Monday, October 3, 2016

International Babywearing Week 2016 - Best Seat in the House

This year's IBW theme is Best Seat in the House.  We have a slew of on-line and in person events lined up for you!!  Some oldies but goodies are coming back, like Ask an Instructor, the Babywearing Scavenger Hunt, and a carry challenge to keep you busy all week long.  

Need help?  Our kick off to IBW this year is actually our mid-month meeting, so join us at Hardesty Regional Library on Wednesday, October 5th from 11am to 1pm.  Need a carrier for the carry challenge?  You can check one out from our amazing lending library at the meeting.  We still have a really good selection this month!

We hope this line up of laid back playdates and get togethers has something for everyone.  If you can't make it to one of our events, get together with babywearing friends in your area; plan a park date or go on a hike.  And don't forget to share your pictures.  See our list of events below and our hashtags for the week.  Make sure to check in with the facebook group daily for all of the fun online stuff!

And don't forget our fundraiser!!
Proceeds benefit Babywearing Around Tulsa.  We are not for profit and volunteer run.  Fundraising helps us to add carriers to our lending library and serve our community.  Thank you so much for your ongoing support of our efforts in Northeast Oklahoma.

Friday, July 8, 2016

GrapeBaby Tekhni Delta Heartland Doll Carrier Giveaway!

Hey Babywearing Around Tulsa! In a few short days, (5 to be exact, not that anyone is counting) the instructors will be off to Atlanta for the 2016 International Babywearing Conference

At the beginning of Spring, we asked all 6,000 plus of you to lend a hand to help send our instructors to Atlanta. Like always, you guys did amazing pulling this off. Between an awesome raffle, fit-checks at Bottoms and Beyond, and some cute-as-heck babywearing photos, you guys raised $4,000 of the $5,000 needed! Pat yourselves on the back! You did an awesome job! 

We have one more little push to get to that $5,000 goal and it's the best one yet! 

We have this beautiful doll carrier: handmade by Sew Fresh from none other than BWAT's custom designed wrap, Tekhni Delta Heartland.  

Entries for this amazing carrier are $1 per chance or 12 chances for $10. 

To enter, fill out the entry form and send your payment via PayPal to

Don't forget to send all payments gifted (family & friends) and please include "Doll Carrier Fundraiser" in the notes sections. 

The winner will be selected via Monday July 11th and notified.

And it's totally cool if you want to try the doll carrier on before handing it over to your kiddo. We promise not to tell. 

Remember to get your entry in by Monday July 11th

Happy Babywearing! 

Karissa is a babywearing boymom to four boys ranging in age from 17 years to 10 months. She loves to read and geek out to all things history! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"Babywearing Means". . . A Thank - You From the Instructors

Hey Babywearing Around Tulsa! As many of you know we have been working hard to fund a trip to the International Babywearing Conference in Atlanta for our four instructors: Tiffany, Beth, Somer, and Ashley.  
The conference is a great opportunity for the instructors to keep up to date with the fast-paced world of babywearing. They will be learning so many new and exciting things and bringing it all back to Tulsa to share with you! 
As if that isn't cool enough, the instructors are so grateful for all of the tremendous amount of support you all have shown in helping raise money to send them to Atlanta, they have decided to do something special for you!
A contest was announced on the group page last week to ask, "what does babywearing mean to you?" 

We had a lot of great entries: 

Catie Marie Willard "Baby wearing has filled the gap of so many things I missed out on as I became a mother... You see, I could not carry a child in my womb. For years we tried. Miscarriage after miscarriage. It was heartbreaking for us. So we became foster parents. When we brought our first newborn home from the hospital, I was in love. She was tiny and frail from drug addiction. So I carried her. For those first few months of her life, I carried her. And it was like I was experiencing carrying her as if she came from my own body. We breathed together, rocked together... She would curl into my chest and melt into me as though it were the safest place in the world, ever safer than her rough time in the womb. She already had my heart the moment I held her at that hospital... But when I wrapped her close, I gained hers. Babywearing has become a strong bonding experience with each tiny baby that enters our home, hurt, broken, and scared. It creates a bond of safety, security, and love. I was meant to be a mother, and babywearing has allowed me to carry my babies close. In my arms, and in my heart. And for that, I am eternally grateful... ❤️"

Chrissy Yates: "Baby wearing has been extra special to me with this sweet boy. His big brother died at 18 days old from a heart defect and I didn't get to hold him much. I love getting to keep my rainbow baby close when we are out of the house, plus it frees up my hands to help with 7 year old big brother and 4 year old big sister. This little man loves to be worn!"

