Monday, November 24, 2014

Plus Size Babywearing

For years I never thought a thing about my size.  I was a size two going into college.  I danced (ballet ya’ll) six days a week.   I was a twig.  Then I slowly started gaining weight, and then I got married and had babies.  I went from twiggy to plus size in a matter of years.  When my precious little guy was born, I saw a Moby wrap and I thought, “I must have that.”   I quickly went from, “I must have that” to “…but I’m too fat” and “What will people see when they look at me, the fat mom with the tiny baby wrapped to herself?”  If you are a plus size mom, I bet you’ve had the same thoughts. 

The thing is  1) No, you aren’t too fat to babywear.   2)  Yes, the carriers will fit you.   3) People will see a mother who is wearing her baby, and a tiny baby they want to touch and ask a million questions about.  They are too enthralled by your ability to multi-task and by your beautiful child and how in love you are with your child to care about your body image.

Some things I’ve learned over the past four years of babywearing as a larger mom are this. 

  • Get a carrier with a pattern you love! 

Don’t buy a carrier with a dark color to try to hide your roundness or blend into your surroundings if what you really wanted was the carrier with the bright pink flowers or the one with the puppy dogs all over it.  Get something you really like and enjoy wearing it!  People will see the cute pattern and the baby anyhow.  If you are going to spend the money, get something lovely instead of the drab gray if you really hate gray.

  • Don’t buy the “plus size” without first trying it out. 

A standard size carrier, wrap, or sling is probably going to fit you.  I’m a size 22 with 40K breasts, and all the standard carriers fit me *with room to spare*.   Ring slings come long anyhow.  If you are also short as well as plus size, you’ll probably find the longer sling under your feet.   If you wear the standard size buckle carriers and mei tais properly (let’s put the waistband at our natural waist instead of our hips gals), you’ll probably be like me and have to roll up all that extra strap hanging down.  I found out the hard way that just because I am bigger doesn’t mean I need a size 7 or 8 wrap…waaaay too much fabric hanging down at my feet.  So, when you see that cute Ergo and then see it comes with “waist extenders”, please don’t automatically buy the plus size accessories.

  • Don’t buy a carrier without trying it first

Really, this could go for anyone, but don’t see something online or in your friend’s picture and just go buy it.  This may end up costing you a bundle in the end, and worse, will make you feel bad about babywearing and your body.  Everyone has different body shapes and what works for one person may be incredibly uncomfortable for someone else.  I’ve found some carriers have buckles that rub my arm fat horribly.  Some make my breasts contort into weird positions.  Wrapping was annoying to me because I can’t reach around my back with my short chubby arms.  However, other types had rings that I loved, and straps that didn’t rub, and easy ways of getting a baby on my back. Find a group with a lending library, like Babywearing Around Tulsa, and go to a meeting to try before you buy.  If you can’t make it to a meeting, at least borrow from another member or friend who owns what you are interested in and see if you like it first.  Meetings are nice because an expert can help you put it on correctly and be sure it fits you correctly. It’s better to be able to just set something back on a table than to have it bought and at home, where you can cry over it and get down on yourself for it not fitting well.  There’s something out there for everyone, but it may be trial and error to find the one for you!

  • Yes, you can breastfeed in a carrier!

If you aren’t breastfeeding, this doesn’t apply to you obviously, but many babywearing mamas are also breastfeeding mamas.  Many plus size mamas are plus size all around…hello big boobs!  Just because you are a larger size, doesn’t mean you can’t breastfeed in a carrier too.  It may take some practice though.  My advice is to start by finding a shirt you can lower and pull the breast out the top of vs trying to lift up a shirt in carrier.  Sports bras are my go-to nursing bras for this since they have no fabric impeding the lifting process on the top.  Find a carrier you can lower easily or turn baby a bit in too.  I liked that my ring sling tail covered the top half of my chest.  Ideally, find another mom who is or who has breastfed in the same carrier you have and get help!  If I hadn’t had a real-life, in-person tutorial, I may not have tried hard enough to figure it out.  Breastfeeding in a carrier is wonderful once you get it down though.  Large breasted mamas can breastfeed while babywearing! 

  • Be confident! 

Easier said than done, but be confident that you are a beautiful woman and a good mom.  This stage of your child’s life is gone in a flash, so have fun and enjoy snuggling with your little one.  Here are some of my favorite babywearing pictures of this fluffy mama and my kiddos….with at least one in my pajamas.

