Wear: A Babywearing Conference

May 27-29, 2016 in Chicago

ABOUT CONFERENCE

Wear: A Babywearing Conference is focused on promoting safe, comfortable and accessible babywearing education. The conference seeks to educate and preserve indigenous babywearing practices while showcasing the latest in babywearing fashion, design and innovation.

participants

sessions

speakers

days

Speakers

Cortney Baca

Cortney is a birth doula, professional babywearing educator, founding director of Babywearing NM, and mom, and each of those titles led to her work here at MommyCon! When she's not interacting with ou

Cortney Baca

Event Liasion at MommyCon, Babywearing Educator, and Birth Doula

Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey is a babywearing consultant and entrepreneur. Her experience working with families began while serving as a teacher for young children and babies with disabilities in 1998. A Center for

Sarah Bailey

Babywearing Consultant and Entrepreneur

Laura Brown

Babywearing education has been a passion for Laura for more than 5 years. Her belief in mentorship and community has enabled her to build two of the largest babywearing groups in the US. Also a Postpa

Laura Brown

Babywearing Educator

Theresa Carroll

Theresa is a pediatric occupational therapist, volunteer babywearing educator, and mom to three little ones under four. She has over five years of experience working with children and adolescents wit

Theresa Carroll

Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Linnea Catalan

Linnea Catalan is the Executive Director of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance, the non-profit trade organization that represents the manufacturers, retailers, distributors and educators who work in t

Linnea Catalan

Executive Director

Kat Chaffin

Kat Chaffin is a babywearing mom of two who serves as President of the board of directors for Babywearing International, Inc., She enjoys helping meet the needs of caregivers through babywearing as an

Kat Chaffin

Advanced Babywearing Educator

Dara DaCunha, D.C.

Dr. Dara DaCunha is a chiropractor, doula, professional babywearing educator, and mother of two. Her practice in Scottsdale, Arizona focuses on pregnancy, postpartum, and infant care. Dr. Dara is kno

Dara DaCunha, D.C.

Chiropractor

Alisa DeMarco

A babywearing educator, textile designer, artist, business owner, and mother of 3 plus one on the way, Alisa has combined her love of babywearing with her passion for art and design. Her company, Tek

Alisa DeMarco

Owner and Operator of Tekhni Wovens

Allyson Downey

Allyson Downey is an entrepreneur, MBA, writer, and parent who has built a career on the power of trusted advice.  In 2013, she launched weeSpring, a Techstars-backed startup that helps new and

Allyson Downey

Author

Heather Felker

A breastfeeding and babywearing educator since 2009, Heather has been helping families develop their in-arms parenting skills through hands-on classes, private consultations, and her brick-and-mortar

Heather Felker

Breastfeeding and Babywearing Educaator

Karin Frost

Giving birth is a life-changing experience for every woman. For Karin Frost, giving birth to her first child also spawned the start of a life-altering business. During her pregnancy, Karin was intr

Karin Frost

Founder of Ergobaby

Claudette Garcia

Claudette Garcia

Rachel Gaston-Pifer

Rachel's three amazing kids in four years and house full of stairs (15 different sets, one hidden...) turned her into an avid babywearer. Before the wee family came along, she was a Latin teacher, lib

Rachel Gaston-Pifer

Babywearing Educator

Angelique Geehan

A freelance babywearing educator and consultant, Angelique works to seed communities with as much unconditional compassion, authenticity, and critical thinking as possible.

Angelique Geehan

Babywearing Educator

Kristy Gill

After my second child was born, I joined a local babywearing group in search of similar moms and I fell in love with babywearing, and loved being apart of such a supportive community. My experience pa

Kristy Gill

Babywearing Educator

Kristi Hayes-Devlin

Kristi Hayes-Devlin is the owner of Wrapsody, founder of the BCIA, and a professional teacher and babywearing educator.  She lives in Maine with her five children aged 3-16 and is passionate about st

Kristi Hayes-Devlin

Owner of Wrapsody Baby Carriers

Xza Louise Higgins

Xza Louise Higgins is the Founder and CEO of MommyCon, a babywearing educator and lover of healthy & happy babies. She is a former branding expert who spends her spare time with her two children,

Xza Louise Higgins

Founder and CEO of MommyCon

Kit Jenkins

Kit Jenkins is a mother of two beautiful daughters and a co-founder of The Carrying On Project, a Non-Profit dedicated to providing free quality baby carriers to low income military families. When she

Kit Jenkins

Co-Founder of The Carrying On Project

Jacquelyn Jennings

Jacquelyn Jennings

Steffany Kerr

Steffany Kerr is a mom to four kids, ages 3 through 8. She is a Master Babywearing Educator and has founded BWI of Kansas City and BWI of Oahu chapters. Steffany has worked as a volunteer and professi

Steffany Kerr

Master Babywearing Educator

Laney Kolker

Laney has been on the road with MommyCon for three years and is passionate about empowering women both inside and outside of motherhood. She is mom to three little girls, is a trained babywearing educ

Laney Kolker

Sales Director at MommyCon

Iola Kostrzewski

Iola is Mom to three boys, all of whom have been worn since birth.  She is a former VBE and co-founder of the Twin Cities chapter. Iola is a leader with the Western Wisconsin Babywearing Lending Lib

Iola Kostrzewski

Certified Lactation Educator, Breastfeeding Disparities Advocate, Western Wisconsin Babywearing Libr

Jennifer Labit

Jennifer Labit is the Founder & CEO of Cotton Babies, Inc. She created bumGenius, a world-leading brand of cloth diapers. Jenn earned her Executive MBA from Washington University while pregnant with h

Jennifer Labit

Founder & CEO of Cotton Babies, Inc.

