EXTRA SPECIAL Vice Versa RS and Slingyroo bag to benefit the BCIA!

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The Baby Carrier Industry Alliance needs our support!

There is a lot happening in the small world of the babywearing industry at the moment. New standards are being enacted which will change the way baby carriers are regulated in the US, and ultimately, around the world. The BCIA works tirelessly to provide a voice for businesses, like PAXbaby, and consumers, like YOU, in the creation of this legislation.

The lobbying, the attorneys, traveling to ASTM meetings around the country, representing babywearers and the babywearing industry as a whole does not come cheaply and the BCIA is desperately in need of additional funds so that they can be sure the new standards protect both babywearing and babies!

To learn more about these regulations, please watch this short video:

Understanding Who’s Who in the World of Babywearing Regulations

We are urging all babywearers to consider a direct donation to the BCIA, in the form of membership. Join the BCIA here.

To show our support, in addition to our membership, PAXbaby is hosting an auction through Spot’s Corner, with all funds raised beyond the opening bid going directly to the BCIA.

What are we auctioning, you ask?

Vice Versa RS and Slingyroo

 

This beautiful Girasol Vice Versa *cream* Ring Sling and Slingyroo Bag! These aren’t just any VV, though! These are EXTRA SPECIAL! See that purple stripe, in between the yellow and orange? That’s a bonus stripe, and we all know that more purple is always better!

Bid on this beautiful pair over at Spot’s Corner, and do your part to support the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance!

Pregnant Babywearing…

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PAXmommies are no strangers to babywearing that’s for sure.

But what happens when babywearing and pregnancy combine?

(How many pregnant PAXmommies do you count in the above photo!?)
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With more than one child, babywearing can be an essential part of your every day routine.

Not “wearing” sometimes is just not an option when you have a toddler. (Provided you are in good health.)

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As long as you are healthy, and you have made sure to check with your healthcare professional (doctor, midwife, OB, etc.), you are good to go!

**Make sure to reassess as your pregnancy goes on!**

Your older child will love the fact that they get to snuggle mama still, while bonding with their new baby brother or sister.

Pregnant babywearing means that some times you have to be creative; your regular carries just might not be comfortable anymore. This is especially true in the first and third trimester, when you may be competing with morning sickness, a bigger body, and various aches and pains.

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Try wearing the buckle of your soft structured carrier low on your hips while your child is in a back carry, or even above your growing bump.

Cannot stand to have anything near your tummy?

Use a ring sling in a hip carry.

Try a Pod, or mei tai.

Perhaps a wrap conversion with no waist.

OR tying Tibetan with a knotless finish.

See PAXmommy Christina’s video here:

Perhaps you may prefer PAXmommy Jillian’s favorite:

A high back cary – rub with wrap conversion ring sling (WCRS).
(Make sure to go a size or 2 up in your WCRS for this carry)

Just like your pregnancy changes throughout, your carrying preferences may, too!

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You may find that babywearing in the first trimester is not do-able AT ALL  but, find you wear allll the time in the second and third.

Everyone is different, and so is every pregnancy.

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Make sure to listen to your body, and your baby!

SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS!

We don’t want anyone getting hurt!

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*happy babywearing*

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Serious Business

Listen up, babywearers, because this is serious business.

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We’ve blogged before about counterfeit carriers, including the PAXbaby favorite Freehand mei tai.  In continuance of our efforts to give you the most complete info available about potentially unsafe and definitely ILLEGAL counterfeit carriers, PAXbaby has specific information about counterfeit Beco Butterfly 2 carriers.

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Yes, sadly, the beloved Beco Butterfly 2 has been counterfeited and can be found on Ebay through various sellers.  These sellers include but are not limited to heminyi2011, evan121221, and jack6800_tw.  Don’t assume, however, that a seller is safe if it’s not listed here—these sellers often close down one username and create another to continue to sell their counterfeit products in violation of Ebay’s terms of service!  These sites may have stock pictures of REAL carriers in boxes or on models that they’ve stolen from the Beco website.  That doesn’t mean that the carrier they send you will look ANYTHING like the one pictured, and definitely will not be constructed in the same quality as a genuine Beco.  Remember: just because it’s pretty on the outside doesn’t mean that it’s pretty on the inside!  One big red flag is when the item ships from anywhere in Asia—usually directly from the factory that produces the counterfeits!  Two patterns that are almost CERTAINLY counterfeit are the former Japan-exclusive prints of Jasmin [pictured below] and Vanessa.  If you’re interested in one and the seller can’t provide a history that links back to an authorized seller, BEWARE.

