Everyone is welcome to come to meetings at any location, as often as you want. You can get help from our certified educators with a carrier you own, try on any carrier available in the library, and enjoy general support from the local babywearing community, all with zero cost.
How Do The Meetings Work?
A meeting generally runs about 2 hours, but you are welcome to step out any time you want (note that if you want to borrow a carrier from the library, you’ll have to stay until checkouts begin at 11:30). Feel free to bring your babies or children; there is no designated childcare at the meetings but we strive to hold our events at locations that are child-friendly (translation: your kid will absolutely not be the only one running circles through your legs as you attempt to try on a carrier!). You can also bring along your partner, other family members, babysitter… anyone who might also use the carriers that interest you! Each meeting will run on this general schedule:
10:00 – 10:15 – Sign in and carrier return (carriers not returned in the first 15 minutes will incur a late fee)
10:15 – 10:30 – Introduction of educators & brief teaching topic
10:30 – 11:30 – Carrier teaching stations
11:30 – 12:00 – Carrier check out
12:00 – Carrier & location Clean up
This is flexible but serves as a general outline for our meetings. We try to spend the bulk of our time in the “carrier stations” where we have different spots set up for each type of carrier: ring slings, wraps, soft structured carriers (SSCs), and meh dais are the main ones. During the carrier stations time you can join the educator with the type of carrier you are intereted in, whether you have your own carrier with which you would like some help or you would like to try a library carrier of that type. And of course you can visit multiple stations if you have time!
Do I need to sign up or RSVP for meetings?
There’s no need to sign up or RSVP – you are welcome to drop in to any meeting on the calendar! If it is the first BWI of STL meeting you have attended, you will need to fill out the liability release form for yourself and your children. This is available at the meeting sign-in; it takes a few minutes to fill out so you can do it when you arrive for your first meeting or you can fill it out online prior to coming. Once you have filled out the release form, you only need to complete a simple sign-in when you come to each meeting.
What are the membership benefits and how do I become a member?
Attending meetings, trying on library carriers, and getting help from educators are all absolutely free, but we do offer an annual membership with great benefits!
The $30/year donation to the BWI of STL Gateway grants you a membership card and the ability to check out one carrier a month from our library. Choose a location near you, come to a meeting, check out a carrier, and return it to the next meeting at that location. It’s a great, inexpensive way to Try All The Carriers and make sure you have the best one for you and your little ones before you invest in your own, if you choose to do so.
In addition to library checkouts, members receive discounts on carrier purchases from some wonderful local retailers. You can see the list of discounts on our Retail Partners page.
If you are ready to become a member, you can talk to any volunteer at a meeting, sign up, pay the $30 dues, and check out a carrier from the library that same day!