Letters from Mothers

I have countless precious moments and memories of my two babies wrapped against me.  I often think back to when I was a teenager, long before my own babies, and I saw a woman wearing her baby in the grocery store.  I immediately decided I would wear my babies too.  It was so obviously perfect.  And it reminds me that often we are changing people’s lives and futures even when we don’t know it.

I hope every babywearer knows that she is not only taking the best care of her own babies, but changing the world when people see you keeping your baby close to your heart.  Wear your baby with pride and know that you deserve many thanks that you might not always hear.  Several moms I’ve heard from have cited an unknown babywearing stranger as the influence that piqued their interest in babywearing–that may have been you!

Here are just a few of the letters I’ve received from strangers that have turned me teary and made this business so worth my time:

“I just wanted to say thank you! I learned how to carry my baby through your videos and it has changed my life. Not only is my baby happier in the day and sleeping better at night, it saved me from my postpartum depression. I got my life back – and even better! Words can not express…”

–Sophia, carrying a two year old and four month old in San Diego

“Thank you for all the instruction how how to carry a baby in a wrap! I have used a Ergo carrier, a Snugli, slings, and a Maya wrap, but when it came to using a wrap, I was clueless. The pictures and videos on your site have been priceless to me. Now, I’ve shared your site with all my facebook friends! Thank you so much!!!”

–Valerie

“Hi! I actually had a divine intervention the other day that led me to your site. I was in Kroger with my 2 year old and my 9 day old. I was having some issues with the commercial style carrier for the baby and your mom came over and introduced herself. She told me I should really look at a sling and gave me your card. I was actually very happy because I have always intended to use a sling. I just never got around to doing it and my brother-in-law gave me a front carrier and the rest is history. I never ever used it with my two year old. Anyway, I just got a chance to visit your site. I was expecting a site with stuff for sale. Instead, I am so psyched because you gave such detailed info that because I sew and keep tons of fabric, I can try to tie one tonight!!  I am a stay-at-home mom, too, so I have my kids with me all the time and this will be so nice for the baby. Just wanted to let you know…”

“Just wanted to say that our baby girl was born yesterday (!!!) and I forwarded your newsletter to my husband from my hospital bed last night……..When he visited us this morning, he casually announced that he’d really like me to show him how to carry her in a wrap when we get home! Thank you!!!!”

–Sarah

“I just want to take a minute to thank you for your wonderful wrapping videos and instructions. I’m not so new to baby wearing but I am pretty new to wrapping and your site has been SO helpful to me. Thank you so much!!!!! ”

“I met you four years ago at a hotel in Clearwater where you sold me a Moby and an Ellaroo.  I think of you often, and wanted to thank you for the most recent email about the birth of your beautiful third daughter!  Congratulations on the VBAC.  (I have also had one of those J).  When I met you I believe I was buying a wrap for my sister, who was expecting her first child and also one for myself…for my third son.  We now have four sons and our youngest brings me the Ellaroo all the time and asks to be put into it.  I cannot thank you enough for sharing your passion the way that you do.”

“I just wanted to tell you how wonderful your site is and how thankful I am for it.  I am wearing my third baby as I write this.  He is so happy on my back (in a Didymos rubinrot).  I’ve been using your site for a couple years now and have learned so much.  God bless you!”

“I have to tell you that I am so thankfull that I found your website! If you don’t mind, I would like to tell you my story. About a week ago, I was walking around a local farmers market with my 2 year old daughter in a stroller and my 7 month old son in a baby bjorn carrier. I saw this mom with her daughter (about the age of my son) in the most comfortable carrier I had ever seen! I couldn’t help but ask her where she got it. That is when I was introduced to the world of wraps and what I would call “true” babywearing.  So, After our encounter, I couldn’t wait to get one of my own. Money is tight because I am a stay at home mom, so I just went to the fabric store for mine, as did the woman at the market.

“Ever since the day I brought it home, I have been wearing him with the one wrap that she showed me, but once I found your website this morning it was like a light went off. My son, Xander is going through some serious separation anxiety and everyones advice to me is to not carry him and let him learn to be independent. Well, I have tried, but I can just feel that it is not what either of us needs. You website has helped me give Xander what he needs, while still allowing me to get everything done I need to do in a day. He even nursed today for the first time while in the wrap! I just feel such a sense of contentment now with our situation. In just this short time, I feel much more connected to him.