Larisha N Shaw: "Babywearing to me means bonding. My youngest is not "mine". I mean she is mine but I didn't birth her myself. Babywearing has allowed us to bond on a level I don't think We would have been able to otherwise. She loves to go uppie as much as I love carrying her. πŸ’•"

Kasia Pope: "Baby wearing has helped me keep up with my Autistic 5yr old, and my 3 yr old with Anxiety all while still giving love to our 8m old! 
It means I can take them places to have fun and lo can still get a nap without my arms feeling broken.... Unlike my poor sister who had to keep passing around her two boys because their arms were hurting. 😜 Hopefully she will learn now how helpful carriers really are! I would love to spread baby wearing love with her!! 😍"

Ambrosia Ekelman: "Balance. In the midst of working full time and trying to split time between a baby, a toddler, and a big kid, without feeling guilty, I could cuddle one with ease, while interacting with the other. Wearing does so much for the soul."

Karissa Booze: "Babywearing means friends. This group has brought out a part of me that is hard to find. Stepping out of my comfort zone and becoming a volunteer has brought me many new friendships that I would never have tried to make on my own. I love knowing my son will have a group of kiddos to grow up and play with. And I have a solid village in my corner! ❤️"

Stacy Isbell: "Babywearing means survival. Flying across the country with 3 kids and being able to get to the rental car with everything :)"

Olivia Kaylee Stagner: "Babywearing means I can hold my sweet baby boy who gets so overwhelmed by crowds and strangers so close and feel his nerves go away while I love on him and still help big sister. It means he can stay close to me and he doesn't have to fear that I'm going far away from him! πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™"

Kim Gonzalez: "Babywearing for me has meant sanity. I struggled with post partum depression and spent many early mornings crying as my daughter would not sleep or nurse or let anything comfort her. Our moby wrap saved us both during those times. I could snuggle her close and she would finally be content. Which meant that I could finally calm down myself. As she's gotten older, babywearing has helped my anxiety and stress of being out in crowded places with a toddler. I get sensory overload very easy in loud crowded places and my brain struggles to keep a train of thought, so being able to have my child close to me helps me have one less worry to deal with when I have my moments of sensory overload. Plus, she hates riding in carts at the store so babywearing has helped saved my arms from falling off from having to carry her πŸ˜‰ now that I am pregnant with #2, I know that babywearing will continue to provide me with sanity as I juggle an almost 2 year and newborn come next January. I would seriously have lost all of my marbles if it wasn't for babywearing ❤"

Joely Guthrie: "Babywearing has been one of the most amazing experiences of motherhood for me. It has helped my children and myself make it through the ups and downs of everyday life. Many know I have worn for more years than some of are members are old, leaving me with many reasons why Babywearing is so important to me. Babywearing has helped me calm my anxious children and myself, from sleeplessness, colic, reflux, sickness, teething, milk production, mastitis, social anxiety to the complexity of traveling alone with 7 children fighting crowds in airports and festivals. It has helped when my boys broke bones and my son was hospitalized just hours after his sister was born and discharged. The things I can still do hands free even when tandem carrying. I can help with HW cook dinner and BF all at once😱. Not to forgot the simplicity of making the family grocery trips, appt and family walks a less stressful situation. However I believe the most important reason for us is I made it through severe depression and social anxiety(PTSD and PPD). It has helped me bond with my child that I had a hard time believing would not ever love me or bond with me even while EBF. This was most likely the most impact BW has given me because I don't know if I would have ever felt that bond with out wearing. 
I have meet so many mommas, answered so many questions and was able to share my love for the bonding that BW provided for us. I hope that the first 20 years of BW was just the beginning and I have many more years of sharing and wearing. 😊"

Please go to Babywearing Around Tulsa and like your favorite entry! The entry with the most likes on Sunday July 10th will receive this awesome babywearing Smart Bottoms diaper that Tiffany picked up at WEAR in Chicago! 

Thank you BWAT for everything you do. This group is filled with members who uplift each other and spread the babywearing love! We love you all!
Don't forget to go vote for your favorite entry! 
Happy Babywearing!

Karissa is a babywearing boymom to four boys ranging in age from 17 years to 10 months, She loves to read and geek out to all things history! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What's all this fundraising for, anyway?

Some of this will echo what Tiffany said, but I want to share here my thoughts as well.

We are so glad you asked! It takes a fair bit of money to run a group this size and to keep our meetings free and open to the public. Every month our membership grows, the number of people we are serving grows, our reach extends and our hearts swell with love for this community we have formed.  

Lending library membership fees do help support our mission, in addition to being put towards growing the lending library, but in order to keep those membership fees low, we fundraise a few times throughout the year.  We don't want to raise membership fees and in the last 4 1/2 years we have not had to because our members have supported our fundraising efforts and always made them a success.  From T-shirts to garage sales, to decals and donation drives, we have raised money and had fun doing it.  We have bought huge numbers of carriers for the lending library this way.  We have given carriers to families in need through the generosity of our community.  We have been able to serve our community at events other than our own.  And we owe it all to the support of our members.  

