Category Archives: New Zealand Babywearing Groups

New Zealand Babywearing Week 2011 Event Wrap Up – Babywearing North Shore Group Launch

ManducaNew Zealand Babywearing Week was perfect timing for the launch of new babywearing group ‘Babywearing North Shore‘.  The launch took place on Tuesday 11 October and was well supported with a great turnout.  Brief demonstrations of how to wear the main types of baby carrier were given followed by an opportunity for attendees to ask for help with their own carriers, or to try on a different type that they were curious about.  Here are some of the Babywearing North Shore team in action  (along with special guest, Jessica Richards of Slingbabies who demonstrated a woven wrap, and also explained why bag slings are a dangerous babywearing option):

Storchenwiege woven wrap

Kozy CarrierManduca baby carrier

(Images top – bottom:  Helen demonstrating a pouch sling (hip carry with a toddler); Jess demonstrating a woven wrap with ‘Scary’ the demonstration doll; Rebecca demonstrating a stretchy wrap; Helen demonstrating a Mei Tai with a sleepy toddler; Rebecca demonstrating a back carry with a soft-structured carrier).

We also enjoyed drawing winners of the products donated by the generous New Zealand Babywearing Week sponsors!!  The lucky winners are pictured below with their loot – fumbee shoulder strap protectors, Manduca front pouch, The Natural Parent magazines & a 1yr subscription, Rockin’ Green laundry detergent, OURS DVD, Tummy2Tummy Babywearing Instructional DVD and Huggalugs leg warmers.  A big thank you to the sponsors!

ManducaBabywearing North Shore meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month for a workshop style meeting, and the 4th Tuesday of each month for a coffee group meet up.  For more information visit the Babywearing North Shore Facebook page or the Babywearing North Shore blog.

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Babywearing Groups in New Zealand – Spotlight on Waikato Baby Carriers

In the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (Oct 10 – 16, 2011) we will be featuring the babywearing groups that run meetings in New Zealand. So far we have featured Slingbabies and Babywearing Wellington – this week we learn about Waikato Baby Carriers!

First, meet Kerry and Claire who run Waikato Baby Carriers – this is Claire:

Waikato Baby Carriersand this is Kerry:

Claire & Kerry answer some questions for us:

When did Waikato Baby Carriers get started and why? Our first ever meeting was 3rd August 2010.

(Claire) We started WBC because we are passionate about babywearing and its many benefits.  I used to get stopped by people who thought my baby looked snug and happy and wanted to know how/where/why etc.   It’s cool to be able to do something you love so much with a dear friend and it means we get to spend time playing with gorgeous carriers while helping other Mums.  It feels really good to be able to share the babywearing love.

(Kerry) What she said :0)

When and where are your meetings? We meet on theTHIRD THURSDAY of the month at Parent’s Place, 87 Boundary Rd, Hamilton. It’s the back room – go down the driveway and through the gate to get there.

What happens at a typical meeting?

(Claire) Our meetings are very relaxed and people just come and go as they please.  Some people come most months and some just when they need a hand.  We welcome everyone with an interest in Babywearing whether they are looking to buy a carrier, learn to use the one they have or simply have a cup of tea with other Mums.  We try to focus on safety and are largely guided by the wants and needs of the people at each meeting.  One day we might do a back wrapping demo while other days there is a lot of interest in SSCs or trying a stretchy.  Our aim is to meet people’s needs and by and large I think we manage that.

(Kerry) Our meetings are pretty informal and people can come for advice or just to connect – though our focus is to help people with their babywearing needs and we want to make sure people go away with new knowledge and/or skills.  people We will often do 2 or 3 different demos over the time period according to what people need to see as well as helping individual Mums with learning about new carriers or how to use their current carrier more comfortably. We love teaching people new tricks that make life so much easier.

I’m pregnant but interested in Babywearing, can I still attend meetings?

