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Introducing the Umi Sling | Helping mamas through Project Baby Bilum


First of all, I have to say this: you guys are kinda amazing.


I’ve been constantly baffled at how this little community has grown to reach women with heart all over the globe. Sometimes I’ve been quite intentional in building community, other times (ok, a lot of times) I’ve been incredibly haphazard. And yet, when I’ve presented a need – you’ve delivered.

Totally delivered.

A year-and-a-half ago when I presented the opportunity to gather clean birth kits for the women in rural Papua New Guinea I hoped to raise 300 kits. I’ve now received thousands and thousands – including four more boxes that arrived in the mail this week. (Yes, they are still coming.)

And then I told you Umi’s story. You read about her with wide eyes and jaws dropped open. You let her pictures pierce your heart and imprint on your mind. You cried on your keyboards or on your own nursing babies as you read from your phones. You put yourself in her mama’s shoes and ached with sadness. You looked at your own littles and resources and lives… and the emails began pouring in. “How can I help?” you asked me. “What can I do? “

Not surprisingly, you’ve rallied.

I’m beginning to receive ring slings from all over the world – a practical aid we will trial in the village of Bamio (in rural PNG) to help moms of newborns who’ve had to leave them behind in order to harvest food for their families.

The issues in the area we’re focusing on are far more complex than a simple ring sling can “fix”, but this is one way we’re hoping to bolster the chances of these babies flourishing as we help to teach mama’s the importance of continual availability for breastfeeding during those early newborn days. (Read more about what’s going on here.)

Please understand, gathering a few slings together is not a solution; it is not a quick fix. But what it is is an experiment in hopes that it might be a part of the solution.

We’re hoping to introduce a simple way of babywearing that will encourage mothers of newborns to take them along as they leave their village each morning to harvest their food.

Will this work?

It may or may not. But we hope that—alongside some crucial education—some of the new mama’s can be encouraged to give it a try. (And wouldn’t our effort be worth it even if to help one other sweet baby like Umi?)

Here’s where it gets really, really awesome.

I’m so excited to announce an amazing partnership, born out of another blogger’s compassion and generosity as she read Umi’s story from the other side of the world and let it capture her heart and imagination.

Megan from The Boho Mama recently opened up an Etsy shop selling—get this—ring slings, and after reading about Umi she felt compelled to help on a very practical level.

There are two ways The Boho Mama is offering to help with Project Baby Bilum:

1. Project Baby Bilum Sling. You can purchase one of these ring slings from her Etsy shop for $25 and Megan will not only make it on your behalf, but will cover the cost of shipping it to me here in Australia (where I’ll collect them to take to PNG). She’s making no profit on these, just selling them at cost. This is perfect for those of you who want to donate one, but who don’t sew yourselves. You can also donate one on behalf of someone else. (Great gift idea? I think yes!)

2. The Umi Sling. I’m perhaps even more excited about this one – Megan’s beautiful sling-for-sling initiative where you can buy one for yourself (or as a gift for a friend) and for every Umi Sling purchased, Megan will donate a second sling to Project Baby Bilum. The Umi Sling retails for $55, including free shipping for both slings (one to you and one to Australia).

Just look at it:

Umi Sling Black Chevron

Aren’t they gorgeous?

And how amazing is this initiative??

This is so exciting for me on many levels, but particularly because just days before receiving the email from Megan, I had thought/prayed/wished for a connection exactly like this – someone willing to donate a sling-for-sling (think TOMS shoes). And then to have her reach out to me with her idea that exactly matched my own… it was almost too good to be true.

Needless to say it took me a nanosecond to consider and reply back with a big, resounding yes-of-course.

Turns out little baby Umi, as fragile as she is, is also a powerful little baby who has stolen hearts everywhere.

And to kick off this new partnership, Megan is offering one of you a free Umi Sling.

Please visit Megan’s shop and tell me your favorite color/pattern in the comments below, and then enter the giveaway via rafflecopter (up to once a day):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

umi sling babywearing with a purpose

Dear friends, I hope you find this helpful as many of you have emailed me asking about where you can buy a sling to donate to Project Baby Bilum. I love the idea of supporting a work-at-home-mom (to toddler twins, nonetheless!) while also reaching out to help the mamas and babies in PNG.


p.s. Need a thoughtful baby shower or Christmas gift idea? Consider purchasing an Umi Sling – blessing a mama near you and a mama far away simultaneously. What a seriously cool idea.

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  • Reply Corinne Ryan 13 November 2012 at 1:37 am

    The brown with the leaf accent. I used a ring sling ALL the time with my baby, they are very comfortable.

  • Reply domestic diva 13 November 2012 at 2:58 am

    I like hazelnut with green.

  • Reply Laura G 13 November 2012 at 5:17 am

    I love the black one with the red chevron. It’s bold and would be easy for me to find in my diaper bag. I love this idea, and donating one in my bff’s name is going to make the perfect birthday gift for her this year. 🙂

  • Reply LeAnna 13 November 2012 at 5:27 am

    Love the Organic Cotton Ring Sling with Moda Chevron Accent (Yellow). Due in March, and this would be so handy!

  • Reply Jenny 13 November 2012 at 4:38 pm

    That’s awesome. I would choose hazelnut with green chevron.
    Jenny recently posted..IC#22- Vintage Sheet Baby QuiltMy Profile

  • Reply Carrie 14 November 2012 at 3:12 am

    I just like the original black one with the black chevron, but they’re all nice!

  • Reply Bec T 14 November 2012 at 6:42 am

    I really like the black with the custom chevron – so bold and very stylish!

  • Reply Jess S 14 November 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I love them all! But especially the one with the leaf accent.

  • Reply mcakes 14 November 2012 at 3:59 pm

    What a great idea this is! Love the black with red chevron.

  • Reply Audrey 14 November 2012 at 9:15 pm

    The black with black accent – what a fantastic idea!
    Audrey recently posted..Mummy’s boyMy Profile

  • Reply alicia winckler 14 November 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Love the black sling with the black accent. 🙂 What a beautiful idea you guys have sling for sling. Love it!

  • Reply Alicia 16 November 2012 at 6:37 am

    I really like the black on with the red accent. What an awesome partnership idea!

  • Reply Brenda Jise 19 November 2012 at 3:07 pm

    The with black accent is probably my favorite but they all are beautiful. How exciting for this new partnership with Megan’s shop to come about to bless these mommas in PNG.

  • Reply Greta 19 November 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I love this idea! And my favorite sling is the black with black accent. 🙂

  • Reply Ashley C 19 November 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Such a great idea and thoughtful people making it all happen! I really liked the black with black chevron. I am a nanny of 3 little ones and this carrier would be a huge help!

  • Reply Celebrate Advent with your family using the Jesus Storybook Bible 21 November 2012 at 9:06 pm

    […] The winner of the Umi Sling is #45 Kari E. We hope you enjoy your new sling and knowing that one is also being donated on your […]

  • Reply Kerry @ Made For Real 28 November 2012 at 7:32 am

    Unbelievable!! I’ll be in touch!
    Kerry @ Made For Real recently posted..Holiday SpotlightMy Profile

  • Reply Project Baby Bilum {Day 7} « Made For Real 3 December 2012 at 2:22 am

    […] determined to help mamas properly care for their newborns after they arrive. Here’s where Umi Slings help play a big part. In her words: Umi’s village—Bamio—is a village of roughly 500. I […]

  • Reply Kristi 31 August 2014 at 9:56 pm

    HELP! Desperately want a Umi sling but every time I click on link it says error!! I grew up in Papua New Guinea and I can’t tell you enough how this warms my heart.

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