Thursday, November 17, 2016

Geting To Know You Series

Featuring Katie Evans, CSV

Hello fellow babywearers, my name is Katie Evans. I am a Chapter Support Volunteer for BWI of Manhattan Kansas. My plan is to continue my knowledge and achieve Volunteer Babywearing Educator to be able to teach babywearing. 

A little about me, I got married in 2014 to my husband Ray and started cosmetology school. While in school I got pregnant with my son Easton, who is now a year old. Having a rough pregnancy gave me a lot of time to think about what I wanted when baby arrived. I had been talking to my aunt and uncle who are also babywearing parents. They bought my first carrier, a Brave Tula, before Easton was born. Our babywearing journey started at around 3 months when I came to my first meeting.

I didn't think we were wearing correctly but after reassurance, we were good to go. We soon decided to get our first woven wrap and although at first I got frustrated and honestly hated wrapping I have grown to love it. My personal collection has grown a lot since the beginning.

  Some of my hobbies include crocheting, sewing, cooking, photography, baking, and being outside. I self taught myself how to crochet 2-3 years ago. I have been cooking since the age of 3. when I was mixing my moms birthday cake on the kitchen floor with out a bowl. You could say cooking has become my life as I now am a cook at a nursing home, and I am very passionate about it.
If there is anything you would like to know about me feel free to ask I'll be happy to answer.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

International Babywearing Week 2016

International Babywearing Week is a time for us to celebrate Babywearing. It's an entire week to recognize and advocate for the many benefits Babywearing brings to caregivers and babes.

Here at Babywearing International of Manhattan Kansas we have many events to attend and some online partying planned for you. We will start with a BWI Sustaining Members wrapping party, a night of online games, an awareness/celebratory walk at Manhattan City Park followed by Lunch at AJ's Pizzaria, babywear around the zoo and finally we will be collaborating with The Carrying On Project's Fort Riley playdate group for a Pumpkin Pickin' Playdate!

The Deets:

Becoming a Sustaining Member has its perks, like FREE library rentals and Members Only Events. We're kicking off International Babywearing Week with our first MOE, an evening wrapping party! If you've been wanting to buy a membership now is a GREAT time. We will have our library wraps along with our educators personal wraps, you are very much encouraged to bring any of your own to add to the pile! Educators will be there to demo, help out and geek with you over the many aspects of wrapping and the beautiful textiles we use.

{image: a stack of wraps from our library, top to bottom: red purple green maroon and blue. A logo for BWI of Manhattan sits above the wraps. Text says Sustaining members wrapping party, Manhattan library Wednesday October 5, 5-7pm. Join us for wrapping demos and textile geeking! An icon for international babywearing week is in the bottom corner, image of a maroon teal and yellow sling with the words Best Seat in the House across it}

If you'd like to join us as a Sustaining Member you may do so here

Meet us at the Manhattan City Park on Poyntz at 10am for our second Annual Babywearing Walk! Bring signs to show your passion and appreciation for the many benefits of babywearing. We will walk to AJ's Pizzaria for lunch. Receive 10% off your order, just tell them you're with the BWI group!

{image: text "IBW 2016 Babywearing Walk" on city park background, 3 stick figures wearing stick babies holding signs. One says "I heart B W," the rest have the above stated text. An icon for international babywearing week is in the bottom corner, image of a maroon teal and yellow sling with the words Best Seat in the House across it}

Saturday October 8th we will be at the Sunset Zoo. Get there before 10am for free group admission! Our online silent auctions for our amazing goodies starting October 1st will be closed and winners can pay/pickup at this event.

{image: An icon for international babywearing week, image of a maroon teal and yellow sling with the words Best Seat in the House across it the text says "sunset zoo Saturday October 8th meet at 10am for free admission"}

TCOP Fort Riley and BWI Manhattan would like to invite you for an afternoon at the A&H Pumpkin Patch in Manhattan, October 9th from 2-4pm. Let the cashier know you're with us to receive your discounted admission at $6 a person. Play in the corn pit, pick a pumpkin and have fun.
Join TCOP Fort Riley  for online silent auctions. Prizes will be picked up at the pumpkin patch, our Baby Car...rier giveaway will be at 3:30pm. Stay tuned on Facebook for further updates and details.

