What to expect at a BWI Gainesville meeting

Curious about what happens at a babywearing meeting? At Babywearing International of Gainesville, we are here to answer all caregiver needs and questions. Whether this is your first meeting or your hundredth, the following itinerary should help ease any lingering uncertainties.

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At BWI, we provide FREE consultations to the public. Membership is not required, although it is recommended, as there are many benefits! Our meetings are located at various venues; more information can be found on the facebook event page or the events page here on our blog. If there are any additional concerns or questions, please reach out to us via private message or email (insert hyperlink).

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When you first arrive at a meeting, there will be an area designated to sign in. Here, you will find a few different forms, including a safety disclosure and photo release (this is optional; photos are sometimes shared on the blog and in our chatter group). If you have any questions, there will be a VBE (volunteer babywearing educator), CSV (chapter support volunteer), or ABE (advanced babywearing educator) to greet and assist you.

After checking in, you will find an area set up for library returns. Our chapter has a Lending Library full of all kinds of different carriers for you and your family to try. BWI chapter memberships are $30 per year and provide you one free checkout from the library per month, among other benefits. Non-members may also access the library through a $10 rental fee and deposit. The carriers will be organized by style and size throughout the room, and you can find individual information on our BWI tags attached to each carrier. We try to let everyone have a chance to see the variety, so there will be a designated time to begin checkouts which will be discussed in the introduction.

There will be a short introduction of our chapter volunteers, different styles of carriers, and some Babywearing 101. We will then break out into different areas for more detailed demonstrations, usually with at least one ABE/VBE for each style carrier. If you missed the volunteer introduction, no problem! The volunteers can be identified by orange and white headbands with the BWI logo on them and will try their best to give one on one advice where needed, but this will be dependent on the size of the group as well as the number of volunteers available. If you need further assistance past the meeting time, please let us know and we will do what we can to help you!

We will make an announcement as we draw near to the end of the meeting. If you have not yet checked out a carrier, this would be a good time. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions about the carrier before leaving! Any help that you are able to give in cleaning up and organizing is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to seeing you at the next meeting!

Some things to keep in mind :

  • Children of all ages are always welcome! However, if you or your kids are under the weather, please be courteous and avoid sharing illness at BWI of Gainesville meetings and play dates. Please do not attend if anyone in your household has had a fever within the last 48 hours, has a deep cough or thick mucous in the nose, a rash, or has been sick with a stomach virus in the last 48 hours.
  • Please feel free to bring your own carrier(s) or use one from our library. If you are still pregnant or are attending without your baby, we also have weighted demo dolls to use for practice.
  • We are an all inclusive group in a judge free zone.

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Why Become a Member of BWI of Gainesville, FL?

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There are so many great reasons to join BWI of Gainesville, FL! Membership dues are $30 for a year, or $45 for a Family Membership. We are wrapping up this year’s membership drive, ending on September 30. Already, we have added six new carriers to the Lending Libraries and have given away five prize drawings. Let’s explore some of the benefits to YOU when you commit to a year of membership.

Lending Library

ll-wrap-stackThis may be the reason that most people join our local chapter. Our expansive Lending Libraries are available at each meeting to demonstrate the various carrier types, to try on new carriers, and to take one home for a month to see what babywearing in daily life is like, or just try a new carrier for the month. With the standard membership, members are allowed to take home one carrier per month. Family memberships allow two Lending Library check outs per month. All carriers must be returned no later than the first 15 minutes of the next month’s meeting.

Discounts

Did you know that as a BWI of Gainesville cardholder you are entitled to many discounts around town and on the web? Just be sure to show your card at the following locations to receive your BWI discount! For a full list of participating vendors, visit our Facebook Chatter group and look for Member Discounts in the Files section.

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Community Support

Not only do you have the support of our trained VBEs on babywearing safety, but you also enter into a community of caregivers who are here to support one another in this journey raising little ones. Many friendships have been formed over carrier discussions and wrapping techniques. With monthly meetings and regular family fun nights, there is plenty of opportunity to meet online friends in person and mix and mingle to deepen relationships, share parenting woes, and celebrate milestones together.

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By joining BWI of Gainesville you are also supporting a non-profit organization committed to education and outreach in our community. You can feel good knowing that your low annual fee is supporting our local community.

To enjoy all these benefits and more, be sure to sign up or renew your membership today!

Buying Your First Carrier

There are so many options! Where do I begin???

New Carrier - jeans source BWI Greater Houston

Source: BWI of Greater Houston

Like so many other categories of baby gear, babywearing can also look intimidating on the surface to those who are just dipping their toes in the water. There are different carrier types, but within those categories the options are endless. What is a new parent or caregiver to do? Continue reading

BWI of Gainesville Needs YOU!

Has BWI of Gainesville made an impact in your life? Do you enjoy going to meetings to meet up with new and seasoned babywearers? Do you like to geek out over carriers? Do you have administrative skills or have a passion for helping others? Would you like to give back to the community? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we have a job for YOU!

Volunteer BWI Needs you

Our local chapter is always looking for volunteers. This is a transient group (babies do eventually grow up and volunteers are always moving into different leadership roles) in a transient town (as people move on to fulfill career goals or to be close to extended family members).  In addition, we will be adding more meetings this fall and will need extra volunteers to help.

Continue reading

What is the Lending Library?

We maintain a large collection of more than 130 soft structured carriers, meh dais, rings slings, pouches, and wraps in the BWI of Gainesville Lending Library. The purpose of our Lending Library is to demonstrate the variety of carriers available to parents and caregivers and to educate the community on how to properly wear multiple types of carriers.

LL Yaro

“Last month was my first time at the meeting, borrowed this Yaro and got comfortable with the FWCC”

As a new babywearer the options can seem overwhelming, and so the Lending Library is available for caregivers to see the different varieties of carriers, try them on, and even take them home to practice. Sometimes families have no idea how beneficial babywearing can be in their lives until they bring home a carrier from the Lending Library and experience daily life with free hands. For these families, the Lending Library may be life changing. Brian Barry is one such member who discovered how practical babywearing is after borrowing the Lending Library’s Kinderpack. Continue reading

How to search Facebook Groups on Mobile

This topic comes up a lot.  The babywearing community is by and large served primarily on facebook via groups.  There is a lot of information available by searching that you can miss if you’re not sure how to do it.  When you enter a facebook group with a question, it can sometimes be helpful to search that group for key terms before asking yourself.  You may find your answer right away.  If not, asking yourself is just a tap away. Continue reading