Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Year End Review

Man, a year sure flies by! It's especially true watching our little ones grow and change over the year. Some of you may have started the year not even knowing you'd have a new little one in your life to wear and some of you may suddenly have a walker who refuses to be worn at all anymore. Wherever this year has taken you I hope that our group has helped you with the wonderful tool of babywearing. This was our 2nd year as Babywearing International of Knoxville and we've definitely grown faster than we ever dreamed. We thank you so much for being on this amazing journey with us!

I want to take a minute to give a huge thank you to the volunteers who work very hard behind the scenes to make our group possible. They're unpaid and often go without appreciation, only having the joy of knowing they're helping other caregivers as compensation. This group wouldn't be possible without them. Your 2015 leadership team was Mary Rodio, Sarah Murray, Jenny Arden, Brittany Ridley, Nikki Moore, Carrie Plemons, Anna Hurley and Ashley Teller. Mary, Jenny and Sarah have unfortunately stepped back from leadership. Mary is moving out of state and will be greatly missed, Jenny is focusing on her work at Bohemian Baby, and Sarah is focusing on work and school but will still be at meetings when available as a VBE. We appreciate all of their hard work and dedication to the babywearing community of Knoxville. 

Your 2016 Knoxville leadership team will be Ashley Teller, Anna Hurley, Carrie Plemons, Emily Gentry, Heather Wood and Linda Nunes. We're also very excited to be adding a Maryville sub-chapter some time in the new year which will be co-lead by Nikki Moore and Brittany Ridley with the help of Rebecca Alcorn. Stay tuned for more details about those meetings. We look forward to having some new blood in our leadership team with hopefully some fresh ideas for Knoxville. We've also added a new team member, Chris Marcano who was already a VBE and recently moved to TN. We'll also have a new batch of educators coming out soon after the beginning of the new year and look forward to all of them joining our team.

This year we had some great events. Our anniversary open house at Remedy Coffee was our most successful event to date. We had our lending library available to see and a wonderful silent auction. Everyone even got to see me smash a pie in Carrie Plemons' face. We had food and babywearing mini sessions and a lot of fun! October brought International Babywearing Week. Everyday had events to join. Our biggest was the fall block party with Bohemian Baby where we had a Halloween costume contest and trunk or treating. We had some other playdates and meetups around Knoxville that week and finished up with a fun Mom's Night Out at Painting With a Twist.

We're so excited about everything that 2016 has in store for us. We have some fun events already in the works and will be adding some new meetings as well. Our regular meeting days and times have changed so make sure to check the events in our Facebook page for more details. Thank you for your continued support of our chapter. And Happy Babywearing in 2016!!

-Ashley Teller

Sunday, October 4, 2015


To kick off International Babywearing Week 2015 we thought what better way than to #embraceourcommunity!

Nestled in a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains, Knoxville TN is rich with pride and culture. The mountains offer lots of wilderness and opportunities to hike and explore. And what better way to include your little one than with babywearing. Many of the trails are safe and easy enough to hike while babywearing or with little ones on foot yet offer scenic views, waterfalls and wildlife.

Food, music and art bridge a gap between the old and the new in Knoxville. Downtown Market Square offers a quirky mix of locally owned restaurants and stores. On Saturdays there is a large farmers market with local produce, meat, eggs and artisan goods along with a few of our delicious food trucks. You can always spot babywearers.
Close to downtown is the University of Tennessee. During football season you see orange everywhere you look, (which helps us fit in in our BWI attire). Vol pride is strong and fans are abundant. Many families are either tail gating or at the game on Saturday, many with carriers in tow.

There are so many other things to do here. Whether they're hitting the local children's museum or zoo or heading down to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge for the day, our chapter is honored to help our members find the ease and convenience of babywearing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ask the Educators!

This month we asked our Facebook members to help us out with the blog post. We told them to ask us anything and we'd feature it on our blog this month. So here goes!


1. What's your absolute favorite wrap/carrier and why?
My absolute carrier is my woven wrap, Ellevil Zara TriGreen. It was the first carrier that ever caught my eye that I *HAD* to have. I stalked and tried to score one for over a year before I finally got my hands on one. I've worn all three of my youngest babies in it (My oldest was a very long time ago but she has even worn the babies in it) It's thin enough to wear in the summer but supportive enough for bigger kids but snuggly and soft for little babies. Green is my favorite color and I love green and brown combinations so its just full of love for me.

2. How do you decide when a wrap/carrier will be permastash vs churned?
I'm a terrible person to ask this one. I'm still trying to figure that out myself. I have a few; like trigreen I mentioned in number one, that are permastash for sentimental reasons, but the rest if I find I'm not reaching for it and it doesn't fit a specific purpose (aka water sling only used for water play) then it can be purged.
Mary's DRS2S attempt outtake

3. What was your biggest wrapping fail?
Oh gosh, I do something silly all the time. I am constantly trying to play with new things, carries, finishes, different carries in different sizes/different sized babies SO I have a lot of funny out takes and fails. One carry for whatever reason I just CAN NOT DO is Double Rebozo Shoulder to Shoulder. I have no idea why but it totally eludes me. That one always makes for hilarious photos whenever I try.

4. What are your top recommended carriers for a new mom to have purchased before baby's arrival (aka baby shower gifts)?
Top Shower Gifts: Wrapsody Hybrid Stretch is my top recommendation. It's love and very versatile. I also like a nice buckle carrier that can be used from birth like the Connecta, Olives and Applesauce, or Beco. Ring Slings are my other option and choice because they are also great from birth but can be used as baby gets older. It's always nice if you can chat with the mom to help get some ideas of which type she'd prefer and what will work best but those are my three top choices.

5 If you had a budget of $100 what would you purchase and why?
With $100 the world is your oyster in the Babywearing on a Budget Swap group where everything is $100 or less! If I didn't have a very specific item in mind, I'd stalk around there until I found something that made me swoon. Which is easy to do.


1. What's your absolute favorite wrap/carrier and why?
I don't think I have a favorite carrier. I use each of my carriers for different things so they are usually my favorite things for that use.

2. How do you decide when a wrap/carrier will be permastash vs churned?
It's usually a combo of wearing/wrapping qualities and sentimental attachment. I generally only keep things that really work for us or I otherwise churn it for something that will work better for us.

Nikki and her little one enjoying ring sling snuggles

3. What was your biggest wrapping fail?
I accidentally superman tossed my now-toddler into a door jamb at home. He didn't hit it hard, but it was hard enough for me to feel terrible and learn to be more aware of my surroundings. Babywearing FAIL!

4. What are your top recommended carriers for a new mom to have purchased before baby's arrival (aka baby shower gifts)?
A ring sling. It's cozy, often affordable, easy to use, and provides great support for a new baby without being overwhelming. I also really like the Wrapsody hybrid for someone interested in wrapping.

5 If you had a budget of $100 what would you purchase and why?
Right this moment, I would buy a standard Connecta for our baby who will joining us in December. Or a short woven wrap that appears on a swap for a great price, which happens more than you think!


1. What's your absolute favorite wrap/carrier and why?
Right now, I really love my Connecta Solar. It is really quick and easy to use, and I find that the waist band without padding is much more comfortable than I originally expected. It is our most used carrier in my house with my 2 year old.

Brittany and her son in their Connecta Solar

2. How do you decide when a wrap/carrier will be permastash vs churned?
I buy everything thinking it will be permastash. I only know if it isn't when it comes time to sell something and it is at the top of my list.

3. What was your biggest wrapping fail?
I'm not sure. I've had quite a few, most of them at home when practicing. I have multiple memories of my son just blatantly not allowing me to wrap him; which happens more often than I want to admit.

4. What are your top recommended carriers for a new mom to have purchased before baby's arrival (aka baby shower gifts)?
I really love the Baby K'Tan for a new mom, when sized right. It is so versatile and it is great to have a two-shoulder carrier. I also really love ring slings for new moms. These carriers are easy to find, easy to learn, and very easy to carry around.

