Babywearing San Diego was founded in 2009 as a parent to parent support group to teach people to choose and use baby carriers safely. They started in local parks with 2 leaders and almost no members. They taught with carriers owned and used by the leaders. Soon 2 more leaders joined and started a south chapter. For months they held very small meetings often teaching just a few families. Over the last few years they have grown to have two full libraries a Facebook page with over 4000 members and busy active meetings with dozens of attendees.
San Diego is a large city by acreage and this week I’d like to focus on the North County chapter. North County currently has 10 active leaders with decades of combined teaching experience. They have leaders with experience in a variety of unique situations including prematurity and special needs. They are all very passionate about the babywearing community and making sure it stays safe and reliable for all families. They serve people who love the collectors side of babywearing but share a passion for making it accessible to everyone. This includes guiding people on making their own carriers safely, helping caregivers get comfortable in ones they already have, or steering people towards purchasing the best option for them.
Meetings are currently held at a park in Oceanside on weekday mornings, and one in Escondido on the weekends. I hear rumors they may be adding a new meeting in the Poway area as well in order to serve as much of San Diego as possible! They also run a very active Facebook group where people can ask questions, share tips, and buy and sell used carriers.
Babywearing San Diego is also very active in outreach programs. This year they have attended BabyFest, a local fair for new and expecting families, to answer questions and even offered an introductory session. They also offer a monthly Babywearing 101 class through Babies in Bloom boutique. They also work with local community organizations such as the San Diego Birth Network to educate doulas, midwives, and other caregivers on how to support babywearing.
Meetings are always free, the leaders are 100% volunteer. They do offer a membership based library of carriers at the meetings. For a small annual membership fee members can check out a carrier for a month to try at home that they can then exchange for another one at the next meeting. Such a wonderful way to try new things without having to purchase them all!