This week’s volunteer spotlight is Rachel Boarman the founder and leader of our BWI group!
Children: Anna (6), Matthew (3), Ellie, (7 mos)
Volunteer Type: MBE (Master Babywearing Educator) and also serves as the Education Coordinator on the Board of Directors for Babywearing International
BWI Meetings attended: St. Mary’s County meetings
How did you discover babywearing?
My next door neighbor gave me a hand-me down Snugli and I LOVED it and wore my daughter in it everywhere for the first few months. From there, I wanted to try all the carriers! So I tried pouch slings, soft structured carriers, ring slings, and then found my favorite, woven wraps.
My first BWI leader was a huge influence. I lived near Silver Spring and attended the meetings of DC/MD/VA that were held in the area. I went regularly while I was on maternity leave with Matthew. She taught me a ton and pointed to me to a lot of wonderful resources. She told me about thebabywearer.com where I found an amazing community and a ton of resources like carry of the week threads. She also showed me that I could find videos for how to do carries on YouTube and told me about a few reliable YouTube Channels.
What is your favorite type of carrier (wraps/ ring slings/ SSCs/ MTs, etc.) and why?
I love woven wraps the best. I like that you can create a perfectly customized carry and that there are infinite ways to adjust. I also love learning new carries and new tricks.
My favorite is a Storchenweige Leo size 6 wrap that was my first wrap. It was the first wrap I wore each of my babies in and I intend to keep it forever. Maybe some day I'll be lucky enough to wrap a grandbaby in it.
Do you have a story about a specific time that babywearing saved the day?
A few years ago, I took my daughter (then 3 years old) to play in the creek down the hill from our house (about a half mile away). My son was a newborn at the time and it was an unseasonably warm November day. My daughter was having a blast throwing in rocks and sticks into the creek. Suddenly she slipped down the bank and fell in. She was completely soaked. Although it was warm out, the water was really cold. I stripped my daughter out of her soaked clothes, took the baby out of the wrap for a moment, and then wrapped my daughter to my back and my son on front. We walked back up the hill home and everyone was snug and warm. I even had my hands free to carry her soaking wet clothes.
When do you babywear most often (either during a particular activity, time of day, or place)?
I find myself wearing most often around dinner time. That time of day is always tough at my house with no-nap toddler having a meltdown and the baby needing a nap at exactly the time dinner must be cooked.
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?
My Trusty Storch Leo.
There is a zombie apocalypse. You have time to grab only one carrier, what do you grab?
My Trusty Storch Leo.
I decided to become a VBE because I wanted to share my love of babywearing. Friends had been asking me for babywearing info, so I planned a few park meet ups. These started to get larger and larger. We decided to move them indoors to the library and start an official chapter. I met Jenn Shabe and she started it with me. We studied to become VBEs, sent hundreds of donation request emails to companies, created the website and facebook page and launched the group in November 2012.
What is your favorite thing about being a VBE?
I love the community of parents/caregivers in Southern Maryland. I enjoy meeting people at meetings and then running into them out and about wearing their babies. I also think babywearing gives a parent a wonderful tool for bonding with the baby and for caring for the baby while also meeting the demands of every day life. I love seeing people's photos and hearing how babywearing has made their life easier.
I am always learning something new. New carries, new teaching tricks. I really like watching other people teach and picking up tips and ideas from their babywearing instruction.
What do you like to do when you are not babywearing?
When I'm not attending babywearing groups or doing babywearing work behind the scenes, I home school my first grader and preschooler (while wearing the baby of course). I take weekly yoga classes,and enjoy reading in my (rare) free time.