Wednesday, August 31, 2011
so many people will tell you to buy a baby bjorn and so much inside of me screams NO, DON"T DO IT!!!!
they are the most uncomfortable carrier i have tried. it hurt my back and made me feel wobbly. plus, lily did not feel secure and if i had bent over too far, i fear she would have fallen out. baby bjorns and the like (i.e. snuggli, infantino, etc.) are referred to as "crotch dangler" baby carriers. if you look at the way the baby sits in these carriers, they are, indeed, suspended by their "crotch." not only are these carriers super uncomfortable and unsafe, they can also be detrimental to a baby's physical development (another post will address safety). they are not ergonomically designed and having a baby's legs dangle in the manner they do can cause hip displasia and puts stress on their little spines. while there is little scientific evidence that i have found to support this, why chance it when there are much better and way more comfortable options out there?! not to mention, these brands (especially infantino and snuggli) have shotty workmanship and i have heard multiple instances where a strap or buckle starts to come loose! yikes!
have i convinced you to try a different kind of carrier yet?!
all of the carriers i am listing here are from reputable companies or work at home mommies. the carriers are made with the quality materials and safe hardware. they also keep baby secure and all will keep their knees above their hips in a nice deep seat.
SOFT STRUCTURED CARRIERS:
if you were looking at a baby bjorn, you may like a soft structured carrier (ssc). these have a body with straps that snap close. we recently bought one of these for josh so we can go hiking with our baby as they have padded straps on the shoulders and around the hips. they can also be worn on the front or the back (often times people want to get frame carriers for hiking. just make sure you can try it out before you buy to make sure it is comfortable for you and your baby, that your baby feels nice and secure, and make sure it doesn't dangle baby by the crotch).
recommended brands (based on personal use or ratings/reviews i have read):
olives and applesauce (o&a)
oh snap from babyhawk
action baby carriers
two mommas designs
ella belly click
pikkolo by catbirdbaby
this is like a ssc except the straps tie instead of buckle. these are nice for multiple wearers as the straps don't need to be adjusted every time someone new wears the carrier. these can be worn on the front or the back. there are variations of this carrier as well. you can get a taller body or extra long straps. a wrap conversion (wc) is a mei tai (mt) that is made from a woven wrap so you get the best of both worlds. wrapstar is a pretty reputable company that makes wc. others are boutique bella bambini, bamberoo, dream carriers and ocah). a podaegi (pod) has a soft body, like a blanket that you tuck under baby's bum and then tie the straps around his or her body. zidee makes a pod, but i couldn't find a website to link. wrapstar also makes a pod. there is also an onbuhino (onbu) that has rings and no hip strap as well. two mommas desings makes these. and so does happy slings.
two mommas desings
quite a few mommas make these on etsy. however, i want to caution you. the fabrics that are safe enough to hold a baby tend to get pricey so while $30 seems like a steal, it is probably not very safe. also, as i have seen, many of these mommas don't do X boxes on the straps which is also worrisome. you wouldn't want those straps to come out while wearing your baby! there are also directions online, but i would just recommend buying used.
these are great slings to use right from the beginning (as mt's and ssc's sometimes can't be used in the brand new little squish stage). these are also very affordable (but can also get very pricey). some brands even have water slings that are made to dry quickly but protect baby from the sun!
ring slings (rs) go over one shoulder and are threaded through rings. once a baby gets bigger, they help a momma with a hip carry but it can be straining on the wearer's shoulder and back. they are also probably the cheapest to make yourself. these are NOT the same thing a bag slings, which have been recalled and are often called bags of death. if you cannot wear your baby up by your face, it is NOT a safe sling.
sleeping baby productions
boutique bella bambini
directions for diy
remember when you make your own rs only use recommended fabrics and aluminum or nylon rings. hardware rings or craft rings can come apart. again, safety is the issue here.
pouches are similar to rings slings as they drape over one shoulder. they fold up very small and fit great in a diaper bag. however, they must fit perfectly or they don't work right, aren't safe, and tend to be very uncomfortable.
while i know that sevenslings offers codes for a free sling (all you pay is a ridiculous amount of shipping) stay away from this brand. they are a single layer, cheap fabric, scratchy sling. they aren't even double stitched. they are making money on the shipping and may not be safe! remember, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. plus, they are uncomfortable and in my honest opinion, not worth the money.
i may dedicate a whole post to wraps in the future. they are my loves. :)
wraps are a long piece of fabric that you wrap around your body and tie in various ways to hold the baby close to your heart.
these are probably more well known through the brand moby. they are made from a jersey material so they are soft and snuggly and perfect for a newborn. however, once a baby gets to be about 15 pounds, they are not supportive enough and start to sag with baby.
anaju by 3 tree designs
wrapsody bali stretch (great for a little heavier babies as they are more supportive)
yes, you can even make your own!! this is probably the least expensive option, which is good as babies grow out of these quickly.
these are made from organic fabrics (usually) that are specifically woven to carry a baby. they are pricey but can be used from brand new little baby all the way up to 40 pound kiddo. the reason that these are soo expensive is because of the quality and you really do get what you pay for in this area. a good size to start with is a 6 or a 4.6 metered wrap (but if you are really fluffy, you may want one that is a little bigger). some of these can be hard to find new as they are all made in other countries.
you can also make your own woven. however, i did not feel safe using a cheap fabric for this and the other recommended fabrics ended up getting so pricey that i was better off buying used.
some places to buy new carriers:
piece of cloth
the blueberry tree
to buy used:
the baby wearer (tbw)
the baby center (bbc) babywearing swap (and their fb page)
happy hunting and i hope you feel more brave now and are willing to try something new!
Friday, August 5, 2011
this time last year i was super engorged, learning how to give my baby the sustenance to survive. she was small and very dependent on me. she was incredible.
my, how time flies. she is one year old now, and has never stopped amazing me. and i am so glad that we have an amazing connection that started with our breastfeeding relationship. little did i know how hard that journey was going to be. i have always heard that breastfeeding is "natural" so i assumed i would just "get it." how wrong i was. my sweet little baby had a wonderful suck, but an incredibly clumsy mother, who hadn't had much experience with floppy, new little squishes. she was also a baby who loved her sleep (if only that were true now). she was constantly falling asleep while we nursed. and the worrier in me was freaking about if she was eating enough. and silly me (or extremely naive me) had read too many "sleep training" books and was trying to keep her to a schedule. thank goodness she was one that fell into that naturally. now i know how detrimental that could have been!
i was also one who didn't understand all the hype about the "attachment" you will develop while nursing. i was such a nervous first time mom that i was constantly second guessing myself and i never lived in the moment. i worried too much about the future. i knew that breast milk was the best for my baby, which is why i continued to struggle through, to persevere. even when i had to have gall stones, and eventually my gall bladder removed, i pumped, dumped, and had to give formula but knew that i was going to get back into nursing. it was hard. it was tedious and trying. especially because josh couldn't help as much as i wanted him to. if it were up to me, i would have been able to chop of my boobs and lend them to him for a night. too bad it doesn't work like that. but, lily was such a little power sucker, that she transitioned back very well. i was a zombie in those first days from the lack of sleep, but i would just pull lily up to my chest and i could feel her warm little body and hear her breathing and swallowing and i knew this is how it is supposed to be.
that full blown attachment mentioned earlier didn't happen for me until she was about five months old. it took me that long to enjoy breastfeeding. i really did hate it in the beginning.
it took so much time.
it hurt like hell.
i was too insecure at the time to not use a cover, so it was incredibly awkward.
it was all on me (or i felt that way) and i stressed over being so responsible for a little life.
now i see it completely different, and completely worth it.
it has helped me loose some of my baby weight.
i am now a more secure mommy and trust my judgment.
i am protecting her from illness and disease and helping her body thrive.
she still gets great nourishment from me.
it is my time to reconnect with her, even after she has been screaming all day.
i constantly get to re-establish and strengthen our attachment to one another.
i am helping her become a secure little person.
i still get to feel her warm little body and hear her breathing and swallowing and i still know this is how it is supposed to be.
I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!
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