Books Featuring Babywearing

We are avid library goers (every Wednesday!), which means we get a whole lot of random books. I’ve read books on adoption to grandmothers dying to gardening to dinosaurs, to Anne Frank. We also read a lot of books that I specifically mean to get (yay holds!), but a lot of time it’s my children bringing me various books that look interesting until our bag is full. And let’s be honest here, I grab quite a few interesting-looking random books myself.

So it’s always a pleasant surprise when we come across a book with something unexpectedly hippie parenting in it, such was the case twice in the same week recently. Two different books that were grabbed randomly from the shelves that happened to have babywearing in them!

First up: Carry Me (Babies Everywhere). This one is a pretty simple board book and obviously about babywearing from the cover. It shows a lot of different carriers in different places.

Second: Baby Parade. This one is, as you can expect from the title, babies in a parade. With a bit thrown in of a baby being worn (by a dad!).

 

Well that’s it for today. Just a couple cute books with babywearing in them for your enjoyment. Go check your library for them (or other books with babywearing!). Be sure to let me know of any gems you find.

Boba 4G Review

The two big girls goofing around with our new carrier before Banana was born.

As I’ve made it clear in the past, I’m a big lover of Boba. The company is amazing and so are their carriers. So I jumped at the opportunity to review a Boba 4G with my new little Banana.

The last Boba I had (or actually have, as I’m keeping it for wearing Twig) was a 2G and they’ve added quite a few nice things. The overall construction works the same, so I’m not going to go over all that in detail. Just know that if you’ve seen past Bobas, it still works the same. If you haven’t, it’s intuitive and you’ll learn it quick.

Happy in the Boba at just 9 days old.

So on to the new things I love!

Let’s start with the pockets. Pockets on a carrier are something I’ve scoffed at in the past. Past me would say “Well isn’t that what a diaper bag is for?!” Yes, I could keep my phone in my diaper bag, but it’s so much nicer to have it right on me. And for someone who doesn’t wear jeans a whole lot these days, the carrier having a pocket is amazing. I use the bottom pocket for my phone almost every time I wear the Boba. The top pocket hasn’t found its use yet (keys and wallet are too bulky for a pocket right by baby’s head), but I’m sure it’ll come in handy soon.

Next, let’s talk the bag strap. It’s always been super annoying to try to keep my bag’s strap up on my shoulder while using a carrier. Even with something like a backpack or messenger bag, it’s always falling off. And when you’re walking through a parking lot holding hands with two kid and wearing a fussy baby, the last thing you need is to have your bag fall off and smack your toddler in the head.

Trying out the strap on a trip to Target.

This simple strap and button keeps every bag on without falling. Even when it’s falling off to the side because I haven’t adjusted it for forever, the snap still doesn’t give way. It still feels awkward like it’s going to fall off (even if I know it won’t) so I end up adjusting it eventually, but I tested it during a long Target trip by purposely not adjusting my bag and it never gave way. I’ve even chosen to keep the baby and the bag instead of giving the bag to my husband simply because it doesn’t bother me to hold it anymore.

Then there’s the little things they’ve just slightly altered to make the carrier more functional. The foot straps come off so you aren’t constantly catching them on things when your kiddo is too small to need them. The hood comes off too as well as going down into a zippered pocket (the top pocket I mentioned earlier) instead of the semi-awkward stretchy bands holding it in place. The little things that take a carrier from like to love.

He stayed happy and comfy the whole time we were at Black Island Farms.

Saving the best for last, there’s the infant insert. Holy mole the thing is great. When I got my new Boba in the mail (while still pregnant), the set up seemed kind of weird. Fast forward to having an actual baby and it makes perfect sense. Baby sits up on top of the insert like a little seat with their legs inside of the carrier rather on the outside. Such a simple idea that makes this carrier function in the exact same way for both the tiniest and the biggest kiddos.

There are two settings for the insert, one for 7-10 lbs and one for 10-15 lbs. Banana was born nearly big enough for the second setting, but I kept him in the first setting for quite a while because it made him tall enough that I could always see his face. Now at two months and over 14 lbs, we’re almost out of the second setting, but I may keep him in it a bit over the 15 lbs recommended. The reasoning now isn’t height (this big boy appears to be rocketing up in weight as well as height), but rather the hip alignment. The second setting, especially given that it has a U shape on top, puts baby’s little legs in a perfect M shape. Without the insert I’m sure we’ll still get much of that, but it may not be quite so comfortable of an M shape until his legs are long enough that the carrier extends knee to knee (though he’s close). Who knows though, maybe the 1 lb and accompanying inch(es) will be enough to make it comfortable without the insert.

