Monthly Archives: November 2011

Sleepy Wrap Review

By NC

I know why they call this the Sleepy Wrap.  My daughter fell asleep every time I put her in this carrier!

Reviewed with a child 0-6 months (my daughter is 3 months old, approximately 11 lbs.)

Brief Description:

The Sleepy Wrap baby carrier is a wrap style carrier made of a single long piece of knit fabric.  It is simple with only wrapping and a tie necessary to get you on your way.  No buckles, straps, hoods or inserts here.

 

Learning Curve:

I was intimidated by the Sleepy Wrap at first.  I am most comfortable with a ring sling so the wrapping looked intricate and difficult.  I was wrong.  A quick tutorial from a friend and I was a pro at wrapping the Sleepy Wrap and popping my babe in.  I believe a person could easily learn how to use the Sleepy Wrap from a You Tube tutorial.

 

Activities:

I used the Sleepy Wrap for a variety of acitivites.  Because the wrapping takes a bit more time than throwing on a ring sling, I would probably not use it for a quick in-and-out of the grocery store unless I wrapped it before I left the house.  However, a person could certainly wrap and tie it in the parking lot and then pop baby in.  This wrap is so incredibly comfortable that I would definitely use it for longer distances (hiking, longer shopping trips, park with older siblings, etc.).  Baby is super secure so I felt comfortable bending over to put dishes away or pick up something from the floor.  This wrap was wonderful for Baby’s fussy times.  As soon as I would put her in, she snuggled close and fell into a peaceful sleep.  My baby prefers to have her legs out of a carrier so she was comfortable with the leg positioning of this carrier.  I was happy that she was easily in a seated postion so her legs were not dangling.

 

Ease of Nursing:

I nursed my baby a few times while using the Sleepy Wrap and it was very easy.  I simply pulled my shirt down and Baby nursed in an upright position.  The wrap served as all the cover I needed to be discrete.  I even was able to be up and moving around while nursing with the Sleepy Wrap.

 

Weather:

I found this carrier to be the warmest I have for Baby.  I put her in the Sleepy Wrap under my coat for an outdoor holiday activity and she was warm and cozy throughout the evening.  I tend to run warm myself, so I might find this carrier to be too warm for me in the summer.  However, with the fabric being a breathable knit, it might be cool enough.

 

Storage:

With no buckles, etc., I found this carrier to be especially easy to stuff in my diaper bag.  I also used it to cover up Baby in the car.

About our reviews

We have a lot of parents working on reviews. Keep an eye out for many great posts  coming soon! We like to have many parents, with different body shapes and babies of different ages, review each carrier. We find different perspectives helpful and hope you do, too!

To be upfront, all of the carriers we review are either donated to us or sold at a reduced price. We never review carriers that we wouldn’t recommend, though. We only solicit donations/discounts from companies whose products we would wear and recommend anyway. Many of the brands we have in the library are also owned by BWI of Peoria members. It’s important for us to be able to give our honest impressions on the carriers we have. We would never encourage anyone to buy a product that we found to be less than high quality. Not every carrier is a great match for every wearer, but every carrier reviewed here is one we find to be high quality, from a reputable company, a good carrier for some.

December Monthly Meeting

Here’s the Facebook event page for our monthly meeting. All of our monthly meetings are open to anyone interested in learning more about how to safely use a baby carrier, anyone wanting to support our group and those looking for some babywearing friends! You can bring a carrier of yours that you need help with. We will have our lending library carriers there. You can try your baby in any of those. We always have one or two VBEs (Volunteer Babywearing Educators),who are knowledgeable in safe babywearing, to help you out.

This meeting’s topic is Winter Babywearing. The featured carrier is Sleepy Wrap.

The schedule of meetings will be: 5:00-5:30: carrier check ins, mingling; 5:30-6:00: introductions, spotlight topic and carrier; 6:00-6:30: one on one help, group help; 6:30-7:00 carrier check out.

Feel free to come late or leave early. You are encouraged to bring the baby/child you’ll be wearing, if possible, so you can try on carriers together.

Once Upon a Sling

By B

Once Upon A Sling is a babywearing shop in our actual area! It’s located in Bloomington-Normal. They have carriers in stock and you can make an appointment to go try them on. You can try out some carriers and walk out the door with one that you love! This is super exciting to me!

