Tips and Tricks – Ring Position
We previously talked about theading and sizing your ring slings (http://bwiofpeoria.org/2012/03/13/tip-tuesday-3/) but for a long time I always ended up with my rings too low so I wanted to talk about ring positioning. The ring sling that I am using is the BWI of Peoria Library BB Sling in Papaya. It was donated by Nova Natural. It is actually made from a wrap so is a nice and sturdy ring sling.
As you can see, I am first sizing my ring sling by adjusting it to the distance between my shoulder and hips.
I like to carry on my left hip, so I put my left arm and head through the sling.
I want to end up with my rings in a high corsage position. To do this, I am actually going to line up the seam of the ring sling with the seam of my shirt. If you are new to ring slings, you may actually want to start with it a little behind the seam of your shirt.
Then you place your baby in the carrier. This is 14 month old T. As always, make sure you get a good seat.
To tighten the carrier, pull the top rail horizontal instead of down
If you need to tighten the bottom rail, you can pull it down.
Then spread the fabric wide over you back and over your shoulder as comfortable.
As you can see, my rings ended up in the high corsage position and my baby is secured nice, tight and close enough to kiss.
This next tip is pretty easy but I’ll admit that it took someone sharing it with me before I realized what a good idea it is. This tip is about mei tai straps. I am using the library’s Catbird Baby Mei Tai with my 14 month old. When wearing a mei tai or a SSC it is very important to undo the wrap strap last. This is so your baby doesn’t fall. It is easy to know the waist strap on an SSC but it can be trickier with a mei tai.
Here I am tying on the mei tai.
Now, adding my son.
Crossing the straps over his butt and then going under his legs like normal.
Okay, here is the trick. When you tie the straps, always tie them above the waist strap.
This way, when it is time to remove the carrier, you will know to always untie the top strap first.
This is now something I always do. I hope you find this as simple and helpful as I do.
As my collection of wraps have grown, I have acquired some that I really love. I wear them often but sometimes I want the convenience of a ring sling. A No Sew Sling Ring is a way to have the best of both worlds. You can wear a beautiful wrap but you can have the ease of the ring slings.
The first thing you need is a wrap. I am using the BWI of Peoria’s size 2 Girasol. A No Sew Ring Sling is best with shorter wrap. You also need a pair of rings. They need to be rings specifically made for use in a ring sling. You want to make sure they are of sufficient cross-section and diameter. In addition, there should be no gaps or welds. They also need to be qualified at a weight in excess of that of your baby. The best thing to do is order from www.slingrings.com
because then you know you are getting the right rings.
Starting with the wrong side of the wrap facing you. Thread the wrap through both rings.
Now pull a section of the wrap through and thread it over the top ring and under the bottom. This is the same way you would normally fasten a ring sling
Pull the rest of the section through and pull it tight being careful not to twist the fabric.
This part is going to be the back, inner part of the ring sling. You can now flip your wrap over and bring the other end up and thread it normally by coming up through both rings from the bottom.
And then back over the top ring and under the bottom. Your rings may be a little offset so make sure you are threading it correctly.
Then put on your No Sew Ring Sling as you normally would.
After you get your child placed, you may need to tuck in the tail when you spread the ring sling across your back.
When you have finished, you should able to use your wrap just as you would a ring sling.
You shouldn’t need to adjust the rings and more than normal. If you do find your child to be slipping slightly you can try pulling a longer section through in the beginning. If you are trying this with a really thick wrap, you might try pulling a longer section through to start but only pulling it through both rings and not doing the over the top ring and under the bottom ring. This will leave the rings more like a true ring sling but then the only thing keeping it there is the weight of the baby and friction of the fabric. If you are doing this method, you need to be sure to start with a long enough section pulled through.
I hope you enjoy this way of using your wraps.
You’ve done your research, made your decisions and you’re very excited to get your new carrier. Chances are you can simply buy your carrier from a babywearing vendor. We like Once Upon a Sling, the Blueberry Tree and Birdie’s Room. They all have a large selection of the carriers they stock. However, your carrier could be more difficult to find. You may have to do a little legwork.
One of the first places to check are the larger for sale or trade sites (FSOT). The Babywearer has a free FSOT area but requires you register for the group.
There is also a Babywearing Swap on Facebook.
A little warning, these sites will make you want things that you didn’t know existed. Both of these sites have an “In Search Of” area, where you can post what you would like. You may have to wait a while but this can be one of the cheaper ways to purchase a carrier.
If you are a patient person, another option is to buy a carrier on a pre-order. In this case, you are buying before the carrier is made.
Generally, a portion is paid up front. You then wait several weeks to several months before the carriers are finished. To receive your carrier, you pay the remainder of your balance. This is a great way to get hard to find wraps, but the wait can seem forever.
It is a good idea to “Like” the facebook pages of your favorite brands. Some brands also have a newsletter. Many manufactures will post when they are stocking new carriers and when new options are available. Then, it is just a matter of being patient and hoping for a good computer connection when they stock.
Finally, if you are truly obsessing with a carrier and don’t want to inadvertently miss one of their postings, you can sign up for hyper alerts. Hyper alerts are free and will send you emails when updates are made to Facebook pages. Since you can’t control what shows up in your facebook feed, this is a surefire way to know when your favorite brands are posting.
Happy searching and best of luck.
