“Isn’t she a little bit old to be in a carrier?”
“He can walk. He should be walking.”
“They are so big! Your back must be hurting!”
There are so many good reasons to wear a toddler, that all these common comments don't matter!
Even though this organization is called Babywearing International, we support wearing a child of any age. This includes toddlers.
Walking, talking, sassing toddlers. Those sweet little ones who are angels one minute and screaming monsters the next.
Just like when they were little, wearing can be a very useful tool for parenting your toddler.
First of all, you still get all those sweet snuggles. When they tuck their head onto your chest and look at you sweetly like when they were a baby. Feel that rush of love for your sweet baby. Plus now they can express that love with a kiss or the words I love you. Why would you not wear your toddler?
Also like when they were a baby, a carrier can help calm your toddler down when they get upset or overwhelmed. To calm their cries, soothe the tears, or fix an ouchie. Or contain the tantrum if all else fails. Why would you not wear your toddler?
When your toddler decides they no longer need naps, but their grumpiness clearly says otherwise, you can rock them to sleep in a carrier. Or when it's midnight and they are doing the chacha on your bed like there is no tomorrow. Why would you not wear your toddler?
The reason could even be as simple as their little legs are tired from too much fun. Put them on your back and continue the adventure! Why would you not wear your toddler?
Here are some tips for toddlerwearing, so both you and tot are happy and safe:
All the rules of babywearing still apply, even when your baby is no longer a baby!
Clear, visible airway at all times. Keep fabric away from tot’s face and chin off chest.
The carrier should support tot in a natural, spread-squat position. The carrier should hold tot tight and close to your body at all times.
As your tot grows, they may start to lose knee-to-knee support in carriers that have built in seats ( i.e. buckle carriers). This is not a major concern as long as their spine is still supported, tot is comfortable, and you are comfortable. However, knee-to-knee is the optimal position, so if keep this in mind if either of you isn’t happy. Might be time to size up your carrier or try a new type.
Speaking of sizing up (using a larger carrier, usually designed for a toddler), this is a common concern for caregivers as baby grows.
There are no set guidelines or milestones for sizing up. It really depends on each individual child and caregiver.The general suggestion is when your tot is comfortably wearing 2T size pants. This is when most kids are tall enough to clear a higher body panel and have long enough legs for a larger width.
Kids grow at different rates, and it is not possible to make a truly accurate blanket statement on what age/weight/height moving to a toddler size carrier is best. For example, my oldest moved to a toddler-sized Tula at 18-months-old (wearing 18 month clothes) because his torso was so long that he could easily lean back in a standard sized Tula. Likewise, my niece is 2-years-old (wearing 2T clothes) and her knees are uncomfortably hyperextended in a toddler-sized Tula.
It also depends greatly on the manufacturer. My oldest (now 3) did not fit well into a toddler-sized Beco until a few months ago. But, as stated above, has needed a toddler Tula for over a year.
It’s more important to follow your tot’s needs than to follow a trend. When in doubt, there is no harm in waiting to size up!
Wear those toddlers with pride! The reasons are numerous, you don’t even need an excuse to keep them snuggled like a baby on your chest for as long as possible. Please show us your toddlerwearing adventures with #BWIofPDX!
Portland has two seasons, rain and sun. We already covered wearing in cold, rain, and mud. Now we need to talk about those 3 to 4 glorious months when that bright yellow thing graces the sky in Oregon.
As you soak-up your Vitamin D for the year, you will probably get hot. And sweaty. And baby will get hot and sweaty. Does this mean you need to hide indoors all summer if you want to wear your baby? No way! Here are a few tips to keep you and baby cool while you wear in the hot months.
Keep both of you hydrated. Make sure you bring or have access to enough water for yourself at all times. Especially if you are nursing. You will overheat quickly without enough liquid. Replace all the water you sweat out right away. Just as important, make sure your baby stays hydrated. Their tiny little systems overheat more easily than an adult. Nurse them as much as they demand. If formula feeding, make sure you bring/make enough feedings to keep them hydrated. If they are old enough for water, make sure you bring enough for them as well. Learn more about hydration from the American Heart Association and La Leche League.
