Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A new look at Simple Pieces of Cloth

Followers of this or my other daily (sort-of) blog will have learned by now that the Ozturk family is expecting another little addition by the end of March next year. For that reason, I have been pretty much MIA while I stalk For Sale or Trade forums on TheBabyWearer community.

There are so many new wraps to try that I want to buy all of them if only to trade them back for EVEN MORE wraps as I go through the new releases and the yummy blends of different fabrics. Of course, like in every other family in NYC, money is an issue and I'm holding off on buying anything until an older carrier we used occasionally for Monster sells. It's a sad realization, but Monster doesn't ask to be carried anymore, (unless she spots her ringsling, which is another issue because now I need a more supportive ring sling for the times she want to be held) and this carrier is expendable (haha).

I had to reconsider my drooling over expensive wraps however, when as I was tying Monster's original gauze legacy wrap (that I made myself) our other friends started talking about my $200 wraps. One of them remarked "but it's just a piece of cloth!" I felt defensive and was about to repeat the usual speil of "they are specifically made for this purpose to give the proper support without causing pressure points." I may actually have ventured into the speil but held back...


Some expensive German-engineered wraps gave me pressure points too. One was so slippery that the knots wouldn't hold, and I kept trying at it because it was just beautiful.

Wouldn't I keep trying to make a beautiful fabric work even if I had bought it in a discount fabric bin at JoAnn's?

My mission for December now is to visit JoAnn's and to find a fabric that will become ChickPea's legacy made-by-mommy wrap just like Monster's is.

Will I will brag just the same about its qualities as I would of a $200 wrap? We'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Asian Style: Mei Tai carrier choices

Brandi, this is for you =)
Brandi asked my opinion on which among Kozy, Freehand and Babyhawk are better options for a new baby.
I've used Angelpack, Freehand and Babyhawk with Monster as she was a little one. I found each of them plenty comfortable but ended up with Babyhawk as it had the design that Monster's dad liked the best.

There are however, subtle differences between the structure in the carriers.

Kozy carriers are Apron-tie style. There are differences of opinion on apron-tie being more or less comfortable than non-apron ties. There is no padding, or structure to the waist band in an apron-tie carrier, so there may be less support. On the other hand, the apron-tie gives a much better seat to the baby and some people may find that easier on the hips.
Kozy Carrier pic credits Kozycarrier.homestead.com)

Freehand is another Apron style carrier. (Freehand. Pic credits togetherbe.com)

Both Kozy and Freehand have nice wide shoulder straps, though not as padded as Babyhawk.

Babyhawk is a non-apron style carrier. The waist band however is not padded nor very wide (unless they've changed the design since I last used it) and in my experience (as well as alleged by other users) tends to roll over under baby's weight.
(Babyhawk mei tai. Pic credit Paxbaby.com)

None of the carriers mentioned here have contoured bodies or sleep hoods, though you can buy a separate attachment that fits all carriers. Kozy and Freehand have thinner head rests, Babyhawk's is the highest and stiffest headrest, but can be folded over.

These are all safe carriers and manufacturer will recommend them to be tied apron or non-apron depending on the structure of the carrier. It all boils down to which one is most comfortable on YOUR body type.

I'd recommend trying all three out before you buy. If there is no babywearing store close to where you live, it might be worthwhile to buy gently used carriers from the For Sale or Trade community on Thebabywearer.com and then trade or resell whichever doesn't work for you.

Let me know if this was helpful or not. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween Sunnyside!

Fall is even more fun when there is an actual excuse for grown women like me to get their hands down and dirty painting baby pumkins and decorating fall leaf wreathes.

Monster gives me that reason and sometimes I see my husband give me weird looks as if trying to figure out "who exactly are we here for? The toddler or the mommy?"

This year, we joined the Harvest Festival organized by NYC Parks Department at Gantry Plaza (one of the other parks we frequent besides Lou Lodati). We "frequent" that park so much in fact that Monster actually has friends she remembers by name there. We joined a small group of other moms and their tots and got our hands (and clothes) dirty painting pumpkins.

I happily strung a fall leaf wreath together to hang at our door even though back in my mind I knew it won't last there a day. I have such a bad allergy to dead leaves, preserved or not, that even cut flowers are not allowed to stay in our home once they start to look anything less than happy. We've thrown many a fresh-flower bouquets out because I'd go on a sneezing rampage and be miserable until the flowers are thrown out and I have vaccuumed and mopped the apartment sterile.