By CS (KSC is taking a little maternity break from tips, but we’ll see her in the fall with some newborn tips, I’d bet)
Nursing in Front Wrap Cross Carry
Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) is probably the first carry that many people learn. I know it is the first carry that I learned and it is definitely the first carry I teach. It is one of my go to carries. I use it or one of its variations from birth till the present day. It was only recently that I learned this great tip for nursing in it though. Previously to nurse, I would untie the knot, lower my baby, nurse, and then basically re-tie the carry. I’ll admit it wasn’t my favorite which is one of the reasons that I love this tip.
Start with your child in FWCC. This is my 13 month old guy. As you can see, I am wearing him really high and he has a nice seat but there is no way I could nurse in this position.
I have my wrap bunched already but if you are using FWCC with the passes spread across your child’s back you would bunch them. Then you will take your baby out of the crosses without untying the wrap.
Your baby is now only supported by the pocket and the X is between your body and your baby’s legs.
You can then shift your baby into a nursing position. This is NOT a hands free way to nurse.
After you baby is finished nursing, return to the upright position. You don’t want to leave your baby in the cradle position. The baby isn’t secure until you re-assemble the wrap
Now put your baby’s legs back into the X.
Make sure your baby has a good seat.
Now, untie your wrap and retighten if necessary. The younger your child the more likely you will need to retighten and the more important that you do.
At the conclusion, you should still have a very nice FWCC.
This week we will talk about how to fix a pull. I will be using a Vatanai that I purchased with a few pulls in it. You can get a pull in a wrap from wearing rings, snagging it on a fingernail or clothing. Pulls usually can be fixed with a little patience, time and a needle. You want to fix pulls you may find in your wrap so that they do not break and cause a weak point in your wrap.
Here you can see the pull, it is about an inch long. The pull is located near the end of the wrap.
You now will take your needle and make sure the pull isn’t broken. If it is broken you would tie off the ends first.
Now the goal is to work the pull back through the wrap in both directions. I start with one side and follow the weave of the wrap. I will take the thread and distribute it evenly along the weave.
Here is what it looks like after completing one side of the pull. You will still see it a little loose but spread out along the wrap
Both sides are now distributed along the weave. I then take the wrap in hand and pull in all directions of stretch. The next step is to wash the wrap on a warm cycle and lightly dry in the dryer to tighten up the weave again. After that you should not be able to see the area of the pull at all.
To wrap up World Breastfeeding Week, I thought today’s tip should show one of the ways to make breastfeeding easier while babywearing. I am using our lending library’s Girasol in a size 2 in a rebozo carry. I really like wearing a tank top under my shirt to provide belly coverage when using a ring sling or rebozo carry when you don’t have as much coverage from the carrier itself.
Before putting on the carrier I pull up my outer t-shirt.
T-shirt now in position for nursing.
Next I would put on my carrier. Put baby in a bit lower than normal to the right height for nursing in the upright position.
I can then pull down on my tank top or unclip it if it is one made for nursing.
Now I am in the nursing position with nipple fully exposed but plenty of coverage. You can also use a button down shirt, one that crosses in the front for the same coverage.
Today’s tip will be about using your wrap as a support belt. I am using our lending library’s Didymos Rubinrot 3.1m wrap. You could also wrap this way when not carrying your child if you did not have a place to store the wrap when out and about.
First I find the center of my wrap.
Lay the wrap over your midsection or baby belly.
I spread the wrap about around my belly making sure it is not hanging too low.
Bring to the back and cross the tails, one over the other. I spread the wrap out on my back to get the most support.
Bring the tail back to the front, tighten and tie in center or off to one side.
Now you have a use for your wrap before baby arrives.
Today we will talk about carrier storage. There are many ways people store their carriers. This is just a few ways you can try. I have a small shoe cubby that I keep my longer wraps in. A basket on top with my shorter wraps. A child’s coat rack to hang ring slings. I also keep a larger basket on the floor with a SSC and sometimes a MT in it. These are all kept near the door so that I can just grab something to bring with me on the go.
This week we will talk about some of the ways to break in a new wrap. Sometimes when we purchase a wrap new from a retailer the fabric is a bit stiff and more difficult to wrap with. These are some tips to help soften the wrap more quickly.
The first thing you can do is wash your wrap according to the directions on the label. For cotton wraps I usually wash on cold, for hemp or linen blends I will wash on warm or hot. Silk and wool I hand wash. I like to line dry my wraps to avoid any shrinkage but you can put your cotton in the dryer. If you do line dry you can put your wrap in the dryer for some air dry time with some tennis balls, wool balls or I have even heard of people putting in their Crocs with the wrap. I have never tried that last one.
After a wash the next best thing to do is to steam iron your wrap(do not steam iron your wool or silk wraps). You may want to do this a few times to soften it up.
You can also try the “butt method”. This is when you take the wrap with you and sit on it throughout the day, in the car, on the couch or even snuggle in bed with it. Use it as blanket on the couch and let your little ones snuggle with it too.
An other method to get the kids involved is to make a hammock out of the wrap.
You can use the braiding method, where you braid and unbraid the wrap many times.
Or the pull through ring slings method, if you have a pair of those around. You just place the fabric through the rings, hold onto one end of the fabric and pull it through the rings. You must hold the two rings in your other hand while pulling the fabric through from one end to the other.
And finally the best method for breaking in your new wrap is to actually wrap with it, then steam iron it again!