{Guest Post} How Babywearing changed my life!

When my daughter was born my husband worked away from home (and still does). He was able to take almost a month off for her birth but reality set in when he went away for that first week. We don’t know many people in Lethbridge and our family is also far away. So I felt alone.

Because my daughter didn’t like to be put down, I felt trapped in the house. I had a ring sling but I was intimidated by it and didn’t know how to use it. And don’t even get me started on the Moby wrap. Talk about scary!
I was determined to regain some semblance of a social life and some small handle on my housework so I got to work looking at YouTube videos explaining baby wearing. I soon mastered the ring sling and it transformed my life! I could clean my house, shop and visit with friends, all without neglecting my daughter. In fact, it helped me to bond with her and to become more responsive to her needs as I was so close that I could read her cues very well.
I never did master the Moby (I guess wraps will have to wait) and while we have graduated from the ring sling, I am a proud owner of a Babyhawk and Beco Butterfly. I never leave the house without my Beco! I don’t like lugging around a stroller which doesn’t always fit well in stores. And my Babyhawk is my around-the-house carrier for getting housework done. I am constantly getting compliments on how I manage to keep my house looking clean and get all of my errands done, all while my husband is at work. And the truth is that it’s all thanks to baby wearing. My mom even wears her in the mei tai when she watches her – it’s infectious!
I’m sorry that was so long-winded. But it really is how I feel. I couldn’t imagine not wearing my daughter and what my life would look like.
Sincerely,
Kris Lea

Fashion Show Awesomeness

Today I had a table at our local Welcome Wagon show.  SO much fun!  

I just love sharing the babywearing love.  Six other moms from our group came out and helped by modelling for a “Babywearing Fashion Show.”  It was great, all the babies were so sweet, a little 13 mth old girl even slept through the whole things snuggled with her mama in her Ergo.  Love that!

I brought my 20 mth old and she even took an hour and half nap wrapped on my back in our Girasol.  Pretty good for a girl who’s been on a “wrapping strike” for a while.  Hooray!  I’l have to upload a pic from my phone.

I had a table set up with demo carriers and information.  The table was busy most of the time and I had the chance to talk to a lot of mamas and answer their questions.  I hope to see some more new faces at our next meeting. 

A great day spent sharing one of my favourite things about parenting🙂

Tanya

Back at it!

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The warmer weather is finally here and I cannot wait for us to have our monthly meetings at the park! 

Its been a slow winter for meetings and I’m looking forward to seeing all of our group members again. 

Rosina, one of our long time members, is starting weekly Babywearing Walks and we’re hoping to do a few field trips as a group this summer – so fun!

Ive kept busy over the winter teaching a few classes for Mommy Connections. And will be teaching a couple classes at the Family Center this spring.  Its so exciting to see our group gaining recognition within our city!

My youngest has been on a “wrapping strike” lately, which is sad but she will bring me a SSC if she needs a snuggle.  And I’m expecting another little one this summer, which I cannot WAIT to snuggle in a wrap! 

I’m also looking for any of our members that would like to write a blog post for us on their experiences with Babywearing – let me know!

Tanya

On the go

A little while back I put a calling out for pictures, and have received many beautiful babywearing pics.  So first I’d like to say “thank you” for sending in your pictures, we really do have a wonderful vibrant group of babywearers.

Often we get asked what carriers are best for traveling, and while we definitely have our favourites, there are pros and cons for every carrier.  So here is a little breakdown for you.

Ring Slings:

This is probably one of my favorites for traveling, because it is so easy to pop babe in and out, allows for easy and descreet (if that’s your deal) nursing on the plane, and is small and compact.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I will have another carrier in my carry on, but for going through security and boarding etc., this is my go-to.  Also, just a tip for future travels, security may ask you to remove the sling to walk through the scanner type thing… however, if your baby is sleeping and you don’t want to take the sling off, simply ask them to use the wand.  Then they will take you aside and manually scan you… way easier with a sleeping baby.  The con to a ring sling is length of time you will want to wear it.  With any one shoulder carrier, after a while you may wish the weight were more evenly spread, so if you have any long layovers, make sure to have a two shoulder carrier you can use.

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This pic was taken at the Vancouver airport on our way to the Canadian Babywearing Convention 2008.  EcoBaby Canada has a booth there and participated in the fashion show. (Andi, Heather)

And here we have a picture I titled “BAAAAH”.  Tamara’s little one in a ring sling posing with the animals, what is not to love about this picture?!

Mei Tais:

Next we have mei tais, which are nice because they are fairly easy, all cloth (which is nice for walk through scanners), and will fold up small to go in your diaper bag.  They are also good if you have a long layover and desire a second carrier with two should straps.  Another bonus is that they are good on front or back, so having babe/toddler on your back is nice.  The downside to the mei tai traveling is when (or IF I guess) the flight attendant tells you that you need to take baby out of the carrier for take off, it’s not nearly as easy as a ring sling to just slip off and slip back on.  All in all though, it’s a great travel carrier.

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This is a picture of Louise, who has been part of the babywearing group since close to the beginning.  She has her mei tai tied with a lexi knot.  I love how her little loves the mei tai too, it’s fantastic.  Louise also makes mei tais, which is awesome. 🙂

Woven wraps:

They are nice because well…. woven wraps are the cats ass… there, I said it.  Wovens are not necessarily the best for airport use (going through security etc.,) because they are way more cumbersome… but like I said, woven’s are the cats ass, so if you’ve fallen in love with wovens, you may want to pack one in your carry on, and use it during long layovers or during your actual travels.  That said, if you’re traveling somewhere hot, get accostumed to doing a ruck, it will be cooler for you.

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Here is another one from Vancouver, that little stayed in that wrap the whole day essentially.

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I love this picture of Nicole rocking a woven in front of the Highlevel bridge, way to represent Lethbridge!!

Stretchy wraps:

I know, I probably could have put wraps all in one category, as really, they are all really long pieces of fabric that you will have to wrap around you.  The difference between a stretchy and a woven is that it is easier to pop babe in and out of a stretchy during take off or through security.  A stretchy wrap would be good for a small baby.  I would recommend tying the wrap even before you leave home and just leave it on like it’s part of your outfit.  Then pop babe in when you get there, and out as need be.  It’s a nice option for those of you who want to use a wrap, but don’t want to be retying in the middle of security.  Also, keep in mind, the smaller the baby, the more comfy a stretchy will be, at roughly 15lbs you may notice some pulling/sagging and therefore not want to bother taking it on your travels.

Here is Tamara wearing her little in a cuddly stretchy wrap at the Lethbridge Corn Maze.  That baby looks so snuggly, and mom looks pretty comfy too.  Great pic!

Soft Structured Carriers

These are often great for quick up and downs, and also for carrying bigger babies/toddlers on your back (or front I suppose).  They are good for the long haul, and you will be happy you brought it if you have a long layover or plan to go hiking or do other activities where you’ll be wearing your baby for a while.  Or even if someone else plans to wear your baby, and they have issues with tying and carriers that don’t come with hardware/buckles.  They fold up small and are easy to use, which is appealing to many babywearers (and Dads, haha).  The area that they do not work so awesome in, is again, take off, landing, and breastfeeding ease.  Don’t get me wrong, you can breastfeed in basically any and all carriers, but some are easier than others.

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This is Paula, wearing her toddler in a Beco.  I’m going to make a wild guess here and say they’re on a hike.  Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but SSC’s are great for hikes either way. 😉

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See?  Dads like them too!!  Thanks Tamara for the picture of your wonderful family.

The Final Cut:

What it basically comes down to is personal preference and availability.  If you love SSC’s and you have one, then take it traveling.  If you absolutely hate ring slings, then it doesn’t matter how easy I think they are, you won’t want to wear it.  As for me, I have a problem deciding, so typically it looks like this:  Ring Sling for airport and airplane, woven and/or mei tai in my carry on. 

All in all, baby’s are easier to travel with if you wear them.  I can remember being in San Fransisco with my then 1.5 year old, and I was 7 months pregnant.  If you think for one second getting on a tram with a stroller, and a kid who could take off (as I had to fold the stroller to get on the tram) was easy, believe me, it wasn’t.  Not to mention, no one even gave me a seat!  haha  So there we were standing in a crammed tram… me, babe, friend, and stroller, it was brutal.  Ever since I discovered the world of babywearing, my traveling (and everything else really) became way easier with baby/toddler attached.

Thanks if you made it all the way to the end of this post.. Reminder, there is a babywearing meeting this Friday, September 21st at 1:00pm where we will be doing a group photo shoot!

Also, EcoBaby Canada is organizing a babywearing fashion show for September 29th in Lethbridge at the local breastfeeding challenge.  If you would like to volunteer, please let me know.

Thanks again for all the wonderful pictures, they are all very lovely and will be used in future posts if they weren’t used in this one.

{Andi}

Strike a Pose!

Hello all you wonderful babywearers!  I don’t know about you, but when I would have my littles strapped to me I just wanted to take pictues of us so we could reflect later.  Believe it or not, I didn’t take nearly enough pictures though, and now my littlest is a big girl who has no interest in being strapped to mama.  Of course, she begs me to carry her through the house upsidedown, but that’s another story, ha!

When I write up any blog posts, it seems the only pictures I have are pictures of myself, which is great and all, but I like seeing pics of other people too.  ;)  So we are doing a calling for pictures!  Specifically we are looking for pictures to use in this blog of babywearing more than one, babywearing on the go (shopping, hiking, that sort of thing), babywearing while traveling, wearing special needs babies/kids, and traditional babywearing.  And don’t fret, due credit will be given for any picture we use.

Thanks so much, can’t wait to see all the babywearing pictures!  Please send all pictures to bridgecityslingers@gmail.com

Andrea

Summer Babywearing

The summer months are great for this babywearing group, hands down the best time of the year… unless it rains.  ;)  Our meetings move to an outdoor location, and we take over playgrounds with our babywearing love and all our kids who are out of school.  What a great time, seriously.

 

Some of the things we focus on when teaching babywearing in the summer is how to stay cool.  Those babies are like little hot water bottles, so we like to focus on removing the overheat factor.  There are several things you can do to put a cap on that rising temperature.

First, reduce the amount of layers on your baby.  This means if you have a little and you enjoy a forward wrap cross carry (FWCC) and a back wrap cross carry (BWCC), now would be the time to learn a kangaroo carry or a ruck for your back.  Also, what kind of material is on your baby?  If it’s a wrap, is it a heavy weave or a thinweave?  Believe it or not, all these little things will make a difference in your comfort level during the summer months, even if it is just a little difference.

Another way to keep the babywearing somewhat cooler in the heat is to move your babe/toddler to your back.  Of course this depends on age and comfort level, but you and your baby will be way cooler with your baby on your back instead of on your chest.  That said, with a little on your back make sure you have a big floppy hat and sunblock.  Or if your carrier of choice has a sleeping hood, this can work great to block the sun as well.

So you have baby on your back with a floppy hat and sunblock, you have the least amount of breathable fabric covering your baby, now what kind of carrier are you using?  This is a highly personal choice, but a couple of the coolest carriers for the summer are mei tais, and carriers made out of solarveil, like the Zolowear one that Tanya just scored (lucky bum).  However, it’s not really the type of carrier that matters the most, but typically the less fabric the better.

** Aisha on my back during a super hot day of Dragon boat races.  The mei tai allowed air to flow in the side and was not too restrictive for her.  I assure you, she is not about to fall out there, she is simply leaning for the pic, ha!

Another way to keep cool while babywearing is to enjoy the water!  I’m sure Tanya will now be rocking her new super find, the Zolo water sling ($16 for a Zolowear water ring sling!!) , as I would be rocking my Hotslings water pouch, which is actually made out of the same fabric as the Zolo.  These carriers can be worn in pools and basically all water in general!  Of course be smart, the carrier is not a floatation device, but is made out of some really great fabric.  The fabric is called “Solarveil” and blocks out UVA and UVB rays, plus is super lightweight, breathable, and dries fast after water use.

**this is a Zolowear water sling made with Solarveil.

Taken from the Wooska site (company that makes Solarveil), “A single layer of Solarveil blocks 70%-80% of UVA and UVB rays, and a double layer blocks 90%-95%.”  So basically, try to find a carrier that has a double layer.

Ashton peeking out of his Hotslings Solarveil water pouch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course it had to be tried with the almost 4 year old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are other materials that would work for water use as well, and other carriers to use in water, such as water wraps like the Gyspy Mama water wrap.  Basically, the wading pool is a great place to cool down AND wear your baby, try it out.🙂

So that is it for now, hope you are enjoying your summer and finding ways to keep cool.  Feel free to comment here with any other awesome suggestions to keep cool while babywearing in the summer.  And if you have any questions, pop us a message!