It was a fun day and only the beginning. Tonight we'll be joining our friends in Sunnyside for some trick or treating with the tots. Though, I'm not sure if Monster will be allowed any candy afterwards *insert evil laughter*. No, for real though! She starts talking all funny and fast..very fast if she eats even one snack sized chocolate.

Kinda like me on a sugar high...only hyper charged only because she is not 2 and not 27.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I think she's hooked too!

So, this morning Monster demanded to wear a doll in a front carry. She even chose a longish scarf out of my scarf drawer and let me wrap the doll in a Kangaroo carry. A few minutes later, she reappears with another scarf and her other doll and asks me to wrap this one on too.

On went the doll on her back in a Ruck-tied-under-bum.

She went about the house like that for a good 15 minutes, patting the doll's back and saying "Awww--ww!" every now and then.

She really gets it! She really really gets it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wool and Winter

I can't wait for March and to while away the time, I am of course constantly browsing TBW community's For Sale or Trade forum.

Although there are many wraps out there, and many of them at jaw dropping discounts (enough to make me gaze longingly at my dwindling bank account and try to wish more money into it), there are a couple that I know I won't find.

One is the Noubulle Simon, a yummy blue and chocolate wrap that would be perfect for the March chill; and the other is the Fall 2010 Didymos special: Green Wool Fische!

Isn't it the perfect spring green??? *melting*

Edited November 20th, 2010: I am still obsessing over this colorway, and finally realized why! Long long time ago, I had seen something very similar and had be captivated by the image.

Of course, the only thing keeping me afloat is that while I can probably pull off the blankety Simon through at least June, Wool would be unbearable in the heat. Realizing and trying not to listen to the logic that wool is probably more breathable than 100% cotton Simon and logically would last me longer, but ugh! Logic, who told you to talk back??? TIME OUT!

I am very glad though that I won't have to deal with babywearing outerwear this time (yeah,like I did last time haha, it was oversized and maternity coats and jackets for this wife of a stingy, mean husband ppbbbbbhhhttttt)

Ok, let's rephrase it. WIZARD (dang Husband) is the one who's going to be glad I won't be making puppy eyes at him to shell out for babywearing outerwear.

Just for the record though, the M Coat (sold at UpMama )is the latest in babywearing outerwear fashion:

The M Coat...
is easily the most attractive babywearing coat available today and will keep you looking fabulous throughout your pregnancy, while out with baby or on your own. It just might be the best wardrobe investment you've ever made! Beautifully designed and crafted in Canada, this pure premium Canadian down, machine washable coat finds the perfect balance between sophistication and function. It is lightweight and breathable enough for spring and fall and yet warm enough to keep both you and baby cozy through many a winter. The faux fur and hood are also independently removable. The M Coat is backed by a lifetime warranty on it's workmanship.

The coat is priced at $385.

Did I hear someone fall out of their chair? No? Maybe it was just me.

Photos: Didymos.de, Upmama.com

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Toys on the Fly!

At every bend around motherhood, we meet other moms whose kids are going through the same phases, same tantrums, same fascinations. There was this one time when Monster rejected all toys except for my leg and I was in tears wondering how can I distract her enough to make lunch, shower, pee or sit down.
At a play date of course, we moms went about wondering what IS the fascination with our legs! And one mom had the solution. A tupperware filled with beans! Umm, really? They'd go for that?
Apparently so.
Jessica of Mommyhood Next Right listed a number of things she'd created to distract her little one in WMD (Weapons of Mass Distraction).
I thought of commenting with some of our own innovative toys but then remembered, I didn't really come up with anything. I think I lost at least 85% of my brain cells post-baby and whatever gain and loss has gone on in the two years since amounts to a nominal recovery. So I looked to Sunnymoms for some ideas, considering that in a few month I'm about to lose whatever brain cells I DO have left.

These are some of the suggestions they offered:

1. Just toss them a used paper towel roll.
2. Fill mini water bottles with different items: elbow macaroni, rice, lentils etc. This mom's 6 month old was fascinated by the different sound of each bottle.
3. I did remember cutting out the bottom part of an old tube style laundry bag and letting Monster crawl in and out of it. Yup, minutes of fun.

Ok ladies, this is all I got. If you can help me, please do. This post is labelled under "What to do when it's 5 minutes to dinner and your child is still hoggin all the pans you need for cooking."
Ok it's really "when nothing else works"

Edited with additions:
...for diaper changes, we hung a few family photos on the wall above the changing pad. Every time we change a diaper, we go through the names of the people in the photos. [Daughter] has learned who everyone is and points at them when we say each name.
Patricia R.