{image: pumpkins and a moon on a blue background, all above text in various fonts. An icon for international babywearing week is in the top corner, image of a maroon teal and yellow sling with the words Best Seat in the House across it}

Don't forget to join us on Thursday October 6th in BWI of Manhattan Chatter Group all day for games and general chatting! 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Getting to Know You Series

Featuring Jessica Whitehead, CSV and BWI Librarian
(Image by Little Leapling Photography

Hello fellow babywearers! My name is Jessica. I am a CSV for our local chapter.

A little about myself- I am originally from Texas. I moved to Fort Riley 4.5 years ago when my husband was stationed here. We have a beautiful (almost) 3 year old daughter, Addi and 2 rescue dogs, Harley and Oscar. Before moving to Riley I worked as a nanny to 3 lively young children for 5 years. I don't get much free time anymore but when I do, I love cooking and I am very passionate about ballet.

Our babywearing journey began when Addi was 3 months old, with a K'tan from a consignment shop and an Ergo that my good friend found at Marshalls. I started wearing mostly out of necessity. My husband spends a lot of time away training and Addi was a very clingy baby. Truthfully she still is. Wearing allowed me to snuggle my sweet girl and have free hands to continue with everyday tasks. I was hooked and I wore her everyday. What started as necessity quickly turned to love. I enjoyed the convenience but I loved the bonding even more. Around the 6 month mark, I attended my first Flint Hills Babywearers meeting. This is where I met Amie and Emily. I attended every meeting I could, even if I didn't need help with anything in particular. I loved the community, seeing everyone's beautiful carriers and wanted to learn as much as I could about babywearing. Shortly before my daughters first birthday I bought our first ringsling and woven wrap. I took to the ringsling right away. The wrap? Not so much! I swore on more than one occasion that wrapping just wasn't for us.. Emily gave us some pointers, we kept practicing and one day it just clicked. It was incredible and I quickly fell down the woven rabbit hole.

While I've always tried to help out at meetings when I could, I didn't become official until earlier this year. I am honored to be able to give a little back to the community that's done so much for me. I have met some amazing people and have thoroughly enjoyed watching our community evolve. I can't wait to meet you all!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Getting to Know You Series

Featuring Emily Layshock, Vice President and ABE
Hey there, I'm Emily. My babywearing journey started 3 years ago when I had my first baby, Jake. My husband is in the Army and he had to go away for a whole month of training, leaving me with a newborn, two rowdy Shiba Inus in a second floor apartment with no friends and no family close. Lugging a stroller up and down all day wasn't feasible, leaving the baby upstairs wasn't an option, and the dogs couldn't walk themselves. Holding two very excitable dogs leashes and a baby on my hip going up and down the steep concrete stairs did nothing to help my Postpartum Anxiety.
    So I got out the moby I received at my baby shower, watched a few videos, and threw the cursed thing on the ground. Not just once, that 15 foot long beast took me probably 7 tries to finally get tied off good enough to put my baby in. But the screaming child calmed right down, the antsy dogs were able to get out of the apartment and I didn't have flashes of my baby tumbling out of my arms when the dogs pulled their leashes. Sweet relief! After that I made it a point to practice with the moby between outings so I was better prepared in the moment.
    I fell in love with being able to snuggle my baby while getting things done. I made a DIY Ringsling since the weather was so hot for the 3 layers of jersey fabric. Being able to put more groceries in my cart without endangering my baby on the top on the cart was a huge plus! We wore every single day for nearly his entire first year.
    While I was figuring out the ropes of wrapping, I found a wonderful online community, BabyCenter's Babywearing forum. The caregivers there helped me learn and grow and expand my knowledge of safety and community. That was where I first heard of "Babywearing International." If anyone had an issue that couldn't be solved via the web, everyone suggested "Find your local BWI, they'll help you hands-on and they have libraries you can borrow from!" Which is totally awesome especially when you're in sticker shock from seeing the prices of some of these fancy pieces of cloth, am I right?
    Seeing how everyone was helped in that forum and knowing that local groups existed really showed me what I wanted to do, I wanted to help others and be a part of this organization, it's fun assisting caregivers online (which I still do as a Group Owner of the BBC BWing board) but seeing that moment in person when it "clicks," or when baby finally settles in the carrier, or the caregivers shoulders relax because its not uncomfortable this time, that's amazing and so gratifying.
      While talking to my mother about this new exciting world I've found, she found an organization that gives carriers to military families in need. She nominated us and The Carrying On Project sent us a cool Camo Boba3G that was a family favorite for nearly two years! Their generosity showed me how bad I wanted to help spread the Babywearing love EVERYWHERE. So now that beloved Boba is in our local library to be shared with other families and I work as a Party Rocker for TCOP leading a local playdate group for them.
    When we got orders to Fort RIley I found their local group and got to know Amie. We arrived and she accepted me right away. I began helping lead the Flint Hills Babywearers and we knew becoming a BWI chapter was definitely in our cards. Since summer of 2015, we've watched our group grow and change and I couldn't be happier. Seeing our members coming together as more than just a group but a whole community of love and support is just what we hoped to see. I'm so glad to be here with this group, they've made Kansas one of my favorite places to be.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Getting to Know You Series

