Friday, May 21, 2010

My Baby is My Bling!

I wanted to share something that I am completely obsessed with. Baby wearing. I know I am one hairy armpit from living on my own farm and dancing around a fire naked and chanting at night. But bare with me.. You may find yourself inspired!
There are a million forms of baby wearing. There are slings, ring slings, structured carriers, and wraps. I'm sure there are more but those are all I can think of. Or at least own!
I've always been a little interested in baby-wearing, and tried to do it with Ben when he was little but I never got into it. He was born in August and Texas summers are so hot you can actually fry an egg on the sidewalk. I'm not kidding. Maybe I'll blog about it when it gets warmer. Anyway, before Ben was born I bought a really expensive sling. The fabric was really pretty and I could just imagine myself being the perfect stay at home mom. Wearing my peacefully sleeping baby while I cleaned and made dinner. So when Ben was born I tried putting him in the sling and immediately felt uncomfortable. I felt like he was all squished up. The pouch didn't have any give and I felt like it was going to cut off his circulation with his legs all crossed. This is not a review on pouch slings because a lot people really like them and when worn properly, they are great. Just not for me. *There has been a recent recall with pouch slings, those are the deeper ones made by Infanto and other various companies, and not listed on here. Below is a picture of a Hotslings sling.. which is not involved in a recall (that I know of). I am by no means anti-sling. I think they can be great when used properly. Except for the ones on the recall list. Those would be the slings from cooperate hell!

After the pouch was a fail for us, I eventually bought a Moby Wrap . These were a bit intimidating at first. I mean you get this package with nicely folded material. Looong material. And you have to figure out how to wrap it around your body and stick your little bundle of preciousness in there. And.. I'm lazy. Really lazy. Well, not as much now as I was then. I ended up using the Moby maybe a handful of times with Ben.
I dusted it off with Laney and have put many miles on it. The Moby does have a slight learning curve, but once you figure it out. It's actually pretty wonderful. With Laney I was able to hold her securely while she slept and make Ben breakfast and do things around the house. The Moby is a really stretchy jersey (I think) fabric. So I knew it would be super comfy for Delaney. The downside to the Moby is that it is super stretchy. I know- sounds like a contradiction. But once your baby gets heavy enough the Moby will stretch and need to be readjusted often. Which can be a major pain. And you also lose your sense of security as well. When you bend, your little one bends with you. The Moby also doesn't breath well, so its not great for summer. Okay. I'm going to stop typing The Moby now, before one of you starts some sort of drinking game with this post!

My next purchase was a Ring Sling. After watching a zillion instructional videos on ring slings I was sold. I had to have one. So I ordered one of of My favorite site ever. And my arch nemesis all in one. Damn you Etsy, and Damn you crafty people selling great stuff on Etsy! Okay, I'm back. So the ring sling I ordered on Etsy wasn't so great. It was kinda stiff and definitely confusing. I watched another video and just couldn't get it. I felt the same way about the pouch sling as I did the ring sling. So why did I order yet another ring sling? Because.. I have a problem. I'm starting to wonder if that should be the name of my blog. Anyway- I am glad I did though because the second one was great. After a while I realized that holding Laney in the side laying position just wasn't for me. I just didn't like it. So then I learned how to hold her a hold called "tummy to tummy". Like the picture listed below. This worked great! Laney wasn't old enough to hold her head up on her own for long periods so I was concerned at first but when you wear this correctly you can adjust the "rails" and fit them nice and snug next to you. Although I do prefer the wrap, the sling is fast, and easy and really comfortable. And Laney loves it too. She falls asleep shortly after popping her in.

Structured carrier: There are a quarter of a million structured carriers out there. Really. There are a ton! I'm not a fan of the Bjorn or Snugli or any of those "cooperate" carriers. They have bad reviews as far as extended wear comfort goes, and I've done some reading on how they're not great for the hips. But not all structured carriers are created equally. There are soft structured carriers like Maya Tie's which are an Asian style carrier as well as the BabyHawk. There are some called Ergos which are a bit more structured and similar to what I have. I have the Lillebaby EveryWhere carrier. The reason I chose the LilleBaby over the Ergo was because the Lillebaby allowed for forward facing. Even though the Ergo has excellent reviews among the baby wearing community, and looking at side by side pictures, there isn't much difference between the Ergo and Lillebaby. So the LilleBaby it is. So far its been a fun carrier. Its super easy to get on and really comfy to wear. This carrier is preferred by my husband. Its tan, its got straps and buckles.. its MANLY. I really like this carrier and think it would be cooler for the summer, but I still prefer my ring sling and wraps over this.

Okay, now for the final shebang. My favorite babywearing tool. The wrap. I currently own a slightly stretchy gauze wrap that I bought off of Etsy as well. Its really pretty and really lightweight. I keep this one in my car for when I need to run errands. Love this wrap. I also have an Ellaroo which is super pretty and just lovely. It's a not as thick as most woven wraps and has very little give. But enough to keep things comfy. I bought this wrap new so I'm still working on softening it up. And it's softening up nicely. The beauty part of woven wraps is that they are more secure because they don't have much if any stretch so you can do a ton of holds even for toddlers. One hold that I haven't tried yet, but will soon is the High Back Carry. That's where the baby is worn up high on the back so their little head can peek over. I am waiting on my new baby pictured below (but in red) the Kiora Vatanai Woven Wrap. These are one of the lightest wraps out there. Its great for summer and is super breathable. I cannot wait until this little puppy gets here. I have been waiting for months for it to come back in stock. When it comes in I promise to take a picture of me wearing my littlest in it.

I know a lot of you may have tried babywearing and found your little one just didn't like it. I encourage you to find a local babywearing resource near you and try on different carriers. I kick myself for not giving it a proper go with Ben. But am SUPER thankful that I did with Laney. I can honestly say that when I go and shop and run errands which I do several times a week just to get out of the house, I have never used the super heavy and bulky infant seat. I simply wrap up my little one and let Ben sit in the basket and do my thing. It has been a huge blessing and definitely kept me from becoming a recluse in my house. One of my biggest concerns when I was pregnant with my daughter was getting out of the house with two kids. Would Ben have to walk beside me? A two year old? Or if I had him in the basket would I have to put the car seat in the larger part of the basket? Oye the turmoil! I am sooo Thankful for finding out about this awesome way to bond with my child.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blow outs aren't just for tires!

Anyone whose had a baby knows what I'm talking about. Right guys?! When I first had Ben we had so many blow outs I can't even count them. I do remember one time it was super cold out side and my husband and I were running errands with Ben and I was in the parking lot nursing him (Ben, not my husband) and he started pooping. And kept pooping. So much so that I felt my hand get wet as I held his back. We weren't prepared for such a disaster. We ended up having to lay him on the passenger seat because the poo was all over me, all over the nursing pillow, and especially all over him, and my husband stood outside the open door changing him as I tried to warm him up with the heater full blast blowing down on him. It was so bad we even ran out of wipes and had to use unpooped on sections of his outfit. Anyone who knows me.. and even if you don't if you've read the entry on the cart covers you'd know that I am a HUGE germ-a-phobe so when I tell you that being a new mom and not having any spare clothes you'll forgive me when I say I had to go into Old Navy and buy the kid a new unwashed outfit. I still cringe at the thought. So anyway- that day will stay with me forever. I'm sure of it. Along with many other blow out disasters. Especially the ones where my husband was at work while I navigated parenthood on my own.

So this brings me to my new best friend. Cloth diapers. I'd like to say that I got into cloth diapering because I wanted to be more eco-friendly. While that did play a roll in the decision, its not why I chose to do it. I can't remember exactly why- I think it had something to do with my shopping problem, and I read that cloth diapered babies potty train faster (although I don't know how true that is with cloth diapers these days keeping the babies bottoms dry) and I had also heard that you don't have blow outs. Que angelic music and bright sun rays from heaven. I didn't start cloth diapering until Ben was two. Or almost two. But I was pregnant and the thought of no blow outs really hooked me. Please keep in mind that I am super lazy and cut corners when I can. So the thought of doing diaper laundry really daunted me. Especially poopy laundry. If your like me, the thought of having poop tumble around in my washer really grossed me out. But I can assure you- thats not how it works and its much much easier than you think.
There are a zillion cloth diaper options out there. And I won't go into all of them. If you want to knwo about them let me know and I can do another post about them or you can just send me a message and ask. I'm no expert but I've tried them all! I started with bumGenius one size diapers. They're pocket diapers. Meaning you have an outer "shell" which is the part you see and fasten onto the baby. But there is an opening that you put "soakers" in and you can add as many as you need for the absorbency that you need. So to wash you just take out the soakers and wash them with the shells. These are also One Size diapers meaning they grow with the baby, so you don't have to buy a multitude of sizes.
I also bought Gro Baby diapers. Those are considered AI2 or All In Two. These diapers have a "shell" as well but they have a snap in liner so that you can reuse the shell. You just snap out the soaker/liner and replace with a new one. Assuming the shell isn't soiled.
I liked the both of the diapers with Ben. I liked the material and the fit better on the Gro Baby diapers, buy I did have leaks with those. Never poop leaks though. Which would be scary considering he was on solids at the time!
He maybe had one or two leaks with the bumGenius ones but that was only overnight. And after figuring out what we needed to for over nights, we were set!
Delaney is now in them. And I LOVE them! Although they are One size, they aren't suited for newborns (unless you have a 9+lbs newborn). So we did disposable diapers the first few days, and then I went to prefolds, which I failed miserably at. And then the Kissaluvs size 0 which were really nice. They do need waterproof covers though.
We then received a couple of cases of disposables. They were the new Fisher Price ones and I wanted to give it a go. With a newborn- your changing diapers often so your diaper bag can get bulky with extra diapers, so I wasn't completely set again disposables. I actually really liked these diapers. They have ribbing in the back that helped prevent blow outs. Please note, I said helped. They didn't completely. But other diapers for some reason don't have any sort of ribbing or gussets or whatever you want to call it in the back. This has always been strange to me. Anyway- we did still have quite a few blow outs and close calls. Not nearly the amount that we had with Ben though. So I credit that to the FP diapers.
With the cloth diapers though, Laney has had some SERIOUS poops. I don't know what formula poops look like. But breastfed baby poops are runny and messy! And not once have I had a blow out with the cloth diapers. I have had poop right up to the edge but none of them dare to escape. Love this! And I love that I don't have stained clothes! Man does baby poop stain!
I think if any of you are tired of wasting money on diapers that just go in the trash (by the way, did you know most states have a law against throwing human waste into the trash? Your suppose to dump the poop into the toilet prior to throwing out the diaper. Now I'm not sure if anyone is on poop patrol but for those of you who think your law biding citizens.. think again!) you might be interested in cloth diapers. It's expensive to start. I won't lie. But saves you a ton in the long run. Its kinda fun to do. They have great color options out there and who doesn't like a fluffy baby butt? So I'm saving my blow outs for my tires. Wait. No.