My name is Kristin Riffe.  I’m married and have two little boys who keep me on my toes.  I used to teach elementary school, but recently decided to quit and start a small sewing business.  I would consider myself a partially “crunchy” mama, who is somehow both extroverted and a wallflower.   


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Babywearing and Friendship

When I first heard the term babywearing I was very hesitant and didn’t even know where to begin. I was so scared; I know there was no reason for that now.  When my oldest daughter was born I wore her once or twice in a cheap carrier from a big box store and disliked it so much that I just knew that was all there was to offer for babywearing, so I gave up quickly.  When my second daughter was 5 months old I went to The Great Cloth Diaper Change in Tulsa.  I was immediately amazed at all the beautiful carriers and all the different ways all the sweet babies were being worn, but of course I was too shy to ask anyone about them.  Finally when my daughter was 10 months old I decided on what would be my first carrier, a Kinderpack.  And wow, I went crazy from there. I quickly started watching many YouTube videos and purchased my first wrap, Girasol Double Rainbow.  I then joined travelling wrap groups and that right there is how I started making some pretty awesome babywearing friends.  It is amazing how one thing can bring great friends together and you know they will be lifelong friends even though you may never actually meet them.  I have also met some pretty awesome local mommas through Babywearing Around Tulsa and Checotah Babywearing Mamas’ Facebook groups.  We may not see each other all that often but when we do we always have lots of fun just chatting about what we have been up to lately, we also will do the occasional shout out if we see each other while out shopping.
What are some ways that you have made new friends because of babywearing?

Mandi is a mom to two beautiful little girls. Mandi gets to practice babywearing in her home daycare often. In her spare time Mandi loves to be with her family and go to craft classes with her friends.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

International Babywearing Week 2014

It’s almost that time of year again - the air is getting cooler, pumpkins are starting to appear, brightly colored leaves flutter from trees… BABYWEARING WEEK IS COMING! This year, International Babywearing Week is October 5-11 and the theme is “Share the Adventure.”  The purpose of “IBW” is to celebrate, promote, and advocate the benefits of safe babywearing. It is a time to join together as a community to embrace and support one another while having fun and winning some awesome prizes!  The Instructors of Babywearing Around Tulsa have put together an awesome schedule of events, both in the community and online, that are sure to fit into everyone’s schedule and brighten your day!


This year we are again doing the infamous “Scavenger Hunt.” A highlight from last year, and beyond fun, this year’s “hunt” promises to bring back old favorites and fun new challenges. Watch for posts from Ashley for more details on how you can get in on the action!

I will also be doing a week long “Carry Challenge.”  As IBW is a time to embrace our community and encourage others to join, we will have a variety of carrys AND carriers in this challenge, so everyone will have the chance to participate. Don’t have a wrap/RS/SSC? Meet up at one of the in person events to snap your challenge pic! There is a fun online “mystery prize” for those who meet the challenge!

“Ask an Instructor” is a new addition to our weekly activities where each Instructor will have a day to answer questions on the facebook page. These can be wearing questions, behind-the-scenes questions, or getting to know them a little better. Done in “AMA” format, this promises to be a fun interactive event!

We will also have a “Daily Picture Thread” with a themed photo for each day of the week!

There will also be a week-long “dip” for a handwoven doll wrap donated by a sweet member to raise money for our Lending Library! Wouldn’t your baby look adorable wearing THEIR baby in this? Is it possible to be jealous of a toddler’s wrap? :)

Babywearing around Tulsa has partnered with “The Babywearing Draw” on facebook to raise funds for our Lending Library. Tickets are $3 with the chance to win multiple incentive prizes and HALF the total funds raised! The LL with the highest number of ticket sales is automatically entered into a 3rd 50/50 draw! So every ticket counts! The last time it was done more than $400 was raised for each library - let’s see if we can beat that record! More information on our Facebook page or ask an Admin.


  • Sunday October 5
    • Online -
      • Start of Carry Challenge and Scavenger Hunt
      • “Starting Out Sunday” picture thread - Show us your FIRST babywearing picture

    • In Person - 
      • Babywearing FLASH MOB at Guthrie Green! Music starts at 2:30, come and go starting at 1:00. Grab your favorite carrier and join us for what hopes to be the biggest group of babywearers Tulsa has ever seen in one place!