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How can you spot a fake?  Here are some tips to help you!

  • All authentic Beco Baby Carriers are currently produced in California, with the exception of the Metro Black and Espresso carriers.  This is clearly stated on the listing page on every product on Beco Baby Carrier’s website.
  • For Becos produced prior to January 2010, there are a few different manufacturing locations.
  • Beco Butterfly 1 carriers made between November 2007 and February 2008 were produced in the Dominican Republic.
  • Beco Butterfly 2 carriers made between August 2009 and January 2010 were produced in China.
  • Each unit has a white tag on the inside with black printing which clearly states the BATCH NUMBER and DATE OF PRODUCTION (for example “Beco Baby Carrier Butterfly 2 produced in January 2010″ would be “BBC012010BTR2″)
  • If a unit happens to have a batch number/date of production different than this and still says “made in China”, then your carrier is almost certainly a counterfeit.
  • There are TWO authorized North America Ebay sellers for Beco Baby Carriers.  These are BigBlueCastle (with an Ebay feedback score of 38054 and counting) and ImaginaryKids (Ebay feedback score of 20056 and counting).  Both have 100% positive Ebay feedback and have been valued Beco retailers since 2007.  Beco encourages anyone specifically wishing to purchase a Beco from Ebay to patronize these legit businesses.
  • Beco must authorize sales for its authorized retailers; if a product is shown for less than list price at one retailer, all the retailers should be offering a similar sale.  MSRP for the Beco Butterfly is $139 and Gemini is $129, with a Beco-authorized sale currently running that prices them at $129 and $105 respectively.  If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • The websites of authorized Beco vendors contain the Beco seal of authenticity which links back to the Beco Baby Carriers webpage.  Fake sites often do not have this.

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To sum up: Counterfeit baby carriers are bad for businesses and bad for babywearers.  While authentic Becos are constructed using organic body fabrics and the highest grade of stitching, buckles, and webbing and fully CIPSA-compliant, counterfeits are made of substandard materials that have not been tested for safety in use with children’s gear.  Reports of issues with counterfeit carriers include buckles cracking (imagine climbing a staircase and having a buckle release, tumbling your precious cargo down the stairs!), stitching coming undone, and poor construction leading to straps that pull out from the body when even a minimum amount of force is applied.

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You owe it to yourself and your baby to make sure that the product you use has been designed and constructed to be as safe as possible.  Please make sure to purchase only from Beco-authorized retailers, make sure to ask critical questions to anyone selling a carrier you’re interested in (including asking for proof of purchase if you’re buying a used carrier!), and pass the word along to others both inside and out of the babywearing community.  One baby death in a counterfeit carrier could cause a whole host of government legislation to turn the US babywearing community on its head—again.  Things were touch-and-go for a while after the Infantino recall; the industry may not survive another such threat.

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Thank you for your attention to this serious matter!  We promise to return you to slightly fluffier blog topics tomorrow.  ;-)

Babywearing Skills

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Watching the kids at their class today made me think about babywearing not only as a way to tote your baby around, get stuff done around the house, and as an artform, but learning to babywear is like learning a new gymnastics routine – it’s all about safety and physical skills!!!  Learning the right amount of pressure to pull your strap to get it to tighten in JUST the right way! Learning how to manipulate the sling rings to get the tension of the rails pulled snugly and evenly!  And don’t even get me started on the mad skillz needed to wrap!  Babywearing covers all the bases from appearance – lovely – to convenience – very – to stretching your brain and body!!!

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*happy babywearing*

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FFO situations!

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Most babywearers are introduced to babywearing with the uninspired big box “crotch dangler” style of baby carriers –  the Infantino, the Bjorn, the Chicco – and most babyworn babies are indoctrinated to their babywearing career by being subject to the unsupported and uncomfortable method of FFO (Front Facing Out!)  With these mass produced baby carriers being so common, most civilians don’t bat an eye at a newborn drooping pitifully from its new mother’s baby harness with its wee arms extended over the front flap and its legs in an unnatural & flaccid sag.  Most admire baby’s hair, or lack of hair, or sweet outfit, or cute hat, but what we babywearers know with every babywearing bone in our body is that these carriers are not good for our babies!  They don’t support – they suspend!  They don’t cradle – they dangle!  They don’t hold – they hang!  As a friend of mine says, Friends don’t let friends FFO!

