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Beyond Babywearing… Or, Really, Before…

7 Jul

I was thrilled to be asked to share some wisdom, recently, with the Mothering Arts community.  Follow the link, here, to view my latest blog!

When did you start babywearing your little ones?  With my first daughter, I had my first consultation with QuirkyBaby (then, owned by another awesome work at home mama!) when she was about 2 weeks, but we didn’t really start actively using the carrier until a few weeks after that, even.  With my second, I felt the “rush.”  That baby was in a carrier LITERALLY the day she was born.  We got home from the hospital and we went for a long walk and then back to life as usual.  I didn’t take the time to rest and to heal, and I think I paid the price for it.  So, my blog post is very much a, “do as I say, not as I [did],” sort of theme.  I wish I had done more skin to skin bonding time, more resting and nurturing, for both her and me.  snugglingjane

It’s that time of year! Cold-Weather Babywearing options at QuirkyBaby!

10 Nov

kowallifront

QuirkyBaby stocks a few great cold-weather babywearing accessories.  Covers that will work on all different types of carriers, will fit various “wearers,” and won’t break the bank like some other babywearing coats and jackets on the market!

Read an oldie but goodie QB Blog for more info: http://blog.quirkybaby.com/2012/10/15/time-for-cold-weather-babywearing-and-a-giveaway/

Breastfeeding & Babywearing: About nursing in a carrier…

1 Aug

QuirkyBaby Blog

breastfeeding in a carrier

Can I nurse in this carrier? Which carrier is best for breastfeeding? Can I be hands-free while nursing? These are very common questions I hear, so let’s tackle them…

Can I nurse in this carrier?

For sure, most baby carriers are absolutely able to be used for nursing. There is a caveat I always share, though. Anyone who has ever been a new nursing mama will admit that those first few days, weeks, maybe even the first couple months of nursing were a learning process for both mama and baby. Likewise, any babywearer can try to remember back to her first times using a baby carrier with a floppy baby…and it was also a learning process! Both of these are skills that take time and patience to develop, so I ALWAYS recommend feeling confident in each skill separately before trying to combine them. In fact, nursing the newborn in a…

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Babylonia BB-Slen Wraps and BB-Tai Wrap Conversion Mei Tais at QuirkyBaby!

12 May

I’m so excited to have one of my long-time favorite wraps in stock at QuirkyBaby!  BB-Slen wraps have been around for a long time.  Search TheBabywearer.com and you’ll find oodles of posts about them and how they are favorites for new wrappers, as well as experienced ones, especially as fantastic summer wraps and toddler-worthy wraps.

BBslen_bluebell_action

100% cotton, produced in India under the Fair Trade Project, new wrappers will love how easy these are to wrap with, as well as take care of – spit up, accidents, sweating are not a problem, since you can just toss them in the wash easy peasy!  The solid colorways with the section of the rainbowy Pineapple stripes are great for determining which edge of the wrap you’re working with and to avoid twisting.  The extra width on the BB-Slen wraps means extra support as babies grow into toddlers and preschoolers, and lots of good “cush” on the shoulders!  Being lightweight means that these wraps are both great for warm-weather wearing AND easy to wrap with, as the fabric will toss around you and adjust easily.  The majority of the BB-Slen wraps are a comfy cross twill weave, which provides a nice amount of diagonal stretch for great wrap jobs and comfort. However, Babylonia has also just released some jacquard weaves that feature gorgeous patterns.  The wide variety of colorways and patterns means there’s something for everyone!  Rainbows for some, and solid black and blues for others. My personal favorites are Prunella and Pineapple.  How about yours?

Looking for the feel of wrapping without the fuss?  BB-Tai wrap conversion mei tais are for you!

bbtaiaction

Let’s start off with the fact that each BB-Tai comes in its very own matching wrap bag!

