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 thebabywearer.com 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 http://www.youtube.com/user/babywearingfaith.
Additional Q&A with Babywearing Faith:
What are your favorite BWing resorces and why?
Babywearing International of course, and thebabywearer.com! 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.