Archive for News

It’s Kind of Like Sending Your Baby Off to College (OR, Lindsay’s Farewell Love Letter)

I have to be brutally honest here. This is a love letter to all of you, Babes in Arms’ customers. Forgive me if I get overly mushy, please.

The past five years of my life have been pretty unbelievable. I had secretly dreamed of owning a store since I was a kid, but I never believed that it was a real possibility. When the idea for Babes in Arms first came to me (when Neko was nine months old), it was simply, “I’m learning all these things (don’t wash your diapers in Gain; the baby’s knees should be up, not dangling while you wear her in the wrap; how to use a ring sling; which cloth diapers actually work at night) the hard way – and I’m so lucky to have resources like La Leche League and the Attachment Parents Village Calgary… what if there were a place in Calgary where parents could go and get the help they need with baby carriers and cloth diapers, and know that they were getting correct information, in a way that really helped them?”

The store always wanted to exist, and so, no matter how many times I told myself it was impossible, it came into being anyway. People appeared who had the same idea and the motivation and resources to make it happen, together. Once the ball was rolling, everything happened fast.

Babes in Arms was born in June 2007, when Neko was just 18 months old. We opened the doors to our first location in December 2007.

Some of you know us from that first year, when we had a 120 sq-ft. office space in the Birth Partnership midwives’ office. This was an amazing opportunity for us to start out. Starting small allowed us to manage our growth rather than growing too big, too fast. In those days, we were only open Tuesdays-Thursdays, and Saturdays! The best part of being in our first location was that we got to know our first clients on a very personal basis, seeing them through their pregnancies and up to their six-week post-partum appointment. People would regularly stop in just to chat. It was so lovely. Many friendships were born in that first year of business.

Jaime came on board in late 2008, and we have been partners ever since. Soon after, we moved into our current location in Mayfair Place. It has been an absolutely amazing four years of growth and change. We have changed our product categories somewhat, and brought in so many new and exciting products as well! We have extended our hours and welcomed many new staff. From the days when it was just two owners running the store front, we have grown now to two owners, a babywearing instructor, and nine staff members.

But, things are about to change. Jaime and I are each preparing ourselves for new opportunities and challenges come 2013. As of the new year, I will no longer be a co-owner of Babes in Arms. The store will be moving ahead without me, in the skilled and visionary hands of Jaime alone. Don’t worry! This doesn’t actually mean any changes for you, our clients! Our vision will remain the same. We will always remain committed to supporting families in attachment-based parenting and a more simple, natural and beautiful way of living. We will be in the same location, with the same staff, and the same commitment to education and service.

I might still stick around, in the store, for a while. Or, I might not. We don’t know yet. I’ll still be around, though. I have plans to continue to be involved in the attachment parenting and new parents world in Calgary, along with a few other career plans, and focusing more wholly on homeschooling Neko (who is now nearly seven!).

So, in short (she says, at the end of a really long post), I want to thank you all, sincerely. I have made so many amazing friends through Babes in Arms. I have met so many really incredible people whom I would not have had the good fortune to meet otherwise. You all scoff when I tell you I feel bad for not remembering each of your names, but it’s true – I feel like I know each one of you, and it feels strange when I can’t remember your name, because you are each so familiar to me. Every one of you has made this experience so wonderful, and I mean that.

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International Babywearing Week – Oct. 10-16, 2011

It’s International Babywearing Week, and the theme is Babywearing: A World of Possibilities!

Celebrate babywearing with us during International Babywearing Week 2011, Oct. 10-16 in Calgary. Events around town give everyone the chance to witness, learn about and celebrate babywearing! Whether you’re just curious, are new to babywearing, have a helping hand to offer other babywearers, or just want to celebrate your love for babywearing, this week has something for you! All events are free and open to the public.