Dress both of you in cool clothes. Think lite, loose clothes. Pull out your sundresses, shorts, and tank tops. Buy those cute little baby shorts you’ve been eyeing. Pick your favorite short sleeve onesie and let those baby legs go free. Better yet, who doesn’t love a baby in just a diaper! Also pick cooler fibers. Summer is not the time to show off that cute wool vest you knitted. Try linen or cotton.
Pick the right carrier. Along the same lines as cooler clothes, pick a cooler carrier. Again, think lite and airy. Summer is not the time to try breaking in your new thick wool wrap. Linen, lightweight cotton, mesh, and lightweight jersey are the way to go. There are many that designed to keep you cool as well!
Pick the right carry. Try single-layer carries with your woven wraps. A Front Wrap Cross Carry without the passes spread, a Traditional Sling Carry, Robin’s Hip Carry, Ruck, and Torso Carry are support without all the layers. Also, a Front Carry Carry and Double Sling Shoulder To Shoulder can be airy.
Stay in the shade as much as possible. Check out this video to see how much cooler it can be in the shade. In addition to physically being cooler, you will be out of the sun’s rays, lowering you and baby’s risk for a sunburn.
Hats. A big hat on you can also help keep the rays from beating down on baby as well.
Don’t worry about a little sweat. Sweat is your body’s natural cool down mechanism, so a reasonable amount of sweat cools you both down. As long as you are both well hydrated and not in the direct sun (and have one some good deodorant), a little sweat never hurt anyone!
Reduce irritation. Two sweaty bodies rubbing against each other can be uncomfortable. To reduce irritation, try a cooling towel between the two of you. It wicks away the sweat and acts as a barrier. Please only use towels or cloths designed to be against you skin. If the fibers are too absorbent, it will remove too much moisture and cause further irritation. Also, never put ice or anything frozen between you. You and especially baby could easily get a burn.
Know when it’s time to go in. If you feel like going in door to some wonderful air conditioning, don’t hesitate. Know your limits. Know your baby’s limits. Watch carefully for signs of heatstroke and dehydration. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. There will be plenty of sunny days that aren’t too hot to wear baby outside, so don’t give it a second thought if today is not that day.
Enjoy wearing the babies in the sunshine! Don’t forget to #BWIofPDX so we can see!
Sometimes referred to as a Buckle Carrier, Soft Structure Carriers (SSCs) are one of a variety of types of baby carriers available. More specifically, a SSC is defined as a "carrier which uses buckles to fasten the straps rather than being secured by tying or tucking. Includes soft structured carriers both with and without padding, half buckles, and frontpacks”.
There are many great brands on the market nowadays. Each one has its own fit, style, and design. This means there is one out there that can meet all of your needs and fit perfectly. This also means that you may need to try on a lot of SSCs before you find that perfect fit. There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a SSC.
It is best to look for one that keeps baby in the optimal position at all times. You want baby to be high, close, and tight to your body. Baby should have a clear airway at all times.
The carrier should support baby from knee to knee, and put their weight resting on their bottom.
The body panel should come up to at least the back of baby shoulders and should never fully cover the head.
The carrier should be evenly distributing baby's weight across your whole torso. The shoulder straps should be tight and secure against your body but not so tight as to cause you pain or discomfort.
The chest clip should be firmly across the middle of your shoulder blades/chest. It should be tight enough to keep the shoulder straps secure, but not so tight to pinch or cause you pain.
The placement of the waistband will vary with each brand and individual body type. The general rule of thumb is to start at your natural waist and move up and down as needed. Please read the instructions to see where your carrier was designed to sit.
If you have a longer torso you may need to place the waistband up higher so baby is close enough to kiss. If you have a shorter torso you may need to place the waistband or down so baby's head is not obstructing your view (if on front).