“To make the story even better, when he went down for a nap, I asked my two year old if she wanted to “ride” she of course obliged and loved being so close to mom! She snuggled right in there and I could just see her eyes light up. (forgive me, I am getting very teary eyed right now) I just know that she has had such a hard time adjusting to her new baby brother and sharing the attention. Everyone pushes me to make her grow up faster and get over it, but after seeing her face today, I couldn’t disagree more. I know my family is going to tell me how awful it is that I carry my kids around all day, but I now have the confidence to do what I believe my children need. I am so greatful that there are people like you and the woman I met at the farmers market to help moms who don’t feel natural with some of the more modern parenting techniques.

“I am STILL SO GREATFUL for all of the amazing information you have provided.  Thank you again for everything!!”

–Ginger

“Because wearing my baby makes her more eye-level, I feel that others interact with her more as a person versus an objectified infant. I sat my baby on the couch yesterday and reached for my wrap.  She squealed with delight and clapped her hands together!  That’s a satisfied customer ;)”

–Darla
Darla and baby in their new Anna Storchenwiege

Darla and baby in their new Ulli Storchenwiege

Babywearing: Annabelle’s first month

1weekNursingFWCC2

It’s about the nine months I carried you in my womb; the hopes, dreams, and smiles with which I anticipated your earthly arrival; the sight and smell and knowledge of you that keeps my heart doing flip flops; and the fact that neither one of us wants to be separated.

1 week before birth

1 week before birth

1 week after birth

1 week after birth

Because there is no place you would rather be, and it’s the most and the least I can do for you.  Because the world is new and wide, and my presence is the perfect reassurance and introduction.  Because you have entered into a safe and loving world, and you are close to those who love you.

3girls

nursing

nursing

You have time enough to stand, and walk, and run, and I look forward to chasing you . . . but not yet.

burphold

nursing again

nursing again

Because sleeping peacefully in your cradle is not as nice, as safe, or as happy as sleeping on my chest.  Because here I can see your face, lips, and breath, your fluttering lids and lashes, and every momentary smile or wince as you dream.

sleeping

kissing

at the park

at the park

For almost a year my body has kept you safe and focused, reminding you to breath, keeping you connected to humanity, and earth, and life, as no molded plastic seat can.

AnnabelleHCC

3 weeks old

3 weeks old

The coziness, comfort, safety, and closeness is familiar, as are our heartbeats, and the rhythms and smells of our bodies.

with daddy

with daddy

with grammy

with grammy

sweet sister with doll

sweet sister with doll

This is good and right, and no one should be able to threaten it.  If you have a babywearing love story, share it here http://www.adventuresinbabywearing.com/2010/10/babywearing-and-call-to-action.html and know that someone will read it who needs it.  Learn more about protecting babywearing on the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance Facebook page.

Why We Need a Baby Carrier Industry Alliance

When there are deaths associated with a crib, the crib is recalled.  When there are deaths associated with a product that is outside of the comfort zone of the mainstream, an entire industry takes the hit.

Infantino designed “bag slings” that were unsafe, and which managed to lose most of the benefits associated with babywearing by slinging the babies down by the hip like an accessory, rather than making them the center of your world tight against your chest and in your line of vision.

When the Infantino bag slings in question were recalled, strangers began warning me that I was endangering my baby when I wore her in the grocery store, on a walk, or at the park.  Well meaning advice, I’m sure, but it illustrates the problem.  The recall threw babywearing into a bad–a deadly–light.   So much so that one of the oldest, best, and most popular brands of SAFE, COMFY, BEAUTIFUL mom-designed baby carriers is off the market.  Hotslings has officially closed its doors, not due to any fault in its products, but because of that misunderstanding that could lump such disparate carriers as the bag sling and the pouch carrier into one, harmful, category.

With Infantino taking the lead on creating industry standards, every other good baby carrier is in jeapardy of becoming illegal.  Infantino has no concept of what contributes to safe babywearing or the benefits that can be derived from it.

And that is when the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA) was formed by the mothers and fathers behind some of the most innovative and well-loved baby carriers available, to set the standards for babywearing devices before the companies that are home-based, and which started out home-based (like Hotslings) can be edged out of the market leaving us with such slim pickings as you can find at your local BabiesRUs store . . .

