Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing all the amazing women out there a Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of Mother's Day, we have decided to donate a Safe Delivery for every purchase over $100 placed this weekend.




Safe childbirth, even in chaos


In the midst of war or disaster, mothers still give birth, despite the chaos around them. In places like Syria, where outbreaks of violence can cut off access to health care, childbirth can pose life-threatening risks. Our teams make sure that women living through emergency situations can deliver babies safely. A kit of simple, hygienic supplies, including rubber gloves, a bar of soap and a warm blanket for the newborn, can help make childbirth safer — and happier — for both mother and baby.

See more at: http://gifts.rescue.org/product/health/safe-delivery




Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Love in Motion Giveaway and Interview

When we were asked if we'd like to interview Liz, I did not expect it to be so fun! Liz is a MamAmor doll brought to life through a partnership between Kristi, Kelli, and Adriana of Wrapsody, The Babywearing Workout, and MamAmor dolls. I never expected the life of a MamAmor doll to be so interesting!

A former marketing consultant, Liz now enjoys an active life as a stay-at-home mother of Cate, 6 months, and Sterling, 4. She enjoys adventuring with her babies and her husband, John. She considers herself a diligent student of motherhood and loves learning and creating new things. Her favorite baby carrier is her Wrapsody Breeze, and she loves to use it while she does The Babywearing Workout DVD.

Liz enjoying an outdoor workout with baby Cate.

When did you first start babywearing?

It took a few weeks after Sterling was born. I had gotten a carrier after seeing my midwife’s MamAmor doll holding her baby in a sling, but I was a little intimidated by it, but once I started using it I felt ridiculous for worrying! It was so easy! When Cate came along, my husband had her in the wrap before I was really even up and about much.

Did babywearing come naturally to you or did it take some practice?

It was fairly natural, but it did take practice, too. I worried about tying my baby too tight or too loose, and sometimes I’d get weird pressure points before I learned to adjust it evenly.

Then a friend handed me a sarong while she held my baby. “Tie it on like a bra top, like you’d wear it to the beach,” she said. Then she pointed out how I adjusted the tightness across my bust, supporting everything firmly and evenly – not loose, not tight, no pressure points. That was a real turning point for me, because it made so much sense!


What is your favorite thing about babywearing?

When my baby takes her fingers and sort of scritches them on my collarbone as she falls asleep, I know she is happy and feels completely safe. There is something really satisfying about knowing I can meet her needs just by being with her in my Wrapsody baby carrier.

What's the craziest thing some has said to you while babywearing?

“If you don’t carry her exactly right it will ruin her hips.” Man, I have seen some crazy pictures of different cultures and how they carry their babies! I definitely agree that there’s an optimal way to carry babies, but the idea that I’ll damage my baby if I don’t do it “just right” is ridiculous. I’d love to have someone approach some of the fierce-looking women in photos and tell them their whole tribe is “doing it wrong.” 

Tell us a story of when babywearing saved your day.

Sterling, my three year old, tripped and banged his face on a chair leg. He ended up splitting his forehead and needed stitches. He was incredibly frightened at the emergency room and obviously he was in a lot of pain, but I was able to wrap him on snugly and hug him tightly to help him stay calm and still while the doctors numbed his head and stitched him up. I can’t imagine holding him down on a table while he cried for me – I was so glad they let me wrap him, and that I could! (By the way. Peroxide is a great way to get blood out of your wrap!)

What's your favorite carrier and why?

I just love my Wrapsody Haumea Breeze. I can stumble out of bed after a long night with a teething baby feeling absolutely horrible. But when I wrap up in my Haumea, I suddenly feel a little like a model. It’s trite, but it’s true. The colors are bright and cheerful and a little dressy, so every time I pass a mirror, I can’t help but smile.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s so comfortable and lightweight!

I saw that Zerberts is making an exclusive Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid this summer, though, and I can’t wait to buy one. The colors are some of my favorites, and I think the design is going to be gorgeous.


If you could design a Liz wrap, what would it look like?

I would love to design a tree of life wrap in deep, rich red-browns and greens. We took the kids to California to the Redwood Forest this year, and it was just unbelievable, standing among those trees. I’d love to have a wrap that celebrates that feeling of being deeply rooted, but reaching skyward.

What advice would you give new babywearing mothers?

