Parenting group focuses on baby wearing

Posted October 16

— The North Iowa Babywearers are a different kind of parenting group. Their focus is on encouragement and support for parents who choose to use baby carriers for their little ones.

The Globe Gazette ( ) reports that the North Iowa group started as a splinter group of the Cedar Valley chapter when Miranda Fielder, 23, and other parents saw that there was enough interest.

For many parents, the choice to use carriers came out of necessity when two arms just weren't enough.

"We found out when we were pregnant with our second kids that we needed to be able to take care of a 2-year-old and a baby," Fielder said.

She said many women will receive a carrier as a baby shower present and it may not work for them.

"Sometimes people get turned off the idea because they didn't like one kind, but there are so many options," Fielder said. "There are more options than just what you see at the store, and they don't have to be uncomfortable."

The Babywearers have a library of carriers to try and loan with a membership.

"We want to help people find the right carrier for them," Fielder said. "We believe that there is no bad carrier, just ones that better suit your needs."

In addition to finding the proper carrier, the group helps educate how to use each type safely and comfortably. Group leaders can do fitting checks and make sure both the caregiver and child are safe and comfortable.

Laura Wight said the group was a great way to meet new friends and like-minded parents when her family moved to Clear Lake.

"Sometimes your child wants to be held and you get tired," Wight said. "This way they're close but your hands are free."

Wight likes to use a wrap-like carrier to hold her 2-year-old son, Ethan, on her back.

"When you're on a trip and doing a lot of walking, they get tired and want to be held," Wight said. "This way, he's being held and I'm comfortable, too."

The group has a Facebook page and alternates meetings between Mason City and Charles City each month. It has around 230 members in North Iowa. Although most of the Babywearers are moms, the group encourages dads to participate as well.

In addition to carriers, the group also talks about other parenting topics and can serve as a support group.

"This is something that parents 20 years ago didn't have," Fielder said. "It's nice to know you're not alone."


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