Beth Warrell Leistensnider

Beth spent several years in the publishing industry as a writer and editor at various organizations including the American Library Association and Encyclopedia Britannica. Her love of literature inspi

Beth Warrell Leistensnider

Founder and President of Catbird Baby

Kathy Loughren

Kathy has been a neonatal expert for well over 30 years, serving as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She has worked around the country in NICUs, as well as servi

Kathy Loughren

MSN, ARNP, IBCLC and Co-Founder of Parenting Resources

Kathy Low

Kathy Low has three young children which makes babywearing essential to her parenting experience. Kathy found babywearing prior to the birth of her first child in 2010 and fell quickly in love. She ha

Kathy Low

Co-Founder BWI Grand Rapids

Jessica Martin-Weber

Don’t tell this mom of six girls to cover up while nursing. She is passionate, motivated and dedicated to helping mothers find the strength and courage to breastfeed in an unsupportive society.

Jessica Martin-Weber

Founder of The Leaky Boob

Jay McMillin

Jay is a first time mother to a 3.5 year old Dragon Toddler. Her early breastfeeding difficulties stirred her into the loving embrace of both La Leche League and Babywearing International of the Bay A

Jay McMillin

Babywearing Educator

Joanna McNeilly

Joanna is a mom of two spritely children who are the fuel of her life. She is the founder of the Center for Babywearing Studies and the BOND Conference.  Sh

Joanna McNeilly

CKC, CLC

Kyle Morse

Kyle Morse is a father of three young children and the owner of Elephant Ears Children's Store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His first career passion was as a plumbing and steam-heating expert, but as his

Kyle Morse

Owner of Elephant Ears Children's Store, Babywearing Educator, and CPST

Rebecca Morse

Becca is a mom of 3, with a babywearing and lactation private practice specializing in families facing unique challenges.  She along with her husband kyle own a beautiful children's boutique in Plymo

Rebecca Morse

Infant Parenting Educator

Henrik Norholt

Dr. Norholt has been engaged in studying the effects of infant carrying on child psychological development through naturalistic and literature studies since 2004.  He is actively engaged in developin

Henrik Norholt

Chief Science Officer at Ergobaby

MaryEllen Olson

MaryEllen is a wife, mother to a spunky toddler, and a social worker, in addition to the many other hats she wears. Her passion for all things mothering started during her and her wife’s journey to

MaryEllen Olson

Babywearing Enthusiast, MSW

Inger Poulsen

Inger Poulsen

Psychotherapist

Kate Schnetzer

Kate holds as Masters in Health Administration and is a Certified Babywearing Educator, Lactation Counselor, Postpartum Doula, Child Passenger Safety Technician, and holds Certifications in Child Welf

Kate Schnetzer

MHA and Co-Founder of Parenting Resources

Allyson Storey

As an older sibling in a large family, Allyson grew up around children. In high school, she worked as a nanny before heading to college where she majored in photography and minored in child developmen

Allyson Storey

Photographer

Karyn Tankersley

Karyn is a babywearing educator serving North East Ohio. She teaches babywearing classes at Mother Rising Women's Studio in Chardon, Ohio and provides in home consultations to those who request it.

Karyn Tankersley

Advanced Babywearing Educator and Owner of Carrying with Karyn LLC

Inger Thormann

Inger Thormann

Psychologist

Jennifer Tolisano

Hiking With Keiki is a group founded by babywearers who are passionate about hiking. I am an administrator and hiking lead with the group, and have been involved since its inception, and I am also a V

Jennifer Tolisano

Volunteer Babywearing Educator

Janet Velting

Janet Velting is mom to two boys and has been wearing since her first was born in 2013. Janet is a Master Babywearing Educator and currently serves Babywearing International as the East Region Chapter

Janet Velting

Master Babywearing Educator

Hallie Waldrep

Hallie Waldrep

Nancy Warwaruk

Nancy is a Handweaver that has been weaving for 18 years. She has been weaving baby wraps since 2009 and has lead the resurgence of handweaving in the baby wrap world.

Nancy Warwaruk

Weaver

Lela Williams

Dr. Lela Williams received her Ph.D. in 2006 and subsequently completed a two year post-doctoral research fellowship in infancy and child development. Areas of expertise include mother-infant bonding,

Lela Williams

Associate Professor at Arizona State University & Babywearing Educator

Ben Winton

Ben is a CBWS Certified Babywearing Consultant. Married for 10 years to his amazing wife Lara and daddy to 2 wonderful boys with another crazy boy on the way. Ben has been babywearing for over 4 years

Ben Winton

Babywearing Consultant

Mat York

Loving father of 2 wonderful children and husband to his VBAC Warrior wife. Mat's passion for car seat safety and natural parenting has come organically through the joy of fatherhood. His experie

Mat York

CPST, Retail Specialist, & Babywearing Educator

Schedule

8:30AM-9:00AM

Welcome to WEAR! Join the Organizers for an Introduction to the Conference

WEAR seeks to unite thought leaders, manufacturers, and educators in the babywearing space. Join us for coffee to meet the minds behind the conference, learn about the differences in the tracks, and learn about what is at the heart of WEAR.

Xza Higgins
9:00AM-9:45AM

Finding the Perfect Soft Structured Carrier with Kristy Gill

What is the best carrier? This is question many new parents and caregivers ask. With so many different brands and types on the market, the options are endless – and oftentimes overwhelming. You may have heard that finding a perfect carrier is like finding a perfect pair of jeans; this is absolutely true! From brands, styles, size, fit, to how/when the carrier will be used, there are so many considerations. This session is aimed at helping new parents to determine the perfect soft structured carrier for their family and their needs.

Kristy Gill
9:00AM-9:45AM

Babywearing Yoga presented by Ergobaby

Join us for yoga that will recharge the soul and gets your body moving. Everyone is welcome to join us for this interactive session for all skill levels. Babywearing modifications will be provided to those wearing their little ones.

Dr. Dara DaCunha
9:00AM-10:15AM

More Than Just Convenience: The Science Behind Infant Carrying

A 34-year Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and world-renowned speaker on infant health, Kathy Loughren MSN ARNP IBCLC, breaks down the science behind infant carrying. From the physiological to psychological, wearing your baby can be about more than than just a convenience - it can be life-changing for baby and parent. IBLCE approved for 1.25 R-CERPs and CBWS approved for 1.25 CEU's.

Kathy Loughren & Kate Schnetzer
9:00AM-4:00PM

The Babywearing Lounge

Touch, feel, and try on dozens of carriers in our signature Babywearing Lounge.