  • Monday October 6th
    • Online -
      • Ask an Instructor - Somer
      • “Matching Monday” photo thread done in the fun “Uno” style format

    • In Person -

      • Babywearing 101 Ballet Class informational lecture at Tulsa Ballet Studio K (45th and Peoria) 4:30. This class is free and open to the public and will discuss the benefits of safe exercise while babywearing (specifically Ballet) while showing a few preferred carrys. Those interested will have the opportunity to enroll in the class following the lecture.
      • Family Picnic at Zink park at 5:45 - head on over from the lecture, or just come on out! Bring your blankets and join us for a family style picnic and enjoy Tulsa’s beautiful fall weather.

  • Tuesday October 7th
    • Online
      • Ask an Instructor - Tiffany
      • Travelling Tuesday photo thread - Show us your pictures while traveling or just on-the-go babywearing

    • In Person
      • Riverside Walk
        • Morning walk meet at 10:00 AM at the 41st Street Park
        • Afternoon walk meet at 3:30 at the 96th Street Park
      • Broken Arrow Play date at Central Park off Main, 6:00 PM.

  • Wednesday October 8th
    • Online
      • Ask an Instructor - C.J.
      • Wacky Wednesday photo thread - Let’s see those silly babywearing moments!

    • In Person
      • Babywearing Mini Photo Sessions at Woodward Park, 9:30AM. A variety of local photographers have agreed to provide participants with 2 edited photos for a $5-10 donation to the lending library!
      • Soft Structured Carriers Class - This class with cover the fundamentals of Soft Structured full buckle carriers as well as front, hip, and back carries. A variety of brands and sizes will be available to help you find the perfect fit. $15 for the class and sign up is required (join under “events” tab in facebook)

  • Thursday October 9th
    • Online
      • Ask an Instructor - Ashley
      • Throwback Thursday photo thread - Show us your favorite babywearing picture from the past.
      • The Babywearing Draw Lending Library incentive dip ends!
    • In Person
      • DIY Suck pads and Woven Wrap repair class 10:00 AM (location to be determined). Bring your prettiest fabric and a sewing machine (if you have one!) and make some suck pads for your SSC (snaps available for nominal fee). OR does your woven wrap have a snag or pull? Bring it out and we will teach you how to fix those pesky problems!

  • Friday October 10th
    • Online
      • Ask an Instructor - Rachel
      • Favorite Friday photo thread - What is your all time favorite babywearing picture?

    • In Person
      • Zoo playdate! Meet at the globe between 10-10:30 and go at your own pace. We are NOT encouraging anyone to go as an entire group (it’s too overwhelming) but smaller groups after we get a couple of pictures at the globe.
  • Saturday October 11
    • Online
      • Snoozing Saturday photo thread - let’s see those angelic sleeping worn babies!

    • In Person
      • Day out at the Aquarium! This is a come and go event all day. We are contacting the Aquarium about a BWAT discount and will get those details to you as soon as we have them.


We have amazing members who have graciously agreed to donate some fabulous prizes for the various events throughout the week, more details on these later, but a sampling is: A free LL Membership, Scentsy warmer and wax, a babywearing mini photo session, birth doula gift certificate, custom drool pads, Galaxy dyed mommy and me set, a gauze wrap, amber teething necklace, lemonberry cloth diaper, wool dryer balls, wrap scrap teething necklace, custom birthday tu-tu set, AND MORE!*

I can't wait for all the fun this week will bring! I hope to see each and every one of you spreading the babywearing love online or in person! If you have any questions please contact an admin.

Tiffany Johnson is the Babywearing Around Tulsa Lending Librarian. She has received her babywearing training through the BWI conference as well as through practical, hands-on teaching. She is an extended breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, attachment parenting mama to three beautiful children. She is currently taking a leave of absence from her career as an estate planning Attorney to focus on her home, family, and special needs child. In her spare time she loves crafting, reading a good book, red wine, all things geeky, and spending quality time with friends and family.

*BWAT is ALWAYS looking for prizes for various giveaways, if you have something to donate please contact an admin (we will always advertise WAHM donations with links to etsy stores or facebook pages)

Monday, September 22, 2014

I'm New and Lost


Are you new to babywearing?  Or maybe you still haven't found that perfect carrier for you or your child?  There's so many options that it can be a bit overwhelming.  

First what is babywearing?  Babywearing is using cloth to wear your baby or young infant.  This allows you to comfort your child while still being able to get things done, if you so choose hehe.  It ranges from essential for many parents to an art form.  And of course there is always a price range to normally accommodate all budgets.  

