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.

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