Friday, January 25, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Beth

Earlier this month, Colorado Springs babywearers had to say goodbye to one of its members Beth White; the military has sent her away from the mountains of Colorado and to the cold state of Alaska.  Beth reflects on her babywearing journey, both as an individual and as a person who has helped the group develop into a close-knit community of babywearers:

Many wearers can pinpoint exactly how they came across the idea of babywearing, whether it was a chance encounter with someone wearing an Ergo, or coming across a picture of someone wrapping on an online forum.  But not Beth; she is a second generation babywearer!

“I’m not sure when I learned about babywearing,” she says.  “I think I always knew about it.  My mom wore me and my sisters in a frame pack and some sort of ring sling.”

“I started researching carriers when I was pregnant and bought a Sleepy Wrap and used that when Faith was just two days old. I loved it and so did she!  I went to my first babywearing meeting when she was two months old,” she says.  “I really liked being around other moms that I had a lot in common with and I wanted to make sure I was wearing my baby correctly!”

Over the course of the next few years, since that first meeting, Beth has watched the group grow, as babywearing has slowly gained popularity.

“[When] I first joined the group there wasn't a meeting for over six months after I went to the park meet-up. We slowly started getting together more regularly and formed a group of solid ‘core’ members that came to everything,” she says. 

The online move of the group from a Yahoo! Group to Facebook, she says, was also “really instrumental” in its growth.  With Facebook’s popularity and ease of use, it allowed for more interested mothers to find and connect with the group more easily.

Despite being a member of the group for over three years, Beth (who now also has a one-year-old son, Titus) feels that she can’t take much credit for the successful group the Colorado Springs babywearing group has become: 

“One of my favorite things about our group is that it’s a community effort…There has always been a wonderful group of mamas working to make any changes,” she says. 

But fellow babywearer and friend Courtney Kempe knows that Beth’s contributions deserve to be acknowledged.  In the past, she has organized events to teach people carriers, connected the group with other local organizations and ordered the group’s business cards for members to carry and pass out.  Additionally, “she is really cool about showing people how to babywear without spending a ton,” says Courtney. 

Fitting with babywearing (and the tenet of keeping a baby close as nature intended), Beth also has a fairly natural parenting style, one that includes something that, in theory, should come very “naturally,” but doesn’t always:  Breastfeeding.  She first started attending LLL meetings when she was pregnant with her daughter.  For the last year and a half, she was a La Lache League leader in Colorado Springs, sharing her personal experiences as well as supporting and educating mothers on breastfeeding. 

“I am very passionate about breastfeeding and I love being able to help others,” she says.  Also, “babywearing inevitably comes up at nearly every meeting so I love how everything overlaps.”  

The Colorado Springs group members are sad to see Beth go, but she will undoubtedly be a valuable member to whatever parenting-related groups she decides to join at her new base. 

Q&A With Beth

What do you love about babywearing? Do you have a favorite carrier/carrier style and what makes it your favorite?

I love how much more productive I can be while still meeting the needs of my baby. Faith was very high needs and I wore her a lot at home. Titus hasn't been "high needs" but when he is teething or sick and I have a three year old to take care of too - I don't know how moms manage without babywearing! And it makes running errands a piece of cake, especially if Titus wants to nurse while we are out. I love woven wraps (right now my favorite is our Didymos Marigold) for all ages and soft-structured carriers (Kinderpack) for 6+ months for back carries when running errands.

What was your motivation for cloth diapering?

Saving money and avoiding the chemicals in disposables. We use flats with wool longies/shorties.

What are you going to miss about the group?

Awww :( everything! I am so very blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful support system for the last three years. Mostly I will miss getting together with other moms and chatting for hours while we get sunburned outside in the summer.

*Written by Paula R.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Meet Local Babywearer Raina

Business owner Raina Seabaugh knows all about juggling motherhood with being a busy working mom. She and her husband own Little Monkey Bizness (a Denver-based franchise) here in Colorado Springs. They had always talked about owning a business, but it wasn't until after having their two children that they decided that it needed to be one that was child-centered.

“We looked at multiple franchises but couldn’t see ourselves working there on a daily basis, or having it be a place that our kids would enjoy coming,” Raina says. “Our very active son is five years old and he prompted us to look at opening a place where he could get out his energy, especially in the winter.”

A friend introduced them to Little Monkey Bizness, which seemed to fit the bill.

"We felt Colorado Springs needed an indoor play area that was safe, clean, and open for anyone to come in seven days a week," she says.

Despite working six days a week, owning a business where children can play has its perks. Raina can bring her own children there with her, including her two-year-old Mackenzie.

She occasionally wears her daughter in her ErgoBaby Carrier while she works. As a toddler, Mackenzie doesn't need to be worn much as a young infant; however, Raina thinks it is wonderful to have the option of being able to wear her if needed.

"Owning a business has definitely been an adjustment and I think it is important to assure my kids that I am still here for them," Raina says. "I feel that wearing Mackenzie helps in those times when I still have lots to accomplish at the business but she needs me to pay attention to her. She can say hi to people and talk to me about other things and I can still do my job."

She first discovered babywearing with her older son, who she carried in a Baby Bjorn. Mackenzie, however, wasn't as fond of that particular carrier, so they turned to the Sleepy Wrap (now known as the Boba Wrap), which Raina fell in love with. Her daughter was six weeks old when a new swim season started and babywearing helped Raina succeed in her role as a swim “coach on deck,” while continuing to fulfilling her role of a mother physically with her daughter close to her in their wrap.

For more information on Raina's business, Little Monkey Bizness, check out their facebook page at

Q&A with Raina

What carrier do you use and what do you like about it?