...how about using old magazines or their every day book collection or even family photo album like an Where's Waldo book.
"Is anyone in that book wearing red? How many circles/ squares etc... Can you find on that page? Can you find grandma/pa, daddy/mommy on that page?"
And so on...
Of course this works for the toddler who's learning these concepts , but it's a wonderul diversion.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Playing Yoga with kids

Swimming like fish to the song Goldfish by Laurie Berkner Band

The Crocodile goes Chomp Chomp!
Making Soup when we got hungryMy most enthusiastic student

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Changing Gears

This last weekend, our little family took a roat trip out to our favorite Lewin Farms for apple picking.

After spotting several babywearers and reminiscing about our own babywearing days, I've begun to wonder if this blog should shift gears for the time being as well.

More on this later, but comments and encouragement is welcome. I'll never stop oogling carriers and posting pictures of my favorites, but I think there is more going on in our life in this gorgeous neighborhood that needs to be covered.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oh Snap! So simple!

I've been routinely asked my opinion on Baby Hawk's answer to Ergo, their very own structured, full buckle carrier: Oh Snap!

The only time previously I had touched on of these was when I was suddenly requested to spot a baby as the dad tried to put him in one of these. We struggled with adjustments, the chest belt came off, the waist belt was not extending... At that time I thought a more appropriate name for the carrier should have been Oh Crap!

Recently, I had the opportunity to try it on myself (and a doll as Monster was not cooperating, and when does she ever anyway?). The chest belt was as intimidating as ever, even after figuring out the easy way to clip it back on the tracks...there was too much plastic, too many snappable ends that looked alike, too much going on.

However, when it came to comfort once it was on, it reminded me of my own beloved Bambaroo Full Buckle. The waist belt is just as wide and structured, and the straps very comfortably padded. I can see how this can become a great alternative to the toddler carrier. Just to make sure, I laid them both out to compare the sizes.

Bambaroo on bottom, Oh Snap! on top.

The bodies on both Bambaroo and Oh Snap! are the same height, the width is almost the same with a slight inward curve on the body on the Oh Snap, where chubby toddler legs would hang out.

The straps are the same width as are the waist bands. The biggest difference really is the lack of a sleephood and many parents already feel they can do without one. Personally, we find it very usefuls as it not only saves Monster's head from the sun while she sleeps, it also lends a support so I don't have to hold her lolling head as I walk around.

My other issue again was with the chest straps: I don't need them to be falling off the tracks every time I try to adjust the height. I have other things to worry about. I was especially concerned with what would happen if they fell off while I was trying to adjust them on my back. The thought bothers me: I'd have to take the entire thing off, try to find a place to make sure Monster doesn't run off, while I squint and struggle with fixing straps.

I'd rate it a 3 out of 5, for this reason. For people who love the comfort of a fully adjustable buckle carrier but can't wait for custom spots from wahm carrier manufacturers, this is a reasonably good alternative.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Playing with Tots!

I'm loving loving loving it!

Even on days just one kid shows up lolz.

The training at Karma Kids Yoga was so fun that I couldn't wait to start my own puppet collection and start playing yoga with kids.

October will be my official start of classes, really hoping to get some kids to come play with me. At least Monster is loving it; we sometimes have to physically remove her from walls and from doing inversions.

Doing L-inversions at the wall with her friend, P.

The girls offering me their feet for foot rubs =)

Everytime I pull out my mat from the closet, Monster asks me in this very cute voice "Are we doing YO-ga?"

Yes baby, whenever you want lolz!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Steal of the week

A little about the Boba Carrier:

The Organic Boba is a carrier like no other! It is designed for babies and toddlers ages 1-4. This soft structured carrier provides health benefits that no other carrier on the market does right now...and it's very sleek and super comfy!

The Boba is the first backpack carrier to offer foot straps that ensure that the child's knees are kept at a 90 degree angle for optimal comfort and better circulation.

The non-Organic version is now on a wonderful sale at Heavenly Hold, at just $90 with free shipping!

Personal Note: This looks like a great alternative to Ergo. At the great price it is available right now, it would even make the perfect gift for an expecting friend.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Babywearing Workshops at Metro Minis

I knew it was off to a weak start when the mom-of-honor, Cemile was late half an hour in to the workshop. Great job mom! Now you know absolutely nothing about the safety and precautions that should be taken when babywearing.

She's lucky I was there and have fantastic memory.

Koyuko, our instructor is this fabulous lady that also gives Elimination Communication workshops and which was my first workshop with her. I was already happy to see her again giving the babywearing workshop!

Some pointers that I would like to remind readers here as well:

Adults have an S-shaped spine and babies have a C-shaped spine. Carriers with straight backs, and which are structured so babies can be "dropped" into them instead of the carrier adjusting to the baby, are detrimental to optimum development of the spine.