(Claire) We have a few Mum’s that we met when they were pregnant and they still come along now that their bubs are a bit older.  One Mum that springs to mind has gone from using a stretchy to a ring sling to a Mei Tai and now she wants to learn to back carry. It has been awesome sharing her journey with her.  When i bought my first wrap (a stretchy) I learnt to tie it well before bubs arrived so that i was confident tying it before i added the pressure of a tired/cranky/tiny baby so i think this is a great option.

(Kerry) Of course! It’s a great idea to come along and get a feel for the different carriers and ‘try before you buy’

Are baby carriers available to hire from a lending library? If so, how does the lending library work?  We do have a lending library which is a combination of carriers that have been donated and carriers we have bought ourselves – and many of our Mum’s have enjoyed taking home and trying an SSC, MT, RS etc. Lending is at our discretion and there is a nominal bond for the more expensive carriers. We also have a Tummy to Tummy DVD that is available for Mum’s to borrow.

Who organises and hosts the Waikato Baby Carriers meetings?  Claire and Kerry organize and host the meetings – though we happily would accept help from other experienced babywearers :0)

If each of you could share just one Babywearing tip, what would it be?

(Claire) Practice makes perfect (well nearly perfect lol)

(Kerry) Start with the one type of carry in the one type of carrier that you need most for your circumstances as they are *right now* – you can deal with the rest later

How can people get in touch with the group?  The best way is email (waikatobabycarriers@gmail.com) or visit the Waikato Baby Carriers Facebook Page

Babywearing Groups in New Zealand – Spotlight on Babywearing Wellington

Babywearing WellingtonIn the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (Oct 10 – 16, 2011) we will be featuring the babywearing groups that run meetings in New Zealand. Last week we featured Slingbabies – this week we learn about Babywearing Wellington!

Babywearing Wellington Sling Walk 2010

Image taken at the 2010 Babywearing Wellington Sling Walk

When did Babywearing Wellington get started and why? Babywearing Wellington was started in February 2010 by committee member Sarah Rogers. She sent an invite out on Facebook inviting Wellington babywearers to meet up for coffee, chat and sharing advice, not expecting to get so many responses! After a few informal meetups at cafes, we started holding more formal monthly ‘slingmeets’ in a community room in Petone before moving to our current venue in central Wellington at the start of 2011.

When and where are your meetings? Our slingmeets are held on the first Friday of every month in the Guest Room of the Southern Cross bar on the corner of Abel Smith and Cuba Streets in central Wellington.

What happens at a typical meeting? Our slingmeets start at 10am and finish at midday. We begin with a 15 minute presentation on a babywearing-related topic (for example breastfeeding and babywearing, stretchy vs woven wraps, soft-structured carriers). After the presentation, we provide one-on-one advice to anyone who needs it, and attendees are welcome to try out and/or hire any of our library carriers. For seasoned babywearers, the slingmeets are a great chance to catch up with like-minded people over a coffee.

I’m pregnant but interested in Babywearing, can I still attend meetings? Absolutely! We’ve had several pregnant women attend our slingmeets and it’s been great to then see them come back after their baby is born and find out how they’re getting on. Although it’s definitely easier trying out carriers with a real life baby, the slingmeets are an excellent opportunity to find out about the many different options out there and also pick up some useful tips for when your baby arrives.

Are baby carriers available to hire from a lending library? If so, how does the lending library work? Yes. We have an ever expanding collection of carriers in our library, with examples of each different type of carrier (woven and stretchy wraps, pouches, SSCs, mei tais, and ring slings). Details of what carriers are available are on our blog http://babywearingwellington.blogspot.com/p/carrier-library.html. To hire one of our carriers, people need to become a member of Babywearing Wellington (a one-off fee of $10), then it’s $5 a week for up to 3 weeks hire plus a refundable $50 bond. People can either see our librarian Emma Worden at one of our slingmeets, or email her anytime to arrange a hire at babywearingwellington@gmail.com. Membership and hire fees are used to improve and maintain the library and ensure the ongoing functioning of the group.

Who organises and hosts the Babywearing Wellington meetings? Babywearing Wellington has a committee of volunteers who organise and host the slingmeets. On our committee currently we have Emma Worden, Sarah Cronan, Sarah Rogers, Hester Hamilton, Isa Pike, Rebecca Erlewein and Stefanie Dixon.

