Post written by Kit Jenkins.
When people hear the phrase “babywearing,” they often don’t know what to think. They sometimes think of recent commercials that have shown a baby in a contraption on front of their parents while they shop for cars, houses, appliances, or any number of other things. Another vision that often comes to mind are the documentaries on NatGeo or pictures in history books of various native populations with babies on them while they venture through tough terrain or hunt for food. Both of these are correct, but when people then hear that we are having a babywearing conference, they often ask: Why?
Because babywearers as a whole are a people who like to “do”- this is why they often started babywearing- so that being a parent wouldn’t slow down their lives! We do not have ‘sit down and be still’ conferences- we have ‘get up and DO’ conferences, and the conference this summer in Washington, DC is no different! Classes for this conference include “Bellydancing while Babywearing,” DIY classes, Self Defense while Babywearing, Emergency Babywearing, Tips and Techniques, Babywearing Dads, and all kinds of other fun classes.
There are also some research classes for those who are interested, as well as how carriers are made, and action and advocacy classes. We are also offering non-babywearing classes such as signing with baby, elimination communication, cloth diapering 101, and some natural living classes. On Saturday, there is a public day that has a Green Family Expo with some GREAT vendors (You’ll have to go to our webpage to see a list!) as well as free classes for the public, a carrier fashion show, and lots of fun giveaways. On Sunday afternoon, Signing Time’s Rachel Coleman will be our keynote speaker and will be talking to us about how babywearing changed their family’s lives and made so many amazing things possible for them.
The conference is put on by a different chapter of Babywearing International every two years, and this year is being hosted by Babywearing International of DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Babywearing International is a Non-profit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support. As of right now, there are 13 chapters across the country, with many more in the process of joining. Previous conferences have been hosted in Chicago, IL and Rigby, ID.
The closer we get to the conference, the more information we’ll have for Mothering.com readers, such as a sneak peek at class descriptions, snapshots of some of the items available for sale at the Green Family Expo, and tips and tricks for a successful visit to our nation’s capital!
Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.