To say we love this next organization and everything they stand for is a total understatement. Since our inception as the Barefoot Family we have been babywearers, so what a joy it was for all of us when Tampa got its own babywearing group! Not to mention- TBBW is a sponsor of the Barefoot Bus and was a huge supporter of our fundraising efforts to get the bus on the road! TBBW is an excellent source of information and support for families in our area- they have a very active Facebook group and host many informational events across the bay area. Angela Dunkley, their founder, shares with us how TBBW came to be and what they offer for families.
"Tampa Bay Babywearing is run by passionate volunteers and serves the entire Tampa Bay area. We are dedicated to bringing awareness to babywearing with it’s many benefits and to educate, encourage, and support caregivers in our community.
What is babywearing you ask… Dr. Maria Blois explains it in her book Babywearing - The Benefits and Beauty of This Ancient Tradition as the practice of carrying baby in a cloth carrier close to our body as we go about our daily business and as parenting's best kept secret! The term “Babywearing” was first coined by Dr. Sears and is one of the basic principles of Attachment Parenting.
And you want to know why you should babywear… As explained by Dr. Blois and as any babywearing parent’s will tell you babies who are worn cry less, are more calm and content, sleep more peacefully, nurse better, gain weight better, enjoy better digestion, and develop better. In addition, babywearing enhances parent-baby bonding, is practical, facilitates breastfeeding, helps working parents reconnect with baby, and makes transitions from one caregiver to another easier. More importantly, it allows you to meet your babys needs while still getting things done!
TBBW wants to share with you the love of babywearing and hosts several “Learn & Play’s” throughout Tampa Bay each month. Learn & play’s are informal gatherings that allow you to get information and basic babywearing support from a leader, it also provides a great opportunity to meet and develop friendships with like minded families. Expectant parents as well significant others and older children are welcome to attend. Learn and play’s are held at parks, libraries, or other community locations. Most locations will have select carriers available for practice or to try on in many cases these carriers may be checked out from our lending library for a limited time. Life size weighted dolls are also available at events to use for practice or for expectant parents to be able to experience wearing before baby arrive. Workshops such as “Intro to Babywearing” and “Babywearing 101” are also offered periodically. If group settings are not for you please ask us about our availability for private consultations. Although we do request a suggested minimum donation of $5 for most of our events which helps cover associated expenses, it is not required, however, a fee will be charged for private consultation, which will go directly to the consulted educator; pricing varies and is negotiable.
Tampa Bay Babywearing is like no other! We expand beyond the traditional realms of a babywearing support organization. We are very active in the local community and have partnered with many organizations as we work together to help support you as a parent. We have built a village we can call our own and we invite you to join us.
To make a long story short, as a mom of six (and having only TWO hands) I was always out and about wearing my babies, I was approached pretty much daily by moms interested in wearing and wanting to learn how to wrap their babies. I bagan meeting with moms one on one often having them over to my home and giving them little lessons on safely wrapping. Over the years I accumulated a little group of my own and although there were a few local babywearing groups already, they had been only very minimally active the year or so I was with them and each was based in a different area of Tampa Bay. I approached the leader of each of the other groups and invited them to join me in my plan to have one group for all of Tampa Bay with a focus on outreach, education, and support. They loved the idea! It takes a village you know! The rest is history. We started with a base of 40 some members and in less than two years we have more than 2300 members and now have 9 leaders! We’ve participated in every community event we’ve been able to, from parades, expo’s, and even joining forces with the local health department. It’s amazing the community we’ve formed and what has come from it.
Our Mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support.
It is our dream to one day see more babywearing than stroller pushing in Tampa Bay*. "
(*No, we are NOT anti-stroller, most babywearing families own strollers and use them when appropriate. We just know the many positive impacts wearing has on baby and the downfalls of babies spending too much time in equipment away from their parents)
Here I am teaching some new parents how to safely babywear one of their sweet new triplets! Just wanted to mention that most of these fabulous photos (unless otherwise watermarked) were taken by our previous client, star of the back end of the Barefoot Bus, great friend, and overall awesome human being Lee Anne from Petal & VIne Photography. Many of the woven wraps featured are from our other fabulous friend Diana over at Wrap Your Baby! Aside from selling wraps, Diana has also made oodles of fantastic step-by-step videos on how to safely babywear.