Can You Hike In It: Smitten Gertie Mesozoic

Before I review this wrap, I need to provide full disclosure. I met the owners of Smitten. They lived in the Bay Area the same time I did and I ran into at various local babywearing/mutual friend things. I am also currently a Brand Ambassador for this company. That being said, I would not be working with a company if I didn’t think the owners were good people with good business practices.

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I let Jack pick a new wrap this time, he’s been jealous that little brother has been doing all the babywearig lately. I showed him Smitten’s website and he instantly yelled, “DINOSAURS!”. I asked what color, he yelled, “BLUE!!”. Little did he know he picked the new color!

Manufacturer: Smitten With Wovens
Colorway: Gertie Mesozoic 
Color: Blue, Sky blue, ecru, and white.
Pattern Dinosaur Sketches  
Size: 7 (base +2 for me)
Materials: 100% cotton
Weave: Jacquard
Release date: October 2016

This wrap was design after Gertie the Dino, one of the first animated cartoons ever made. There a few other colors in the Gertie line, but this is the first multiple color wrap—going from blue to ecru gradient lengthwise. It’s very busy visually, but the dinosaurs are not lost in the pattern. I was really blown away by the shades of blue when I opened the package, very rich and calming. It got chucked into the wash right away so it could go on a fun adventure the next day.

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Entrance Arch

Location: Evergreen Aviation Nature Trail  
Distance:  1.1 miles
Trail Type:  Paved concrete
Weather: Raining  
Trail Conditions: Wet and muddy

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Very well maintained trail

A few weeks ago we went to Evergreen Aviation and I noticed a little trail at the rear of the parking lot. First thought was, “I should bring Jack here on a day when he’s driving me crazy.” And that what I did! He was driving me crazy all week, so I called up my friend who lived near by and set-up a playdate for all our munchkins to run around.

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The woods have nice picnic benches spread throughout

The trail is paved and well-maintained. It’s sponsored and dedicated to the Boy Scouts. It’s essentially a short figure eight loop through a small woods. Nothing fancy, but a lovely little stroll for families. Great for walking toddlers (if you don’t mind them getting a bit muddy if they step off the trail).

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It was POURING when we arrived

We did 3 laps total in a Front Wrap Cross Carry with a Twist. Smittens are wider wraps, so it was a bit harder to make a a seat and tighten with so much fabric on a smaller baby. I did the twist so I didn’t put too much pressure on Bear’s little legs by going under them.

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See how the wrap is bunched/folded under his bottom?

I ended up having to fold the wrap at the bottom a bit before I made a seat to make it fit right. As for tightening, I really had to do small strand by small strand. Half inch sections instead of inch sections to get it tightened properly. Not a big deal overall though.

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Stayed tight the whole time

During the walk, I never had to adjust the wrap once I got it tightening properly. Bear was in it for 3 straight hours and it stayed very comfortable. Smittens tend to be smushy soft and cushiony, but this one has a tiny bit of grip to hold it in place as well. Even held up when we had to chase big brother around the playground.

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Kept him happy while I taught some babywearing

The next day we took Mesozoic out again in the same carry for babywearing playdate, and it was much easier to tighten after being broken in some. I bet this wrap will be very easy to tighten despite the smushy factor once broken in fully. And, considering there was notably better after one use, I bet it will be broken-in in no time.

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He was so happy to be in “his” new wrap. Look at the wide knee-to-knee support

That night I let Jack stay up later to watch a movie when Bear went to bed. As soon as I came back into the living room to start the movie, he walked to me holding Mesozoic with one tear coming down his cheek (kid you not, he has a flare for the dramatic). He said, “This was for me. Can I have an uppy now? Please?” I felt horrible and put him immediately up on my back in a Double Hammock. Pulled his arms in and snuggled up, and fell asleep 5 minutes into the movie. I decided to keep him up while I watched more of the movie, to keep him my baby for a little bit longer.

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Secure chest pass. And who doesn’t love dino boobs?

I was very comfortable, I had him sleeping on me for an hour with no pain or pressure points. The chest pass stayed tight and the whole time.

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Smushy soft support with a giant toddler

This was wrap was amazing for a toddler! Jack is a tall kid, the width was perfect to make a deep, knee-to-knee seat with his long legs. And it was even easier to tighten than in the morning. This wrap is seriously easy to break in.