9:00AM-4:00PM

Consultation Room

Sign-up for a one-on-one mini session with babywearing educators from around the globe. Pick an expert based on what you would like to learn about. Sign-up sheets will be available as we get closer to the event and on event day.

9:00AM-4:00PM

Community Loom: Learn to Weave

Join your fellow attendees on our community loom. During the conference, attendees can sit and throw the shuttle. At the end of the conference, we will post an online auction for the commemorative woven piece. Proceeds will benefit the charity that receives the most votes during the conference.

9:00AM-4:00PM

Exhibitor Hours

We will have over 50 exhibitors in attendance, including the MommyCon Shoppe!

10:00AM-11:00AM

I Want to Be An Educator, Now What?

Have you ever wondered how to turn your passion for babywearing into a career? In this session, Laura walks you through different opportunities to gain experience, how to decide if training or certification is right for you, getting started teaching private consultations and classes, as well as opportunities with retailers, manufacturers, and other babywearing related businesses and fields. She’ll also cover important aspects such as branding, advertising and building your business via social media and networking, as well as liability considerations.

Laura Brown
10:00AM-11:00AM

Wrapping 101 with the Moby Wrap & Tekhni Wovens

Curious about stretchy wraps and woven wraps? This session will be hands-on. If you don't have a baby with you, no problem! We will have dolls, wraps for you to use and hands-on instruction from Center for Babywearing Studies-trained educators.

Laney Kolker & Alisa DeMarco
10:30AM-11:30AM

Benefits of Babywearing for Children and Caregivers

Theresa Carlson Carroll is a pediatric occupational therapist and babywearing mom who will share current evidence on how babywearing can support a child's motor, sensory processing, cognitive, and psychosocial development.  The benefits of babywearing for caregivers will also be discussed, as well as special considerations for children who demonstrate developmental delays or disabilities. IBLCE approved for 1 R-CERP and CBWS approved for 1 CEU.

Theresa Carlson Carroll
11:15AM-12:15PM

Babies at Work presented by Cotton Babies

Jennifer Labit will discuss why Cotton Babies has made the decisions to allow babies at work. She will discuss how babywearing can help support a parent who chooses to keep their baby at work and carriers to consider and avoid. Important issues to consider as an employee using this benefit will be discussed including office etiquette and how to talk to your employer about bringing your baby to work. Finally, she will discuss legal safeguards and boundaries that employers considering this benefit will want to have in place before allowing an employee to bring a baby into the workplace.

Jennifer Labit
11:15AM-12:15PM

Fancy Tie-Offs and Finishes

If you're looking to shake up your wrap routine, come and play during this session! Enthusiasts and educators alike are invited to come and have fun as we look at some of the options for tying off your basic carries with a few new twists! We'll integrate sling rings into some front and hip carries, as well as look at some ruck and double hammock tie-off variations. This session is all about celebrating the FUN of woven wrap versatility!

Cortney Baca
11:15AM-12:15PM

From Passion to Brick & Mortar

This session dives into building a babywearing focused retail store. Hear from a seasoned retailer on the joy and challenges behind owning a retail store.

Sarah Bailey
12:15PM-1:30PM

Lunch Break

With hundreds of restaurants within walking distance, our downtown location offers the best in dining for all budgets, dietary restrictions, and time-frames. The Water Tower Place food court is located just one block away and offers more than a dozen different dining choices. One of our personal favorites is Wow Bao, but you can also find pizza, pasta, stir fry, a salad bar, and more in the Food Life cafeteria. For more recommendations, check out ourblog!

12:15PM-1:30PM

Ultimate Educator Session hosted by Alisa DeMarco

This session is open to Ultimate Educator Package ticket holders. Enjoy lunch while learning about all the amazing carriers you will be receiving. This session is hosted in collaboration with the WEAR Team.

Alisa DeMarco
1:30PM-2:00PM

Educator Speed Dating: Meet the Educator with Heather Felker

Meet babywearing educator Heather Felker, talk shop, and ask questions to help you as an educator! Whether you are curious about social media, educating practices or learning new carries, this session will give you a chance to talk with an experienced educator one-on-one!

Heather Felker
1:30PM-2:15PM

Introduction to the Mei Tai

After learning a brief history of the mei tai, learn how to use one of the oldest carriers on the modern babywearing market.

Beth Warrell Leistensnider
1:30PM-3:00PM

Traditional Baby Carriers: Then and Now

This session will discuss carriers from around the world and different traditions, how to use them, and the cultural origins of the carriers we use today.

Angelique Geehan
1:30PM-3:00PM

Babywearing Saves Lives: Kangaroo Care

A NICU Neonatal Nurse Practitioner of 34 years and world renowned speaker on infant health, Kathy Loughren will share her experiences with Kangaroo Care in the NICU setting with preterm infants, the science behind KC, the importance of KC on preterm and special needs newborns worldwide, and how to promote this practice in your own setting or community. She will be teaming up with Certified Babywearing Educator Kate Schnetzer on the practicalities of actually executing Kangaroo Care. IBLCE approved for 1.5 L-CERPs and CBWS approved for 1.5 CEU's.

Kathy Loughren & Kate Schnetzer
1:30PM-3:00PM

Wrap Geekery

This session will show attendees how to discern their magic length for short (rebozo / FWCC TUB / RTAS / RRRR) and long (FCC / FWCC / DH) wraps, considering tapers, moldability, and child size. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how to determine g/m^2 using a postal scale and measuring tape. There will be a discussion of how to repair pulls and broken threads. Attendees will get a chance to try out different repair and measuring tools. No Babies Allowed: there will be sharp objects. This is a semi-hands-on workshop

Rachel Gaston-Pifer
2:00PM-2:30PM

Educator Speed Dating: Meet the Educator with Laney Kolker

Meet babywearing educator Laney Kolker, talk shop, and ask questions to help you as an educator! Whether you are curious about social media, educating practices or learning new carries, this session will give you a chance to talk with an experienced educator one-on-one!