So that’s my review of the new Boba 4G. Seriously this thing is amazing and I would (and do!) recommend it to anyone looking for a carrier. It’s the only one my husband actually enjoys wearing and it’s my favorite for running errands. The learning curve is virtually non-existent, but it’s crazy comfortable at the same time. Now that it has all these extra perks as well as the ability to go from birth up, it’s just perfect. Go get yours today!

Sunday Surf: Preparing for the Babe

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI’m joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

With this babe’s arrival around a week away (given my prior pregnancies gestational length), I’m hoping to start participating in some more Sunday Surf posts in the near future. From what I remember (and it’s not a lot!), I do a lot of reading and “hmmm…. that’s really interesting” during the first few months after baby is born, but not a whole lot of intelligent, unique thought. Even now at my incredibly pregnant state it’s just hard to get my brain to function in a way that makes sense to others. So I’m going to start keeping track of the interesting things I read throughout the week and posting them as part of the Sunday Surf! Then I can keep in touch with you lovely folks while still being in my post-baby haze.

Most recent pregnancy picture: 38 Weeks 3 Days

Daddy changing the brakes on the van while Twig changes the brakes on her car.

Peanut’s first day of kindergarten!

Race and the Babywearing Community from Manic Pixie Dream Mama. Some interesting thoughts on how mamas of color are viewed when babywearing as opposed to white women. I love all of her suggestions for how we can open the babywearing community to mamas of color.

We’re getting hysterical about child safety from The Daily Mail. I’ve already voiced how much I love Free-range Kids and this is along those same lines. It even has this awesome quote from Lenore.

“There’s been this huge cultural shift,” Ms. Skenazy told Ms. Brooks, who sought her out. “… This shift is not rooted in fact. It’s not rooted in any true change. It’s imaginary. It’s rooted in irrational fear.”

One of our Breastfeeding Cafes stirred up a bit of controversy. I’m honestly pretty happy about the comments from the Police Chief. Smart man upholding the law.

And we can end with a funny. Breastfeeding In Public Should No Longer Be A Taboo For Mothers Who Are Conventionally Attractive from Clickhole.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a handknit wool diaper cover knitted by no other than ME!

Babywearing and Nine Months Pregnant

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is another Wordless Wednesday! Let’s see those babywearing photos! Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!

We don’t babywear much these days, but Twig sure does love it when we do! 37 weeks 1 day in this photo.

Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

How to Breastfeed in a Boba

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is babywearing photos. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!


 

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Start with the waist strap nice and low.

Either A

Either A…

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Or (if your arms don't like to bend that way), unfasten the back and do B.

…or (if your arms don’t like to bend that way) unfasten the back, bring off one shoulder at a time, and do B.

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Take out your breast (pve

Take out your breast (over the top is easiest, but pulling the shirt up is doable if you prepare ahead of time).

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Latch on.

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Fasten the hood (keeps them from whipping around at every sound and promotes falling asleep).

And go about your life!

And go about your life!

 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Babywearing Flash Mob

Today’s post is a flashback to two years ago. Honestly, I’m not sure why I never posted it. Maybe it’s because I totally messed up on the moves myself (flashbacks to high school dance class and my lack of ability to pick up choreography). Always a watcher, never a dancer. Le sigh. Anyway, myself and a few other ladies worked our bottoms off pulling together this flash mob for the Breastfeeding Cafe in Salt Lake City two years ago. Thanks to my wonderful relationship with Boba (if you want to get one, pretty please do so through that link to the right! I’m an affiliate!) we scored a sponsorship that included a boatload of carriers. Everyone who participated got a free carrier (oh boy did our participation increase once that was announced!). The Breastfeeding Cafe is coming up in just a couple of months and the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival will be starting even sooner! Yours truly is the Carnival Mistress again and I will be posting the topics at the beginning of next month. Please email me if you’re interested in participating! Anyway, on to the video!