bbtai_bag_quirkybaby

Open up the bag and take out your lovely, soft, lightweight BB-Tai.  The wrap conversion mei tais feature BB-Slen wrap fabric from top to bottom, with nice, wide unpadded wrap straps.  Each of the top straps measure 80 inches in length!  That’s one of the longest you’ll find, so perfect for tibetan tie offs and other chestbelts, as well as enough length for fluffier and broader babywearers.  The bottom straps measure 32.5 inches each and feature a lightly padded waist area.  The body of the carrier is 16 in wide and 17 in long, but the sleep support fabric can pull up another 5-6 inches or so for taller babies.  You’ll love the way you can easily pin those sleepy heads in and secure the fabric with an easy pull of the toggle, without covering baby’s entire head.  The size of the body of the carrier is definitely “toddler” size, but, as a mei tai, you can roll the waist and squish the fabric for a shorter and narrower body for younger babies.  Newborns can be placed in the removable infant seat, as well as rolling the fabric, to make sure they do not curl down into the carrier and sink into a chin-to-chest position.  More support for a younger baby is as simple as using the wide wrap straps, just like a wrap, to spread and tighten snugly to hold baby.  Those wide straps also come in handy if you prefer to cross straps over your chest in back carries, as well as helping to create an even wider seat for older kiddos.  The legs-out padding also helps make sure that long-legged toddlers and big kids are comfy in the carrier.

Overall, BB-Slen wraps and BB-Tai carriers are just awesome and I’m so excited to share the love!  I hope you’ll enjoy them too! 🙂

News about what’s NEW at QuirkyBaby!

7 May

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged.  Life got busy, as it does for all of us! (a toddler who never lets me touch my computer, a kindergartener who needs to be shuttled to and from school and various activities… unfortunately, blogging took a back seat for a while!).

In the meantime, my first “baby” will be 6 this weekend, just in time for mother’s day, and my other “baby” is almost 2.  There’s so much to celebrate!  One of my most recent “celebrations” is the update of my website. If you haven’t seen it, yet, head over to QuirkyBaby and check out the new “look” and new additions, thanks to Tracey of Indalia Design.  There’s still a bit of tweaking to be done, so it’s not quite perfect, yet, but I’m thrilled with the update.  What do you think?

New to QuirkyBaby, product-wise, is Babylonia brand Wraps and Wrap Conversion Mei Tais!  I’ve loved BB-Slen wraps for many years and am really loving having them in stock at QB.  The BB-Tai wrap conversion mei tais made completely out of the BB-Slen wrap fabric are fantastic.  Make sure to check them out!

BBslen_bluebell_action

As I launched the new website, I also added a new “free gift” option – You Are the Baby Carrier bags!  Made out of 100% recycled plastic (with 100% of the proceeds of my order going toward environmental literacy education), these convenient bags can help you carry your carrier or any extras you have while YOU carry your baby.  They even stuff into themselves and hook onto your keychain!  The inspiration for my bags goes back to a previous blog post that you can read, here.  Many many thanks to Lizzy of this (un)scripted life for taking my words and making them into such beautiful art!

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More to come… Newsletters are going out with special Mother’s Day offer and those of you “in the know” are aware that I’ll eventually be getting one last shipment of exclusive print Kinderpacks in at QB!  Make sure to Like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for all the latest updates!

QuirkyBaby Word Art!

29 Aug

My husband is a 5th grade teacher (if you’ve read my “About Me” you know that I was a Kindergarten teacher…that’s actually how we met!) and I see him exploring all sorts of tech apps for his kids all of the time.  I’m always fascinated by the Word Art images that come out of an application called Wordle.  So… this morning, having a cup of coffee while the kiddos get their last few minutes of shut eye, I decided that I’d give it a try using the QuirkyBaby Blog as the source for the words.  In case you’re not familiar with it, it takes words from a text or blog and shows some words larger or smaller, depending on the number of times they’re used.

Apparently, in this blog, I talk about SHOULDERS a lot! You’ll see words like Comfort and Fit, right up there, too!  And… apparently I’m a fan of talking about Catbird Baby and Mei Tais. 😉

Wordle: QuirkyBaby Blog

 

Tweak of the Week #6 – Adjusting the length of your Pikkolo

19 Sep

I made a similar tweak video about mei tais, but have recently had some questions from customers about the Pikkolo seeming too long or short. Here’s a video showing how I adjust the length of my Pikkolo as needed!:)

One Year at QuirkyBaby and a Giveaway to Celebrate: Win a Maya Wrap Ring Sling or Wrapsody Stretch Hybrid Wrap!

1 Sep

Well, it’s been a whirlwind year for me at QuirkyBaby!  Taking over on Sept. 1st of last year, I couldn’t have imagined how many amazing people I’d get to meet and help on my mission to spread the babywearing love (…or what it would be like to run the business over my first year through a devastating hurricane, while pregnant, having a baby, and surviving the early newborn days and colic!)

One of my favorite blog posts that I made this year was entitled, “You Are a Baby Carrier.”  As I work to make babywearing accessible for all different types of caretakers and babies, the heart of my mission is that it is the ACT of carrying your baby in your arms that matters, more than the product.  As an avid babywearer who really loves to try out everything I can get my hands on, it is fun to get caught up in the rage of the latest “it” carrier, wrap conversion, newest wrap, etc.  But, it’s important to come back down, sometimes, and remember that every carrier is a “real” baby carrier.  There are none that are better or worse than others.  Everyone has different tastes and opinions for what he/she likes in a carrier, and each baby likes different ways of being held for different reasons. Certain carriers might fit and feel better to one person and maybe other carriers fit and feel better to a different person, but that doesn’t mean that carriers are ranked in terms of good, better, best.  They all help us to carry and care for our children, and that is the most important thing of all.  It’s not about the brand, or how much you spend. It’s about the act of carrying your children and whatever carrier you prefer, can afford, and find comfortable to do so.  There was a blog post on Where We Wear, recently, that really sums it up so eloquently.

Two of my favorite carriers are a Maya Wrap Ring Sling and a Wrapsody Stretch Hybrid Wrap, both of which I’ve sadly heard described sometimes as “beginner” carriers or not “real” carriers, as if they’re fine carriers to start out with and then one must move on to something else. There is no reason that these brands should be labeled as “entry level” carriers, as if one MUST graduate to something else to be part of the babywearing community.  If you choose to expand your horizons, that’s one thing, but many “real” babywearers, like me, still use carriers like the Maya Wrap and Wrapsody as go-to carriers with newborns, toddlers, and even preschoolers.  Maya Wrap Ring Slings are one of the original wrap conversions – made from wrap fabric woven in Guatemala and converted into a ring sling.  Wrapsody Stretch Hybrid Wraps are not your every day stretchy.  Besides the fact that the colorways and patterns are gorgeous, they are supportive enough to take you from newborn through preschooler, can be used in every type of carry one might do with a non-stretchy (including back carries and tandem carries!), and the slight stretch has such a lovely bounce on your shoulders and helps wrap with that second-skin quality.  I have just a “few”pics (and, believe me, there are more!) of how much use I’ve gotten out of my Maya and Wrapsody.

mayawrapsodycollage

So, to share my love of these brands, and to celebrate my first year at QuirkyBaby , I’ve teamed up with Lizzy from Where We Wear for a giveaway! 

Visit Where We Wear and the official Where We Wear Facebook Giveaway Page for details on how to enter, and don’t forget to submit your own pictures and stories to the Where We Wear blog to help continue the mission.  At the end of 2 weeks, a winner will be chosen at random from all entries.  The lucky winner will have the choice of a free Maya Wrap Ring Sling in Berries or a Wrapsody Stretch Hybrid  in Bridgid.  I can’t wait to see all of your beautiful babywearing pics and hear your wonderful stories!

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brigid1 

Beco Gemini Clearance Sale!

9 Jun

Beco is allowing a sale on discontinued prints!  Gemini prints in Sunset, Espresso, Enzo, and Serenity are now available at QuirkyBaby for only $109 plus FREE US shipping!  Now is a great time to get a Gemini at a fabulous sale price, and, if you follow Beco, these sales don’t happen very often! 🙂

gemini serenity

The Beco Gemini carrier is a super comfortable, ergonomic, and stylish baby carrier that fits a wide variety of body types and will help you carry your baby from newborn through toddler stages.  The Gemini allows a front facing in, facing out, hip, or back carry position.  When wearing in a front carry, you have the ability to cross the straps on your back in an “X” position to help distribute baby’s weight.  No need for uncomfortable or bulky infant inserts, as the base is able to be narrowed for little newborns to have their legs out and support them in a seated position.  Once baby grows a bit, snap the base back to its wide position for more ergonomic comfort for both you and baby.  The narrow and sleek body, while padded, allows air circulation and still maintains a great seat for baby, even when he or she reaches toddlerhood!

geminicollage

If you’re interested in a carrier more geared toward the older baby and toddler, there’s also the Beco Soleil to check out!

lillebaby COMPLETE: a review…

17 Mar

Lillebaby COMPLETE Carrier
A couple of months ago, QuirkyBaby added the new lillebaby COMPLETE carrier to its buckle carrier selection. I’m so excited about this new carrier. I’ve tried the other “lillebaby” carriers that had previously been available at the bigger box stores and wasn’t impressed. When looking into the COMPLETE, I was surprised to find out that lillebaby, the company, was under a reboot! The older “lillebaby” carriers had actually been produced under the Scandinavian Child brand, and now, the small company from Colorado was taking their company back and redesigning a new carrier that really strives to be “complete.” With features like an infant harness and a seat that can narrow to eliminate the need for a separate, bulky insert, a body that has the ability to be snapped up or down to fit smaller and taller babies, padding on the side webbing and chest clip to prevent rubbing and digging, a head support AND sleeping hood, an optional lumbar support pad, the ability to wear straps in the “H” or “X” position, and stirrups sold separately for older/long-legged kiddos, the lillebaby COMPLETE really does try to address every common complaint of other buckle carriers on the market. It even comes in a mesh model – the lillebaby COMPLETE Airflow. The only thing I think would really make it “complete” would be the addition of a pocket on the back for stuffing little items (who knows…maybe in a future model?).

So, I had tried the lillebaby COMPLETE a few times with my 3 year old over the summer, and it was pretty darn comfy. But, I wanted to give it a real test with someone who would be wearing for longer periods than I was wearing my 3 year old AND a mama who had a more full figure, since buckle carriers are not always the best fit for curvier mamas. A few weeks ago, I let my good friend Lauren borrow a lillebaby COMPLETE in Purple/Pink to try out with her one-year-old daughter. She was gracious enough to do a little “blogging” about it for QuirkyBaby. 😉

lillebaby COMPLETE Purple/Pink
It wasn’t love at first click for me and Buckle Carriers….I had read a bunch, seen a bunch, looked a bunch and really thought I’d love them… everyone did right?

I excitedly registered for a certain well known soft structured carrier ( hint: rhymes with… Bergo… ), received it for my baby shower and anxiously awaited my little one’s arrival to try it out.

It’s a great carrier in lots of ways, but there were certain things I didn’t like about it. The black webbing would dig into the back of my shoulder blades and alongside my breasts. Not a great sensation for a breast feeding (and already pretty curvy) mother. The waist band would fold over and lose comfort and support. The chest clip never really hit me at a great spot (granted, not a carrier issue, more a wearer issue). And lastly – worn so low on my waist, it would make me bulgy in places I’d rather hide post partum. While many folks loved them and didn’t have such issues, it became a back-of-the-closet carrier for me and I explored other options to wear my little girl.

I was a staunch mei tai lover, an outspoken ring sling lover… But when mamas asked me about SSC’s, I would speak honestly about their ease of use, their comfort level, some versatility across ages/sizes, though my enthusiasm was perhaps lacking as it wasn’t my favorite type.

Then I was given the lillebaby Complete to try out. With one walk with my little girl, my opinion of SSCs changed. This carrier is beyond comfortable. The lillebaby Complete has padded the webbing to eliminate the digging issue I had with my other SSC. The padded, structured waist is super supportive, doesn’t get squished and floppy or fold over (even on my squishy, floppy waist). She had a lovely, deep seat due to the way the body is structured (It has a cupped seat design with seat darts, which helps keep baby’s spine in a naturally curved position). I wish I had had the carrier when she was a newborn as it’s COMPLETEly (get it?) adjustable to a newborns tiny squishy-ness without the need for any inserts or extra pieces. Now as a toddler – I can expand the body easily and quickly to have one of the widest seated and tallest carriers available. It truly can take you from infancy to preschooler without needing to purchase any accessories or a different carrier!

Finding versatility, comfort and ease of use in a baby carrier can be a bit of a stretch goal, but the lillebaby Complete achieves that goal. My daughter completely loved it. She felt safe, secure and is always happy on mommy’s back. I had a more petite, non-mommy girlfriend try the carrier on for her input and she danced away with my little girl on her back (literally danced, there’s video proof!). It suited her petite frame and my curvy frame with equal levels of comfort! Also, it’s super daddy-friendly. My husband was able to get her on easily and comfortably (his admission). If you know my husband, a compliment on a baby carrier is high praise. He’s been a bit of a reluctant wearer!

I can’t recommend the lillebaby Complete carrier enough. It’s made a buckle convert out of me. My next child is due soon and I know I’ll want to try it out with him when he’s here! I really think babywearers new or experienced, even those who have sworn off buckle carriers, should give the lillebaby COMPLETE a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Thanks, Lauren! 🙂 Have you tried the lillebaby COMPLETE? Leave a comment to let us know what you think!