Monthly Archives: May 2012

What Can You Do While Babywearing? Your Makeup

By B

I know this sounds crazy. I wouldn’t recommend it with a toddler, but, seriously, I wear my baby a lot while I put makeup on. I don’t wear it every day, so she gets impatient with me spending too much time at the bathroom sink. If I wear her, she can see what’s going on and I can get myself together. I can even put on mascara!

I like to have her with her arms in, if possible, to deter grabbing. She was 5 months in this picture. I have worn her recently (10 mos now) while getting ready, but it was on my back.

Colimacon et Cie Review

By B

We got the Colimacon & Cie wrap at a discount from The Blueberry Tree. (Thanks!) We used the “Surprise Me” listing to save 10%, letting Susan select the color for us. She nicely tossed swatches of all of the colors in with our order. They are all beautiful. Really, there’s nothing I would’ve been disappointed with. The solids are plain enough for dads to wear, but bright enough to not be at all boring.

We got the wrap in a 4.5 m, though they have a full range of sizes, from 2.5 to 5.5 meters. The 4.5 m length, a size 6-ish, is a versatile length. For most average sized mamas, this is their base size. If you are tall, fluffy or busty, you’d want to size up. This is the size I would use for a front wrap cross carry, my go to front carry, as well as multi layered back carries.

Out of the box, I’d call this wrap softish. It comes with a nice instruction book, which tells you to wash the wrap before use. I tumbled it for 10 minutes, then hung it dry. Out of the wash, it was a bit crunchy, so I set about breaking it in. There are a number of things you can do to break a wrap in. I go with the lazy gal’s way and haul the wrap around like it’s my blankie. I sit on it on the couch. I make other family members sit on it. I smush it around while I’m watching TV. I get kids to smush it around. If I’m sitting down, the wrap is underneath me. I’ve even slept with wraps under my pillow, though I didn’t with this one. If you were intending to use this with a newborn, I’d advise buying it and prepping it ahead of time. Right out of the box, I don’t know that I find it newborn soft, though I’m picky about what I use with teensy ones.

When broken in, this wrap could absolutely be your one and only. If you are someone who is looking to buy one wrap, not spend a ton, be able to use it from small baby through heavy toddler and share the wrap with your spouse, I’d encourage you to try this wrap out.

One feature I noticed on this wrap that I haven’t seen before is the stitching on the edges. Each side is a different color. This would be a big help to a newbie wrapper, helping you make sure you know which end is which. I’ve seen wraps with each edge a different color, but I haven’t seen a solid color wrap that still helps you differentiate. It’s a nice feature.

Something else that I like about this wrap is how sturdy it is. This is not a wrap that you need to baby. If I owned it, I’d machine dry it (on low). It’s very hardy, not easily snaggable. This is a wrap you can use as a picnic blanket, as a hammock, that you can let your toddler drag around without worry. This is a parking lot wrap.

I tried my 36 lb 4 year old in it. While we don’t do a lot of wearing these days, I do consider this something that would be suitable to wear him in.

 

Tip Tuesday- Getting a Good Seat

By KSC

This week we will talk about getting a good seat.  Whether you use a wrap, a ringsling, a Mei Tai or a soft structured carrier we often use the term getting a good seat in the carrier.  It means making sure that your child has the bum lower than knees position and ideally has the carrier covering and supporting knee to knee.  I will be using our lending library’s SBP’s wrap conversion ringsling, our Wrapsoday hybrid stretch wrap and our Action Baby Carrier soft structured carrier.

 

With the ring sling I make sure the bottom half of the material is knee to knee and well tucked up between me and my child’s body.  You can see that the top half of the fabric is flat and not bunched around his back.

You can see the bum lower than knee position here again.

Here shows how the fabric is tucked up between his legs and my stomach/side.

In a wrap I will pull the bottom of the wrap straight down and then pull from between his legs and up between us.

I make sure that I pull that material up along my back and knee to knee on his body.

Here you can see the bum lower than knee position that I end up with when I use this method.

In a soft structured carrier I make sure the waist band is flat against my back without any gaps.  I then bring the fabric up and over this bottom so that he sits about half way over the waist band.

I would do the same with a Mei Tai as I do with a soft structured carrier.  As a final check with any carrier that I am using is to make sure his position is correct by lifting up on his heels which pushed his bottom into that nice deep seat.

