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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Babywearing International of DC-MD-VA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Family Services, Human Services

Mission: Babywearing International Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support.

Results: We have helped hundred of parents find the carrier that will make parenting their baby easier.

Target demographics: Parents of Infants and toddlers

Direct beneficiaries per year: Around 500 families

Geographic areas served: Washington, DC Metro area

Programs: Monthly meetings around the DC Beltway to teach new parents about the benefits of babywearing and how to babywear safely and comfortably.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Marni C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found this group when my son was 3 months old and screaming every time I tried to wear him in a carrier. I literally wept tears of joy when a friend recommended them as a place to help me wear my son comfortably. At the first meeting, they corrected my wearing "errors," and found me a carrier that fit me and my son perfectly - I was hooked! I became a member on the spot, and began going to monthly meetings, trying out a different carrier each month. Two years later, I still wear my son, and now volunteer as the librarian for one of the meetings. It's an amazing, helpful, loving group of people - I don't know what I would have done without them!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group saved my sanity! When my son was almost four months old, I was in tears because I wanted to wear him, but he screamed and cried any time I put him in our Ergo or Moby. At a loss, I googled Babywearing, and found that there was going to be a meeting in my neighborhood just a few days later! I took my carriers and my son with me, and became a member that very same meeting. The helpful Volunteer Babywearing Educators (VBEs) found a couple of other, different carriers that fit my body better, and I have "checked out" a different carrier from their library every month since then. Proud to say I wear my baby every day since finding them, and whenever other parents ask me about my carriers, I tell them about this group. They have definitely changed my life. Incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, and kind!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group is wonderful for anybody who wants to learn about babywearing. They are warm, open, and helpful. There are regular meetings that can accommodate anyone's schedule. The carrier library is stocked with carriers for anyone to try. Every new parent in the area needs to take advantage of this amazing resource!

Heather115

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended my first meeting in September 2013 with my 2 month old daughter. I knew nothing about baby wearing at that time. The volunteers were very friendly and very well educated about all the various types of baby carriers. I left with a greater knowledge of baby wearing and a ring sling for my daughter and I to try out. My daughter and I couldn't be happier that we became involved in this group!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I found this group when I bought my first woven wrap. They've been incredibly helpful trying different types of carriers and I love the monthly rental library. Some of my favorite carrier options were found through their lending libraries. All the VBEs are incredibly sweet and helpful, so much so that I'm considering becoming one to "pay it forward". Everyone leaves the meetings with a better brighter outlook on babywearing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always been an avid babywearer, but until I learned about BWI of DC-MD-VA, I had no idea about the diversity of babywearing options available, or that there was an incredible community of support and education. I attended the BWI International Conference in 2012, and was so impressed by the education I received at the conference. Every month, I find the members welcoming, and I am constantly continuing to learn new things about babywearing options and safety from the other members and volunteers. I have made so many great friends through my work with BWI.

Esmeralda H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started attending the BWI meetings in July 2013 when my son with a newborn. I arrived to the meeting knowing very little about baby wearing, and left knowing about all different types of carriers. The VBEs were very knowledgeable and patient with us newbies. They displayed a passion for what they did that planted a seed in me. That seed has blossomed and now I am very passionate about babywearing. Though they do cover the basics at every meeting I learn more and more which is why I keep attending even after I discovered the perfect carrier and carry for my now three month old. I hope to soon become A volunteer babywearing educator so that I can help other parents in their quest to be closer to their babies. While there are other sources from which I learned, I keep returning to the BWI meetings, not only for the knowledge, but for the camaraderie and like-minded conversation of the other babywearing mamas. It is a very comfortable and laid-back environment where I don't have to worry about my two-year-old and her shenanigans because I know that the other mothers understand what it is like.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I discovered this group shortly after moving to the DC area and after the birth of my second son. I had worn my first quite a bit, but the wonderful leaders showed me various options and tips to take babywearing to a whole other level. It has greatly helped me in managing two young children. A huge help and a great support group!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Before I had my first child, I knew nothing about babywearing, as no one in my family has done it in recent years. However, babywearing came naturally to us from birth, and this group has helped expose us to a variety of carriers and methods, as well as the opportunity to borrow carriers from their lending library. It has also been wonderful to meet other like-minded local parents.

We have been members now for two months and our daughter loves to be wrapped! I intend to continue our membership for as long as we are wearing our daughter, and probably through to our next child.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I discovered this group after my first child was born. I was intrigued by being able to wear my baby so I could be hands free. When I attended my first meeting, everyone was so friendly and helpful, and they showed me how to successfully wear my 6 month old in a sling. The sling was my best friend for several months. When it was recalled, the group let me borrow one from the carrier library, which was so helpful. Volunteers also showed me other carriers and helped me learn how to use them, which led to my purchase of a mei tai and a soft structured carrier.

