New in the Lending Libraries: March 2017

Thanks to generous donations from Mountain Buggy and Wildbird this month, we’ve added three new carriers to our lending libraries!

Mountain Buggy sent us their new Juno carrier. This versatile soft-structured carrier can be used in many positions including, front facing out, front facing in, and a back carry. It has a unique magnetic locking chest clip and a fabric waist band. They also sent us their infant insert to be used for smaller babies.

From Wildbird, we have both a single-layer linen ring sling and a double-layer linen ring sling. Linen is supportive, cool, and great for all ages.
These carriers will travel to both April meetings before landing in their assigned lending libraries. Come check them out! And thank you so much to Mountain Buggy and Wildbird for your support!

Lending Library Picks that Scream Spring

The Nor’easter is behind us and with it, hopefully, the last of the snow. We’re excited to start thinking spring! We can’t wait for the warmer weather and all that comes with it – including more outside time to show off some fun carriers!

From pastels to florals to rainbows, our lending libraries have a lot of fun options that are perfect for spring! Come try out these beauties at a meeting – they’re a perfect accessory for all the spring celebrations coming up! 

From the weekday library:

Top: Risaroo Kerrington Crush (Size 6), Standard Kinderpack – Unicorns, Soul Slings Linen Ring Sling – Pink
Bottom: Mimiwrap – Mei Tai, Pied-de-Poule Coral POP by Artipoppe (Size 6), Beco Gemini – Ellie

From the weekend library:

 Top: Girasol MySol – Rainbow, West of 4th Weaving – Tribute to Mothers (Size 6), Fidella FlyTai
Bottom: Comfy Joey Ring Sling – Aruba Surf, Standard Tula – Confetti Pop, Natibaby – Monarch (Size 4)

How to Rock Your First Babywearing Meeting

We get it. Attending your first meeting can be intimidating. It’s hard to get out of the house with a new baby. Or a toddler. Or one of each. And when you don’t know what you’re walking into, it can be even harder – but we’d still love to see you at a meeting so we’ve put together this quick guide on what goes down at them so you can be prepared. Consider it a cheat sheet to rocking your first babywearing meeting.

 

Before the Meeting

  • Double check the meeting time/date/location on our Facebook group or page. We don’t often switch things at the last minute, but if we do we’ll post updates to both.
  • Come as you are. So you haven’t showered in two days and are covered in spit up? It’s cool. We’ve all been there. We don’t judge.
  • If possible, dress yourself and the kid(s) in layers. Our meeting rooms are often warm (and babywearing is warm) so it’s helpful to be able to shed a layer or two if needed.
  • Bring any carriers that you have. We’re happy to help troubleshoot any issues you’re having or adjust the fit to make you more comfortable. Don’t have a carrier? That’s totally fine! We have a big lending library for you to try on.
  • Kids are always welcome but if you’re still expecting or can’t bring the child, we have weighted demo dolls available.
  • Feel free to bring your support system. Any caregivers, extended family, and friends interested in learning more about babywearing or wanting to be supportive are welcome to come along!

At the Meeting

  • Aim to get there during the first 15 minutes of the meeting. We don’t expect you to be in your seats, ready to go exactly at meeting start time but arriving at the beginning of the meeting will ensure you hear the intro and any announcements and important info we have to share.
  • Check in. We’ll need all attending adults to check in – there’s usually a laptop near the door for this. If you can’t find it, a volunteer will point you in the right direction.
  • Listen to the intro. We’ll start each meeting by introducing the Volunteer Babywearing Educators (VBEs) and volunteers there, going over some basic babywearing safety, and explaining the main carrier types we have in the lending library. It’s a super helpful crash-course for new wearers and a good refresher for seasoned wearers.
  • After the intro, we generally break into groups for more individualized instruction. Each VBE present will take a carrier type and anyone interested in that carrier can join them to learn more. Feel free to switch groups at any time!
  • Does baby need a break? Take one! We totally understand if you need to pause in the middle of something to feed or change a baby. We operate on kid time.
  • Want to take a carrier home for the month? You can! Full details on our lending library and policies can be found here. You can check out a carrier at any point during the meetings – fifteen minutes before the end of the meeting is our “last call” and then we start packing up the library.

