(Re)Introducing Kitsap Babywearers

This week, Babywearing International has announced that they will be filing for bankruptcy at the end of the month. Due to this announcement, Babywearing International of Kitsap Peninsula will be disaffiliating and reforming as our own independent non-profit group now known as Kitsap Babywearers.

We hope to make this transition as seamless as possible for our community and members, but if you have any concerns or questions feel free to ask.

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we transition. We are very excited for the future of our organization!

For more details, check out our Frequently Asked Questions below.


Board of Directors, Kitsap Babywearers

Samantha Garcia, President
Lori Fredericks, Vice-President

What’s Changing

Our ability to address and act on topics of inclusivity and diversity
Our name, logo, email, website address, social media names and Amazon Smile link
Membership dues and money raised through fundraisers will now stay 100% local
Breadth of volunteer training: additional carrier types and education formats

What’s Not Changing

Membership types, costs and availability of scholarships
Your membership status and expiration date
Meetings and meeting locations
Our carriers, lending libraries and myTurn inventory website
Depth of volunteer training
Volunteer and organization insurance

Purpose of Kitsap Babywearers
The purpose of the organization is:

to build the bond between babies and caregivers through baby carrier education and support;
to provide a community education service and distribute baby carriers to individuals and other organizations for their use; and
to celebrate babywearing among caregivers through online and in-person gatherings.

Q: How will disaffiliating from Babywearing International affect my membership status?

A: Your Babywearing International membership will still be honored by Kitsap Babywearers, as an independent group, until it was originally set to expire. There will be no interruption to your membership or benefits of your membership.

Q: Will the cost of membership change in the future?

A: Annual memberships through Kitsap Babywearers will continue to be $30.

The only change is that Kitsap Babywearers will retain 100% of membership dues which we will be able to invest back into our organization and local community; previously, 30% of membership dues were sent to the parent organization, Babywearing International.

We cannot guarantee that membership costs will not change in the future. We will, however, always have scholarships available if the cost of a membership is a barrier to anyone who wishes to become a member.

Q: Can I transfer my Babywearing International membership to another chapter?

A: If you obtained a membership under Babywearing International of Kitsap Peninsula (before February 15, 2018) and it is still active, you can request your membership may be able to be transferred to another babywearing group in the United States. We will do our best to work with other chapters who have chosen to proceed as their own group with the closing of Babywearing International.

Q: Will meeting locations or dates/times change?

A: No, we intend to continue all meetings as currently scheduled; meetings will continue to be subject to volunteer and location availability.

Q: Will meeting format change?

A: Meetings will continue to be around two hours long, allowing people to come and go as they wish while still receiving the same great care and support they have received in the past. If anything, you will notice that meetings will become more inclusive and welcoming as we operate as an independent babywearing group.

Lending Libraries
Q: Will there be any changes to carriers or lending libraries?

A: No, all assets of Babywearing International of Kitsap Peninsula will be transferred to Kitsap Babywearers. You will still be able to try on and check out the same great carriers that you have come to know and love in our lending libraries!

Baby Carrier Education
Q: How will educators be trained in an independent babywearing group?

A: Kitsap Babywearers has developed a comprehensive curriculum and training program. Educators will be specialized in certain carrier types and skills, allowing more educators to be available to members at meetings while still maintaining a high level of expertise.

Educators who previously had Volunteer Babywearing Educator (VBE) training, assessments and status through Babywearing International will continue to receive ongoing training through Kitsap Babywearers.

Q: Babywearing International of Kitsap Peninsula had insurance through Babywearing International – will there be insurance as an independent group?

A: Yes – Kitsap Babywearers is seeking liability and loss insurance policies, and our volunteers and lending libraries will continue to be covered for liability and loss insurance going forward.

Q: Babywearing International of Kitsap Peninsula remitted 30%+ of income from membership and fundraisers to Babywearing International. How does that change as an independent group?

A: Income from membership and fundraisers will stay 100% in our local community since we will no longer have oversight from a national organization. We are really excited for the possibilities this presents to our group! For example, we will be able to put more funds towards our lending libraries or towards community outreach and carriers we can donate to local groups and individuals.

Since we are no longer affiliated with Babywearing International, our group becomes eligible for more grants as an independent group, widening our ability to obtain funding.

Online Presence
Q: Will there still be a Facebook group?

A: Yes, we have renamed the existing closed Facebook group, and we will continue to provide the same support there as we do today.

Q: Will there still be a Facebook page?

A: Yes, we will continue to post important topics and announcements on our Facebook page and update the events tab there with meetings and other events.

Q: Will your website change?

