Happy Valentine’s Day

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Wishing you and yours a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

With love,

Ashley Barrett

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Winter Babywearing Tips

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We’re now in the thick of winter and experiencing a whole different situation in Oklahoma.  Being from Utah we are used to cold and snow but have gotten out of the habits we were in when we lived in Utah.  Babywearing in the winter can be a whole different experience than at other times depending on where you live.  Planning in advance and keeping extra jackets (especially a babywearing one or a babywearing vest or something that fits over you both without getting in the way of baby’s airway) in the car at all times will help especially if unexpected weather hits when you’re out with baby.  The following tips can help you prepare for winter wearing.

  • Keep a carrier handy in your car, it should be part of your emergency kit.  Even if you don’t regularly babywear if you are trapped in your car in a storm or another emergency situation a baby carrier can help keep your baby warm.
  • Don’t ever wear baby while ice skating, skiing, or other situations that you could fall or wouldn’t wear baby while holding them in your hands.
  • Be extra careful near ice in parking lots and sidewalks while babywearing.  Your center of balance is different than you are used to from being pregnant or before pregnancy.
  • Any well made ergonomic carrier is excellent in the winter time.  Practice before the storms come setting your tails of your wrap or mei tai in your vehicle or between your legs to keep them off of the wet ground.  You can also practice inside several times before venturing out.  It takes a little extra maneuvering and practice but tails can be kept off of the wet ground (it’s not the end of the world if the tails get wet though either-if they’re really wet you may want to pat dry with a towel to keep you and baby dry and warm).
  • Keep to light layers for you and baby.  It’s better to wear a babywearing coat or poncho (purchased or free/cheap homemade versions or a large coat that you can zip over you both or even a maternity jacket with a few fixes so it doesn’t get in the way of baby’s face or airway).  If you stick to light layers you will use your own body heat to keep baby warm and also be able to tell if baby is overheating much sooner than if you each wear a jacket or coat.
  • Stay hydrated.  Staying hydrated is just as important in the winter as in the summer.  We often forget to drink water when we aren’t sweating as much but you do need to drink about the same amount of water in the winter as the summer.
  • Breastfeeding in extra layers is a little more tricky.  If you practice at home you will have more confidence before going out.  An outer layer is much easier to remove if needed to get baby situated to nurse than a coat inside the carrier (plus baby coats are usually not safe in their car seat).

If you’re in the Oklahoma City area be sure to check out my class details and register here.

Babywearing Halloween Costumes

First Published: Nov 21, 2015 9:00 AM
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Thank you all for sharing your pictures with me! Here are some of my favorites. Hopefully they spark some ideas for you for next year. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and subscribe to my blog (see the right side panel to enter your email to subscribe). As a bonus for subscribing to my newsletter you will receive not-yet-published Winter Babywearing Tips just in time for winter! I’ll also be sure to remind you of this post before Halloween next year.

Babywearing Halloween costumes can be simple or complex, expensive or cheap. Hopefully this post will inspire you for your Halloween costumes!

Here’s another picture of us from this year from Halloween right before going out to trick-or-treat (check out our ideas that we have done in past years in this post). Peach didn’t last on my back long, she decided to walk most of the time and I ended up leaving my wrap at home and using my Kinderpack to get her on and off quickly. She loves being wrapped but enjoyed asking for candy and walking with brothers more this Halloween.

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Mario, Luigi, Yoshi (hat found on Etsy), and Princess Peach is wearing a pink dress and a hand made felt crown with an elastic running across inside and clipped to her hair. I’m wearing a 4.6 Natibaby Amazonia wrap.

Family Superhero theme by Elise H.

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Spider on a mama spiderweb by Niki R.

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Bank robber and her money bag by Jessica C.

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Robber family with their money bag by Samantha O.

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Grandma, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Big Bad Wolf by Stephanie H.

Two fun and groovy family costumes from the Zurovetz family from 2014 and 2015.

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Which one is your favorite? Please feel free to comment below!

 

 

Our Babywearing Costumes-Past and Present

First Published: Oct 24, 2015 3:27 PM
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We have had a few costumes that we have incorporated babywearing in to in the past. I will share those with you first in order of most recent (taken yesterday at a Trunk-or-Treat party) to oldest. I also will share some cute Halloween pictures from before we did babywearing costumes special because who doesn’t love seeing cute kids in Halloween costumes?!

I would love to do a Halloween costumes idea post so if you’re interested please email me at monkeybunns@gmail.com with your pictures and let me know that you’re ok with me sharing them in a post on my blog (please state that or I won’t be able to share them!). Please send me your pictures by November 2nd! (Must be YOUR picture and you must have the rights to it).

2015: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Princess Peach

Princess Peach was saved just in time after getting in trouble again. Yoshi came to the rescue to carry her to safety. The Mario brothers succeeded again! (I knit the boys’ hats, sewed the felt crown, and got the Yoshi hat off of Etsy)

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2014: My Minions

I don’t have a picture of my little gal on my back but I did carry her on my back for our town’s downtown trick-or-treating as well as at night. I had minions climbing all over me and doing my bidding! (I knit their hats).

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2013: Ninja Turtles (including the baby in the belly!)

The ultimate babywearing is the wearing a mama does before a baby is born. This was our second year of a family theme. The picture was taken at our downtown trick-or-treating by a friend.

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2012: Thomas and Friends.

This was our first family theme and first time really incorporating babywearing in to our costumes. My oldest really wanted to be Thomas, my husband was Sir Topham Hat, I was Rosie (an engine on some of the episodes), and my little man was my conductor. I don’t have another picture of him because he was too wiggly at the time but he did have the stripped overalls and everything and looked adorable. The Peekaru kept me toasty while we went trick-or-treating. This was taken at a trunk or treat a week before, my husband was gone for Halloween this year.

2012halloween2011: The first year I wore one of my kiddos to go trick-or-treating.

Monkey really wanted to be a spider this year, K-man was super in to froggies. I made both of their costumes (including the knit hat on K-man). Sorry for the grainy pictures. My iPod didn’t take all that great of pictures and I forgot to take ones with my better camera but they were still super cute so I wanted to share the pictures anyways.

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And the years that I babywore but not for trick-or-treating because we just drove to each grandmas’ houses.

2010: Monkey was a monkey! (And K-man was in my belly)

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2009: Stewie from Family Guy (Hubby’s pick-I did wear him most of the day though)

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2008: Monkey’s first Halloween, sweet little Pumpkin

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Thank you to my dad for taking this picture! http://bettridgephoto.com/

How have you incorporated babywearing in to your costume? Don’t forget to send your pictures by November 2!

Babywearing in the Heat and Sun

First Published: Aug 7, 2015 6:01 PM
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We’re deep in to summer right now but I wanted to share some tips for babywearing in the heat and sun. Oregon heat is different than most of the U.S. but I am from Utah (and moved during the summer when my second was over 8 months) so I have some experience with good old all summer heat. The past two summers have been exceptionally hot in Oregon and most people do not have air conditioning in their homes so when the temperature has reached 106* and several 100* days a lot of parents find it hard to cope. I hope you all find these tips and tricks helpful. Please share your tips and tricks in the comments as well!

  • It’s important to keep in mind that regardless of the carrier you are using a baby is hot! You are wearing a little heater and no matter what it will feel hot. Some carriers are better than others and some work better for some parents than others so experiment.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Breastfed babies do not need extra water when they are under 6 months especially, make sure you offer the breast often and choose a carrier that is easy to do that in. Carry a water bottle with you. I’ve tried several and personally LOVE the Hydroflask because I can fill it all the way up with ice in the morning and keep adding water from a drinking fountain throughout the day and have really cold water.
  • Wear a hat and have baby wear a hat. The hat will help keep sun off of each of your faces and keep you a little cooler. If your baby is over 6 months be sure to put sunscreen on because sun burns will make you feel even hotter.
  • Plan to spend a lot of time in the shade. Also plan your activities whenever possible to have a cool area to go to if you’re starting to feel tired. The sun drains you and it’s good to have a place to have a break from the sun and heat-even if it’s driving around in your car for a little bit to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight clothing. Looser shirts help air circulate better-100% cotton will help breathe and absorb the sweat and allow it to evaporate better which will help cool you off.
  • If you live in a dry climate using a spray bottle with cool water can help cool you off, especially if you can mix that with a personal fan.
  • Wearing baby will help you to know when baby is getting too warm because you will feel it (especially in lightweight clothing). When you feel like your baby is getting too hot-escape to the cooler place you planned on or the shade and continue to drink lots of fluids.

What carriers are best in the heat?

This really depends on you! No matter what though, 1 layer of fabric is probably the most you will want over you. You can make nearly any type of carrier work in the heat. I will talk about how to make each type work for you but you know your body and baby best. If one is too hot for you try another. Most people (at least in the States) have a babywearing group within reasonable driving distance and many have a lending library or carriers to try out.

  • Ring Sling: A ring sling is pretty nice in the heat and sun. You can use the tail to shade you if you need to or let it hang down. You could always wrap it around the rings to make it not hang down as long. Ring slings are really supportive for newborns but can be great for toddlers too, especially if they are made of thicker material or linen or converted from a woven wrap. Another option is to hop in the pool with a mesh water ring sling.

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  • Woven Wrap: Single layer carriers are best in the heat. Cotton and linen fabrics are cooler usually than others. Kangaroo is really breezy around your underarms and breasts. A simple Rucksack or a a Reinforced Rucksack (especially stick to the reinforced with a seat popper) is a great back carry with one layer. Front Wrap Cross Carry is doable but has more fabric which means a little less air circulation. I will discuss these carries in later posts. You can always hop in the pool with a water wrap though and some may work outside of the water as well. Gauze wraps and hybrids may be breezier but may be better suited for babies under 20-25 lbs because at that point many parents find that they become diggy in the shoulders no matter how careful and tight you wrap.

  • Soft Structure Carrier: Many of these are great in the heat but especially ones with mesh panels. I love my Kinderpack with cool knit in the summer but I have also worn Ergo, Beco Butterfly (which has a panel between you and baby which can help absorb some sweat but it also makes it harder to feel how hot baby is-this carrier has been discontinued but still can be easily found new or used online), Boba, Onya Baby, etc. There aren’t huge differences between them in the heat but some do find mesh panels make a difference or using a lighter or sport version helps.
Thank you Katie Waugh for the awesome daddy wearing picture!

Thank you Katie Waugh for the awesome daddy wearing picture!

  • Mei Tai or other Asian Inspired Carriers: Don’t discount these. Like a soft structure carrier these have one panel over baby. If you stick to one with ties that are just long enough for you (rather than long enough to do fancy tie offs) you may find these are great for summer. One tip though, stay away from Minky in the summer. It’s super soft but feels like you’re wearing a blanket (I found this out the hard way).

The information and opinions provided on this blog post (or any blog post on this blog) are not a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a qualified medical professional; nothing contained on this website shall be presumed or shared as medical advice at any time.

What are your tips for summer and hot weather babywearing?