Remember that most SSCs are designed for babies around six months old who can sit up unassisted. If your baby does not meet these requirements, you can still use these carriers if they have made adaptations for it. For safety reasons please do not try to put a baby who is too small in a SSC without the adaptation.
One such adaptation is an infant insert. This is a pillow attached to a soft shell. Since the panel is too long for a small baby, the pillow boosts baby up to the correct height so their head clears the body panel. This ensures that the baby's airway is always clear and that no fabric obstructs their face. Since small babies cannot hold themselves upright, the soft shell provides torso support. This will keep baby from leaning out the sides of the body panel.
Other carriers are designed with adjustable panels that can be adapted for a smaller baby. On such carriers the height of the panel scrunches/clips shorter so baby's head can clear the top. Also, the width scrunches/clips narrower so babies legs are not over spread and they can be supported in the optimal position. Making the panel smaller will also make the panel tighter on baby's body, decreasing the risk of tipping out of the sides.
There are also infant sized SSCs available, which are carriers that are designed for smaller babies. The body panels are shorter and narrower, but do not expand out as baby grows. These carriers can only be used while baby is still infant size so when your baby reaches about six months, you will need to move to a larger carrier.
We have many SSCs in our Learning Library to help you get started. We can help you find the perfect one for your family. Don't forget to #bwiofpdx to show us your SSC adventures!
When you walk into a BWI meeting, you will hear phrases like "learning library" and "the library." However, we are not referring to a collection of books. We are talking about baby carriers!
A Babywearing International Learning Library is a collection of carriers available for members to borrow at monthly meetings. See our current selection here.
This collection contains a varied selection to choose from: soft structure carriers, wraps, ring slings, meh deis, and more. This allows you to compare types and see what works best for you and your baby.
It also features different brands of each carrier type. Since each brand is designed a bit differently, you can compare features and fit to find the perfect carrier for your needs.
It's called a learning library as opposed to a lending library because we are an education-based organization. Our ultimate goal is to spread the most current and accurate knowledge on babywearing. We want you to learn how to use baby carriers properly and safely, regardless of which one(s) you choose.
The library carriers are educational tools for Volunteer Babywearing Educators (VBEs). As VBEs we are very much hands on teachers who use the various carriers when we teach. Additionally, having a variety of carriers is helpful as we try to meet the different needs of the caregivers who babywear.
Borrowing from the learning library is for members only---and it's the best perk to membership! As a member you can check out one carrier each month (except February when we do inventory). That means you can borrow 11 carriers a year! Think of all the possibilities!
Once you are a member, all you have to do is come to our monthly meeting. Take your time during the meeting to browse our whole library. Touch, feel, and try-on all you like! Even non-members are welcome to do this part.
Once you find a carrier you like, please set it back down on the table and put your name down for it at the check-out table. This will free-up your hand during the meeting and allow other people to learn with it as well. We also need all education tools available during the meeting.
Carrier check out is only during the last 30 minutes of the meeting. This is so all carriers are available to teach with during the meeting. Get in line with you carrier and check out with one of the tablets when it's your turn. If multiple people put their name down for a carrier, we will draw a name for the person who can check it out that month. We are also happy to suggest other comparable carriers as well!.
Then the carrier is yours to enjoy for the month! Wear it as much as you like and post pictures on social media. If it get dirty or damaged (Life happens, we understand!), please contact us first. We will advice you what to do.
Please remember that all learning library carriers are due back within the first 30 minutes of the next meeting. Again, we understand that life happens, if this is not possible please make arrangements beforehand if possible. We have volunteers all across the Portland Metro Area who can be available for a carrier drop off. All carriers received after the first 30 minutes of the meeting will be charged a late fee. We need all available teaching tools at our meeting and this policy helps ensure the livelihood of our organization. See policy here.
The lending library is here for you to learn and grow as a babywearer. It's also a great way to make babywearing accessible to everyone everywhere. Please come and try our carriers!