According to this fact, best carriers for infant wearing would be:
Ring slings
Soft structured mei-tais, in that order.

Babies, when you pick them up in the air, automatically scrunch their legs up into a froggy-fold. This the best position for their hips to continue a healthy development. In any carrier, an infant (and older babies) should be carried with their thighs splayed away from the torse, knees higher than the hips (and spine allowed to curve into its natural C-shape.)

A mom raised the concern for having ankles bent in an awkward position and not being aware. Koyuko confirmed again, as we all know, babies will let us know if they are uncomfortable. The mom can always reach inside the carrier, find the feet and readjust them any time.

Cemile and Seyhan walked in just as Koyuku started demonstrating stretchy wraps. As I was wondering, "Oye, I hope Cemile doesn't get turned off by the lenght of that wrap," out of the corner of my eye I say Cemile's shoulders shudder. She turned to me and went "That's too complicated for me."

Ok....how about a ring sling?


Ooooh BECO!!!

So she falls in love with the 4th (5th?) Generation Beco. The stars in her eyes didn't dim even as Koyuko demonstrated how easily someone can walk behind the mom and click the waist belt open (trying to show that that cannot be done with a mei tai.) Fortunately for Cemile, the Beco DOES come with an inner harness so that even if a crazy passerby DOES click open the waist belt, the baby wouldn't actually fall through.

Phew! Thank you Beco people.

Side note: Camera is en-route to Sony repair center in Texas. I'll be missing out on visual aids till it comes back, hopefully transformed into a DSLR....a girl can dream.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pregnant Yoginins are so comfy

Getting all the adjustments, modifications and body work during the prenatal workshop I had the crazy idea "I need to get knocked up!"

And then I remembered not sleeping the night before, and poof, the urge was gone.

No, really though! I'm so enamoured by the modified child's pose for pregnancy, that I actually grabbed two cushions during my ashtanga class to tuck under my knees. Nahvae the teacher gave me a wierd look but then went along her business.

Phew. And snore. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stay fit for pregnancy and Childbirth

Ladies, here's some good news for you.

Not only can you contact me just for babywearing consultation, I can also be your private prenatal yoga instructor!

I had been following Janice Clarfield for some time throughout her teachers' training trip to United States. She is actually on the Yoga Alliance's Prenatal Advisory Committee. Based in Vancouver, Canada Janice has been teaching women to become yoga instructors for 20 years!

I learned so much from this wonderful woman and can't wait to transfer her wisdom to my beautiful pregnant friends and clients. And in case you're wondering, I've also been training for a long time in the ashtanga yoga path.

If you're interested in hiring me, contact me for pricing and scheduling from the link on the side bar.

For obvious reasons, thought I would add, this is only for women in the Sunnyside and Astoria, NYC.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Steal of the Week

About time you bought your kid an Inspired by Finn Amber necklace!

(ducking because I haven't bought any myself yet. Monster just kinda stopped teething by the time I figured out how it worked.)

So I'll make it simpler for you. Amber is an ancient resin that has certain oils released by the warmth of our body that can protect us against a bunch of bad things including cell phone and microwave radiations. There, peaked your interest? Do some research but be quick, Inspired by Finn has discounts of upto 40% on kids items till July 5th if you blog/post/tweet about them.

THE PURCHASE OF YOUTH AMBER NECKLACES size 11” TO 16”, THE BALTIC AMBER NECKLACE ALTERNATIVE, LEG WARMERS or TIGHTS. All other items (including hazelwood jewelry and adult amber are not eligible).

BEFORE YOU ARE ABLE TO USE THE DISCOUNT CODE we need your help advertising this sale! We need you to post about this sale somewhere online and post a link back to this page. You can post your link on any online board(s) where you are active. Once you have posted link(s) to help us advertise our sale, post to this thread with links to the posts you’ve created. The more places you post, the greater discount you earn!

Here is the discount code to use once you’ve done this. If you create:

ONE link online to advertise our sale, the code for you to save 20% is: onelink
TWO links online to advertise our sale, the code for you to save 30% is: 2links
THREE links online to advertise our sale, the code for you to save 40% is: 3links

This code can be entered during the checkout process.

This offer is good through July 5. Our round-bead styles are our best-stocked items.