Once Upon a Sling was started to bring babywearing education and products to the area after The Sling Connection in Lincoln closed. Their mission is to provide quality carriers that promote the parent-child bond while allowing the parent to maintain an active lifestyle.  They started small, but their selection has really grown in the past year and a half. They have a great selection of brands, all of which I really approve of! There are two Ring Slings (Maya and Zolowear), three Mei Tais (Catbird Baby, BabyHawk and Maya Tie), seven Soft-Structured Carriers (Action Baby, Beco Butterfly 2, Beco Gemini, Boba, Oh-Snap (BabyHawk), Olives & Applesauce, and the Pikkolo (Catbird Baby) ), and five wraps (Bali Breeze, Bali Stretch, Moby, Dolcino and Wrapsody Water Wraps). They have three exclusive carriers – two Catbird Baby MT’s (Citron Birdies and Owls Owls) and arriving any day now, a BabyHawk with Illini fabric. They generously donated a Citron Birds CatBird to our lending library! Review coming soon. They also have great babywearing accessories: Winter Covers (by Catbird), Beco Drool Pads, Catbird Support Belts, Tummy 2 Tummy DVD,  and Lassig nursing covers.

They have classes, generally once a month. One is an intro to babywearing class, the other is an intro to wrapping. If you can’t make it to the monthly BWI meeting, to get hands on help from one of our VBEs, this would be a great option for you.   You can also schedule a consultation. I think it is so exciting that there is somewhere local where you can try on carriers and walk out with the one you want!

Anna, the owner, has 4 kids and has been wearing since the oldest was a few months old. We really appreciate her support!

 

Bamberoo Review

By M

I love the Bamberoo Carrier!

 

I have always been an Ergo-girl. And my Ergo has served me well, but I also had been trying out other SSC to see if I liked them any better, especially as my daughter was getting bigger (she is a 17lb., 11 month old).

 

I couldn’t believe how quickly I fell in love with the Bamberoo (I am not someone who says this about every carrier I meet).

What I liked best was the waist belt, it just supported her so well. My husband and I both have taller frames, and it fit us both perfectly.

I also liked the wider body and the seat darts.

 

I wasn’t as in love with the hood – I am not sure why but I it never seemed to work as well for us as the Ergo hood did.

 

The best part for me was with the wider body I was able to nurse by daughter with full coverage. No one could see anything she was doing or even knew she was eating. This was the only way we survived our vacation! Vacations can be hard on small children and all the new places, missed naps, etc. But the Bamberoo made it much more enjoyable for all of us. I joked the 2 things that made our vacation successful were the Bamberoo & Breastfeeding :) My daughter was able to eat anytime she needed and sleep anytime she needed.

In fact, this carrier was such a hit that we now are going to buy one of our own.

Reviewed with a child aged: 6-18 months

Brief Description
The Bamberoo Soft-Structure Carrier has buckles, no tying, so it makes its quicker to learn and get on. I feel like the Bamberoo was ‘designed’ for long-wearing as the seat darts make it comfy for child, the waist belt is very supportive, the shoulder straps and comfy & padded, and the hood is versatile for running in the rain, keeping a child warm, helping a sleepy baby sleep or allowing baby to nurse discreetly.

Learning curve
I have experience with the Ergo carrier, so I have used a SSC before.
I think this is an easy carrier to use. Its straight-forward and easy to buckle. My husband prefers the SSC. The back carry can be hard to learn (this is true in any carrier) and I was sure to practice the first few times using the Bamberoo for a back carry inside the house or over a couch, because it was a different carrier and I wasn’t as efficient at doing a back carry in it. But I had already done back carries in the Ergo, so it didnt take me long to figure it out, too. My husband does back carries as well, but I still spot him for them.

Activities
This carrier is good for everything! I really have done everything in it. We have walked, gone to the park, gone to museums, done a long trip, traveled on mass-transit (bus & train), we nursed, she slept – all activities! And at home I have used it to easily put her on my back to go chores, etc. I recently put her on my back to go to the Mall – and it was so much easier than all the moms I saw with strollers – I could quickly get from store to store and be done & she was happy to look around and see the action so she was content.

Innovation
I like the seat darts & the wider body. I also liked the supportive waist belt. It fit me better than many SSCs I’ve tried.

Ease of nursing in this carrier
This carrier was so easy to nurse in. I sometimes would nurse in carriers, but not very often. But with vacation it was necessary so it was a little work to figure out how best to nurse, what clothes for me to wear, etc. The extra wide body & hood made it easier for me because we could discreetly nurse and no one knew. On vacation we were regularly crammed on a bus or train with people and I worried with men standing RIGHT next to me that it would be awkward but no one could tell!

Another Scootababy Review

By H

Reviewed with children age (s)

6-18 months

2 years and up

Brief Description

The Scootababy is a soft structured
carrier that is used with baby positioned (seated) slightly to the
side (almost on your hip), inward facing position.  The strap fits
over your head and shoulder and is adjustable to comfort.

(Note: Scootababy can also be used on your front or your back. I do think it really shines as a hip carrier, though. ~B)

 

Learning curve

This carrier is very user friendly and
easy to pop baby in and out.  A beginner would be able to use this
carrier. Adjusting straps was easy and it was clear when baby was in
the correct position.