Part of our current big fundraising push is also to help pay for continuing education for our instructors. We feel that it is a major benefit to our group and our community for our instructors to keep abreast of current research and teaching techniques. The majority of the time our instructors pay for all of their training out of their own pockets. When Ashley and I went to Houston, Texas in 2013 to take classes to become Certified Babywearing Educators, we felt your support and know you understand the importance of good education.  We collected donations and held multiple weekends of garage sales and covered about half of the cost of the classes.  But it is our love for what we are able to share with our community that had us covering the travel and the rest of the class fees out of pocket.  Whatever we don't raise now, we will end up paying for ourselves. We feel strongly that this education is an important benefit to our group. Everything that out instructors learn will be brought back to BWAT to the benefit of our members. Much of our current meeting structure came from things we learned in classes or ideas we had because of classes.  We want to continue to be the best for you!  Training and continuing education is important in every field and no less so in Babywearing, a field where the research is moving at lightening speeds right now.  

We are so close to meeting our fundraising goal for this spring. If you can donate, even just a couple of dollars, it is very very much appreciated.  
(Donations can be made anytime but donations qualifying for entries into our prize drawing must be made before 8pm central time on Wednesday April 20th)

Happy Babywearing!


Somer Johnson is a Babywearing enthusiast and Momma to Bitsy and Squeaker, two bundles of energy. She is a Babywearing Institute Certified Babywearing Educator.  She is also addicted to cloth diapers and makes and sells wool dryer balls as SomerKnits. Occasionally she also carves out some time to knit, spin or weave - her main pre-baby passions.

On Continuing Education - a note from Tiffany

Why we need YOUR help.

Being a babywearing educator is a tough gig. Dealing with all of the daily issues with moderating the group, keeping up with all the behind the scenes paperwork, insurance, legal issues... THEN blogging, teaching classes, keeping up on research, and training volunteers. It can be a bit overwhelming. And this is a volunteer position. But, we instructors do it, because we love it. Education and outreach are where our hearts are and we feel drawn to give back to the community. So we put in our hours - day after day, week after week - and smile while doing it. But to be the “best” we can be - for US, as educators, and for YOU, as leaders - we have to be current on research, familiar with all the new carriers, up on the latest carries, and knowledgeable on all the legal and regulatory aspects that effect our field. One, very important way, to do that is to go to conferences.

Thankfully, the babywearing world is has exploded in the past 2-3 years. When I started, 10 years ago, there were maybe 4 carriers on the market and no online support, let alone local groups. Because of this explosion, research is coming in faster than you can imagine. Things we thought were perfectly safe a year ago, even 6 months ago in some cases, are no longer recommended. Things we did 10 years ago are down right dangerous now. 

I went to the International Babywearing Conference in Tempe, Arizona 2 years ago. It is the largest bi-annual meeting of educators, vendors and enthusiasts in the Country. I attended the 2nd one to be held. At that 3 day conference I got to talk to the makers of Ergo, Boba, Bjorn, and more. I got to figure out what was on their radar and WHY they recommended the things they did. I learned about the current regulations for the makers and those that were going into effect the following year. Regulations that changed the landscape of babywearing more than we had ever seen before. I came away extremely more confident, and competent, in bringing information to YOU as an educator. And that is my goal - “our” goal. This time, all 4 of us have decided to attend the conference to make this group the very best we can. It is a lofty goal, for us all to go, but one we have dedicated to making come to life. 
Right now, plane tickets are roughly 420$ roundtrip. A 4 night hotel room is $760. Registration fees for the conference were 200$ a piece. That is roughly $1,000 a person, with splitting hotel costs. That is 4,000$ total, JUST for the minimum basics of attending this conference. Not counting cab to the hotel, food while we are there, carriers available at a discount to educators, or anything else needed to go on a 4 day trip. That is money that we would pay out of our own pockets (and I did, 2 years ago), if not for fundraising from this group.

We are extremely fortunate to have an amazing group of volunteers, retailers, and others who very generously donated over 2,500$ of prizes for our Raffle. Those are prizes that you guys get to win. Photography packages hundreds of dollars, gift certificates galore, jewelry, 3 carriers! Incredible stuff, really. 

So when you buy a raffle ticket, in hopes of winning one of those amazing prizes, that money is also going to a bigger cause - the education and advancement of the group as a whole. Right now, our group is at 6,060 members. If each of you gave just 1 dollar, we would not have to worry about paying anything out of our pockets, and we would have extra to bring back amazing carriers for the library. 
I am blown away by this “community.” Just last week we banded together to get a carrier to a mama in need, within hours. We have had carriers missing, stolen, blown away in tornados, and you guys ALWAYS step up and band together to help those in need. We are more than a “group” we are a “community” and that is an incredibly precious thing. A lot of us have met our best friends because of this group. I know this community understands how big of an opportunity this conference is for us, and I have complete faith in my community to rise to the challenge. I have complete faith in us. 
Thank each of every one of you for your donations (of time, money, prizes and more), your buying raffle tickets, your shares of posts on your pages and your likes of our public posts. All of this brings us one step closer to our goal - and builds this community stronger than I ever thought possible. For that I am very thankful and proud. 


