Pediatric Babywearing

Mandy is a pediatric nurse.  She doesn’t work in NICU so hadn’t had experience before with a baby going through withdrawal, but as a babywearing mother, when she found herself responsible for a distraught baby, she knew what she could offer him for comfort!  When she shared this in our local babywearing group, I felt fit to burst with emotion:  compassion for the baby and mother and also a deep gratitude for the ability to comfort babies with the simplicity of human touch; for the good fortune to know how important this is for babies; and for Mandy to be working when this little one needed that.  Mandy reported that the other nurses were continuing to wear the baby so that he was not left adrift when she went home.

In Mandy’s own words, “I’m a pediatric nurse and had a baby going through withdrawal. I made a makeshift sling out of some baby blankets and “wore” him as much as I could. It was the only thing that consistently calmed him down! Wear ALL the babies, even the ones who aren’t our own!”

Summer Babywearing and Woven Wraps

Babywearing in the Summer - a Survival Guide

Summer babywearing in Florida means knowing how to keep everyone comfortable in a baby carrier in hot weather.  Here are my suggestions for lighter Summer baby wraps, recommendations for cooler carries to use with your wraps, and tips for surviving hot weather wrapping so you don’t have to stay in-doors all Summer!

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London Intro to Babywearing Walks

Intro to Babywearing Walk with Walking Mums in London

Walking Mums offers Intro to Babywearing Walks for trying out different kinds of carriers

Motherhood is an experience that is unique to each of us yet there are certain experiences that many of us have in common.  That’s why other moms can be the best allies and friends and help to keep us sane and make us happy.

Jay (founder of the organization) understood that because she felt the absence of that “village” of moms when her baby was born and out of necessity Walking Mums was born.

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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?
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Farm Babywearing – Woven Wraps & a Farming Family

Farm Babywearing: Parents wrap toddlers on horse farm

photo by Petal & Vine Photography

Tatyana relates her experiences with farm babywearing – 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. Read More

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?

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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

Babywearing Costume Contest!

Babywearing Halloween contest

It’s time for the annual Babywearing Halloween Costume Contest on the Wrap Your Baby facebook page!

Share your photos on the wall between Wednesday 29 October and Monday 3 November, and  and I will upload them to the contest album where we’ll see which photo gets the most likes for a free wrap from my store!

Voting (liking) will go from 4 November to 6 November and the winner will be announced on Friday 7 Nov.  The winner is responsible for contacting me as I will have no way to get in touch with those who entered.  Check for a winner on 7 November and PM or email me if it was you!

PLEASE NOTE:  Outfits and traditional clothing from different cultures are not costumes but traditional dress. To avoid any one feeling that their culture is being misrepresented I kindly ask that you refrain from depicting any specific culture and/or nationality or subculture.

You can find more than 50 great costume ideas on my Babywearing Costume Pinterest Board or my recent blog posts sharing Babywearing Animal Costumes Fantasy/Sci-fi Babywearing Costumes and Character Costumes for babywearers.

Go get inspired and start creating!  Let’s have some fun!

Share Your City Groups Giveaway

Each month I give at least one wrap to a Babywearing Group Lending Library.  For September I asked groups to send me a photo of babywearing in front of a landmark in their region, or something that epitomizes the region.  Today, for Share Your City Saturday (International Babywearing Week), I am sharing some of the photos that were submitted and announcing winners!  Scroll to the bottom for winners and enjoy all of the photos along the way!

Babywearing in cities across the globe:

Babywearing in front of the Kelpies in Falkirk in Scotland.

Babywearing with the Kelpies in Falkirk in Scotland – a landmark that represents the engineering famous to this area particularly on the canal and that arts which are a big part of Scottish history. The kelpies were completed last year in celebration of the canal and the renewed industry around them created by the opening of the Falkirk wheel in earl 2000s.  From the Forth Vally sling meet.

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I don’t want to spoil my baby!

You can't spoil a baby by holding it.

If you carry your baby frequently in a comfortable baby carrier, won’t she get spoiled and want to be held all the time?

Well, some babies come already wired to scream whenever they’re put down and it doesn’t take spoiling to make them that way.

Some babies are generally pretty chill.  They dig being carried, and the are perfectly content to sit in swings or bouncers, too.

A better question to ask is:

Is it important to let babies get used to not being held?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: this question is born from the idea that babies’ demands are different from their needs.  But the fact is that at this tender age, babies are instinctive creatures.  They aren’t calculating, they are responding to their needs in the way that evolution taught them to get our attention and make those needs known.

To us. The mother or father.  The person who is mature enough to understand needs and capable enough to know how to satisfy them in an appropriate manner.

Because, face it, babies are helpless:

If you’re hungry, you go get a snack.  A baby can’t.

If you’re too hot, you take off some clothes or turn on a fan.  A baby can’t.

If your nose itches, you scratch it.  A baby can’t.

If you are lonely, you call up a friend or walk into the other room to be with family.  A baby can’t.

A baby is completely dependent.

It’s given the ability to cry – a noise designed to agitate us – as it’s only way to get it’s needs met.

So if you shift to thinking of a baby’s cry as a communication of a very valid need, you can start to figure out what is needed.  And you will find that much of the time, simply picking up your baby satisfies the need.  He or she wants to be held.  Babies are designed to be held a lot for optimum development, and they’re designed to be uncomfortable when they’re not being held. That’s why babies who are held cry less. In 1986, the Journal of Pediatrics published a study in which researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours.

Of course, all babies are different.  Follow your baby’s lead.  Evolution (and Scientific studies) may give us the generalities of what babies need, but the specifics are definitely dictated on a unique one on one basis.  If you have a happy and healthy baby, I would argue that you are doing the right thing.

And you know what?  Babies grow up and learn independence when it’s developmentally appropriate, just as they learn to walk and talk and eat food without being taught.  Respect the process.  Respect your baby. He is developing and he will not be a baby forever.

Remember, there is no way for a baby–who is not mobile, cannot work doorknobs or handles or buttons on a thermostat–to be independent.  “Teaching” him not to communicate his needs, that nobody is there to respond to his needs, is not a necessary part of healthy development.

“Don’t stand unmoving outside the door of a crying baby whose only desire is to touch you. Go to your baby. Go to your baby a million times. Demonstrate that people can be trusted, that the environment can be trusted, that we live in a benign universe.” ~Peggy O’Mara

So, will your baby want to be held all the time if he or she gets used to being carried?  Maybe.  Maybe you’ll get spoiled too, by the convenience, the content and quiet baby, and the constant cuddles. Congratulations–you have a baby!  It’s temporary, it’s exhausting, and it’s magical.  There are worse problems.

Babywearing/wrapping demonstrates a loving world.

Babywearing out of guilt or obligation?

I don’t want you to do that.  I really don’t.  I think the best thing you can give your baby is a happy, healthy parent.  You should use a baby carrier because it makes life easier and happier for all of you.  If it doesn’t, chances are that another parent who is experienced with the same carrier can help you learn easy tweaks for making it more comfortable, or more convenient to use.  Look for a local babywearing group, or ask local midwives or visit a La Leche League meeting to find someone who may be able to help.  If there is no local help, you can avail yourself of free online resources like www.thebabywearer.com and you can always ask for help or guidance on www.facebook.com/wrapyourbaby

I Have Carried You Always

Before and After maternity and newborn pictures.

I have carried you, always.

Before you were conceived, I carried a part of you in my soul. When I met your father, I looked into his eyes and saw the other part of you, and knew you, and prayed that you would come to be.

Before you were born, I carried you in my womb. When you were restless I sang to you and soothed you and told you how I loved you.

When you were born, I carried you in my arms. I kissed you and held you and put you to my breast, so that you would know that there is light and warmth and goodness in the world.

Later, I wrapped you in cloth and carried you close to my heart. I held you close so that you could hear that my heart beats like yours; that we are the same, you and I, and that you would never have to cry alone.

After a while, I carried you on my back, so that you could look at the world with confidence and joy and know that you belonged; so that you could share all of the beauty of the world as an equal to all that live in it.

Now, later still, I carry you when you are tired or fearful. So that you know that no matter how weary you become, or what life holds, you can always depend on others for support and comfort.

When you grow older, my darling, and your adventures take you further from my arms, know that even in my last hour I will carry you. I will carry you in my heart, for you are always with me.

I will carry you, always.

– Christine Maguire
from the Natural Mamas blog

Newborn short FWCC in space goddess wrap

*Beautiful Blair and baby Hudson, photographed by Petal & Vine Photography

Animal Costumes for Baby Carriers

Animal Costumes for Babies for Halloween

Continuing with the costume themes, babies as animals are always cute.  You can go really simple (buy a hat with ears from etsy, or put butterfly wings from the dollar store around your wrapped baby), or really get into it with a full family costume or a glowing jellyfish umbrella!

These are some of the animal babywearing costumes submitted to my annual Halloween contest on Facebook, but there are lots more great costume ideas on my pinterest board! Whatever you decide, be sure to post a photo on my facebook page by Monday, 3 November to be entered to win a wrap for Halloween 2014!

Also see my Halloween Part 1 post: Character Costumes for Babywearers