If we let Infantino run this show, parents’ choices in the United States will narrow to Infantino style carriers.  We can do better, our babies deserve better.  This organization can save lives.

Rebozo Back Carry

I’ve not used rebozos much, except for a while when Ada was two and I used one for a quick rucksack tied under the bottom…which is not really a rebozo carry anyway!

Well, I tried some rebozo front carries with Annabelle when she was littler, and it was never as easy, adjustable, or intuitive (for me) as a longer wrap so I pretty much stuck with longer wraps.

Because I love playing with wraps and trying new things, I tried a rebozo back carry a few weeks ago and it was REALLY GOOD!  As someone who is familiar with wrap back carries, I found the rebozo carry very similar and easy to manage.  The diagonal length of fabric across my back, tied in front, is just like many a back carry with a longer wrap.

I think my hang-up with the front carry is that I have to A) reach around my big ole baby to tie it, and B) I don’t have two wrap ends to pull on for tightening or adjustment.  Both of those problems are non-existent with the back carry.  As a dedicated wrapper living in hot, humid, Florida, I should really work on those rebozo chops.  For now, I’m pretty stoked about the back carry, though!

DianaRebozo

18 August 2010 Moms’ Circle

First, it was my mom’s birthday.  Happy birthday, mom!  She is a great mom, and I appreciate every decision she’s ever made for me and my sister.  I appreciate those decisions like I never did before I had my own children!

Don’t worry, I made her cupcakes and took her miniature golfing, but that was in the evening, and in the morning I had my Moms’ Circle with a whole ‘nother bunch of moms.

18AugGroup

It was a small group, and we all enjoyed the intimacy.  I think there were six of us?  Seven?  I’ve just thought about everyone who was there and now I think there were ten of us.  Plus babies and kids.  I guess our group has grown enough that ten feels like an intimate gathering!  I had a lovely time.  To top it off, the church that we meet in left muffins.  Lots of decadent muffins.  I ate one and took four home to my husband, so he can no longer claim to be the sole provider.

One of our members told us about a friend who just had a baby in the hospital and was still there because the baby had not been released.  Something about jaundice.  And as a result of the hospital’s urging, the baby was not nursing (but was drinking mama’s expressed milk) or being held.  As women who are well-educated on the importance and value of human contact for newborns (and people of all ages, for that matter), we all felt some outrage on behalf of this newly-formed dyad.  The issue at hand, though, really, in our meeting, was that the mom who is part of our group needed to have our emotional support, and to be listened to, about the situation that was hurting her heart.  Her friend’s situation troubled her, and we were here to help her bear her troubles.

Interestingly, the next topic we broached, with seemingly unrelated subject matter, had very similar dynamics.  A second mom at the group Wednesday was emotionally hurting because she had been asked not to nurse her baby at an upcoming family wedding.

Emotionally, when anyone–but especially family or loved ones–imply that your lifestyle choices are socially unacceptable, or something to be embarrassed about . . . this is very hurtful.  Yes, even when you are confident in your choices, or perhaps especially then.  Imagine that you were asked to take off your cross and not mention Christianity while at a family dinner.  Or suppose that you were welcome to Thanksgiving dinner, as long as you and your same-sex partner did not hold hands or show affection to each other.  Physically these requests might be easy to comply with.  Spiritually, doing so–or letting the requester believe you were doing so–would compromise your integrity.  And simply by making the request, the relationship has been altered.

Now maybe her son would not get hungry during the wedding and it wouldn’t come up.  Maybe you weren’t going to mention religion either, because the conversation wasn’t going that way.  Or perhaps you even planned to keep your nursing relationship, religion, or orientation under wraps at the event because you knew someone involved was uncomfortable with it and you wanted to avoid touchy subjects.  All that is perfectly valid.  But when the other person requests that you do so, that is a very different matter.  It might mean that you cannot attend the event.  In this case, it did mean that she needed support from people who understood.

Sadly, the family members making the request (and I should add that the request was more of a politely-worded ultimatum) probably did not realize that it was rude or hurtful.  They probably think she is being unreasonable.  I hope they can try putting themselves in that situation with something that is important to them.  We can all benefit from thinking about the viewpoints of others now and then.  But even more important than that is really knowing yourself and your own boundaries.  Then it’s much easier to hold your position, and you can do so in the most loving and non-antagonistic of manners.

We had other topics too, apart from emotional support.  Mary wanted the scoop on cloth diapers, particularly for a big one year old boy.  We shared some suggestions and advised her to check some out in person to see what she liked.  Krisha needed to talk about her current adventures in nighttime parenting to work out her priorities.

We had fun discussion and then worked on some wrapping.  Krisha is seeking a back carry that is comfortable and hasn’t quite found it yet.  She’s going to practice doing the Double Hammock Carry efficiently (tightly) enough that she’ll have enough wrap left to cross over the front instead of doing rucksack straps, as the rucksack straps are not comfortable for her.  She’s also going to try tightening Back Wrap Cross Carry straps evenly so that she does not end up with pressure points in that carry, and she’s going to be more careful about placement of the straps on her shoulder–away from her neck, but perhaps not so far over the ball of her shoulder.  Next week I’ll find out if she reached wrap nirvana with any of these tweaks!

clothdiaper

krisha

krisha2

Practice Putting Baby on Your Back

BabyOnBack

If you’re new to babywearing on your back, you and your baby both need to become comfortable with it.

If you are worried or uncertain, your baby will be worried and is likely to cry.

I recommend practicing without the wrap.  The best place is where you and your baby can both see yourselves in a mirror.   This helps you to know what’s happening, and is a source of entertainment.   If you are not certain you can keep your baby from dropping, of course you must begin over a bed or other soft surface, or with a spotter hovering behind you.  Soon you will find that you can smoothly and easily move your baby from your front to your back and back to the front again safely.

Make it a game for your baby or toddler.  Play around with it.  Make funny faces and funny sounds.  Shout, “Super-baby!”

If your baby becomes upset, scared, or frustrated, stop and try again another time when he or she is clearly in a playful, wide-awake, not-hungry mood!

There are several ways to get your baby onto your back.  A toddler can often climb on when you squat in front of her and offer a piggyback ride.  Otherwise you can scoot your baby or child around your hip to your back, or lift baby, rotate, and place him or her over your shoulder.  Your baby might enjoy your swinging him or her around before settling him on your back.

Look over these different methods of putting a baby on your back, and pick one to try.  See which you and your baby like best.

ChristianeTina

Baby Wrap Video Contest

Submit a baby wrapping video for a chance to win a free baby carrier and be part of a video to promote babywearing to the world!

Videos must be submitted by midnight 31 August, 2010 (EST).

Video details:

  • Videos can be any length (although if you send me a two hour home video I might not actually watch the whole thing) and you can submit as many as you like (or upload several clips as one video).
  • Videos should be unedited.  Please do not add subtitles, effects, etc (so that all submissions can more easily be integrated into a cohesive babywearing video)
  • Videos can show the process of getting wrapped up, have someone already wrapped up, show the wrap used as a towel, hammock, or high chair.  It can involve sibling-wearing, or teddy-bear wearing.  The more variety the better!
  • Content should be primarily visual and not depend on dialogue.

Submission details:

  1. To submit a video, upload it on YouTube (you will have to create an account).
  2. Send an email to diana@wrapyourbaby.com with a link to your uploaded video.  Include your name and mailing address (in case you win the prize!)
  3. When I receive your email I will link your video to the WrapYourBaby Channel on YouTube so that all video submissions can be viewed there.

Prize details:

  • I will pick the winning entry.  I will be looking for a video (or piece of one) that captures the coziness, closeness, cuteness, or convenience, the fun, funniness, or fabulousness of baby wrapping.  The winning entry might as easily involve a dozing newborn or an energetic toddler.  It might be set in your livingroom, or at the Grand Canyon.  Length of video will not be a determining factor.
  • Winner will receive their choice of:
    Hand embroidered Chinese Mei Tai (EllaRoo) – I think these sold for $150
    Moby wrap (stretchy wrap) – $40 value
    Gypsymama Water Wrap – $61 value
  • Winner will be announced by Monday, 6 September 2010 and will be notified via email.
  • All approved videos may be represented on a compilation video demonstrating the spirit of babywearing and the benefits of wraparound baby carriers.

Legal details:

  • Videos must be your original work and belong solely to you  (any footage that contains brand logos, or copyrighted images will not be used in the compilation video).
  • The content of all submitted videos will become the property of Wrap Your Baby (Baby Earthling LLC) and can be used for promotional purposes.  The content of the videos may be edited.
  • I reserve the right to disqualify any video for any reason.