A: Yes! We will now be located at www.kitsapbabywearers.com. The prior web address www.bwikitsap.org will forward to wwww.kitsapbabywearers.com for a short time. The Babywearing International name and logo, however, will be updated to reflect our new group, Kitsap Babywearers.

Q: How can I get in touch with you if I have questions?

A: We always have an open door. You can email info@kitsapbabywearers.com or message our Facebook Page at any time.


If you have any questions about babywearing, we encourage you to contact us and/or come learn in person at one of our meetings! Check out our Instagram @KitsapBabywearers and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kitsapcountybabywearers)

Lending Library Review- Beco Gemini

Review by: Nicole, VBE

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Nicole’s Beco Gemini Review


Near the end of my pregnancy with my second child, I started really looking forward to trying different carriers that weren’t readily available when my toddler was an infant. The Beco Soleil had become one of our favorite pieces from our lending library. There were a few quirks we weren’t wild about, but once it was adjusted properly it fit the two of us like a glove.

So naturally, I was super stoked to try one of the library’s two Beco Geminis once new baby arrived. The Gemini is a really versatile carrier. The bottom snaps down to accommodate small babies without an infant insert, or to allow an older infant with good head control to face forward for short amounts of time. As baby grows, you make a simple snap adjustment, no rethreading through a waist strap, and you’re on your way.

Another fun thing about the Gemini is that it comes in some really cute prints, and its a pretty economical carrier, retailing at $130, but its not rare to find them on the swap for under $80. Beco has also partnered with the wrap company Tekhni to make semi-wrap conversions. Since I’ve always liked Tekhni, I had my eyes on one of these “Bekhni”‘s, if my tester from the library panned out.

Something we say a lot is that SSC’s (soft structured, or ” buckle” carriers) are like jeans. They all fit everyone’s body a little differently. Just because you and your bestie may be the same size, you each will have subtle differences in your body proportions and posture. Which may lead to one of you absolutely falling in love with a carrier, while it rubs the other under the armpits in an annoying way.

Two things I disliked about this carrier, and about all Beco’s in general really. The first, is they have three point security buckles. This does mean that it would be insanely hard for an errant toddler to reach up and undo your buckle, however it also means that you need two hands to take the carrier off. My issue with this is that my babies don’t like being set down. Like ever. And usually the reason I’m removing them from a carrier is because they are on the verge of losing it. So setting them down causes the whole situation to escalate.

The second thing, is the direction that you have to pull the straps in order to tighten. They are single adjusters aiming from the body panel to under the arms. It is just a very awkward angle to get a good fit on.

The Gemini is a fairly thick carrier, with cushy padding throughout the entire body of the carrier. This makes it fairly rigid as opposed to its Soleil counterpart, which has a double layer of canvas that molds to the baby’s form. My 12lb. eight week old couldn’t quite get comfortable in it any of the times that we tried. It was very easy to nurse in by simply letting out the shoulder straps a bit, latch baby on, and retighten when I was finished. There is also a fold down head support that is perfect for when baby falls asleep.. It snaps down to the front of the carrier when not in use, and has buckles to fasten it to the shoulder straps when you do want to use it. This carrier also allows you to cross the straps in a front carry (and also to perform a hip carry, if you were son inclined). This was nice for me, since because of the shape of my shoulders the shoulder straps made these little points that couldn’t be adjusted away.

I also tried my 30 lb. Two and a half year old in the carrier, mostly just because she was within the 7-35lb weight limit. We tried forward facing just to be silly. It was very uncomfortable for both of us, but we got a few giggles out of it. Then I adjusted the panel to widen it, and tried a back carry. She was far from knee to knee, which isn’t important for development at this stage, but it can definitely help with comfort. The thick cushy shoulder padding was really nice for someone of her weight.

Overall this is a great carrier. Most of the things that I didn’t like about it were just personal preference, I would absolutely recommend this carrier to someone wanting to use an SSC with a young infant, or to someone who would like the forward facing option. While I wouldn’t call it “toddlerworthy”, it certainly did the job and I would absolutely use this with my toddler if I was in a pinch.



We Need Volunteers!!!

Babywearing International of Kitsap Peninsula is a non-profit group that serves our community by helping caregivers learn how to safely and comfortably babywear. We hold 2 meetings each month where the public can try on carriers from our lending library, and paid members can check out a carrier from our extensive lending library for a month at a time. We also do Pop-Up Workshops at locations a little further than our usual meeting spaces which gives more of our community a chance to get help with carriers and see what our library has to offer. We also hold family events, playdates, fundraisers, and talk with teen moms at our local alternative high schools. Babywearing International of Kitsap Peninsula is run 100% by its volunteers.

