Browsing Tag

sling

Babywearing

Six Tips for Staying Cool while Babywearing

18 July, 2013

Babywearing tends to attract a lot of stromments (comments from strangers, yeah.) Normally lovely ones like “She looks so snug!” and “What a little cutie!” – which is fair enough because, my,  this Juno bear does rock a sling like no other. All her rolls squidge in together so she looks like a stack of fluffy marshmallows with lips and eyes. However, the babywearing stromments have gone through the roof in this heat! One dastardly dude actually exclaimed “What the actual &*!@?!” at me today which I didn’t find especially polite so I bopped him one with my brolly (see below.)  I find I am explaining why I am babywearing to unfamiliars on a daily basis. Getting straight on to how it aids breastfeeding as well as nurturing vital neurological pathways soon sends ’em packing. Ha!

But, let’s be honest, it does get sticky, eh? Here are some ways to stay cool- I’d love to hear your own!

Buy a Brolly
This is the absolute number one tip of the millennium. Never leave the house without it. You have instant shade wherever you go for both you and babe. I did leave the house without mine yesterday as we dashed off to the seaside to introduce Juno to her two marvelous great-granddads. In order to go for a paddle I borrowed my granddad’s umbrella that hadn’t seen the light of day for years and we wandered around this gloriously bright sunny beach dripping cobwebs and spiders amongst the buckets and spades.Stay Cool when Babywearing Tips

Get naked
Juno hasn’t worn clothes for about two weeks now. In fact, she is so synonymous with naked babies that when a friend’s kid saw another nudey newborn she exclaimed “She’s dressed like Juno!” Of course, their skin is incredibly sensitive so I make sure even her feet are tucked into the wrap.

Choose your own clothes carefully
It’s such a pain we have to wear clothes, eh? Although I’d love to be just wearing my denim shorts and a tee shirt I find that having the belt and zip area alongside the belt of my wrap is all a bit aggravating and sweaty. I am choosing loose skirts and vest tops in cotton as it is the most breathable fabric out there.

Just add water
In a bottle, or one of those frozen ice pack things. Someone suggested this on the Lulastic Facebook page last night and it is so genius! It just goes between you and the baby, keeping your core temperature down.  You can also run your wrists under the cold tap, or put your cool bottle of water on your temples, to have an impact on your whole body.

Go down to the woods today
We have spent a lot of this week just sitting in buckets of water in the garden, venturing outside only once the afternoon cools, but one brilliantly chilled place we go is our little local woodland. Woods are the perfect spot for babies, kids and babywearing mamas as not only are they perfectly shaded but the roots and foliage all seem to absorb the suns energy out of the atmosphere. (See how I said “seems” – I have no idea how this works, I just know woods are like another planet in a heatwave. It’s the atmosphere and energy being absorbed and that, okay?)

Think about owning a summer wrap
There are lots of options out there depending on how much money you have. There are soft structure carries with specifically breathable panels. I have a really simple Calin Bleu gauze wrap which, although not as comfortable as my Didymos is so much cooler. Go for light colours too.

Those are the ways I keep me and my little marshmallow from melting, do you have any extras? Would love to hear them.

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Babywearing, Craftiness

Easy Sling for Your Toddler’s Doll

9 January, 2013

It is a bit frightening/funny/awkward when your tot learns to copy everything you do. This morning Ramona has been exclaiming “Holy McNoly!” at everything (it could have been so, so much worse but I am desperately trying to modify my sweary antics!) and for the last few days she has been wandering around with a huge swab of red lipstick on her cheek that looks like a nasty gash. She somehow laid her hands on some old “Stay all day” makeup. It’s a wonder product, really. We are three days in and despite several attempts at washing it is not budging! Remind me not to go around covering my face in lipstick in front of her again, okay?

Ramona has often emulated breastfeeding (she nursed a bulb of garlic, I think it was just comfort feeding though) and now she is all about babywearing. It is handy for me too as it means one less thing that I will inevitably end up carrying home from the park. I have tried a couple of methods and now I want to present to you The Easiest, Quickest Sling you could possibly make for your tot.

It is a traditional Asian carry, a mei tai, meaning no buckles just two bows. I have found a way to eradicate most sewing, so this should be crafted up in a tick…

DIY sling for toddlers doll

I often pick up vintage cotton placemats and embroidered hankies, ribbon and binding whenever I see it at a car boot or charity shop. Just a little rummage in my cupboard found me just what I needed. How delightful is this retro soldier fabric? It is a tea towel-y thing, but way too small to be helpful in the kitchen.

easy quick toddler doll sling

Fabric placemats and small tea towels are ideal as they don’t need hemming, but a square of any fabric will do, just put a hem around the edge so it doesn’t fray. Mine was 27cm x 27cm but round it up to 30 and it will fit both big dolls and big toddlers!

Simply place your fabric in the middle of one of the 70cm ribbons and sew one straight line, attaching the ribbon to the back of the fabric. This will give you two shorter bottom straps. coming out of either side. Then sew one 70 cm ribbon to each top corner, pointing verticallytr. These will look long but they need to cross over your child’s back and tie around the front, so long is good.

Ummm….. Ta Da! For real, that is it! It is a 5 minute number, tops.

To put it on:
This might sound complicated, but once you do it you will see how simple it is! Tie the bottom strap around your kid’s waist, with a bow at the back, the pattern/ front of the fabric facing out. Place doll chest to chest with your toddler and bring the square up over dolls back. Put a strap over each shoulder, cross over the back (to look at tot’s back would show a big X) and bring straps around to the front again (under dolls bottom) and tie a front bow.

Every tot that has seen Ramona’s has wanted a carry – it would make a great pressie. I think it may have usurped the Easy Toddler Wings as my gift of choice!

Have fuuuun!

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Attachment parenting, Babywearing, Breastfeeding

Shakeaway: breast milk to go

7 September, 2011

Once when Ramona was around 2 months I was walking along our road carrying her in the sling.  Some boys spotted me from their perch up in a block of flats and started hurling down meanness, although all I could really make out was the word “BREASTFEEDING!!!” screamed in a kind of offensive way. (The fact that this is a diss is worth a whole politics-of breastfeeding-rant in itself.) I was utterly mortified! “They must think I am breastfeeding her while I am walking along!” I put my head down and blushed to match my hair, feeling like my little freckly 9 year old self who got bullied in the playground. Then when I got to the end of the road I almost stopped in my tracks; what a bloody good idea. Of course I could breastfeed her in the sling!

The next time I was walking along and Ramona began her hungry headbutting I unhooked my bra and shuffled her around a bit;  she latched on immediately. That day a whole new sphere of stress free parenting opened up.

No more panick stations as I try and find a suitable place to feed her- with her nursing in the sling we can be wandering around the supermarket, a Parisian flea market or an  art gallery and no one is none the wiser. Well. Apart from the growling.

No more missing the train because I had to get a feed in before leaving the house. She just snacks on the walk up.

I feel it has helped build her security as she knows the instant she has a need it will be met, wherever we are – no crying involved. I love that science shows that meeting baby’s need quickly is vital to their development and nurtures things like their empathy cells. (Read more about that in my fave parenting book- it is the shizzle.)

If I ever want her to start a nap quickly (say because I have a meeting that it would be handy for her to sleep through) I just feed her off to sleep in the sling on the way. It often sends her to sleep within moments.

Around the three  month mark Ramona got way too distracted by goings on to breastfeed in public.Then she’d get all hungry and mad. However feeding in the sling helps her feel still involved somehow, avoiding what felt like miniture nursing strikes.

Perhaps best for those early days though was for the occasions when Ramona was incolsolable. They didn’t happen much but sometimes she wouldn’t feed or sleep even though I knew she was hungry and tired. As soon as I learnt to double them up she would settle really quickly. It was as if she needed movement to feed, or perhaps she wanted to feed upright.

I only wish I could have discovered it sooner.

So to those lads on the estate I will be forever indebted, for Ramona’s food on the hoof has made my life as a mother a lot easier. So much easier I would rank it in my top five mothering activities (I know, I’m a total expert after nine whole months.) I should really make those badasses some breast milk ice cream as a grateful treat.

In case your baby wants shakeaways…TIPS:

Feeding in a mei tai, ring sling or wrap is simple. Just tie it so their mouth is about level, although you may have to use your hand to hold either their head or your breast in place as they feed.

Where easy clothes, a low sccop or v-neck so you aren’t trying to yank up your top between your tummies.

Practice at home so you can get the hang of it.

Flick the end of the wrap over the top if you feel you have too much on show.

Beware of strangers coming in for a peek of your baby’s smile only to get that smile, dripping with milk, AND an eyeful of squirting nipple.