Monthly Archives: April 2012

Bamberoo Soft Structured Carrier

By B

I’ve been wearing the Bamberoo soft structured carrier around with my 3.5 year old, 35 lb tall boy. This is a carrier that is remarkably comfortable with such a heavy kid. I could wear him around for a good amount of time in this. The body is tall enough that he can stuff his arms inside.

I love the styling on this. I love how the chest belt matched the print of the carrier, rather than just plain webbing like you normally see.

Everything about this carrier is stylish. This is the middle size of Bamberoos. There is a “baby” size and a “toddler” size as well.

The nitty gritty:

-Slightly contoured 16″X17″ darted body will give a more comfortable seat for
the little ones.
-Leg padding
-Shaped sweatshirt style hood, that adjusts with a drawstring and cord lock. When the hood scrunched down to the smallest setting it’ll fit smaller babies On the largest setting it’ll fit a 2-3 yo toddler. (The hoody style hood works better on bigger babies, functioning as a sun shade, rain hood, hiding spot.)
-Shoulder straps has 16.5″ long padding
-The waist is very slightly curved, padded with polyfoam, adjust from 28″-48″ also with double adjustable buckles.

This carrier also has the elastics to tie up any dangling webbing. I’ve talked before about how much I love that feature on a carrier.

My nursling is too small for this carrier, so I can’t comment on that.

I really like soft structured carriers with toddler aged kids. They are in that “pick me up, put me down” sort of stage, so it’s nice to have something that is easy and fast to get them in and out of. The waist belt makes this supportive for even a heavy child.

I tried this out with a toddler I had on hand and took some pics.

Oh the adorableness!

I LOVE toddler wearing. In that busy stage, so full of strong emotions, it is so wonderful to have those quiet, connecting moments that babywearing brings.

I am really enjoying the resurgence in wearing that the influx of carriers has brought about with my big boy. This is definitely one of the carriers I reach for first to wear him. It’s amazing, even though he’s so grown up these days, he still has moments where he needs to be a little guy, to just snuggle up close. Babywearing or preschooler-wearing, in a solid carrier like the Bamberoo, makes it so much easier to be the parent I want to be to two littles.

 

Look at All of Our Carriers!

By B

Before I show you all the pics of our fantastic carriers, I want to talk about how we got them (yes, telethon style.) Some of these carriers are donated by their manufacturer or by a retailer. If you decide to buy something you learned about here, feel free to let the vendor know that you learned about them from BWI of Peoria. We don’t get any further kickbacks, but it lets vendors know that donating to us was a good move for them. Maybe the next time they have a product to donate, it will help them think of us. Or maybe all the vendors will tell each other how wonderful we are and they’ll all want to donate. Right? That could happen, right?

Some carriers were donated to us by individuals. These were carriers that they used to use with their own kids. When the kids outgrew them, the parents donated to us instead of reselling the carrier. Since BWI is a non-profit organization, they can write off the donation. If you’re interested in donating your gently used carrier to our lending library, let us know! We loving growing our library, though not every carrier meets our criteria. You can message a VBE for more about this: info@bwiofpeoria.org

Still more carriers were bought by our group for the lending library. All of the funds we have come from memberships, fundraisers and donations. Group memberships are $30/year, half of which goes to our group. The major perk of membership is that you can check out any carrier in our lending library. BUT, even if you don’t intend to check out a carrier, you still might want to consider purchasing a membership, participating in a fundraiser or making a tax deductible donation. Why? Well, maybe you like having these carriers available, to try on, to help you make your purchasing decision. Consider the cost of doing a carrier rental program with all of these carriers! The cost of shipping them back and forth! But, thanks to the generosity of the Peoria area babywearing community, we have so many carriers on hand for you to try out. We have trained, certifed Educators to help you to safely use the carriers or even carriers you already own. Consider the value of having hands on help with any carrier, with any age baby.

Alright, enough of my sales pitch, check out all our awesome carriers! (A few woven wraps are missing from these pics; they were checked out when these were taken.)

Some soft structured carriers

Some mei tais

Stretchy and hybrid wraps

Wovens and ring slings (3 missing here)

Aren’t they beautiful? Up next, a pic of me swimming through them like Scrooge McDuck…

 

Tip Tuesday- Sandwiched Shoulders

By KSC

 

Today we will talk about two different ways to have your shoulder straps lay in a wrap carry.  The first is known as “bunched” and the second is known as “sandwiched”.  I will be using our lending library’s Dolcino wrap, it is a size 6 (4.2m) but this method can be used with any size wrap.  It is especially useful when doing a rucksack carry as it helps maintain a good knee to knee seat for your little one.

 

 

 

First I put my son on my back in my usual manner, I tuck the wrap knee to knee on him and up between my back and his body.  I bring both straps over my shoulders.

