This week’s volunteer spotlight is April Kinney!
Name: April Kinney
Children: Madeline, 2
Volunteer Type: ABE (Advanced Babywearing Educator)
BWI Meetings attended: Anne Arundel County – Odenton/Annapolis
Other Jobs/ Volunteer positions: Real life job - I work in Cyber Security. I'm an ISSO for SCI/SAP with the Navy. I am also a CPST (Child Passenger Safety Tech)
I always knew I wanted to do some kind of wearing, so when I was pregnant we registered (and received) a Britax SSC, very similar to the Bjorns. I met a momma online in the CD community who introduced me to the FB wearing community, Babywearing 102, she sent me her Tula to try. From there I purchased my first wraps and instantly fell in love.
Has a particular person been influential in your babywearing adventure? If so, what did they do that was so influential?
Rachel was the first major influence on my babywearing journey. I met her at my first BWI meeting in Waldorf. She was so friendly an encouraging, it made me eager to learn more! If it weren't for Rachel I wouldn't be an educator.
Autumn has been the biggest influence in expanding my wrap choices. Because of her I left my comfort zone, tried other brands and blends, learned about textile terms and all the other geekery that comes with the world.
I love and use all carriers, but SSCs are by far my favorite carrier right now. My daughter is in the toddler phase and SSC are quick, supportive and she's unable to pop out of them ;) Ring slings also get a lot of love from us, great for quick ups and downs and small enough to store in my bag.
What I also like about both of these carries is that I can "wear" them on my body while she’s not in them, snap a SSC around my waist and let it hang, loop the RS over my shoulder, and they are there waiting for me when we're ready.
What is your favorite carrier you have owned?
My pink elephants Kinderpack.
I love the Nati Swallows RS! It's so soft and supportive.
How has babywearing benefited your life?
April: It has allowed me the freedom of having free hands while shopping, extra room in grocery carts, naps on the go and knowing my toddler is safe and close by.
Do you have a story about a specific time that babywearing saved the day?
Madeline and I flew out to AZ for the IBWC. It was her first time flying and I was loaded down with bags. Being able to wear her through security, traveling the airport, terminals and boarding was a life saver! I don't know how I would have managed trying to rein her in and do all that. On the trip home, we took a redeye and I came down with food poisoning (or whatever bug spread at the conference). RIGHT as we entered the airport, I was hit with a wave nausea, got weak and could barely walk. I didn't have the energy to chase her down. Thankfully she was in the KP and even slept. I was so grateful for babywearing during that trip!
Sometimes when wearing, kiddos can reach items in the store and get them in their little claws before you realize it. One time in Kohls, she snatched a pair of sunglasses and had them on upside down. I didn't realize it until we passed a mirror. Gotta watch those little kleptos!
When do you babywear most often (either during a particular activity, time of day, or place)?
Mostly grocery shopping after work or trips to the mall, any store really!
You are having a baby and you can pick any carrier (but only one) to last from the newborn stage to the toddler days, what do you pick?
ONLY ONE!!! I'd choose a long wrap. A blend, cotton/linen, cotton/hemp or tri blend. Something that's soft enough for newborns and supportive and comfy with toddlers. I can front, back and hip carry with them.
There is a zombie apocalypse. You have time to grab only one carrier, what do you grab?
April: SSC! Much better with long term wearing, quick and no fuss!
You just woke up from a babywearing dream – what carrier were you dreaming about and why?
A Madhatter or Heartstring handwoven. They are gorgeous!
Because I enjoy teaching and helping others. I wanted to be involved with the community and the outreach. I think babywearing has so much to offer and want to share it with everyone. I take pride in knowing we're able to show safe, comfortable ways to make parenting a little easier.
What is your favorite thing about being a VBE?
I really enjoy helping caregivers find that carrier that works for them, when I assist them and see them later posting success stories or pictures I get the warm fuzzies <3 Also, meeting other VBEs, collaborating and learning from them.
What do you love most about BWI of Southern Maryland?
The ladies are laid back, friendly and down to earth!
Is there anything babywearing related you are still learning or looking forward to improving?
I am *hoping* to gain personal experience with tandem wearing ;) And newborn wearing. Also looking forward to the next International Babywearing Conference!
Running, softball, field hockey and other various sports. I don't have much time for lately but they are my passion. I'm also a CPST and car seat safety is very important to me.
What do you like to do when you are not babywearing?
Talk about babywearing?? LOL. Read, shopping, going to the movies, dinner out are things I like to do, but working mom hours mean mostly I'm doing house stuff.
Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with babywearing or children or your Mom status.
I played intercollegiate softball and field hockey. I was a bio major and later became a cyber security major.