Moms Circle, 11 August 2010

Testing Our Reflexes

Testing Our Reflexes

reflexes2

Along with several new moms (new to our group, that is) and a sizable gathering of really wonderful moms and babies that were a joy to be around, we had a guest speaker today who discussed the important of infant reflexes, and their lifelong repercussions.  Myra Moyryla explained how she determines whether a specific reflex needs work in a person of any age, and how the reflexes can be integrated (at any age), in such a way that the individual gains the control and comfort that was missed at some point in their development.

As Myra described some of the typical behavior one can expect from people who missed a normal reflex development, people in our group kept piping up with, “That’s my husband, exactly!” or, “Now I know why I…”  It seemed to really make sense to a lot of people.

Myra also led us in some simple exercises to determine what reflexes of our own might need work.  She told us how, in her work with Masgutova Neuro-sensory-motor reflex integration, she has seen many people resolve lifelong issues, some quite visually dramatic, and others that may have successfully hidden their difficulties behind a social veneer but now are able to really live the easy comfort they have been pretending.

Her talk really reinforced the importance of trusting baby bodies to do the important things they need to do, and to support them in their development with bodily contact and freedom of motion so that they can experience and integrate the biologically appropriate reflexes when appropriate.  She warned that the trend of putting babies in containers endangers their smooth evolution towards comfortable, well-balanced, confident adulthood.

And on that note, we got to the babywearing:

Dana wearing 1 year old Jocelyn in a rebozo hip carry

Dana wearing 1 year old Jocelyn in a rebozo hip carry

Upright in a ring sling--exact same position as with a rebozo, but this baby is on the front (tummy to tummy) instead of on the hip as in the above photo

Upright in a ring sling--exact same position as with a rebozo, but this baby is on the front (tummy to tummy) instead of on the hip as in the above photo

Laura accomplishes a back carry!

Laura accomplishes a back carry!

Wrap Your Baby Shipping

I’m going to just blog up my shipping policy to explain myself to anyone who’s interested:

I ship the cheapest way I can, because I hate paying for shipping and think most of you probably do, too.  If I can, I fit a wrap into a flat-rate priority mail envelope (which is a fast service, as well, at 2-3 business days).  Sometimes this involves some squeezing and jamming of the wrap.  As wraps are pieces of fabric, I feel fairly comfortable doing this.  Sometimes an instructional DVD is included and I have not yet had one damaged, but I would hope that a customer would let me know right away if anything made it to them in less than intact shape so that I could replace it.

Some of the wraps cannot fit into the flat rate envelope and Priority Mail is not always the cheapest method.  Storchenwieges are much bulkier than the other wraps I sell, for example.  When this is the case, another method of shipping will be chosen.

I’ve recently added International shipping option to my website.  For now, it’s going to be $8 extra if I can fit the wrap in the flat-rate Priority Mail envelope.  If not, I will contact the customer to let them know that there will be an additional cost.

For International orders, add your desired item or items to the shopping cart and then go to the shipping page to add “International Shipping” to the cart.  Place your order and if any additional payment is necessary I will contact you to discuss it.

Let me know what you think, and whether my shipping policy meets your needs well enough!  Email me or comment here with suggestions.

Moms Circle, 28 July 2010

P1010048

P1010044

P1010051

P1010049

We discussed how to make sure our weekly meetings were friendly to toddlers and big kids and their mothers, as well as babies.  We realized that there had been an expectation that the children stay (relatively) quiet, and remain in the part of the room with the toys, so that the mothers and babies in arms could maintain a (relatively) peaceful circle of discussion.

While this doesn’t sound outrageous, the very relationship that we encourage mothers to develop with their infants is just as valuable as the infant grows, learns to walk (and run) and talk (and yell).  Because we want to avoid situations and environments in which our children must be disciplined to act in a way that was not easy for them, this group meeting was proving disruptive of family relationships for some of the moms.

So it was important to discuss what was expected by the church that hosts our group, what was necessary to make it possible for the mothers to share experiences with each other (the function of the group), what was important to the moms as far as freedoms and safety for their children and for the babies.  By clarifying actual group expectations we could discard those we had assumed were in place that might not have been important to the group, and at the same time everyone in the group is now aware of what is expected of the kids.  That way we all know what the rules are that the group is comfortable with and can choose to be part of the group without worrying about whether our children are too disruptive.

Along the way we concluded that interruptions by toddlers, and continual gentle mothering of them throughout the meetings was valuable not only to the mother and child, but to the new moms whose infants were still in arms, and to all of the other mothers as each interaction is an example from which we can all take or leave the elements that we see working or that appeal to our parenting styles.

We discussed cloth diapers for Jennifer who is pregnant now, and discussed nighttime diapering for Amy, whose son leaks through cloth or disposables at night (luckily another mom of a boy figured out the anatomical problem and solution).

We discussed wrapping (yay!), including what position a tiny infant’s legs should be in, Shelby wanted to get her toddler wrapped up in a back wrap cross carry tied over her new baby bump.  Anna wanted instruction on a good rucksack carry.  Jennifer tried out a front cross carry (Belle was happy to accommodate).

Naomi and Anna in a Rucksack Carry

Naomi and Anna in a Rucksack Carry

Jennifer trying out a baby and a Front Cross Carry

Jennifer trying out a baby and a Front Cross Carry

Amy and Shawn in a Short Front Cross Carry

Amy and Shawn in a Short Front Cross Carry

Custom Wrap Straps

 

Rucksack Carry crossed over chest

Rucksack Carry crossed over chest

Most back carries with a wrap will have either rucksack straps (the wrap comes straight down from your shoulder and goes underneath the same arm like a backpack–or vice versa, from under one arm to over the same shoulder) or are crossed across the chest so the wrap goes from over one shoulder to under the opposite arm.

A lot of people like rucksack straps because it saves having to find a way to spread the wrap across your chest without looking funny.  A lot of people like rucksack straps because they’re cooler, and use a little less fabric.

Some people don’t like rucksack straps because they pinch, or cut off circulation, or feel like they’re going to slip off your shoulders.  It varies by individual.

If you are not comfortable with rucksack straps, do the same carry but cross over your breasts instead of doing rucksack straps.  If your wrap is long enough, you also have the option of tying Tibetan (instead of doing the cross) to pull the straps together in the center and relieve any pressure or prevent slippage.

Conversely, if you do not care for a cross in the front, you can still do your favorite, traditionally crossed, carry, but use rucksack straps instead of a cross.

Today I took advantage of the versatility of a wrap to switch from rucksack straps to crossed in front.  Belle was asleep in a short Double Hammock Carry (tied under the bum) and after a while my arms started to feel tingly, even though I am usually completely comfortable with rucksack straps.  I switched to crossed and she stayed up there for another hour.

 

Double Hammock Carry crossed over chest

Double Hammock Carry crossed over chest

Back Wrap Cross Carry with rucksack straps

Back Wrap Cross Carry with rucksack straps

Pinning Down and Wrapping Up a Wiggly Toddler

Back Wrap Cross Carry with rucksack straps

2.5 year old

first you find the middle

first you find the middle

 then you throw yourself over your kid after running around in the livingroom trying to catch him

then you throw yourself over your kid after running around in the livingroom trying to catch him

lift him by the arms

lift him by the arms

fly him up and TRY to put him on your back

fly him up and TRY to put him on your back

finally!

finally!

bend forward and spread the toddlers legs so that he wraps them around your back

bend forward and spread the toddlers legs so that he wraps them around your back

push the fabric under his bum all the way to the knees

push the fabric under his bum all the way to the knees

 pull the fabric straight forward to tighten the belt (no hes not sleeping hehe)

pull the fabric straight forward to tighten the "belt" (no he's not sleeping hehe)

squeeze one end of the wrap between your thighs. Grab the upper rim of the other and put it over your arm and shoulder and bring the wrap around the toddlers back

squeeze one end of the wrap between your thighs

Grab the upper rim of the other . . .

and put it over your arm and shoulder . . .

and put it over your arm and shoulder . . .

 

and bring the wrap around the toddlers back

and bring the wrap around the toddler's back

spread the wrap

spread the wrap

tighten well and bring the wrapend under the toddlers foot and squeeze it with your thighs

tighten well and bring the wrapend under the toddler's foot and squeeze it with your thighs

do the same thing

do the same thing

make a comfortable shoulder

make a comfortable shoulder

voila!

voila!

 

 now you can rock on!!

now you can rock on!!

