We are going to try a different wrap carry every day for 30 days! Here are some of us on Day One in a DH (Double Hammock) Rebozo:
This past Saturday’s meeting was on the subject of Winter Wearing! With the cool weather already starting to approach this meeting could not have come at a better time. The topic was lead by VBE Beth with some insight from our other VBE’s Courtney, Sarah and Jill.
Beth first let everyone know that it is perfectly fine to wear a coat, sweater, fleece whatever you keep warm with under your carrier, and for your baby to do the same in the carrier. This is probably the easier, cheapest option for winter wearing but can easily become very bulky. So Beth went on to explore the other winter wearing options available for both front and back carrying. Another easy option is to buy an over-sized coat or sweater and just zip baby right up into a front carry with you. For back carrying Beth suggesting buying a slightly over-sized fleece and cutting a head hole for baby.
Obviously company’s saw there was a need for such products so the first Coat made for babywearing is Suse’s Kinder (http://www.suseskinder.com). Our library recently got a very nice winter wear vest made by Peekaru which is now part of the Boba family of products (http://store.bobafamily.com/outerwear). Beth next demonstrated a product she owns called a Monkey Pocket which just covers the carrier and baby. She demonstrated a toddler sized Monkey Pocket but it does come in other sizes (http://monkeypockets.blogspot.com). CatBird also makes a winter carrier cover which our almost local to us store Once Upon a Sling carries (http://www.onceuponasling.com).
Another issue with winter babywearing is baby’s exposed legs. Typically you may have your baby in pants but with most carriers, wraps, slings whatever your using, the babies pants end up hiked up and ankles are then exposed. Beth suggested babylegs, or similar products to keep those ankles warm (http://www.babylegs.com)
Many people are interested in other DIY options. One of the easiest DIY options is a No-Sew Fleece Poncho. The Materials needed for this are 1.75 yards of fleece and a pair of scissors! More information on how to make this no-sew fleece poncho can be found here: http://www.fineandfairblog.com/2013/09/diy-no-sew-babywearing-poncho-coat.html . As discussed earlier another option is to turn a regular coat into a babywearing coat. DIY information for this project, which does involve sewing can be found here: http://thepurebaby.blogspot.com/2010/09/homemade-babywearing-coat-for-pure-baby.html .
Other winter babywearing Tips that Beth suggested is to pre-tie your stretchy or woven wrap to help keel the tails from dragging in the wet and snow. Also with a wrap you can use the pocket method and attempt to keep your tails tucked in your pockets while wrapping. Beth said her favorite method was to just to tuck baby in her coat and then wrap once inside the store. Also using a SSC or a ring sling might be a better option for particular wet winter days as there is not much risk of dragging the carrier on the wet ground!
by VBE Kirsteen
For International Babywearing Week I will show the traditional Welsh Nursing Shawl Carry that my Scottish mother used to carry my sister and I when we were wee. I am on location at Castlerigg Stone Circle in Keswick, England.
First you take your shawl and fold it in half to form a triangle.
Put across your back with both ends coming over your shoulders.
Pick up your baby onto your hip you wish to carry on.
Take the opposite side under your arm and tuck between your legs to hold tension. This is similar to a rebozo carry.
Take the side the baby is on over their shoulder and around their legs. Tuck the shawl under babies bum.
Take the piece between your legs, pull out all slack and bring that piece over babies leg and tuck up and under the opposite side.
The babies weight will keep tension on the shawl keeping them in place.
October 7th through the 13th is International Babywearing Week! The theme this year is ‘Get Carried Away’! Our local BW Chapter has lots of events planned for the week because who doesn’t like to celebrate babywearing! So maybe we got a little carried away with the number of events but here is what we have in store for you!
First up is Flash Your Stash! This is our first event to kick off IBW and will be taking place at our usual meeting spot, the North Branch Library, October 7th at 5:30 PM. Jill will be the host of of this event. If you don’t know Jill she is a great volunteer to our group, helping handle fundraisers, welcome table and basically any day now should becoming a VBE! She is passionate about babywearing and even more so about her selection of carriers. This event is for anyone and everyone. You don’t have to be a member and you do not need to own any carriers. You can just come out and pet, touch, feel, maybe tryout some of the carriers owned by our members. The library is really great but our members have some brands, styles and fabric blends of carriers you may not be able to experience even within our large lending library! So come join us, bring all your carriers, or just you and your baby and socialize! More information for this event can be found in our Calendar. You can RSVP for this event at the following link. Don’t forget to RSVP for this event!
The next event is being hosted by our Veteran VBE and mom of 3 Courtney, and she really makes it look easy with her babywearing skills! She will be hosting a Make and Take Event at Thirty Thirty Coffee Co. in Peoria on the 8th at 5:30 PM. At this event, you will get the opportunity to make a retractable babywearing mirror to use for back carries. Don’t worry if you are not crafty, this one is easy enough for everyone! (thank goodness because I am the least crafty person you might ever meet!). The cost is $7.50. RSVP’s are needed by the 4th and the cost sent to our chapter paypal by that time. This event is open to anyone. Information can be found on our Calendar and even more information on this event can be found at the following link.