Are you semi local to Tulsa?  If not, feel free to email and we will help point you to the closest group that we are aware of.  Okay so I'm a bit biased but Babywearing Around Tulsa (BWAT for short) is an excellent resource for you to take advantage of.  BWAT has two FREE meetings per month (monthly and mid-month) that cover safety as well as a brief 101 that showcases all the main options you have to wear your baby.  In addition to the free meetings, BWAT also offers small classes on specific topics for a small fee.  Fees go to benefit the group as well as the instructors gas and time.  Likewise private consultations can be done at the discretion of the instructors for an agreed upon price.  
Instructor Somer demoing a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) during Babywearing 101

But where do I start?  Come to a meeting!  Immerse yourself.  Babywearing (BW/BWing) 101 talks about airway safety, spine and hip development as well as comfort for the wearer.  It also goes over the 4 major categories of carriers: Woven Wraps, Mei Tais (pronounced "may ties"), Ring Slings (RS) and Stretchy Wraps (Moby, Boba, etc), as well as Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs) like Boba, Tula, Kinderpack, Ergo, etc.  A demo of a front carry in each carrier will be shown.  In addition to the educational aspect of the meeting, you'll be given approximately an hour to visit stations and even try on a carrier or two.  Will you walk out knowing which carrier is perfect for you, possibly.  More than likely you'll have a better idea of what you would like to try.

Trying on carriers is great, but I don't think I will know if it's the perfect carrier for me in just 5 minutes?  How right you are!  Only time wearing will really determine if that carrier is your ideal comfort for you and baby.  BWAT has another resource.  We call it a Lending Library.  

What is a Lending Library?  A Lending Library (LL) is basically a library of wraps and carriers for member check out (normally 2 weeks to a month).  A Lending Library is great though, as it allows members to actually see if carriers will work for them before they buy them. Our Lending Library is constantly growing and we are striving to obtain more variety. We'd love any carrier that you would like to donate or any amount that you are willing to give. Donations will be accepted at our meetings or via paypal at

What's the cost of membership to the LL?  For BWAT we have a yearly membership cost of $20.  If the carrier is damaged or not returned while it is in the member's possession it is the member's responsibility to replace it monetarily (that's the small print :)). To ensure the ability to charge the member for the replacement or repairs cost we hold either a signed credit card slip or a signed blank check in a lockbox that is only accessible by two leaders; the Librarian and the Treasurer.  All damages and costs will be discussed with you prior to charging you.  However if you fail to communicate in a timely manner you will be charged.

So I'd like to try x carrier, how do I go about checking it out?  BWAT has a large LL however it's also popular.  Some carriers are checked out every chance and others go months between check outs.  To simplify the process for our Librarian we have a digital wait list.  You do not need to be a member before signing up for the wait list.  You can only check one carrier out at a time.  Prior to our monthly meeting Tiffany will tag all members that are up for a carrier (and which carrier).  If you can not make the meeting then the carrier will go to the next person on the list that isn't up for a different carrier.  Yes this means that at times the ninth person gets the carrier.  After 11:30 am at our Saturday meeting the LL carriers that have not been picked up become available to check out to the members at the meeting.  This happens a lot!

So when can I check out a carrier, when is it due, what if I can't make it to the Saturday meeting?  Check outs occur at the monthly meeting as well as our mid-month meeting only.  Most carriers are due back by the next monthly meeting (if you can not return the carrier by the start of the meeting then it needs to be returned to a leader BEFORE the meeting).  Late fees accrue for late (even if it's during the meeting) carriers.  BWAT requires and needs the carriers for members and non members to try on during the meetings so this is important!  No carriers can be checked out before the meeting for this reason.  However if you can't make the Saturday meeting you can see if a carrier you want has been returned or not checked out at the mid month meeting or contact Tiffany about picking up a non checked out carrier from her in between meetings.  Some carriers are on two week checkouts which means they need to be returned at the mid-month meeting.  

So where is the wait list? It can be found here:
or if you are mobile:

Now I'm on the wait list and I've been tagged, how do I pay my membership fee?  You can pay by cash, check, or card (for a small processing fee) at the meetings.  You can also PayPal the $20 gifted (friends and family) to prior to the meeting.
Link to pay for membership via PayPal:

Okay so I'm now a member and this will be my first meeting, what can I expect?  First you'll sign in at the meeting and attend BWing 101 (if you arrive in time).  Next you'll visit the stations and play with the carriers.  You'll fill out our Lending Library Form (for every check out) and turn it in.  You will be verified for a current paid membership as well as a "deposit" on file.  At 11:25am carriers are released to be picked up and a leader or volunteer will check to make sure you are leaving with the correct carrier.  If you need to pay your membership fee or submit a "deposit" a leader will be available to assist you at the meeting.

