If you’ve never heard of International Babywearing Week (IBW), you may be wondering what it is and what it’s all about.
Wonder no more!
Here’s an overview of IBW to answer all of your questions.
Table of Contents
The History of Babywearing
Kind of like strollers were invented in 1733, Babywearing is nothing new!
Far from being a modern invention, carrying a young child in a sling or fabric wrap has been a tradition among many nomadic peoples for centuries.
In agricultural communities where there’s no childcare facility available and women work in the fields for many hours each day, babywearing is the only practical option. The practice allows women to work, stopping to feed their babies whenever they need to.
Over the last 20 years or so, babywearing has become popular across all areas of society, being passed down from one generation to the next.
What is International Babywearing Week?
International Babywearing Week was founded in 2008 and is sponsored by Babywearing International.
The IBW outreach event is held in October every year to provide a week-long opportunity for the celebration and promotion of the many benefits of babywearing.
Non-profit organizations from right around the world are invited to participate in IBW. To do so, the organization needs to register as an Official Celebrating Organization. Celebrations can take the form of online and in-person events that happen right throughout the week.
IBW is widely promoted through its official website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and their blog. Here you’ll find giveaways, contests, awards, and many other interactive events. Also, IBW is given exposure through international and local online and terrestrial media.
International Babywearing Week – Mission
The mission of International Babywearing Week is to promote and advocate babywearing as a practice that has many benefits for both the caregiver and the child. The mission is achieved by providing support and education to those who universally practice babywearing.
International Babywearing Week – Latest News and Developments
Over the past year, there have been many changes in the world of babywearing.
One major change took place in the U.S. where the IBW movement changed from one large organization to many smaller groups as is the case in other countries around the world. That move was seen as a way of transferring power and control of the movement back into the hands of local communities.
The changes have seen a shift back toward peer-to-peer babywearing education. That means continuing the generational tradition down through families, from neighbor to neighbor, and between friends. IBW seeks to support this word of mouth approach with assistance from babywearing professionals and educators around the world.
The original IBW logo is currently being revisited, and the new design will be retained every year in the future. However, the theme of IBW will continue to change annually.
Local babywearing groups can vote within their own organization for their preferred theme.
Get Involved! IBW 2019
International Babywearing Week 2019 will take place from 31 September through 6 October.
However, the founders encourage groups and organizations to choose when they wish to celebrate IBW.
For example, your local group could opt to hold just one week’s events to mark babywearing as a tradition in your community. Alternatively, a group might decide to put on a whole fortnight’s activities, or perhaps hold several individual events during the first two weeks of the month.
Each year, International Babywearing Week has a theme. The theme from 2019 is “Babywearing Has …”
How you interpret the theme is entirely up to your individual group. The most important thing is that you promote, encourage, and advocate babywearing in your local community.