Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Stash is Bigger than Yours

Diving into baby wearing is seriously risky business. Once you discover the convenience of one baby carrier, it's only natural to wonder how a different one will make life even easier.

Man never stops striving for the best. And neither does darn Didymos!

Even WAHM mommies making the carriers are constantly improving their wares. Some have looks you just have to try, some get so many rave reviews you don't want to feel left out of the love, and some are custom so you start dreaming about having a carrier made with the same fabric as your favorite outfit. The cycle never stops, so it's good to set out some rules before you even start navigating the Chatter's Paradises.

These are some of the rules I stand by when falling prey to carriers:

Rule #1: No more than two of any thing. Two wraps, two structured carriers, two slings and my stash doesn't budge until I can move something out.

Rule #2: One of the two have to be dad-friendly. Monster's dad has a Bamberoo structured carrier in neutral colors and with scooter print. Mine is a flowery print that screams femininity.

Our car-carrier when Monster was younger: Zolo ring sling

Our toddler-car-carrier: Bamberoo SSC

Rule #3: One carrier should always be left in the car. You can use this compromise to have three of something, unless your significant other only carries the baby when going out and use the car every time. In that case, leave the daddy print carrier in the car. Moms can pull off a boyish print every single time, but it takes a rare species of man to willingly sport sparkly pink *my hats off to those that can*.

Rule #4: If you absolutely have to try something new, something old has to go to finance it. Not only does this save you money, it also saves space. Remember the rule of the happy Danish people "Less stuff, more life."

Rule #5: Each child should have only one legacy wrap. Yes, yes, they all have emotional attachments to it; cut half a meter and sell the rest. Blankeys are easier to store and can be framed into art later.

Monster's legacy wrap: A DIY gauze.

I'll end this post with this cute photograph of our the-angelic Monster. Her hands can grab a lot more things now, can pull off my scarf, yank out fist-fulls of hair, steal chocolates from the check-out line at Foodtown and clamber out at will. These days when she does let me carry her on my back, she wraps her tiny arms around mine and presses against me and kissing my back at the same time, before promptly falling asleep.

Hug your babies, enjoy life.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stay Warm, Hug your Bug

Nothing is cozier in the bone chilling gusts outside in New York City, to have a baby nuzzling its mother’s chest, held tightly and securely there with a carrier. NYC mothers are always on the move, nothing can slow them down. Snow? Why, these women will mow down a mountain of hail if only to get to Barney’s for a sale.
Ask any seasoned New Yorker and they will tell you the fastest way to get to your destination during rush hour is either by subway, or by foot. Incidentally, it really is a miracle how people manage to stay on their feet while hoofing it on the city sidewalks is a mystery. One would expect at least a few people body surf their way across the tide of pedestrians, yet it isn’t.
It is also uncommon to find mothers toting strollers the size of a compact car during rush hours. Many are cautiously waiting for the crowds to thin at sidelines, or passing time at a nearby park till the bulk of employees getting off of work gets home, before they brave the subway system.
If you’re currently living in New York City however, you have probably already run into many parents that do brave the 5 o clock rush with a baby cuddling in a snazzy babycarrier in the front or a toddler slung on their back.
Baby carriers must have been made with metropolitan parents in mind. To be clear, they were not. Baby wearing is an ancient parenting tool brushed aside by early parenting gurus that wanted to liberate parents from the confining task of answering to their child’s “beck and call.” Attachment Parenting is bringing this tool back into the lives of many parents, but it is certainly not restricted to only these parents.
Practically anyone without a car and half a brain, is dabbling in baby wearing. The new parents scan the mandatory Baby Bjorn in the baby registry at Babies R Us and the few smarter ones will scan in something that looks like it will be secure for a baby beyond their third month birthday.
Therefore, it isn’t uncommon to find parents walking as if they carry no baggage but hiding an itty bitty one under a blanket right under their collar bone.
Come winter however, many of these parents will resort to hoisting their child around in the said car-sized strollers, Bundle Me pods zipped around them. Seasoned baby wearers will admit however, the cold season is when they most enjoy wearing their baby close, toasting in their warmth.
In this article we will cover how to make baby wearing in winter an enjoyable experience and help solve mysteries on how to keep the baby close and look presentable at the same time.
Without investing too much money into winter baby wearing gear, the best option is to head to your favorite store and find a sleeveless, vest, preferably weather proof and some kind of warm inner lining, in at least one size bigger than what you normally wear.
A child under 18 month old, is typically happy to stay under layers so it’s ok to not put a winter coat on them. Simply layer the child in clothes you want them to wear indoors and strap them over your own clothes. Wear the vest on top and button or zip it up to the child’s neck. Wrap a scarf around the child and pair with a nice fuzzy hat. Put on your own winter coat and either leave the buttons open, or close them only beginning under the child’s seated bum and you’re good to go.
A more expensive yet very effective solution is to invest in a baby wearing vest the most well known being Peekaru. These coats have neck holes for the child’s head and close on the sides, so putting them on and taking them off is very easy. They can found at most baby wearing vendors online but you can always try them on at Metro Minis on the upper west side. Mama Jacket and Suze's Kindercoats make beautiful winter coats specially designed to fit even over a toddler in a back carry.
The creators of these coats are always coming up with variations and it is very common to find coats in excellent condition being offered for sale at the international baby wearing community’s message board So if you want the best for your child and keep it baggage free for yourself, baby wearing can truly be your best friend even in the cold.