Be our guest to share this post with friends and family who might like participate.
(Pictured, pumpkin butter bean necklace, my choice for Monster)
(Photo credit Inspired by Finn)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My latest hiccup in parenting a toddler girl

I occasionally get i n trouble while doing the best raising my willful little girl. Like the time we had her panty-less for potty training, and couldn't get her to stop putting stickers on her "ahem". Or the time I spent hours cleaning up quinua from the carpet because she decided she didn't like the texture of her snazzy new dinner.
Tonight I'm literally up this late, trying to come with ideas on how to put her earrings back in after I took them out for a cleaning. I managed to put one back in as she slept, but now for the second one, as soon as I brush the hair away from her face, she slaps her hands on top of her ear.
I could leave her with one earring and raise her a pirate, or I need to buckle up, be a man and figure out how to get this done.
Preferably before she turns three.
Any ideas?

Friday, June 11, 2010

The babies are HERE!

None of whom are mine. These are the babies in the Thomas Balmes sociocultural documentary "Babies."

This documentary filmed the first year of four babies in Namibia, Mongolia, San Francisco and Tokyo. There didn't appear to be a script, just comparison of different stages of the first year of each baby (sitting up, crawling, first foods, cruising, walking, talking etc.). There weren't any translations, which although at first was disappointing, I quickly realized was very appropriate for the objective of the film. The lack of translations or commentary left no space for judgment or presumtions and left every opportunity to observe and learn intact.

There were many many thought provoking scenes in the movie which is why I wanted to take my friends with me so we can one day discuss these things, many of which are social issues in our country. For example, the San Fran baby methodically peels away the pith from the banana (I don't know what that bitter thing is called that runs like a fuzzy vein between the meat and the peel) and doesn't chew the tough stem at the end of the meat. Meanwhile, in Mongolia and Namibia, the families make use of everything on an animal or vegetable because they cannot afford to throw anything away.

(At this point I'm losing half my mind and most of my other impressions that I wanted to share because I'm doozing on my laptop and really should be sleeping for my early morning run, but I'm being nice and finishing my post lolz)

Another thing I left the theater with was the realization, "what would our culture be like if like the Namibians, we considered a woman's breasts a source of food first and foremost?" In all the filming of the movie, the Namibian women were semi naked and their children had constant access to their mother's milk. I was actually repulsed in the beginning, but I came to realize that my repulsion is a taught behavior. I am TAUGHT to think "Ugh, would she put away those things already" when what she's really doing is just feeding her kid! And I actually began to feel a little envious.
That kind of non-attention would never fly in the West however, where people need an excuse to get naked even when they're never really doing anything beneficial with their exposed parts (like feeding a hungry baby.) The San Fran mom for instance, takes a skinny dip in a hot tub. On the roof top of her apartment. WHO THE HELL TAKES SKINNY DIPS IN ROOFTOP HOT TUBS?
Ok maybe many people do, but would they do it in front of rolling cameras? Where they'll have to get in AND out of it in front of a relative stranger? You're not breastfeeding your child and really did you have to be naked waist down in a tub you're sharing with your INFANT?

Yes, as you can tell, I had a problem with that. It was a total "what the fu..?" moment for me.
I hope it eventually becomes available on Netflix so in the future I can show Monster the Namibian scenes and make her appreciate her life in the West. Maybe I can threaten to send her there if she hangs out with the wrong type of boys.

Although I'm not sure if she'd actually hate it there.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happiest Baby in the Park

As most Sunnysiders probably noticed, today was not much of a park weather. Monster needs her time out however, and despite the threat of rain, we made our way to Lou Lodati park.

If it wasn't for the trains, you could have heard crickets.

The park was abandoned! In a corner though, I saw a flash of black and a splatter of color. Thank God, another mom who needed to breathe.

Moms, welcome fellow babywearing mom from Chicago, Elise who with her husband, two-and-a-half year old daughter V and ickle Luke moved to Sunnyside only a week ago. Say hi when you see her again and marvel at her Do-It-Yourself mei tai.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Babywearing can help me keep my kid decent

Yet another odd moment where a babycarrier turned up as a savior. Carriers and wraps have previously served us as

*Emergency sun shades
*blankets when the evening turned unexpectedly cold
*BEACH blankets

And today, when Monster peed through all her clothes AND through her back up outfit, she was put in a carrier to hide the fact that she was wearing little but an underwear.

Now THAT's what I call an adventure in babywearing...commando!

In other news, while I'm still honing out the blog, I'm hoping to build more readership. I kid you not internet, there is some wacky stuff to come soon. There will be a career change, a drastic location change, and stories of babywearing advocacy in hostile cultures. Plus there might be some political rant thrown in the mix. So keep a look out...it'll be slow in coming, but when it gets here? Be prepared to bring your boxing gloves.

