Carrying your child on your body in some form of a carrier is an ancient tradition found in cultures around the world. It may vary with carrying method or technique, but the general idea is the same—keep baby close and safe while you go about your day. It’s a parenting need to be able to function in life, not a trend to capitalize on. This knowledge needs to be accessible to every caregiver, because is it that vital tool. There are amazing certified educators and consultants (myself included) who can offer classes and consults at a price for those looking for more help and attention. But, for those who don’t want that or cannot afford it, there are amazing resources available at low or no cost as well. Please keep in mind even though some educators and advocates chose to share their knowledge freely, remember that not all do. Some paid for valuable training and acquired great knowledge over the years, they have every right to charge for their time and skills. Please respect this. Socioeconomic status should not deter anyone from wearing. I compiled a list of free resources to help on your babywearing journey.
- Babywearing International: A non-profit organization with trained volunteers with meetings and playdates frequently. This group helped me personally to start my babywearing journey and I am now volunteer with my local group to help teach others. Meetings and advice are always free. They offer a low-cost membership that allows you to borrow from their carrier library and other perks as well.
- Local Groups: There may not be an official babywearing organization like BWI in your area, but there are many local and unofficial groups as well. Check out these two links to see if there is one close to you— Wrap Your Baby and Wrapsody.
- Online Forums: There are several online forums that can offer community help and support from fellow wearers. Try The Baby Wearer and Babywearing 102 Tumblr.
- Facebook Groups: There are TONS of babywearing groups on Facebook. Look to see if your local BWI or local group has a chat group. Also, most brands have their own fan pages and chatter groups. Here is just a short list of a few more–Babywearing 102, Base Love, Special Needs Babywearing, Tandem Babywearing . Keep in mind that even though some trained and skilled educators will reply to you, most answers will probably be from other wearers. Most may give great answers and offer lots of support, but be aware some might not be so helpful. The fun of public online forums.
- YouTube: A lot of educators and advocates post tutorial videos. This was so helpful to me in between meetings when I needed a little extra help or wanted to try something new. There are tons, but here are some of the most popular (and a few of my friends I want to share)—Wrapping Rachel, Babywearing Faith ,Wrap You In Love, Brittany Brown Marsh, Amy Wraps Babies, Tandem Trouble , Twinning Mommy 101, Keep Calm and Carry Them, Wrap Your Baby, Wrap in ASL, and of course me! Most also have blogs and websites like me as well.
- Manufacturers: If you are having trouble with a particular carrier, try contacting the manufacturer for help. They usually are quick to respond to emails or messages. They also usually have a YouTube channel with videos and a Facebook page with tips as well.
- WIC: More and more WIC offices are starting to offer babywearing education classes now. Check your local office. If they don’t, suggest they do!
- Retailers: Some retailers—local and big— offer free classes (and some charge). Many Babies ‘R’ Us offer classes, too.
I hope these resources help you on your own babywearing journey! If you have more suggestions, please comment!