Featuring Amie Santana Hudson, President and VBE

Husband, Michael, and Johnny
Hi I’m Amie, the Co-Founder of this group and President of this chapter of Babywearing International. A little about myself; I’m married to a soldier who is stationed at Ft.Riley, but I’m a Manhattan local. I went to grade school through my first year of college here. We have three children: Johnny 9, Michael 4, and Karina 2 and two dogs Cosmo & Pixie. Besides babywearing, my hobbies include reading, decorating cakes, and knitting.


When we were stationed at JBLM in Washington State, I saw quite a few moms with their babies in wraps all around the post and town. So when we got pregnant with Michael I knew I wanted to babywear and I got a Moby. Oh my! I was overwhelmed by all the fabric, but with the help of YouTube and my husband we figured out how to use our Moby with Michael. Shortly later I discovered my local babywearing group and submersed myself to learn all the knowledge. Michael was a big baby and by 6mo had pretty much outgrown the Moby and was constantly sagging so I got my very first wrap conversion ring sling and my first woven wrap. The local babywearing leaders taught me to how to ruck and I was hooked! The rest is history.


 Karina and I
When we PCS’ed back to Manhattan I was pregnant with Karina and sad to leave such an awesome and close knit community. I started chatting with Sabrina, a local mom in the Kansas Crunchy Moms group, and expressed how much I missed my babywearing group. Sabrina and I started Flint Hills Babywearers and that’s how this group got started! We began holding very informal meetings and a small library was started from donations from our awesome members. I met Michelle and Emily and saw how great they were with caregivers and asked if they would like to join us as leaders. Emily and I went on to affiliate our group with Babywearing International and become VBE’s to help spread our love of wearing our babies close. I love this group, meeting and helping caregivers has been an awesome experience I never envisioned for myself and I’m so happy that I get to do this. So feel free to come say “Hi!” when you see me at a meeting or in public. I can’t wait to meet you and help you on your babywearing journey.

How Do Meetings Work?

Find a spot to settle in


Sign in on the orange tablet


Listen to introductions and safety information


Tell us what you're here to learn


Bring your carrier to a leader or pick from the library


Get your babywearing on and meet other caregivers


Before you leave, buy a membership and borrow a carrier!





When you arrive please find a spot to set your stuff and come back to the entry table to sign in on the orange tablet, usually manned by a CSV in a white headband. About 20 minutes in an educator (orange headband) will start introductions and our safety brief. This includes examples of safe airway, proper body position and checking for comfort.

After the safety brief they will ask what everyone is there for that day. Just shout out what you want to learn or get help with. Then we will break into groups and start helping. We usually group by carrier type: buckles and mei tais, ringslings and wraps. You'll see demos and get hands-on help with the carrier of your choosing. Try on a few different carriers to see what you feel most comfortable in.

When everyone has been helped and everyone is mingling, we start library checkouts.  If you'd like to rent a carrier without a membership the Rental Fee is $10 and a collateral check for the price of the carrier you chose. This check is returned to you at the next meeting when you return the carrier. Rentals are from one meeting to the next. Manhattan rentals are to be returned at Manhattan meetings, On-Post or JC rentals returned at the next non-Manhattan meeting.

If you wish to buy a membership now is a great time to do so. It's only $30/year to become a Sustaining Member of BWI. Sustaining Members borrow from the library for free, as well as gain access to Members Only Events and Members Wrapping group. Your proceeds go towards growing our lending library, prizes for events, admin items and a small portion goes to Babywearing International parent organization to keep them running to bring babywearing safety to the masses.

So don’t be afraid, we don’t bite (but the babies might!) Join us at our next meeting, other caregivers and children are always welcome! 
You can find future events here: