Did you know that our BWI of STL Gateway is run completely by volunteers? We are so thankful they commit their time, energy, and talents to supporting the babywearing community in St. Louis, and we thought you might want to get to know them better. We’ll be featuring our volunteers here regularly!
Today we get to meet Cecelia, a VBE (volunteer babywearing educator), Vice President of our chapter’s board, and the Outreach Chair. Cecelia was instrumental in affiliating our group with BWI, and we also know and love her as our unofficial Mei Tai Expert. Cecelia has been babywearing for more than six years!
What was your first carrier?
A Moby wrap!
Has anyone ever said anything funny, crazy, or so totally wrong about babywearing when they saw you carrying your child?
I was wrapping my then-toddler on my back at a Cards game with an Earthy Rainbow. I was bent over in an out of the way place and saw some feet slowly gather and pause in my peripheral vision. When the passes were in place and we straightened up, it was a group of young men who had clearly been enjoying some of the local specialty beverages. They were in awe of what they had just seen and congratulated me on my skills with some high fives and language about as colorful as the wrap. 😉
What is your favorite carrier in the library?
Oh gosh, it is so hard to pick just one, but I’d probably have to say our collection of (4!) CatbirdBaby Pikkolos. They’re an unstructured buckle carrier that cinch in at the base for a good fit with a newborn, sans insert, and then fit through toddler age with the base uncinched. They’re soft-waisted, so can be worn comfortably by a range of folks in a range of positions in many different activities.
What is the one question you hear from new or non-babywearers most often?
How did you learn to do that? (Old answer: Youtube! New answer: BWI!)
What is one piece of advice you give to friends interested in learning to wear their babies?
Come to a meeting to try some different things before you buy-the options are pretty limitless! I encourage membership in BWI as well, because you can’t beat borrowing a different carrier from the library every month for $30 a year!
What is your carrier “unicorn” – that one carrier or wrap that you would acquire if money and availability were no object?
Oh boy…an easy thing to picture is something based on two of our favorites already: I’d love to have an Ocah wrap conversion mei tai in a toddler size made from the double-weft weight of Earthy Rainbow. Harmony straps, inner third layer in the body. I’d have a half-length flat hood made from solid deep red linen with an applique from scraps of the wrap.
[Editor’s Note: Oh my goodness, design me a custom!!]
What is your favorite benefit, or any good thing, that you’ve experienced with babywearing?
That my six and a half year old still knows that when she is stressed out, she can ask to go up and find her happy space. (I’m also so happy that we have carriers that can accommodate her!)
Can you point us to any “hidden gems” in St. Louis, or a favorite place to hang out with your kids?
Since it is summer, I’ll say the Whitaker Music Festival series at Missouri Botanical Gardens.
[Editor’s Note: Free entry into the Gardens, including the Children’s Garden from 5pm – 7pm, and probably the only time you are allowed to picnic on the grounds… it really is great! Check out more info here.]
Thank you so much for volunteering and interviewing! Anything else totally awesome we should know about you or your role with BWI? (You know there is – don’t be shy. Unless you are shy, which is fine.)
It is so fabulous to see how much the group has grown since we first filed our paperwork! I remember feeling so panicked about how we’d have enough library carriers to have a respectable first meeting, and now not even two years later, we have well over 100 carriers across 5 libraries!
Thank you, Cecelia, for everything you’ve done and continue to do for our chapter!
Be sure to say hi and introduce yourself if you see Cecelia at a meeting or around town. And if you are interested in joining our team of volunteers, contact us any time!