What is Babywearing International?
Babywearing International, Inc. (BWI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support. Babywearing International of Wichita is a local chapter of BWI supporting Wichita, Kansas and surrounding areas.
For more detailed information about BWI mission, goals and beliefs you can visit our national affiliate website here.
What is “babywearing?”
Babywearing is the practice of carrying an infant or toddler in a sling or other soft sided baby carrier.
Babywearing promotes bonding, supports breastfeeding, can help combat postpartum depression, and makes caregiving easier. Research suggests that carried babies sleep, feed, and grow better. One study found that carried 6-week-olds cried 43% less than other children. Babywearing is not about any particular parenting style or philosophy. Any caregiver can do it: moms, dads, grandparents, siblings, sitters, nurses, or doulas. There are safe and effective carrier options for every budget and taste.
What do we do?
- We offer monthly educational meetings led by volunteers with extensive knowledge of different types of baby carriers and babywearing safety.
- Our educators will give demonstrations, answer questions, assist caregivers in finding and using a certain type of baby carrier, and offer support and encouragement to babywearing parents and caregivers.
- While we do not sell or endorse specific brands of baby carriers, this chapter maintains a lending library so that members and attendees can try a variety of carriers to determine what meets their individual needs.
- We allow carriers to be borrowed from our lending library on a month-to-month rate of $8 or for a $30 annual tax-deductible membership.
BWI of Wichita currently holds one educational meeting a month which are always free and open to the public. You do not have to be a paid member of our group to come to the meetings and get help. Meetings are a family-friendly event; babies, toddlers, parents, grandparents, medical professionals, childcare providers and other caregivers are invited to join us! We will also periodically host social events, playdates and special workshops.
There are numerous outreach activities we participate in each year; at these events a VBE will be present and working on behalf of BWI. Note that any event or activity that does not have a VBE present on behalf of BWI are not a part of our organization
All official BWI events will be listed on our public Facebook page. Please like and follow our page (www.facebook.com/BWIwichita) to be notified of upcoming events. You can also sign up for text or email notices at remind.com @ICTBWI.
You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest! You can also request to join our Facebook chatter group (www.facebook.com/groups/wichitababywearers) where you can chat with other members and VBEs in between meetings.
An important part of making babywearing a universally accepted practice is ensuring that BWI meetings, events, and online spaces are welcoming for people of all backgrounds.
Given our education mission, BWI is necessarily supportive of the basic tenets of social justice. Therefore, BWI does not condone silencing, tone policing, or otherwise oppressing marginalized groups, nor does BWI discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual on the basis of age, citizenship status, class, color, disability, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, national origin, parental status, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.
Babywearing International is committed to supporting marginalized people in the babywearing community and will support movements to correct and educate the community and companies on issues that affect marginalized cultures. We are working to update our resources in all areas. For corrected terminology, please see our blog posts and the links there to the original content in regards to #notyourpodbutai and #takebacktherebozo.