Bomba Dance with a Baby Wrap

Dancing Bomba with baby in a wrap

Wrapped up in a Barefoot Rainbow wrap while dancing barefoot with the Bomba drum.

 

Bomba is a traditional Puerto Rican dance derived from the island’s African, Spanish, and Taino cultural influences.  The dance is named for the drums – bombas – which follow the improvisation of the dancers in an energetic dialogue as the drummer responds to the gestures, moves, and swirling skirts of the dancer:

Babywearing Bomba Dancing

Wrapped Up Baby and Bomba Dancing

Bomba Dance Skirts Swirling

Babywearing Bomba Dance

Barefoot Rainbow Girasol and Bomba Dancing!

Wrapped up on mom dancing.

Bomba Dancing with baby

Bomba Drummer

Jessica drums to the rhythmic dancing of Asia and baby Esmé in a woven wrap.  If you enjoyed these, you can see more about their art at Bomba Body Dance and Drumming Co.

Photos by Petal & Vine Photography.

The earthy rainbow wrap Asia and Esmé are wearing is called Barefoot Rainbow and is a Wrap Your Baby exclusive design handwoven in Guatemala by one of Girasol’s weavers.

Dear New Wrapper . . . You Got This!

Sometimes I hear that wrapping is too hard.  It has a steep learning curve.  There is even a popular meme circulating that begins with “Dear New Wrapper” and promises that as terrible and frustrating as it is to learn to wrap, it will all be so worth it.

I disagree.  Wrapping doesn’t have to be hard.

Learn how easy baby wrapping can be.

I get emails all the time from parents who just received their wrap, tried it on and LOVED IT.  And that’s what I want to happen every time I ship a wrap.

But it is not uncommon for a parent to try a wrap for the first time and end up with a big mess.  Baby crying, wrap not supporting them, back hurting . . . what went wrong?

Just this: wrapping is not common in our culture, so we’re totally unfamiliar with it.  And just like tying shoes, something you’ve never done and aren’t used to can seem impossible the first few times until it clicks and, with practice, becomes second nature.

So what do we do?

What I do: I provide step-by-step photo and video instructions on my website.  I send an instructional DVD with every wrap I ship.  I invite questions and am eager to help trouble shoot a problem.  I know from experience that I can help you love your wrap!

What you can do to learn wrapping without tears:

  • Start with Front Wrap Cross Carry.  It is a great carry to learn with and will teach you how to tighten and adjust and spread and bunch.
  • Watch the video a few times before you try it.
  • Have the photo instructions open to refer to while you’re wrapping.
  • Stay calm.
  • Pause as needed, with your hand around your baby for safety, and find out what the next step is before continuing.
  • Use the carry a few times a day until you have mastered it.
  • Don’t try to learn a new carry until you have mastered the last one.

If you have any trouble, let’s solve this and get you happily wrapping:

  • Practice on a doll or, even better, something with a little weight like a bag of apples.
  • Learn the steps of the carry so that it is memorized, before you add in your real baby.
  • Practice with your baby when he or she is not tired or hungry, is freshly changed and happy.  Once you are both used to it you will find it most helpful for the more desperate moments but start easy!
  • Don’t get frustrated.  It is highly unlikely that you will finish successfully if you are trying to do it when you’re overwhelmed or upset.  If your baby is crying and it’s worrying you too much, stop and take a break!  Come back to it later.
  • Consider every time you work on it to be one time closer to getting it right.  There are no failed wrap jobs, just one practice closer to success.
  • Be cognizant of whether your wrap job is safe and secure.
  • If the wrap is too loose or uncomfortable, keep your arms around your baby for safety and comfort and leave the loose wrap job on for at least a few minutes while you walk around, helping your baby to get used to the idea of being wrapped up.
  • Locate a babywearing group near you where you can get the hands-on help that might make the whole thing much, much easier for you.
  • Email me if you need help!

 

Farming Family Wraps Up

Parents wrap toddlers on horse farm

photo by Petal & Vine Photography

Tatyana relates her experiences with wrapping her babies and toddlers as she and her husband Frank, always adventurous, embark on the adventure of farming:

With two babies 13 months apart, babywearing has saved my sanity way too many times! Me and my husband met hiking the Appalachian Trail, so backpacking is what we love the best. Only when babywearing your load is much more precious than a load of camping equipment.

I was lucky to meet a great local support group (South Florida Babywearing) and learn the right way to carry my first newborn when he was only few weeks old. It has been an amazing closeness ever since – either flying, hiking back in the woods, going around my daily chores, nursing.