With my second child, I used all 3, plus a Moby, almost constantly. I had been so intimidated by wraps but they patiently showed me how to tighten the wrap and safely carry my baby.

Three kids later, I'm still babywearing! With my 3rd, it was even more important to have him wrapped up as I cared for his sisters. I went back to another meeting and everyone was just as welcoming as I remembered!

I have recommended this group to many of my pregnant friends and others with newborns/infants.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group is awesome. When my baby was 3 weeks old I needed help figuring out how to use one of my carriers, walked away with loads of info and better options for me and baby :)

Lindsey17

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my daughter was younger I was having trouble getting comfortable with wearing her and the carrier I had didn't fit us properly. I went to BWI of DC-MD-VA meetings and was able to meet an amazing group of women who helped me get more comfortable with babywearing in general and steered me in the direction of a carrier that fit well and was comfortable. Babywearing has changed my life and made it so much easier. I am extremely grateful to these women for helping me with an incredible life skill.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently had my first child and prior to her birth I read a lot about the benefits of babywearing. I stumbled onto this group accidentally when I moved here from out of state and I am so glad that I did. Not only have a gained a wealth of information about babywearing from this wonderful group of women but I have also found a group of like minded women who are not only mentors but friends. Finding this group for me was like finding home.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I had my first child in March 2011, I did what most new parents do when they take their child places...I hauled him around in his car seat or a stroller. When he was about 3 months old, I found myself struggling with the weight of the car seat and finding that a stroller wasn't always the best option. I thought to myself, "There has GOT to be a better way to do this." Through a local cloth diapering store, I purchased my first carrier, an ERGO original and one of the employees there told me about BWI of DC-MD-VA. She told me that it was a great place to go to learn to use my ERGO confidently and to learn about other kinds of carriers. Going to that first meeting was one of the best things that I did when I was a new mom. The VBEs helped me to be confident in using all different kinds of carriers which has been a truly invaluable skill. Not only that, but I made a bunch of new friends in the process.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I became pregnant I knew that I had to find an alternative to infant car seats and strollers. I found wraps and taught myself a few carries. I really learned a lot more when I started attending babywearing meetings. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. The ability to try on many different wraps and carriers is priceless. Whether you want to babywear occasionally or daily you can learn something at a Babywearing International meeting.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so glad I found this group. I was able to try a carrier to see if it worked for me before I bought one. The meetings are fun to attend to see the kids at various ages playing together and I've learned something new each time I attend. I appreciated more that the volunteer babywearing educators were willing to help my husband try babywearing. They patiently worked with him as he tried several styles of carriers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm now a volunteer, but started as a client served. We moved to this area when my first daughter was 18 months old and I was newly pregnant with my second. Not only is this group full of helpful, knowledgeable leaders but the whole group is incredibly friendly and fun to play with. We have gone from just coming to meetings to now going on playdates and having lunch with other members, and it's been wonderful to find other parents that I have things in common with and that are fun to be around. Now as a volunteer I enjoy helping others find the tricks that make it work, just like I did.

Anna36

Client Served

Rating: 4

My husband and I were shopping at our local cloth diapering store and were hoping to check out their inventory of fabric and soft structured baby carriers. As dumb luck should have it, Beltway baby wearers were hosting a seminar there! We sat in on the seminar and were pleasantly surprised by how easy to understand, relatable, and informative the host was! She discussed the benefits of baby wearing, demonstrated multiple carries, and spoke about the pros and cons of a wide range of carriers. Best of all, she stayed after the seminar for more QandAs as well as to physically show us how to use whatever carrier interested us!! I am so thankful for the seminar! We learned so much, but I think more importantly, we left there with a real knowledge and safety for wearing our baby!!! We have since worn our little one everywhere! He loves taking long walks especially! He gets such good sleep, and we can get sooo much done- not to mention the comfort in knowing he is safe and protected! I have since been an avid reader of their blog and have purchased two (more) baby carriers! We are hooked :) I cannot say how lucky we are to have "lucked" into finding them!

Maria58

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a third-time mom, I thought I had seen-it-been-there-done-that, including carrying/wearing my baby (I owned three carriers). But as new aches and pains surfaced with my favorite carriers, I needed some new options in the mix. Babywearing International really helped me out! At a meeting the leaders, "babywearing educators" I believe they are called, listened to my needs and suggested I learn to wrap, use a 6+yards of material to carry/wear my baby, then 8 weeks old. The leaders were so helpful and encouraging, I was able to learn this. The group has many different kinds of carriers, and they help each visitor to a meeting find what can work with their lifestyle and body type. Trying on the carriers is so much nicer than guessing by looking at a box or just reading reviews. Also, the women are so welcoming and joyful at sharing information and tricks and tips, they seem more like a group of friends ready to chat than simply a consulting or product resource.

