This week’s volunteer spotlight is Autumn Hunter!
Name: Autumn Hunter
Children: James, age 2 (27 months)
Volunteer Type: ABE (Advanced Babywearing Educator)
BWI Meetings attended: Odenton and Annapolis. Hopefully PG County in the near-ish future!
Other Jobs/ Volunteer positions: I am a Global Financial Crimes attorney for Bank of America. I handle economic sanctions, export control and anti-boycott advising for the bank.
How did you discover babywearing?
I knew about Moby and Ergo from other mommy friends and knew I wanted to use both to carry my baby. I learned about woven wraps from a couple mamas in my due date group, and became very quickly sucked in. I liked the ease of the Beco or Ergo, but wovens are my true love.
I saw how snuggly and cozy my friends' babies looked! I had heard about the benefits of skin to skin contact, and the ease of hands free carrying, but I also wanted the cuddles and protection when we were out and about when he was brand new.
Has a particular person been influential in your babywearing adventure? If so, what did they do that was so influential?
Absolutely. The many moms I knew before, and the many moms I've met in the community. In "real life," Rachel gave me the confidence to be a leader. I knew how to wrap and knew that I loved it, but I didn't know if I had what it took to be a teacher. I met April very early on in my babywearing journey, and she's been influential in a lot of ways, encouraging certification, keeping me grounded and being a good friend. And going on babywearing field trips!
Wraps!! I love the comfort, versatility and beauty of wraps. They may be the first thing I have legitimately collected AND used. Lately though, we are getting the most use out of ring slings. James only wants to be wrapped on front these days, and he instantly falls asleep in a ring sling. It has saved us for many a 4:30am melt down. :)
What is your favorite carrier from the lending library?
There is a gorgeous turquoise Nati that is so soft and pretty, I want to roll around in it. I wouldn't, because that would be weird.
Uppy Balboa Park. I loved it from the moment it was previewed, but thought it was unattainable. It came to me nearly for free after the stars aligned, and it was everything I dreamed of! Soft, moldable, perfect stretch, supportive even with a toddler, and so pretty. It will be with me into my Banywearing Grandma days (I'm claiming it!).
How has babywearing benefited your life?
How hasn't it?! James has always been a high-touch cuddler, and breastfeeding fiend. Even now in his super independent stage, he wants to cuddle when he's tired. There are days I wouldn't have gotten anything done if I couldn't multitask through babywearing.
Aside from the obvious though, I have made some amazing, priceless friendships in the community.
I was at my best friend's house, and her dogs started freaking out my son. She was trying to do damage control with the dogs and her baby started crying (while my toddler was screaming), and I had a conference call coming up. I ended up tandem wrapping (for the first time ever), and took the conference call with both of them quiet.
Do you have a funny babywearing story?
My mom had my son wrapped at Target and was approached by someone. She told the person that her daughter (me) was really into babywearing and could teach her everything about it, and had her look me up on Facebook and friend me right in Target. Meanwhile, I was wondering who the stranger was that had sent me a request. lol. She ended up coming to my house for a teaching session though!
When do you babywear most often (either during a particular activity, time of day, or place)?
Night time, these days.
Balboa Park, of course!
There is a zombie apocalypse. You have time to grab only one carrier, what do you grab?
That would be a travesty. But BP would win out again. I would probably cheat and cut off a scrap of Artipoppe Eternal Life Cranes though, for sentimental reasons that remind me of my Grandpa.
You just woke up from a babywearing dream – what carrier were you dreaming about and why?
Uppy Serendipity woolie, Artipoppe Argus The Lighthouse. Those two are in the long term ISO category.
I love everything about babywearing and broadcast it proudly. I started getting a lot of messages, even from friends who were newly pregnant and wanted to learn about babywearing before even breaking the news to close friends or family. That kind of thing lets you know how impactful we can be, and I wanted to help spread the word and teach what I know! While insured. (haha, j/k).
What is your favorite thing about being a VBE?
Chatting with the other chapter leaders, getting to work with so many new moms and their babies.
What do you love most about BWI of Southern Maryland?
The people! It's such a laid back, friendly crowd. It's hard not to look forward to seeing everyone.
Yes! The day I got a text at work from my mom, with a picture of my son sleeping on her back in a makeshift ruck. She was so proud of herself, and so was I!
Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with babywearing or children or your Mom status.
I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years, I am fascinated by languages and speak near fluent Spanish and conversational French (combination of school study and travels), and I hate eating the stems of any vegetables.
Thanks to Autumn for sharing. If you want more information on how to become a VBE or are interested in volunteering in some other way, please let us know!