Let's be honest, most baby carriers are expensive. And even the ones deemed “budget carriers” are not that cheap either. $100 or more is out of the price range for many caregivers. However, that should not deter ANYONE away from wearing.
Babywearing is not about the carrier. It's about using a tool to help you care for a child. It doesn't matter what that tool looks like or how much you paid for it. What matters is that it is safe, that you can use it confidently, and that you and the wearee are comfortable and happy!
There are carriers out there for less than a $100---less than $20 even---that are potentially wonderful carriers for you. These are just a few examples available at many big box stores, baby stores, and consignment stores.
Narrow Base Buckle Carriers:
There was some controversy over narrow base carriers, but please do not let that scare you from using these carriers. There is no evidence to support that a narrow base carrier causes any developmental issues for a healthy baby. Just like with any other carrier, these carriers are safe when used correctly.
They are usually only suitable for front carries facing inward and outward. So keep this in mind if you plan to back carry later on.
They do not usually have many bells and whistles, but they absolutely get the job done. Just like higher priced buckle carriers, they are not a one size fits all. You may need to try on several brands to see which is the best fit for you and baby personally.
Front Carry tutorial
Forward Facing Outward tutorial
Stretchy wraps are not just “gateway” wraps to woven wraps. If used correctly, they can be wonderful for newborns all the way up to toddlers. Some people find that as baby gets bigger they can become uncomfortable; however, there are different carries you can try if you don't want to purchase a new carrier.
They can only be used for front and hip carriers, so keep this in mind if you want to back carry. But they can be used for any combination three layer carry (combination meaning at least two different passes, like two cross passes and a torso pass, or a sling pass and two cross passes). What's helpful to know is that they can do more than a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry.
If you are happy with your stretchy wrap, don't feel the pressure to jump to woven wraps! It's a great versatile carrier.
Pocket Wrap Cross Carry Tutorial
Newborn Reinforced Kangaroo Carry Tutorial
Hip Carry Tutorial
Pouches consist of a tube of fabric that you can pop baby in and out of as needed. They come in a variety of sizes for your body shape and a growing baby's needs. And there some amazing patterns available!
Pouches are easy to load baby into and pop them out as needed. However, it is very important to use the correct size for both you and baby so baby stays in the optimal position at all times.
Some wearers find they are less supportive with bigger babies. But many people use pouch slings from birth to toddlerhood with no issues.
Newborn Tummy to Tummy Tutorial
Hip Carry Tutorial
A K'tan is a stretchy wrap without all the wrapping. It consists of two loops of fabric hooked together safely . They come in a variety of sizes and fabrics, so you can find the perfect one for your needs.
To keep baby in the optimal position in the carrier at all times, it's important to buy the correct size. Keep in mind that you may need to size up as baby or you grow.
They can be used with or without the sash, unlike stretchy wraps which always require the third pass. They can be used for front and hip carries only, so keep this in mind if you want to back carry. K’tans are easy to put on quickly, easily fold up for storage on the go, and can adapt to different carries as baby grows.
Front Carry Tutorial
Hip Carry Tutorial
This is a very affordable Meh Dei option that can adapt as both your skill level and as baby grows.
It can be used for front, hip, and back carries. You can even do some fancier finishes, too.
However, the body panel is not very large, so it may not be as comfortable carrying a toddler. Some do find it comfortable for years, so don't let this deter you if it makes you happy otherwise.
Front Carry Tutorial *Note this video does not use the updated terminology of Meh Dai/Bai Dai. See #NotYourPodBuTai for more information.
Back Carry Tutorial *Note this video does not use the updated terminology of Meh Dai/Bai Dai. See #NotYourPodBuTai for more information.
Hip Carry Tutorial *Note this video does not use the updated terminology of Meh Dai/Bai Dai. See #NotYourPodBuTai for more information.
Fancy Finishes Tutorial *Note this video does not use the updated terminology of Meh Dai/Bai Dai. See #NotYourPodBuTai for more information.
