This week’s volunteer spotlight is Ryann Gerwig!
Name: Ryann Gerwig
Children: Riley 2, Ashton 6 mos
Volunteer Type: VBE (Volunteer Babywearing Educator)
BWI Meetings attended: Prince Frederick
My mom wore my sis and I in a snuggli 30+ years ago buuuuuut I don't remember than a bunch so I consider my discovery happened in the walmart parking lot. It was when having kids was still in the "some day" category and I saw a new mom wearing her baby in a stretchy wrap. I stopped her to ask what kind it was because I KNEW I HAD to carry my future babies like that.
What prompted you to try babywearing?
I was a high needs baby that would never be put down and figured pay back was coming my way and why wouldn't you want to snuggle your baby all the time?
I would say mei tais...right now. I go back and forth between that and wraps. I love mei tais because they are quick, easy and secure even with a leg straightener and seat popper. I have bad shoulders, so back wrapping when I'm having a bad shoulder day isn't the easiest but mei tais are still doable.
Oh this is a tough one. I'd have to go with my Didymos Jade triblend wrap. It's super soft and comfy for the baby but still supportive enough for the toddler and it's my faaaaaaaaavorite color.
What is your favorite carrier from the lending library?
The size 3 wrap nap fairy gray 100% linen wrap. I was afraid of linen until I found the rebozo love but wanted something that would give me a nice small knot so I ventured to the library to try linen. I found the linen love. It's broken in and not crunchy which is what I was scared of. It's supportive and sooooo nice and thin. It also helped me find shorty love. I had a size 2 and wasn't so much a fan, but 3s and I are buddies now :-)
Wow, how has it not? My eldest was a high needs baby that needed to be held all the time and couldn’t sleep alone. Babywearing allowed me to be hands free, give her what she needed and made me feel like an awesome mom for being able to take care of my baby AND myself! My youngest is super chill. But I have a toddler to keep up with also now. Babywearing allows me to be close to the baby, bond with her, and even nurse her on the go all while still meeting the needs of an energetic toddler.
When do you babywear most often (either during a particular activity, time of day, or place)?
Everyday dinner prep and Saturday morning cleaning.
A size 6 wrap.
There is a zombie apocalypse. You have time to grab only one carrier, what do you grab?
Am I just grabbing it to save one or am I using it? To use- a ring sling. To save to use from now on: a size 6 wrap.
I love babywearing. I love teaching. I love sharing the awesomeness that is babywearing. Put them together and what do you get...a VBE!
Do you have a favorite moment assisting someone with babywearing?
I recently helped a mom with newborn twins and 4 older kids. By the end of our meeting she was wearing AND nursing both babies hands free. It gave her so much freedom and ability to care for her older kids and herself by being able to carry both babies. Add nursing them on top of that...wow it was so fulfilling and rewarding to see her gain that "I can totally rock this mom of 6 attitude <3
Is there anything babywearing related you are still learning or looking forward to improving?
Always! There are like a billion fifty different carries out there so I'm constantly learning. I also love leaning from my fellow V/A/MBEs. Watching and listening to how they teach and picking up new tricks on how to help caregivers is awesome.
Dance! I started dancing at age 3, teaching at 16 and was a dance major my freshman year in college. I had 4 major hip surgeries that sort of put a damper on majoring in dance but I did keep it up as a hobby. I'm haven't taken regular classes or taught in years (though I plan to soon) but you will always find me at the Babywearing Ballet classes!
Thank you for sharing Ryann! If you are interested in becoming a VBE or volunteering in some other way let us know!