When babywearing, position is REALLY important. Many Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs) come with “infant inserts” that you use until your new bundle of joy is “big enough”. But what exactly is “big enough”? For a legs out position, “big enough” is when the carrier goes “knee-to-knee”.
Knee-to-knee is when their legs not only poke out of the carrier, but that the edge of the carrier actually hits the inside crease of their knee. You want their legs to be able to bend downward. Liam’s legs are able to do this (though his bunched up jeans keep them from bending over at times) – so he is only ever “legs out” now.
Some carriers have a narrower base than others, allowing you to go “legs out” sooner. If you want to go “legs out” sooner, look at the Infantino Sash™ Wrap or the Becco Gemini. The Infantino (or any Mei Tai style carrier for that matter) can have the base of the seat cinched. Some come with a strap to do that, but you can use something as simple as a ribbon or shoelace to tie it smaller. The Gemini actually has a snap option to make the seat smaller and wider.
What do you do if your little one isn’t big enough for “legs out” quite yet? As I mentioned above, there are “infant inserts” available. I prefer the Tula insert, over the Ergo insert, because of the position it holds the baby’s legs in. What’s really nice is that the infant inserts can be used interchangeably with any SSC. For example, you can use the Tula insert in a Becco, Ergo, etc. Now, you may not want to spring for an infant insert, with how short of a time they will need it. Your other option is to roll up a receiving blanket, place it under their bum, and put them in the carrier “froggy leg position”. The picture below, from the Didymos site, shows you how their legs should be situated, inside the carrier, for “froggy position”.
As always, whenever you are babywearing, be sure that:
You can see their face – they should be close enough for you to kiss
The very first wrap I received (as well as used) was my Moby Wrap. Made from a cotton jersey material, it is soft and stretchy. It really cuddles baby and keeps them feeling secure. However, when you first open it, many are overwhlemed by the 5.5 meters (over 18 feet) of cloth. Here is the inside scoop on the Moby:
For babies 8-35 lbs
Made from natural cotton material
Able to be worn on the front and the hip, but not the back
Keeps people’s hands off baby and their little head supported
Gentle against a sore mommy – important after my c-section!
A “gateway” into wrapping with woven wraps
I found it was only good until about 20 lbs – then we needed more support!
No structural support, and you can only wrap it so tight due to it’s stretchy-ness
Complicated (at first) to figure out – resulting in a lot of people “giving up”
Can feel too warm for people who run “hot” or during warm months.
Practice on your own BEFORE trying it with baby – se a stuffed animal!
Give it more than one try – it takes practice and is a new experience. Your baby may cry, may fall asleep, may not sit right. Cut yourself some slack and try again later!
Don’t EVER use a stretchy wrap on your back – it is VERY dangerous! It won’t hold the baby tight, which means they could lean back and flip out!
When wearing a baby, always make sure their chin isn’t on their chest, you can feel/see them breathing, nothing is obstructing their face and that they have a good seat!
Overall, I think it is a great first wrap for new mommies! It’s even better if they have someone to show them how to use it while being their cheerleader. It gave me a lot more confidence to have it demo’d and when I was provided guided practice!
October 7th-13th is “International Babywearing Week”. This is a time for babywear-ers everywhere to celebrate their babywearing ways while also spreading awareness about babywearing.
If anyone knows anything about me – I’m all about babywearing! And I get a lot of questions about carriers, styles and ways of babywearing. So, this month I’ll be writing all about babywearing. I’ll keep a running list of posts here, so you can check back and have a quick reference! Let me know if you want to know anything specific and I’ll try to address it this month.
This episode of the “Fam’s 5 Faves” is focusing on breastfeeding. I figured it was a great segue off of last month’s series focusing on Milking It.
Here is a break down of our favorites…
My two “go to” covers right now are the Motherhood Nursing Scarf and my Simple by Bebe Au Lait. I use the scarf when it is cool enough to sport a scarf – it’s super handy and cute too! The Bebe Au Lati is extremely breathable for warmer days (read more about it here).
My back SCREAMS at me when we’ve been away from home and away from my pillow. It’s important to not hunch over baby when nursing, and bringing them up higher helps you save your back. I love this pillow so much that I’m taking it on our trip to Hawaii. Nine days is just TOO long to be away from it! I know there are quite a few brands out there, like the Boppy and My Breast Friend, but I’m a Boppy gal myself! It has a lot of uses other than just a nursing pillow. When your little one is on “tummy time”, you can prop them up on it. It also helps stabilize them when they start sitting up! I even prop Liam up a bit on it when he is sleeping on the ground.
Lets just be frank here ladies – engorgement and sore nipples are no fun. These guys were either in my freezer or in my bra those first few weeks. I highly suggest two sets – keep rotating them out! I love that I could use them directly on the nipples, or set it up so they went around them. They were soft, organic … I really did love them! They still do come out of the freezer – like when I am upping my supply for storage, and thus pumping A LOT.
Organic, smells good … I love this little nipple saving jar. And the small jar goes a LONG way. I still have the same jar I brought to the hospital with me! I dab a little on, let it melt and soak in, then “cover up” again. I also put it on before I pump to keep from getting sore. At first I was worried that Liam didn’t like the taste, so I switched to coconut butter. But I soon switched back. Now, the simple smell of it makes me remember those first few days of Liam’s life. And it is ALWAYS in my pumping bag!
I cheated on the “two for one” deal again on this, but my preferred nipple pads have changed over time. In the beginning I leaked… a LOT. So I loved the washable organic cotton nursing pads. I cycled through them quickly, sometimes two sets a day. But they were super soft against my “skin”, and offered protection from things that might accidentally brush against “sensitive areas”. After my milk situation evened out, I switched to the LilyPadz. I love them! They still offer protection against friction, cover up your “headlights” and keep enough pressure on to stop minor leaks. More on them in the future…
What are some of your top favorites for breastfeeding?
Follow this series on twitter and facebook #fams5faves
Wow – I had a lot of fun writing about breastfeeding last month. And I still didn’t have time to hit everything! You’ll still see the topic popping up time and time again. It’s a major part of my life as breastfeeding mommy. But here will be the upcoming focus…
This month I want to hit My Favorite Things. A lot of you have asked “what are your top 5 things for…” – here are some answers for you! There is no way I will hit EVERYTHING in one month, so this will actually be kicking off a regular series. These posts will be more “summaries” than in depth Tried and True (T&T) posts. But, have no fear, a lot of these items will show up again in upcoming T&Ts!
October 7-13 is International Babywearing Week! If you know me, you know I *love* babywearing! So October will be dedicated to everything babywearing. I’ll be starting a regular series discussing why we wear, as well as giving you the in and outs of babywearing. What carriers get thumbs up, what get thumbs DOWN? What to look for, what to try, where to start – we’ll be talking about it here! I’ll be giving you a peek into my own stash, as well as others I have tried/borrowed/drooled heavily over. All the T&Ts will be focused on wearing as well. There may even be a few tutorials about some customizing I’ve done for my own carriers. I’m excited!
The New Year …
Oliver and I are really praying about where God is leading us. We believe we went through infertility for a purpose. We believe we’re beginning to figure that out. And this blog will play a part. But we are still really praying about the how, when, and what of this venture we are exploring. Please pray with us, and keep an eye out here for new about our new adventure!
On a more personal note …
I’ve been a bit MIA from blogging because this weekend was a BIG deal. We travelled to Cincinnati, Ohio to celebrate my great grandmother’s birthday.
Let that sink in for a minute. *My* great grandmother. That makes her Liam’s great great grandmother. TWO greats in there folks, not a typo. And before you begin asking if we all sat around her bed in the nursing home, watching her being spoon fed pudding – you’ve got the WRONG idea. My great grandma is a spit fire lady with her mind still about her and her body only just beginning to fail her. It is only in the last year that she has begun needing a cane to steady herself. This lady has lived through the depression, the deaths of two husbands, 2 children, a daughter-in-law and one grandchild. She’s seen her legacy grow through 3 children, 5 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and now 2 great great grandchildren. And she still carries her head high, has a smile on her face, and doesn’t let anyone boss her around. Can you tell I love this lady?
So, for her 97th birthday, all she really wanted from Oliver and me was to meet Liam. We were getting regular calls, asking when we’d bring her great great grandson out. We began planning a trip, and my mom jumped into the planning as well. Soon we had it arranged so my sister would meet us there with my niece, and my brother would meet us there from LA.
I’m not going to lie. When we rounded the corner to see her walking towards Liam, smiling, I cried. I lost my grandparents (her son and daughter-in-law) when I was a freshman in college. I was VERY close to them, they lived with us for many years leading up to their passings. It was so very important to me that she meet my first child. But, as we spent years battling infertility, I was really worried that she wouldn’t be here. To see her walk up to Liam, pat his face, talk sweetly to him – and to see him smile back at her. I’m crying again typing this. I could do nothing less that praise the Lord.
I had never heard of “Power Pumping” when I began my breastfeeding journey. The concept behind “Power Pumping” is to simulate your little one going through a growth spurt. You know, that time every few months where it feels like they are attached to you 24/7. When you Power Pump, you make your body believe the baby is needing a LOT more food IMMEDIATELY. Which is exactly what you need to convince your body of when your supply isn’t enough. You are telling your ta-tas “MORE! MORE!”
Many moms struggle keeping their supply up when they are pumping at work. A pump just isn’t the same as baby, and often the milk begins to taper off. This is a huge concern, plus it builds up the “mommy guilt” (“Maybe I should be a stay—at-home mom”, “I can’t feed my own child…”). Sometimes time away from baby can also cause a drop. That quick business trip, weekend away, etc can be all it takes to dry you up. Other times a lot of stress. A deployed family member, illness, financial problems. But it *is* possible to get that supply up again!
Pump for 10 minutes. Then, take a 10 minute break. Repeat this for at least 1 hour per day. Most people report seeing an increase in their supply in just a few days!
So if you find yourself needing to up your supply, create yourself a little “Power Pumping Mommy Time-Out” after the little one is in bed tonight. Make yourself a batch of lactation cookies, pour yourself a cup of Mother’s Milk tea, turn on some music/a movie and get your Power Pump pattern going. Not only are you making more milk for the munchkin, you are also giving yourself an emotional reprieve and energy boost as well!
Hopefully your body will kick it into high gear to try and provide sustenance to your little sweet cheeks! Happy pumping!
A little over 2 years ago, I was offered the opportunity to visit our friends Faith and Roger. In Africa. For 3 weeks. Oliver and I were already over 2 years into trying for a baby. I didn’t want to commit and then back out, but I also didn’t want to pass up this opportunity. Oliver and I decided to leave it at God’s feet. A baby meant “no”, no baby meant “go”. We would cut off trying one month before the trip, just to be safe (with immunizations, malaria meds, etc). The one month mark came, and there was no baby. So, I went. And God also brought along my best friend (much to her surprise as well!).
What God did in me, while there, was AMAZING. My journal has many tear stained pages, as I asked for a baby again and again. The pictures show the pure joy I felt while working and living there. The biggest moment was when He used someone I didn’t even know to tell me the BIG news. He was promising a baby…. a baby boy. I was able to stand on that promise – and just 8 months later God said “yes”. And Liam’s life began!
The trip not only promised me Liam – but brought me closer than ever with my friend Kelly. We lived, worked, ate and played together for three weeks – and still liked each other afterwards!