How to Wear Your Baby

April 12th, 2013

I am going on 5 years of babywearing. Babywearing is a term coined for those that use some sort of carrier to keep baby close and hands free (or at least mostly). It is great for babies and toddlers as they grow through different stages to have this access to being close and secure with mom.

I was introduced to babywearing slowly at first, with probably some of the most well known carriers. Several new moms are getting Mobys for their infants at showers and such. You may even see the occasional ring sling. Starting out, though, I had no idea how vast and confusing the babywearing world could be. It is quite daunting at first and you seriously need a translator half the time.

I think I’m finally “getting it”. Especially over the last few months I feel I’ve doubled my knowledge. I’ve been watching the resell boards (Facebook), doing searches, checking retail sites, and reading whatever I found when I had time.

To begin with, carriers can be categorized into about 7 types. I will try and go through each type and give you some examples and general descriptions. Hopefully this can get you started on finding what you want. Nothing beats just a little trial and error, though. I found through personal experience (or AM finding) that trying different carriers/sizes yourself is the best way to figure out what you want, but it’s also time consuming and expensive at times. Wraps/Carriers have a great resell value so that is a great advantage.

Stretchy Wraps    **NEVER use for back carry**

The most popular I think, is the Moby. It is considered a wrap and is made of cotton. You wrap it around yourself and place baby in the folds. I found it wonderful for newborns and little babies. Once you get close to 20 lbs or so, it starts not being so comfortable and will stretch out too much. Despite this, I will always keep a moby in my stash because of how much I loved it for the littles.

Baby K’tan is getting a little more popular. It works the same way as the Moby, but without the several feet of material. No wrapping.. it just slips on and you are ready to go. I loved the design and feel of the Ktan, but I didn’t like the fact that after about 20 lbs, it started stretching out and no amount of washing/drying would make it shrink back up tight enough for my comfort. If you buy, go a size DOWN to prevent this. K’tan is wonderful, though, if the sizing is right.

Others:

Sleepy Wrap AKA Boba

Wrapsody also makes a hybrid stretch wrap

Pouch Slings

Not that popular, but easy in/out. These are sized, so you have to figure out what size you’d need. Lots of people love them with newborns and then hip carries with older babies. Examples would be Hotsling and Peanut Shell.

Soft Structured Carriers

These are fairly popular. The Ergo and Beco would fall in this category. These have adjustments, buckles, inserts, and other pieces that help you get the right fit. They are very easy to use but some people aren’t fond of all the hardware (me included). I found all the buckles/clasps/etc to be annoying and I never got a good comfortable fit with my Beco, BUT many many women love these types of carriers.

Other SSCs (soft structured carriers):

Babyhawk Oh Snap

AngelPack

Kinderpack

and many more

Asian Style Carriers

Mei tais will fall in this category. There are homemade, or work at home mom made mei tais. Then there are bigger brands as well. I’ve had WAHM and big brand .. both worked fine .. just had different details. I want to be a mei tai fan… I’ve tried several, only to find out I’m a wrapper at heart (I love using the wraps).

Brands/Makers of Asian Style Carriers:

Wrapstar

Free Hand Mei Tai 

BabyHawk

Woven Wraps (my FAVORITE!)

I plan to do a whole separate post going more in depth with woven wraps. I ADORE them. There are several sizes (lengths) and several materials. Lengths you will see range from 2-8.  Woven wraps are made of 100% cotton, cotton/bamboo blend, cotton/linen blend, linen, silk, cotton/silk blend, cotton/hemp blend, cotton/wool, blend and any mix there-of. Some are generally more supportive than others. Some are more “slippery”. Some are like wrapping with a tarp at first until you break the wrap in. Breaking a wrap in is basically using it, braiding it, sleeping with it, sitting on it, whatever you want to do to make the wrap nice and floppy and moldable. Wraps are so versatile, which is why I love them so much. For videos on how to wrap, check youtube and paxbaby, but nothing beats finding someone in your town to help you in person!

Details of the sizes are as follow:

Size 2 -2.7 meters=8.86 feet (great for ruck carries/quick carries for size S/M)

Size 3-3.1 meters=10.17 feet (great for ruck carries/quick carries for size L/XL)

Size 4-3.6 meters=11.81 feet (great for more involved carries for most sizes)

Size 5-4.2 meters=13.78 feet (involved carries for most sizes ..good size for quick carries for dads)

Size 6-4.6 meters=15.09 feet (involved carries for any size)

Size 7-5.2 meters=17.06 feet (any carry you would ever want to do including tandem

Sellers of woven wraps:

Marsupial Mamas

Paxbaby

Purple Elm Baby

Granola Babies

Slingomama 

Thanks and stay tuned for a post detailing more about Woven wraps. Happy babywearing!!