Laney Kolker
2:30PM-3:00PM

Educator Speed Dating: Meet the Educator with Laura Brown

Meet babywearing educator Laura Brown, talk shop, and ask questions to help you as an educator! Whether you are curious about social media, educating practices or learning new carries, this session will give you a chance to talk with an experienced educator one-on-one!

Laura Brown
2:30PM-3:15PM

Tandem Babywearing Basics

This class will be a live demonstration and group practice of basic tandem babywearing considerations helpful for caregivers of multiple children (both twins and children of multiple ages).

Karyn Tankersley
2:30PM-3:15PM

Benefits of Babywearing for Non-Gestational Parents presented by Baby Tula

MaryEllen will discuss the benefits of babywearing for those who are the non gestational parent (NGP) of their child. This includes dads, families with more than one mom, foster parents, adoptive parents, and anyone else who considers themselves a parent. MaryEllen will share her own experience in addition to data collected from online groups geared towards GLBTQ and other non gestational parents. This will include benefits and challenges of babywearing as a NGP, the difference in experiences babywearing, and input for companies and brands who wish to reach this population in their marketing or advertising. There will be time for discussion and Q&A as well.

MaryEllen Olson
3:00PM-3:30PM

Educator Speed Dating: Meet the Educator with Xza Higgins

Meet babywearing educator Xza Higgins, talk shop, and ask questions to help you as an educator! Whether you are curious about social media, educating practices or learning new carries, this session will give you a chance to talk with an experienced educator one-on-one!

Xza Higgins
3:15PM-4:00PM

Babywearing and The Healing Parent with The Leaky Boob presented by Arm’s Reach Portapak

This session will discuss trauma survivors as parents and the healing of babywearing.

Jessica Martin-Weber
3:15PM-4:15PM

Babywearing as an Evidence-Based Intervention for Young Mothers

Lela Rankin Williams, Ph.D., VBE, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University, is leading a community-based intervention study to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the benefits of babywearing within a vulnerable population. She is working with young moms (15-25 years old) to compare those who received parent programming from an agency to those who received the same programming plus an infant carrier on measures of attachment, health, and postpartum depression, anxiety and stress. Mothers receive an infant carrier when their babies are between 2-4 weeks of age and were asked to wear their babies at least one hour daily. Mothers were followed up 3- and 6-months later. Preliminary results indicate that babywearing is effective at improving mother-infant attachment and health outcomes. IBLCE approved for 1 E-CERP and CBWS approved for 1 CEU.

Lela Williams, Ph.D.
3:30PM-4:30PM

An Introduction to Social Justice Concepts

Dip into the jargon of current social justice discussions and begin discussions on how understanding these concepts can improve effectiveness and reach while building community. Prerequisite: Participants must have business and professional goals that are compatible with a commitment to treating others and themselves with compassion and respect.

Angelique Geehan
3:30PM-4:30PM

Introduction to the Ring Sling

Get a clear, technical understanding of how to make ring slings work. We will start from the basics — materials, construction, and mechanics — and proceed to loading, positioning, and troubleshooting techniques. We’ll discuss why ring slings can be so great for any age of child and many different caregivers.

Mat York
4:15PM-5:00PM

Post Apocalyptic Babywearing

This class is for those who enjoy learning about about self defense while babywearing, tandem and emergency babywearing, and can maintain a sense of humor. We will be talking about different things to use as baby carriers should the need arise, some hand-to-hand combat skills with consideration given to what babywearing can do to your center of gravity, and what kind of carriers make great bug-out bag options!

Kit Jenkins
5:00PM-5:45PM

Meet the Founder: Media and Speaker Meet and Greet with Karin Frost

Open to our speakers and media only, and RSVP is required. Meet and mingle with the founder of Ergobaby, Karin Frost. Hear her story, share in the laughs, and have some wine.

5:00PM-6:00PM

Dinner Break

6:00PM-8:00PM

The WEAR Party: The Babywearing Battle, Raffles, and Dance Party

Join us for a babywearing dance party with fun raffles, cocktails, and a star-studded edition of Babywearing: X-Factor. Join top babywearing educators as they battle it out for the chance to win carriers for their libraries, gift cards, and more!

8:00PM-9:30PM

Stash Share: Wovens, Conversions, and Ring Slings

Bring your carriers for a community based share! You can try out fellow attendee carriers and get to know each other! Please note that there will not be a WEAR staff member present for this session.

8:00PM-9:30PM

Stash Share: Buckles, Mei Tai’s, and More

Bring your carriers for a community based share! You can try out fellow attendee carriers and get to know each other! Please note that there will not be a WEAR staff member present for this session.

Open 24 hours a day

Evenflo Feeding Lounge

Evenflo will be bringing their plush feeding lounge to the WEAR Conference. This lounge offers a quiet place for you to feed your child, pump in private, or escape the conference for a bit of reprieve. The lounge will be available 24 hours a day for our conference attendees and those staying at the hotel.

9:00AM-9:45AM

Teaching Back Wrapping

In this session, we will look at how certain front wrap carries can build back wrapping skills. We will discuss the benefits of and experiment with various back loading (and unloading) methods. We will look at where on the caregiver and the baby the magic C afferent nerved skin is located, which allows for skin to skin therapy in a back carry.  We will use our new-found front wrap carry knowledge, loading skills, and S2S therapy knowledge to explore the ruck back carry.

Rachel Gaston-Pifer
9:00AM-9:45AM

The Babywearer’s Guide to Hiking

This session is based off of the group, Babywearing with Keiki, which has more than 4,000 members and serves as a resource for those who are curious about hiking, babywearing, and the combination of the two. The organization's leaders will share what their community means to them and the organizational details required to run a large volunteer organization, including acquiring and training hiking leads, planning hikes and other special events, and administrating a large Facebook group. This session will also discuss best practices for babywearing while hiking.