So do what it says here:


Follow Me Back Tuesday is a day of the week that you can gain more followers and find other great blogs to follow on a weekly basis.

Follow Me Back Tuesday is hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya's, Review Retreat & Boobies,Babies And A Blog..

It's a great way to start off your week & get more BF's !!

How it Works
Follow ALL of the Hostesses
(leave us a comment so we can follow you back)
1. Add your blog to the list (only have to add once)
2. Grab our fabulous button & the link code to post on your blog
3. Start to follow as many blogs as you would like (make sure you leave a comment so they can follow you back)
4. And when you receive a comment from a new follower return the favor & follow them back.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A little piece of happiness in my bag

Have I told you all about my adventures with energy bars? I love 'em. Absolutely love 'em. I am not so fond of the after taste some of the bars leave behind though. Some of them have little or no effect on me...'cuz compared to them I swear Milky Way has a longer burst of energy.

Then Wizard goes and orders these little known chocolate bars brand called Herbalife Protein Bars. He'd been researching for better tasting protein shakes for me (I know, the guy is adorable!) and new I love protein bars for little pick-me ups and got a few samples for me. He'd been in touch with the guy running the distribution website and he (the distributer) sent us some extra to distribute to our readers.

So here's the deal, I also need to pick up my followership. I'd love to share this great tasting product with you when you

*follow the blog with the Google's Friend Connect on the sidebar.
*You can get in EXTRA ENTRIES by following me on Twitter, also on the right side bar.

Two winners picked using RaffleKing.com will be contacted for their contact address and mailed a chocolate fudge protein bar to try for themselves.

Tell your friends, tell your aunt. These things are great and you're also helping a small business owner with providing inexpensive and effective marketing.

Giveaway ends June 14

***Special Thanks to Kim of ChubbyCheeks who whether she likes it or not, has now been enlisted ast MonsterHug's Godmother. ***

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Weekends with Babywearing Dads

Today's celebrated babywearing Dad is my friend Cynthia's very handsome hubby, John Cherry.

John loves to wear Laura, he says he feels closer to her and more protective of her when he carries her. He also has no desire to learn to wear her on his back because he'd miss seeing her. John had the idea to make a jacket "extender" to zip into our coats so we could wear her comfortably and closely even through the winter.

How hot is that? A babywearing dad with smart ideas too boot!

Has your darling Babywearing husband offered any smart ideas to make babywearing even more fun lately?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Race ON!

We started the Memorial Day Weekend this year with a huge bang (although 24 hrs later, I'm regretting the exertion on my poor legs). Our friends suggested a hike and I suggested trying the Bambaroo instead of using their usual Kelty carrier.

We had the usual discussion over how much a Kelty weights, pros and cons etc. over breakfast but they were totally open for trying anything new.

If I say so myself, I think they loved it! Yay! My friend and I carried our 2 year old and 23 month old respectively, but when it came to a long hike up a steep hill, we unanimously decided to use the power of dramatics-of-a-tired wife and loaded the kids on to our husbands' backs. As the men, Wizard and Oguz neared the hill, I tried to avoid the accusing glances Wizard started throwing towards me. Too late buddy, start laboring up!

To our surprise, the men as is typical of them, started bragging as they breezed the hike.

So just for the sake of fun, my friend and I tried to egg them on to race each other and they listened, as is also typically hehehe.

I can't imagine how much fun the two kids had on their way up! Weeeeeeee

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Great Idea gone very bad

On my way to taking Monster to LL park this noon, I saw this guy who looked like my friend's husband John from a block away. Of course, the little bub cradling inside a stretchy wrap gave him away. The resemblence though may have given me the courage previously lacking.

"He looks like JOHN! And he has a BABY! How cool would it be to have the two of them share a post on babywearing dads" and then the worst mistake "Let me follow and ask to take his picture."

So I chase the poor man down and introduce myself as well as I could while excitedly beginning to find the camera function on my phone. By the time I had shot out the name of the blog and explained the monster and hugs part of the blog name, I may or may not have scared the crap out of the new father.

Needless to say, the guy backed away from me as if he heard a ticking somewhere on me.

So, dear new dad, if you managed to indeed see this blog, I assure you I'm not going to blow up not crazy and even though I may seem like it the way I accost babywearers, I have my intentions straight.

Secondly, do congratulate your better half if she did indeed help you in turning out that perfect cradle carry. Not many people can achieve that hold with a stretchy wrap and you should be proud of yourself.

The offer to publish a picture here still stands, and entries can be sent through Email Monster's Momma link to the right.

Till the next time I run down meet a babywearing dad or a mom using something unconventional, I'm considering having a custom made sign for Monster's stroller:

"My other ride is a German Engineering 100% Cotton wrap"

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's. Just. Not. Rational

Remember the Brooke Shield's VW Baby Boom ad?

I'm feeling like there will soon be a Didymos Rubin/Gold Indio boom. I've rarely felt the urge to reproduce like I did when I saw THIS BEAUTY!

Oh and yeah, don't bother trying to find where to buy it. It's already sold out!

It probably wouldn't look good on me anyway. Right? Right?

Anyway, if you were &&%$%^^& lucky enough to score a Rubin/Gold and have action pictures, just for sake of archiving for later, will you please share?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby wearing and acting--NOT kidding!

From since before I went to Turkey, my good friend Emilie and I had been talking about me possibly playing a Muslim mom on a short film she wrote. So over the last weekend, Emilie and I and some of our other mom friends worked on Other Peoples' Houses. For the first day of shooting, all our scenes were around the neighborhood and in Lou Loudati park on 4oth and Skillman Avenue.

Monster was the perfect diva; she slept in that morning, wouldn't stay in her clothes and created a huge fuss when she saw a piece of egg yolk sticking to her egg whites. She was however a very good toddler once worn. Her friends kept handing her snack and craisins from their trikes and while walking beside us.

One funny incident happened: While waiting inside El Shater on 43rd and 43rd for my cue to walk out and run into Emilie, I heard some women talk about me and the store owner tell them "It's her own daughter" and then he came over to confirm it with me. After I told him "Yes, she's my daughter, all the kids in the shoot are our own," I heard the woman scoff some more "Is she even Muslim?"

If I wasn't waiting for my cue, I would have totally fallen out of character and either a. started cracking up or b. pulled my bee-Otch on and went "and what does it mattah to you sistah?"

Anywhooo... I'm going to give El Shater's owner Hassan a shout out here. Go and try his spinach pies...(but stay away from the dried fruit and nuts, they're over priced and stale--not a good combination.)

Play nice ladies!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oh what a cute......dog?

I'll admit, I love seeing little tea cup dogs in people's pockets or bags with their little wet noses hanging out. They bring a little smile to everyone's face when they're suddenly noticed in say, a subway or pop out of a bag at Starbucks.

It amuses me when I see people using baby carriers as pet carriers. On the other hand, there have been cases where I saw a badly slung carrier and half expected to see a dog in there and discovered a baby. That can never be a good thing.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cool Babywearing Dads

Over last weekend, I saw Mr. Oz's Facebook update during the time I was snapping pics away and he was carrying Monster while she slept.

"Updating FB Status while baby sleeps on my back. Cool!" it said.

I distinctly remembered, leaving Monster sleeping on his CHEST! So why would he say she was on his back?

"It sounded cooler," was Mr. Oz's reply.

I love my babywearing Baba =)

We have our first featured Daddy-babywearers!

Meet Abdou! My friend Doa (who I met through the wonderful network of iVillage pregnancy forums) got into babywearing with the rest of us. The two of us however are the rare few that ventured further than stretchy wraps. And now her hubby has been sucked welcomed into the wonderful world of babywearing. Doa says " I always put her on his back, he is still too scared to do it on his own. At this time he loves our mei tai."

Now for one of our local dads: Joe Orecchio. Elyse had been a babywearer since before it was hot and trendy! When I first met her, she had her second ickle one in a Peanut Shell pouch, where the peanut stayed till she could peak out and sneak out on her own.

"When I wore my babies as infants, it felt like they were extensions of myself. Just like when they were in the womb, only cuter, because I got to see them and cuddle them close," says Elyse.

"Now that Melody is almost two, I still sometimes wear her in the Ergo so I can easily fly up and down subway stairs. She still loves the face-to-face transportation!"

The two have pictures of her hubby Joe wearing even the handsome 7 year old son the two have.

"Have you ever seen a baby gorilla riding along on the back of her father? There is something so natural and primal about moving through our concrete jungle with your child attached" Daddy thinks. "Since my babies can't hold on as well as baby gorillas, I use the Bjorn."

Does your Darling Hubby babywear? I have seen some men wearing their little ones around the Sunnyside nabe and would love to hear their take on babywearing.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Babywearing on the Go

Last month Monster and I were on our own taking Istanbul's sights and sounds in. We ditched the stroller for our Bamberoo Baby delux full buckle tie and never looked back.

At the airport: Before boarding even though we tried to keep her up by walking her around, Monster began showing signs of crashing but was so entertained that despite her cranky mood, she couldn't wind down. Ten minutes of back carrying next to a window and talking about the plane parked right outside, I brought a zonked out baby back to the waiting area to silent applause from the passengers sitting next to us.