I currently am using an ErgoBaby Carrier. I like it because Mackenzie can be on my back and I am still able to work at Monkey Bizness. I can work the register, make coffee, clean the art room, and interact with customers easily. She’s also very comfortable and can fall asleep there if she is tired. I struggle with working-mom guilt and I love the ability to have Mackenzie close to me more often.

What benefits have you personally found in babywearing? How does babywearing help out in your home life? Does your husband babywear as well?

I think having my children close to me is the best thing about babywearing. It is the easiest way to calm an upset child and help me feel close to them even when I have to multi-task. Being a mom isn’t easy! We have to make so many things happen at once, but don’t want our kids to suffer because of all the other things going on in life. I like the conversations I can have with my daughter when I am wearing her. I think she benefits from seeing first-hand a lot of what I am doing, and I believe her speech is better because I can introduce her to more things around us. My husband did wear our older child more than our younger one and he loved it as well. I have passed on our Baby Bjorn to my brother, who just had his first child, and he loves having his daughter close to him as much as possible.

Have you gotten any comments about "wearing" your child from customers?

Customers have commented that it is nice that my kids can be at work with me, and I agree. It’s a huge benefit to owning our own business.

Would you recommend babywearing/toddlerwearing to other parents?

I really would! I think close, physical touch is so important with your children, for both the kids and the parents! As a new mom, wearing my first child made me feel less trapped, like I could get other things done and wasn’t bound to my house. It helped me get out and meet other moms, it was a conversation starter, and it calmed my baby whenever he was fussy.

I noticed that we had some extra traffic in the last 24 hours!  If you are interested in learning about babywearing or cloth diapering, please join our facebook group to chat: Colorado Springs and Teller County Babywearing and Cloth Diapering Group.

**This post was written by Paula R.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Meet Babywearing Faith

Please check out our guest contribution this month, an interview with Faith Rayland by our own Paula Rodriguez!

Considered a babywearing celebrity by many, Master Babywearing Educator Faith Rayland's YouTube channel features her techniques in using a woven wrap to carry a baby.  Her videos, (posted under her handle "Babywearing Faith"), are often recommended to new wrappers and those who are looking for tips on perfecting certain carries.

But Faith is more than YouTube famous in the babywearing world.  She has an impressive list of babywearing achievements:  She founded and is the president of the BWI's Central New York chapter.  As an MBE, she holds the highest accreditation in education Babywearing International offers.  Work for this certification includes two previous/lower accreditations, an assessment proving proficiency in the use of the various types of carriers, logged hours of volunteer time with BWI, as well as writing a  research paper on babywearing.  

She is also an evaluator for Volunteer Babywearing Educators, (the first accreditation BWI offers) and says she was "recently voted onto the Board  of Directors for BWI." 

Faith has had quite a babywearing journey, first starting out in 2007,  after her first son was born.

 "I didn't have a local group/resource for help...I had a sling, but couldn't figure out how to use it for about a month," she says.  "Once I did figure it out, I used it all the time and eventually found and got a few more carriers as my baby got bigger and my needs changed."

"I wore my younger son from Day 1 and had a lot more knowledge by this point," she continues.  "Interest in babywearing in my area was growing and when my baby was around a year old, I decided to form a group to give people the  opportunity for in-person help which I wished I'd had when my oldest was  born."

In-person help like the kind Colorado Springs babywearer Cora Kelly got from Faith herself when she attended a BWI meeting in Syracuse, New York before her move to Colorado.  

"She is just super nice and down to Earth," Cora says of Faith.  "She is so patient and helpful! I was a complete newbie when I met her and only knew how to do one carry and she showed me how to do many more online and  in person."  

Of course, at the time of their first encounter, Cora didn't know that Faith was "The Faith."  Babywearers online recommended that she check out Babywearing Faith's videos on YouTube and when she actually watched them, she was surprised and shocked to find that she had already met the famous babywearing redhead in person.

So what prompted Faith to start making those videos?

"I was having a hard time finding ones I liked," she says.  "There were and are many great videos on YouTube, but they can be hit-or-miss and I  found I was too impatient to sit through several videos to determine  which ones were helpful for me.  I hoped that by creating a series of my own videos, other wearers might trust my username and know they could count on my videos to be helpful."

Faith definitely found success in her mission, as evidenced by her YouTube view count of just over 48,000.  Cora describes her videos as easy to understand and says that the pace at which Faith explains and wraps is a "speed anyone can follow and keep up with," both traits that are important for someone just learning how to use a woven wrap.

To check out Babywearing Faith's videos, go to

Additional Q&A with Babywearing Faith:

What are your favorite BWing resorces and why? 

Babywearing International of course, and!  I have  learned so much from the other posters on TBW and I feel that BWI is such  a valuable resource for people who have a local chapter because nothing is as good as in-person support.   

What is the best advice someone has given you in regards to babywearing?  

I learned this in one of the classes at the International Babywearing Conference 2012 - that as long as you follow the two rules of "keep your baby's airway open" and "don't drop your baby," there is no right or wrong way to wear your baby.  Some carriers/positions are more optimal than others, but it doesn't make the non-optimal ones wrong.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out in babywearing and what advice do you have for people who want to help or approach others (new moms, etc) about babywearing?

For someone just starting out, get in-person help if possible.  It's so much better to try a few different carriers to find what works before investing in one, and the help of a knowledgeable babywearer can be reassuring that you're doing it safely, which increases your confidence.  For someone who wants to approach another person about babywearing, I usually just work into conversation how much I love using a carrier to meet my baby's needs and have my hands free for other things.  I gauge the person's interest and if they do seem interested, I let them know about our local group and invite them to a meeting and/or give them my card.

Do you have any favorite BWing memories?

Too many to list!  But I think the best memories are when my boys were older and not wanting to be worn much anymore, the times when they have brought me a carrier and asked to go up.