Planned events include:

Oct. 11 10 am – noon
Free Carrier Clinic
Attachment Parenting Village Canada Playgroup
Winston Heights Community Centre, 520 27 Ave NE
Need some help with your carrier? Have pressing questions about babywearing? Whether you’re scared, worried, flummoxed or just need a bit of reassurance, we can help! Several babywearing experts from Babywearing Calgary, various local businesses and the local attachment parenting community will be available to help you out, answer questions, adjust your carrier or your baby’s positioning or let you try out a new carrier.
More info here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=260885927277184

Oct. 12 12:30-2:30 pm
Babywearing Mall Walk
Chinook Centre (meet in common area in front of customer service (by time capsule, beneath the food court)
Come meet some other babywearers and even try out a new carry or carrier if you’d like! Requests for carriers to borrow should be submitted on individual event by midnight, Oct. 10.
More info here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=155824737839316

Oct. 13 10am- noon
Babywearing Mall Walk at Crossiron Mills (Balzac)
We will meet at the north end of the mall by the indoor play area. Since it can be difficult to pry kids away from the play area, if anyone can think of a better place to meet, then please let me know. Extra carriers are available if you’d like to try something new or don’t have one. Please make that request the night before. More info here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=124151064353430

Oct. 15 10 am
Babywearing Flash Mob!
Come perform a flash mob with us – we’ll symbolically ditch our strollers in synchronized time and walk off into the crowd happily wearing carriers. If you’ve ever wanted to say “Synchronize Watches!” this event is for you.
More information here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=200775553321746&pending

Oct. 15 2 pm
Babywearing Mall Walk
South Centre
We will be meeting at the upper entrance by the Sportchek. I have a few different wraps, mei tais and a ring sling I can lend out if anyone needs! I’m also willing to wear a 2nd child if needed lol. Let me know!
More Info Here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=153722214721225

PLUS:
Education for healthcare professionals
A carrier donation drive in benefit of local parents

Find more information on celebrations around the world here: http://babywearinginternational.org/pages/celebratingaroundtheworld.php

Find information on Babywearing International Contests related to Babywearing Week here (bottom of page): http://babywearinginternational.org/pages/BabywearingWeek2011EventIdeas.php

Volunteer to help plan or run Calgary events here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/163396611100/

Join Babywearing Calgary (free! volunteer run! monthly drop-in meetings!) here: https://www.facebook.com/BabywearingCalgary

The Name Jaime’s Baby Contest!

We have a problem and we need your help. Jaime (co-owner) and Troy are having their third baby sometime around Thanksgiving and can’t think of a name.

Troy, Jaime, Leif and Taryn

We need your help coming up with a good name for this baby! In exchange for your help, we are offering a $100 gift certificate as a prize for the person who chooses the winning name. And if we reach 2,000 Facebook fans during the period of the contest, we will up that gift certificate to $200!!

Win a $100 Babes in Arms gift certificate!

Here are the rules:

  1. First, go “Like” our Facebook page, if you’re not already a fan (if you are a fan, please feel free to recommend the page to all your friends if you’d like – either by Sharing the page <lefthand column of FB page at the bottom> or writing a recommendation <righthand column of FB page near the top>). While you’re at it you might also want to check out our Twitter (though it’s not required)!
  2. Comment on this blog post with your name choice(s). Limit of one name suggestion per gender, per entrant. Please note that you will need to leave your email address (it won’t show up on your comment but we’ll have it – so we can contact you if your name is chosen!).
  3. Contest closes when this baby is born. We will close the comments at that time. Enter early to be safe.
  4. Jaime and Troy’s two children are named Taryn and Leif, and the baby’s last name will be Martin. In other words, the names Taryn, Leif and Martin would probably not be great choices with which to enter. Or Marvin. Or Erin. Or … you get the idea.
  5. Jaime and Troy will choose the name they like best. Simple as that. Whoever entered the name first wins. So check previous posts before choosing.
  6. You will be required to answer a skill testing question to accept your prize. The question is: what is the origin and meaning of the name you suggested?
  7. The prize must be picked up at the store; we will not mail the gift certificate. You don’t need to be a resident of any certain country but you do need to come into the store to claim your prize.
  8. Wondering how you could possibly spend your $100 (or $200 if we get enough fans in the next month or so)? Check out our Products page for ideas!
  9. If you’re not already familiar with our store, please be aware that we specialize in cloth diapering and babywearing and we offer services such as classes (Cloth Diapering 101, Babywearing 101, and Back Carries); carrier rentals (by the week); in-store carrier fittings and advice; diaper trial packs; and cloth diaper and carrier consignment. We also sell nursing tanks, babywearing and cloth diapering accessories, natural and locally made toys, and natural and locally made skincare products. We are a brick and mortar store located in the Mayfair Place building at 6707 Elbow Dr. SW, Calgary Alberta.