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PAXbaby Baby Bjorn Beco Gemini

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Front Facing Out is not a popular way to wear your baby in the stricter world of babywearing, however I’d like to point out that there is always the exception to the rule!  I have a handful of exceptions in which case a baby carrier with FFO capability is invaluable!  I was thrilled when Beco introduced to the babywearing population the Beco Gemini which features the ability to forward face because not only will that option lure in the unsuspecting parent who would usually buy a Bjorn but the Beco is “so much cuter,” but the Gemini also allows me to use an organic, Made in the USA, ergonomic carrier in a FFO position without needing to own a “crotch dangler”!!!  These circumstances happen very rarely, but when they do, I’m grateful for my Gemini!

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FFO circumstance #1 - Sitting to view a sibling’s class or play.  You need to be able to sit back so you can’t have baby on your back!  Baby wants to see the happenings as well!  FFO your baby so that they can interact with the world but be very observant of their signals to you of discomfort or overstimulation and limit their FFO time to about 10 minutes at a time!

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FFO circumstance #2 - Wearing an older baby while they are eating.  I can clearly remember the first time I wore my Gemini to Disneyland!  When Baby #5 got hungry and PAXdaddy handed him a messy granola bar, I simply turned him around and all the crumbs went cascading onto the ground outside Pirates of the Caribbean instead of down my cleavage!  What a relief and easy clean up that made!  These days we can use a custom Flat Hat to act like a bib to protect the Gemini itself as well!  Urge baby to finish up quickly because wearing an older baby with his spine against you is NOT going to feel good after a while and certainly is not ergonomic for babywearing participant!

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FFO circumstance #3 - Wearing a baby who wants to be included in a craft!!!  Crafting with children is always a challenge, but add into that messy mix a baby who wants to be involved, and you have a recipe for disaster!  Luckily, by inviting baby to help while being worn lessens the catastrophic demise that usually occurs when baby “helps!”  Strap baby onto your front and put in his arms reach harmless tools that will help him create his masterpiece without damaging your crafting area permanently!  In our case this past week, the kids & I were making a Christmas surprise for the PAXdaddy!  Every year, we make him something with their hand prints, and this year, a friend inspired me to help the kids create Homemade Salt Dough Ornaments featuring their very own paw prints!!!  Of course we couldn’t leave out Baby #6, so into the Beco Gemini he went, and we imprinted his very own ornament with his tiny hand print!

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THANKS for reading, and keeping an open mind when you first read the blog post title!!!  Remember, the main purpose of babywearing is to bond with your baby and remain available to them as they grow so if you need to fudge the rules once in a while, I understand!  I’ve been there & done that, and have made the decision to FFO with a happy baby then try to back carry with a screaming one!  Let baby participate, and you will be a better babywearing team for it!

PAXbaby

PAXbaby Christmas Craft Beco Gemini bjorn infantino crotch dangling

Homemade Salt-Dough Ornaments

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Ingredients & tools needed:

  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups of water
  • Rolling Pin
  • Parchement Paper
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Toothpick
  • Ribbon
  • Acrylic paints

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Instructions:

1) Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.

2) Prepare your cookie sheets by lining with Parchment Paper.

3) Mix Flour, Salt and Water together. The dough will be sticky at first.   If it’s crumbly, add a little bit more water. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour.

4) Knead the dough by hand or use your mixer for  25 minutes. This will eliminate “most” of the air bubbles.

5) Roll the the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch thick.

6) Use cookie cutters to make desired shape, or trace a bowl like we did!  Place cut-outs on the cookie sheet. Don’t forget to make a hole for hanging!  We used the end of a glass straw to make uniform holes in each ornament.

7)  Press baby’s hand firmly into the dough, or use their fingertips to mark the small ornaments.