If you would like to print and fill out the forms to bring they can be found here: and

Have other questions?  Feel free to post in group.  

Happy Babywearing!

C.J. North is the Babywearing Around Tulsa Treasurer.  She is a Babywearing Institute Scholar working on certification.  C.J. stays home with her 3 kids and manages the allergy and special needs of her family while being overly addicted to research.  In her rare spare time she enjoys crafting, reading, photography, and playing video games.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Wrapping Journey

I’m a wrapper!!! I’ve wanted to say that for so long and now I can.

One year ago when my second daughter was born I entered into the wonderful world of babywearing. I had an Ergo which is a great carrier, but was determined to master wrapping.  I mean how hard could it be? All those mamas on YouTube made it look so easy. Making a seat in one graceful movement, perfect gliding passes…yeah not so much. I was having the hardest time figuring out all of the different carries. You should have seen us after trying our first back carry. There were definitely tears.  My daughter was crying too. She was super wiggly, I couldn’t get a good seat and passes would not pull tight.  (Don’t worry. I always practiced over a bed as any new wrapper should).  I don’t know exactly what it was. Maybe it was just my stubborn nature.  But every time I said I was going to quit something always brought me back to practice again.When my daughter was about 6 months old and after watching countless YouTube tutorials, I finally learned how to get her up on my back safely. A couple months after that I could get her up on my back fairly easily. I was even getting pretty decent at spreading passes. However, it still was not completely comfortable to me or my daughter and definitely not my first choice of carrier. I would still reach for a buckle carrier first. Not that there is anything wrong whatsoever with a buckle carrier. But I wanted to like wrapping. Correction, I wanted to LOVE wrapping.

I don’t know when it happened exactly.  But one day I was wrapping and it just worked. It felt right. After all those months of practice, tears and sweat, it just clicked and I wrapped my almost one year old with ease.  Then it happened again! And before I knew it I started choosing wraps over buckle carriers. It was even super comfy.  I was a wrapper!!! It may have taken almost twelve months but it happened!

Now, I am not writing this to, flaunt my “wrapping skills” or anything like that. I’m writing to encourage every person out there who wants so badly to wrap but feels that they just can’t.  Who wants to so badly to do a back carry but just can’t make a seat or tighten those rails. Who thinks that if he/she can’t master wrapping in a couple months they must be a failure. You are not a failure. You are learning a new skill and it takes time.

Here are a few tips I have gathered over the year that can really help the wrapping journey.

1.       Find a babywearing group. If you don’t have one in your area, at least join one on Facebook. They are an endless fountain of support and knowledge. I am eternally grateful for my group Babywearing Around Tulsa. I could not have made it this far without the lovely women I met in that group.

2.       Don’t give up after a couple tries. Be patient.  It may take some people longer than others but with time you can do it. Don’t hold yourself to a time table.

3.       If possible try a few different wraps.  Different blends, weaves and thickness can make all the difference in a wrap job.  Now I understand I’m not made of money either.  That’s why I became a compulsive churner.  I have rarely owned more than one wrap at a time. With being able to trade or sell what I currently had I have been able to try a bunch.

4.       Don’t make the mistake I did and try back carries before you have mastered front carries. There are things you learn when front carrying that are essential to back carrying. Believe me. You will save yourself a lot of trouble.

5.       Lastly, don’t lose sight of what babywearing is about.  Don’t let the desire of obtaining a skill make you lose out on the bonding experience between you and your baby.  If you are getting frustrated, take a break. Carry your baby how you know best. Kiss their head and breathe them in.  After a few days or weeks try again.

I hope my ramblings have helped a little. I wish you all the best in your own babywearing journeys.

Blessings and happy babywearing


Megan Kloker is a God-loving, babywearing, cloth diapering, health nut who loves being a stay-at-home mom to her three children (Aiden, Nyah and Lena) and wife to her husband (Grant). She, grew up in Leona Valley California with her 10 younger siblings before she got married and moved to Springfield Illinois. Megan and family have since lived in Tulsa Oklahoma and have rencently moved to Fort Worth Texas. Megan loves being around people, drinking coffee and playing Dance Central.