So, what's a NINO babywearing meeting like, anyway?

Yesterday, I ran a NINO babywearing meeting at Delicious Organics. It was the first meeting I'd held there. I am trying something new: since I lost my previous meeting space, I would like to have the meeting some place that is convenient for me but where people will want to come. And it has to be a good space for the meeting. I am still figuring this all out. Next month, we're meeting at The Goddess Store (more on that later). So the meeting has been at a new location each month. It's a chance as well to promote a local business. I should have mentioned before the meeting that Delicious Organics has a wonderful selection of affordably priced wooden and classic toys.

As usual, uber-cool beautiful babywearing mamas showed up with their babies and young children to hang out, connect, snack, and hey, maybe even share tips about parenting and babywearing!

The meeting space was definitely tight, but by the next time we meet there, they will have a bigger space ready for us. It was still quite a good meeting there because there were a load of toys to keep the kids entertained and, well, delicious organic snacks available! A few moms took advantage and did their shopping after the meeting and I know at least one mom will be ordering her groceries delivered and telling friends about it. I love the synchronicity of that; we needed a space to meet, they offer the space and get a few new customers. All things in life should have that natural feeling. I never fully understood the naturalness of the win/win concept when I was a single pre-kids adult working in big offices. Funny how more things make more sense to me when the work is of my own choosing.

I was thrilled that Amy of Oopa Slings came. I had met her at one of my earliest babywearing meetings when my younger daughter was a tiny newborn and I was so impressed with her knowledge of slings that I was inspired to give them another shot and take more time learning how to use them. Yesterday I was not disappointed with her in any way even after 18 months of study!

Amy had a selection of her amazing slings with her, including a chocolate/pink number that I'm still thinking about though I only admired it from afar, as well as
a whisper of fushia that I tried on and loved the feel of. I didn't realize it would feel so freeing to wear such a thin fabric.

As always, everyone chatted and talked about lots of babywearing issues during the meeting. One mom of two, near and dear to my heart because she has a variety of baby carriers, was lamenting the fact that her 3 month old was getting to big to nurse in her New Native Pouch. Well, I was thrilled to have my new weighted Reborn doll. While her real baby peacefully napped, I asked her to show me with the doll how she was nursing. In the past, I would have described what to try and then she'd either have had to wake her baby or wait until baby woke up. Then when baby really just wanted to peacefully nurse, she'd have to be fumbling around trying to learn a new skill because of the limited time of the meeting. Baby would probably be frustrated and screaming. Since I had the doll, she was able to use that. So she put the doll in the pouch with the doll's head by her (mama's) shoulder where the pouch rested. You'd think that was a natural way to nurse in a pouch or sling (baby's head at the high end), and it is, but it will only get you so far, as she'd quickly realized. By showing her with the doll, there was no anxiety or urgency. I moved the doll's head to mama's other side, popped the doll's legs out at the bottom, and viola! Nursing on the other side. She (the mama) had a big ahah! moment! (Baby was still sleeping but maybe she had an ahah! moment as well.) A short time later, her real baby woke up and mama popped baby in the pouch to try it out but now had the muscle memory of what to do. Then we were able to troubleshoot. I find most babies don't like their head's constrained by a baby carrier unless they're asleep so I suggested just leaving baby's head out and supporting it with her hand or in the crook of her arm. Then, after nursing, the options are to pop baby's head in if she falls asleep, or put her vertical in tummy to tummy if she stays awake, or just reposition her as desired. I just bought her 3 more months in her New Native!

A pregnant mom came as well. Come to think of it, that's only the second time that a preggie has come to a babywearing meeting. She had met me at an Attachment Parenting meeting and wanted an overview of all the baby carriers. It did take a while but I was able to show her most of the options. She had surfed my website but there is nothing like seeing them in real life!

Kathy, the owner of BabysAbode.com, a cloth diaper company, was there as well with sleeping baby on her back in the Ergo Classic. She and I have started reaching out to pregnant moms a bit more by doing an intro to Attachment Parenting, babywearing, and cloth diapering talk at the Hollywood Birth Center. Again, the Reborn doll comes in handy as he can be used to demonstrate the diapers and babywearing.

Another friend I was thrilled to see was supermodel Enith and her two lovely girls! Enith did my website and runs her own online scrapbooking business. Enith is wearing her younger daughter in the cranberry Ergo Baby Carrier.

Amy and I got a chance to talk shop a bit. I often forget how isolated I am in my chosen field. While it's true that I can chat online with virtual friends who are babywearing aficionados like myself, I rarely get to talk with someone in the business. She tried out a prototype EllaRoo lightly padded sling and asked me my opinions on the pros and cons padded rails. And I watched her in action as she taught the finer points of sling wearing to a Maya Wrap wearing mama. I am looking forward to practicing her technique and using her tips.

Everyone was definitely curious about the new My Baby Nest Carrier. In fact, Annie, owner of Delicious Organics and mom of four, wears her newborn baby in one but she is camera shy!

Elizabeth, yoga teacher, who used a sling with her older daughter and now uses an Ergo Baby Carrier with her newborn, had fun trying out a few baby carriers including an EllaRoo Wrap. Wraps are definitely amazingly comfortable and versatile but I think she's sticking to her Ergo. By the way, Elizabeth prefers to use the Ergo without the newborn insert and has done since very early on.

In March, we'll be meeting at The Goddess Store. They have a really interesting calendar of events including belly dancing, drum circles, and classes for kids. This is one of my favorite stores on Harrison Street, with fun affordable items for Goddesses. I'm really looking forward to the meeting space. We're meeting in a spacious room with hardwood floors and a huge floor to ceiling mirror. It's great to be able to see what you're doing when you're trying to learn a new carry and the kids will love this space too. I hope Carmen is cool with us playing with the drums that are used for the drumming circles. And everyone can explore Downtown Hollywood afterward. There is a coffee shop with comfy couches around the corner which is probably where I'll be heading after the meeting.

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