My third time in the USA this year and my first time visiting New York!
I can’t believe it’s already one month ago, happy that I finally found some time to write up all my thoughts about it and share lots of pictures!
Center for Babywearing Studies
When I looked in to doing more (babywearing) courses, to get more education, the US was the first country on my wishlist.
Not because I like to travel, but because I think the differences between education in Europe and training in the USA are pretty big and very interesting.
I’ve met Joanna McNeilly at IBC, where she did the keynote. She’s very inspiring, I could listen to her talk all day.
Joanna has done thousands of in person consults with caregivers and therefore she has an tremendous amount of experience with all sorts of different situations.
Joanna helping me put (sleeping) Emile in a carrier. (Carrier: custom Sachi mei tai)
”Always be open to the fact that you might be wrong”
One of the most important things I’ve learned from her is to be willing to learn, te recognize it’s not about being right.
Always be open to the fact that you might be wrong.
It’s hard to be unprejudiced, to try to stay flexible.
I discovered I bring quite a lot of convictions along. My views on parenting and babywearing come along with judgement. It’s not easy to stay open minded and to leave this outside the room if you’re helping someone.
If you’re a babywearing caregiver or an educator you probably know some of the (hot) topics.
Legs in or out? Facing forward? Cradle carry?
But even further you will bring along convictions that go beyond babywearing. Crying it out, cosleeping, (breast)feeding?
You might be visiting a new family with totally different views. Respecting that they are the experts on their baby and not to give unsollicited parenting tips will be hard for me personally. I’m still working on finding my way with this.
Back to the course: I’ve done both foundations and progressions with a few days off in between. I consider myself to be an experienced babywearer, but still it was a lot to learn. Changing what you’ve been doing for years is hard.
After long days trying to absorb all the information, the evenings will be filled with repetition and working on homework.
I’ve brought my 15 month old along and days were long for him too.
I will try to give a few examples of differences between different babywearing schools / courses.
Tightening strand by strand vs. tightening by sections. You can tighten by pulling every few inches, working your way through the width of the fabric, or by dividing a wrap in to 3 sections and tighten those sections as a whole.
Neckroll vs. no neckroll. Adding a little piece of cloth to the top rail of your carry (mostly just with a newborn) as an option, or just tightening the toprail without this option.
Flipping a ringsling carry. I’ve tutorials showing the difference between a ringsling carry with or without the flip.
Adding a lexi twist to the Front Wrap Cross Carry.
Learning how to teach ‘legs in’ carries vs. not teaching it at all.
The terminology and language you use when teaching can be very different.
Or just talking about different answers to questions like ”when can I put my newborn on my back” and ”when to start with multilayer carriers?”.
I loved hearing from the other participants about their experiences, either as an educator, a volunteer or as a babywearing parent.
Development and attachment are topics in the course(s) too, to provide more background information on the ‘why’ instead of focussing on the ‘how’. I feel like these topics could be a course on itself and it’s a lot of info to process if you haven’t heard it before. During progressions we’ve also talked about our business/personal goals and Joanna took the time to talk to us personally in hopes to help us on how to reach them.
I stayed at an AirBnB apt to save some money. It was my first time using AirBNB and eventhough this place was a bit dissapointing I will use the website/app again.
The first 4 days I didn’t have any time for sightseeing, as the course days are long.
At the end of the first week I got myself a metrocard to travel with public transport and explore the city.
I’ve been to Times Square several times, to Broadway, Central Park, Central Park zoo, took the free ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and I’ve been to ‘the village‘, 9/11 monument , the Wild Was Mama store and some other places which I can’t even remember right now.
For progressions Payal of Twinmommy101 / Gentleparentingtwins came to New York and we’ve spend quite some time together sightseeing. I love New York and would love to come back some day!
Wraps / Carriers
Even in New York the wrap shipments found their way to me and I received some amazing fluffymail from OobieBean & Dolly and Risaroo Wovens. I brought two full buckle carriers and one waistbeltless carrier along because I wanted the other participants to try them, I also brought a JPMBB hybrid stretchy along for this same reason. Isara and Buzzidil are both adjustable in width and are available in babysize as well as a toddler size. I also brought one of my favourite wraps, my London Sling Company Voronoi Dunaway, it’s the perfect size for a rucksack carry and is really on of the wraps that’s comforting and my go to when Emile’s not feeling well. And I brought my Liora Rae Wovens Brooke, simply because it’s beautiful! Pink and blue, what’s there not to love about it?
OobieBean & Dolly Poseidon is a beautiful handwoven wrap, very soft already and eventhough it’s thin it’s not diggy.
Risaroo makes stunning wraps, I already love their tencel/cotton rainbow coloured wrap but their mercerized cotton/cotton wraps are very nice too. They fluff up after just one wash, are easy to wrap with and with 294 gr/m² not thick but supportive and comfy enough for a heavy toddler.
At a babywearing meet I received a woven wrap made in the USA: Emmeline Textiles .
A herringbone pattern wrap, first a bit slippery but already very soft!
Great for a newborn, but in a multilayer carry also very comfortable with a heavier child.
With Payal ( Twinmommy101 / gentleparentingtwins)
I tried to take lots of babywearing pictures, here are some of them:
London Sling Company