Be kind to yourself, and take yourself on mini-adventures. Explore a walking path you’ve never seen before, or seek out a museum you hadn’t heard of. Also, find ways to work exercise into your day 5 minutes at a time while you’re wearing your baby. I have the Babywearing Workout DVD, and I really love it.

Liz in the Redwood Forest with her family.

Thank you Wrapsody for bringing Liz to life.  It was really cool to read her story and advice!



Love In Motion Mother's Day Giveaway


Wrapsody, The Babywearing Workout, and MamAmor dolls have teamed up to bring you a really unique Mother's Day giveaway!  Enter the Love In Motion Mother's Day Giveaway to win one of three amazing prize packages, including a grand prize package worth over $300!

http://healthylivingwithkelli.com/love-in-motion-mothers-day-giveaway/

 
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

2014 Guide to Summer Baby Carriers

Spring has had a slow start for some of us this year, but hot summer days will be here eventually and many are already wondering what babywearing is going to be like when the heat hits.   Babywearing in winter is a great way to keep your little one warm while you enjoy outdoor activities in the cold.  But when it's hot out, having a little body touching you is going to feel hot, no matter what.  Luckily, there are some carriers that are a little better at beating the heat than others.  While you still might get hot wearing your little one, these carriers can keep you and your baby a little more comfortable while babywearing this summer.

Before you start, check out our Warm Weather Babywearing post for general summer babywearing info as well as a break down of the pros and cons for each style of carrier.  When deciding what carrier to get for summer, you have to decide what your needs are.  If you have a little baby or a toddler that you only wear for a short period of time, a ring sling might be the best option.  But if you plan to do a lot of babywearing this summer, you'll probably want the comfort of a two should carrier like a mei tai, soft structured carrier (aka buckle carrier), or even a lighter wrap. 


Ring Slings
Ring slings are great for summer. They don't have as much fabric touching you and your baby as some carriers and they are great for quick carries when a busy toddler wants to be held for a few minutes and then wants down again. But ring slings are a one shoulder carrier and unless you are used to it, prolonged wearing with a ring sling can get uncomfortable since your child's weight will mostly be on one shoulder.


By nature, ring slings will be cooler just because of the lack of fabric, but some people prefer linen ring slings in summer.  Sakura Bloom, Comfy Joey, and Sleeping Baby Productions are some of the few brands that carry linen ring slings.  Wrap conversion slings made out of thin, light wraps like the Hoppediz jacquard wraps can also be breathable while being very comfortable.  These SweetPea Ring Slings are made from Wrapsody Bali Breeze wraps.  This lightweight gauze wraps are still breathable even as a double layer ring sling.  Maya Wrap ring slings are also nice for summer since the woven fabric is fairly breathable.

Realistically though, most ring slings are going to be fairly cool simply due to the open design, so unless you are planning to spend a large amount of time outside or live in a particularly hot area, you might was well just pick the ring sling you like most and will enjoy using year round!

Wraps
For the wrappers out there, you don't have to stop wrapping just because it's summer.  There are a lot of great wraps out there that are lighter and better in the heat. Wraps can be a great option for summer since there are so many different ways to use them. What carry you do will determine how much fabric is wrapped around you and baby and makes the biggest difference in how hot you'll feel.  You can find lots of different ways to wrap using The Babywearer's extensive wrap instructions links page or by purchasing wrap instruction media like the Wrapsody DVD or Hoppediz instruction booklet.

If you are looking for a woven, the thinness of the wrap is easily as important as the fiber used.  Many people get distracted thinking linen is cooler, but a thin cotton wrap can be as breathable and summer friendly as a linen wrap.  For example, the Hoppediz Chicago are thin, light weight, and breathable, making them perfect for summer even though they are cotton.  The EllaRoo and Amazonas Classic wraps are other thin cotton wrap brands. Vatanai and Didymos linens are other brands of lighter woven wraps that people recommend for warmer weather.



Wrapsody makes two wraps that are great for summer.  The Wrapsody Bali Breeze are gauze wraps that are very light and airy. You have to be more careful when wrapping a gauze wrap to avoid pressure points, but these wraps are very cool and lighter than a woven.  The Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid is thin with just the perfect amount of stretch to make them very comfortable, but they are not stretchy in the same way as a standard stretch wrap.  These hybrids can be used comfortably with older, heavier babies and allow you to safely do other carries, like back carries, that are not safe to do in a traditional stretch wrap.  But their thin lightness makes them a great option for summer.