Friday, March 25, 2016

Let's Compare! Standard Mj vs Standard Tula

Trying out our new MJ! MJ baby carriers are fairly new to the market and a definite up and comer! It's comparable to a standard Tula with a few key differences. 
1) Deeper seat
2) Taller back panel 
3) Dual adjustable waist strap is 4-6 inches longer than the Tula. 
4) Panel is a bit wider than a standard Tula. 
5) Waist padding is firmer and wider with a very large pocket. 

Comfort wise they are very similar, but as time has passed I am favoring the MJ slightly. Shoulder padding is very similar. I did feel like the waist padding on the MJ rested on my bottom in a back carry because of its width, though I don't see that as an issue as it breaks in. After having my MJ for a few months I found if I raised and tightened the waistband correctly this is no longer an issue. I will say this is a large carrier, even labeled as a standard, I wouldn't recommend it until baby is 10-12 months old due to the large size, MJ does not offer an infant insert.

I would recommend this for a few people in particular, plus size wearers (hubby is a 4xl and this fits him comfortably, whereas a standard Tula doesn't at all) and if you have a leaner this would be great since the panel is taller,or a little that loves riding arms in. My girl normally rides arms out! even with the taller panel she can still do so. I believe that this is perfect until she's ready for a toddler size. You can see due to the deeper seat and panel height the difference it makes in the fit. Jemma is 27lb and 32" if anyone is curious, size 18-24m. Also note, Jemma is sleeping in one of the MJ photos so the panel looks even larger due to her slight slumping.

With the addition of Fresh Mesh to the MJ line up, these cooler options for warm climates are definitely a plus for the MJ brand. Prices are similar, standard Tula retail $149, standard MJ retail $145. All in all, I can and do happily recommend this carrier but of course no carrier is perfect for everyone. 

Renee McBay is a happily married mother to one little girl so far. She enjoys volunteering for BWAT, watching Dr Who and Harry Potter, reading whenever possible, and snuggling all the squishy babies.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Is my carrier safe??? How you can trust your carrier not to fall apart and drop your baby.

I'm not talking about using a carrier that is too big for your baby, which poses a suffocation risk. Proper fit and support in a carrier is a completely different topic. I'm talking about being assured of the quality and safety of the materials and construction methods used to make your carrier. 

The Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA) regulates compliance with the US standards for baby carriers. These standards are set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates toxic chemical limits, flammability, strength, and hazards such as fall and choking for all products sold in the US. These standards ensure proper labeling, care, and usage information is on the product itself. All soft carriers, mei tais and front packs manufactured after Sept 29, 2014 must be tested and compliant to ASTM F2236.  When buying a carrier you need to know 3 things: that it is properly labeled, that it can be registered, and that it has been safety tested. The labeling and registration are used in the event of a recall. The safety testing label indicates that the carrier passes the safety requirements outlined in ASTM F2236. (Carriers made prior to September 29th, 2014 were not required to undergo ANY safety testing or conformity requirements.) This covers weight testing, choking and suffocation hazards, and permanently attached proper use information. 

The BCIA is made up of manufacturers, educators, and retailers who are compliant with CPSC standards. Buying a carrier from a BCIA retailer or manufacturer means you can trust that it is safe. Of course, always check your carrier for wear at the seams, buckles, and stress points, because everything eventually wears out. Each model and fabric content must be independently tested by a third party, which means that testing is very expensive. It is often cost prohibitive for very small businesses to make carriers. Please know that it is illegal to sell a non-compliant carrier.  Even if you made for yourself and then sell it when you are done with it, you must be compliant with CPSC regulations. (For more information about selling carriers go to .) Many of the knock-off, really cheap carriers that are available online are not tested or part of the BCIA. These carriers are very dangerous because of the possible chemical content, weak materials used, and poor construction methods. 

Before I understood the importance of compliance with CPSC regulations, I bought a WAHM made ring sling from a large swap group. Once I had it in hand the material seemed very thin, so I asked several experienced baby wearers for their opinions. They all recommended that I not put a baby in it because of the questionable material and lack of any labels. I found a safe use for it as a belly wrap during pregnancy and a doll sling for my kids. 

In the interest of your child's safety, please only buy BCIA carriers. For more information, go to If you are unsure of the safety of a carrier that you already own, look for the labeling and check the manufacturer's website. 

Jade lives in east Tulsa with her husband, two boys, and dog Crash. She is passionate about supporting parents. Jade is a Post Partum Doula with Better Birth Now