 

At this point you can see both shoulder straps are just bunched up on my shoulders.  This is known as the bunched method.  I can hold both straps in my hand and stand straight up with him in the seat and finish off the carry as I normally would by brining both straps to the back over his legs, cross under his bum then under the opposite leg bring in front and tie in a knot.

Or you can do the sandwiched shoulder.  I lean over a bit again, tuck one shoulder strap between my knees and work with one side at a time.  I spread the entire shoulder strap width out over my arm.

I then bring both rails together by taking the rail closest to my wrist and matching it up with the rail closest to my neck, so that the fold will now be closer to my shoulder.  You can see the lighter green portion of the wrap is now under the the top darker portion.

 

I do this on both sides and finish off the carry as I normally would as stated above.

Finished off with sandwiched shoulders.  This method adds a bit of cushion to the shoulder area while also making the fabric a little more narrow.

Here I will show bunched shoulders to sandwiched in a front carry.  Here I am doing our featured carry the Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC).

 

Bunched shoulders coming around my back and over my shoulders.

Now I take one shoulder at a time and pull down on the rail closest to the outside near my shoulder.

I spread the fabric down towards my wrist.

 

 

Pull that rail up towards my neck.  Now you can see the lighter green bottom portion of the wrap is sitting on top of the darker green top portion.

This is the sandwiched shoulder in a FWCC.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Carry- Front Wrap Cross Carry

By B

This biweek’s featured carry is the front wrap cross carry (FWCC). This is my personal go to front carry. It can be used with any age baby, from birth. I find it easy to nurse in. I can squeak this carry out with a size 5 wrap (4.2m), but I need a size 6 (4.6 m) to have enough slack to nurse in. In this tutorial, I’m using the lending library’s Colimacon et Cie, which is 4.5 m. I did this tutorial in a parking lot as parking lot wrapping and how to do it had been mentioned. Some parking lot wrapping tips:
I wouldn’t use a super special or delicate wrap for this. You can use the technique in this video to wrap without your tails touching the ground, but I usually don’t bother. If it’s very dirty or wet I just wrap inside.

Now, on to the Featured Carry! We encourage you to learn or practice the carry along with us. Share a pic on our Facebook page. Post a link to your favorite tutorial (besides this one!) or create your own.

First, I gather my supplies. My adorable baby is just shy of 8 months here.

I find the center of the wrap, marked by the tag.

I hold the center with my chin. I’ll be dealing with one side of the wrap at a time. The other side will hang down. You can see that the ends are touching the ground, but they don’t get particularly dirty. Just try not to step on them!

I’m dealing only with the top edge (also called the rail) of the wrap right now, passing it from one hand, behind my back to my other hand.

And bring it up over the opposite shoulder, just like putting on a coat. See how I’m holding only the top rail and the wrap is nice and flat on my back, not twisted?

Bunching it up onto my shoulder.

Do the exact same thing on the other side. Pass from one hand to the other, bring the wrap up over the opposite shoulder, so it’s crossed on my back.

X on my back. Nice and neat, not twisted. You could also wrap up to this point before leaving the house, rather than in the parking lot.

Now, I’ll take my baby and put her through the horizontal part of the wrap going across my belly. I have her in a high burp hold while I put her legs through.

I like to put my hand underneath to guide baby’s legs through.

Get her into a nice seated position

Pull on either side of the wrap to tighten up the horizontal pass. I pull up and out to tighten

Make a nice seat for baby. Tuck the fabric under her bottom, between the two of you.

The top edge of the fabric goes up to her armpits. For a younger or sleeping baby, it can go up higher to support the head.

Make sure to tighten the top rail well. If I didn’t twist the fabric, the inner edge will correspond to the top edge. I can pull on the whole wrap to tighten the whole thing, or the edge to tighten the edge. This is important so baby doesn’t lean away too much. Be careful when tightening the bottom rail that you don’t pull the seat out from under baby.

 

Bring one side across baby, over one leg and under the other.

Do the same thing on the other side. Cross the crap over baby and her other leg, making an X on her bottom. You can also use those cross passes to support baby’s head. If baby falls asleep, I’ll tuck her little arms in, turn her head to the side and use one cross pass to support her sleepy head.

Take one end of the wrap in each hand and do a little bounce to tighten everything up. This is your last chance to tighten any rails that need it.

Tie in a double knot. If you have extra length and want to tie a bow, that’s fine, but tie a knot first for security.

You’re done! Now load all the kids into the car like a super parent!

There is is, front wrap cross carry. Go learn it, post your pics, questions, comments, come to a meeting and practice. There’s one this Saturday!

 

Kozy Review

By B

Review of the Kozy Mei Tai

Kozy has been around for a long time! This is a name that babywearers have heard of, have come to know and respect. If you buy a Kozy and go to resell it a few years down the road, you’ll be able to. People will know of this brand. It can be harder to resell the carrier you bought from the hot WAHM at the time who, 3 years later, isn’t making carriers anymore (says the voice of experience).

