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

 

 

1st Birthday – Ball Theme

June 21st, 2012

I know we are way overdue for a visit to my roots as a party planning blog. My littlest just turned ONE year old a week ago and we had a small but special party. I originally wanted a Gnome theme because I’m a little crazy for gnomes and mushrooms right now. Then, I decided I should go with something more special to Baby Boy. Of course, he’s not into much besides Mama, nursing, and anything he can put in his mouth, but he does LOVE balls. I found the perfect plates and napkins at one of the dollar stores in town. They also had cute invitations, a great table cloth, table centerpiece, and even a great high chair decoration set. I bought 2 decorative boxes to put candy in beside the cake in the Target dollar aisles.

I purchased a 3D ball pan second-hand from a friend. I figured this was an investment of sorts and I’m sure to use it again with 3 boys. I made the 3D ball and also two 9×9 cakes to stack. I placed the ball on top of the stacked 9×9 cakes and used straws to keep it together. Usually I made my own icing, but I was a little stressed and ended up buying the icing and then coloring it myself. It definitely wasn’t my best cake/icing work, but it was cute and special. Hubby brought pizza home from Little Caesars (great price!) and we had veggies, dip, and chips. I also had circle candies in little decorative boxes by the cake.

My husband made a banner for the birthday boy at work. He also made his birthday shirt. We had mainly family at the party and then one other family with a boy close to Amos’ age. It really was a wonderful first Birthday party. He got great gifts, mostly the little grab and go type foods for babies and clothes (which we desperately needed!). His big toy from Mommy and Daddy was a ball pit. We had 100 balls already and I bought about 250 more from local moms for $6 total. The pit is a small blow up pool. It works perfectly!!

We all had a great time and more importantly, Amos seemed to have as good of a time as a ONE year old can have. I say it was a WIN and definitely shows that you do not have to spend a lot of money to have a good party!

~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.