Posts Tagged ‘Babywearing’

Moving When You Have a Baby

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

img_1851When you have a baby, moving is a whole new ball game. Without kids you pack as you can, listen to your music, take coffee breaks, and then enlist strong helpers to help you get the job done. You can then unpack everything and do things on your schedule and your terms.

When you have a baby, you find yourself packing frantically during naptimes, listening to lullabies, chugging coffee hoping to stay awake, and then waiting for someone to offer to help. Unpacking is a slow process that could take days or even weeks.

For my family, moving has been a part of our lives. My husband was in the Navy and we packed up and moved with a 1-month-old. We drove 12 hours away and moved to a strange place where we knew no one and he started his civilian career while I started my motherhood journey. My daughter Johanna just turned 4, and in her short life, she has lived in 6 houses and 3 states. Fortunately, my husband’s work has always helped with packing. Unpacking on the other hand has always been a struggle. Throw her 2-year-old brother in and we have chaos. Add my current third trimester pregnant self, and well, let’s just say we have a lot of disorganization currently.

However, mommas, there is hope. You can move with a baby successfully and live to tell the story. Here are some tips I have learned over the years.

Babywear

This seems like an easy suggestion, but I promise this will save you. When Levi was a few months old, we moved to a new house. Here I had a cranky little guy who just wanted to sleep and nurse. I wore him in my Tula and was able to pack boxes, do plenty of squats, and unpack when needed. He got his naps and nursed. I also used my Boba wrap when I wanted to be hands-free without the infant insert. I used this wrap to help me get any cleaning done in our new location and Levi was a happy camper.

Take the Help

I have been fortunate to have a super helpful support system each time we have moved. I have one good friend, Christina, who came over and entertained my then 2-year-old as we prepared to move. Buy your friend some coffee or chocolate. Don’t be afraid to get the help. If you can’t seem to focus, enlist a babysitter or trusted family member to take the little one for the day. Your baby won’t mind and you will be productive. Use professional movers if you have the funds and can. Do what’s best for your family.

Slow Down

This is hard for me, but just remember it will get all done. It’s okay if things don’t get in place right away. You are a mom. You have a little one to meet the needs of and that’s okay. For me, I had to set goals. Maybe focus on one room every couple days or maybe just focus on one box a day. It will get done and eventually you will be settled. Deep breaths. Don’t forget for self-care, too. Take breaks. Go get a treat. Sleep when you can. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

So mom, if you find yourself moving with a little one, just remember you can do it! I currently have a disorganized house and boxes to unpack. But, I think chocolate and Netflix with my little ones will win today.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Arkansas where she just moved.

Caring for Your Tula

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Caring for Your TulaPicking a baby carrier can be a hard decision. For me, I have discovered that I am a bit finicky with my choices. I’ve had 2 kinds of wraps, a mei tai, and two soft-structured carriers through my 2 small children. When I think about having more babies, I think about getting a new carrier. So far, however, my favorite carrier has been my Tula.

Tula carriers come in Standard and Toddler sizes. I purchased a Standard in a blue chevron print, and I have loved it. I also have the infant insert to use before baby hits the 15 lb. range, and I used it all of the time when my little Levi was well, little.

Key Features

  • 15-45 lbs. weight capacity.
  • Front and back carry positioning.
  • Pocket for mom on the hip belt.
  • Hood to pull down over a sleeping baby.
  • Comfortable, doesn’t hurt your back, and amazingly easy to use!
  • So many adorable prints!

Mom’s Milk Boutique has even had their very own Tulas: Splash and Every Animal Has a Heart. There are so many cute designs to choose from. I have been eyeing a toddler Tula in “Carousel.”

When my son isn’t in my Tula, I keep it folded up in my car so it is always ready to use. I don’t put other items on top of it and I make sure to keep it free from dangling dirty feet in car seats. If I am going to be going to the store or somewhere where I need it handy, I often wear it and just buckle the top neck buckle.

