Monday, February 11, 2019

The Best of TBW - International Babywearing Conference

The following post is a part of my blog series, The Best of TBW and was originally published on the Babywearing International Blog July 5, 2016. 

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In this installment of The Best of TBW, I want to share about the history of International Babywearing Conference. This biannual event was first conceptualized and brought to life by members of TBW and over the last ten years, IBC has become a highly anticipated educational opportunity for educators, vendors and hobbyists alike. In this post I will share some of the history and the highlights of the events from the past five conferences that made each one of them unique and memorable. As you are about to see, IBC isn’t your average con experience.
Portland, Oregon. August 3 – August 6, 2006
“The first International Babywearing Conference will be held August 3-6, 2006, at Reed College. (
The conference is a first-ever gathering of baby sling and carrier manufacturers, vendors, advocates, educators and parents from around the world. It is a truly unique event and looks to be a great learning opportunity for locals and visitors alike. An effort of the brand new and rapidly growing nonprofit organization, Nine In, Nine Out (NINO), , the conference is a four day combination of trade show, educational conference and fan convention.”
The Portland conference was organized by Jennifer “Jenrose” Rosenberg and it offered four tracks; Sewing, Teaching, Advocacy and Business. Also offered were a variety of breakout sessions on subjects such as breastfeeding and babywearing and the science of babywearing. Portland set out to create an education based conference experience and that tradition is upheld today as IBC2016 includes many sessions that offer IBCLC and ANCC contact hours for healthcare professionals.
Chicago, Illinois. June 25 – 28 2008
square (2)The second annual IBC was hosted in Chicago Illinois at DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus. This conference counted approximately 200 attendees from over 10 different countries and over 30 exhibitors. IBC2008 offered lots of educational sessions and introduced a now popular event – the babywearing fashion show, with more than 60 different carriers and accessories modeled. IBC2008 inspired this thread on TBW all about Meh Dai tweaks.
Rigby, Idaho. June 8 – June 12, 2010
The third annual IBC was hosted in Rigby Idaho, by the Idaho Babywearers. This conference set out to reduce the costs and make attending the conference as accessible as possible. Idaho offers a lot of wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities and this conference took full advantage of that – with a memorable trip to Yellowstone National Park. The keynote address was given by Kelley Mason. Check out Idaho’s session list. Idaho did a fantastic job at hosting a unique and memorable conference.
Washington, DC. June 28 – July 2, 2012logo
For the fourth annual IBC, babywearers headed to our Nation’s Capitol – Washington DC, and hosted by BWI of DC, MD, VA. With attendance reportedly around the 300 mark, the conference was growing. The Keynote speaker Rachel Coleman of Signing Time. Check out this fun thread talking about the attendees favorite moments from IBC2012.
Tempe, Arizona. July 17 – July 20, 2014
Held at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel and Conference center, Arizona hosted the fifth annual IBC and brought fun in the (very hot) sun to conference. One of the most talked about sessions at IBC2014 was the “baby-making” session where participants made demo dolls. Check out the photo thread from IBC2014. The Keynote Speaker was Sherry Payne, MSN RN, CNE, IBCLC, CD(DONA) who presented on “Head Wrapping and Babywearing: Using African Traditions to Build Health Equity.” There was also a special guest speaker, Henrik Norholt, PhD. chief science officer at Ergobaby, Inc. Some sessions of IBC2014 were recorded and can be viewed here.
Editors Note: Since this Blog post was published, there have been two more IBC's - 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia and 2018 in Iowa. When I have time and we have had some time to heal as a community, I will write more about those two conferences and how the landscape of the babywearing community has forever been changed by the events following the Iowa IBC. 

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The Best of TBW - International Babywearing Conference

The following post is a part of my blog series, The Best of TBW and was originally published on the Babywearing International Blog July 5, ...