight and soft 100% cotton wrap is woven in Kenya by a small family-run business. Take home the stunning "Motherly" print by artist Katie M. Berggren and a super soft wrap scrap baby doll by Wrap Scrap Creations.
Estimated retail value: $155

Package 3 - Slinging in Style

Looking for a durable yet classy solution to your babywearing needs? This Sakura Bloom Essential double-layer silk ring sling in Ginger/Champagne is it! Equally suited to jeans or a little black dress, this supportive sling comes with a nursing/babywearing/teething necklace by becomingIsis, "When All Else Fails" print by Katie M. Berggren, a wrap scrap ninja by Wrap Scrap Creations, and a toy ring sling made from an Ellaroo wrap!
Estimated retail value: $283

Package 4 - New York, New York

This rad wrap by Natibaby, Manhattan Skyline, is a hemp/cotton blend in size 6 that will give every wearer an insta-cool vibe. This is a Marsupial Mamas exclusive! It's complemented by a Mommy Necklace set and a cute little wrap scrap ninja by Wrap Scrap Creations.
Estimated retail value: $225

Package 5 - Make a Splash!

Looking for the perfect birthday party idea for your child this year? How about an indoor swim party at Iddy Biddy Pool School in Sycamore? Win 2 full hours of birthday fun for up to 20 children, with lifeguards and cleanup provided! Comes with an adorable set of wrap scrap sea creatures by Wrap Scrap Creations, a Grovia AI2 Hybrid cloth diaper, and a durable bag perfect for your swim gear by Moby.
Estimated retail value: $330

Package 6 - Me Time

Perfect for every mom, this luxurious package includes a gift certificate for a haircut and wax of choice at Salon Ellenbe in Geneva, a 30 minute massage with Massages by Mandy in Sycamore, a sweet "Stolen Smooch" print by Katie M. Berggren, a pedicure kit, and numerous other personal care goodies sure to give you the perfect pick-me-up. Indulge yourself...or a lucky loved one!
Estimated retail value: $145

Package 7 - Cute and Cozy on the Go

This fun little package will keep you looking stylish and organized! Have a haircut and wax of your choice at the fabulous Salon Ellenbe in Geneva. Be prepared for anything with a set of travel snack packages, travel wipes, and a wrap scrap lovey by September Someday to keep your little one content while you conquer the world. Also features a Grove AI2 Hybrid cloth diaper, a set of fashionable swaddle blankets, and an irrestible little scrap ninja by Wrap Scrap Creation!
Estimated retail value: $150

Package 8 - Across the Universe

Far out! We love the way this Asteria Aube wrap by Natibaby, a size 6 hemp/cotton blend, brings the constellations down to Earth. Wrap your little one in the stars. Perfectly paired with this lovable little wrap scrap monster by Wrap Scrap Creations and a cheery cotton jersey adult headband by Wrapsody.
Estimated retail value: $202

Package 9 - Fall Harvest

Got a sweet tooth? Looking for treats to serve this fall? This package has everything you need and more! With enough pumpkin bread mix to make 4 loaves, a plethora of chocolate chips (because what's better than chocolate chip pumpkin bread?), and some baking necessities all courtesy of Nestle, your kitchen will be stocked through Thanksgiving! Includes a pair of festive fall mugs, tons of Halloween candy your neighborhood kids will love, and a spooky little wrap scrap monster from Wrap Scrap Creations.
Estimated retail value: $75

Package 10 - Classy Little Creatures

Robots, space aliens, dinosaurs...what's not to love? This package features two handmade bow ties and a dress-up dinosaur tail by Lillian Emi Designs, a set of Star Wars drool pads, two pairs of BabyLegs, and a wrap scrap monster by Wrap Scrap Creations, all packaged together in a retro robot bucket.
Estimated retail value: $130

Package 11 - Sweet Sanguine Snuggles

Know anyone who likes pink? We do! This is the perfect package for the pink lover in your life. This happy assortment includes a beautiful Cari Slings wrap scrap shoulder bag, a Marsupial Mamas exclusive Natibaby Cherry Tree doll sling, reversible drool pads by September Someday, a bracelet by becomingIsis, a Grovia AI2 hybrid cloth diaper, and a baby doll and monster by Wrap Scrap Creations. And of course, a pink-trimmed zebra bucket to carry it all.
Estimated retail value: $185

As you know, Babywearing International, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The only way we grow as a chapter is to reach out into our communities and share the babywearing love and education that we are dedicated to providing. Having our chapter doing fundraisers helps us to do this and your membership allows us to do exciting things like purchase new carriers for the lending library. Our growth over the past year has already helped us to become one of the large chapters in BWI and therefore, qualify for extra goodies for our chapter and to support our outreach. We appreciate your support through membership and also from participating in our fundraisers, like our recent restaurant night and our upcoming raffles. We are looking forward to see all of you at our International Babywearing Week events!