Lureta M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A wonderful group of parents, they have helped me learn how to use several types of carriers to meet new and changing needs as my family grows. They also allow for trying the various types of carriers at meetings before you buy since different brands can fit quite differently, and a library to borrow a carrier for a short time to see how it will work in your real life situations.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my son was born, I had familiarity with ring slings but did not know much about other carrier options. After learning about types and use of carriers strictly online for the first year of my son's life, I attended a meeting of this babywearing group. It was so nice to finally see and try so many carriers in real life. Moreover, the people at the meeting were wonderfully welcoming and helpful. I have now been involved with this group for over 2 years, and I have watched the leaders and members of this group assist many parents and babies in a supportive, non-judgemental way. Their friendly nature is matched only by their technical expertise about babywearing and baby carriers. I am very glad to have discovered this group. 

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found BWI of DC-MD-VA after the birth of my third child two years ago. They taught me about the joys and benefits of safely wearing my baby. I was able to try many different types of carriers and learn tips to make babywearing even better for my family. I loved the welcoming, friendly, warm group of moms and dads and caregivers that make up this group so much that I decided to become certified to volunteer as a babywearing educator myself. My experience as both a "client served" and as a "volunteer" has really changed and improved my life as a stay-at-home-mom of 3 young children. I've met some amazing people, learned so much, and made incredible friends as a result of the tremendous generosity and outreach of this nonprofit group. Our group recently put on a huge educational international conference about babywearing. We welcomed attendees from all over the country and the world who joined together to celebrate and share the joys of our experiences with baby wearing and parenting in general. Without this group, I never would have experienced such a tremendous gathering of learning and sharing about a topic so special to me and important in my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my son was 6 month old (and getting quite heavy) I discovered that my Moby wrap was no longer an option and started searching for other options. I came across an Ergo carrier online and thought it was great to be able to wear him on my back. Shortly thereafter I went to a store and sure enough came across a woman using one for a front carry. I stroke up a conversation and she told me about the baby wearing group of DC-MD-VA. I was thrilled to be able to get some expert help and to even try a carrier (or three). I have worn my son ever since and can't believe it took me this long to realize how awesome this is. Due to the knowledge of their leaders it was possible for me to learn more EVERY visit. I was surprised by that. I can now wrap, sling and use a SSC with my now almost 21 mo. Thank you so much for your great support. I only wish I had known about your existence 6 (almost 7) years ago when I had my daughter. Keep up the good work helping one mommy at a time.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I knew I wanted to wear by daughter before she was born but was overwhelmed by the number of options and a little intimidated by their prices. I did the best research I could and purchased accordingly. However, I quickly learned that the only way to find a carrier that worked for us was to try things out and that could be expensive. Attending meetings with this group was nothing short of amazing. Having a library of carriers that I could try out for free at meetings was invaluable for figuring out how to carry my daughter in a way that was comfortable for both her and myself. I was able to confidently purchase a carrier knowing that I was spending my money wisely. The skills I learned through attending these meetings have had such a positive affect on the way I parent. The women who run these meetings are passionate, friendly, and welcoming to everyone who attends. I can't say enough good about the work they do.

Gwen A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I received a baby carrier as a hand-me-down and quickly realized that there were more and better options out there. I found this group on line and started attending meetings when my first son was 5 months old. I now have one more boy and couldn't have gotten through the first year or a mommy of two without all of the great guidance from Babywearing International of DC-MD-VA. I've recently become a leader and love spreading the babywearing love to friends, family and local families.

Jenni T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a new mom, I was intimidated by the number of gizmos and gadgets marketed at me, but from before I had given birth, my husband and I both were committed to baby wearing. We purchased two carriers and thought "this will be sufficient". Unfortunately, the two carriers we chose were not sufficient - one was intended for newborns and the other was uncomfortable. In my search for carriers that would suit our needs, as well as likeminded moms, I found BWI. As a result, I now own way more carriers than one would necessarily *need*, but I also am able to accomplish so many more daily tasks because of them. Now I am the mom of two girls, aged 4.5 months and 19.5 months, and I have a part time job where I can bring my girls. Without babywearing, I wouldn't be able to do my job - either at work or at home. Without BWI, I probably would have given up wearing, instead of making it a key part of our parenting approach.

