I don’t know what’s more exhausting about parenting: the getting up early, or acting like you know what you’re doing.
Like all parenting obstacles, babywearing is likely something you have little experience with before your first child, and can fall under the laundry list of tasks you pretend you now know how to do. But there are support groups and experienced wearers waiting to help you.
As a certified babywearing educator, I may seem to know a lot about babywearing, but every expert was once a beginner. I had seen babywearing in public and with friends, but when I was pregnant with my oldest, I learned more details about it from a Facebook group. I knew right away that I wanted to hold my baby close to me in a carrier and I “had” to learn more. I joined a variety of Facebook groups and talked to friends who had experience wearing their babies. I had several carriers before he was born because I like to be “very” prepared. I started wearing him at a couple days old thanks to YouTube videos my sister and I watched together! When he was a couple months old, I went to my first babywearing meeting with Babywearing International (BWI). I had found my people! I learned how to nurse in a carrier and my life was changed.
I started attending meetings regularly because I liked learning new things and loved making friends who were experiencing the same things as me. When my son was about one year old, I decided to become a volunteer with my babywearing group to continue spreading the babywearing love. When he was about two years old, I went through a certification program to be a private babywearing educator to continue to educate caregivers about babywearing privately in addition to my volunteer work with BWI. Now, I regularly wear my one year old and occasionally wear my three years old and I love to continue sharing the babywearing love with all caregivers I meet!
There are a variety of ways to find support with babywearing that will be discussed below. Choose which one (or several) that could work for you!
Babywearing groups meet all over the country (and the world). BWI has chapters throughout the United States that have free meetings to provide education, hands-on help, opportunities to try on carriers, and an optional lending library with a paid membership. Members can check out a carrier every month, which is a great opportunity to try before you buy (and you’ll have a quality carrier every month). In addition to BWI, there are unaffiliated babywearing groups all over the country. The specifics may vary by group. They may provide hands-on help, official meetings, playdates, and/or lending libraries. Attending a babywearing meeting can help you pick out a carrier that best meets your needs, help you tweak the fit of your current carrier, teach you a new skill, or just allow you to explore babywearing. Not only do babywearing meetings provide hands on help with babywearing, they also are a great opportunity to meet other caregivers to talk about babywearing, kids, and life. Find a BWI chapter.
You can find babywearing educators who meet with caregivers for private consultations in a variety of locations. Babywearing educators may do group classes, private home visits, or work out of a retail location. One organization that trains ed
ucators is (there are others around the world). When you have a private consultation, you get the benefit of one-on-one hands-on help tailored just to your needs. Most educators have a library of carriers they can use to help you find a carrier that works for you or they can help get you adjusted in your own carrier. A private consultation may best meet your needs if you have a limited schedule, restrictions (such as medical, health, or physical) that impact your ability to attend large events, prefer individual focused support, or have very specific questions you want addressed. Find a Center for Babywearing Studies Educator.
There are a large number of Facebook groups dedicated to babywearing. There are support groups, buy/sell/trade groups, carrier-specific groups, and brand-specific groups. As with any Facebook group, each group has its own culture and it may take a little time in various groups to find the one that fits your needs best. If you are looking for a local group, the best bet is to start with your town or the largest city near you and search “MY TOWN Babywearing” and see if any come up. If you know there is a BWI group in your area, you can search “Babywearing International of NAME OF CHAPTER”. If you are looking for a group specific to a carrier brand you really like, you can search the name of the brand or message its public page to ask (some group names don’t have the company in the group name).
Who needs babywearing support?
Babywearing support is not just for those with newborns. Caregivers from pregnancy through preschool age (or even older) can benefit from babywearing meetings, consultations, or Facebook groups. As the child grows, there may be new questions, carriers, or tweaks to help get the best fit or best meet your needs. Additionally, babywearing support is not just for parents. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, nannies, and babysitters can all benefit from getting help wearing the children in their care.
When looking for babywearing support, you have a several options to pick and choose from. You can pick one or use a combination of the three. You may enjoy different types of support at different times in your babywearing journey. One thing is for sure: there is no shortage of support options for caregivers. Whether you like group settings, individual, or online; large groups or small groups; specific questions answered or learning a general overview, there is a babywearing support option out there just for you.