 

 

Babywearing 101: Part 2

Happy New Year! We’re back with the second post in this two part series (see the first post here) from my friend Jillian. Today we get to show you the actual carriers! If you love the one you see in the picture, go ahead and click on it and it’ll send you to the site where you can buy it. Enjoy! 

Now that safety has been addressed, we can discuss the many different types of carriers that are available that support your baby in the proper way to provide you with all the neat benefits that babywearing brings…

Types of carriers:

ocean2_1(1)Stretchy or Elastic Wrap– I like to call these the “Gateway Carrier” because they are very popular for newborns and are most mamas’ introduction to babywearing. Stretchy wraps can only be used for one carry on the front of your body. It consists of a very large piece of fabric (about 5-6 yards) that is tied around your body. Once the baby is put in, there should be at least 3 layers of fabric covering baby to hold them securely. Once the way of wrapping it is learned, putting it on is very quick and easy. These wraps are great for the smaller babies but can become rather uncomfortable and non-supportive after 15-18 lbs. although the manufacturers will state that they can carry a higher weight.

Examples: Boba Wrap, Moby

chakrasWoven Wrap– Woven Wraps are the most versatile carriers on the market and are the only carriers that can truly go from the newborn stage through toddlerhood without needing any modification whatsoever. This carrier can be tied in many different ways and offers front, hip and back carry options. Woven wraps have a long learning curve and it may take many attempts to feel comfortable with it (especially back wrapping) but the payoff is huge and there are so many ways to wear it. Woven Wraps are probably the most classic carrier that is used in many cultures around the world and come in many colors, weaves and weights.

Examples: Didymos, Girasol, Neobulle etc.

img_9066Ring Sling– Ring slings are a piece of fabric laid on one shoulder to form a sling for baby to sit in and are adjusted with metal rings. This carrier offers front and hip carry options. Back carries are not recommended. Because a ring sling supports baby’s weight only on one shoulder, this is not a good choice for anybody with back problems or sensitive neck or shoulders. Babies can be worn in front or on the hip, with hip probably being the most popular. There are several different styles of ring slings and it is the best option for quick errands and the up and down stage of toddlerhood. A lot of the comfort of a sling depends on its shoulder style and fabric.

Examples: Sleeping Baby Productions, Maya Wrap

thumbnailMei Tai– the Mei Tai is an Asian inspired carrier with a waist belt and shoulder straps sewn onto a rectangular piece of fabric. The belt and shoulder straps are knotted. A Mei Tai offers front and back carry options. This is a great carrier for all ages in a front carry and from about 2 months-toddler (with good head control). These carriers offer a back carry option that is easier to learn than a woven wrap and is fully customizable to each wearer with simple ties to secure. A Mei Tai is easy to share between Mom and Dad because of the easy to adjust straps. There are many different Mei Tai’s on the market and some can be unsafe because of cheap materials or unsafe sewing techniques. As with all carriers, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Examples: Kozy, Mother and Bebe, Infantino etc.

_mg_8279_1_Soft Structured Carriers– Soft Structured Carriers (SSC) are patterned after backpacks and the shoulder and waist strap are usually padded and they have buckles to secure the carrier and customize the fit. These carriers offer front and back carry options. Every brand of carrier varies greatly in many aspects like back lengths, crotch widths, back widths, fabric, and belt straps (buckles or hook and loop tape). Soft Structured Carriers are best tried on with your child before purchasing and torso lengths and build of the babywearer will greatly affect the comfort. These carriers are preferred by many Dads because of their backpack look and they are easy to share between Mom and Dad because of the easy to adjust straps. There are many different SSC’s on the market and each has pros and cons; you have to find one that works for you.

Examples: Boba, Ergo

So, if all this info has made your head spin, join the club! Getting into babywearing can be really overwhelming at first, but there are so many online resources that can help! The Babywearer is probably the best place on the internet to go for babywearing info. Babycenter and Diaper Swappers both have babywearing forums as well. With any luck, you may be able to find a babywearing group in your area that can help you learn and grow in your babywearing journey. My mothering experience would not be what it is today without babywearing and the freedom it has afforded me. Raising two under two is always daunting, but being able to wear one and play with the other makes it MUCH easier and dare I say, enjoyable?! Get with babywearing and “wear your kid in your shirt” as often as possible. You will never regret it!

