Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 in Review

As we all say our goodbyes to the year 2014. We will also say goodbye to some of our BWI of HR founders. Don’t worry your heart too much, they will still be around. It’s time to introduce some fresh faces, new ideas, and amazing talents.

As we look back at 2014……

We started out with a bang by learning the Rebozo, this very simple carry that is loved by so many, . If you follow our amazing blog you will see that every month we do what we like to call our COTM or Carry of the Month. We did a variety of carries this past year from secure high back carry, pouch slings, SSC’s, Hip Cross Carry and the Shephard’s back carry. This is an amazing way to learn about different carrys and to branch out and try new things. Our educational chair Caitlyn, has done amazing work with our educational area. She is truly going to be missed but we wish her all the best.

This year we were able to auction off a beautiful Oscha Sling to help raise money for our lending library. Oscha gladly donated this to us ,Babywearing International of Hampton Roads, for our very first birthday. Thank you so very much Oscha for your generosity and love. This beautiful ring sling is now snuggling a sweet, sweet baby and our lending library grew.

One of our many blog post this year was a very important one that all new babywearers should read. It was all about the terminology of this crazy, loving, babywearing world.  This blog had everything you needed to know to get started and know what you’re reading.  Babywearing International of Hampton Roads has an amazing blog and some very dedicated people behind it. This year on our blog we learned not only our COTM’s, the babywearing lingo but Jade, one of our wonderful ABEs, taught us an ”Emergency Babywearing Workshop”. This class featured the how to’s if you were in an emergency and did not have a carrier around to use. She showed us how to improvise with old shirts, sheets, duct tape, and beach towels. I’m sure each and every one of us walked away from that class learning something.  

We ended our year with another great International Babywearing week. This years theme was “Share the Adventure”. During this week we had many extra’s happening around Hampton Roads. Many enjoyed playdates, meet up’s, hikes, Mom’s night out. All adventures in and around Hampton Roads. Pavo Textiles, was generous to donate to us a beautiful Swallowtail dusk woven wrap that we raffled off to one of our members. We would also like to thank, Starbright baby for her donation of a teething giraffe. We had many giveaways as a thank you to our members for supporting and loving us.

As we close 2014 we held our annual voting of the new BWI of HR Board. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in BWI of HR from it's growth. It's amazing that this idea started with just a few friends during a geek out session over woven wraps and has now flourished to an amazing, supporting and loving community of Mothers, Fathers, Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers. We would like to thank each and every one of you for supporting BWI of HR and our efforts to safely and properly teach babywearing around Hampton Roads. To all of our past board members, I thank you! I thank you for giving your time, dedication, hard work and talents to help us grow. To the new board, I wish you only the best. Keep growing, keep sharing, keep spreading the love of babywearing.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Welcome to BWI of HR's New Board

Welcome to our new board members!!!
      If you're part of our Facebook chatter group, you will know that we just recently held our annual voting for our new board for Babywearing International of Hampton Roads. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of this growth.   We have grown and expanded so much these last two years. It's an amazing feeling to watch your baby grow, and this is how I feel about Babywearing International of Hampton Roads.  I'm so pleased with where we are and where we are headed. We have a great group of ladies lined up to take the reins.  With that I introduce to you your new Babywearing International of Hampton Board members.

Chair of BWI of HR: Dana Karstensen-Bryan
Operations Chair: Suzanne Worrell
Education Chair: Jade Penney
Outreach Chair: Kristin Hoerber
Janet Castro & Hillary Westbrook serving as Virginia Beach Area Representatives
Helena Claus serving as a Peninsula Area Representative
Anne Kabaitan serving as a Southside Area Representative

I would also like to congratulate Caitlyn Shaw and Dana Karstensen-Bryan for their new roles on the Board of Directors for Babywearing International.
We look forward to the year ahead, teaching and sharing the love of babywearing to our community. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Carry of the Month: Front Cross Carry

Please read our disclaimer before trying this carry.

Yay! Can you believe it's cold already again? I actually turned on the heat and everything for a few days. The weather fluctuates but I was really starting to think about cold babywearing. I'm from Minnesota and while it doesn't get nearly as cold here as it does there, I remember that panicky feeling I had trying to wrap outside with the cold snow and that breath-taking wind. THEN, all that crud melts and you're trying to figure out how to keep tails out of the slush. Well, if only someone had taught me a front cross carry. The perfect woven front carry for winter snuggles. You'll see why...

FCC is generally done with your base size however you could maybe get away with a size smaller if you're baby is young. We haven't talked about base sizing in a while so I'll do a quick reminder; a base size is generally a size 5, 6, or 7 depending on you and baby's size. In a base size, you're typically able to accomplish this carry, a front wrap cross carry, double hammock, or back wrap cross carry

Now if you're wondering why I think this is the perfect winter carry, it's because it's poppable! Everyone loves a good poppable carry, right? Well this one is especially comfortable, an excellent beginner carry and you'll be able to wrap it up at home, throw your jacket on, drive wherever you're going and boom, it takes seconds to plop baby into this carry. No need to worry about that awful wind and cold for very long and you can still leave that car seat in the car. 

So, if you know me, I love a clean wrap job especially while I'm teaching. I've folded my wrap width wise just to keep everything nice and neat. The fold is on the bottom with the two top rails on top. Then just put the wrap behind you with the middle marker on your back about natural waist height. Take the wrap and start putting the passes over your shoulder like in the third photo. 

Neatly cross the passes making sure there are no twists. Twists can create pressure points and be uncomfortable for the wearer. Then I've brought the tails back around and did a quick single knot. We'll double knot it later but it's much easier to untie that single knot when making adjustments.

In the first picture, I'm putting pressure where the two passes cross because that's right where I want my baby's bottom to be. If my kiddo were bigger, I'd pull even more to get more slack and pull my hands down closer to my belly button. It just depends but you'll get used to eyeballing it really quickly. In the second photo, I'm spreading out the folded passes. The rail on the bottom of the fold comes out to your shoulder. We're ready to load up baby! So if you were wanting to use this as a pretied carry while running errands, you could do this first few steps all at home and then these last few steps would be for after you get to your destination. 

Always working with the pass closest to your body, bring your arm under the wrap and slowly navigate baby's legs and butt into that pass so that baby is straddling it. Just like in the second picture, spread the pass completely over baby's back and from knee to knee. This is important because we don't have a horizontal pass to secure everything down. Now you'll just lift baby's leg, lift the other pass over and spread just like you did the first one. Try not to stress about hurting your baby, they are super flexible and I find just grabbing by their ankle and pushing their leg up so they bend at the knee super helpful. 

You're pretty much done. If you felt comfortable and secure, you could call it quits. I prefer to have the passes up on my shoulders so I just slide them up which usually takes out any slack and I double knot and am done. However, if you're feeling like you need to tighten things up you can. Just hold baby's back, undo the knot with one hand and simply start pulling on the wrap section by section until you feel like baby is where they should be; close enough to kiss and with their face in view. Double knot and you're done! 

I really hope you loved this tutorial and you find yourself using it this winter. If you're just starting to learn to wrap, I hope this helped you feel a little more confident starting out. 

You can email questions to our Education chair at
Photo tutorial not doin' it for you? No worries. Check out Babywearing International of Hampton Roads's YouTube channel for more information and tutorials!