Monthly Archives: May 2012

Babywearing – A Parenting Tool not a Parenting Method

By CS

 

Traditional, Attachment, Authoritative, Unconditional, Simplictiy, Authoritarian…It is enough to make your head spin and there are diehard proponents and opponents of both.  Parenting is a individual choice and varies widely between families.  Babywearing reaches across all different types of parenting.  A lot of people do associate babywearing with some of the more alternative methods of parenting but it doesn’t have to be.  Babywearing International of Peoria is not associated with any parenting groups and we don’t tell you how to parent your child.  We help you learn to safely carry your child and we show you the different carrier options.

There are lots of benefits to babywearing.  Among others, it can help you calm a fussy child, get your vacuuming done,

play games with an older child or coax a child to fall asleep.

Babywearing is a tool, a way to help any parent be a better parent and what it means to be a better parent is up to you.  It can also be a tool other caregivers can use.  I’ve seen grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, babysitters and friends wearing babies.  You can wear your baby anytime and anywhere,  I’ve worn my kids at my house, shopping, sporting events, concerts, church, hiking, etc.

There are lots of reason to look further at babywearing and thinking that babywearing makes you a certain type of parent is not a good reason to reject it.  Most people find that babywearing is easy and beneficial.  We invite you to attend a babywearing event and see for yourself.

BB Sling Review

By HD

 

Carrier: BB Sling (generously donated to us by Nova Natural)

Reviewed with children age: 12 months

This is a ring sling carrier made from the same material as a woven wrap.  The material gives extra support and you can carry a heavy child comfortably.  I used this carrier primarily with my 12 month old, but I did try my 3 year old and he also fit.

I am not a typical ring sling user, but this sling was easier than a lot of ring slings I have tried.  The fabric makes it easier to pull through and adjust the fabric to size.  The shoulder is especially comfy and spreads easily.  I also thought the fabric added sturdiness, I even slid my son to my back a few times and I normally don’t do this with a ring sling, but he was safe and secure.

For me, ring slings are great in and out carriers and I like to use them for quick trips into stores.  They are easy to fold up and stick in a large purse or diaper bag.  I also really liked this carrier for getting ready for work in the morning.  My little guy enjoyed being carried as I rushed around to find all of my things and get myself ready!

Tip Tuesday- Getting a Toddler on Your Back

By KSC
This week we are talking about getting a toddler on your back.  This is one of my favorite ways to get my 3yr old on my back especially now that I am pregnant.
First I put the carrier on my waist with the back panel hanging down and the shoulder straps clipped.  I bend down to toddler height.

 

I then ask my son to climb on my back.

 

 

 I lean slightly forward so he can get both legs up on my back, piggy back style.

 

 I flip the body of the carrier up his back and put my arms through the straps.  

 

I do a little bounce to get him well seated.   

 

 Stand up and off we go.  This works great for carrying through busy airports when you need your hands to pull luggage.  

BB Slen Review

By B

Many thanks to Nova Natural for donating this BB Slen and the BB Sling. We’re really enjoying both!

I actually own a BB Slen wrap. I bought it when my son, now 4, was around 15 months. I did a ton of research, looking for a wrap that would be suitable for my heavy toddler. BB Slen was a brand that seemed to come up as being recommended pretty often. It’s true, this wrap is wide enough for a tall toddler, but still thin and light for summer. It’s definitely  workhorse wrap. I bought a shorty (2.6 m) as my go to carrier for Bubby’s 2nd summer and it was terrific. Here’s Baby Peach in it recently. I couldn’t find any pics of me and Big Boy in it.

I bought mine second hand, so I hadn’t seen the original packaging that comes with these. I must say, I am very impressed with the instruction book that comes with. It’s 46 pages long! It’s a very comprehensive book with excellent pics. There are detailed instructions on getting baby onto and off of your back, a  whole chaper on twins and great FAQ section.