**PS… it feels a little like the “Andrea show” here, so if you want to send me some summer babywearing pics, please do and I will put them on this post!!

**PPS.. I know only 2 posts ago we posted about summer babywearing, but that was 2 years ago!!  Holy blog neglect Batman, we will do better…🙂

Still at it

I check back on our highly neglected blog every once in a while, and today I got sad at how long it has been between posts.  I also checked the stats and see that people are still reading this blog, so here I am.  {this is me making an effort} 😉

The Lethbridge Babywearing group is still the thriving group it has always been, with a little less meetings though this year.  However, when we do have the meetings (ends up being every 2 months roughly), there is a great turnout and we have a fabulous time!  Over the past 5 years we have seen many many moms grow (figuratively and literally) through pregnancy, birth, and parenting.  Many of the moms we met during our first few months of “Bridge City Slingers” were pregnant then, and we have witness beautiful mothers flourish and move on to be 2nd time and even 3rd time parents.  This is a joy I can’t really explain, being a witness to so many experiences makes me warm on the inside.

Things have changed in the Johnson (me) and Lister (other co-leader) households since our last post.  I am still a mother of 4, although I secretly (okay, not so secretly) would like more.  I still teach babywearing, still run EcoBaby, and I babywear other people’s babies whenever I can.  And Tanya is a mama of 7…. WOAH!  Yep, it’s a true story, our Tanya is an amazing mama to 7 wonderful bambinos.  And now she even has the kids babywearing the other kids!!  *I will upload a pic when I have a chance*  Basically, we are both still hopelessly dedicated to spreading the babywearing love in all ways possible.  Our meetings have taken on a casual spin, which we are embracing and truly enjoy.  The meetings are about connecting with other moms who love to babywear, they are about moms helping moms, getting to play with every carrier you can imagine (except an amauti, but we’re working on it)…. and all the while having a couple babywearing educators there to assist and answer any questions you may have. ❤

We are really looking forward to the summer months, when we can move our babywearing meetings outdoors to a park and generally just have more time to be with our babies, our older kids, and all of you.  Until then, look for postings of babywearing meetings!

Also, EcoBaby Canada is hosting an educational babywearing workshop happening on April 7th (it will be Tanya and myself teaching, but in a more formal atmosphere).  You can find info here.

And lastly, if you are not part of the Bridge City Slingers facebook group, head on over, sadly, it is a little more exciting there than our blog (blog neglect guilt kicking in).  Haha, we are working to change that though!!  xoxo

Here’s a little article to keep you thinking… Why we don’t wear our babes forward facing

Cheers!  xoxo

Babywearing in the summer months

Our July meeting is scheduled for tomorrow morning at Gyro park.  We will be keeping the meetings going throughout the summer and will be meeting at parks, unless bad weather warrants an indoor location.

A common theme during the warmer months is temperature and babywearing.  Many moms find it very warm to wear a baby in June, July and August, but we have tips for you!  There are specific carriers that you can use during the warmer months to keep you cool (or at least cooler).  For instance, if you’re a wrapper, there are lighter weave wraps that allow more air to pass through and that are quite thin.  There are also water carriers that allow you to wear your baby while in the water with your older children. 

Another aspect of cooler babywearing is what carry you do.  Getting baby or toddler on your back will cool you down, just remember to apply sun block, have a sleeping hood or a nice floppy hat.

Happy summer babywearing and we hope to see you at the meetings!  Please feel free to post comments and any questions you have.  You can also contact us at bridgecityslingers@gmail.com

March Meeting – Evening Edition!

Our March meeting is soon upon us and we have heard your requests to try an evening meeting! Please join us on March 11 at the Family Centre, 1010 4th ave, at 6:30am. Our featured carrier this month will be “Woven Wraps,” such as Didymos, Storchenwiege, Girasol, etc. The information part of our meeting on our featured carrier and carrier safety will begin at 6:45pm. After that we would be happy to assist you in trying any style or type of carrier you wish with your baby.
We will be demonstrating front, hip and back carries using woven wraps for newborns through to toddlers.

If you have any questions, please drop us an email at bridgecityslingers@gmail.com

Hope to see you there!

Tanya & Andrea