After the Meeting

  • Still need some help with getting a proper fit? Want to double-check what you’re doing is correct? Feel free to post pictures to the Facebook group! We’re happy to do some virtual trouble shooting.
  • Have a serious mess or a stomach virus and need to wash that carrier you borrowed? Contact a VBE for washing instructions.
  • Note the date/time/location of the next meeting. Any carriers borrowed from the lending library are due in the first 30 minutes of the next meeting. If you can’t make a meeting, you can drop off a carrier at the closest VBE’s house before the meeting – just send us a message!

We hope to see you at a meeting soon!

Cleaning Carriers: A How-to Guide

Kids are messy creatures and lots of daily life happens while wearing a baby carrier. It’s unavoidable that at some point you’ll end up having to wash a carrier. Knowing how to properly clean a carrier is important – incorrect care can damage the carrier or shorten it’s lifespan – but the process can also be intimidating. We’ve put together a guide to walk you through the process and make things as easy as possible.

Step 1: Decode your carrier’s care label

Most likely, your carrier will have a label with laundry symbols telling you exactly how the manufacturer suggests caring for it. The chart below translates what those symbols actually mean.

Laundry Symbols

If your carrier doesn’t have a label, check the manufacturer’s website for care instructions. If no wash information is available from the manufacturer, you use the chart below, put together by BWI of Kitsap Peninsula.

 

If your carrier is a blend of fabrics, wash according to the directions for the most delicate fiber.

Step 2: Pick the Right Detergent

Now that you know how to wash your carrier, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it with the right detergent. It is recommended to use a liquid detergent free of optical brighteners and softeners. Wool and silk wraps require a special enzyme-free detergent for delicates.

Here is a list of recommended detergents for washing carriers:

  • All Free & Clear from Military Commissary ONLY (will have dog tags and say optical brightener free). All Free & Clear purchased elsewhere will contain optical brighteners and not be suitable for woven wraps.
  • Allens Naturally Laundry Detergent Liquid
  • Attitude
  • BabyGanics Loads of Love 3X*
  • Bio-Kleen Laundry Liquid
  • Bio-Vert
  • Charlie’s Soap Liquid
  • Citra Suds Liquid 2x
  • Country Save Liquid
  • Dapple Baby Liquid Detergent*
  • Eco-Max Liquid
  • Ecos Free & Clear
  • Ecover Liquid
  • Green Works*
  • Honest Company liquid detergent
  • Mountain Green
  • Mrs. Meyer’s detergents*
  • Planet
  • Seventh Generation*
  • Soap Nuts
  • Sport-Wash
  • Thirsties Super Wash*
  • Vaska
  • Wonderwash
  • Ecover Delicate
  • Eucalan
  • Kookaburra
  • Unicorn Fibre Wash

*contains enzymes– not recommended for washing silk or wool.

If you need to spot-clean a stain, try using:

  • Dish soap (some contain enzymes and can be harsh on fibers if using long term)
  • Buncha Farmers Stain Stick
  • Rubbing alcohol for ink stains
  • Hydrogen peroxide for organic stains
  • Sunlight

Step 3: Best Practice Tips & Tricks

Now that you know how to wash the carrier and what to wash it with, you’re ready to go – but a few more tips will make the washing process a little more gently on your carriers.

For Soft Structured/Buckle Carriers: Loosen all the webbing and clip all buckles. Remove any removable pieces like hoods or support belts. Place the carrier in a pillowcase or bag for delicates to wash to keep things from getting tangled or banging around too much.

For Mei Tais: Place the carrier in a pillowcase or bag for delicates to wash to keep things from getting tangled.

For Ring Slings: Unthread the carrier and use a pair of socks to slip over the rings to keep them from banging around.

This is how we recommend washing carriers – both your personal carriers and those from our lending libraries. If you have an additional questions about washing a lending library carrier, email us at centralnj@babywearinginternational.org.

Sources: Caring for Your Carriers by Babywearing International of Kitsap Peninsula, The Proper Care and Use of Baby Carriers by Babywearers of the Midlands, What’s the best way to wash my baby sling or baby carrier? by QuirkyBaby Blog

Welcome to BWI of Central New Jersey!

We’re a chapter of Babywearing International that’s here to help you learn about the benefits of babywearing, offer advice about choosing a carrier, or learn how to use your carrier safely and comfortably. We welcome both new and experienced babywearers. We host two meetings a month – one during the week and one on a weekend – for help and socializing, or you can pop into our Facebook group for some virtual assistance. We hope to see you soon!