A Better Way To Bring Up Baby

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - August 19, 2009
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Co-owner Ashley Lukens, previous owner Cindy Urbanc, Dr. Brent Ching, author of ‘The Little Lima Bean,’ and coowner Nicky Lawnsby at Baby aWEARness

Co-owners Naoko “Nicky” Lawnsby and Ashley Lukens reach out to families who want an eco-friendly lifestyle with their babies. Their Baby aWEARness store’s most popular items are cloth diapers and baby carriers.

“Cloth diapering is now high tech,” says Lukens. “It’s not the pins, the soaking and the rubber pants. Now there is a PVC liner with a pocket that you stick a microfiber insert into, so it absorbs a ton of moisture. It has a nylon liner that whisks the moisture away so baby stays dry. The diapers come as one size - the diaper grows as baby grows, and you only need to buy one set. They don’t require soaking anymore, so you just have to wash on hot.”

Lukens adds that baby-wearing is the new trend in baby accessorizing. They offer several types of baby carriers - a sling that carries the baby close to the parent. In addition to selling lunchboxes and toys, the shop also offers various classes in early childhood learning and pregnancy, as well as food workshops. Some of the topics listed on the Web site babyawearness.com are vaccines, home gardening, introduction to cloth diapering, how to use a baby carrier, breast-feeding, yoga and music.

“We like to educate,” says Lawnsby. “We want to empower them. We want to be a part of the community and serve the community. What they need, we’ll offer.

We are here to help people and give them information.”

The Baby aWEARness store was started by Cindy Urbanc in September 2007, and this year, Lawnsby and Lukens took over ownership. Lawnsby is a certified nurse midwife, an international board-certified lactation consultant, and a Japanese breast-massage specialist. Lawnsby’s grandmother and mother also were midwives. Lukens has a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and economics from Vassar College, and she’s the eco-friendly mom of Audrey Jay Shannon.

They both appreciate all the help they’ve received from their friends and family.

The store plans to add a Mom and Baby Cafe to offer food twice a week, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., where moms can eat comfortably with their baby without worrying about bothering others, and also a play area for children. Dads are welcome too.

Baby aWEARness is located 2752 Woodlawn Drive, on the second floor of Manoa Marketplace. The store is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday. For more information, call 988-0010, or log onto babyawearness.com.

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