Wrapping Family on the Farm

photo by Petal & Vine Photography

We moved to our new farm in Ocala, FL when Nadia was just a month old, and Andrei just 14 months… I tandem-wore them A LOT at that time. It was an adjustment for all of us…new sibling, new bright world outside the womb, new house.

Feeding chickens; wrapping toddler.

photo by Petal & Vine Photography

With Frank’s unpredictable travel and work schedule, my hands were, and still are, very full… Two kids, the house to clean, cook, feed the horses, clean the chicken coop, start a vegetable garden, plant a tree, water the flowers, check on my bee-hives (when kids are sleeping at the same time).

Wrapping on the Farm

photo by Petal & Vine Photography

Wearing my baby feels safe! When you are working around horses you need to be very careful, and keeping my baby close and safe brings me a peace of mind. Plus, I am always paranoid about fire ants that can bite little feet. Also, we like to take long walks on the country roads around the farm, and me and my husband always carry a baby along.

Gardening while wearing toddlers.

photo by Petal & Vine Photography

Inspirational Magnets

Memories, inspiration, and affirmations on Frank and Tatyana's Fridge

 

Baby Wrapping Perk #218: cup holder

Woven Wrap Carry with built in cup holder

This toddler back carry comes with a built in cup holder. Can be used as a bottle holder for the younger set.

 

 

Babywearing: Beneficial or the Biological Norm?

Babywearing is the Biological Norm

Yesterday the Canadian Babywearing School posted this Facebook status update:

Do you know that there are NO benefits to babywearing? It’s the biological norm and being carried and kept close is the minimum babies expect at birth. When we use language like “benefits”, we establish babywearing as a nice extra (like a university fund or tennis lessons) instead of the normal behaviour that carrying is. Change our language, change the world!

How can you say there are no benefits to babywearing?

But, but but . . . when your baby is kept close against your chest they experience:

  • optimum growth
  • increased cognitive development
  • enhanced motor function and muscle strength
  • less emotional stress and therefore cry less
  • stronger breastfeeding relationship
  • strong and continuing bond with parents or caregivers

With all that going on, how can you say there are no benefits??? The question is, compared to what?

If all zebras eat grass, no one talks about the benefits to zebras of eating grass.  Benefits are discussed with practices or products that are above and beyond the usual.  Zebras benefit from a monthly, lavendar-scented, sponge bath (for example).  You don’t talk about benefits for the standard baseline.  So is babywearing – or baby-carrying – something that should be the obvious thing for families to do, or is it more of an optional add-on?

It all means the same thing, why does it matter how it’s phrased?

Because our language shapes our world.  The words you use when you talk to yourself shape your world outlook.  The words you use around your kids shape their outlook.  The words we use with each other shape our agreements and understanding of the world.

So you decide – a baby held close to a parent for the first 9 months of his or her life, receiving all the cues that they are designed to optimally respond to, experiencing the safety and peace of mind that comes with the feel and sound of a parent’s heartbeat . . . do we want to consider that a customary element of parenting or more of a sub-culture trend?  

Thanks to Canadian Babywearing School for this conversation and the opportunity to think about the place of this practice in our culture.  To me, wrapping is not some new parenting fad.  Doing without it would have made parenting that much harder.

Trying to keep a baby healthy and happy at arms length can be more work than simply babywearing.

There's no question that babies who cry less are easier on parents!

Note: Anytime you talk about advantages or disadvantages, especially on the subject of providing for your children, you risk alienating those who are utilizing the opposite choice.  The implication that those families are making a worse choice is almost impossible to avoid while encouraging the healthiest practices but I want to make it clear that I believe what is best for baby is what is best for the whole family.  Emotionally and physically healthy parents with love in their hearts are about the best thing a baby or child can have and, in my opinion, trumps everything else.

I work hard to teach how wrapping can be a boon to parents because I really think that the things that contribute the most to a healthy baby, must also contribute to healthy and happy parents.  I recognize that there isn’t any magic practice or product that is going to make parenting easy so I share what works for me and teach others to make it work for them, and I work hard to avoid the trap of thinking that someone who finds other solutions, even contrary solutions, is making a mistake.

Fitness and Community with Babywearing Ballet

Making Fitness Fun for Moms with Babywearing Ballet Classes
Wrapping moms know that life can carry on (pun intended) with baby in tow and that the experiences had in a wrap enrich baby’s physical and cognitive growth far more than sitting on the sidelines.

Wrapping your baby is a great way to keep both mother and baby in fine physical fettle and any gentle activity will be comfortable and soothing to your wrapped baby. Bonus points for a fun activity that gives mom an opportunity to build community and engage with grown-up friends!

Wrapping dance instructor demonstrates for ballet class.