If you just absolutely love stretch wraps though, or have a tiny baby you want to snuggle this summer, check out one made with a bamboo blend since bamboo tends to be a cooler fabric and helps wick moisture away.  Anaju, Happy Wrap and Lovey Duds all make bamboo stretch wraps and you can even make your own by purchasing a bamboo jersey at the fabric store.  The thinness of these brands makes them better than some of their thicker counterparts, but it also makes them stretchier and less supportive, so wrap tight!  Moby wraps aren't bamboo and are fairly heavy, but they do have some that offer extra UV protection if that is a concern for you.  Also, the Modern line of Moby wraps are thinner and lighter than their traditional wraps.

Mei Tais and Soft Structured Carriers
Mei Tais and soft structured carriers (buckle carriers) can be another good option for summer babywearing. If you wear your little one a lot and for long periods of time, you might want the support of a two shoulder carrier like these.


When looking for a Mei Tai or soft structured carrier, try to avoid anything made with heavy materials, lots of layers, or padding in the body panel. Thinner, narrower bodied carriers are going to allow more air around you and baby and help keep you both cooler.  You can also find carriers with panel of mesh or other extra venting material.

If you are looking for a buckle carrier designed specifically to be cooler, the Kinderpack with Koolnit is a summer favorite.  The Outback by Onya Baby and the ERGO Performance Baby Carrier are both made with mesh linings that wick away moisture. The BobaAir is a very light and thin option, though made out of nylon, so not as breathable as some carriers. The BobaAir does come in white now too!  And these carriers can't be beat for their portability.


If you prefer mei tais, Earthy Bliss has a wrap conversion mei tai called the Heavenly Breeze that has been designed to be light weight and cooler.  It is made using a single layer of woven wrap for the body panel, so it is lighter and more breathable than other conversions that are usually made with several layers of fabric.  Cotton mei tais, like those by CatBirdBaby or BabyHawk, are generally also decent light weight options, though some are made from thicker, heavier canvas materials, so make sure it's a lighter one if you are specifically looking for something for summer.

Water Carriers
A water carrier can be a really useful thing to own, especially in summer. These can be worn in the ocean or pool, as well as the shower. Many also provide some sun protection, but protection can vary. Water carriers can be found in a variety of styles, including stretch wraps, ring slings, and Mei Tais.


Wrapsody makes a stretch wrap water carrier with a UPF rating for 45.  SweetPea Ring Slings, Comfy Joey and TaylorMade Slings make mesh ring slings for use in water.  Mei Tais and buckle carriers designed for water are harder to find, but Connecta makes a Solarweave buckle carrier that is perfect for water use.

See our special blog post for more information about choosing a water carrier.

Sun Protection
As we mentioned, there are a few carriers that offer sun protection, but most do not.  Making sure your little babe doesn't burn is important while enjoying the summer together.  Make sure your baby has a hat, preferably one with a UPF rated fabric.  All fabrics will shade the skin, but just because a fabric offers enough shade to keep your baby from turning red doesn't mean that their sensitive skin is not still being damaged by the UV rays.  Some people also use umbrellas as portable shade.  You may look a little silly at the park, but your baby will thank you.

Tips and Tricks
Here's a few tricks to make babywearing in summer more comfortable.
  • Stay out of the sun!  Seems obvious, I know, but it's probably the single biggest thing you can do to stay cool.  Bring portable shade if you need to.  Umbrellas on a sunny day may look silly, but they feel nice.
  • Bring ice!  Ice feels great when it's hot.  Drink it, carry some ice water in a spray bottle, or soak a bandanna in it and drape it around your necks!  Some people like to put frozen gel packs between them and baby to stay cool, but make sure not to let baby's skin get too cold!
  • Dress light.  Strip baby down before putting them in the carrier.  You can always throw their onsie back on as soon as you take them out.
  • Cover up.  It sounds weird, but sometimes adding thin, breathable fabrics that keep the sun off your skin can actually make you feel cooler.  If being in the sun is unavoidable, draping a thin layer of sun friendly fabric over you and/or baby can save your skin from those hot rays.

Final thought
Summer is hot and having your baby touch you is never going to be cool. That being said, a little sweat never hurt anyone and it's worth the added convenience and snuggles you get in exchange! So find a carrier that makes you more comfortable and enjoy your summer!

For more general information on fabric options and carrier styles when choosing a summer carrier, see our Warm Weather Babywearing post.


Have a tip you'd like to share? Contact us, we'd love to hear it!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Price Increase for Wrapsody


Wrapsody has announced a small price increase for their wraps.  The new prices will go into affect Feb 1st, 2014.  If you know you plan to get one, you might as well buy before the price increase and save a few dollars.  But don't worry if you have to wait, it won't cost you more than $4.


Current
Feb 1st
Stretch-Hybrid$86.00
$89.00

Breeze
$79.00
$83.00

WrapDuO
$68.00
$69.00


Visit Zerberts to buy your Wrapsody wrap carrier!



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

MommyCon Chicago Giveaway!

MommyCon is coming to Chicago and we want you to go!  Enter to win a ticket for you AND a friend to attend MommyCon Chicago on March 1st, 2014.  As an added bonus, you get to select one of our exclusive baby carrier wraps by Wrapsody: Amethyst or Walden!

Not local?  Enter anyway for a chance to win one of our exclusive wraps!


MommyCon is a great event for moms and moms to be.  Vendors and speakers provide tons of information on a wide variety of topics and products.  Learn how to properly install car seats or try a variety of baby carriers in the Babywearing Lounge.  For more information on MommyCon Chicago, including time and location, visit the MommyCon Chicago page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last day to enter is Jan 19th.  Entries will be confirmed.  Any entry that can not be verified for any reason will be disqualified and will not be eligible to win.  Winners will be contacted but will not be announced until they are confirmed via email.

Free shipping inside the US.  International winners will be responsible for shipping costs and may be responsible for import fees and duties.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Support Babywearing Giveaway


As International Babywearing Week comes to an end, we want to continue the love and support by holding a special giveaway.  Win a free carrier for you AND the babywearing group of your choosing!  There are several ways to enter, including one entry for every dollar when you donate $5 or $10 to the Baby Carrier Industrial Alliance, Babywearing International or your local babywearing group.

Winners can choose to receive a free Olives & Applesauce, Action Baby Carrier, Wrapsody wrap, Oh Snap, Kalea Baby wrap conversion ring sling, CatBird Baby mei tai, or receive 50% off a Wrapture wrap conversion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last day to enter is Oct 26th.  Entries will be confirmed.  Any entry that can not be verified for any reason (e.i. if donation receipts are not provided) will be disqualified and will not be eligible to win.  Winners will be contacted but will not be announced until they are confirmed via email.

Free shipping inside the US.  International winners will be responsible for shipping costs
and may be responsible for import fees.


We Will Donate Too!

For the next week, we will donate 5% of any order from Zerberts to the babywearing group of your choosing!  Just enter the name of the group and the website in the comment section during checkout or email it to us and we will send them a donation.  Donation amounts will be deducted from any refunds that are given due to returned items.

Thank you for supporting babywearing and sharing the love! 
May you continue to get carried away!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thrifty Babywearing

Anyone that has ever even looked at buying a carrier knows that they can get pricey.  Of course there are a lot of factors that affect the pricing of these baby carriers, from quality materials, licensing costs, product safety testing, product registration cards, etc.  And the quality and piece of mind you get from these carriers is worth every penny.  However, sometimes you just don't have many pennies to spare and that should not stop you from babywearing!

You don't need a fancy carrier to wear your baby.  Babywearing can be done super cheaply, all you really need is a piece of cloth and the desire to make it work!  So whether you are crafty or not, we have thrifty babywearing options for anyone on a budget.

Use What You Have

Pretty much any piece of cloth can be used as a baby carrier.  People have used scarves, towels, even bed sheets as baby carriers!  Here's some great links for using what you already have to wear your baby!

WearYourBaby.com Improvised Carriers
Babywearing International of Birmingham - How to make a bed sheet baby sling (video)
theBabywearer.com - Wraparound Carrier Instructions Links and Info (instructions can be used with different lengths of fabric you already own)

Do It Yourself

Making your own carrier is actually not that hard, can be very inexpensive and some don't even require the use of a sewing machine!  When making your own carrier, make sure you do some research and get the correct materials.  Also, look up instructions for how to properly use your carrier since it won't come with instructions.  You will have to make sure you know how to safely use the carrier you make.