The wrap we got is 4.9 meters, which actually turns out to be a super versatile size for our library. 4.9 isn’t a standard size for most wraps. There’s usually 4.6m and 5.2 m. For lending, 4.9 is a nice in between size that lets bigger users squeak most carries out without being too cumbersome for more petite mamas. They come in 2.6m, 4.6m, 4.9 and 5.6m. It’s long enough for me to wear both kids at once. I was surprised at how good it felt with 50 lbs of kid!

This BB Slen, like mine, is nice and wide, which makes it a great wrap for taller kids. It is thin enough to be a primary wrap for summer (as it was for me.) It’s sturdy enough for a heavy kid. It’s soft out of the box, no need to break it in. This is suitable to use with a newborn brand new.

BB Slens come in a lot of great colors, both bright and neutral, stripes and solids. Everyone can find one that will suit their style. Some of the wraps have a contrasting stripe on one side. This can be helpful for a newer wrapper, to make sure the wrap isn’t twisted.

It is sturdy, not something I would be concerned with snagging easily. I threw mine in the dryer when needed (like, when I didn’t have time to wait for it to air dry. I normally take the time to line dry all my wraps.) You can use it as a picnic blanket or a toddler hammock.

 

These are one of the more affordable wovens. I think this wrap could easily fill your needs from newborn to toddler. BB Slen could be your one and only wrap, if you are wanting only one.

What Can You Do While Babywearing? Go swimming!

By HD

Getting into a pool, ocean or lake can be very intimidating for a little person.  To help my little one feel more secure, I like to use a sling made for the water.  This helps baby feel safe when experiencing something new.  I also feel safer holding baby (especially in a murky water situation like the lake pictured).

 

The pictures are my little guy at around 3 months enjoying a cool off in the lake.  This was his first water experience and he loved it!

I am using a solarveil ring sling (solarveil helps protect from the sun and dries quickly).  BWI has a few water slings in our library if you think water wearing is something you want to try!

Tip Tuesday- One Way to Get a Baby On Your Back

By KSC

Today we will talk about one of the ways of getting your baby on your back. I like to do the hip scoot method.  It is always a good idea to practice getting baby on your back with the help of a spotter or over a soft surface such as a bed or couch until you are comfortable.  I will be demonstrating with my demo doll.

 

First I put the baby on my hip with the wrap around my baby up to neck.

 

 

 

 

I then lean forward and slowly slide baby towards my back.  Tucking baby under my arm while always keeping one hand on baby at all times.

I now have baby almost centered on my back.  Still keeping a hand on baby.

I take one side of the wrap up and over my shoulder. I still am leaning a bit forward

Now I can tuck that one shoulder strap in between my legs to keep the tension while I switch hands to bring the other side over.

Hands switched, now I bring the other shoulder strap over.

Now I can tuck both straps in between my legs or under my chin to keep tension while I tuck the fabric under baby bum.

Once the fabric is tucked under baby’s bum well you can stand up and finish off the carry you are doing.  In the picture below I need to have more of the wrap tucked up between my baby and my back.

So, file this tip away. It’s maaaaybe possible that the next Featured Carry, not this Friday, but the next, is a back carry. But keep working on Robin’s Hip Carry for now. And share your pics!

Featured Carry- Robin’s Hip Carry

By CS

 

Our latest featured carry is Robin’s Hip Carry.  I am a big fan of hip carries because I find it easier to wrap then a back carry but I can often do more than in a front carry because my view is not obstructed.  For me, hip carries are good for shorter durations and I especaily like this one because it is so easy to tie.  I am using a Girasol 4 for this demo but I am pretty petite.  I do have lots of extra tail though.  My baby is 8 months old.  Personally, I like to wait until a baby is able to sit up well before I try a hip carry.

 

Now for our featured carry, please try this carry yourself and post pictures of yourself or a link to your favorite tutorial.  Feel free to ask questions.