    The store itself

  10. If you’d like to keep up to date with great contests like this, or just find out when Jaime has her baby and what they name it, sign up for our newsletter!

We’re Hiring!

We are hiring!!

Are you an enthusiastic parent who has experience cloth diapering and babywearing? Do you love meeting other parents and sharing information and support? Are you available one to three weekdays (Monday-Friday) per week, with the possible occasional weekend day? And most important, would you love to work in a supportive, flexible environment with a fair wage and likeminded folks?

Send your resume, along with a note explaining why you would like to work for us and your relevant experience (mainly cloth diapering and babywearing) to lindsay@babesinarms.ca by February 28th if you are interested. We would like to start training in early March.

2010 International Babywearing Conference

Last week I (Lindsay) had the privilege of attending the 2010 International Babywearing Conference in the lovely town of Rigby, Idaho. I learned so much and met some really awesome people! We will have a DVD at the store of our favourite sessions; and if you have any questions about any of the sessions, please ask! It was an awesome experience and I learned so much. Our babywearing instructor and leader of Babywearing Calgary (or on Facebook), Jen Wadleigh, also attended and taught a number of sessions.

Me and Jen at dinner at IBC 2010

On Wednesday, June 9 I first attended Back Carries with Giselle Baturay of Slings I Love. It was great seeing some of the back carries out there that I don’t see often, as well as witness how Giselle taught the carries. I learned some new tricks and was also reassured that we are teaching a lot of the same great tips in the store and at our events!

Giselle helping a babywearer with a back carry.

Giselle helping a babywearer with a back carry.

Next was Now What! Babywearing Assisting the Transition to Motherhood with the wonderful Arie Brentnall-Compton of Tadpoles and Butterflies – a fellow Albertan! Arie informed us that because of the skin-to-skin contact and the pheromone and hormone exchange involved, Kangaroo Care often corrects even complicated breastfeeding issues. She also discussed postpartum depression and it’s causes – poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of support and a feeling of not having control over one’s life – and outlined how babywearing helps with all these causes, thereby reducing or preventing postpartum depression. When a mom wears her baby she is more able to get out and find support, her hands are free to grab a decent meal, and she can be active, get outside and maybe even have a shower! All of these factors help with the depression.

The last class of the day for me was Emergency Babywearing with Kristi Hayes-Devlin of Wrapsody and Sam Tower, police officer and husband of the conference’s organizer, Kimber. This class was so cool!! The first half involved Kristi showing us the four carries you should know in case of emergency which will allow you to make a carrier of random items you have lying around. These four carries were the Ruck, the Strap, the Rebozo and the Torso carry. With these four carries you can turn a blanket, scarf, shirt, any piece of clothing and more into a carrier for your baby or child. In times of natural disaster or emergency (running off the road during a snowstorm, for instance), emergency babywearing can save lives.

Kristi

Kristi showing us some emergency babywearing tricks.

The second half of the class consisted of Sam outlining a long list of ways we can use our carriers for first aid or other tools during an emergency. This included as a water filter (with the addition of sand and black hardwood charcoal); fire tinder; a harness to lower a child from a window (during a fire or flood, for instance); and a variety of first aid tools – a splint, tourniquet and more.

A great quote came out of this class from Kristi, as she spoke about the power of babywearing to save and enrich lives. She was telling us that we can now go out into the world and teach others what we know, and she said, “As long as you know one carry with proper positioning, you are an expert to the person next to you who doesn’t know. Just because you don’t know everything doesn’t mean you can’t share the information you have.” So true, and it makes teaching others a lot less intimidating!

I have a favourite quote about writing that is similar – “If you write, you are a writer.” If you wear your baby, you are a babywearer!