Jennifer Tolisano
9:00AM-10:30AM

Babywearing and Fathers: What It Will Do For Your Child, Your Marriage, and Society

Fathers’ caregiving behavior is distinctly different to mothers’ and has been found to contribute uniquely to child development. There is a growing body of research demonstrating how fathers’ brain caregiving systems are influenced and shaped through being and interacting with their infant through father-infant contact. Parental oxytocin, spouse mutual affection, as well as parent-infant affection and attunement have also found to be related. At a societal level, in the Scandinavian countries, mothers’ sustained insistence on fathers’ involvement in childcare as contributed to the creation of family-oriented societies, while maintaining extraordinarily high economic productivity. IBLCE approved for 1.5 R-CERPs and CBWS approved for 1.5 CEU's.  

Henrik Norholt
9:00AM-12:30PM

Exhibitor Hours

We will have over 50 exhibitors in attendance, including the MommyCon Shoppe!

9:00AM-4:00PM

The Babywearing Lounge

Touch, feel, and try on dozens of carriers in our signature Babywearing Lounge.

9:00AM-4:00PM

Consultation Room

Sign-up for a one-on-one mini session with babywearing educators from around the globe. Pick an expert based on what you would like to learn about. Sign-up sheets will be available as we get closer to the event and on event day.

9:00AM-4:00PM

Community Loom: Learn to Weave

Join your fellow attendees on our community loom. During the conference, attendees can sit and throw the shuttle. At the end of the conference, we will post an online auction for the commemorative woven piece. Proceeds will benefit the charity that receives the most votes during the conference.

9:55AM-10:40AM

Fall In Love With The Mei Tai presented by Babyhawk

Learn the history of the mei tai, ways to teach the mei tai and further understand knowledge surrounding this age-old carrier that is wildly popular. CBWS approved for 0.75 CEU's.

Joanna McNeilly & Laney Kolker
9:55AM-10:40AM

Babywearing and Infant Development

This session will cover infant milestones and development in a practical manor, including what you will actually see versus western society's expectations. We will also discuss babywearing and in arms parenting and the impact they have on an infants development.

Allyson Storey
9:55AM-10:40AM

How to Make Attachment Parenting Work with Work: Babywearing When Returning to Work

Having a baby doesn't have to mean putting your career on hold.  Though pregnancy and childbirth can create tricky situations for moms in the workplace -- ranging from avoiding the "mommy track" to managing childcare -- it's possible to balance a successful career with committed motherhood.  Drawing from her research for Here's the Plan, this talk outlines practical, brass-tacks advice on keeping your career moving forward through the childbearing years.

Allyson Downey
10:40AM-11:40AM

Therapy with Infants: Treating a Traumatized Child

Two Danish psychotherapists have worked with inspiration from French psychoanalysis and a crucial imperative: Never allow the child’s pain to be forgotten. As psychotherapists working with infants, they have seen first-hand that even very young children can benefit from therapeutic communication. Together, they developed a method of infant therapy that is now used with people of all ages who experienced a trauma before they had a fully developed language. In an engaging presentation, supplemented with video clips from their therapy sessions, the presenters introduce their audience to the ideas and methods of infant therapy. IBLCE approved for 1 R-CERP and CBWS approved for 1 CEU.

Inger Thormann and Inger Poulsen
10:40AM-11:40AM

Brand Partnerships in the Babywearing Narrative with The Leaky Boob presented by Arm’s Reach Portapak

How to use online storytelling that connects with the heart while working with brands to raise awareness, educate, and support families without sacrificing your values. Learn how to find your voice, navigate partnerships, and inspire engagement beyond the tutorial.

Jessica Martin-Weber
11:00AM-11:45AM

Working with WIC: Why, How, and Getting Past Resistance

How can baby carriers be of use and get into the hands of underserved and underprivileged populations? During this session, Rebecca will discuss different types of service organizations and how to find them and approach them effectively and the differences between working in lending library settings and public health settings. Rebecca will also share lessons she's learned while teaching in public health settings and the difference between working with privately funded and publicly funded organizations. And she will share ways to get involved with WIC.

Rebecca Morse
11:45AM-12:45PM

Lunch Break

With hundreds of restaurants within walking distance, our downtown location offers the best in dining for all budgets, dietary restrictions, and time-frames. The Water Tower Place food court is located just one block away and offers more than a dozen different dining choices. One of our personal favorites is Wow Bao, but you can also find pizza, pasta, stir fry, a salad bar, and more in the Food Life cafeteria. For more recommendations, check out ourblog!

11:45AM-12:45PM

Lunch Session: The Ergobaby Story

Karin Frost, founder of Ergobaby, discusses the role of attachment parenting and babywearing through her journey as a mother and the creator of the Ergobaby Carrier.

Karin Frost
12:45PM-1:45PM

Teaching Shorties: Rebozo’s, No Sew Ring Slings and More

Learn to teach and use shorties by the founder of Tekhni, Alisa DeMarco. The session will show you standard carries for short woven wraps. You can bring your own wrap or use one of the Tekhni's available for demonstration.

Alisa DeMarco
12:45PM-1:45PM

The History of Baby Carriers in North America

In this class, we will explore baby carriers from all over the world and their history. You will be able to touch and feel carriers on display around the room. We will discuss the modern history of babywearing and how babywearing has come into western cultures through the last 50 years. Then we will discuss how to get in touch with your babywearing origin story and how to use your own personal history and the history of babywearing to make you a better educator.

Rebecca and Kyle Morse
12:45PM-1:45PM

It’s Okay to Get Paid!

Sometimes, a stigma attached to charging for services related to caregiving (and therefore babywearing) can limit an individual's options for supporting their community's needs. This session presents a call to action and pathways for professional growth in an emerging field.

Laura Brown & Angelique Geehan
1:00PM-2:30PM

Precautions and Special Considerations for Tandem Babywearing

Using her experience as a Certified Babywearing Educator and a skilled tandem babywearer, Rachel will address precautions and special considerations for tandem babywearing. She will look at how tandem babywearing can affect the wearer, the babies, and the carriers. Rachel will share data collected from polls given to members of the Tandem Babywearing Facebook group (which has more than 10,000 members) related to successful carries, successful carrier choices, and which carry combination members most seek help with. She will discuss the best tandem options by babies' gross motor skills levels for both multiples and mixed ages. IBLCE approved for 1.5 L-CERPs and CBWS approved for 1.5 CEU's.

