Babywearing lovers from around the world are gearing up to celebrate International Babywearing Week, and Babywearing International of Columbia has lots of local, fun events planned. The public is invited to join the celebration, which takes place from Wednesday, Oct. 5 through Monday, Oct. 10 and will feature all kinds of free or cheap events and activities.
Fun, Local Events
- Babywearing yoga – Kick off the week with a relaxing, free yoga session with your baby on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m. at The Harvest Church, 4865 Sunset Blvd., Lexington.
- Wednesday fundraising dinner – Join other babywearing friends and socialize over dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 5 to 8 p.m. at Moe’s Southwest Grill, 2217 Augusta Rd., West Columbia. Hang out with old and new friends, and 10 percent of all profits that night will benefit Babywearing International of Columbia.
- Playdate at the park – Bring the kiddos and a picnic lunch to play and socialize on Thursday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Heathwood Park, 800 Abelia Rd., Columbia.
- First Friday babywearing meeting – Learn all about babywearing or just come to hang out with friends at this monthly meeting on Friday, Oct. 7, 10:30 a.m. at Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Ln., Columbia.
- Menchie’s Froyo Fundraiser – In the mood for a frozen treat? Then head to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt on Friday, Oct. 7, noon to 4 p.m., 5580 Sunset Blvd., Lexington. If you mention Babywearing International of Columbia, 20 percent of sales will benefit the nonprofit organization.
- Zoo playdate – Meet up with fellow babywearers and kids on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 9 a.m. at the main entrance of Riverbanks Zoo, 500 Wildlife Pkwy, Columbia. There are some free guest passes available. To try to grab one, join the Babywearing International of Columbia Facebook page to inquire about available tickets.
- Saturday fundraising dinner – Join other babywearing friends and socialize over dinner on Saturday, Oct. 8, 5 to 10 p.m., at Jason’s Deli, 823 Gervais St., Columbia, with 20 percent of proceeds benefitting Babywearing International of Columbia. Preregister here.
- Playdate and potluck dinner with Babywearers of the Midlands – The two babywearing groups of the area will join together for a potluck playdate on Sunday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Irmo Community Park, 7473 Church St., Irmo.
- Babywearing hike – Wear your baby, bring the stroller or let bigger kids walk for this Hike It Baby and Babywearing International hosted kid-friendly hike, Monday, Oct. 10, 10:30 a.m. at Timmerman Trail, right before the SCANA entrance at 220 Operation Way, Cayce off of 12th Street Extension. The hike is about 3.4 miles long and is fully paved.
In addition to these in-person events, there will also be online games, giveaways, auction and more fun. There will also be an opportunity to grab a spot for a babywearing mini photography session with Blue Silk Photography. Find out more details by joining the Babywearing International of Columbia Facebook group.
Benefits of Babywearing
People have worn their babies for thousands of years, but it has had a resurgence in the west over the past few decades and especially in the last 10 years. There are countless benefits for both caregiver and child, including bonding, giving baby a unique vantage point to actively learn about the world, allowing the caregiver to be hands-free while still meeting baby’s need for closeness, and even causing baby to cry less. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found
that babies who were worn for three hours a day cried 43 percent less overall and 54 percent less during the night. Whatever reasons you have for babywearing, International Babywearing Week is a chance to celebrate.
More About International Babywearing Week
“The goal of International Babywearing Week is to celebrate, promote, advocate for, and focus media attention on the many benefits of babywearing. There is no better way to do that than through a week-long event that focuses on education and advocacy,” according to a press release from Babywearing International headquarters.
There will be almost 300 BWI groups from around the world who are participating in International Babywearing Week.
“International Babywearing Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the universal practice of babywearing,” said Wendy Sparks, Babywearing International Executive Director. “Babywearing is a unique bonding activity that is accessible to all caregivers. Many local Babywearing International Chapters use International Babywearing Week to introduce babywearing to families who may not consider this option otherwise.”
The theme of the even this year is “Best Seat in the House,” playing with the common phrase. In the babywearing world, a “seat” is a term to describe the way a child sits in the carrier so that he or she is best supported. For the child, this truly is the best seat in the house, as he or she gets all the benefits of being worn, a great view of the world and endless snuggles. If you’ve been curious about learning more about babywearing or have wanted to try it out yourself, International Babywearing Week is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
Local Groups and Resources
Babywearing International of Columbia is a nonprofit organization entirely made up of volunteers who are dedicated to helping educate parents and caregivers about babywearing. It currently hosts five meetings each month that are free and open to the public. Volunteer babywearing educators have been trained and accredited to teach people how to safely and comfortably wear their babies in a wide variety of carriers.
Anyone may come to the meetings to learn and play with the group’s lending library. The library consists of about 100 different carriers, and if someone chooses to become a member, then for $30 a year, that allows a member to check out a carrier for up to a month at a time. This can be an economical way to try out all types of carriers and always have one on hand without having to potentially spend big bucks to purchase one or more of one’s own. It also allows people to try many different kinds of carriers to figure out what works the best for them and their children before buying one.