Ballet Instructor describing how the mothers in the babywearing ballet class should point their feet as they arabesque across the room.

Ballet Bar Work with wrapped and worn babies.

Folding chair were used when the standing bars were all filled up.

Babywearing ballet with Ergo and wrapping moms.

You can use any safe and ergonomic carrier for a babywearing dance or fitness class, although wraps are the most flexible both in terms of lack-of-structure and ability to customize the carry to compliment your activity and body preferences!

Wrapsody Breeze Morgaine hugs baby against wrapping mom's body during ballet class.

Babies are soothed by being wrapped against you during the motion of your day, so why not do something fun and artistic as well as active while your baby snoozes?

 

Wrapsody Breeze wraps are light and flexible; great for active lifestyles!

Mothers and babies practicing ballet walks across the room. Wrapsody Breeze wraps are light and cool, perfect for active families with babies.

Double Hammock Carry for a Second Arabesque in Babywearing Ballet

Baby watches the class from mama's back in a Double Hammock Carry as she demonstrates a Second Arabesque.

Wrapped snugly in Front Wrap Cross Carry for Babywearing Ballet.

A snug wrap job in Wrapsody Breeze Ada keeps baby secure while practicing curtseys.

Back wrapping while teaching babywearing ballet!

Elizabeth Bedore, our talented Babywearing Ballet Instructor, wearing Wrapsody Breeze Kimber.

Most of the wraps used in this class were Wrapsody Breeze wraps which are so light and thin that they are much appreciated here in Florida, and also lend themselves expertly to work out activities.

Most of the mothers have their babies wrapped in either a Double Hammock Back Carry or a Front Wrap Cross Carry variation.  Any secure carry will work.  A back carry is most convenient for bending and raising legs but front carries should be used by anyone not already a competent back wrapper and it is easy for a babyweaing instructor to adjust the class to fit the needs of the moms.  A knowledgeable instructor will keep the motions of the class gentle and smooth, and advise mothers not to overreach while doing the double workout of ballet and babywearing.

Back carries wrapped a little lower rather than super-high on mom’s back may be more convenient for an activity such as this and keep you better balanced.

Palm Harbor Florida is lucky to have a mom-owned business dedicated to bringing fitness and community to moms in a family oriented environment.  If you are in the area you will want to visit Om Sweet Om and discover all the classes available.

If you are anywhere else in the world, find your local babywearers and see if you can find a qualified individual who wants to start a class!

Babywearing, older siblings, and Christmas cookies!

The best wrapping times involve baby in family traditions while freeing up enough of mama’s attention for the other children to get full mileage out of all the holiday fun!

So without further ado . . .

How to Keep Your Sanity while Decorating Christmas Cookies with Young Children

Tips:

  • Don’t get over-ambitious; make the dough in advance, cut and bake the cookies with kids one day and wait until the next day for cookie decorating.
  • Don’t stress fitting as many cookies as possible on one piece of rolled out dough – let them stick them anywhere and be willing to roll it out new more often!
  • Use squeeze bottles so even very young kids can work them.
  • Put sprinkles in bowls with spoons to keep sticky fingers out (as much as possible).
  • Give each child a plate with a rim to decorate on to catch excess sprinkles.  It will keep your floor from getting quite as messy, and give you more sprinkles you can use for cookies.
  • Don’t try to control the creative process.  Young children might paint the Christmas Tree cookie red instead of green but trying to control how they decorate will take the fun out of it for everyone.  Do, however, feel free to demonstrate the art of “less is more” as often kids can understand and follow that while still making their own decorating decisions.
  • Let everyone sample the cookies!
  • When you’re done with the project, but the cookies out of sight and out of reach, have a bathroom or wet rags ready to wash everyone’s hands thoroughly and have a next activity ready to engage them and keep them out of the kitchen while you clean up!

 

Young Children Love Using Cookie Cutters

Remember this is about fun with your kids - not efficiency!

Tips for happy cookie-decorating with kids!

Picking which cookie to decorate is part of the fun!

Use Squeeze bottles for colored frosting when decorating cookies with kids.

If you make your own frosting, you can get squeeze bottles at arts and craft stores in the cake decorating aisle or tie-dye section.

Re-using excess sprinkles when decorating Christmas Cookies with Children.

Definitely re-use the excess sprinkles or you'll go through your sprinkles in no time!

Toddler sneaks a bite of a Christmas cookie.

Plan to let them have one right away!

Sharing Christmas Cookie with Dad

Of course it is better to give than to receive so encourage generosity, too!

Baking Christmas Cookies undecorated

Christmas cookies decorated by kids.