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So much wrap for a little guy

I decided to give it a try one more time with Bear before I did this review since it was more broken in. I did a new carry that required a lot of tightening, a Front Double Hammock with a Twist.

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So happy all snuggled and secure

As I started to do the carry, I ran into the problem of it being so wide that I couldn’t get a good seat on Bear again. I had to fold the wrap down under his bottom again. It definitely tightened easier, but it was just still a lot of fabric for such a little guy. I decided to tie off with a twist again, because I worried it would put too much pressure on his legs again. He was asleep in minutes and I was super comfortable. It also pleats very nicely, making the shoulder flips easy to achieve and tighten.

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The key features of this wrap are the width and subtle grip. The width makes it harder to work with on a smaller baby, but is AMAZING for toddlers. But regardless of child size, once you get the carry tightened, the wrap will stay in place. I credit this grip to the dinosaur patterns itself. Those little stitched dinos grip to each other like magic.
Can you hike in a Smitten Gertie Mesozoic? This a great carrier for a infant to toddler, especially on a cold rainy day in the Northwest! It is very soft for great overall comfort. It will stay very supportive even with a wiggly toddler. However, it is a bit wide for a newborn. You can get a good wrap job with a smaller baby if you take your time. Plus, your toddler might love being wrapped in dinosaurs!

 

Can You Hike In It? Firespiral Autumn Dendron Harvest

Falling leaves, deep brunt orange colors, and squirrels running playfully. This wrap is a lovely cool weather carrier. I was very excited to host this wrap for some Oregon Fall adventure.

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Manufacturer: FireSpiral Slings

Colorway: Autumn Dendron Harvest
Color: Orange, red, purple
Pattern: Trees, leaves, and squirrels 
Size: 6 (Base +1 for me)
Materials: 100% cotton
Weave: Jacquard
Release date: September 2015

img_8505Right away I smiled at the squirrels. I love when carriers have fun little details like this. The deep warm colors are so inviting. And it’s thick and soft like a blanket. I was excited for some newborn hiking snuggles.

img_8136Dendron Harvest went for a very fun trip to the Columbia River Gorge while my in-laws were visiting. Multnomah Falls is truly an Oregon treasure. The fourth highest falls in America, and only 30 minutes from Portland.

Location: Multnomah Falls 
Distance:  0.78 miles
Trail Type:  Paved concrete
Weather: Raining and windy  
Trail Conditions: Wet, muddy and busy 

img_8113Of course, it had to be POURING down rain when we got there. But Oregonians always do it in the rain, so just bundled up everyone and headed out anyways. The falls themselves are just a short walk from the parking lot.

img_8108Then another short but switchbacking hike takes you to the bridge at the first falls. Michael, Jack, Bear and I ran up that one while everyone else checked out the gift shop. img_8117It’s a well maintained, paved trail with some wooden bridges along the way. It is not toddler friendly, the trail has steep drop offs and is not smooth. Please take your toddlers and babies (it’s a beauty they need to see!), but keep them in carriers at all times.

img_8130 img_8126It was very crowded at the bridge, EVERYONE was posing for photos and clogging up the bridge. We quickly snapped the best one we could and ran back down.

I wore Bear in a Front Wrap Cross Carry with a Twist. He was warm and fell asleep in minutes. This wrap is seriously like snuggling in a big soft blanket.
img_8138Then we had lunch in the lodge, and of course Jack finished quickly. He begged me to go wander so I took Bear out the waiting area to nurse while Jack looked around. That went to hell quickly,so as soon as Bear finished, I had to wrap them both up to keep the place from being destroyed.

img_8143So, I did my first tandem carry with the same wrap! I put Jack on my back in a Ruck Tied Tibetan, and took the Tibetan Passes to do a Front Cross Carry with Bear. It was sooo comfortable, and I credit a lot of that to the cushion of the wrap. However, it was a bit hard to pull the Cross Passes up around Bear at first because of the thickness, but I got it done. We walked back to the parking lot with pride.

img_8789Two weeks later, we went on another awesome adventure—Halloweentown! I totally forgot last year that the movie was filmed in St. Helens, Oregon. But this year I made sure to take my family. I realized this wrap was the perfect colors for the occasion!

img_8793img_8831Bear strolled around town in a Front Wrap Cross Carry with a Twist (and I had to do my tutorial video at the plaza with all the decorations).

img_8849 Later Jack decided his legs couldn’t work anymore, so I put him up in a Front Cross Carry. The wrap was very supportive for his 27-pound butt and long legs.

img_8506The key feature of this wrap is the design. How can you not love the squirrels and falling leaves? And the deep brunt orange color just pulls it all together. It’s thick like your favorite winter blanket, but tightens easily for lots of support. It can be a bit hard to spread out when bunched or tightened though. And I would not recommend doing carries where the thick wrap goes under a newborn’s delicate legs.

img_8845 Can you hike with a FireSpiral Autumn Dendron Harvest? Yes! This a great cool weather wrap for all ages. Even when bolting up a switchbacking trail on a rainy day or containing a bouncing toddler, this a great hiking wrap.

 

Newborn Front Wrap Cross Carry with a Twist

A Front Wrap Cross Carry is a wonderful basic carry, both beginners and experts come back to time and time again.

But, the crossing the passes under a newborn’s tiny little legs can add too much pressure. A simple lexi twist under baby’s bottom instead secures the carry without any added pressure.

This carry is done with a base +1 wrap.

 

Amateur Geologist’s Take On Amber Teething Necklaces

I have wanted to write this post for a long time. I get asked often about Jack’s Baltic amber teething necklace. He was worn one pretty much continuously since 6-months-old.  It’s cute little hippy-looking little piece of jewelry. Nothing fancy really. But it supposedly holds great healing powers.

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Happy little geologist!
In addition to babywearing, rocks are my other passion in life. Gems, minerals, stones, boulders, formations—whatever you call them. They fascinate me! It’s literally the creation and destruction of the Earth, what’s not to love? I even got second degree in geology after I already graduated from college because I love rocks so much.

So, when I first heard about amber teething necklaces, I was intrigued. A rock that magically alleviates pain? Sounds like some snake oil. I believe in quite a bit of naturopathic methods as long as they backed up by some quality evidence. Here is a nice site the sums up how Baltic Amber works. In a nut shell, put the necklace on under clothes, it will heat up with body temperature then release succinic acid, your body absorbs it and relieves the pain.

I need to be honest here. THIS IS THE CRAZIEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD! Succinic acid does not secrete out of Amber at body temperature. Rocks don’t release elements or compounds unless it is heated, under pressure, or dissolved in solution. In this case, the claimed mechanism is heat so I will focus on that. Every rock has a melting point, when it goes from solid to liquid. During the process, components of the rock break free. 

Amber’s melting point is 570 degrees F and succinic acid’s is 363 degrees F. So even when amber starts to melt, succinic acid probably isn’t even the first component to come out.  And, if human external body temperature is about 93.2 degrees F, that means it’s over 250 degrees short of melting against your skin.

So for this reason, I call snake oil. There is no way Baltic Amber teething necklaces work the way they claim. It just not possible, that’s not how rocks work at all. All that being said, I totally believe in them. However they work, they totally work. Jack is my proof.

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“Right there mom, it hurts right here.”
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“Now it’s back here, mom”
 

Jack is the slowest teether ever. He started around 4-months-old, but didn’t actually cut a tooth until he was about 8-months-old. He’s 2 and half-years-old now, and still waiting on 3 molars! And teething makes him very grumpy.

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*nom nom* your hand makes my mouth better
Constantly wanting to comfort nurse and chew on my hand. And the minute I would take my breast or hand away, he would be furious. I tried many other teething remedies like numbing gel, clove oil, frozen teething toys, cold wash cloth,. etc. I tried to avoid pain medicine unless baby has a fever—but I would give it to him almost every day to keep him happy.

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Happy with his necklace on.
I can’t remember where I heard about Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces, but it was when he was around 6-months-old. I ran to my local baby boutique and bought one. I put it on outside the store and took Jack out to lunch nearby. He sat happily in the high chair and ate his lunch. I stared at him the whole time, waiting for him to scream to nurse. But he stayed happy. He napped happily when we got home. Even my husband asked why he was so happy at dinner that night. However, the necklace wasn’t totally magic. When the tooth actually cut through, he was grumpy again that day and needed pain medicine.

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Not a happy teething camper
I know it could be coincidence. But when the second and third tooth cut at the same time, he was not wearing the necklace and it was horrible. I had taken it off when he went swimming and forgot to put it back on. That week he was a monster even with pain medicine.

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Back on and happy
I could not figure out why and was going crazy with his behavior. Then one day Michael asked where his necklace was and I realized it was still in the swim bag. I put it on him and a little while later he was calm again. This pattern continued any time I forgot to put the necklace back on him. Monster without it and calm again with it.

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Worst two weeks ever without the necklace
The greatest test of the necklace was when we moved to Oregon. Jack took his necklace off on the road trip to play with it and it got lost in the car. For two weeks, he was teething mess with 4 teeth cutting. Drooling, sucking anything he could get in his mouth, comfort nursing constantly, and just general grumpiness.

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A few days later with necklace on and so happy.
Then my friend FrogMama send Jack one and became my life saver! He went back to his happy self in no time. The necklace pretty much stayed on him constantly for the next year and I think it helped a lot. I didn’t even realize he was cutting his canines until one day I heard a pop sound and he started crying.

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Kept it glued to him for the next year and he had very little teething drama
So how do they work? I have no idea. I’ve heard two theories that seem more reasonable to me. One is acupressure. That the necklace is sitting on pressure point on the neck that goes to the jaw and teeth. However, I argue that necklaces move around (especially with a crazy toddler), so I am not sure how accurate this theory could be. The second is a subject I’ve never looked into before (please tell me if you know more), intentions.

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See, moves to the side often.
A mom I chatted with at an indoor play place has an interesting  theory: Intention. She was studying Eastern Medicine and explained the concept. The idea that you are placing your love and good intentions creates a placebo effect, relieving the pain. This could explain why the necklaces have no perceived effect on some. If you don’t think they will work, then of course they wont. I have no idea if that’s the case, but’s it makes more sense to me than acid magically comes out when ever so slightly warmed.

 

img_4572Like I said, however they work, they work. If you have any more evidence or suggestions on how they work, please comment below!

Check out this blog post too.

Full Disclosure 

Vegan Babymama is a website, blog, YouTube channel, and various social media owned and operated by myself, Samantha Reddy. 

My purpose is to promote lifestyle choices I believe in. This includes, but is not limited to, veganism, babywearing, breastfeeding, gentle parenting, natural parenting, allergy awareness, and natural childbirth. My intent is inform others of these ideas—never to judge those who do not /cannot follow these ideas. 

The opinions expressed through Vegan Babymams are solely my own and are my true beliefs. If I promote or support a product or brand, it is because I truly believe in it and it helps promote my lifestyle ideals. 

I am a brand ambassador for Wraspody Baby, Soul Slings, and Smitten Wraps currently. I support them of my own free will because I like the products and business practices. They pay me in products. I have reviewed/tested for other companies of my own free will and received no compensation. 

I have also worked for Mommycon and plan to do so again if the opportunity arises. I am trained in babywearing from the Center for Babywearing Studies and Babywaring International. I promote these organizations of my own free will as well. 

Other promotions are also done of my own free will and are only products I personally like and use. 

I promise to give honest opinions and review of all products. If I feel the product is problematic or unsafe, I will not review it but provide that feedback to manufacturer. 
Please contact me with any questions.  Thank you. 

Newborn Wrap Strap Meh Dai Legs-Out

I am in love with a Wrap Strap Meh Dai for a newborn. So easy and so supportive!

Here is how I like to do it. I cinch in the base of the panel with a string (make sure you carrier is approved for this first, a simple email to the manufacturer will answer this question). I also spread the passes wide to close up the sides and support baby with no torso control.

Check it out!

Toddlerwearing: Best Seat

You finally made it to toddlerhood! They are (hopefully) sleeping through the night, feeding themselves, and saying good-bye to diapers. But this newfound independence may make wearing a challenge. Having to chase them into the carrier. Hair pulling or being smacked with random toys. Or seat popping in protest of leaving the park. A whole new set of challenges in wearing now.

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Toddler in arms, supported knee-to-knee under his bottom.
The basic safety rules of babywearing still apply. The carrier should mimic how you would hold your toddler in your arms. Still high and tight—low and loose would start killing your back after a short while. High and tight on your body helps distribute their weight more evenly across your whole torso. Low and loose puts all the strain on your lower back. You would never (willingly) hold your toddler like that, it just wouldn’t be comfortable for you. Your toddler’s should also be supported knee to knee, with the carrier coming at least up to their shoulder blades. This mimics the way you would probably hold them, forearm under the bottom and the other arm over their upper back to keep them tight to your body (to keep them from escaping).

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Knee-to-Knee support, carrier supporting up to shoulders.
I’ve heard some wearers say that ring slings are not good for toddlers. The one shoulder carry can start to hurt your back as your child gets heavier, their weight isn’t evenly distributed. I argue that a one shoulder carry could hurt your back at any weight when wearing for long periods. Especially if you do not have the carrier adjusted properly. Personally, I don’t like ring slings for wearing for more than an hour continuously.I wore my newborn for a short hike the other day and my shoulder was hurting towards the end. It’s the design of the carrier, not the weight of the child.

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One shoulders can be very comfortable short-term when done properly.
I think ring slings (I am using a Wrapsody Jareth) are great carriers for toddlers actually. Prep the carry on your body so you all ready to put them up when needed. If you can catch them, simply open the bottom rail and slide the carrier over their head to get them in the carrier quickly (I call this the trap and secure). You can let them out similarly, loosen the bottom rail and let them gently slide out (useful for random crying fits that magically stops when they see a cookie).  On your hip, they can see forward to appease their curiosity, without totally limiting your range of movement. But they can still tuck their head in for that elusive nap. Ring slings are a simple choice for toddlers. Pull the sling up over their back, then tighten and go! No buckles to reach for or passes to spread.

14571999_733111423512914_1032024640_oThe key to a successful ring sling with a toddler is good seat. Get a decent amount of fabric between your bodies, this makes it harder for them to pop the seat when they wiggle. Getting the fabric knee to knee will keep your toddler in a spread-squat position, keeping both your and them comfortable.

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High, tight and secure. Rucks are simply and supportive for toddlers.
I’ve also heard wearers say that a Ruck is a terrible back carry for toddler (I am using a Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid Nammy O/S). The single layer pass isn’t supportive enough for all the toddler wiggles and the seat can easily be popped as they bounce around. I argue that any carry, multilayered or not, can be popped if your kiddo tries hard enough.

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Even though he is a major seat popper, this properly secured seat stayed in place.
A ruck is very supportive at any weight if you get a nice deep seat.  It mimics the way you might hold your toddler on your back, both arms under their bottom. Most toddlers have great torso control and don’t need an arm to hold them upright, just a place to sit their bottoms and secure their legs.

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Knee-to-knee with the bunch passes pinning it in place. Close to unpoppable.
The key to a good Ruck is a supportive seat. There has been some discussion about whether a seat needs to be deep or just knee-to-knee. My personal experience is that both matter. A good amount of fabric between you and the wigglemonster will make it harder to keep the seat from popping. And knee-to-knee support will more evenly distribute your toddler weight across your body, making it more comfortable for you.

14550929_733111436846246_192839500_oEnjoy those toddler wrap snuggles while you can! They may act all big, but they are till your babies who need you once and awhile!

Newbornwearing: Best Seat

Let me fill you in on a little secret for newbornwearing—the key is a supportive seat. Well, actually that’s the key for babywearing in general. A good seat can look different depending on the type of carrier and the carry. But in general, baby should be in a position similar to how you would hold them in your arms long term.

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Newborn natural position, legs tucked up higher than bottom.

You would probably cradle their legs up, making baby smaller and easier to carry. You would place your hands or arms on their bottom or torso, keeping their body fully supported. What I just described follows the standard rules of babywearing safety: high, tight, knees higher than bum. . These rules weren’t made up at random, they follow you and your baby’s natural tenancies. Let’s take a look at the seat on a few different newborn wrap carries and see how the mimic being held.

14536817_732795796877810_1536960892_oFront Wrap Cross Carry Legs In. [Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid Brishen O/S] Recently, there has  been a push baby’s legs being out right from birth. People stating legs in could put pressure on baby’s hips, causing hip issues. There is no evidence to support at this time. Think about how you hold baby, do you spread out baby’s legs every time pick them up? Or do you naturally let them fall where they may and just cradle them up for support? Maybe they are tucked up beside them or maybe they in a spread-squat position. I can say from personal experience my oldest’s legs were stuck tucked up until he was 3-months-old. I couldn’t get him to do legs out without him screaming. And my youngest can do either right now, just depends on the day really. So I don’t see the need to shun all legs-in carries. If that’s baby’s natural position in arms, why go against it in a carrier?

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Carry supports the natural C shape of baby’s spine.
There are a few things to watch out for when placing baby legs-in a torso pass like that in a Front Wrap Cross Carry. The wrap should support the natural C shape of baby’s spine, with hips rotated towards your body.

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Weight resting on baby’s bottom, no pressure on feet.
Legs in the a frog-leg position, knees higher than bottom with feet parallel to ground. The cross passes should close off the bottom of the torso pass, preventing baby from slipping out the bottom. These steps will ensure baby is in a natural position without any unnecessary pressure on little hips or feet.

14550544_732795813544475_28503068_oFront Wrap Cross Carry with a Twist. [Wrapsody Breeze Dinah] Some babies are born with legs uncurled, so legs-out from the start is a wonderful choice. However, for some babies bringing the cross passes under baby’s legs in a basic Front Wrap Cross Carry can puts too much pressure on their little legs. If you were holding baby, you probably wouldn’t place your arm under baby’s legs, awkwardly pushing them away from your body. This is not an natural position, so not the best carry for some babies. A lexi twist under baby’s bottom secures the bottom of the torso pass while bringing the cross passes away from baby’s little legs.

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A Lexi Twist under baby’s bottom to secure the torso pass.
This a simple variation that even a beginner can easily achieve. Once baby is in and the wrap tightened, instead of a just once, cross several times—I usually do 3 to 4 times—under baby’s bottom into a twist. Then take the tails behind you like normal and tie. The key is to keep the tension while twisting so baby stays high and tight.

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From the side, you can see that the seat is not terribly deep, but secured nonetheless. No need to add stress to tiny newborn legs.
Also note that even though baby’s legs are spread out, the area between them is still small. Not much room to get a lot of fabric between you and baby. For this reason logistical reason, don’t stress about making a deep seat with a newborn. You should have some fabric between going between baby’s knees so baby is bottom is supported (like how you might place baby’s bottom on your forearm).But no need to stress about mastering a deep seat yet, this a crucial skill you can work on later.

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Pocket Wrap Cross Carry Facing Forward Outward.
[Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid Kailani]  Oh, the controversial facing forward. In a nutshell, there are several arguments for not facing baby forward. It can be overstimulating, uncomfortable for wearer and wearee, no head or neck support, you cannot see baby’s need cues, and not ideal position for sleeping. I agree with most of these claims. It can be overstimulating if you kept baby in that position all the time. You might naturally hold your baby facing out for a short while, but you probably wouldn’t hold like that for a long time—and probably not while moving around. It would be hard to keep baby secure. You would probably turn them to face you eventually. But, you would do this holding baby, so it is reasonable to do this in a carrier. It is a bit harder to see if baby is giving you any signs or cues, but it’s not impossible. Just pause and take the best look you can—just like you need to do with baby facing towards you as well.

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Left: legs dangling and spine stretched out, not a natural position. Right: Hips rotated, knees higher than bottom, and spine in a natural C shape. Baby is also high, tight, and close enough to kiss.
If the wrap is supporting baby in the optimal high and tight position with knees higher than bottom, then it can be comfortable for both baby and you. If you were holding baby facing out, you would probably hold baby up high with their bottom on your forearm lifting knees higher than bottom. This would boost up baby high enough to fairly easily see baby’s cues. Even with baby up high and tight, this may not be enough head or neck support for babies who have little or no head control. Your natural instinct is to totally support a newborn’s body, so you probably wouldn’t hold a baby who couldn’t support there head facing outward. But, you might once baby got a bit more control, so it’s reasonable to try in a carrier.

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Baby wake, holding up head his own.
The biggest reason lack of head support is an issue is it could compromise baby’s airway. Baby’s head rest against your body when facing inward, making it easier to keep chin off their chest. Facing forward with no head support could force baby to slump forward and close off their airway—especially when sleeping. This is why I agree to never keep baby facing forward when they fall asleep. I do not suggest this carry until baby can hold their head up independently. My son has good head control so I am comfortable placing him in this carry occasionally. Get baby high and tight in the wrap. Take time to make sure you can easily peep down at baby’s face. When you gently sway back and forth, you baby should move as one unit. Baby should swing around in the wrap. Just like your arms would move with your body holding baby, not swing baby away. Rotate baby’s hip’s forward so baby is in a seated position with knees higher than bottom. And I mean actually rotate them. Reach into the carry, gentle grab baby on both hips. Tip them backward and downward. Adjust the cross passes as needed, making sure baby is supported from back too belly button and knee to knee. Keep the torso pass off of baby’s face to keep their airway clear. And keep it off baby’s legs, this might add unnecessary pressure.

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I hope you have some insights into how to give your newborn the best seat possible. Remember to take your time getting yourself and baby comfortable in any carry. It’s not a race, it’s loving journey!

 

*Photo credit to Alacrity Photography

 

 

 

Free Babywearing Resources 

Carrying your child on your body in some form of a carrier is an ancient tradition found in cultures around the world. It may vary with carrying method or technique, but the general idea is the same—keep baby close and safe while you go about your day. It’s a parenting need to be able to function in life, not a trend to capitalize on. This knowledge needs to be accessible to every caregiver, because is it that vital tool. There are amazing certified educators and consultants (myself included) who can offer classes and consults at a price for those looking for more help and attention. But, for those who don’t want that or cannot afford it, there are amazing resources available at low or no cost as well. Please keep in mind even though some educators and advocates chose to share their knowledge freely, remember that not all do. Some paid for valuable training and acquired great knowledge over the years, they have every right to charge for their time and skills. Please respect this. Socioeconomic status should not deter anyone from wearing. I compiled a list of free resources to help on your babywearing journey.

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  • Babywearing International: A non-profit organization with trained volunteers with meetings and playdates frequently. This group helped me personally to start my babywearing journey and I am now volunteer with my local group to help teach others. Meetings and advice are always free. They offer a low-cost membership that allows you to borrow from their carrier library and other perks as well.
  • Local Groups: There may not be an official babywearing organization like BWI in your area, but there are many local and unofficial groups as well. Check out these two links to see if there is one close to you— Wrap Your Baby and Wrapsody.
  • Online Forums: There are several online forums that can offer community help and support from fellow wearers. Try The Baby Wearer and Babywearing 102 Tumblr.
  • Facebook Groups: There are TONS of babywearing groups on Facebook. Look to see if your local BWI or local group has a chat group. Also, most brands have their own fan pages and chatter groups. Here is just a short list of a few more–Babywearing 102Base LoveSpecial Needs BabywearingTandem Babywearing . Keep in mind that even though some trained and skilled educators will reply to you, most answers will probably be from other wearers. Most may give great answers and offer lots of support, but be aware some might not be so helpful. The fun of public online forums.
  • YouTube: A lot of educators and advocates post tutorial videos. This was so helpful to me in between meetings when I needed a little extra help or wanted to try something new. There are tons, but here are some of the most popular (and a few of my friends I want to share)—Wrapping RachelBabywearing Faith ,Wrap You In LoveBrittany Brown MarshAmy Wraps BabiesTandem Trouble Twinning Mommy 101Keep Calm and Carry ThemWrap Your Baby, Wrap in ASL, and of course me! Most also have blogs and websites like me as well.
  • Manufacturers: If you are having trouble with a particular carrier, try contacting the manufacturer for help. They usually are quick to respond to emails or messages. They also usually have a YouTube channel with videos and a Facebook page with tips as well.
  • WIC: More and more WIC offices are starting to offer babywearing education classes now. Check your local office. If they don’t, suggest they do!
  • Retailers: Some retailers—local and big— offer free classes (and some charge). Many Babies ‘R’ Us offer classes, too.

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I hope these resources help you on your own babywearing journey! If you have more suggestions, please comment!

Newborn K’Tan

Baby K’Tan are baby wraps without the wrapping. A carrier that gives you an easy Pocket Wrap Cross Carry without all the work. A great beginner carrier. I teach them often and recommend for people who struggle with wrapping.

The instructions provided with the carrier are great and easy to  follow. However, it’s not how I like to teach using this carrier. My method is not too different or unique really. Just simply different way.