Rachel Gaston-Pifer
1:50PM-2:25PM

Fitting Carriers: Petite Babywearing Edition

Jay McMillin & Hallie Waldrep
2:00PM-3:00PM

Teaching Tandem Babywearing

Class will provide a basic outline of considerations to help facilitate teaching safe tandem babywearing practices. Common tandem babywearing mistakes will be discussed.

Karyn Tankersley
2:00PM-3:00PM

How to Sell a Baby Carrier

Creating an "it" factor and drive sales in non-traditional ways. CBWS approved for 1 CEU.

Joanna McNeilly
2:30PM-3:15PM

Using Wraps, Ring Slings, and Exploring American Babywearing Subculture from a Man’s Perspective

Babywearing Dad Kyle Morse loves tools and sees fabric carriers as the ultimate parenting tool. In this class, Kyle will demonstrate how best to teach men to use ring slings and wraps with success. He will explore the history of the ring sling and its male/fatherly origins. He will end the class with a small discussion of how men can better understand American babywearing subculture and find their place or set limits if desired.

Kyle Morse
2:30PM-3:15PM

Babywearing Education for High Risk Mothers

During this session, Steffany Kerr will use evidence based practices to present a framework for working with high risk and vulnerable populations. This session will review relevant research, discuss challenges, and present best practices for babywearing educators for education and advocacy based programming. This session will provide a framework for trauma theory and explore critical issues of relevance to vulnerable populations, and discuss how best to approach these issues using evidence based practices. CBWS approved for 0.75 CEU's.

Steffany Kerr
3:15PM-4:15PM

Implementing Infant Therapy

Danish psychotherapists,  Inger Thormann and Inger Paulsen, use infant therapy, inspired by the work of the late French psychoanalyst Francoise Dolto, to work with pre-verbal trauma and help children regain their footing and begin to thrive. It is amazing to see the transformation these children undergo and the profound connection that is established in the therapeutic meeting. The parents play an important role in therapy. Often, they are deeply pained about the traumatic experiences that have disrupted their connection with the child. IBLCE approved for 1 R-CERP and CBWS approved for 1 CEU.

Inger Thormann & Inger Pouslen
3:15PM-4:15PM

Branding Workshop: Google Worthy

Are you curious how to optimize search results? How do you get noticed as a small business when there is so much competition? This session is for you!

Xza Higgins
3:30PM-4:30PM

Using Babywearing to Support Breastfeeding Goals presented by Baby Tula

Jay will discuss the physiological benefits involved in breastfeeding success that can be supported by the act of babywearing. The session will also touch on some realities of early breastfeeding difficulties and how we can help caregivers avoid them. The second half will include a demonstration of ways to safely nurse in different carriers, information on safety concerns while breastfeeding in carriers, and examples of attire that can make breastfeeding more manageable in a carrier. CBWS approved for 1 CEU.

Jay McMillin
3:30PM-4:30PM

Rocking Your Babywearing Consulting Business

Do you have dreams of starting your own babywearing consulting business? Learn the essentials to rocking your babywearing business. Topics such as getting started, branding, pricing, marketing, networking, online and community presence, and SEO will be covered amongst others!

Kate Schnetzer & Kathy Loughren
4:30PM-5:30PM

Dinner with the BCIA Panel: State of the Industry

Join BCIA board members for a panel discussion about current industry issues. Bring your questions for a Q&A hour addressing compliance and current regulations, counterfeit carriers, industry best practices and safety messaging. This session is open to manufacturers, retailers, educators and consumers alike. Panel will be led by: Linnea Catalan, BCIA Executive Director Beth Warrell Leistensnider, BCIA founding board member/Catbird Baby Joanna McNeilly, BCIA founding board member/Center for Babywearing Studies

Joanna McNeilly, Beth Warrell Leistensnider, & Linnea Catalan
4:30PM-6:00PM

Dinner Break

6:00PM-7:30PM

The WEAR Awards

You voted, and now we will announce the winners for the first annual WEAR awards!

8:00PM-9:30PM

Stash Share: Wovens, Conversions, and Ring Slings

Bring your carriers for a community based share! You can try out fellow attendee carriers and get to know each other! Please note that there will not be a WEAR staff member present for this session.

8:00PM-9:30PM

Stash Share: Buckles, Mei Tai’s, and More

Bring your carriers for a community based share! You can try out fellow attendee carriers and get to know each other! Please note that there will not be a WEAR staff member present for this session.

Open 24 hours a day

Evenflo Feeding Lounge

Evenflo will be bringing their plush feeding lounge to the WEAR Conference. This lounge offers a quiet place for you to feed your child, pump in private, or escape the conference for a bit of reprieve. The lounge will be available 24 hours a day for our conference attendees and those staying at the hotel.

9:15AM-10:00AM

Creating a Positive Babywearing Community

Alisa DeMarco
9:00AM-4:00PM

The Babywearing Lounge

Touch, feel, and try on dozens of carriers in our signature Babywearing Lounge.

9:00AM-4:00PM

Consultation Room

Sign-up for a one-on-one mini session with babywearing educators from around the globe. Pick an expert based on what you would like to learn about. Sign-up sheets will be available as we get closer to the event and on event day.

9:00AM-4:00PM

Community Loom: Learn to Weave

Join your fellow attendees on our community loom. During the conference, attendees can sit and throw the shuttle. At the end of the conference, we will post an online auction for the commemorative woven piece. Proceeds will benefit the charity that receives the most votes during the conference.

9:15AM-10:00AM

Why You Should Care: Following Manufacturer Instruction

Laura Brown & Mat York
9:15AM-10:15AM

Advanced Ring Sling Techniques

This course is an amazing collection of advanced ring sling techniques born out of the true love and devotion that Becca and Kyle have for ring sling use with children of all ages. They will cover among other things: Using your ring sling on the back with ease, adjusting newborns in ring slings for perfect head support, and carrying heavy or older children in a ring sling. They will also go over how to do a proper visible and kissable cradle carry and when as well as breastfeeding techniques and safety. IBLCE approved for 1 R-CERP.