3.6 meters: Shorter Wrap Options

Nursing in the Short Front Cross Carry

Nursing in the Short Front Cross Carry

I dedicated yesterday to my 3.6 meter Inka Storchenwiege.  It is one of my very favorite wrap colorways, has been used plenty and is floppy soft, and I used it in July in Florida, albeit mostly indoors.

I am something like 5’3 and 115 lbs.  The 3.6 was too short for FWCC or BWCC, but there were a lot of carries I could do.

Front carries with 3.6 Inka:

Hip carries with 3.6 Inka:

Back carries with 3.6 Inka:

  • Rucksack and Tibetan Carries
  • Back Wrap Cross Carry with rucksack straps (instead of crossed over chest)
  • Double Hammock Carry tied under bum (instead of tied in front)
Robins Hip Carry

Robins Hip Carry

Moms Circle–Vaccines

group

Instead of our usual format, our moms circle invited a guest speaker today.  Doctor Holly Johantgen is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an Acupuncture Physician and a Primary Care Physician in Clearwater Florida, as well as a mother of two young children.  She fielded questions about vaccines, and we snuck some other questions in, too, while we had her.

What I took away from her talk was that there are prevalent assumptions about vaccines that should be questioned.

  • Vaccines may not protect your child from disease.  Some people feel that getting the whooping cough vaccine will not necessarily keep your child from getting the whooping cough.  If it doesn’t work, this simplifies the whole decision-making process–so it’s worth doing your own research into the subject.
  • The benefits may not outweigh the risks.  Vaccines carry known risks, a fact well illustrated by the existence of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund.  Each vaccine could be examined individually as to the risks, and the risks of the relevant disease should also be investigated.  If a vaccine does effectively prevent a disease, it may still have side effects or risks that are worse (or likelier) than the threat of catching the disease naturally.
  • Some vaccines may not be necessary for every individual.  Investigate each one individually to decide whether your children need to be protected from Hepatitis B, polio, chicken pox, tetanus.  Consider that some vaccines can be administered later if and when they are deemed necessary (ie when you are ready to take your child overseas or when your child steps on a dirty nail).
  • The standard recommended vaccine schedule may not be best.  Vaccinating infants does, without a doubt, compromise their otherwise (hopefully) healthy immune systems.  Many doctors recommend delayed vaccinations.  Doctor Holly recommended waiting until your child is at least two years old, but said that according to oriental medicine, a person’s body would be better able to handle vaccinations between five and seven years old.

If you are worried about a particular disease outbreak, ask whether the kids contracting the disease have been vaccinated or not.  If they are vaccinated, there is no reason to sabotage your child’s immune system at this critical time with a vaccine that does not work!

If you are unsure about vaccinations, Doctor Holly’s advice is to WAIT.  Don’t vaccinate until you are sure, because it is a decision that cannot be undone, and which has lifelong ramifications.  You can always decide to vaccinate, but once done you cannot become un-vaccinated.

If you do choose to vaccinate your children, do everything you can to support their immune health before and after the vaccines are administered.  Nutrition is the biggest contributor to your child’s health. Leading up to a vaccination, keep your child’s diet free of sugar and as packed with nutrition as you can!  You can also visit with a Doctor of Oriental Medicine for herbs or supplements that might assist your child’s body in handling the vaccine.  If you do choose to vaccinate, read ingredients, insist on thermisol-free vaccines, and record the batch number.

If you choose not to vaccinate your child, it is also important to support their immune health.  Again, nutrition is the best thing to tweak.  In fact, I could just say that if you are a parent–regardless of whether your child is vaccinated–look to a good diet to keep your children healthy!

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Cloth diaper meet-up

Tuesday the Pinellas Cloth Diaper Chatter group had a meet-up at the beach.  We love cloth diapers, but for me, everything is about baby wraps!

Amy has a new Lou Neobulle in a shorter size than her other wrap and wanted to know what carries she could do with it.  She knew she had a good rucksack going for her, but what else?  We played around and discovered that she can do an abbreviated Front Wrap Cross Carry, a Short Front Cross Carry, or a hip carry.  She did a good Hip Cross Carry, and we considered some variations of the Poppins Hip Carry and Robins Hip Carry, neither of which have I managed to get instructions for up on my site yet!  Another back carry option with a shorty is the Reinforced Rear Rebozo Rucksack.