Reminders

How’s the Featured Carry going for ya’ll? You can post pics of it on our Facebook page. We’ll critique your tying techinque. No, we really won’t. We’d love to see you guys playing along!

If you’re in the Peoria area, maybe you want to stop by our babywearing park playdate tomorrow from 10-noon at Bicycle Safety Town on Sheridan.

Last thing, if you’re on Facebook, we’d love your help winning 3 Ergo carriers for our lending library. It just takes a second! Go to this post http://www.facebook.com/ergobaby/posts/10150866453226647?notif_t=feed_comment and comment. That’s it. You don’t have to like anything. Your comment can be a simple :) or feel free to blather on about how awesome we are. We appreciate your help!

Je Porte Mon Bebe Wrap Review

By B

I’m more excited about this wrap than I’ve been about one for a while. This is so cool! Je Porte Mon Bebe is a fabulous French company. The wrap is a hybrid stretchy. It can be used for back carries safely, unlike a traditional stretchy. The name means “I carry my baby” or “I wear my baby”. Je Porte Mon Bebe is all about babywearing education. I love their philosophy:
“OUR PHILOSOPHY

Our purpose is to deliver the best wrap possible and its explanations, in order to have an easy, durable, and physiological baby carrying experience.We focus on the teaching as much as on the product R&D. Since 2005 we do weekly workshops to explain babywearing to parents in Paris. Since 2008 we have an instruction program to train health professionals and baby wearing instructors to teach wraps to parents in need. There is now a JPMBB workshop network across France and Belgium. We’re a pretty hardcore and unconventional company, very close to our users, and users ourselves. We’re dedicated 24/7 to babywearing with no compromise. As a company, we focus on putting sense in the product and in the commercial transaction. We consider the buying as a beginning between us and the user, not the end of the story. Our ultimate goal is a correct and physiological use of the wrap and an increase of the user’s parental trust.”

Their site  and many of their amazing instructional videos are in English as well as French. They have the absolute best, most thorough, easy to understand videos that I have seen. Hands down. And, guys, I’ve seen a lot of instructional videos.

The wrap is 5 m long, 70 cm in width, which is wider than a lot of wraps. This is part of what makes it secure for back carries. (Most stretchy wraps are NOT safe for back carries. If you have an older stretchy wrap, the manual may show how to do a back carry, but these are no longer recommended and are not safe. Hybrid stetchies are safe for back carries.)

The wraps come in an array of solid colors, with a contrasting pocket in the center. They are gender neutral, but not boring, very stylish. The fabric is a cotton spandex blend, made specifically for JPMBB. It stretches in all directions, but is very dense, the same density as a woven wrap. What does that mean? This is another part of why it’s safe for back carries. Though the wrap is stretchy, the density means that it’s hard for the baby or child to stretch. I’ve done some experimenting with my older child and he can’t get himself into an unsafe position, like falling off my back, even when he tries with a spotter. I feel very safe with Baby Peach  on my back. I was surprised at how comfortable it was with my 35 lb big boy. I could definitely carry him in it. He is at the maximum weight for it and I expected it to be not very comfortable.

I learned a new carry to do in this wrap, the Reverse Double Hammock, from the videos on the page.

I admit, I was a little nervous wearing such a stretchy wrap on my back, but it felt very secure, even the first time. The instructions are very easy to follow and detailed. What I really like about this wrap in that carry is how very soft and comfortable it is across my chest. I’m picky about chest belts in wraps, how they are tied and which wraps I find comfortable enough for them. The JPMBB is sooo squishy soft, it doesn’t bother my bony upper chest at all.

It’s definitely soft enough for use from birth, soft enough for even the tiniest, most sensitive baby. The density makes it strong enough for long carries, even as my baby gets heavier. I think that density and softness would make it a really good choice for a preemie. (I have no personal experience with preemies, though, so take that for what it’s worth.) There is a lot more versatility with this than with a typical stretchy wrap, in that you can do so many different carries. If you love your stretchy wrap, but your baby is getting too heavy or you want to do back carries, this is for you. If you like the versatility of a woven wrap, but find they aren’t soft and squishy enough, consider a Je Porte Mon Bebe.