As with most carriers, a Tula can be washed in your washing machine. I have never done this with mine, and if I do, it will be on a delicate, gentle cycle in cold water. Tula carriers cost around $150, so it is an investment you want to protect. It is nice to know this is an option, however, because babies are messy.

For me, the easiest way to care for my Tula is to simply spot clean. I have used a mild dish soap on the shoulder straps where babies have spit up on it. I would also recommend using a microfiber cloth to simply wipe it down after a sweaty baby has been worn for a long period of time.

Here are some good tips for caring for your Tula:

  • Buckle the buckles before washing.
  • Wash in cold water.
  • Use a gentle wash cycle on your washer.
  • Let it air dry or dry on very low.
  • Use detergent free of optical brighteners, such as a free and clear detergent.

Baby carriers are an investment, and my Tula is just that. I want to do what I can to make it last.

Karyn Meyerhoff lives, writes, and wears her babies in Northeast Indiana.

 

Caring For Your Beco

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 9.50.40 PMAdmit it. You got tired of having the baby pull your hair and handed him a snack. Those berries (drink, food pouch, crackers, distraction of your choice) seemed like a great idea at the time. You keep your hair, baby is happy, everybody wins! But then, baby comes down and you see it. Your beautiful carrier looks like it visited a cafeteria during a food fight. What to do?!

As with most carriers, you generally want to spot clean an SSC (Soft Structured Carrier) like a Beco. Use a mild detergent, cool water, and rub gently to clean any small stains that may arise. Hang or lay flat to dry and you’re good to go.

But what do you do when it’s more than just a bit of smushed food? What do you do when, say, baby has a blowout of all blowouts while riding inside her carrier, or when she soaks that diaper that you knew you should have changed, or when it slips to the floorboards of the car and becomes a target for muddy feet? Then, my friends, it’s time to actually wash your Beco.

Per Beco’s website, their advice is to “Wash on DELICATE/WARM cycle with a mild detergent. Hang dry in well ventilated area or tumble dry on low and remove when seams are still damp. Spot clean when needed. Do not wash frequently.”

So, should you need to toss your Beco in the wash, here’s what I recommend. Depending on the model of your Beco, remove any detachable hoods or pockets, unless they also need to be washed. Connect both the chest strap buckles and the hip belt, so that the buckles and straps are less likely to get caught during washing (especially if you have a standard top loader with agitator). For extra protection, toss your carrier into a pillow case and tie up the top before washing. No loose straps! Then add your carrier to your machine with a mild detergent, set to your most delicate cycle, and choose a warm water temperature. Close the lid, start the cycle, go find out what your kid has gotten into while you’ve been in the laundry room.

Once washed, I prefer to hang to dry. By keeping the chest clip buckled you can easily hang the carrier over a sturdy coat hanger. You can also lay the carrier flat to dry, but if you’re not using a drying rack of some sort, be sure to place it on a towel and flip it every so often so that it dries evenly. If you really need a quicker option, you can tumble dry your Beco on low or the air dry cycle. I recommend the pillow case again for this, to protect the buckles.

Then you go. You should have your Beco back to shiny condition, ready and waiting for that next stain to come its way. Cupcakes, anyone?

Kate Cunha is mom to a tall 3 year old that still needs to go up on occasion. Her toddler Beco is one of her favorite choices.

Back Carry Basics

Monday, August 31st, 2015

IMAG0620So you’ve been wearing your baby for a while now, are very comfortable with front carries and feel that you’re ready to move baby onto your back. Where do you begin?

First, unless you are an experienced baby wearer and experienced wrapper, back carries are typically only recommended once your child is 6 months or older and is able to sit independently. Since you have less visual connection with a child on your back, you want him to have the muscle tone that allows him to sit up straight without slouching. You must also only use carriers that are safe for back carries, such as woven wraps, buckle carriers, and mei tais. Stretchy wraps and water wraps/slings are not safe for back carries and should not be used. Stretchy wraps, such as a Moby, do not offer the support necessary and could allow baby to lean or fall. Water products are typically designed for front carry, water use only.

