|Posted on January 30, 2013 at 4:05 PM|
After receiving several mails asking what the difference is between the Babywearing Institute and other schools or organizations, I decided to write a blog post rather than individual emails. This will make it easier to reply in the future with a link rather than a lengthy email.
There is undoubtedly a lot of information out there about what we are and what we are not,unfortunately some of it far from the truth. I was glad some concerned parents took the time to email and ask information directly rather than believing the information and misinformation that is out in forums, discussion groups, babywearing groups, facebook, and the like. We are always happy to share our philosophy and education with anybody and gladly answer any questions you might have.
The first thing that sets us apart from others is that we are the original babywearing school in NorthAmerica. Our first classes were taught years before anybody else organized into something more formal.
We started with more research based information than was available in English at the time and this is still true. Having been raised in Germany I have access to all German literature on babywearing, and there is much. A lot of the information presented in our classes is gathered from professionals from Germany such as Dr. Kirkilionis and Dr. Fettweis among some.They are undoubtedly legends in the field of babywearing and you would have a hard time finding a babywearer in Germany who does not know who they are. Both either have or will be participating in our babyearing retreats which focuses on professional education fo rbabywearer. The education you receive at any of our retreats is the best, presented by professionals in their respective field with lots of experience. We put a lot of weight on correct information and best practice.
Another important factor that sets us worlds apart is our experience in babywearing. I personally started babywearing 30 years ago with my nieces and nephews. I remember wearing one of my nephews, just six weeks old, on a long walk in a Katja Didymos sling with his older brother, 2 years old, riding on my shoulders. They have long been adults now. The nieces and nephews,who are married with children, have continued the culture of babywearing they were raised in. With our own seven children I have been wearing children close to daily for the past 14 years. That adds up to about 5054 days, without counting the few days I did not wear a child like the day of giving birth in my cozy home to one of our babies. Most of them started their journey in anatomically correct baby carriers at one day old. I also often tandem wear children to accommodate our children's emotional needs. I have not met another babywearer who has this vast amount of experience in North America. I would be delighted if there was and we could exchange our experience of the sacred blessings of raising and wearing children.
Our board members too have years of personal experience in wearing children and support best practice to ensure all babies are safe. We love babies and want all babies to be as safe as we want ours to be.
One major difference is also, my husband runs the oldest store in North America selling German baby carriers. My husband was the first distributor of German woven wraps in North America. When we started there was only Kids-nature, a retailer who also imported wraps. They soon referred their customers to us as they switched their product line and are now no longer in business.That leaves us as the oldest store still in business. We have more than a decade of experience in what questions and concerns new parents have when it comes to babywearing. Our classes reflect our decades of experience with our wonderful customers. We are always excited to have “old” customers come through the classes and talk about their experience in buying products from us and the unequivocal support they received.
I have been studying all aspects of babywearing for more than 15 years. I have read mountains of books related to babywearing in German as well as English. We were instrumental in bringing correct information to the Internet. I was often asked questions via email only to find my exact answers copy and pasted into forums on the Internet under the person's name who had contacted me via email. I soon realized “my customer'squestions” were actually discussions in other places and there was a dead end in the discussion. Someone in the discussion would contact me and soon my answers were read by many. I have yet to be asked a question on babywearing that I cannot answer. I am also friends with some of the best known professionals in the babywearing world and we exchange emails frequently. If there is a question I cannot answer I'll gladly get the answer from an expert.
Other organizations are non profit trade organizations with a branch of education. This is not the same as an organization solely dedicated to education. This is like a vaccine manufacturer with a research branch. Can we really trust their research? I don't, I want independent research. The main problem is that as a trade organization you cannot come out with strong statements for best practice without offending some of your friends on the board who are manufacturing the products that have proven to be less than optimal for baby. There is a lot of gray area. True to my German upbringing, I will stand for what is best practice at all times regardless of the consequences. Hence some distorted references in forums, discussion groups, or facebook, to who I am and what I am like, mainly from people whom I have never met. Culturally being straight forward for safety is not always accepted but the risk of a baby getting hurt or even dying outweighs all the consequences for me and I will always be found teaching safest and best practice.
I was blessed to be taught by some of the best in the field. Not only did my family know how to wear babies properly, I was also instructed by some of the best known professionals in the field. These are experts who have been writing articles, books and done numerous interviews and are well known in the babywearing world around the world. Undoubtedly I have had the best tutors in babywearing anyone could ever ask for. I have received very detailed information on safe and secure, not simply statistics. A lot of this detailed information is passed on in our two day classes of the basic and two days of advanced certifying babywearingeducator classes. Having consulted with many manufacturer has also helped me in becoming an expert in detecting good fabric and knowing what is needed. I have traveld back to Germany and met with manufacturers and textile engineers to make sure I understand all there is to know about good fabrics in baby carriers.
We believe in teaching parents correct principles so babywearer can govern themselves. We are empowering parents to know by looking at a carrier if it is anything worth trying out or not by the way it supports baby's natural development.We want parents to be empowered so they do not need to keep coming back to us to see if this or that carrier is good or not. We don't want to be a babywearing government making all the decisions for parents. That is the feeling I have of other organizations, it is becoming a babywearing government rather than a place to empower parents. Parents are ultimately responsible for the well being of their children, we want parents do be empowered knowing they know how to pick and choose the best baby carrier for them and their little one.
To find out why the BabywearingInstitute is the leading Babywearingschool in North America, come and join us at the Babywearing Retreat July 11-13, 2013 in Logan, Utah at the Crystal Inn. Dr. Fettweis will be here personally from Germany.Bring all your questions on proper hip and spine position.
And don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have or follow up on any misinformation and rumors that are being passed around about who I am or what our Babywearing Schoo teaches. You will like what we have to offer.
Be safe and secure