8 )  IMPORTANT: Salt-dough has a tendency to “bubble”, which will cause the ornament to crack. To help prevent bubbling, take a toothpick and lightly poke tiny random holes all over the ornament or in a creative pattern. This will help release the air.  The holes may be noticeable so make ‘em pretty. Once the ornaments come out of the oven you can poke holes on the bottom as well to release some of the trapped air as well. This may help prevent them from cracking in the future.

9) Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are a very light golden brown on the bottom. Keep a close eye on them, because they can burn quickly!

10) Take the ornaments out from the oven and let them cool.

11) Paint them!!!

12) Give them to your loved ones & hang on your tree!

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Hope you have a wonderful time crafting with your little ones, and feel free to use this recipe!  It was given to me by Andrea!!!

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*happy babywearing*

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Be a good neighbor!

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Do you love babies?  Do you love babywearing?   Please help save a baby’s life by writing an email to discourage people from reselling their Infantino Sling Riders!  And help to save babywearing from getting a bad rep through these accidents and deaths from dangerous carriers!  Although these Infantino carriers have been recalled and are not being manufactured any longer, they are still being passed from unknowing babywearer to naive new mommy! Google Craig’s List and email the national listing addresses with a letter listing the reasons to destroy their sling and NOT to resell it!   Or put up a Want Ad at Freecycle!  I’ve already had 2 responses to my ad and will be picking up my Slings of Death this weekend to dispose of permanently!  Impress upon them the fact that $5 or $10 is a small price to pay when saving a baby’s life!!!  If you see a babywearer still actively using a “bag sling,” hand them one of our print-at-home babywearing cards in the hopes of introducing them to a safer, more comfortable, longer lasting baby carrier!

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If you need ideas on what to do with your Slings of Death after that, just ask!  I have some great ways to destroy these slings and get some aggression out too!  Heeheee!

PAXbaby

*happy babywearing*

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Babywearing Week 2011!!!!

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Welcome, babywearers, one and all to International Babywearing Week 2011!!!  It is always vital to show your support for babywearing, but in light of the past years’ drama towards safe babywearing, this October, it is an absolute requirement that we each babywear proudly and vigilantly, showing both by our actions & our words that babywearing is not only safe, but the SAFEST place for baby to be in fact!!!  If you have been hemming and hawing over the decision to babywear your little one, hesitate no longer!  It is time to commit to the babywearing way of life – bonding, loving, carrying!!!  If you have a baby carrier but never wear it because it’s uncomfortable or unwieldy, this is the week to order something new or schedule your rental carriers so you can continue doing what you know is best for you and your child!  If you already babywear with gusto – in comfort and in love – this is the week to make sure you spread the love!! Just talking to 1 parent will make a difference and help change the world’s opinion on babywearing – one sling at a time!  Speak up, babywearers – for a lot of you, if it wasn’t for another babywearer leading you on the path of comfortable baby carriers, you may have given up long ago or never started baby wearing in the first place!  Spread the love, babywearers, and THANK YOU, for being ambassadors for a cause so important & crucial for babies everywhere!  HAPPY INTERNATIONAL BABYWEARING WEEK 2011!!!!!

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PAXXbaby International Babywearing Week 2011

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Help spread the babywearing love!!!  Print these cards, cut them up, write your name on the back, pass them out, and if your friends or new babywearers place an order, have them put your name in the Order Notes so you can BOTH be entered into the monthly PAXprize drawings!!!

Babywearers Unite cards!

Welcome to Babywearing cards!

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*happy babywearing*

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Please beware!!!

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Babywearing mamas, while you & I have been working so hard to buy the very BEST for our babies, there is a group of moms who would risk the safety of their children to save a few dollars…  a group on FaceBook just imported a bunch of counterfeit “Ergo” baby carriers from China, and the repercussions of this mistake could be terrible!!!!

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#1 – The mom involved with the importation of illegal goods could go to jail!  The FBI is now involved, and things sound pretty serious!  So sad since she is a normal WAHM who just wanted to make her group of friends happy by offering them a “great deal!”

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#2 – Selling/ buying a baby carrier that hasn’t been weight tested or lead tested undermines the Baby Carrier Safety Standards that we have all been working so hard to comply with, in order to prove that babywearing is SAFE.  Due to misunderstandings about the safety and culture of babywearing, the media and “big box” baby carrier manufacturers have been looking for a way to shut us down, and an accident involving one of these “fake” Ergo baby carriers would be JUST the thing to “prove” that babywearing should be restricted and limited!

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#3 – The decision to buy a potentially dangerous carrier is a PERSONAL decision that these moms have chosen for themselves and their poor helpless babies – UNTIL the day comes that they decide to resell their “Ergo” carrier on a carrier swap board, the FSOT boards at TheBabyWearer.com, Craigslist, or eBay!  I highly doubt that they will be listing these carriers as counterfeit Ergos purchased illegally from China!  You or any other babywearing mama could innocently buy a dangerous carrier without even realizing it!

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#4 – Just because it looks pretty on the outside, doesn’t mean it’s pretty on the inside!  Ergo and every other reputable baby carrier company sold through baby carrier stores are following strict instructions on how to manufacture their carrier safely – down to using fabrics and dyes safe for contact with sensitive baby skin and what kind of stitching needs to secure the straps to the body!  There is no way of knowing whether these fake carriers have followed safety standards or whether the straps could rip as shown on this Mei Tai “knock-off”!!!  For $30, I’m not willing to risk my baby’s safety; what about you!!!???!!!

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PAXbaby fake knock-off rip-off Ergo Baby Carier

A counterfeit Freehand mei tai rips when stress tested.

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By posting and warning the parents who chose to buy the counterfeit Ergos, we are attempting to prevent consequences that could lead to the government regulating the babywearing culture into non-existence. To spot a fake carrier, read this information on how to distinguish a fake from the real deal!!!!  Save our babies – protect our babywearing world – shop smart – keep the proof of purchase when you buy a carrier – don’t get tricked into buying a fake carrier!!!!

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A quick note to thank all of our wonderful baby carrier manufacturers who have paid MORE to keep their production in the USA, who have worked diligently to ensure that the factories being used overseas are fair and equitable, and to the baby carrier manufacturers and vendors who have all stood up together these past 2 days to keep our babies safe!  THANK YOU!!!!!!

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*happy babywearing*

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Vote for your favorite!

Destroy a Bag Sling contest!!!!

Last month, we challenged our BabyHawk fans to find and destroy a bag sling, or 2 or 3!  These “slings of death” were the cause of at least 2 babies’ deaths and the source of the media hysteria against babywearing. Thanks to bag slings like the recalled Infantino Slingrider and the Wendy Bellissimo sling, us babywearers are being chased around markets by little old women claiming that we are trying to kill our babies and being reprimanded in parking lots by well-meaning fathers pushing their children in strollers. We know what a dangerous sling looks like, and your favorite BabyHawk baby carrier  is NOT a dangerous sling – manufactured in China & produced by a large company that knows less about babywearing than the little old lady in the market!

Choosing the winner of our Destroy-a-Bag-Sling contest was too hard for us to decide on our own, so we have our top choices, our leading contestants, our most outrageous sling destructions, and we want YOU to decide which Destroy-a-Bag-Sling Mission deserves a FREE custom BabyHawk Oh Snap! The 2 runners up will each receive a $25 BabyHawk gift certificate.

To view the contestants, go to the BabyHawk Facebook page.  View each of the contestant’s entry. Ponder, think, and decide which fulfilled the criteria the best! Did the entry show safe babywearing? Did the entry have pizazz and spirit? Did the entry do our babywearing community justice?  Did the entry make a statement worthy of a free BabyHawk Oh Snap!???
Choose between Babywearers Unite for Safe Slings contestants #1, #2 or #3.

Leave your 1 vote as a “Like” at the PAXbaby’s Facebook page before Thursday June 17 at midnight PST.

Invite all your friends to vote and become a PAXbaby fan because the more votes we  get, the more prizes will be awarded to our voters!!!!  1 lucky voter will be selected randomly for a fabulous babywearing prize! 2 voters will be selected after 50 votes, 4 prizes will be given out of we can get 100 votes, etc..!!!

And what better cause than to support our babywearers, destroy the myth that ALL slings are equal, and take out those bag slings out of commission!!!! Just 1 vote per babywearer please! Spread the word! Get voting! Round up those babywearers who would LOVE to have a chance to win a babywearing accessory so unique and cool everyone is going to need one! And help 1 lucky mama take home a brand new custom fantabulous BabyHawk Oh Snap!

*happy babywearing*