 

Activities

The carrier would be great for standing
and socializing, light housework and quick trips. I also thought this
carrier was easy for sitting down to eat a meal with baby.  I used it
both at home and in restaurants.  Baby is to the side and cannot
reach your food as well and could see everything. I also found it
easier to reach above my head, then I do in a typical front carry
position.

Innovation

This carrier is different from most
soft structured carriers because baby goes on the side of your body
more easily than in front or behind. It can be used on either side of
your body with little adjustment.

 

Ease of nursing in this carrier
I don’t typically nurse with a carrier, but in this case, it appeared
so easy that I had to try it.  I did not have to reposition baby
much, just adjust my own clothing.  This would be great for moms who
are busy around the house.

 

Weather considerations

This carrier would be easy to use for
quick trips in nice weather.  I found it difficult to use under a
coat.

 

Safety

This carrier has secure buckles and an
adjustable cross strap for secure fit.  Baby fits into a seat and it
easy to tell that baby is in correct position.

Ages

Good for a baby who can sit up on their
own.  I tried with my 3 year old (since he the weight limit was
37lbs), He fit comfortably, but because his feet hung down too much
and were in the way when I walked.

 

 

Storage

Scootababy comes with a drawstring
nylon tote bag that the carrier fits in for easy transport. I loved
this and plan to find a similar bag to use for my carriers.   It
would also fold up to fit in a large diaper bag.

 

 

Wearing two

I’ve had a bit of experience wearing two. When my son, now 3.5, was younger, I watched a couple of his little friends and experimented with different babywearing techniques a lot. I found I could wear two kids in one wrapThis works best when the kids are of similar weights. That keeps the heavier child’s weight from pulling the wrap too tightly on the lighter child.

You can also wear them in two different wraps.

Neither of these are my preferrence, though. For me, the key to dual wearing is timing. I like to put the front carrier on, but NOT put the baby in it yet. A ring sling is a good option here, as is a stretchy or hybrid wrap, anything where you can put the carrier on first, then put the child in later. Then, I like to put the older child and the carrier on the back. I like a SSC (soft structured carrier) here. A short wrap is another good choice. You don’t want a lot of bulk in the front. You definitely don’t want to be tying anything over the smaller baby.

When you are putting the child on your back, you are leaning over, making your back flat as a table, while you get him situated. If you already have the baby in the front carrier, she needs to be in something that has really good head support. Even so, you are usually bouncing around a bit, getting a good seat for the heavier child. For that reason, I really prefer to put the baby on front after the back rider is all settled.

Now, you can put the baby in the front carrier as you normally would. You should have good support for both, with neither bearing the weight of the other.

I really think wearing two is underutilized by caregivers. If you are already wearing the heavier child on a regular basis, your body is used to bearing that weight. It isn’t much of a difference to add a 10 or 15 lb baby, especially if it isn’t for a long haul. Now, I probably wouldn’t go hiking this way, but it will get you through the grocery store or let you get one or both to sleep somewhat peacefully.

~B

 

Hustlin’

Interested in helping your new favorite babywearing group raise funds? We’re
working hard to expand our sling library! (Details on that coming soon) Well,
you can!

2 ways:

Join Babywearing
International
! We get a portion of the proceeds from all membership dues. To
become a member of BWI of Peoria, just Paypal $30 to heartofillinoisbabywearers@gmail.com Put
“membership” in the subject line so we know what it’s for. You can send
donations the same way, just put “donation” in the subject line.

OR

Buy a Peoria Dining Tour book from
us! These things are terrific. My family had one last year and gave 2 as gifts.
You can see the list
of 100 restaurants
in the book. There’s a wide variety, from fine dining to
fast food. The book is filled with Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupons. It will pay for
itself in just a few meals out. Every restaurant is in the Peoria area, from
Lacon to Pekin and all over Peoria. If you’re interested in buying a book ($30),
shoot us an email at info@bwiofpeoria.org We’d love to hook you and your holiday gift recipients up!

So, what is a VBE anyway?

VBE=Volunteer Babywearing Educator. Each group must have at least two, at least one being a non-vendor. We take both a written and a proficiency exam. The proficiency exam is either in person, if you live in an area close to a certifier, or via Skype, how I did mine. You do some Q&A, demo carries, and talk the tester through carries as though she were a parent needing help. BWI really wants to make sure that VBEs know what they’re doing, it seems! I’m very for this. This is my 3rd year doing babywearing education. I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t have passed the written exam when I first started. Or, at the very least, I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to actually turn it in.

Our group is led by two VBEs, Beth and Kirsteen. We are working on “about” posts for each. VBEs lead the meetings and help get babies into carriers. We also do BWI outreach events, presenting about safe babywearing in the community. If you’re interested in having our certified VBEs present to your group, send us an email info@bwiofpeoria.org