Rachel

 

 

Wearing Babies and Oily Tip #1

October 19th, 2012

I’ve been wearing my babies for about 4 years now. It sounds amusing, doesn’t it? Baby A gets lots of comments from people about him being “tethered” or “strapped” to me. It may look that way, but what people don’t see is how excited he gets when I pull out the sling when he’s tired or fussy. He knows he’s going to get some extended cuddle time, which is exactly what he needs at this ever changing stage.

I’ve grown in knowledge regarding babywearing. Much like I did with cloth diapers and homeschooling, and many other things I discuss here. I started out with a ring sling my mom made for me when Joe was a baby. It got the job done but I was far from an expert in how to wear it correctly. I then moved on to a ring sling I found at Target – the Balboa (Dr. Sears). A nice sling that I enjoyed for the tiny stages and then again when at a bigger stage. It was awkward for the between stages, though. I also found an Ebay/WAHM made Mei Tai wrap. It was a great simpler wrap for Jo and we even used it for our 2 yr old, but it didn’t work well for us with chunky A.

When I had Baby A, I bought a Moby – which I LOVED. It’s one of my highly recommended wraps for newborns. We also used a K’tan, which was awesome for out and about since it doesn’t have all the draping material, BUT I had issues with the sizing and it stretched out so much that I could no longer use it comfortably. Then I took the plunge and bought a nice soft structure carrier- a Beco Butterfly II. It was a great carrier though I didn’t grab for it much. The main times I used it were for a few extended outings, but even on those I found myself taking a second carrier (woven wrap) and using it about the same amount of time. A around a year old with A I got a ring sling – another WAHM made one that worked out really well. I knew how to wear it better and it was my “go to” sling for Farmer’s Market, Church, and other things. I love the versatility and the ease of use. Even knowing how to use it, it wasn’t the BEST sling for extended wear. I found myself looking again for something I could LOVE. A friend let me try on her sling. A lovely woven sling with a SBP (Sleeping Baby Productions) shoulder (pleated) and I LOVED it. It was comfortable, sturdy, and beautiful. Unfortunately I ended up missing the sale of it.. barely, but I employed the help of this dear friend to find me a sling that I could love just as much. Trolling swap sites on Facebook, one caught my eye. A beautiful medium Didymos NHI dyed LWI style with dharma dyes. It had an Eesti shoulder, turquoise rings, and EUC double hemp threads. “WHAT!”, you say?  Oh yes, did I forget to mention that sling/carrier lingo is as bad as cloth diapering lingo – or possibly worse. This is why I needed so much help. Oh, and if you need help as well, go see my dear friend at Keep Calm and Carry On .

So Medium – size of the sling. The one I tried on was a medium, so I knew it was good. Didymos NHI stands for Didymos Natty Hemp Indio. It is the brand and material of the sling. Hemp is very solid and so it’s wonderful for heavier babies and toddlers. LWI stands for low water immersion dying and it results mostly in a tie dye look.

See why it caught my eye? It’s LOVELY! Now you can see the Eesti shoulder. It’s a style done by Sleeping Baby Productions and it’s GREAT because it allows the fabric to spread out much easier over the shoulder making it a much more comfortable sling. The double hemp threads are in EUC – meaning excellent used condition. So.. this is the sling I have making it’s way to my home. I am so excited. Of course, this also means I need to sell the Beco to make up the $, but I have several inquiries so that’s looking promising.

I have a sleepy little boy vying for my attention this afternoon, so I will end with Oily Tip #1 and be on my way. A lot of you have seen me mention Young Living essential oils, but YL also carries a variety of other products that contain essential oils. One of these is Thieves Hard Lozenges. You can get them free with an order of 225 PV this month (along with Inner Defense, and Thieves EO). The Thieves Lozenges have a herbal taste, with a slight spicy kick at the beginning. They are perfect for on the go immune defense, sore throats, and many other things. I woke up with a slight throat irritation and immediately popped a lozenge in to suck on and as soon as the lozenge was almost finished, I felt back to normal. I also had a slight boost in energy afterwards, though I haven’t pinpointed if it was the lozenge or just a fluke. I’ll let you know :-)

https://www.youngliving.org/cajenjoemom

Thanks for reading friends! Wear your babies and have an oily day!

Rachel

  • About

    Blue Willow is our homeschool name, chosen for the beautiful willow tree in our yard and the Bluegrass state we live in. Homestyle is defined as "involving the home or family" and "domestic". Here you will find stories about our life as a family and tips from me, a mommy of four. I will talk about a variety of things that pertain to our family and other things I'm passionate about. I do hope you enjoy.