5. If you had a budget of $100 what would you purchase and why?
On that budget I would probably try to find a mei tai with wrap straps on either the Babywearing Swap or the Budget Swap. I like that they are easy to use, and more comfortable to me than mei tais with padding, but that's personal preference.


1. What's your absolute favorite wrap/carrier and why?
My favorite wrap is Natibaby Ascend. It was made to honor mothers that have lost babies. A friend bought it for me.

2. How do you decide when a wrap/carrier will be permastash vs churned?
I have a few wraps, but the ones that stay are the ones that have sentimental value. My first wrap ever was a Dolcino and that is staying forever as well as the ones that represent infant loss. I churn other wraps just to be able to try other blends and brands. I do have a hard time letting go of any wrap, though.

Carrie owning her torso carry fail
3. What was your biggest wrapping fail?
My biggest fail was when I tired to do a front torso carry with my 2 year old in a cotton wrap and he ended up at my knees. It was very funny (because I knew it was going to happen and had to keep my hands on him the whole time, which defeats the purpose of hands-free).

4. What are your top recommended carriers for a new mom to have purchased before baby's arrival (aka baby shower gifts)?
My favorite carrier for a new mom is a ring sling. They are great for newborns and they are easy to learn how to use. Next, I recommend a wrap. They are versatile and a front wrap cross carry is easy and great for a new baby. Once baby gets bigger and hits milestones, you can use the wrap for hip and back carries which makes a wrap the most versatile.

5. If you had a budget of $100 what would you purchase and why?
I would buy a Little Frog wrap. They are inexpensive and they have some cute designs. I would love another one!


1. What's your absolute favorite wrap/carrier and why?

Ashley with their sleepy dust loaded Mother Nature
Kokadi Mother Nature has been my all time favorite wrap. I had one when I was wearing my middle baby, sold it and instantly regretted it. As soon as I found out I was pregnant again I hunted it down. That's what we call a boomerang. She'll never leave again. She has so much sleepy dust, we grab her for almost every nap and she can sooth the crankiest of babies. Plus she's comfy with a newborn or a toddler which is really rare to find in a wrap. We also love our Kinderpack and a wrap conversion half buckle that I dyed.

2. How do you decide when a wrap/carrier will be permastash vs churned?
The only permastash here is the previously mentioned. I'm a serial churner. I churn when I start getting uncomfortable in it, want to try something new, realize I'm not using it much, once the honeymoon fades, when I need the funds for something else I want, when I'm bored and want retail therapy without the guilt. I'm not very loyal. I guess that makes the ones that are permastash extra special.

3. What was your biggest wrapping fail?
It was at one of my first babywearing meetings with my old babywearing group in VA. I was really new to it all and wrapping my guy on my back. While I was making his seat he planted his feet on my lower back, pushed off, and launched himself right over my shoulder. Luckily I caught him on my front but it was scary. I also recently was making a seat with the top rails pinned under my chin instead of in my teeth since I was wearing bright red lipstick. One side totally slipped out. Baby was fine but I was scared. I don't pin under my chin anymore.

4. What are your top recommended carriers for a new mom to have purchased before baby's arrival (aka baby shower gifts)?
I always recommend a ring sling or a Wrapsody hybrid to new moms. You can usually find them pretty affordably too for a shower gift. If someone has a smaller budget a Moby or the Infantino Sash Mei Tai are great gift options too. Or a BWI membership so they can try all the carriers!

5. If you had a budget of $100 what would you purchase and why?
I'd probably look for a shortie woven wrap. They're versatile and usually a little cheaper.


1. What's your absolute favorite wrap/carrier and why?
My all time favorite is Didy Tussah India. I bought it in 2012 and could never let it go.

Jenny's little one giving their new wrap the nap test

2. How do you decide when a wrap/carrier will be permastash vs churned?
I do a back nap ASAP. After that, it's very easy to decide if something deserves the permastash label.

