Anna H began babywearing in the summer of 2012 when her daughter, Laynee, was around 3 weeks old. Her Hotsling was a gateway drug to all things babywearing. She quickly added a SSC (the Boba 3G with the green kangaroo), a ringsling, and three wraps to her collection. Babywearing proved very helpful as she began her college career in January of 2013. As she walked across campus she turned many heads and was able to educate others through paper and speech writing. Fast forwarding to the Spring/Summer of 2014 Anna joined the VBE-it program in order to become a certified educator for Knoxville's new babywearing group, Babywearing International of Knoxville. She welcomed baby number two, Ezra, in May of 2015. She is the former librarian and current Secretary on Knoxville's Board of Directors.
Ashley T started wearing her first son 6 years ago. She started with the popular gateway carrier, Moby wrap, and also a ring sling. She was living in a large city at the time and loved the ease of babywearing versus navigating with a stroller. However she lacked support and knowledge about proper babywearing. When her second son was a few months old she discovered and got involved in her local babywearing community in VA. She got her first woven wrap, and was hooked. She quickly became passionate about educating other parents and caregivers through her local babywearing group. In May of 2013 she became a VBE through her BWI chapter in VA. Being a mom of 3, she has found babywearing to be an essential part of her day to day life. Having her hands free and still being able to meet the needs of her children has been a lifesaver and she can't imagine parenting without babywearing. Sharing and educating about the benefits of wearing has become a great passion of hers. She hopes that babywearing becomes a normal part of everyday life for all parents and little ones.
Brittany R started wearing her son almost immediately after he was born in April of 2013. She started with a Baby K'Tan and then added a Maya Wrap Ring Sling to her carriers. She then added a linen Wrap Nap Fairy wrap and learned to wrap. She has learned to use various other carrier types and has enjoyed the freedom that babywearing has brought to her family. They enjoy time in the mountains and are an active family and have found that while a stroller can be beneficial the carriers are used much more frequently. She became a VBE in December of 2014 and looks forward to offering a safe environment for learning safe and helpful babywearing in Knoxville and down into Monroe county.
Carrie P started wearing her first son in a ring sling while he was in the NICU and continued to wear him until he passed away at three months old. She enjoyed the benefits of wearing a child with a serious illness and liked that babywearing made it easier to take care of him. She continued to wear with her second son in a ring sling, and then a soft structured carrier. When she got pregnant with her third son, she started looking into woven wraps and loved their versatility. Since her third was born she has worn him in several different wraps and carriers, and loves the fact that she can wear a toddler while keeping up with a preschooler. She enjoys learning new ways to carry both boys. Her passion is teaching moms how to use all different types of carriers so that they, too, can keep up with their children and get a few things done at the same time. Other than babywearing, her passions are sharing her story and helping other moms heal after the loss of a child. Carrie just loves to see babies and caregivers bonding and snuggling in a baby carrier, and enjoys helping them with that bond.
Jenny A began wearing with her eldest daughter the fall of 2011 in a soft structured carrier. Soon she added a ring sling, but the Wrapsody Hybrid Stretch led her into the wide world of wraps. While pregnant with her youngest daughter, she discovered the versatility and ease of pods. She LOVED not having anything touching her baby-filled belly. Babywearing allowed her to return to the workforce soon after birth with her newborn strapped to her back, and she loves the bond she has with her babe from keeping her so close. Between her work with BWI and her job in a local babywearing store, Jenny loves being able to spend so much time sharing safe and reliable babywearing with her community.
Mary R has been apart of the Natural Parenting Community for many years in different roles from leader of several nonprofits like the Real Diaper Association and Holistic Moms Network and member and active volunteer of several other groups such as the Knoxville Birthnetwork and Attachment Parenting International. She is the Educator of our local Natural Parenting Store offering classes on Babywearing, Cloth Diapering and other holistic living parenting classes and has been in that role for several years. She is a local birth doula and loves working directly with new parents to give them a great start! She has worn all three of her children currently ranging in age from newborn to 16 and has experience wearing children with special needs as well as low birth weight. Helping parents find the right, affordable options to keep their children close is her babywearing speciality.
Nikki M dabbled in babywearing with a Hotsling and a gauze wrap when her first son was born in 2010. Just before her second son was born in 2013, she bought a Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid. Her Wrapsody was the gateway to the wide world of babywearing and there's been no looking back. Babywearing helped make the transition to two children more manageable and eased the challenges of caring for a high-needs infant. Nikki became a VBE in September 2014 because babywearing was such a tremendous help to her family during a challenging time and she wanted to share that with other families. She is passionate about babywearing being a useful skill for parents of all walks of life and loves to help parents find what carrier best suits their needs.
Sarah M has been babywearing since shortly after her daughter was born. She first started out with a front pack that was gifted at her babyshower. After realizing that neither her or baby were totally comfy in it a dear friend recommended a pouch sling. From there her interest grew and she loved how helpful it was to have baby close and get things done around the house or even around town. Babywearing helped her a lot with her anxiety of being a first time mom. She knew baby was close, safe, and happy all while she was hands free. Sarah is also a breastfeeding peer counselor at WIC and loves suggesting babywearing to moms who may feel overwhelmed with their new baby's eating schedule and may not have time to sit for all of their feedings. Babywearing has been such a blessing for her and her little one and she is so excited to be able to share it with so many other moms in our area.
Scarlet T had carried her oldest child Payton (7) in a Jellybean pouch but did not start actively babywearing until her second child, Asher, was born (2015). She loves trying new carries and finishes as well as trying out all types of carriers. Scarlet is very outgoing and loves meeting new people. She works full time as a dental assistant. She received her VBE certification Jan '16 and became Head of Technology for BWI of Knox Feb '16. Babywearing is her passion as well as her lifesaver. It's a great way to bond after a long work day! She has learned how amazing it has been in order to adjust to life with more children. She can also be present for her oldest child's events and sports while still bonding and meeting the needs of her youngest.