 

First I find the center of my wrap.  This carry is asymmetric so the wrap will not be centered on you baby.  I like to start with the center on the opposite shoulder of the side where the you’d like to carry the child.  Be careful not to twist the wrap.  I then move the center of the wrap forward about one foot.  You’ll want to end up with more wrap in front of you then behind you but you’ll need to try the carry a few times before you know exactly what works for you.  You can start with your baby on your hip or you can pick up your child at this point.

After you get the wrap situated, you will reach behind you and grab the edge of the wrap closest to your child.  This edge will end up as the top rail.

 

 

Holding this edge in your hand, bring the wrap around your baby.  The top edge should be armpit heighth or higher on your child.

 

 

With the bottom edge, you want to make sure you get a really good seat.  The wrap should go from knee to knee. You can pull the wrap up a little between your baby’s legs and you to get a deeper seat.

 

Holding that portion of the wrap in the hand close to your baby, use your other hand to grab the portion of the wrap hanging over the front of your shoulder and tighten it.

 

After the wrap is tight, complete a Lexi twist by crossing both ends and then crossing them again

 

Bring the longer portion up over your shoulder opposite baby, back around your back and under baby.

 

 

Make a double knot under baby’s butt.

 

You have now completed Robin’s Hip Carry.  Try it out and take some pictures to post on our Facebook page.

 

Happy Wrapping!!

Olives and Applesauce Review- Wheelchair and Walker

By NC
I have always been passionate about babywearing.  I enjoyed wearing my first daughter well past her second birthday.  However, I had no idea the integral part babywearing would play in my life when I had my second daughter.  I was in a car accident while pregnant with Baby L.  When she was 4 months old, I underwent surgery to repair the damage to my pelvis that was done in the car accident.  While recovering from the surgery, I was in a wheelchair for 10 weeks and I continue to use a walker. Babywearing has been invaluable as I can keep my baby kissably close while maintaining some mobility.
I initially tried the O & A while still in the wheelchair.  I found it slightly more cumbersome to put on than if I had not been in the wheelchair.  I had a little difficulty adjusting the straps to achieve the best fit within the confines of the chair back and arms.  Once Baby L was positioned well, we were both very comfortable.  The symmetry of the straps allowed me full use of my arms to push the chair around while keeping my babe close.  One of the best feature of this carrier for wheelchair use is the sleeping hood.  It is difficult to nurse discreetly while sitting in a wheelchair when everyone around you is standing up.  The sleeping hood was perfect for allowing a bit more privacy when nursing in the carrier.  It also added a little support for Baby’s head when she nursed herself to sleep in the carrier as I didn’t have my hand to support her head while pushing my chair around.
Even though I found the O & A to be very comfortable, I often turned to the ring sling instead of the O & A when at home.  With the ring sling, I could pop Baby in, roll into the next room, and pop her back out.  The O & A took more time and effort for me to get positioned correctly so I didn’t go to it for the quick in-and-outs.  For longer babywearing, the O & A was a champ for wheelchair use.
And if I was fond of the O & A while in the wheelchair, I absolutely loved it once i was released by my doctors to start using the walker.  I had missed walking around with my baby in tow so much that i couldn’t wait to get her in the O & A.  I first tried Baby L in a front carry in the O & A.  It was easy to get on and achieve a comfortable fit.  I loved having the symmetry of the shoulder straps which made it comfortable to use my arms with the walker.  However, having the extra weight (all 15 pounds of her) on the front of my body was painful due to the nature of my injuries.  So I tried a back carry.
  
I absolutely loved the back carry in the O & A.  Having the extra weight on my back was no problem and was comfortable even with my forward posture, leaning on the walker.  It was super comfortable for both of us.  Baby L fell asleep and I was able to wear her longer than I have since her birth.  Again, the symmetry of the shoulder straps was a big plus for use with an assistive device.  I was able to walk with the walker around a grocery store, bending and stretching to reach items with no fear that she would shift or fall out of the carrier.