The event many have been waiting on, and its back by popular demand. WRAPPING 101! This will be hosted by our VBE’s Beth, Courtney and Sarah (and hopefully Jill, come on certification!). This event will actually be held at the Lakeview Library instead of our normal venue. It is on the 9th of October at 5:30 and should last 2 hours. If you have ever wanted to learn to wrap with a woven wrap this is the event for you! Our VBE’s will teach you about different materials, different lengths, how to choose, where to buy, plus how to use one safely. They will also demonstrate a few basic carries and be available for LOTS of hand on help to get you started off wrapping safely and correctly! You may bring your own woven or hybrid wrap (not a stretchy wrap) or you can borrow one for the meeting that are available from our lending library. A few demo dolls are also available but if you can bringing your wrappee (your baby/toddler) is even better! This course is great for an absolute beginner or if you just know a carry or 2 and want to really refine your wrapping skills! This event is open to anyone interested in wrapping. Space is limited for this event in order to provide the quality hands on help needed so please RSVP to this event using the following link!
Our knowledgeable Veteran VBE Kirsteen will be out of the country for IBW, and we sure will miss her at the events. She has agreed to post a tutorial to the blog in support and celebration of International Babywearing Week. So check back to our blog for Kirsteen’s tutorial!
Join Sarah our Newest VBE and wrap lover at Tanner’s Orchard’s for Babywearing and Apple picking! The group will gather at the pumpkin patch at 1 pm on the 12th of October. Babywearing makes all kinds of things easier – including apple picking. Come pick some apples for your pantry, enjoy fresh cider and doughnuts, and watch your kids go bananas over the petting zoo! Plus it is a great opportunity to socialize with other babywearing moms! This event is open to anyone! Please RSVP to this event by using the following link.
Our final event to Celebrate International Babywearing Week will be held on the 13th of October at 3 pm. Our group will be doing a babywearing walk at Grandview Park and we will walk along the drive. This event will be hosted by another Veteran VBE Beth. Who wouldn’t want to hang out and socialize with the knowledgeable Beth? So come out and enjoy the fall colors and spotlight babywearing in the community along the “world’s most beautiful drive” You need not be wearing a baby to join us. Feel free to bring spouses, older children, friendly dogs, anyone who wants to help show off babywearing at the end of International Babywearing Week! You can RSVP to this event at the following link.
Join us in one or all of our events to celebrate International Babywearing Week 2013, October 7th through the 13th!
Update: We are excited to welcome our newest VBE Jill! Certified just in time for IBW2013!!!
This past Saturday we had a babywearing workout meeting. Wait what??? Babywearing and working out? Most moms after having their babies don’t want to leave them with a sitter or the gym daycare in order to work out! So that’s where babywearing comes in. Our meeting was lead by the amazing Anna from Once Upon a Sling in Bloomington! Anna will be putting together a babywearing workout class in Bloomington, so check out or FaceBook Chat group for future information on that! We also welcomed a brand new VBE, thats Volunteer Babywearing Educator, Sarah Scullin! You may remember her from a few blog posts ago and her awesome picture tutorial on the Front Cross Carry!
So first a few things Anna let us know regarding safety of baby wearing and working out. First off she suggested a two shoulder carry for babywearing and working out. So hang up your ring sling for this one. She also suggested to really listen to your body, know your limits and be aware of your baby at all times. Also don’t run or jump while babywearing! Another safety precaution was to be aware of your babies neck and head. Babies can be worn on front or back.
She started out with what she called a warm-up. I think most of us were about to call it quits just after that! We mostly worked on legs which included, lunges and squats. We did walking calf raises and this silly walk where we kept out toes in the air. We all kind of looked like penguins. We also did some standing abs with some hip flexor exercises where we lifted our knee to our elbow. We were all pretty tired so Anna demonstrated some other exercises where we could use baby as a weight, lay on our backs and push baby into the air!
There were many other exercises I know I am forgetting but you can always check out Anna’s class in Bloomington and look out for future babywearing workout meetings! Also don’t forget about Sarah and that there is now a 4th VBE to field your babywearing questions to!
So per your request here are a few tutorials on wrapping with sling rings. I wanted to start out with a front carry and a hip carry before I move onto back wrapping with rings. So stay tuned for future blog posts and video tutorials about back wrapping with rings! Please remember when using rings for babywearing that you only use rings from slingrings.com as they are tested for babywearing and weight. Never use welded rings as they are not tested!