Rebecca Morse
10:15AM-11:00AM

How Babywearing Can Help Children and Caregivers on the Autism Spectrum

This course will focus on relevant research related to Autism Spectrum Disorder and how that evidence can support the practice of babywearing as a therapeutic practice and intervention. Practical applications of babywearing as an intervention and methods of incorporating babywearing to meet a variety of child and parent needs will be included. This course will also provide information to babywearing educators and practitioners on how to best support families with a child on the spectrum using babywearing techniques. CBWS approved for 0.75 CEU's.

Steffany Kerr
10:15AM-11:00AM

Fitting Carriers: Plus Size Edition

There is no need to feel limited as a plus size babywearer! Many wonderful companies are making a great range of carriers to fit all caregivers. This session will include a review of carriers that are well suited for plus size wearers, tips and tricks for fit and comfort in each type of carrier, and methods for positioning around big or tall bodies!

Ben Winton & Kathy Low
10:15AM-11:00AM

Babywearing Nonprofits and Manufacturers: Working Together To Make A Difference

This panel-style session will include the board members of four popular babywearing organizations. It has been set up to facilitate communication, answer common questions that manufacturers ask of organizations, and let each organization tell manufacturers more about what they do and how we can all work together to get more babies worn. Representatives from The Carrying On Project, Babywearing: New Mexico, Lift Me Up: Babywearing to Thrive, and The Babywearing Project will all be present.

The Carrying On Project, Babywearing New Mexico, & Lift Me Up
11:15AM-12:00PM

Teaching Babywearing Effectively

Knowing how to babywear and teaching how to be a babywearer are two very different things. Learn the importance of fine-tuning level of detail in narrations, selecting precise and accurate terms, handling information critically, and using inclusive phrasing and positive instruction. These approaches can help remove barriers to comprehension, along with adjusting tone and pacing, speaking voice, and gestures

Angelique Geehan
11:15AM-12:00PM

Babywearing and Birth Work

This session is geared towards a professional audience and aims to discuss the following: Culturally mindful integration of modern babywearing into birth work, how we can empower parental intuition while creating a basis for safe babywearing and the impact this has on the immediate postpartum period. How do we network with our local babywearing community in a mutually beneficial way, whether we take steps to become educators ourselves or simply refer to our community with knowledge. Babywearing support is as necessary as childbirth education and infant feeding support. How do we create this culture? IBLCE approved for 0.75 R-CERPs and CBWS approved for 0.75 CEU's.

Cortney Baca
11:15AM-12:00PM

A Map for Success: Living the Business Life You Will Love

Are you leading your business and family where you want to go, or is your business running your life? Are you accomplishing your personal and financial goals or waiting to see what happens? Using mind-mapping and other techniques, create a road map for the business and life you love, whether you’re a consultant, manufacturer, retailer, blogger, or something else.

Kristi Hayes-Devlin
12:00PM-1:00PM

Lunch Break

With hundreds of restaurants within walking distance, our downtown location offers the best in dining for all budgets, dietary restrictions, and time-frames. The Water Tower Place food court is located just one block away and offers more than a dozen different dining choices. One of our personal favorites is Wow Bao, but you can also find pizza, pasta, stir fry, a salad bar, and more in the Food Life cafeteria. For more recommendations, check out ourblog!

1:00PM-2:00PM

When a Lending Library Could Be a Learning Library: Alternatives for Trying Carriers

Many groups feel the pressure to have a lending library when they don't have the resources to build or maintain one, or the model doesn't actually work for them. Why a learning library might be something to consider as an alternative.

Laura Brown
1:00PM-2:00PM

SIDS, Position Asphyxiation, and Suffocation. How to Prevent the Preventable, Promote Optimal Safety, and Empower Parents to Reduce the Possibility of Infant Injury

In this class, Becca will explain the differences between SIDS, positional asphyxiation, and suffocation. She will show you how to teach parents empowering skills to know when a baby is breathing properly in any type of baby product, including but not exclusive to baby carriers, as well as how to know when a baby has a compromised airway and how to address it in an reassuring way. We will discuss skills and products you can teach about to help sooth parents fears on their journey, as well as how to talk about infant breathing concerns in a delicate but empowering way. IBLCE approved for 1 R-CERP and CBWS approved for 1 CEU.

Rebecca Morse
1:00PM-2:00PM

Using Social Media to Build Your Brand

Explore ways you can build your brand while maintaining your sense of purpose. This session will discuss the impact of social media and marketing and how borrowing credibility can put your brand on the map.

Xza Higgins
2:15PM-3:00PM

Why BWI: Education and Community Through Passionate Volunteers

This session will familiarize you with Babywearing International, what they believe, what they do, and how they do it. A panel of BWI board members and leaders will explain how they enact their mission, the way their structure works, some of their stances and policies, and their goals for the future.

Kat Chaffin, Kathy Low, Jacquelyn Jennings, & Janet Velting
2:15PM-3:00PM

Bridging the Gap Between Professional and Volunteer Educators

As the babywearing industry grows and evolves, we have seen growing pains as we all learn to work together in different capacities. Let's discuss how volunteer and professional educators can work together and why there is a need for both.

Heather Felker
2:15PM-3:45PM

Mindful Language for Educators: What We Say, How We Say It, Why That Matters

This session is geared towards babywearing educators and will dive deep into mindful language when communicating with students and peers. Cortney will share how choices can help us teach better classes, better consultations, and encourage growth. How can language choices help us with diversity, intersectionality, and inclusivity in our marketing, media, and verbal address within our community? How can emotion-neutral language assist with better carrier fittings as well as become our most vital conflict resolution tool? IBLCE approved for 1.5 R-CERPs and CBWS approved for 1.5 CEU's.

Cortney Baca
3:05PM-4:00PM

Babywearing In Underserved Populations

Babywearing today has been labeled as a trend, companies being described as getting into the niche. Babywearing is much more than a trend, it has a history of hundreds of years. A history that many communities who are underserved by the babywearing community share and have deep roots in. Yet those roots are being destroyed through assimilation. So what can we do as a community to help reach out to these underserved populations in a way that is not disrespectful or coming from a savior perspective?

