Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If you're a beginner...

here are some tips from experienced babywearers that may be helpful...

I said... "working on post for beginners on ... what tips would you give someone just starting out?"

emilye:  If you can't figure a carrier out, don't just give up & throw in the towel. Seek help from a babywearing group!
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlstristina_wright:  Walk and bounce immediately. Don't stand there admiring yourself in the mirror. Baby will get fussy.
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlstea4tamara:  Sometimes babies fuss at first. Practice when they aren't hungry or tired. Once baby is in the carrier, get moving! :)

ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser ControlsKt_Ri: experiment without a baby first, use a mirror & relax so the baby can too :)

ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser ControlsJoyfulAbode: if possible find a #babywearing "mentor" locally. If not, YouTube vids are your friend. Also if they don't like one style it doesn't mean they don't like #babywearing. They should try other styles of carriers before giving up on it.

  posielove Don't give up just bc baby fusses in beginning. It's new and takes practice!
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser ControlsSoleilSelene:  don't get a Bjorn! =)  
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser ControlsAVPH: don't give up. If one carrier doesn't work then try try again! 

ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlshollinsgirl7:  Watch YouTube videos or hook up with a group. Seeing it done makes it easier to do and then practice, practice, practice. 
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser ControlsMamanADroit:  glossary! I didn't really know anyone who use baby carriers & didn't know lingo at all-like what's an SSC? or front vs back vs hip carries, or mei teis vs woven wraps. It can be confusing for newbies!
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlsmomnonymous:  Your baby may fuss the first time or two, but patting his butt through the carrier will help him relax!

ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlskykaree:  seek help, find slingmeets or a babywearing mum, don't just buy something on the internet and struggle alone
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlssheaisawesome:  ignore all the haters and weird looks. It's what's best for your baby and that's all that matters

ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlssmola04:  practice carries on your bed so if baby falls, it's not a crisis. :)
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlsjenboss: That it takes practice. Follow your instincts. Also, it is so helpful for those fussy times when nothing else works. Also. It pays off for when they are mobile. Keeps them safe and near.
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlslakeline: Try lots of different things, I hated pouches/slings but loved wraps.

ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser ControlsTheSaisquoi:  Be Brave! Don't think it isn't working if the baby cries immediately- #babywearing takes practice for both Mamas & Babes!
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser Controlssoozenw:  Take it slow, try different carriers, and have a spotter in the beginning!
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser ControlsSummerLoveMommy:  not to give up, it takes a little practice for both you and baby! And it's okay to re-wrap a few times until your comfy
AzureSkyyes get someone with experience to help you. Start young. Start with small amounts of time. Start with a content baby!
ReTweetAdd to FavoritesUser ControlsMomtoperfection:  Don't give up if they don't like it. And try as many types of carriers as you can!

What tips would you add for beginning babywearers?  Or what problems did you have starting out?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#babywearing on Twitter chat!

Tuesday 8-10pm EST is #babywearing chat! Can we trend? Maybe! Will we have fun? Definitely! :)  No RSVP is needed, just show up and have a good time!  I'll be tweeting lots of links to some of the amazing babywearing stories that have been shared this week during International Babywearing Week (round up post coming as well tomorrow!), as well as safety tips and fun conversation topics.  Join us!  :)

And, if just talking about #babywearing wasn't exciting enough,  HugaMonkey is donating a carrier to be given away to one of our participants!

We have a chocolate brown HugaMonkey that we were given to try out (Thanks, HugaMonkey!) and it is a great grab and go carrier! 

My husband used it quite a bit with our daughter while our son was hospitalized... it was perfect for quickly getting on the move and having free hands.
So, to sum up, we'll talk about #babywearing, have a grand old time, and give away a carrier!  Will you be there? :)

(If you've never participated in a Twitter party, it's easy!  First, if you don't have a Twitter account, sign up.  Then, tweet "I love #babywearing!" and you'll notice that #babywearing is highlighted after you post it.  Click on that, and it will take you to the #babywearing stream... with all the tweets tagged with the #babywearing tag!  That's where we'll be chatting 8-10pm EST, so hop over and join us for a fun discussion!)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Babywearing Needs YOU

Every family has a story, and babywearing is intertwined through ours.  We knew from the first awestruck moments after birth that this precious little one needed us and we scooped him in and never wanted to let him go.

Unfortunately, we didn't really want to let the laundry, dishes, housework, etc, completely go to pot either.  Also, our arms got tired.  He was born 8 pounds, 3 ounces and gained a pound a week for his first several weeks of life!

So babywearing entered our lives, and we are profoundly grateful for the connection, for the ease, for the bonding, for the portability, for the natural-ness, of the babywearing way of life.

From chasing cows to coping with a child in the hospital, babywearing is an integral part of how we parent.

Our first baby, pictured in the first two pictures, is now 2 1/2, and most of the time much happier to be on his own two feet (which is fine with us, since he's also 30 pounds now)! 

Our second baby, who was born 12 months after our first, is in the next photo solo and in the one after being worn with her older brother.  By the time she came along, I'd really found my babywearing groove, and was excited to be able to wear her a lot more than her brother. Tandem babywearing really made our year of two under two much, much easier.

When our second was born, our first had been walking for a week.  There was no way he could toddle all the way across a parking lot, far less walk through a store.  And if you've ever tried to navigate a stroller through a crowded, treasure laden thrift store (starting by getting in, the doors aren't automatic!), you'll understand why strapping 35 pounds of baby to your torso is comparatively easy.

I didn't want to be homebound just because I had two very small children, and thanks in large part to babywearing, I wasn't.

And I not only shed the baby weight pretty quickly (try squatting down to get a can on a bottom shelf at the discount grocery with 35 pounds of extra weight and you'll see why!), I enjoyed making fun memories with them at the same time.

When we recently found out that we're expecting #3 next spring, among all of the wonderful things we're looking forward to one of them is wearing a snuggly little newborn again!  My husband laughed at me when I said that... and then later admitted that he's really looking forward to getting to babywear a newborn too!  He loves the Moby wrap, and this time around I'm trading another carrier with a cousin for a pretty indigo Moby.  Can't wait!

I know I've been rather silent around here, between morning sickness, a horrific cold *achoo!*, and a broken camera, so you might be wondering what brought me out of the woodwork today.

Babywearing is in crisis, and just as babywearing helped us, we need to turn around and help the babywearing industry stay beautiful, vibrant, and diverse.

While I've made many of my own carriers, not every mama can, and we need a variety of big and small babywearing businesses that can provide those families with the tools they need.  When I'm stopped on the street and asked about my carriers, frequently I say, "I made this one, but you can buy a similar one from (fill in the blank depending on the type.)"  Often that person will write it down or take one of my babywearing cards with more information.

Losing those businesses due to expensive testing, prohibitive regulation, or sheer bureaucracy is not acceptable. 

What will I do if I can't refer them to somewhere they can buy a similar carrier anymore? Or if eventually even sharing patterns and tutorials for DIY carriers is curtailed because of regulation?  How will that harm babywearing?  Quite frankly, I don't know and I don't want to find out.

Long story short, the CPSC is trying to regulate the babywearing industry, and there is a huge risk that many of our favorite carriers will go the way of the buffalo (or Hotslings.)

 Babywearing is a safe, traditional way of parenting babies, and the CPSC needs to let parents parent.  Babywearing is a parenting choice, and by restricting our access to carriers, the CPSC is going to limit our ability as parents to choose what we feel is best for our babies.  This is totally unacceptable.

Please go connect with the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance on Facebook to stay updated with what is going on and how you can help!  All babywearers really need to rally and unite right now.  As things develop we may need to write letters or make phone calls, but right now, we need to connect, share our stories, and speak out about the joys of babywearing. 

If you are a blogger, the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance needs you... please go here and read their call to action - and then act on it!  We need to be very vocal right now about how important babywearing is to us! If you do write a post, be sure to post it on the BCIA Facebook page AND put it on the linky over at Adventures in Babywearing... Steph is going to randomly choose a linky participant to win a Sakura Bloom ring sling, so you definitely don't want to miss out on that! 

Also, if you share your babywearing story and link up at the Wrapsody Baby blog you'll be entered to win a Gypsy Mama microfleece wrap (perfect for fall!)

Important update 10/4/10: Action needed: 

A recall of a major baby carrier is being forced through this week in a very underhanded way.  Word on the babywearing street is that this is not an unsafe carrier and the CPSC has overstepped their bounds in how they've gone about this.  If you are represented by any one of these legislators listed here, PLEASE call and write them.  More details over at the link, please take the time to read and act.  If this can happen to one carrier, it can happen to them all.  All our carriers are in jeopardy.