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Parenting, the toughest job you'll ever love. Now add being a brand-new parent to that equation. As moms ourselves, we've been there. We understand the joys and challenges women face when becoming a mother for the first time. We know how steep the learning curve is at the beginning of motherhood and how you really do need the support of others - a village.
We saw and experienced firsthand the myriad of breastfeeding difficulties that can arise for a new mom. And we saw many mothers who didn't know where to get help and suffered needlessly or ultimately gave up. We know that if they had found the support they needed they could have made a better go of it.
And, we heard numerous stories of traumatic births and needless c-sections. Of jaundiced babies and babies who couldn't latch because of all the drugs in their little bodies. And so many of these women wished they hadn't "just trusted their doctor" or hadn't taken only the hospital birth class. They wished they had taken better control over their own bodies and births by educating themselves ahead of time on what is actually in their better interest and the repercussions of the various ways of giving birth.
We saw sleep-deprived mothers trying to let their babies "cry it out" because they were at their wit's end and didn't know what else to do. And we saw babies, yearning to be held, transferred from crib, to bouncy seat, to carseat, to stroller with little to no human contact - babies who cried incessantly, yearning for their mothers to Be By (their) Baby. But so many moms didn't know there was another way - that baby carriers existed to make their lives easier and keep baby close. They bought into the idea sold through multi-million dollar advertising campaigns that what babies need is a lot of stuff - the beautiful nursery, the "just like breastmilk" formula, the super-duper disposable diapers, the plastic gadgets - and didn't know there was a better, more natural way.
So, we opened Be By Baby!
We opened because there was no place like us in Chicago. We created the place that we wish had existed for us as new mothers. For us, motherhood is our most important and precious role - so much so, that we felt the strong desire to help others explore their options as new mothers and get help when they need it. We saw a void in the community and wanted to make a difference. We were already volunteering our time helping mothers with breastfeeding problems through La Leche League and as leaders for attachment parenting meetings, but we wanted to do more. We wanted to advocate for new mothers. We wanted to help them get the help they needed and offer them the "village" they were seeking. American mothers often find themselves very isolated when they have that first baby. So many of us live away from extended family and lifelong friends, that the "village" which should exist to support new mothers, is almost impossible to achieve in modern American society. Enter, Be By Baby!
Be By Baby! is that "mini-village". We offer walk-in breastfeeding clinics with board certified lactation consultants where moms can get immediate help with their breastfeeding difficulties. We have birth classes taught by doulas and midwives not affiliated with any one hospital that explore the birth options available and the repercussions of each. We offer babywearing classes that teach the various ways to bond with baby in a carrier safely, infant CPR classes, and infant massage classes to help soothe that colicky baby. We have a Mommy Cafe where breastfeeding mothers can breastfeed comfortably while meeting other breastfeeding mothers. We have attachment parenting (AP) meetings where AP moms get together to discuss anything from nursing a toddler, to co-sleeping, to sex after baby. And a huge variety of other clinics and classes so parents can get the help they need or just to have fun bonding with baby.
In addition to this resource center, we have a retail store that offers an extensive selection of natural parenting products. We wanted to see and feel cloth diapers, try on nursing bras and learn to use slings safely - we thought other mothers would want the same.
Since we created Be By Baby! in 2005, thousands of mothers and fathers have found a home with us; attending clinics, talking to us and staff about parenting questions, chatting with other mothers in our nursing chairs, finding the products that they need, forming new friendships in our classes and all-around feeling advocated and reassured in their parenting choices.
After all these years, we still have the largest selection of cloth diapers, baby carriers and nursing bras in Chicago, along with the most experienced and highly-trained staff to assist you. And, we continue to fill our calendar with fun and informative classes and clinics for everyone from pregnancy through toddlerhood. We have years of expertise, customer service and extensive product knowledge under our belt to continue to help you ease into parenthood with the right tools and the correct information. We have grown throughout the years as we've learned more and listened to you, so that we can better meet the needs of new parents and continue our mission of supporting the special bond between parents and babies.
Beyond Chicago, we continue our mission of assisting parents through our website with our carefully chosen products, informative blog, bra-fitting guide, mama and baby-specific checklists and other resources, as well as our social media outlets, like Facebook. We choose not to emulate big box stores that will sell you anything without consideration of the ramifications, but to offer you carefully thought-out product selections - products that we would use for our own children. Moreover, we continue to provide excellent customer service - with prompt shipping (who knows better than a fellow mother how quickly you need something?).
Our work at Be By Baby! is fundamentally rooted in our love for the amazing bond between parents and their children and we genuinely care about you. It's a lot of hard work and long hours, but it is absolutely worth it every time we see a baby snuggled next to mama or daddy in a carrier, every time a mother gets the help and support she needs as she struggles to breastfeed, every time we welcome you into our place, every time we ship off just what you need. It has been a pleasure to see so many of you through your first, second, and even third pregnancies. Your children are blessings and we are honored to be a part of your journey.
Courtney & Kathy
Be By Baby!
Be By Baby! (be bi bAE'be): command - to be near one's offspring; to bond with an infant or toddler; to pick up and comfort a crying child