Wraps
You can easily make a no sew stretch wrap with some jersey fabric.  Actually, the width of the fabric is wide enough to make two by cutting lengthwise from one end of the fabric to the other.  And stretch jersey does not need to be hemmed or surged, just make sure the fabric you buy isn't too stretchy since it won't be supportive enough.

Non stretchy wraps can also be made without sewing, but depending on what fabric you choose, you may need to hem the edges.  Lots of people recommend Osnaburg fabric for making your own wrap, but there are a variety of fabrics you can use, all with their own pros and cons.  If you purchase a fabric that need to be hemmed but don't want to do it yourself, most tailors can do it for about $10 which can still save you a ton.

To make your own wrap, check out these sites:
Make-Baby-Stuff.com - Stretchy wrap instructions
WearYourBaby.com - Stretchy and non stretchy no sew wraps

Ring Slings
Ring slings can be simple to make with both sew and no sew options available.  The most important things to consider when making a ring sling is to buy the correct fabric and proper rings.  Craft rings and metal rings that are welded (not solid) are not safe for babywearing.  Sling Rings are widely recommended and widely used by the babywearing community for making ring sling.

To make your own ring sling, check out these instructions:
Jan Andrea No-Sew Ring Sling
Jan Andrea Simple, Un-padded Sling
Maya Wrap Sew Your Own Sling

Mei Tais
Making a mei tai takes a bit more work and skill.  If you have a sewing machine and some time, then you can likely make a simple mei tai.  Here's some instructions for different DIY mei tai carriers:
Jan Andrea - Making a Mei Tai
Becoming Mamas - Let’s Make a Mei Tai (or Onbu)!! Part I and Part II

More
Here's some more resources for those of you interested in making a DIY baby carrier.
Becoming Mamas -  Adventures in Carrier Making: A Brief Guide to DIY Babywearing
Jan Andrea at Home
The Babywearing Sewing and Improvising Baby Carriers


Buying Used


Buying a used baby carrier is always an option.  Some people are able to find them at Good Will, Salvation Army, or other second hand stores.  These are usually a really good price, but don't come up often and can be hard to find.  But if you already shop at these places, make sure you do a quick scan to see if there are any baby carriers tucked anywhere.  Hint: wraps and ring slings are not always with baby stuff because not everyone knows that they are baby carriers!

There are also swap boards on The Babywearer and all over Facebook and the internet where people sell and trade used carriers.  The problem with the swap boards is that most brands hold their value insanely well, so it can sometimes be really hard to find something if your budget is super strict.  But if you are not picky about the brand or even if it's a home made carrier, then you can usually find something.  Just make sure that any home made carrier has been safely constructed using safe materials.  Watch for things like single layer quilting cotton carriers or carriers that don't have reinforced stitching at the weight baring seams.  Also, ring slings should always have solid metal rings, not welded rings or craft rings.


Buying on a Budget

On a budget, but still want to buy something?  There are lots of options out there for carriers that are affordable brand new.  Make sure when looking for a deal that you are buying from a member of the BCIA or someone that is CPSIA compliant, otherwise you are getting a lower cost at the expense of complying with safety regulations.

Buckle Carriers
Buckle carriers tend to cost a little more because they are more complex and require more materials.  But their are still some brands out that there are available at amazingly low prices right off the shelf, so sales needed!
BobaAir $65
Moby GO $79.95
Action Baby Carrier $98

Mei Tai
Basic Mei Tais can be found for really good prices.  The Babywearing Essentials mei tai by Catbird Baby is one example of a simple mei tai carrier at a value price.

Ring Slings
Some ring slings can be purchased under $50 from places like Sleeping Baby Productions.  Maya Wraps are also a great deal at $74.95 if you are looking for something a little more comfortable than a single or double layer of standard cotton.

Wraps
Wraps can get pricy, but there are many amazing brands out there that are a really good value right out of the box.  Stretch wraps are generally the most affordable, but they are also less supportive for older babies.  The Wrapsody wraps are a really great price for someone interested in wrapping, but wanting to try it out before spending a lot on a wrap.  Hoppediz and C&C are other amazing brands of woven wraps that both cost right around $100.


So whether you make your own, buy used, or just want a more affordable brand, there are options for everyone.  Anyone can babywear on any budget, so look for an option that fits yours!