Ellen S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started out as a mother that was quickly learning how much she didn't know. As family and friends watched my attempts to care for and comfort my baby in an attached way, while also being able to maintain my other responsibilities. A relation let me know a babywearing group existed that would help me acheive these goals. Before I knew it, I was pregnant a second time and needed babywearing and the support of this group to adapt to caring for two under two. I felt so indebted to the knowledge and friendship this group offered that three kids later, I am now a volunteer educator. It is very rewarding to help someone adjust a carrier to be comfortable for both the parent and child and see that a-ha moment!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful group that supports all types of parents to be the best that they can be. They have taught so many women how to embrace motherhood and take on the world at the same time. I would be lost without them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an incredible group of parents, working to help all parents enjoy closeness and comfort with their babies through babywearing. Having attended meetings in multiple states, I can tell you that this group is truly something special.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My local Babywearing International chapter (BWI of DC-MD-VA) is a group of amazing women who volunteer their time to help others enjoy the benefits of babywearing. Babywearing has been a vital part both mine and my son's life. For his entire first year he never sat in a stroller. He was content and happy to be worn on my front, back, or hip, and we were able to easily maneuver around tight spaces and places that weren't stroller-friendly. He loves to have a birds eye view of everything and be able to interact with other adults at eye level. At my first meeting I discovered wrapping and more carrier choices than I ever knew existed. I was able to borrow and try out carriers for a month to make sure I liked them before I purchased them (not through the group- they have nothing to sell). We were able to find a few other carriers and wraps that we liked and now have a nice collection to pick from. Aside from the leaders of the group being a wealth of knowledge and information on babywearing, they are also a wonderful group of moms. We have a forum to discuss babywearing and any other parenting concerns. I have friends in other states who would like to start their own chapters since they have heard such great things about ours. This group is truly a gem.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I knew I wanted to wear my baby before my first was even born. I did a ton of research online for the carrier that I thought would be a good fit for our lifestyle. I decided to purchase a pouch, a wrap, and a structured carrier.

Well, the baby arrived, and I found that I was not happy with my carrier purchases. I couldn't get my little one in the pouch properly (turns out it was too big). The wrap was just too overwhelming because there was so much fabric (over 6 yards). And the structured carrier was also too big for my frame, although it states on the carrier's website that it would fit someone with my height/weight.

Thanks to the lovely internet and a wonderful thing called Google, I was able to find our local babywearing group. I was amazed at the amount of carriers that was collected in one room. I didn't even realize that there were THAT many different types and makers. The women I met were super nice and very helpful. I walked out that day armed with new information and a plan to find a carrier that would fit me.

Fast forward to today, two kids and three years later. I am now volunteer with our local group. I teach others how to find the perfect carrier for them. I spend roughly 12 hours a month dedicated to leading meetings, assisting fellow parents with their carriers, and other misc. administrative tasks for our group.

When I became a stay at home mom, I also became lost. Nothing I read had prepared me to the life of mom. I was successful in the workforce, but as a mom, I did not feel like I had direction. Yes, I wanted to be home with my kids, but I knew that there had to be to my existence than diapers, feedings and naps.

Through BWI, I have found my niche. I am able to use my skills to educate others, interact with both adults and children, and spend my time doing something that is close to my heart. The people that I have met are genuinely kind and down to earth.

While I originally came in looking for help with a baby carrier, I have walked away with a treasure chest of information regarding life, families, and friendship.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was born on December 23, 2009. I always thought of myself as being pretty good with children; I babysat A LOT growing up, I hang out regularly with my nearly 2 year old nephew, I have friends with kids. But none of these things would prepare me for a baby who does. NOT. want. to. be. put. down. EVER. She wants to be held 24-7 or more, if she could manage it.

We have benefited from the intended consequence of babywearing outside the house: like at the grocery store, the mall, BJ’s and around the house while doing dishes, laundry, and walking the dog, just to name a few! But, I also found something completely unexpected. I found a group of fabulous moms and dads who I never would have met had I not started babywearing. The members of this group are the most generous and kind people I have honestly ever met. They will literally loan you the carrier off their back to aid a parent in need. And it’s not just about carriers… they offer the best advice about breastfeeding, high chairs, general parenting, etc and will really go out of their way to help a new mom or dad. So, not only did I “find” my hands again by babywearing, I also found a whole new group of people I can truly call friend.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When my second son was born I knew that I wanted to wear him and was thrilled to find that there was a local group dedicated to helping me do that. This group really helped me to get comfortable with different ways to keep him close to me and I eventually began to volunteer with them. I'm no longer an active volunteer, but I still love all the fantastic moms (and dads) that are a part of Babywearing International and hope to volunteer again when I have another baby to wear.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found this group after the birth of my second child when I had a toddler to care for and a newborn who wanted to be held constantly. They helped me to find a carrier that would allow me to care for both of my children, and they helped teach me to use it correctly. They continued to support me in my parenting as my children grew with knowledge about carriers and how to use them with larger children, and wearing through pregnancy. They also provided a much needed social outlet during the often isolating early months of motherhood.