Picture Perfect - Merry Christmas!

Holiday Letter from Diana of Wrap Your Baby

Baby Annabelle in Diana's belly before she is born on Christmas Day

Annabelle was born on Christmas Day in 2009

Speaking as someone who birthed a baby girl in my living room in front of a decorated tree on Christmas Day 5 years ago, I can tell you that some gifts are better than others.  Nothing trumps a sweet, apple-cheeked baby!

And while you don’t have to have a wrap to find a way to keep your baby close, the gift of making it easier to fill baby’s needs and giving a mother back the use of her arms, hands, and legs is very real and valuable.

 

I feel so strongly about what wrapping can do for families that I have created a very specific plan to ensure that I can provide the most help possible to families getting wraps for themselves or others during the busy holiday season, and I am going to do my best to help families get the most out of their wraps during the many activities and concerns that are frequently engaged in at this time of year including shopping, family gatherings, extra housework, cold weather, consumerism, and too-common cases of over-scheduling and stress.
  • Look for helpful, new, holiday Pinterest boards . . .
  • Serve your fellow mom by sharing your tips for happy, stress free, wrapping holidays.  Just comment below with your holiday tips and I’ll add your tips to my Inspiration for Stress Free Holidays.
  • Keep an eye out for special promotions, giveaways and deals this season. Signing up for my newsletter is the best way to make sure you don’t miss these.
  • Watch for some great wraps that I will be stocking in the next month that can be had for less cash but are just as cuddly, convenient and comfortable!
  • And expect to see more blog posts to help you get the most out of wrapping while you navigate shopping, baking, parties, family, and fun.

2014 Wrap Your Baby Holiday Schedule:

 

Thursday, 27 November THANKSGIVING – post offices are closed so wraps will ship on Friday, 28 November.  US customers who order on 26 or 27 November can expect to receive their wraps by Tuesday, 2 December. As always, fast US shipping is free in the US, and international shipping is discounted.  International customers should receive them about 2 weeks after placing your order.

 

Friday, 28 November BLACK FRIDAY – the day after Thanksgiving is traditionally a big Christmas shopping day and a big sale day.  Other than shipping orders, I will not be working on Black Friday so I have decided to set up a Black Friday sale that will go into effect automatically from 12am (midnight) EST on 28 Nov to 12am (midnight) EST on Saturday 29 Nov.
I hope these great deals will make up for my not being present for business as usual while I spend the day with my children – you can check the store on Friday to see great sale prices!
Because I will be spending Thursday and Friday with my children, some emails will not be answered until the weekend when I will carve out some time specifically for responding to Wrap Your Baby business.  I know, just because it’s a United States holiday does not mean that moms’ needs and demands get a break and I don’t want to leave you hanging long with wrapping questions that may make the holidays go smoother for you!

Saturday, 29 November SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY - To celebrate all our customers that shop small businesses all year round, I have put together a reward at my store for those of you who shop in your local stores on Small Biz Satuday!

 

Monday, 1 December CYBER MONDAY – this deal on wraps is only for those who participated on Small Business Saturday so plan ahead!

Black Friday Wrap Sale

Patronize a Local Biz on Saturday and Get Rewarded for it at Wrap Your Baby

Small Family Business Woven Baby Wrap Sale
It is in the spirit of Small Business Saturday to leave your house, stroll up and down the blocks of your city and walk into shops that are often staffed by their owners who have the time and interest to listen to you, and then passionately and knowledgeably tell you about their products to steer you towards the perfect items for your needs.

When you do, be sure to snap a selfie and email it to diana@wrapyourbaby.com to save $15 on a wrap in my store, when you buy on the third shopping day of the trifecta: Cyber Monday!

When you email photographic proof that you patronized a small, local business on SBS, I will email you a coupon code for $15 off any wrap in my store good only on 1 December.  I’d love to be able to see the shelves of the store you are in, or snap a photo with the owner.  And I’d love to know what store it is and what you’re buying.

By sending me the photo, you are giving me permission to share it and any details you choose to share about it on the internet. I will post the photos in a Pinterest album.  I hope to see babywearing in some of the photos, but I am especially excited to offer this discount to those who may not yet have had the opportunity to get a baby carrier!
Wrap Your Baby and Shop Local!

Inanimate Objects: Babywearing Costumes

Another in my series of themed costumes for babywearers.  This post highlights costumes with the baby as an inanimate objects.  You would be surprised at the possibilities when you start brainstorming, and hopefully the pictures of these creative families will get the wheels turning for you!  And be sure to submit a photo of your babywearing costume to my contest to possibly win a wrap!

inanimate object babywearing costumes