Jillian is the mama of two growing boys in a house where even the dog is a man.  She uses her “Free Time” to make slings, wraps and cloth diapering things over at Pretty Paisley Productions and is one of the Administrators for the Babywearing group in her region of Utah.  She loves to laugh and usually spends most of her time laughing at herself.

Babywearing 101: Part 1

Today we have a guest post from my good friend Jillian. Jillian is one of the administrators of our local babywearing group and is just starting up her business to sell carriers. And since I tested a ring sling for her, I can say they’re great carriers! I was sad to give mine back! You all know how much I love babywearing, so I’m glad to present these wonderfully informative posts. Be sure to join us tomorrow for the second part in this two-part series! 

Gira NL RSI had a dream last night. In my dream, I had a beautiful newborn baby. My baby was adorable and perfect with 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes. My days were so happy. My baby hardly cried at all. I knew within moments when he was hungry and was able to soothe him with ease. I kept him safe from the germy pass the baby game and gave him a safe place to snuggle all with my hands free to get on with my life. I rocked him to sleep easily whenever he wanted and was even able to make dinner during the process. But, this wasn’t a dream… this was real and it was just a few months ago when I had my second son. I am Jillian and I am a Babywearer. Yup… one of those crazy ladies you see at the store that seems to have a kid hidden in their shirt. I am here to tell you why you should hide your kid in your shirt too.

The idea of carrying a baby on your person while you keep your hands free is not new. Do you really believe that Cro-Magnon women had strollers? Did they even have the wheel yet? I don’t think so. No, this is not new. It has been practiced in every culture in the world since babies were born and it really only seems weird in the U.S. but, that is slowly changing. There are so many fantastic reasons to wear your baby that it seems a little overwhelming so I will just highlight a few:

Babywearing=Happier Baby=Happier Parent=Awesome: Babies that are worn cry less over all. Since crying causes stress for babies and parents, it would naturally follow that less crying would mean less stress for babies and parents and that is just common sense. Who hasn’t heard the “This baby just wants to be held ALL THE TIME!” Well… wear them and you can hold them and have your hands back.

Babywearing promotes development: When a baby is worn, they tune into the rhythm of your breathing, the sound of your heartbeat, and the movements you make – walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses, and helps him to learn balance control. Wearing your baby creates a “transitional womb” and helps your baby learn to control his movements. It also provides a safe, comfortable place for your baby to get restorative growth sleep at any time of day. Seeing the world at your level helps baby learn faster, stimulates their learning and keeps them feeling secure and safe. Wearing your baby can provide emotional safety when needed, so that children can venture into the world and become independent at their own pace and it can even dramatically increase the chances of successful breastfeeding!!! What a miracle, right?

Babywearing is convenient and FUN: Having your hands free while carrying your child provides endless opportunities to get things done that you normally would not be able to get done. When you wear your baby, you can walk around freely and not have to worry about negotiating steps, crowds or narrow aisles with a stroller. Removable car seats are heavy and awkward for parents and they are not safe to be put on top of shopping carts, no matter how many people you see doing it. A sling can block out excess stimuli when breastfeeding a distractible baby and it allows for discreet nursing in public places. A sling can also double as a changing pad, blanket, or cushion when away from home. Cook dinner, play with another child, go for a walk or play on the computer. All these things can be done more easily while wearing your baby. So be selfish; do it for you!

Lincoln MTAfter all of these fantastic and exciting reasons to wear your baby, you may be wondering to yourself, “Self, how do I go about wearing my baby?” Well, I will tell you, but first, you need to know about safety. I do not want to minimize the importance of the next statement so I am putting it in all caps so you really pay attention: WEARING YOUR BABY CAN BE DANGEROUS IF NOT DONE CORRECTLY!!! Really people, sweet little babies have died while being worn incorrectly and that is just a sad, true fact. Just like any children’s product, if you do not use it correctly and safely, it can harm your child. Strollers can be safe, unless you push them off a cliff. Baby swings are safe, unless they are underwater… What I am saying is that if you use some common sense and a few pointers, babywearing will be an extremely safe experience. Here is the safety low down:

Keep your baby UPRIGHT: Your baby should be upright with their stomach against you and the carrier should be tight. If you leave slack in the way you tie or tighten the carrier, over time while wearing it, you will be sad because your back will be aching and your baby will slowly migrate down your torso and look like a limp noodle. Don’t wear a limp noodle!! Also, please make sure that your newest babies have good head support. Their little necks just can’t support their big noggins for a while.

