Hello everyone! If you’re new to Babywearing International of Oahu (BWIO), you may be asking yourself, “How do these meetings work? Do I just drop on in? Do I have to pay? Do I have to bring my own carrier?” Hopefully this blog post can answer your questions!
First and foremost, you do NOT have to pay to come to a meeting; the meetings are completely free! Anyone interested in babywearing should attend, whether you have never used a carrier before or you are a regular wearer interested in expanding your knowledge and experience. We have a wide selection of carriers of all types in our lending library that you can practice with at a meeting. If you would like to become a member, you can also borrow carriers from the lending library for an annual membership fee of $30. It’s best to sign up and pay in advance, so if you know you’re definitely interested in a membership, you click here and get the membership process out of the way before a meeting to devote more time to learning and wearing when you’re there.
When you first arrive at a meeting, you should look for the sign-in sheet and add your name. If you have a carrier to return, this is also a great time to find a volunteer babywearing educator (VBE) and check it back into the lending library.
Once you sign in, it’s time to start babywearing! Look for a VBE or Community Service Volunteer (CSV) to help direct you to the right area. They should be wearing orange headbands or VBE/BWIO shirts. Have you never used a baby carrier before? A VBE can get you started with a carrier that interests you. Do you have a carrier or are you interested in a particular type and you have questions about it? A VBE can give you targeted instruction on a specific style of carrier, whether it’s one you brought with you or one you’re using from the lending library. Frequently, the different VBEs at a meeting will each be teaching about a specific type of carrier, but any VBE can direct you to the right place to get your questions answered. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. We’re here to help you make babywearing work for your family!
Once you’ve learned about a carrier you like, you can check it out of the lending library. Make sure to find a VBE and let them know which carrier you’re taking.
Now that you’re armed with babywearing skills and maybe even checked out a new carrier, the meeting is coming to a close. We start cleaning up at 11:30 and end promptly at noon. You can feel free to drop in to the meeting at any time after 10, but please be aware that we will be ready to leave at 12 sharp.
The biggest focus of the meetings is learning how to use the different carriers. For this reason, we ask that no one try to sell their own carriers at the meetings. There is a FSOT (for sale or trade) album on the Babywearing International of Oahu Facebook page, and we welcome you to post your items there.
We also love that so many of you are passionate about babywearing, but we ask that only VBEs teach at the meetings. We know that many of you are knowledgeable about different carriers and methods of babywearing, but our insurance and liability only covers instruction by the VBEs. We want to make sure we are taking every safety precaution with our most precious babies, and we would never want any of you held responsible for accidents that may happen. However, we invite all of you who want to share your amazing babywearing skills with others to become a VBE. You can inquire at meetings or contact Steffany Kerr via email or PM about how to start this process so you can spread your babywearing passion to other families.
We hope this post has answered some of your questions about how meetings work. Check out the BWIO Facebook page for a list of our upcoming events. We’ll see you there, ready to learn all about babywearing!