The company could not have been nicer to deal with. Plus, you feel really cool getting a package from France!

 

Tip Tuesday- Washing Your Carrier

Today we will talk about washing your carrier.  I will be using my Kinderpack Soft Structured Carrier, but this is the same method I use for all my carriers, including Mei Tai’s, Ring Slings and Wraps.

 

 For small stains or marks I would just spot clean with a soft cloth, warm water and a very small amount of little gentle soap.

 

 If I need to wash the whole carrier for spit up or something similar I put my carrier in a mesh bag.  You could also use a pillowcase closed at the top with a rubber band or hairband.

 

 I have a front loader so I do not always wash my carriers in a mesh bag although I do always wash carriers on their own.  If you have a top loader with an agitator I would always use a mesh bag or pillowcase to prevent any part of the carrier from getting caught in the agitator.  I also buckle all my buckles on a soft structured carrier and release the webbing keepers.

 

 I put just a small amount of detergent in on a delicate or handwash cycle which is a cold wash and cold rinse.  If you are washing a carrier with bright colors or fabrics I would recommend  a color catcher to stop any color bleeding especially during the first wash.  For wraps with a linen or hemp content it is important that you use a liquid detergent without optical brightners.  Powder detergents can get into the linen or hemp fibers and cause damage to your wrap. I wash all wool wraps by hand with wool wash.

 

 After the wash cycle I hang my carrier to dry on a rack.  You may fluff in the dryer with low or no heat after the carrier is dry to soften it up if needed.  

Featured Carry- Secured High Back Carry

By B

I’ll admit it, I brushed up on this carry just to share with you guys! Personally, I’m not a big chest belt fan, so this isn’t a carry I use in regular wearing. I do think this is a great first back carry, though. The chest belt secures baby right away, so you can take your time and fiddle around with getting the rest right. If you’ve been following our Featured Carries, you’ve probably improved at tightening the whole wrap and tightening the top rail. That is especially important in a comfy back carry as a loose wrap or loose top rail causes baby to lean away from you, throwing off your center of gravity and making you hate back wrapping.

If you are new to back carries, I strongly advise you to learn over a bed or couch or with a spotter. Please do not go throwing baby around all crazy until you feel comfortable with what you are doing!

Now, on to the carry! I’m using the lending library’s Ellevill Zara, which is 4.6 m, a size 6. I have extra length left over. I could do this carry with a 4.2 m easily. My baby is 9 months here.

Start by getting your baby onto your back, nice and high. You might try our tip from last week if you need some help figuring out how to get baby up.

You want baby to be in a nice seat in the wrap. We do this by tucking the wrap under baby’s bottom, between your body and baby’s. You can hold the ends of the wrap between you legs while you do this. Or I like to hold both of the top rails under my chin. I’m making sure to stay bent over and have my hand on baby or be keeping both ends of the wrap tight to secure her there. The wrap needs to be up to at least her armpits, but can be up over her shoulders.

You want one end of the wrap coming over your shoulder and one end coming under the other arm. This is known as a “rebozo pass”

Tie a half knot on your chest. This chest belt secures baby so you can do the rest of the carry without worrying she’s going to fall off.

I’ll be dealing first with the tail coming from the arm where the wrap goes over my shoulder, in my case, my left arm. The other end can just hang as baby is already secured to my back. I’ll hold this tail like a rope, all bunched up and bring it over baby’s leg

Bring it under her bottom and passing it to my other hand

Then under the other leg

I’m holding that end between my knees while I deal with the other tail, the one on the side where the wrap is going under my arm. (Apparently, something funny happened at this point in the photo shoot.)

I pass this tail over my right shoulder.

Grab the top edge of it with my left hand

Spread it out

I want to spread this pass of the wrap across baby’s back as high up as I can get it. You can use your left elbow to help spread the wrap up high.

I make sure to tighten this pass well, pulling on the whole wrap to tighten the whole thing and the top to tighten the top rail. Make sure not to overtighten the bottom and pull it out from baby’s butt.

 

Once I’m sure I have everything nice and tight (do a little tug on either end of the wrap if you need to), I’ll tie in a knot at the front.

 

There you have Secured High Back Carry!

 

We encourage you to wrap along with us. Share your pics on our Facebook page, ask questions, share your tips for getting this carry just right.