Close enough to Kiss: Your baby’s head should be close enough for you to kiss (obviously not possible in back carry) When you are putting your baby in the carrier, you want them to be up high enough that you can literally bend at the neck and kiss them on top of the head. It will be more comfortable for you and them that way.

Open Airway: This seems like the most important thing so maybe it should have been first, but it wasn’t so pay attention… a baby being worn should never have their chin curled towards their chest. This can restrict air flow and cut off their breathing leading to suffocation. This is the main reason why I do not recommend a “cradle” carry in a sling (where baby is lying down example: here). Check your baby’s breathing often and having them upright and close enough to kiss will make that a very easy thing to do.

Knees above Bum: The carrier must support the Spread Squatting Position (SSP). In this position, the baby’s legs will form an “M” shape from foot to foot. This seated shape ensures that the spine and hip joints develop properly. This ergonomic positioning helps to shape the hip joint in our babies, which is actually soft cartilage until the age of 2. There is so much more to this that I cannot possibly do it justice, so here are some awesome links to check out that will expand your mind…

Babywearing School

Hip Dysplasia Prevention

Boba Family Research

Jillian is the mama of two growing boys in a house where even the dog is a man.  She uses her “Free Time” to make slings, wraps and cloth diapering things over at Pretty Paisley Productions and is one of the Administrators for the Babywearing group in her region of Utah.  She loves to laugh and usually spends most of her time laughing at herself. 

To be continued next year! By which I mean tomorrow. Have fun celebrating tonight! -Claire

My Number One Tool

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Wearing Twig on my back all weekend while doing flooring in our house. Couldn’t have accomplished much without wearing her!

I’ve had multiple people ask me how I do it. How do I keep my toddler and infant happy? How do I keep my house relatively clean? How do I make dinner? How do I stay sane?

Babywearing. Period.

I mean, there are lots of things in my tool belt that make life a little more easy. Most of them are nice things to have, but not necessary. This iPad I’m typing on is nice for being able to function while standing in the kitchen waiting for the soup to boil so I can turn it down to simmer. My car is awesome for getting places outside of the house. The bouncer is nice for letting Twig stay occupied for a minute. None of it is necessary.

Babywearing is necessary.

I wish that they sent every mom home from the hospital with a sling. I wish that certified babywearing instructors (yes, there are such things) were employed by hospitals to show new moms how to use said sling. I wish that crotch-danglers were outlawed. I wish babywearing wouldn’t have gotten such a bad rep from a few irresponsible manufacturers making bad carriers that killed babies.

Babywearing is so vital that I’m considering putting a carrier in my earthquake emergency kit. It’s how I accomplish everything and anything. Sure, I can occasionally leave the girls in the room for 30 minutes and have them having fun and laughing at each other, but usually Twig rolls herself into a corner and cries or Peanut decides she’s bored and leaves little sis alone and she cries. Then there are times when Twig just requires being held. She’s heavy! I really can’t carry her for more than a few minute without switching arms. Even then, she’s so grabby that I can’t accomplish anything without risking her injury.

That’s where putting her on my back comes in. Yes, you can wear a 6 month old on your back. You can wear a newborn on your back if you’re using an appropriate carrier. This is something I wish I would have known with Peanut. I don’t think I cooked dinner from the time she was 6 months until she was over a year. If I did, it was few and far between. I’m convinced that the reason she’s still afraid of the vacuum is because she was never exposed to it as a baby. Granted, she was an especially high needs baby, but still. If I would have known about wearing her on my back, I think I would have been able to accomplish a lot more than I did.

If I had to sell all of my possessions, my Boba would be the last to go. If my house was destroyed in a fire, I would go out and purchase a new carrier the next day. It is the one “parenting essential” that I truly believe is essential. I could live without so many things that the ladies at Babies R Us were chastising me for not putting on my registry. I have chosen to get rid of a great majority of the things I did actual think I needed before having kids. My carriers though, I would chose to buy again and again and again.

What’s your parenting essential? Is it babywearing or something else? Do you have one thing you just don’t want to parent without? Maybe multiple things?