To provide accessible babywearing education and support in our community.
- We respect the judgment and competency of our members. You know what is best for your child and your body.
- Anyone who has learned one carry, using one carrier, with one stage of child development has the experience to teach what they have learned to someone else.
- There are no experience prerequisites for learning any carry or carrier. Everyone starts somewhere. We will meet you where you are: if that is with zero experience and eager to learn newborn back wrapping, we are very pleased to help you.
- No one should have to pay to learn, or teach, the art of babywearing. Our meetings will always be free and open to the public.
- Babywearing should be accessible to people of any economic status. We will always seek the least expensive options for our members.
We pride ourselves on being an independent source of information about traditional and contemporary infant carriers. We are unaffiliated with a national (or international) organization–not simply because we are older than most of them– rather we prefer to focus our attention on the needs of our individual members and our community. When we share our babywearing experience and skills we are not biased by fear of litigation, desire for financial gain, or mistrust of our members’ judgment.
On May 10th, 2006, Jun-Nicole Matsushita and Jennifer Hamner organized a Yahoo group called Iowa City Babywearers. That fall, through the TBW forums, they connected with Aradia Wyndham, inviting her to join their first official in-person meeting, on the first Saturday of January 2007 at a little coffee shop called Fair Grounds in Iowa City.
In 2008 Jun-Nicole left to focus on Bamboo Birth and in 2012, Jennifer Hamner relocated. In early 2016 Aradia stepped down as head of the ICBW, appointing Kelsey Sandeno as her successor due to her passion for, and unfailing commitment to, ICBW.
Kelsey Sandeno, mother of three, is the current head of the Iowa City Babywearers. She started babywearing in 2009 with the birth of her eldest son and has been teaching babywearing in the Iowa City area since 2010. Sandeno has taught online with BabyCenter, through the ICBW’s YouTube channel as the creator of the Wrap Challenge and Wrappers’ Corner video series, and posts detailed carrier sewing tutorials on the IBCW blog. She specializes in contemporary babywearing culture and textile production.
Aradia Wyndham taught babywearing in her community from 2006-2014, drawing on her experience using infant carriers as a nanny since 1998. As an undergraduate, she studied ethnopediatrics, a focus within anthropology, with particular interest in infant carriers and swaddling techniques. As a graduate student, Wyndham studied book history with a focus on Medieval and Early Modern English medical and domestic manuals concerning ideas about the female body, birth, and infant care. She is the author of the blog Evolution of Babywearing and writes for the Iowa City Babywearers.
As ICBW celebrates its 10th Anniversary, we continue to evolve to meet the needs of the community online and in-person. We still host a First-Saturday-of-the-Month meeting for hands-on help and community building– but today it is live streamed for members who cannot attend. We maintain our online group presence, currently though through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and here, on our blog. We have added a monthly evening babywearing lecture series for those who want to learn more about babywearing but do not have specific troubleshooting concerns. And all of this is made possible through donations and the hard work of our volunteers, thank you.
Iowa City Babywearers would like to acknowledge Leslie Kung (2008-2010), Renee Roso (2009-16), Cami Fuller (2013-14) and Hai Huynh (2013-16) for their years of volunteer service. Thank you!