This first video tutorial is for a common hip carry called Robin’s Hip Carry. This variation is done with one sling ring. You could use a large or medium sling ring for this carry! I used a large in this video. I learned this carry thanks to our VBE Courtney. This is a great carry for nursing and also not a bad carrier for a beginner. This carry should be used for a baby with relatively good head control I think. In the video I use our lending library’s Didymos Indio Size 3. You could accomplish this carry with any size really you just may have a good bit of tail remaining if you use your base size. So here is Robin’s Hip Carry with a Ring
The next carry is a Short Cross Carry (SCC) with a Ring. I used a large sling ring in this video as well but you should be able to use a medium for this carry too! This is also a great carry to nurse in. And since this is a poppable carry its also a great beginner carry. What’s a poppable carry? Basically its a carry you can pre tie without baby in there, you can then after its tied place baby in. Later when you take baby out you could leave it tied and pop baby in again later. This can be very nice for running errands! Again I used our lending library’s Didymos Indio Size 3! A wrap of a size 3 or 4 would probably be appropriate for this carry. So here is Short Cross Carry with a Ring!
I absolutely love using sling rings when wrapping! So look out for future tutorials on back wrapping with rings! I plan to do one on the Mermaid carry! Hopefully these video tutorials help you with learning to wrap with the use of sling rings!
Here we have another tutorial this time from the awesome Sarah!!
I first started wearing my 11 month old son in a stretchy wrap when he was two weeks old … and he’s been worn daily since then! Around four months we made the switch to woven wraps and around 7 months we added in a ring sling (= life changing, since it’s pretty much the only way he will nurse in public). My husband also wears him in “daddy’s carriers” (our mei tais). At the beginning, my son loved to take naps on both of us in his carriers, but now that he’s older he mostly enjoys experiencing the world from the comfort of his parents’ (fabric) arms.
Well, what started out as a tiny post on how to tuck the tails of a fcc into the cross passes for ease of tightening has accidentally turned into a step-by-step photo tutorial. Which is probably a good thing, since fcc is a GREAT carry for beginners: (1) it’s a front carry (obvy), (2) it’s (mostly) a pre-tie, so there is very little messing about with trying to hold baby AND tie a long piece of cloth onto your body, (3) it’s poppable (i.e., once you’ve got the carry tied on you, you can pop baby in and out all day), and (4) there are two ways (of which I am aware) to nurse in a fcc.
If you’re a pro, skip down to photo 20 to see the tail trick (h/t to uppymama). If, on the other hand, you’re looking for an obsessively chronicled explanation of every step of tying on a fcc, settle in for a 47 photo (omg) tute!
Video slide show
Sarah’s Front Cross Carry Video Tutorial
(You may need to pause at points during the video)
Access to the 47 picture tutorial
Sarah’s Front Cross Carry Tutorial Photos
My very first carrier with my 2nd daughter was the Moby. The moby, wrapsody, boba wrap and DIY stretchy wraps are from what I have seen many peoples gateway carrier into the world of woven wraps. Our lending library has a few stretchy wraps available which are great for squishes. What’s a squish? Your brand new baby!
Lending Library Stretchy/Hybrid Wraps:
Boba Wrap (BRAND NEW TO OUR LENDING LIBRARY, thank you Boba!)
Beachfront Babies Water Wrap Carrier (White)
Je Porte Mon Bebe (Dark Gray/Plum)
Sleepy Wrap, now known as Boba Wrap (Light Blue)
Wrapsody Bali Baby Stretch (Kai)
Wrapsody Water (Black)
So back to me! Haha! I had this piece of never ending stretchy fabric, 7 lbs worth of baby and a book with pictures that just confused me more! I tried the carry in the book (pocket wrap cross carry or something like that) and I just couldn’t get it situated the way I needed. Next stop the internet for video tutorials and there I learned the Front Wrap Cross Carry. Later on little did I know this carry would be my first carry in a woven wrap too! That’s what I love about it! I learned it with my stretchy and when my very first woven arrived in the mail I already knew how to do something! So with this new born baby, the housework falling way behind, no clean laundry in site and oh so sick of sitting on the couch and bed with my baby, time to babywear! I need two hands! Making a sandwich and throwing in a load of laundry became so much easier in an instant! So here is a very quick video and excuse my appearance I have been cleaning and what do you know doing laundry all day but here it is! The Front Wrap Cross Carry aka FWCC in a Moby! Also just a note you can take the tails on each side after your all done and spread them.
Our group meets the first Monday and the third Saturday of every month. The Monday meetings are open help times to try on carriers and get help with carriers you may already own. The Saturday meetings usually have a topic presented by one of our VBE’s or a guest speaker for the first 30 minutes of the meeting. Our latest topic was “Babywearing on the Cheap”. Once the topic is presented the meeting opens up to open help. There is a VBE at each “carrier station” to help you try on carriers.