3. What was your biggest wrapping fail?
The first one. Seven sling that was too small in a buddha carry. Just no.

4. What are your top recommended carriers for a new mom to have purchased before baby's arrival (aka baby shower gifts)?
5 If you had a budget of $100 what would you purchase and why?
(Answer for both) Wrapsody hybrid. It is SO easy to learn with. Great cuddle for a squish, but not saggy with an older babe. I can even rock it with my 2 year old when needed. Even at almost 30lb the comfort is comparable to other similarly priced wovens to me.


1. What's your absolute favorite wrap/carrier and why?

Anna and her little man in their permastash Lime Waves
2. How do you decide when a wrap/carrier will be permastash vs churned?
When I saw Sprookie I just knew. I mean, mushrooms AND fairies... How could I not keep her forever? She was so soft and buttery. There was no doubt she would be permastash. I knew my Didy Lime Waves was permastash once I chopped the first one and converted it into a full buckle. I missed it so much that I bought the exact same wrap for my second baby in the same size, a 4. I learned my lesson. I will never chop such a thin, breathable, squish worthy, summer wrap again. Never.

3. What was your biggest wrapping fail?
My biggest wrapping fail was when I wrapped Laynee on my best friend at the mall last year.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

What we love most about our babywearing daddies!

In honor of Father's Day we asked our Facebook page members to tell us why they love and appreciate that their partner baby wears. Here's what they said.
"I love seeing how much he cares for our kiddos! The rare occasion he wears them they need it. It's so sweet to see, especially how content they are so close to daddy." -Megan
"I love how much they love him wearing them. The girls get so excited when he even picks up a carrier. And then I get to pee alone. That's a nice bonus." -Keshia
"I love to see the bond between them. I love seeing them snuggle on daddy's chest to fall asleep. Makes my heart smile." -Ashley
"I love that daddy likes to wear to do fun things like playing corn-hole or going on a nature walk. Mommy wears to comfort or get things done, but daddy wears to include her in the fun!" -Heather
"I love that it actually gives me free time. With no one touching me. I wear a lot more than my husband. But when he does, he takes both kiddos outside. And I can possibly pee/shower alone."-Garner
"There's nothing like watching daddy prance around with his "kangaroo pouch" it's incredible to see the bond between him and Grayson grow while he shows off his babywearing skills. Melts my heart every time." -Amy
"I love that my husband wears our toddler because I have arthritis in my knees/ hips/ ankles and sometimes I physically can't carry her because of the added weight. Plus, when he wears her I can tell how much they both enjoy it. He mainly wears her on his front and will do this cute voice that she loves. It's honestly kinda attractive to know that he loves our daughter so much and loves wearing her, especially when I can't." -Jessica
"I love that my husband will wear the baby so I can cook dinner. I enjoy that time to cook, even though it's usually nothing fancy." -Jennifer
"I love that my big, tough, hairy man loves wearing our sweet girly girl! Nothing makes me happier than seeing him superman her on his back and wear her before we begin a gig. He's so willing to learn different carries and different ways to get her on his back without any help from mama!"-April
"I love that my partner baby wears because it shows his commitment to gender equality in parenting. Not only do I have an amazing, supportive partner, but my son has an excellent role model." -Kiley
"Because we EBF, my hubby misses out on that close, calm, bonding time that happens during a feeding, with our little guy. Watching him get excited to learn new carries or to offer to wear our little one when we go out gives me a sense of relief in knowing that he gets a close and calm bond too. It also melts my heart to watch our little guy relax and fall asleep while being worn by his daddy!" -Jessica
"I love it that my husband offers to wear our son to give me a break and he enjoys it so much that we debate at times about who gets to wear him. He knows it is bonding time too! Wearing is not what is most important to him but time with our son is. Melt my heart. He once offered to take our son to a meeting so I could get some work done and I later asked "how did you do at the meeting" and he said "fine, I wrapped him". So cute!" -April
"I've never seen him look so proud as when he is wearing her." -Krista