Somehow I managed not to take any pictures of all that, but I did snap one photo of Angela in her new Silver Waves Didymos–I loved it!

 

Silver Waves Abbreviated Front Wrap Cross Carry

Silver Waves Abbreviated Front Wrap Cross Carry

Moms Circle, 14 July 2010

Today I helped Amanda and Julie get their babies on their backs in double hammock carries, and helped Dana’s cousin wrap her itty bitty up in her Moby.

Dana

In conversations we addressed topics as varying as coping with potential medical problems (and the question of trusting doctors), to boundaries in the physical relationship of parents and children (I think as a group we agree that every family must find what is comfortable for them) and how the kind of relationship we establish with our little ones will impact their future relationships.

We discussed how to get better rested when your baby is waking more often.  Dana pointed out how fleeting babyhood is, suggesting that a tired parent remember that a) this wont last forever and b) it is worth treasuring now.

We briefly touched on cloth diapering, specifically for newborns.  Since it’s my blog, I have the privilege of remembering and relating only my recommendation: for contour diapers with elasticized legs.  Cheaper than fitteds, containing of that liquid breastmilk poop, and able to fit snugly around a tiny newborn with a snappi.

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Moms Co-op

At our Moms Circle today, we decided to form a mothering co-op. We’ll start next week at my house.  Tuesday, 6 July 2010, I’m opening up my house at 9am for a playdate in which some of the moms will stay and hang out, and some moms will drop off their babies/kids and go take some “me” time.

This is our first get together.  It’s something of a trial.  We’ll see how many people show up, and how many plan to stay versus how many want to leave.  We’ll play it by ear and see how we can improve it to make it the most beneficial for each of us.

If you want to come and don’t know where I live, email, comment, or send me a message on Facebook.

In summary, come at 9am or any time later.  I have somewhere to be in the afternoon, so I’ll probably need to kick everyone out by 1pm or soon after.  That means you should be back to pick up your kids by then or they may be sold to gypsies.  Hmmm, I guess I should make everyone sign a form to that effect when they show up!

Moms’ Circle 23 June 2010

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Evelyn began our discussion today with an admonition that we are here to support each other, and not to nitpick the particulars of our parenting choices.  We are better mothers when we are emotionally (and physically) available to our children.  As the mother, we are often wholly responsible for our children all the time, without someone playing a similar role to our needs.  As a group we can provide that for each other, emotionally recharging each other.

Perhaps it was this opening suggestion, but we had rather a teary time today.  It was amazingly wonderful to get together with moms and babies and siblings, and also get to hear out the travails and hardships some of us are facing.  We have enough in common that we can share the experiences and feelings even when the circumstances are different.

The discussion touched on loss of a loved one, dealing with our emotions while raising our babies and the effects it will have on them, fear of changes and an unknowable future, communication with spouses and relationships, feelings of not contributing enough or not being appreciated, and we shared advice on teething, sleeping, and, of course, babywearing!

We glowed happily for Ainsley and Susan who missed the group today because they are home with their brand new nurslings, and we congratulated Susan’s husband and son who came by to visit.  We welcomed Michelle who drove down to our meeting from Alabama, and who we’ve missed since she moved, and marveled at her growing girl.  We were happy to see moms who haven’t made it for several weeks, and a new mom, too.  We joyfully met with the moms who make it every week and who we look forward to seeing each Wednesday.

We had to disperse rather rapidly at the end as it had gotten late and everyone had to go but no one wanted to.

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This week.

I’ve hardly been on the computer the past week.  I haven’t blogged, I’ve let my messages and emails go stale, and I couldn’t take pictures because the old ones weren’t uploaded.

I did:

  • spend the Solstice with my daughters and some friends (aged 5 and 2).  We made suns out of clay and out of tissue paper, and blew big, rainbow bubble spheres to dance around with.
  • clean my house and hide gifts for a daddy scavenger hunt.
  • have family over for a Father’s Day Party.
  • paint bookshelves, and color code our books.
  • rearrange the dining room for more crawling space.

I had a lovely, slow, non-technological kind of week.  But I missed blogging about our last mom’s meeting, and I had a lot of messages to catch up on.  The fact is that I love writing, love staying touch, and have an internet business to keep up with.  I love technology too.  The fact is, there just aren’t enough hours, so we juggle as best we can!