Ultimately the goal is to find a carrier within your budget that makes YOU happy, as that's all that really matters! Happy wearing!
There are ways to keep your carrier dry in the rain. And there are ways to wash it if gets dirty. But how can you keep your carrier from getting muddy in the first place? Or try hard to at least.
Oregon means rain. We talked about how to keep you, baby, and carrier dry. But what does rain mean? Mud. Lots of mud.
On your tails as you wrap in the Target parking lot. On your straps as you load baby into your buckle carrier. On your panel from toddler’s muddy pants. It's so annoying. You just want to wear your baby in a clean, nice carrier and the rainy mud makes that impossible.
First of all, remember that mud washes out. Carriers are fairly easy to wash (see here how to wash woven wraps) and very few stains will actually ruin them. So don't fret if they do get muddy!
That being said, prevention is the best way to keep your carrier clean. Here are a few tips to keep the mud at bay!
Prep your carrier at home. If possible, put your carrier on before you leave the house. Buckle the waist band on before you walk out the door. Get your Front Wrap Cross Carry prepped before you put on your coat. Thread the ring sling while your toddler looks for her shoes. Hopefully there is no mud in your house (and no worries if there is) so let the carrier hit the floor as necessary.
Tuck away danglers. Even if your carrier is prepared, make sure there are no dangling parts still. Roll up shoulder straps. Wrap your tails around you.
Put your body panel and shoulder straps on. Loop/knot your tails up so they aren't dragging.
Short and small. The less fabric you have to deal with, the less likely something will fall into the mud. Try a short wrap (here is a fun list of carries to try with short wraps). A ring sling with shorter tails. An onbuhimo with shorter straps.
Utilize your car. Place your tails on the seat as you wrap. Or sit in the car to load baby if possible.
Ask for help. Ask your partner, mom, friend, or even old siblings to hold your tails or straps while you load baby.
Remove muddy clothes. If your or baby got dirty, take off your messy outer layers if possible before you load baby back up. Obviously make sure you and baby are warm enough before removing an important layer (check out our post on layering baby in the cold).
Don't let the mud scare you, enjoy the outdoors and wear those babies!
Woven wraps can be intimidating. But there is no denying their beauty. The patterns, the color, weaves---they are truly works of art! Works of art you put a baby in.
A crying, poopy, drooling, puking baby in. Or a sticky, gooey, snotty, probably also poopy toddler. You spend your time honing your wrapping skills only to have your wrappee stain your wrap! Or worse, you get it dirty by dropping ice cream on it or dragging your tails in the mud.
If this happens, don't fret! Life happens!! Babies poop, toddler wipe their noses, and you drop ice cream. Don't let life’s mishaps keep you from using your beautiful wraps. You just need to learn how to wash and care for your wraps. And it's not as complicated as learning Norwegian Wiggleproof!
First of all, understand that normal daily use will not get your wrap actually dirty. Even if you use it every day for a week, it's probably still doesn't need a wash. Your wrap only needs a wash if it's stained, dingy, or smelly.
In fact, too much washing will damage your wrap. The heating and friction break the fibers down overtime. This is a great way to break a wrap in right off the loom, but too much will weaken the fibers too much. Just limit washing to when it's truly needed and this will not be an issue.
Please check the care instructions for the carrier first. The manufacturer may have unique instructions for that carrier to keep its integrity.
Also check out this great chart from Babywearing 102 for general fiber care instructions.
If there is no specific instructions, try these simple steps.
Try a spot treatment first if you can. This works well with dirt, food stains, and baby messes (spit up, puke, drool).
Wet the spot. Then rub some Dawn dishwashing liquid into the wrap. Then scrub gently with a toothbrush. Rinse the spot well. Let the wrap air dry in the sun if possible. Repeat if needed.
If the wrap is very soiled or smelly, a full wash is in order.
First shake out any debris that could get tangled in the weave or smudge into the fibers.
