What to Expect at a Meeting
Carry Long Island hosts many monthly meetings across the island. These educational meetings are FREE for everyone- children, spouses, friends and additional caregivers are always welcome. You may attend meetings at any location that is convenient to you. Check out our events page to see what's coming up. If you've never joined us before, we understand that it might seem overwhelming. Below please find some information on what to expect at a meeting. Please feel free to email us if you have additional questions or concerns.
Before the Meeting:
We encourage you to join our Facebook discussion group so that you can follow our meeting threads. A few days before each meeting we will post a thread so that you may comment ahead of time and tell us what you would like to learn, see or try. This helps our eductors to prepare for your needs and may help you get a better idea of what will happen at that particular meeting. If you do not have Facebook, you may email us with your questions or needs beforehand.
Most of our meetings are held in libraries or other free community rooms. The address and pertinent details will be posted on the event calendar. If there are any specific rules we must abide by from the location, we will always post them for you to be aware of. In general, strollers, small toys to occupy children during educational sessions, necessary baby food and other essentials are always welcome. In some cases, the space may require that we leave strollers outside or have other parameters for our use of the space. Some of our locations provide some toys for the children. We ask that you always change diapers at designated diaper changing stations and wash hands before returning to the meeting, and please clean up after yourself and your children before you leave. Please help us keep our meetings free by following the rules of the spaces we reserve. Thank you!
When you arrive at a meeting, you will be greeted by a volunteer, and will be asked to sign in on our electronic sign in form. Our sign in form also asks you to accept or decline our photo release for you and any children who attend with you. Please let a volunteer know if you prefer not to be photographed and decline the photo release so that we can respect your wishes if we take any pictures during the meeting. You'll receive a name tag and you'll have a few minutes to settle in, mingle with other caregivers and chat with our volunteers. This is also a good time to peruse the lending library carriers that are setup at the front of the room! We also check in borrowed library carriers during the first 15 minutes of the meeting.
The meeting begins with one of our volunteers welcoming attendees to the meeting and introducing the volunteers. You'll hear a brief overview of some important carrying safety reminders (we call this "Carrying 101" and begin every meeting with it). Then, we go around the room and ask that you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about why you came. This helps our educators to plan the next portion of the meeting better by grouping people with similar needs together. Don't be shy! Tell us who you are, where you're from, and why you came.
Next, our trained volunteers will create some small groups of attendees based on your needs. This is the portion of the meeting where you will receive hands-on help from our trained volunteers. Our volunteers will provide demonstrations using children or weighted demonstration dolls and then provide instruction for you to try, too. Please note that the size of the meeting may not always allow an educator to work with you one-on-one, but we aim to keep groups as small as possible and want every attendee to leave the meeting feeling good about what you came to learn. Please let a volunteer know if you feel like you need more assistance from an educator if you don't get the help you were looking for.
Practice makes perfect, so after your small group session we encourage you to spend the remaining meeting time practicing the skills you learned or visiting other small groups to learn even more! This is also a great time to chat with a volunteer about our lending library, future events or becoming a member. Library carrier sign outs begin during the last 30 minutes of the meeting.
Some Additional Info:
Please feel free to bring your own carrier(s) so that we may help you, or try something from our library!
Children of all ages are always welcome and some crying and loud playfulness doesn't bother us :) Please don't worry if your child becomes fussy or needs to eat, nurse, sleep, etc. Sometimes kids get bored or upset and want to go. If your child needs to take a break or step away from the commotion for a bit, please feel free to step out and return to the meeting when you are both ready. We'll be here to help you when you come back! Extra caregivers are a great idea if you think your child(ren) might need a watchful eye while you learn. You're also welcome to attend without a child and use our weighted demo dolls to practice with.
Although our meetings are considered "formal educational meetings", they are informal in the sense that if you need to arrive late or leave early, you are still more than welcome to attend. Our "Carrying 101" safety session is always conducted promptly at the beginning of each meeting and we encourage new babywearers to be present for those tips.