Volunteer Spotlight: Carrie

BWI of STL Gateway is a thriving part of the babywearing community in St. Louis, and it takes a lot of volunteers to keep it running! Thankfully we have several volunteers who have recently, and will soon be, passing their certification assessments with BWI to be able to teach at our meetings and events as Babywearing Educators. Since BWI is 100% volunteer run, we love to highlight our amazing volunteers and the work they do.

Today I am happy to introduce you to Carrie, one of our newest Volunteer Babywearing Educators as well as our newly elected West County Meeting Leader, heading up our monthly meeting that convenes at Cotton Babies. Carrie has four children (who, as you can see, are completely adorable) and started babywearing with the birth of her first, giving her more than seven years of experience. Carrie was kind enough to answer some questions in our “get to know you” questionnaire!

What was your first carrier?

My first carrier was a DIY ring sling I made while still pregnant with my first child.

Has anyone ever said anything funny or so totally wrong about babywearing when they saw you carrying your child?

I have had older men tell me they’d like a ride, too. My favorite is when people say with surprise, “There’s a baby on your back!” I like to look shocked, spin around, and ask, “What? Where???”

What is your favorite carrier in the library?

I loved the Babylonia meh dai so much that I bought one of my own. Wrap strap meh dais are where it’s at! I also love the Kokoskaa Quill ring sling. It’s such a lovely pattern and fiber blend!

[Editor’s Note: Here are details on these carriers in our library: Babylonia Meh Dai and Kokoskaa Quill Ring Sling.]

What is one piece of advice you give to friends interested in learning to wear their babies?

Come to a meeting! If you ask your friends, they will always tell you that you NEED a *insert trendy carrier here*. But there are so many more options than just a Tula or an Ergo or a Lillebaby or a ring sling or a wrap strap meh dai. Coming to a meeting is the best way to try out everything until you find what you love, and borrowing carriers from the library is so much more cost-effective than buying them yourself!

What is your carrier “unicorn” – that one carrier or wrap that you would acquire if money and availability were no object?

A silk or tencel blend handwoven wrap in a crackle weave, hand-dyed in shades of blue and green. I’ve eyed several, but never found “the one” – at least, in my price range. Now my babywearing days are winding down, so I’m afraid I may never catch that unicorn.

What is your favorite benefit, or any good thing, that you’ve experienced with babywearing?

Worn babies cry less. I like having happy babies! Also, I can do more when I wear my babies. It makes it possible for me to take all four of my kids on adventures more often.

Can you point us to any “hidden gems” in St. Louis, or a favorite place to hang out with your kids?

Missouri Botanical Garden is my favorite place in St. Louis. Everyone thinks of the Garden when it’s nice out, but many don’t know about the new(ish) Brookings Interpretive Center in the basement of the Climatron. It’s a great place to spend a rainy or cold morning when the kids absolutely need to get out of the house!

Carrie would never take the chance to self-promote, but she’s also a very talented local family photographer, and if you see her at a meeting, definitely ask about her DIY wrap conversion pouch sling / infinity scarf – it’s the best! Thank you, Carrie, for committing your time and knowledge to the babywearing community!

We are *always* looking for more volunteers, and you don’t have to be a long-time babywearer to contribute! Whatever your talents, we can use your help at meetings, and BWI has a comprehensive (and totally non-scary) video training and mentorship program available for volunteers who would like to become Babywearing Educators. Please contact us or talk to any volunteer at a meeting to learn more!

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