If your child and carrier meet those criteria, you can now begin to practice back carries. Always start by practicing with a spotter, someone to help you should you need it, and practice over a soft surface, such as your bed. You want to first get comfortable moving baby to your back in a safe environment before attempting to do so out and about. Practicing with experienced help, such as at a BWI meeting local to you is a great start, if possible. Another good idea is to practice moving a doll onto your back and into your carrier before trying with your baby.

There are a number of ways to get baby onto your back, and how you do it will part be up to preference and part due to the type of carrier you are using. Below I’ll link to a few good instructional videos that may help you with your particular carrier, but of course, this isn’t an all-inclusive list.

  • SSC – Soft Structured Carrier – Many moms prefer the hip scoot method of transferring baby, as it has more of a secure feel to it. Personally, I was always a fan of the superman toss before my daughter was old enough to just climb on up. If neither of those feel quite secure enough for you, try this method that involves always having the chest clip buckled for additional security.
  • Mei Tai – The hip scoot works just as well for a mei tai, or you can start out with baby on your front.
  • Woven Wrap – There are many ways to get your baby onto your back when using a woven wrap. You may prefer the hip scoot (again!), or the santa toss, or another version of superman. This video shows a number of examples.

You may notice that I did not include ring slings. While there are ways to use a ring sling for a back carry, they are only recommended for advanced wearers. Back carries with a ring sling are not for beginners.

Back carries can take a lot of practice to get comfortable with. As I mentioned, if you can meet with a babywearing educator at a BWI meeting or other babywearing meeting near you, that’s your best first step toward learning to back carry. Soon you’ll be on your way to a whole new world of babywearing!

Hip Scoot 

Superman Toss

Full Buckle Back Transfer

Kate Cunha lives in the Pacific NW with her husband and daughter. She is quite sure she doesn’t get it right all of the time.

Choosing the Right Baby Carrier

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Choosing the Right CarrierWhen looking at baby carriers, a couple of key questions will help you begin to narrow down your search:

  • What age is your baby – Do you have a newborn or are you looking to wear it with your toddler? Does your child have any special needs or health concerns to keep in mind?
  • How are you thinking you will use it - As an out and about carrier? Around the house? Able to breastfeed in it?
  • What is your price range?

Starting with these key questions, you can work through the categories of carriers and make your selection from there. There are five categories:

  • Pouch – these are size-specific, one-shoulder carriers that are worn like a sash diagonally across your body. Great for quick trips and minimal fuss, but can be hard to find the correct size and not as comfortable for longer lengths of wearing due to the weight being only distributed on one shoulder.
  • Ring Sling – these are generally one size or able to be adjusted to fit a range of sizes and worn in a similar manner to Pouches. They are great for breastfeeding, with newborns and toddlers, and can be wonderful for using when sitting down or when putting on in tight quarters. They can be less comfortable for the same reason as a pouch, and can also feel less secure as baby starts to wiggle and arch.
  •  Mei Tai – these are usually rectangular or square with two sets of straps that wrap around you and knot to secure. They generally have a lower learning curve and can be adjusted to fit a variety of body shapes. They can be a bit trickier to use with a newborn or small baby due to the fixed size of the body panel.
  • Soft Structure Carrier – these are usually rectangular and have buckles attaching the waist and shoulder straps around the wearer. They are generally loved from about when baby is 6 months and up, unless you have an insert or one that features an adjustable base option for use with smaller babies. Some find fit plays the biggest part in whether or not they love this style, since the carrier construction is a more fixed design.
  • Wrap – these are long lengths of fabric designed to be used to carry a baby. They have one of the higher learning curves and a myriad of fabric options, but are highly praised for their comfort and adjustability.

Choosing the Right CarrierThe most common carriers that are loved in the newborn stage are stretchy wraps and ring slings. The comfort and the ability to hug baby while providing the necessary support found in these two styles make them an ideal choice for a first carrier.

If you can make it out to a local shop or babywearing group to try a few different styles out, that is often the best way to find out what you love and what fits you best. Check out Babywearing International for a list of chapters nationwide.

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones.