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.

New Year, New Name, New Blog!

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Welcome to my new blog, Nurturing Bonds.  For all of you that have come on over through the transition from Monkey Baby Wrap to Babywearing With Ashley thank you for your support!  I am very excited to start 2016 with a new *PERMANENT* name as I grow in to my new business offering breastfeeding AND babywearing support.  I hope you will enjoy my upcoming posts focusing not only on babywearing but also on breastfeeding.  I have moved all of my posts from my Babywearing With Ashley blog over to this blog so please do check out my earlier posts.  Wishing you all a happy 2016!

What would you like to see me post about this year?

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!

Types of Carriers: Slings

First Published: Sep 25, 2015 9:18 AM

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Welcome to another types of carriers post! Today I will be talking about slings. To learn about other types of carrier follow the links in this post.

Ring slings and pouch slings are the two types of slings (I will also talk about the recalled bag slings because they also fit in here and only one brand was recalled so they are still floating around and are unsafe). Ring slings are very adjustable and can be great from birth through short bursts in toddlerhood depending on the material. Ring slings are available in cottons or can be converted from a woven wrap for extra durability and support. Pouch slings can come in adjustable sizes but are not supportive enough of a newborn’s spine so they are better suited for babies that can sit on their own for short periods of time. They are great for toddlers who want to be up and down a lot.

  • Ring Sling

Ring slings are very adjustable. They are a great carrier to have if you want to have just one carrier that will fit mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunties, uncles, and anyone else who would like to wear baby. They are great twin carriers because you can wear two pretty easily at the same time, but you can also have one carrier for each parent to wear one baby as well.

Ring slings are pretty easy in and out so they can be great for short bursts with a toddler. Many moms find ring slings easy to breastfeed in so they are great for breastfeeding. Because they are so adjustable and supportive they are great for newborns.

They come in a variety of materials. Cotton is the most popular. They can be converted from a woven wrap which makes an even greater variety of options. Many parents find that wrap convert ring slings are more supportive for toddlers. Ring slings can be made by someone with minimal sewing skills but fabric choices are important and it’s extremely important to be sure to use Sling Rings brand rings because there are no welds (which can wear on the fabric) and are made of aluminum (or a nylon for water slings) specifically for ring slings. It is not safe to use craft rings because they are not specifically designed for ring slings and may not hold up to the pressure that is on them. Craft rings would be fine for a child carrier for a child to “wear” their baby doll or stuffed animals in.

Ring slings can be worn on the front or hip. A back carry is an advanced carry but can also be done with much practice on the front before attempting a back carry. It’s important to note that many health care providers do recommend switching up the shoulder so that you don’t end up putting pressure and using more muscles in one side of your body.

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Wrap convert ring sling (left), cotton ring sling (right)

  • Pouch Sling:

Pouch slings used to be recommended as the go-to for newborns back around 2008 when my first son was born. Some are adjustable, many are not. It’s imperative that you pick the right size. As with all carriers, baby’s bottom should hit at or above mom’s belly button when baby is sitting in the fabric (this promotes good ergonomics for parents and is especially important for mother’s pelvic floor muscles). The shoulder can be flipped out to help bring baby in closer but pouch slings just are not supportive enough for newborns. Pouch slings (that fit well) can be great carriers for older infants that are able to sit on their own and are great for living in the car or diaper bag, especially if you have forgotten your carrier and need one to go in the store or to keep baby off of the floor to wash your hands after a diaper change. Some popular brands have “free” codes very often but charge quite a bit for shipping and the fabric is not very good quality. They may be good in a pinch but I wouldn’t recommend them as anything but an emergency carrier. Other brands use high quality fabrics and make great pouch sling carriers. With the right fabrics and lots of sewing experience these can be made at home but need specialized seaming experience to make the carrier safely.

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*When you learn better, you do better* Kangaroo in a pouch sling as a newborn in the cradle carry. He’s upright so his airway is not compromised but I do not recommend this position or this carrier for a tiny baby knowing more about baby’s anatomy and development. My boys always hated this so it never lasted for more than a few minutes-babies are smart and know what they need.

  • Recalled bag-slings (and not recalled bag slings, still not safe)

Infantino made a bag sling that was later recalled. Three babies were killed in these slings which some in the babywearing community have nicknamed “the bags of death.” I think this name is a little extreme. I refer to them as bag slings. They resemble a duffle bag and instructions showed the baby being worn very low usually which goes contrary to mother’s instincts (and isn’t great for ergonomics for our bodies). With baby so far removed, the parents couldn’t sense that baby’s airway had been compromised and baby stopped breathing. This can happen in other carriers so it is best practice to keep your baby upright and facing parent, tight and close enough to just nod your head down to kiss the top of your baby’s head. When your baby is up high you are better able to feel baby’s chest and stomach move while they are breathing.

I bring these carriers up because Infantino was the only brand that recalled their slings. Other brands still make similar carriers and these can still be found and some resale shops being sold by store owners unaware of the recall. If you ever catch one of these at a shop or a garage sale be sure to let the person know. These carriers can be traded in to Infantino for a safe and ergonomic carrier. Please check with Infantino for more details (as of this posting they would trade for a mei tai carrier). If you see a mother using a carrier like this do pass along your local baby wearing group’s information or my information and I would be happy to send information as well as information to find a good quality and safe carrier for any budget. Very very few carriers are considered dangerous-these are on the short list that no parent should ever use.

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Picture from the recall notice

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Knock offs are still widely available. In this screen shot (taken September 10, 2015) you can see many bag slings. Note the picture that you can see baby’s face. Baby’s chin is to its chest-this is near impossible to avoid in these bag-style sling carriers. Baby is also not in view or is hard to see.

What ages and stages or activities do you like to use ring slings for?

Breastfeeding and Babywearing Part 2

First Published: Sep 18, 2015 2:28 AMbreastfeedingandbabywearing
Babywearing is a must for many breastfeeding mothers. Not only can you keep baby close and enjoy the benefits of skin to skin contact but you can also recognize baby’s early feeding cues and many mothers are able to breastfeed right in the carrier. Different carriers will work better for different mothers. Try it out with a few different carriers before going “out in the wild” and see what works best for you. Many mothers are able to nurse discreetly and have one or two hands free to do what they need to do. I certainly encourage nursing mothers to sit down and get their feet up as much as possible but recognize sometimes there are things that need to be done as well. This post will give some ideas and tips for nursing in a carrier. As always, I recommend some hands on help. Certified Babywearing Educators can give specialized one on one help with all aspects of babywearing including (but not limited to by any means) helping moms to breastfeed in their carriers.

If you want to learn more about the how babywearing supports breastfeeding be sure to check out this post!

Babywearing makes breastfeeding easier! (From this article)

“Breastfeeding mothers who practice baby wearing find it easy to nurse their babies more often. This may help babies gain more weight. The shorter the time between feedings the higher the fat content in mother’s milk. By wearing baby, a mother can easily respond to his early feeding cues:

When a baby is near his source of milk and comfort, he does not have to use much energy to get his mother’s attention; he can use this energy to grow instead. (Sears and Sears 2001)

If a mother thinks that she will feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, baby wearing can help her overcome this worry. Breastfeeding in public is likely to attract more attention if the baby has reached the point that he is crying frantically when mother tries to offer the breast. If baby is already close to mother in a sling, she can respond as soon as he shows early feeding cues, such as rooting for the breast or sucking on his hands. She can adjust his position and her clothing and have him peacefully nursing before anyone even notices. The extra fabric from the sling can easily be pulled over baby’s head, and mother can continue shopping or eating dinner without any fuss. With the fabric of the sling blocking out distractions, baby will settle down to the business of eating and may nurse quietly off to sleep.”

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This mother is nursing in a woven wrap. She has brought her breast up to baby rather than dropping baby down.

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Mom has brought baby down a little to her breast and brought her breast up a little to her baby. Baby is not in a full cradle position like many moms use in a ring sling. There are a lot of options. Experiment to find what works best for you!

Some practical tips:

  • Practice in different carriers. Because every mother is shaped differently, sometimes different wrapping methods or trying a different carrier will help you nurse your baby better than one you may be struggling with.
  • Be sure baby has a good latch. It’s helpful, especially with a small baby learning to latch, for baby to be nose to nipple and for you to give a little extra help the first few times trying to nurse in a carrier (or possibly after the first few times).
  • Try different shirt methods. Some moms are comfortable with shirts or tops that pull down from the top, other moms are more comfortable with a two shirt method where you pull the top shirt up and pull the bottom shirt down or to the side. A nursing tank can easily be made by cutting slits off to the side of your breast in a well fitting tank top (off the center of your nipple towards your arms). T-shirt material will not fray so you don’t have to sew it but if you’d like to stitch around the new opening it will help it lay flat under your shirt.
  • You can bring baby to your breast by lowering baby in the carrier or lift your breast to baby, or a combination of the two-experiment with what will work best for you both.
  • In a ring sling be sure that baby’s head is opposite the rings when laying your baby in a cradle type position. You will have to reverse the shoulder if you want to nurse on the other breast.
  • In a soft structure carrier or mei tai you can drop the waist band down and loosen the arms to bring baby down to your breast or you can lift your breast up. If you are doing the two shirt method you will want to be sure to lift your top shirt above your waistband before trying to get baby in position and may want to tuck your bottom shirt in to your pants to help it stay where you want it.
  • In a woven wrap you can lay baby in a side laying position (be sure to check baby’s breathing at all times!) or drop baby down. Front wrap cross carrier is an excellent nursing carry. You can lift baby up and pull legs up and out of the crosses, lay baby to the side and pull the wrap down over the bottom and a little down the legs to make a pocket. When baby is done nursing, put baby back upright, put those little legs back in to the crosses, and untie and retighten the carrier. With practice this can be done while baby drifts off to sleep.
  • Get immediate help for breastfeeding struggles. See an IBCLC for breastfeeding help.
  • Get some hands on babywearing help if you still are struggling with nursing in a carrier.
  • Remember to always bring baby back to an upright position high and tight after baby is done actively nursing (before baby drops off to sleep). You may have to unlatch baby early. This is to protect baby’s airway and the rule is not the same when you are nursing a sleeping baby outside of a carrier.
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Nursing in a Boba 4G carrier using the two shirt method. I have pulled my top shirt up and pulled the slit over and pulled my nursing bra down. With practice this becomes easy and quick to do. Baby was lowered by loosening the waistbelt and arm straps. A hood can be used for extra security if you wish.

I’m a visual learner and I really enjoy videos. Here is a playlist of YouTube videos that I have found helpful and you may as well.

What are your tips and tricks for breastfeeding in a carrier?

Types of Carriers: Simple Pieces of Cloth (Wraps)

First Published: Sep 11, 2015 9:21 AM

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Welcome to the Types of Carriers series! Be sure to check out the Types of Carriers post from a couple of weeks ago to learn about all of the classes of carriers.

Simple Piece of Cloth (sometimes abbreviated to SPOC)

Included in this type of carrier are stretchy wraps, gauze wraps, hybrid wraps, and woven wraps. Each are a simple piece of cloth made out of natural fibers (including cotton, linen, sometimes wool) or in the case of stretchy wraps and hybrid cotton blended with Lycra to give it the stretch characteristic of the type of wrap.

  • Stretchy Wrap
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Organic Sleepy Wrap (now Boba Wrap).

Sorry for the darker image but I really wanted to share this one. This is me wearing my second son when he was just a few weeks old in my Organic Sleepy Wrap (now Boba Wrap). Stretchy wraps are blended with Lycra and are very stretchy. Stretch does vary a bit by brand. The most popular brands of stretchy wraps are Moby and Boba. They offer a lot of colors and even prints. They are cuddly for newborns but must be wrapped tightly without leaving room to put your baby in. You have to prewrap before putting your baby in so you have to put baby down in a safe place to wrap. You can prewrap before going out for the day though and pop baby in when you get to your destination. These wraps are limited to wearing on your front and possibly to your hip. They do not support the spread squat positioning well past about 10-15 lbs depending on the baby. They are a great way to try out babywearing though! You can DIY (make your own) with good quality fabric, though often these are VERY stretchy. These may be a little warmer in the summer (feel much like a blanket) but many parents still enjoy these carriers in the summer.

  • Gauze Wraps
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Wrapsody Gypsy Mama Bali Breeze, double hammock carry

Gauze wraps are very lightweight and nice for summer. They are made of a lightweight cotton. Because they are lightweight though, many parents and caregivers find that even if they wrap very carefully they are quite pinchy on the shoulders once your baby/toddler hits about 20-25 lbs. These are great for front, back, or hip carries though. They wrap differently than wovens so you may have to order a slightly different size in a gauze wrap than you do with a woven. I am typically a 4.6 m (size 6) for my base size in a woven wrap but I need extra length in a gauze wrap to do carries that use most of the wrap like the double hammock wrap as shown above. You can DIY with the right materials but the materials are outside of the scope of this post.

  • Hybrid Wraps

Hybrid wraps feature one way stretch rather than two way stretch. There are a few different brands available of these. The picture below shows me wrapping my oldest when he was 5 for a quick minute. They are best for babies under 20-25 lbs because over that weight the wrap will start to sag even if you wrap very carefully so you may need to adjyst it often. These are excellent for newborns. One con though is that the material is similar to that of many stretchy t-shirts so when back wrapping it may be hard to feel the fabric.

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Wrapsody Gypsy Mama Hybrid Wrap, double hammock carry

  • Woven Wraps (German Style Woven Wraps)

Woven wraps are the gold standard of SPOC. They are a bit more expensive at first but you can typically find a good used one for around $100 or less. They have a little bit of a learning curve so I recommend getting hand on help because once you know how they are supposed to feel you will always get it right. Woven wraps can be wrapped an infinite number of ways. They can be worn with baby on your front, back, or hip. They are the most supportive of the classes of wrap carriers and are excellent from birth to as long as you want to wear your child.

There are many lengths available because wrapping with just one layer over baby is fine (and supportive). I recommend starting with your “base” size which is what you can comfortably wrap a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) with. Shorter lengths (just doing one layer over baby) can be great in the summer depending on the fabric. There are many different blends of fabrics available. I recommend starting with a cotton one or a cotton/linen blend. Cotton is the easiest to care for and can be dried in the drier (though it may shrink a little so hang drying is better-try putting it between the backs of two chairs and often it will dry overnight).

Woven wraps can be found at all types of price points. There are many brands of good quality wraps available. There are many color options and many options for patterns, stripes, or just a plain color. Many can be dyed if you don’t like the color (you will want to use baby-safe dyes because baby WILL chew on the wrap). I recommend new wrappers to look in to getting a used wrap because new wraps in all fabrics usually feel stiff. Wraps need a breaking in period to be able to wrap well with them. If you buy used, many times this wrap is already broken in but has a lot of life left in it. New wrappers can break in wraps but do know that it may take time before you can wrap the same way you did with your Certified Babywearing Educator (or at your babywearing group).

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Natibaby 4.6 wrap, 100% cotton, double hammock carry.

  • Kanga Carrier (not pictured)

A Kanga Carrier is a Traditional African carrier using a thin blanket looking piece of fabric. Baby is worn on the back in the small of mother’s back. If you would like to see one in action I really love this video by Alyssa. These are beautiful traditional carriers. I do have one in my stash but I am not nearly as well versed with these as women that traditionally use them.

*For full disclosure I am a Boba Ambassador. I became a Boba Ambassador because I love their products. They send me free products to review from time to time but I do not receive any other compensation from them. I like to offer my honest opinion and free products do not influence my views*

What is your favorite type of wrap?

Traveling With Baby

First Published: Sep 8, 2015 6:01 PM traveling

Whenever you have to waver from a baby’s routine life can become challenging. Babies also often have a lot of extras: toys, clothes, diapers, burp cloths, layers in case it’s chilly, car seats, etc. Babywearing helps simplify traveling and allows extra hands to carry the extra items your baby needs to be comfortable. Some of these tips may also help.

Traveling by Car

  • Plan an extra day or several extra hours to get to your destination. It will be worth it to take a lot of breaks rather than trying to power through. Consider doing the longest stretches while baby is napping or sleeping. Possibly consider traveling overnight if you can get enough sleep to make up for missing the sleep during the night.
  • Plan breaks in towns with a park or somewhere you can all get out and stretch your legs, walk around, and play for a few minutes. Packing a frisbee or other toys that you and your children love to play with and chase will help everyone get some fresh air and exercise and make the time in the car go more smoothly.
  • Plan for plenty of snacks and drinks. This will make everyone have to go to the bathroom more often but having plenty of water will keep everyone from getting dehydrated.
  • Leave a place next to baby if possible so if you’re tag team driving with your spouse or another adult an adult can sit next to baby and play peek-a-boo and sing songs if baby is bored.
  • Try to make nursing feel as much like home as possible-be sure to pack your nursing pillow if you use one or something else that will remind baby of home.
  • Babywear and snuggle as much as you can to make up for the skin to skin time baby is used to. You can wear baby as soon as you get out of the car and during bathroom breaks and then play together and stretch legs. Follow your baby’s cue. Many parents find that if they wear baby as much as possible in the hotel or when they reach their destination it will help baby feel better and the car ride will go more smoothly. Start this a couple of days before your trip if possible.
  • Bring plenty of extra clothes and diapers. Sometimes babies get upset tummies in the car or have extra messy diapers when traveling.

Traveling by Plane/Train/Boat/Bus

  • Pack plenty of treats and snacks for the diaper bag. The TSA allows enough snacks and fluids for the flight (check their website for current information).
  • If possible pack a few toys and books that your baby has never seen before or hasn’t played with in a long time to keep them entertained. Freecycle.com is a great place to find these or a local virtual garage sale page. Trading baby toys with friends for your trip is also a good idea.
  • Pack some funny things like bubbles (be sure to check fluid amount guidelines) to play with while waiting for the plane/train/boat/bus, etc.
  • Try to stretch little legs and parent legs as much as possible right before your flight. Getting all the wiggles out will help many babies settle before boarding and buckling up.
  • Consider getting baby their own seat for their car seat or gate check baby’s seat. Sometimes if there are extra seats and you gate check they will let you buckle baby in their seat at no additional charge (depends on the airline though). Gate checking often keeps your car seat safer too.
  • Babywear as much as possible for a few days before your flight. The extra skin to skin contact will help “charge baby’s batteries” especially if baby won’t be a “lap child.”
  • If possible, nurse during take off. If not possible, offer a pacifier or clean finger (with short nails) pad side up to the roof of baby’s mouth. This will help little ears from feeling too much pressure.
  • Pack extra diapers and clothes. Sometimes babies get upset tummies or have extra messy diapers. Sometimes flights are delayed.

Carriers usually aren’t allowed through security (the TSA says they are not allowed on their website as of this writing but check their website for current information) but you can wear baby up to security and after. Buckle carriers and ring slings allow for quick ups and downs and make this go more smoothly but woven wraps are also quite lovely if you have long layovers, you may consider putting one in your carry on though or waiting to wrap until after you get through security and can get off to the side somewhere.

Have a happy trip!

What are your favorite tips for parents traveling with babies?

Types of Carriers

First Published: Aug 21, 2015 7:41 PM

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Today I’m going to talk about types of carriers a little bit. I’m going to go more in depth in to the pros and cons of each type of carrier in coming weeks but I want to touch a little on each and share some pictures of each.

Simple Piece of Cloth

Among these are stretchy wraps, gauze wraps, hybrid wraps, and woven wraps. Each are a simple piece of cloth made out of natural fibers (including cotton, linen, sometimes wool) or in the case of stretchy wraps and hybrid cotton blended with Lycra to give it the stretch characteristic of the type of wrap. Woven wraps are the most versatile and the only carrier that will fit baby properly from birth to as long as you want to wear. They do have a bit of a learning curve but are wonderfully comfortable once you get some hands on help and know how it’s supposed to feel.

  • Stretchy Wrap: Best for newborns, doesn’t really support spread squat positioning well past about 10-15 lbs, may be a little warm in the summer because they are thicker, made of cotton/Lycra blended. Can DIY with a good quality of fabric.
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Organic Sleepy Wrap (now Boba Wrap).

  • Gauze Wraps: Great up to about 20-25 lbs, nice and breezy for summer. Made of lightweight cottons. Can DIY with the right materials.
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Wrapsody Gypsy Mama Bali Breeze, double hammock carry

  • Hybrid Wraps: Because of 1 way stretch they are ok for back carries if you have some solid experience and a foundation in wrapping, more supportive for a newborn, not as comfortable once your baby is about 20-25 lbs because you need to frequently adjust it.
hybridcrop

Wrapsody Gypsy Mama Hybrid Wrap, double hammock carry

  • Woven Wraps: A bit more expensive at first but you can typically find a good used one for around $100 or less, a bit of a learning curve, most supportive wrap carrier, excellent from birth to as long as you want to wear, infinant ways to carry on front, hip, or back, one layer of fabric in carries is just fine so many different lengths available, can be great in summer depending on fabric, many different blends available, available at all types of price points, many brands, many options for colors, many options for patterns or stripes or plain.
GreenNatiwrap

Natibaby 4.6 wrap, 100% cotton, double hammock carry.

  • Kanga Carrier (not pictured): Traditional African carrier using a thin blanket looking piece of fabric. Baby is worn on the back in the small of mother’s back.

Slings

Ring slings and pouch slings are the two types of slings. Ring slings are very adjustable and can be great from birth through short bursts in toddlerhood depending on the material. Ring slings are available in cottons or can be converted from a woven wrap for extra durability and support. Pouch slings can come in adjustable sizes but are not supportive enough of a newborn’s spine so they are better suited for babies that can sit on their own for short periods of time. They are great for toddlers who want to be up and down a lot.

  • Ring Sling: Very adjustable, great for newborns and can be great for short bursts with a toddler, many options for fabrics, can DIY, be sure that the rings are from Sling Rings (not craft rings or any with any type of weld).
ringslings

Wrap convert ring sling (left), cotton ring sling (right)

  • Pouch Sling: Can be adjustable, usually not. Better for toddlers, not supportive enough for newborns.
pouchsling

*When you learn better, you do better* Kangaroo in a pouch sling as a newborn in the cradle carry. He’s upright so his airway is not compromised but I do not recommend this position or this carrier for a tiny baby knowing more about baby’s anatomy and development. My boys always hated this so it never lasted for more than a few minutes-babies are smart and know what they need.

Asian Inspired Carriers

  • Mei Tais (pronounced may tie): Features 4 straps, shoulder and waist. Very adjustable and great for differing parent body types. Can be converted from a woven wrap for extra comfort. Possibly the lowest learning curve next to a soft structure carrier. Can DIY with the right pattern and materials.
Thank you Katie Waugh for the awesome daddy wearing picture!

Thank you Katie Waugh for the awesome daddy wearing picture!

  • Soft Structure Carriers: Many brand options. Features buckling waist and structured arms that adjust or adjust and unbuckle. Most are front and back only but hip carries may be an option if the shoulder straps unbuckle. There’s also a chest clip which helps keep the shoulder straps together. Brands differ slightly in the body shape, length of padding in the shoulders, materials used (some feature a mesh panel against baby’s back), amount of padding in shoulders, etc. May have to try several brands to find what works well for your body type. Quick to get on and off. Probably the lowest learning curve. Possibly can DIY with the right materials but much more difficult to get the right buckles.
SarahSmithforblog

Thank you Sarah Smith for the picture with your sweet baby in a Boba carrier.

  • Other Asian Inspired Carriers (not pictured): Onbuhimu, and Podagei (often abbreviated to Pod). Onbuhimu features rings instead of a waist strap which may be very comfortable for a pregnant mom’s growing belly but puts all of baby’s weight on your shoulders. Podagei features long top straps and a blanket-like panel. The long straps are used to cross under baby’s bottom. All of baby’s weight is on your shoulders. Can possibly DIY with the right materials and patterns.

*For full disclosure I am a Boba Ambassador. I became a Boba Ambassador because I love their products. They send me free products to review from time to time but I do not receive any other compensation from them. I like to offer my honest opinion and free products do not influence my views*

What is your favorite type of carrier?