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A Guide to Seeking Our Help Online

Carry Me Close volunteer educators donate their time to help local caregivers at our monthly in person meetings and on our busy Facebook page (insert link).  While in person help is superior, it’s not always possible.  Here are the steps to follow to get help from us online:

Click the following link and request entry to the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/carrymeclose/

The page will ask you to answer three questions – these help us keep spam accounts out and ensure people are local(ish) and interested in babywearing.  If you do not answer the questions within 24 hours your request will be denied.  You can re-request entry again at any time.

Once your request has been approved read the pinned post.  It contains the rules of the group.  If you have any questions feel free to ask on the post or on the page for clarification.

Search the group!  Facebook’s search function is pretty terrible so it’s very possible that nothing helpful will come up but it’s always worth a try.

If your question is related to positioning or pain while babywearing, please take pictures for us to comment on!  Multiple angles are helpful, as is wearing a colour that contrasts with your carrier (black clothing and a black carrier is especially hard to distinguish on small mobile devices!).  It is often easier to take pictures in a mirror that using the selfie mode on your handheld device. Better yet, have a family member or friend take the photos for you.

Feel free to use stickers or other photo edits to obscure faces.  Our Facebook group is private, but there are over 3500 people in it.   As an organization we will never use your photos inside or outside of the group without your explicit written permission.

Make your post.  Add the photos and other relevant information.  Baby’s age and rough measurements (i.e. weight, length) are normally helpful if you know them, as is any related medical or developmental concerns you or baby have.

Use your own best judgement when accepting advice. Our trained volunteers offer advice on our page, but so do knowledgeable members. Never do anything you feel is unsafe. If something seems unsafe to you, it’s fine to ask for clarification or wait for someone else to weigh in.

If you can, please consider making a small donation to the group through our PayPal account here.  Donations fund insurance for the group which protects our volunteers and allows the group to keep operating.  Your donation means the next caregiver who needs help will be able to access it through Carry Me Close Babywearers online or in person at our 101 meetings.

We’re Looking for Volunteers!

Carry Me Close Babywearers is an organization operated exclusively by volunteers. We are currently designing no cost, in-house training for Carry Me Close Babywearers volunteers. We hope to begin training by the end of 2018.

In the meantime, we are inviting Babywearing Educators who have completed training with the Canadian Babywearing School or an equivalent program to apply to volunteer with us at our “Babywearing 101 and Socializing” events. We are currently holding events once a month (every second Saturday, 1:30-3:45 at Ralph Thornton Community Centre), but hope to start offering meetings in different locations and at different times once we have enough volunteer educators and appropriate accessible spaces.

Here is the process:

  1. Send us a Letter of Interest (carrymeclosetoronto@gmail.com) telling us a bit about you, your training, and any relevant experiences or special skills.
  2. We will contact you and arrange for you to shadow one of our babywearing educator volunteers during one of our Babywearing 101 and Socializing meetings. We will ask you not to touch or instruct any participants during this shadowing session.
  3. If you are interested in moving ahead, we will send you information about all of our volunteer policies including our Current Practices Guidelines, Statement on Inclusion and Cultural Appropriation, and our Illness Policy.
  4. Once you have read all of our policies we will arrange for you to have a conversation with a member of our Board of Directors to discuss any questions you may have, either online or in person before a Babywearing 101 and Socializing meeting.
  5. The final step is to support one of the members of our Board of Directors at a Babywearing 101 and Socializing meeting. You will help to adjust carries and troubleshoot problems with participants under the supervision of the educator.
  6. If you feel you comfortable with our policies and demonstrate your understanding of them and commitment to them as you support our educator at the meeting, we will offer you a position as a volunteer with Carry Me Close Babywearers.
  7. You will become an official volunteer by signing our Volunteer Agreement, agreeing to abide by our official policies and procedures.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you for considering volunteering your time with us!

Featured Carrier: Spotlight on Ring Slings

Ring slings are a great option for newborns to toddlers and beyond but can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first.

Things to consider:

  1. Because you carry the weight on one shoulder and across your back, many people will prefer to use a ring sling for shorter periods of time after baby is 15lbs.
  2. Because there is only one pass of fabric to tighten, ring slings are relatively poppable (baby goes in, baby goes out).
  3. Depending on the fabric, many ring slings fold down quite small, making them an excellent carrier to have on hand while following a toddler-on-the-go.
  4. A ring sling carry is slightly dynamic and may need to be tightened periodically as you carry.

Ring slings are a style of carrier, not a brand. Many different brands are available with different fabrics and different shoulder styles (gathered vs. pleated shoulders is the most common dilemma for new buyers).

Important Safety Considerations:

  1. All the usual safety principles apply – keep baby visible and kissable.
  2. Ring slings are suitable for newborns (centered on wearer’s chest) and beyond (centered or hip).
  3. All the excess fabric should be under baby’s bum.  No rolling things into the top rail – it is easy to force baby’s head forward and into a risky position.
  4. If nursing in a ring sling, monitor baby throughout the feed, especially a young baby. Before wrapping and nursing, wait until nursing is well established and you are confident in your wrapping skills. Keep baby in an upright position to nurse and make sure to re-position baby high on your chest with face visible and kissable once nursing is finished, even if baby has fallen asleep

Helpful Videos:

Here are some videos we find helpful for learning to use a ring sling. If videos are not sufficient to meet your needs, please do not hesitate to seek out one of our events for help.

[When we share photo and video tutorials, we believe they represent good technique and relevant tips. We cannot vouch for every tutorial shared by the educators we feature. When in doubt, use your own judgement about whether a particular practice is safe – or ask a question in our Facebook group for clarification.]

This video from Babywearing Faith shows how to use a ring sling with a newborn.  If you also need a video on how to thread a ring sling, there is one available here.

And this second video demonstrates a hip carry in a ring sling using an older child.

How We Use Your Donations

We are run entirely by volunteers – through their time, labour, and emotional energy. This organization is a labour of love: for our children and for yours, and for all babies born with the need to touch and to be close to their caregivers, and for all the caregivers who need to get things done while meeting that need.

Carry Me Close Babywearers is a non-profit organization registered in the Province of Ontario. Since we are not a charity, we cannot issue charitable tax receipts. Donations help cover our insurance costs for the organization and for all the people who volunteer to run it. This is our most significant expense by far. If we are unable to successfully meet this cost, the organization will not be able to continue.

Cost should never be a barrier to participation in Babywearing 101 Meetings or in our online spaces. These events operate on a “Pay What You Can” basis and all are welcomed whether or not they can make a donation.

Our second most significant expense is making changes and additions to our carrier collection. We love to have the most common and popular carriers on hand at our meetings so that caregivers can compare and contrast different styles of carriers and decide which ones work best to meet their needs. For safety reasons, we can only bring brand new carriers into our collection – some of these are donated by manufacturers, but donations help us purchase others when there is significant demand.

If you would like to make a donation, you can find a donation box at our monthly “Babywearing 101 and Socializing” meetings. You can also find “Optional Donation” tickets on our Eventbrite listings, or donate directly to our PayPal account here: https://tinyurl.com/CMCdonatePayPal

We love our organization and we are hoping to help it grow up into a fantastic resource for families in our community. Thank you for all of your support, financial and otherwise! We hope we were able to give you the help you needed, when you needed it.