If each of you could share just one Babywearing tip, what would it be?

Register with www.thebabywearer.com for heaps of instruction videos and tips. Just be wary of developing a sling addiction! – Emma

Enlist help of a babywearing expert and make sure your baby is close enough to kiss – Sarah C

Second-hand carriers are a great way to save money AND increase your sling collection without too much guilt! – Sarah R

Practice with new carriers or carries before you need them. Try them a few times in peace, with a fed and rested baby and a mirror before you try in a rainy car park with a fussy baby – Hester

If you or your baby just can’t seem to get along with that sling, try another carrier, another carry, and ask for help trying them out! – Isa

When you try new ways of carrying your baby (e.g. on the back, or trying a new carrier), have someone spot you who is LESS nervous about this than you are – Rebecca

Try before you buy; beg, borrow or hire before spending what can be a lot of money. As each baby is different, so is each carrier – Stefanie

How can people get in touch with the group? People can contact us anytime for information or advice by emailing us at babywearingwellington@gmail.com or calling Emma on 027 623 7069. We’d also love people to ‘like’ our group on Facebook www.facebook.com/babywearingwellington as this is a good way to keep up to date with slingmeets and other events. In addition, please check out our blog http://babywearingwellington.blogspot.com/ which has posts on various aspects of babywearing as well as details of our slingmeets and carrier library.

Babywearing Groups in New Zealand – Spotlight on Slingbabies.

Slingbabies babywearing groupIn the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (Oct 10 – 16, 2011) we will be featuring the babywearing groups that run meetings in New Zealand.  The original babywearing group in New Zealand is Slingbabies which operates in Auckland and was founded by Jessica Richards. Jessica’s initiative has inspired the formation of babywearing groups in other areas of New Zealand and we’ll be featuring those groups too over the next few weeks.

Slingbabies founder Jessica RichardsJessica answers some questions about Slingbabies for us:

When did Slingbabies get started and why?  Slingbabies started in May/June 2007, because I was answering the same questions constantly on online forums.  I held a meeting at my house which only two people came to (started small!).  Now we regularly have over 20 people each time.  I started the website in November 2007 as a central place to store all my information.

When and where are your meetings?  We meet on the first and third Fridays of the month, at the Sturges West Community House, 58 Summerland Dr, Henderson.  Our SouthEast branch meets on the 3rd Sunday of the month 1.30-3.30pm, at the Anchorage Park Community House, 16 Swan Cres, Pakuranga.

What happens at a typical meeting?  I do a little history and general blurb at the start, then go through the 5 types and their carry methods.  In the second half of the morning we do the try-on session, people can loan out carriers then.

I’m pregnant but interested in Babywearing, can I still attend meetings?  Absolutely!  We love getting pregnant mums coming along.   It is good to get an idea of what’s out there.  Unless you are going to make your own cheap wrap or similar, I recommend waiting to purchase till after you’ve seen us with your newborn and tried some.  Often babies have different ideas of what they like than we do!

Are baby carriers available to hire from a lending library? If so, how does the lending library work?  We have an extensive library.  For a $20 joining fee and $5 per sling loan, you can borrow a carrier for 2 weeks and bring it back to the next coffee morning (on the 3rd Friday) which often works out well.  SE Slingbabies also has a carrier library, but you need to arrange return with Heather.

Who organises and hosts the Slingbabies meetings?  I organise and host them, with the help of my team and some great regular ladies also.  Heather runs the SE Slingbabies branch, we are lucky to have such an expert to take care of that group.  We run on a shoestring so we appreciate any help and donations we can get.

If you could share just one Babywearing tip, what would it be?    Any carrier you use should mimic how you hold your baby naturally.  If it doesn’t do that, get rid of it!  (Wish I’d known that when I had my first!)

How can people get in touch with the group? Find us on Facebook, or contact Jess via the Contact Us page on the Slingbabies website.