On Wednesday I also got to see the new babywearing coats from Ergo – they are awesome!! I don’t know yet if or when they will be available in Canada, but definitely keep an eye out.

Next up: I’ll write about Thursday, June 10, when I attended Babywearing Safety and ABCs and SSCs, and supported our instructor Jen in teaching Traditional Babywearing; met Jess and Robin of Babyhawk (so exciting!); and met with a bunch of awesome people to discuss Nurturing Across Cultures (formerly The Rebozo Way) and the formation of the Baby Carrier Industry Association – also so exciting! Also on Thursday was the dinner and some hula hooping with Arie, Jen, and Susie Spencer!

Healthy Families, Healthy Planet report – link

Here is the afore-mentioned report – enjoy, and feel free to share the link!

http://www.reapcalgary.com/ir/documents/4/f/8/Healthy_Family_Healthy_Planet_Report.pdf

REAP releases “Healthy Families, Healthy Planet” Report

For Immediate Release April 2, 2010:  Calgary’s first Healthy Families, Healthy Planet Report will be released on Saturday April 10th by REAP, Calgary’s only sustainable business association.

“Regularly, I receive inquiries from concerned parents asking for information about how to detoxify their homes,” says Stephanie Jackman, the president of REAP.  “This report is our response – providing people with relevant information and specific local resources to protect their health, their children’s health, and the health of the planet.”

Green Calgary Association, another Calgary-based environmental not-for-profit, has also identified a need for this information. Lauren Mangion, Advisor for the Healthy Homes program and Eco-Coach with Conscious Home says, “Through our work with the Healthy Homes program, we find a real demand for clear and concise information regarding raising a child in a sustainable manner. For many new families, bringing a child into the world serves as a living connection to the need for long-term thinking in our behaviors and lifestyle.”

The “Healthy Families, Healthy Planet” Report will highlight the top things that directly impact the wellness of your children and the environment: where they sleep, what they eat, bath products, toys, air quality, and suggest practical ways and local resources for families to reduce their effects.

“For many people, bringing a child into their life is a real catalyst in thinking about their home environment, the things they buy, and how those things are affecting their family’s health as well as the earth,” says Lindsay Ross, owner of Babes In Arms. “We hope this report will condense the information for parents in a meaningful way and make it easier to pinpoint the areas where they can make changes.”

In three complementary surveys of 4,500+ Canadians, McAllister Opinion Research discovered that 80% of Canadians say that sustainability is a top (20%) or high (60%) priority, and concern and caring for our children is the top reason to adopt sustainability as a national goal.

Stephanie Jackman of REAP and Lindsay Ross of Babes In Arms will be among the panelists presenting the “Healthy Families, Healthy Planet” Report and answering questions about detoxifying your home at the Downtown Calgary Public Library, April 10 at noon.

The launch of the “Healthy Families, Healthy Planet” Report is just one part of REAP’s Down to Earth Week, a six day celebration of sustainable living in Calgary.

About REAP
REAP – Respect for the Earth and All People – wants to help educate Calgarians that day-to-day decisions can help create a more sustainable future.  REAP Members are Calgary businesses that make ethical business decisions – buying green power, paying their employees a living wage, supporting local suppliers and giving back to their community – because they believe in corporate social responsibility.

About Babes In Arms
Babes In Arms’ mission is to provide products and services to new and expecting parents that support bonding and attachment via breastfeeding and babywearing, as well as organic and/or sustainable options for products such as toys, diapers and skincare.

Customer Feedback Survey

If you’re a customer or you live in or near Calgary and have a baby in your life, please take a couple of quick minutes to take our customer feedback survey! This will help us improve our service and selection for the benefit of our current and future clients. Thank you!! (Oh, did I mention there is a reward at the end?)

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/babesinarms

Family Day Hours

Please note that we are open noon to 4 pm on Family Day, Monday, February 15.

New Store Hours!

We are now open at 10 am on Saturdays and will close a bit earlier at 4 pm on Sundays. Our complete hours are as follows:

Monday 10-5

Tuesday 10-5

Wednesday 10-5

Thursday 10-5

Friday 10-5

Saturday 10-5

Sunday 12-4

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