Our VBE Courtney started us off this past Saturday’s meeting talking about how you can babywear within a budget you are comfortable with. The comparison of cars was presented as in some people drive porches and others drive a more affordable car. Baby carriers are the same way, there are offerings at just about any price point. At the bottom is the handout that was given out at the meeting. Carriers with an asterisk are available in our lending library.
If you are in the market for a soft structure carrier (SSC) on a budget The Boba Air which is one of lending library’s most recent carriers is of the most affordable SSC on the market, available new for under $75. For under $100 the Action Baby Carrier, Pognae, Moby Go and Connecta are available. Most of these are available in our lending library. Our lending library also offers the Boba 3G, Ergo, Onya, Scootababy, and Tula all for under $150. Other carriers available for that under $150 are the Beco, Catbird Baby Pikkolo, Angelpack and BabyHawk.
Mei Tais are another option you can find at affordable prices. For under $100 Kozy and Catbird Baby are avaiable to try in our library and the BabyHawk is another option. For under $150 our lending library hosts a Chimparoo Mei Tai.
Ring Slings are available for under $75 such as a Sleeping Baby Productions (SBP) or the Maya Wrap Ring Sling. Our library has an SBP carrier. For under $100 there are ring slings offered by Sakura Bloom, Snuggly Baby, Comfy Joey, BBSling all available in our library. Chimparoo also offers a ring sling fo under $100.
Woven Wraps are avaiable at many different price points, there are many that are available on a budget. For under $75 there is Walter’s Organic and The Wrap Nap Fairy. Our Library has a Wrapsody Bali Breeze, Colimacon et Cie (C & C) and a Chimparoo woven wrap all available new for under $100. Also available under $100 are Amazonas. Under $150 offers many more options. Our library has a Doncino, Hoppediz, Girasol, BBSleen and Didymos that could all be found for $150. Also available for $150 would be Storchenwiege, Easy Care and Little Frog.
All of the above are available for new at the prices mentioned but you might be able to find many of them at a similar or even lower price second hand. Although you should keep in mind that babycarriers do hold their market value. For buying used carriers some great resources include the “Babywearing Swap” group on Facebook as well as the “Babywearing on a Budget” another Facebook Group. Thebabywearer.com has forums for buying, selling and trading as well.
Many people often wonder if they could just make something or Do-it-Yourself (DIY). There are many DIY options that our VBE Kirsteen discussed at the meeting. A stretchy wrap is an easy DIY project as no sewing skills are required, as they can be made from Stretchy Jersey fabric that does not fray. A DIY wrap can also be made but does require sewing as it would need to be made from medium or bottom weight Linen, Cotton or Osenburg are the most commonly used. These fabric would need to be hemmed. Another DIY project that requires just a big more skill is the DIY Ring Sling. The same fabrics that can used for a woven wrap could also be used to make a ringsling. The key to making a DIY ringsling is quality materials like the use of gutermann thread. The rings for a DIY ring sling should be purchased from slingrings.com, which are tested for babywearing the rings should NOT be welded rings. Mei Tais and SSC could also be a DIY project but would need to only be attempted by someone with a relatively good experience with sewing. DIY Mei Tai’s can even be constructed from a table cloth as long as their is only a diagonal stretch not a horizontal or vertical stretch tot he fabric. http://www.sleepingbaby.net/ is a great resource for more in-depth DIY infomation and patterns.
Our VBE’s are avaiable at the meetings to answer or offer suggestions for any questions you may have. Attending a meeting is really best way to find out what carrier works for you. As our VBE Beth likes to say, Carriers are like jeans, what might fit me will probably not fit you. Babywearing can be an expensive hobby but there are many ways in which you can keep your baby close and still stay within your personal budget.
The first carry that I was able to successfully nurse in, using a woven wrap was the Poppin’s Hip Carry. I also think it’s a very pretty carry and has therefore become a favorite of mine. The classic Poppin’s Hip Carry is tied under the baby’s bum but for aesthetic reasons and because I feel I can get it just a bit more secure, I prefer to tie it in the back, as in behind my back. A Poppin’s Hip Carry can really be done with any size woven wrap depending on the size of mom and the size of baby. I learned this carry using my base size of a 5 and I found it easier to learn to do with a larger wrap. Once I got the hang of it, I have done it in a longer size 2 and in a size 3 comfortably. The baby still needs seat support from knee to knee in this carry as with any carry so when making your seat please keep the gentle M position in mind. Also keep in mind for nursing you may want to keep baby just a bit lower than “close enough to kiss” once baby has finished nursing you can undo the 2nd knot in your double knot and tighten up a bit to raise baby back up. I tend to just wear baby a tad low just enough to nurse in this carry. Nursing in any carry, especially a woven wrap takes a lot of practice, I still do not feel as tho I have completely mastered it. Below is my video tutorial for Poppin’s Hip Carry tied in back.