Always use a free and clear detergent. No dyes, fragrances, optical brighteners, or bleach. These can weaken the fabrics and can cause irritation to baby's skin.
Wash on a warm, gentle cycle. Rinse cold. Your wrap will come clean, no need to blast it with hot water.
It's always best hang the wrap to dry if possible. Less stress on the fibers, extending the life of your wrap. But if you need to dry it in the dryer, a low heat is always preferred.
Now your wrap should be clean and ready for more babywearing fun!
Oregon means rain. And a lot of it. Like 6 months or more of it. There is no escaping it. But that doesn't mean you can't wear your baby for half of the year here. Here are a few tips to keep you, baby, and carrier dry!
Don't worry too much about your carrier. Mud washes out. Wet dries. It takes a lot to truly ruin a carrier. Even a silk woven wrap will probably be okay after a romp in the rain. That being said, if you have a very special carrier, it might be best just to leave it safe at home.
Always make sure baby’s airway is unobstructed. Hoods, covers, ponchos, or whatever you use to keep dry, make sure it is not covering baby’s face. Breathing is always more important than dryness.
Never alter the design of the carrier. Or put added stress on it. No babywearing accessories should compromise the integrity of your carrier. Safety is also more important than dryness.
Umbrella: I know it's very unOregonian to suggest this, but an umbrella is an effective and easy way to keep dry while wearing. It's also inexpensive. Just put on baby’s and your normal appropriate outerwear, pop open the umbrella, and go!
This is a good option for when it's just sprinkling or raining on and off. Or if it's not cold, so no big jacket trapping in body heat needed, but you just want to stay dry. If you get a large enough umbrella---like a golf umbrella---this is even a great option for tandemwearing.
The downside is you need to hold it the entire time. It also may bounce around as you walk, not always covering baby (especially in a Back Carry). If you are tandemwearing, you will need to pay extra attention to keep both kids covered. And, kids like to grab them and possibly wack you. And if it's cold, you and baby still need a warm jacket.
Babywearing Jacket: This is a jacket designed to accommodate baby and carrier. Some are even designed for tandem wearing. They either have an extra panel zipped in or are bigger, with a cut out/hood for baby’s head. Put baby in the carrier, put on the jacket, and enjoy some hands-free wearing in the rain!
There are a few downsides. First, they can be expensive (though they do come up for reasonable prices in co-ops often). You also need to make sure you get the right size for both you, baby (babies for tandem), and carrier. And keep in mind that baby (babies) will grow, so you may need to buy on the larger side so it lasts longer. They are not commonly found it stores, so trying on for sizing is not usually possible.
However, most are wonderful at keeping you, baby, and carrier dry. So once you get one you like and that fits, you will not regret it!
Carrier Cover: This is a piece of waterproof fabric that goes over the front of the carrier with a hood for baby. You still need to put a jacket over you and the back of the carrier (if your carrier isn’t waterproof). Put baby in carrier, put on cover, then your jacket, and enjoy come snuggles in the rain.
Most buckle carrier brands make covers designed for their specific carrier. There are also generic ones that can work with most carriers as well, including wraps and ring slings.
The downside is the cover is separate from you, so there is the risk of raining leaking in. And the cover does not go around your back, the back of your carrier may get wet. Or you still may need a babywearing or larger jacket over your back. And they are designed to go on easiest for front carries. You can use them for back carries, but someone else may need put it on for you. And you will need to buy two of them.
A carrier cover is a great way make sure baby and the part of the carrier in contact with baby stays dry. Simple to put on and take off as needed.
Or if all else fails, just put a waterproof coat on you, one on baby, and just dry your carrier later. A little water doesn't hurt, it might even add to your fun! Just make sure baby does not get too cold, risking hypothermia. Keeping baby as dry as possible in a waterproof layer and snuggled close to your body should keep baby warm. For information on layering baby to stay warm for the cold, check our Layering for the Cold post!.
