Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Talking About TBW with Marcia

Thebabywearer.com was founded in 2003 and is often touted as a great reference for babywearing.  Although various forums and  Facebook groups are growing in popularity, TBW still hold a special place in many people's hearts and for a great reason.   The forum is a place of vast community knowledge, with contributions from members who post from all over the world.  It has a great reach and you can read wrap reviews from someone in a small country in Europe or answer the questions of someone who lives in a small city in Asia.  There are also threads dating back to close to almost a decade and it is amazing to read about the various babywearing trends that have happened over the years as well as the start-ups of several companies that are now considered mainstream.  

Colorado Springs group leader Marcia S. shares her thoughts and TBW journey with us.  

How did you find out about TBW? What made you join?

I joined TBW back in April 2008, and Micah wasn't born until Jan 2010. My cousin was pregnant and I went to view her registry. She had requested a pouch from Target, and I thought it looked like something I could sew. I Googled instructions to DIY [Do It Yourself], and found Jan Andrea's site [sleeping baby productions llc]. I think I read the whole thing that night and she linked to TBW for a resource. I joined either that day or pretty quickly afterward. I spent lots of time researching things after that, especially because I worked night shift and had free time at strange times of day.

I did end up making a cotton pouch, and started making ring slings for baby showers from Jan's instructions. Once I started reading more at TBW, I got very interested in woven wraps and bought my first one from Peppermint.com. After that, I found FSOT [For Sale Or Trade] and bought more wraps used. 

What are your thoughts about TBW as a resource? How has it helped you?

Without TBW, I don't think that I would have found babywearing as early as I did. I'm so thankful that I got a chance to learn about the options before I even became pregnant and knew what carrier (a wrap) I would prefer before Micah was even born. I'm sure people thought I was a little crazy for being there before even TTC [trying to conceive], but there was something about babywearing that I loved and I knew it from the start.

What advice do you give people who are trying to navigate for the first time?

For people new to TBW, I strongly recommend learning how to search. vBulletin isn't as user-friendly as Facebook, and it can be overwhelming to try a forum for the first time. I would tell a new person to take his or her time and explore the site. The "Choosing and Using" sections help to answer a lot of questions about finding a new carrier, and the stickied threads at the top of the forums have the most-requested information without having to search. New members would benefit from asking lots of questions and commenting often to make friends in the online community. Plus, users need 30 days membership and 30 posts to use the ISO [In Search Of] forum, so it is important to have established a presence so that you can request specific used carriers.

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