Playdates and Learning at Grand Rapids Babywearing Group
Babywearing International of Grand Rapids (BWIGR) has been around since 2013, although babywearing itself is something people have been doing since the beginning of time.
I spoke with Kathy Low, a founding member and director of education in the local GR Babywearing International group about their mission. Kathy is passionate about babywearing and the benefits it has for kids and parents alike. Here’s what I learned…
- Babywearing is done by parents for many different reasons, from soothing colic to bonding with baby, alleviating postpartum depression, or helping a child with autism.
- BWIGR is many things to many people. Its special mix of education and community is filling a much needed spot in many families.
- You (and your kids) do not age out of BWIGR. You are welcome no matter what age/stage your child is at, and you will not be looked down upon if you show up with a stroller.
The Need for a Grand Rapids Babywearing Group
While babywearing is something people have done throughout history, it is somewhat of a lost art in our modern culture. And now, along with the resurgence in it’s popularity with parents, come questions.
I remember the first time I tried to use a Moby wrap. I messed around with it for a few days with my newborn and then gave up; I just couldn’t figure it out. Back to my Baby Bjorn carrier I went, not knowing there was a local support and education group for parents who wanted to learn how to use baby carriers.
Today, you can go to a babywearing meeting and certified (yes, they take training and pass a test on this!) babywearing educators will help you learn how to use various types of carriers and fit them to you. Parents can “try before you buy” carriers at the meetings, and, if you’re a sustaining member ($30/year) you can check carriers out of their extensive lending library for a month at a time.
Meetups and Playdates
Babywearing International of Grand Rapids is more than an baby carrier exchange.
Every month, BWIGR holds meetups– one in Zeeland and twice in Grand Rapids.. At meetings, they talk about babywearing, caring for children, ways to wear your baby and safety while wearing. They talk about activities for kids around town, shopping, and cooking…
A typical meeting starts with an educational presentation and is followed by small group time.
Monthly meetings are always free and open to the public. Come with any questions, concerns, or carriers you already have to get help from an accredited educator. All caregivers are welcome, as well as all children.
PLAYDATES are another way for parents to connect. BWIGR is very active in the community and they are constantly hosting activities all across the region.
Right now, they are celebrating International Baby Wearing Week 2016 with extra activities. You can find detailed information about their playdates on their Facebook Page.
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