Happy babywearing in the rain!!!!
-Samantha Reddy, VBE
You decide to come to a BWI of Portland eeting. Yeah! Welcome! But now what?
Have no fear, here is a simple breakdown of how our monthly meetings work.
Our meetings typically take place the first Saturday of the month. However, if our meeting space is booked, we will move it to either the following Saturday Or possibly a Sunday if needed. Please double check the event on Facebook or contact us directly each month.
Our meetings are typically at the Main Library in downtown Portland. We meet in the US Bank Meeting Room, just off the the right of the entrance before you enter the main part of the building.
The meeting is two hours long. We break the meeting down into three parts to make it easier for us to facilitate and you to attend: check-in, teaching, and, check-out.
The first 30 minutes is check in. When you first enter, a CSV (Chapter Support Volunteer) will greet you and have you sign-in to the meeting on a tablet. The sign-in is for attendance records and a photo release waiver. All meetings and play dates are free for anyone to attend.
If you checked a carrier out the previous month, you can return it at this time. It's import to return the carrier within the first 30 minutes of the meeting so we have it teaching and for others to check-out later. All carriers not received during this time will be charged a late fee.
Now have a seat and relax for a bit! We set up several rows of chairs for your comfort during the meeting. Change baby’s diaper, feed, or chat with fellow wearers for a bit.
VBE (Volunteer Babywearing Educator) give a brief introduction to our organization and go over some basic rules. Each one of the volunteers will introduce themselves as well, and we will ask each of you for a brief introduction and what you need help with that day.
Now the second and most fun part starts, teaching! This part lasts for an hour.
VBEs will break off into groups based on your needs. Usually there is a babywearing 101 overview, newborn wearing, woven wraps, ring sling/meh dai, and buckle carriers. But we may add or drop groups each meeting as needed.
You can go off to the group or groups you need. At first VBEs will go over basics for the carrier type and give a brief demo. You can grab a carrier from our library and follow along too. Then you can ask individual questions as needed.
During this time we also encourage you try-on as many carriers as possible and ask us for fit checks. Find a carrier that suits all your needs or just try something new!
However, once you have found the carrier you would like to check out, please allow others to try it on until it is time for check out. Please go over to one of CVSs and put your name down for it. If more than person wants to check-out the same carrier, we will do a drawing for it.
The last 30 minutes of the meeting is check-out. Members can borrow one of library carriers for one month! Not a member yet? You can also sign-up for membership right at the meeting and still take a carrier home.
Please also ask any final questions and get any last minute help you need during this time. Our job is to help you be the best babywearer possible, we don't want you leaving until that is accomplished!
Now you, baby, and carrier can march out into Portland in confidence. Until next month when you can come back with new questions and try new things!
Here are a few more questions you may have:
I can't make the first hour of the meeting. Can I come later?
Of course! You can come to our meetings at anytime. But if are you returning a carrier, you will be charged the $5 late fee if you bring it after the first half hour. We need them for teaching. Education is the main goal of this organization, we need all tools possible. You can always contact a VBE before the meeting to arrange a drop off a few days before.
I can't stay the whole time, can I check out the carrier I want before the last 30 minutes?
Unfortunately no. In addition to needing all possible carriers for teaching, it's not fair to the other members if all the carriers vanish at the beginning. A new wearer may not know about a certain carrier and won't get the chance to try it on if you take it right away.
Can I bring my own carrier? I need help using it correctly.
Absolutely! Our goal is to educate you on babywearing properly in any carrier.
Can I bring my baby with me?
Of course! We love babies of all ages! It's best to try a carrier out with the child who will be in it. Please feel free to see to all theirs needs in the room--- diapers changes to feedings. There is a restroom nearby as well. We also love holding babies while we get your carrier prepped!
Can I bring older siblings?
Yes. Our meetings can be very busy, though. You are responsible for all children you bring to the library. We do bring some toys to help keep littles happy while you look at carriers.