So, How can you help??

We can always use CSV (Chapter Support Volunteers) and VBE’s (Volunteer Babywearing Educators)!  BUT we could also use kid wranglers, people to welcome our new meeting attendees, people good at social media/promoting, blog writers, carrier reviwers, photographers for candid pictures at meetings and events, help setting up and breaking down for events too!

Here are the two most common questions we hear from people considering volunteering:

I can only commit to one meeting a month. Is that enough to be useful?
YES! Our goal is to have enough volunteers that each person can pick a “home” meeting location near them and focus on attending that meeting each month (of course you’re welcome at all of them as long as you love it, but we are not obligating anyone to volunteer beyond their desire or capability, or to drive an hour each way for a meeting!). And even if you can’t make it to regular meetings, we have outreach events and lots of behind-the-scenes and online projects!

I’m not really interested or don’t have time to become a VBE (volunteer babywearing educator). Can I still help?
YES! Yes yes yes! I mean, we do need volunteer educators, but there are many other options as well.

If you have ever thought about volunteering please reach out to any of our current CSV’s or VBE’s.


This is map showing where all our volunteers are, where we hold events, and meetings. You can see that we can use people in all areas of the county. We can only reach the areas and hold events in places we have volunteers!

The red markers are our VBEs, the purple markers are CSVs, the blue markers are monthly meetings, and the yellow markers are our pop-up workshop locations.
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Wrapping Doesn’t Make You Babywearing Royalty

By Katie de Lima

Blog-Wrap-Hailey Seelig

Hailey Seeling

In the babywearing world, the phrase “We all have to start somewhere” really bothers me. It implies  that one carrier is superior to another. That wherever you start babywearing is not enough and you must continue to advance up the hierarchy of carriers and carries. “We all have to start somewhere” is all fine and dandy when you’re talking about sports in which you are continually expected to challenge yourself and improve but in babywearing it really just gives off the wrong idea. Let me clarify.



Nikki Obernberger

Wrapping is not the pinnacle you reach when you become a “REAL” babywearer. Wearing your baby makes you a REAL babywearer. I may have 100 Pamir’s in my closet (I don’t. But stay with me on this one.) but that doesn’t make me any better than you with your
DIY pouch carrier/ringsling/ssc/wrap/mei tai. Just because someone chooses to spend thousands of dollars to have the stash of her/his (Hey! Daddies babywear too!) dreams doesn’t mean that person is now babywearing royalty. They have not “arrived on the scene” so to speak. The carrier you use doesn’t make you special or not special, a real babywearer or a novice/pretend babywearer. The carrier you use has nothing to do with your standing in the babywearing world. Why? Because there are no standings in the babywearing world! We, as Babywearing International (BWI) VBEs (Volunteer Babywearing Educators), chose to become educators to share the knowledge we have with you – to serve our community. That doesn’t make us babywearing royalty either. We are all just parents trying to do our best for our children.

Blog-MT-Katherine Clement

Katherine Clement

Blog-SSC-Liz McNulty

Liz McNulty

Blog-RS-Jenny Waldbillig

Jenny Waldbillig


Brittni Young

Teresa Hull

Pat Hull

The choices we make about parenting are our individual decisions. If you are safely wearing your baby, congratulations! You made a good decision that works for your child and family. If you are pushing your child in a stroller, congratulations! You too, have made a good decision that works for your child and family. The parent-to-parent battle of who did it better and mommy/daddy shaming needs to end. For us at BWI of Kitsap Peninsula, we applaud you for getting out of bed today and keeping your child alive and loved as best you could. (We also applaud those of you who were able to stay in bed and keep your child loved and alive as best you could and ask you to email us with your secret so that we can do likewise tomorrow.)


Mindy King

Mindy King

Sadly in our community there are those that would seek to put you down intentionally or not. We want to speak out so everyone is clear on our stance. We applaud all of you no matter what carrier you choose to use or not to use. Hooray for the mamas/daddies rocking their front packs! Hooray for the mamas/daddies rocking their soft-structured carrier! Hooray for the mamas/daddies rocking their pouch sling/ring sling/mei tai/wrap/wrap conversion/stretchy wrap! We are so glad you chose to wear your baby and couldn’t be happier to have you as a part of our community. There is no need to “start somewhere” and grow. Just start! Do what works for you and your family. Thank you for being a part of our community and helping it to be a supportive and friendly environment for all baby wearers. No matter your budget, we would love to help you find the carrier that will help you wear your baby. Keep calm and carry on!

Blog-Wrap-Aubrey Racey

Aubrey Racey


Kimberly Green