Claudette Garcia & Iola Kostrzewski
3:05PM-4:00PM

Babywearing Posture: A Chiropractic Perspective presented by Ergoaby

Explore the importance of babywearing posture for the child and wearer. Learn stretches to alleviate pain, exercises to strengthen the spine, and adaptive wearing practices based on common handicaps such as lower back pain and shoulder problems.

Dr. Dara DaCunha
4:00PM-4:30PM

Closing Statements and End of Conference Raffle

We appreciate your attendance at the event and want to thank you with a farewell raffle. This raffle will include items from the conference that are beneficial to educators to take home. Gently used items that were used for demonstration purposes at the conference will be part of this raffle. Items include: carriers, dolls, teaching tools, and more.

Open 24 hours a day

Evenflo Feeding Lounge

Evenflo will be bringing their plush feeding lounge to the WEAR Conference. This lounge offers a quiet place for you to feed your child, pump in private, or escape the conference for a bit of reprieve. The lounge will be available 24 hours a day for our conference attendees and those staying at the hotel.

Artisan Collective

The WEAR Artisan Collective will showcase the woven and sewn artwork of talented community artists. The Artisan Collective is a touch, wear, and feel display of a dozen artisan carrier makers. Each piece is a one of a kind piece and will be part of the Artisan Collective Silent Auction. WEAR will donate 30% of the auction proceeds to the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and 30% of the proceeds will go towards the charity of the artisan's choice.

Bluebonnet Handwovens

Bluebonnet Handwoven was started in August of 2015. Shaunna had been intrigued by weaving for quite some time and when her youngest was born she learned about baby

Bluebonnet Handwovens

Shaunna Gleason

Cassiope Woven

Cassiope Woven is a small woman-owned company based out of the Tampa Bay area. Woven & finished in the USA, Cassiope strives to provide quality woven wraps as well as education to the babywearing

Cassiope Woven

Heather Downing

Meeyoo Handwovens

Meeyoo Handwovens is a small handwoven business made up of 2 sisters/Best Friends and Babywearing Enthusiasts - Angel and Cameo.The Meeyoo sisters started weaving in 2013. All wraps are woven and fini

Meeyoo Handwovens

Angel & Cameo

Mtoto Wovens

Sophie Derrick is the artist, weaver, and business woman behind Mtoto Wovens. "Mtoto" is Swahili for "baby" and represents Sophie's time spent studying in Africa where she draws most of her inspiratio

Mtoto Wovens

Sophie Derrick

Rhockett Weaving

Rhockett Weaving, @rhockettweaving, is owned and operated by Rhonda Brackett. Rhonda is a mom to three teenage girls and a toddler boy. Rhonda started #babywearing after the birth of her son 2 years a

Rhockett Weaving

Rhonda Brackett

Sarah’s Slings n’ Things

Sarah's Slings 'n Things is a small handmade business run by Sarah Russell, a mom of 3.  She specializes in ring slings but also makes a wide variety of kid and mommy items.  Sarah will be dona

Sarah’s Slings n’ Things

Sarah Russell

Smiling Octopus

Smiling Octopus focuses on handmade accessories sewn from woven wraps to make carrying essentials easier while babywearing. Their most popular item is a backpack which can be worn both on your back a

Smiling Octopus

Mimi Wilborn

Tightrope Textiiles

Cortney Baca has been weaving under the "nom de shuttle" of Tightrope Textiles for just over a year in sunny Albuquerque, NM. As a babywearing educator and doula, it was a natural progression from sca

Tightrope Textiiles

Cortney Baca

Tiny House Textiles

Julie Olsen is the owner and artist of Tiny House Textiles. She's always been an artist and drawn to playing with color, so when she began her baby wearing journey with the birth of her son in 2013, i

Tiny House Textiles

Julie Olsen

West of the 4th Weaving

West of the 4th Weaving is the weaving studio of Nancy Warwaruk.  Nancy has been weaving for the past 18 years and weaving baby wraps for the past 7 of those. Nancy loves to play with colour in plain

West of the 4th Weaving

Nancy Warwaruk

Wrap Scrap Creations

Wrap Scrap Creations will be contributing a set of their Ninjas/Nerdinjas as well as a set of keytags. They will be donating their portion of the proceeds to

Wrap Scrap Creations

Heather Williams

Location

WEAR will take place in beautiful downtown Chicago at the Westin Michigan Avenue.

909 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 - (312) 943-7200

Book Hotel Room

PARTNERS

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Register

$40

Single Day

$100

Three Day

$500

Ultimate Educator Package

Scholarship and Military Ticketing Programs

WEAR Chicago TEKHNI Wovens Scholarship Ticket Program

This program is for those who would like to attend WEAR Chicago but are financially unable to purchase a ticket. WEAR will be taking place over three (3) days. WEAR offers both one (1) and three (3) day ticketing options. The TEKHNI Wovens Scholarship will be awarded in both one (1) and three (3) day scholarships. Please do not apply for a three (3) day ticket if you will be unable to attend all three days. WEAR Chicago TEKHNI Wovens Scholarship Applications are now closed. Recipients will be notified via email the week of May 9th.  Rules Each adult 17 years of age and older is required to have a ticket. Children 16 and under are free. Tickets cannot be transferred. Tickets are General Admission only. Tickets cannot be upgraded to the Ultimate Educator Package.

WEAR Chicago Military Ticketing Programs 

WEAR Chicago is offering military families discounted and complimentary one (1) and three (3) day general admission tickets! How to Obtain Discounted Tickets If you have the financial means to attend the event, but would like to utilize our military discount program, please email tickets@mommy-con.com with “WEAR – Military Discount” in the subject.   WEAR Complimentary Tickets Applications are now closed. Recipients will be notified via email the week of May 9th.   Rules Each adult 17 years of age and older are required to have a ticket and valid Military ID. Complimentary Military Scholarship tickets cannot be transferred. Tickets are general admission only. Tickets cannot be upgraded. Tickets will be notated as follows: “Jane Doe – Military”   Not an Individual? If you work with a non-profit organization that helps improve the lives of women, children, and young families, please email community@mommy-con.com to be part of our Giving Back Program.