Can I bring my spouse? My mom? My sister? My friend?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Meetings are free to attend for all! We want everyone and anyone to learn how to wear safely.
Do I have to be a member to check-out a carrier?
Yes, it's the best perk of membership!! If you can't afford membership, please talk to us about scholarship opportunities. Meetings are always free for all to attend.
What’s your base size? Does your SSC have PFAs? Did you see that Meh Dai with a ring waist? Is that hybrid shoulder cushy?
Babywearing has it’s own, ever changing jargon. It can be confusing and intimidating to new wearers. You just figured out how to get this carrier on, now you need to learn a new language?
Have no fear, BWI of PDX is here to help translate! Here are some common terms you may come across as you venture into the babywearing world:
BWI: Babywearing International. A nonprofit, international network of babywearing educators who operate local learning/lending libraries to teach caregivers to wear babies safely and happily.
“BWI helped me so much when I had my twins, I had no idea I could carry them both at the same time!”
VBE: Volunteer Babywearing Educator. The awesome group of trained people who donate their time to teach at meetings, events and playdates.
“I can’t believe that simple tip the VBE gave me made my carrier so much more comfortable.”
CSV: Chapter Support Volunteer. The awesome group of babywearing enthusiasts who give their time to help BWI operate.
“I am so grateful the CSV let me drop off the carrier with her the day before the meeting so I didn’t get charged a late fee.”
Narrow Base Carrier: A buckle carrier with a small seat or base, where baby’s bottom sits.
“There is no proof narrow base carriers cause hip issues on a baby with no preexisting condition.”
SSC: Soft Structured Carrier. Most commonly refers to a carrier with buckles.
“I finally found a SSC with enough back support for my boyfriend.”
Stretchy: Nickname for a stretchy wrap.
“I love how easy it is take baby out of the stretchy for diaper changes.”
RS: Ring Sling. A carrier with special rings just for babywearing sewn to one end of fabric.
“My new RS is so soft.”
Froggy Legs: The natural, preferred seated position for a newborn or small baby. Knees up slightly higher than bottom, and legs curled up parallel to wearer’s body.
“The VBE showed me how to froggy leg my baby in the infant insert.”
Knee-to-knee: The natural, preferred seated position for a infant or larger child. The seat of the carrier is supporting from one knee, tucking hips inward towards the wearer, over to the other knee. Like sitting in a hammock.
“I moved Luis up to a toddler-size carrier, he is knee-to-knee again and it’s much more comfortable.”
Tandem: Wearing two children at once.
“I had to tandem both kids at the zoo because my toddler refused to walk.”
DISO: Desperately In Search Of. When you are looking to buy or trade a carrier that you really really want.
“I saw someone wearing my DISO at the meeting yesterday! Sadly, he didn’t want to sell.”
Cush: Short for cushion, referring to how soft and comfortable a carrier feels on your body.
“This wrap has so much cush! I could wear my preschooler for hours!”
Poppable: A carry or carrier that you can easily remove baby, without taking off the entire carrier.
“I love how poppable this Short Wrap Cross Carry is!”
Rails: The outer top and bottom edges of a wrap or ring sling.
“I have a hard time tightening the top rail.”
Tails: The ends of a wrap or ring sling.
“I like longer wraps so I have more tails for fancy finishes.”
Tapers: How blunt the ends of a wrap are cut. The bigger the taper, the smaller the knot.
“This wrap has such drastic tapers!”
Base: The size of wrap needed to do most basic carries,, such a Front Wrap Cross This size will vary from person to person, based on the size of the wrapper and wrapee.
“My base size increased as baby grew into a toddler.”
Shorty: A wrap that is shorter than your base size
“My shorty is perfect for hikes, no tails in the mud.”
Pleat: The way fabric gathers or bunches neatly. Very visually appealing and comfortable on your body.
“This wrap pleats so nicely without even trying!”
Finish: How a wrap carry is tied off.
“I tried a new finish today and I really liked it!”