Kozys have a curved headrest to offer additional head support when needed. The headrest can fold down for a taller baby, but fold back up if baby goes to sleep. The body is a little taller and wider than some other carriers on the market. You can roll it down for a smaller baby, unroll it for a larger one. The specifications: body is 17″ wide x 22″ high. Top straps are 65″, bottom straps are 30″ on a standard size. You can get XL straps, 80″ and 40″ as well. If you want to cross the straps over baby’s bum and tie them behind your back, you’ll probably want the XL straps, same with if you want to do a “Lexi twist”. I’d consider myself average size and I tie these under baby’s bottom.The waist straps on this are angled, rather than straight, which can fit some bodies better.

Shown here with my just shy of 5 months old.

Gratuitous baby adorableness shot

Kozy had the absolute best, most comprehensive mei tai tying instructions I’ve seen. They have pics and instructions for just about anything you’d want to do with your mei tai.

I love that they are a family owned and run company. You can read their story here. It’s nice dealing with a company run by the sort of people you’d like to hang out with. Kozy is definitely that company. Everyone I’ve dealt with is really as nice as can be.

These carriers run towards the more affordable side, with the basic model starting at $69. You can upgrade to cute fabric, add extra long straps or a pocket for an extra fee. Kozys also come with an adorable fabric tote.

They can be worn reversed for a different look, a nice option if you want a print, but your spouse wants something plainer.

Kozys, like other mei tais, are great for nursing. I think mei tais are the easiest carrier to nurse in. I just untie, lower baby and retie. You can a lot of good coverage, great for stealth nursing in public.

Ignore the weird face I’m making and who knows what’s on my sleeve, but I am discreetly nursing here.

Kozys are a great choice for someone looking for an affordable carrier that can go the distance, from infant to toddler, with a lot of versatility.

 

Meet Up: HELP!

By TP

 

Why go to a Meet Up? Because there’s no shame in not having all the answers. Sure, I like to be right all of the time, but sometimes I fall short; we all do. The most important thing to me is my family and our safety. So, there’s no time like the present to ensure you’re safely wearing your kiddo(s). I purchased the Boba Wrap (used to be the Sleepy Wrap) after attending my first Monday night meeting prior to the newborn’s arrival. I got it out of the package, tried it out and plopped in the new babe when she arrived. She liked it most of the time, but every now and then, she’d start crying when I placed her inside. Initial thought was – hmmmm, why isn’t this wrap calming down my daughter like I had envisioned?

 

Fast forward a month when I took my 8 week old with me to the next Saturday Meet Up and asked for help (yes ladies, we all can benefit every now and then!). I learned I was wrapping the Boba perfectly, but was placing my daughter in in ENTIRELY WRONG! EEEEK!

By TP

Thank goodness only a few weeks went by after the purchase to the meeting, because I quickly learned why I needed to place her in the wrap differently. Immediately she calmed down and napped while I looked around at other wraps. Now, that was the reality I was hoping for: pure serenity with my sweet peach napping away on me (LOVE!).

 

Another great benefit of attending a meeting is seeing for yourself how the carriers fit. I’m not a petite or average sized person. I’m a plus size gal, and I worry about all of my ‘extra love’ hanging out of the carriers or the need to purchase extensions. By going to a meeting, you can try them on before you purchase and see just how they feel, look, and most importantly, support your lil bundle. I am impressed with how the experts take the time to share their knowledge in a very relaxed, professional way without making you feel the slightest bit of ignorant. Love going to meetings and love the support and information I receive when going to a meeting. You should give it a try!

Tip Tuesday- Lexi Twist

Today we will talk about the Lexi twist.  The Lexi twist can be used with both woven wraps and Mei Tai’s.  It can provide extra support for bigger kids when used under the bum, it can help keep leaners from leaning away from you and it can be used with little newborns to keep the pressure off of their body.  You can use the Lexi twist in front carries or back carriers.

 

 

First start with baby on your back with both shoulder straps coming over your shoulders.

Bring both shoulder straps under your arm and over baby’s legs.

Cross the shoulder straps over one another.

 

 

Then cross them over each other a second time.

Bring back under baby’s legs and tie in front as you normally tie off with a knot.

In a front carry you can start off the same way with both straps coming under your arms.  I am using a Kangaroo carry here with the shoulders flipped.

Bring both straps over the legs.

 

Twist one strap over the other strap twice.

 

Then bring both straps under baby’s legs and to the back to tie in a knot.

For a newborn you would start the same way with both straps coming under your arms

 

 

Come over baby’s legs.

Do the twist below the baby’s bum.

Finish by bringing the straps below baby’s legs so that the strap is on your belly.  Bring to the back and tie in a knot.