Istanbul streets and bazaars: I didn't hear one negative comment or a snarky look anywhere in Istanbul. Monster's sweet ride was appreciated and exclaimed upon everywhere, especially in crowded bazaars where steering strollers probably should require a road test and license. It was a good thing Monster is cute, there could have been many upset shop keepers who had to frequently rescue their hanging clothes from Monster's clutches. From her position, she could reach most anything dangly. Wisely, I stayed out of lamp shops.

Lastly, one of the most frequent sighting in Istanbul. At least they're starting out--a little more time and they'd be weaving their own wraps the likes of Pamir and Rosies.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Carrying 30 lbs and over!

I'd always wondered about that 35lb limit on carriers and when I'd be able to test drive my carriers with Monster, never thinking of just grabbing a 30lber toddler and strap him in.

Today I got the opportunity to wear a 30 lbs baby (not kidding, he's 15 months old, 8 months younger than Monster and same height as her). We took the kids to a nearby park here in Istanbul and we thought we'd try wearing chunky monkey Eyup D. on my back and letting Monster walk.

I'll be honest here, at first for a few seconds I thought I'll lose my balance.

In a few minutes however, I found my new center of gravity and we took a hike to the second park in the neighborhood that was a little bit further off...and I carried Monster in my arms for half the way.

However, I am very grateful for Monster's moderate weight compared to Chunky Monkey Eyup D's. Monster isn't very happy these days though, as he can totally take her down in a fight! In a very short time she's learned to make a run for it whenever he makes a move towards her.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ergos for a steal--if only I wasn't flying out tomorrow

"Don't worry, this steal is a good thing!"

Get totally pimped out Ergos for a great discount today from BabySteals.com

A reader (Thank you Shelley!)gave me a heads up on this carrier for a great price for the sweet local working mom I'm planning to surprise with a present.

I guess anyone who gets this carrier would be lucky, so I'm posting it here for all to take their chance and order one.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Talking about our beautiful children

Our days at home used to sound something like this:

Iza please don’t throw the cushions on the floor Iza don’t climb the window Iza leave it on the table No no noooooo ok baby can you stand aside so I can clean up the mess? Thank you (one look over the shoulder while cleaning) Iza no no nooo not there!!!!

When Mr. O came home, I’d throw a tantrum, give myself a time out and hide in the bedroom or bath tub to cry incessantly until Mr. O would tell me gently, it’s safe to come out Monster has gone to sleep.

Every morning I’d wake up thinking “Did I sleep last night?” followed by a quick calculation of all the times we all woke up. Any time I got a number close to 4 hours (of sleep) I’d thank God. Sadly, it wasn’t often that we got four hours of sleep.

I (according to me) suffered two near nervous breakdowns before I finally admitted to myself there is something that has to change! I began with changing pediatricians. The new doctor spent 15 minutes with us before turning to me and saying “Mommy, this girl is ruling you! You have to tell her who’s boss.”

Thus started the quest for How to manage my hi-need child; I left no related book unturned in the library, I pestered every mom who hinted they had high need children as well until I gathered a group of moms just as exhausted as me and one who said “I can help!”

Tuesday night we all sat together and started picking on Michelle’s brain and experience with her now 5 year old twins.

Here is a gist of everything that we talked about:

Why is there a baby stuck on my leg! And why is she calling me Mom?

All our babies were/are breastfed and therefore we as mothers are the one person they are super attached to. For nursing mothers to create a secure attachment with someone else (ahem…dads), Michelle suggested to plan activities outside the home where the child is engaged in active play with the father. Make sure it happens during the time they will not require nursing (usually at least a good two hour break) and the activity must happen outside of familiar surroundings where mom usually nurses. HOME reminds the kid that they would rather nurse than play; when outside with the dad, make sure they have a lot of fun so that the kid associates security, fun and enjoyment with the dad as well.

Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!

Apparently the attention hogging behavior does reduce as the kids grow, but does not disappear entirely. Michelle suggested that this will be a personality trait as they grow up.
To train the attention hogger on how to engage themselves in play, set up a timer for 5 minutes and tell them “play with your new toy for five minutes and I’ll be in the other room and when the timer goes off, I will come back to get you.” Get them a special toy or activity that will engage them for those five minutes and then leave the room. If they stay alone and play for those 5 minutes without you, reward them with treats (or hugs and kisses, hi-need kids are very tactile and love being snuggled). Make sure that the surroundings and toddler-proof and safe for them to stay alone in that room without supervision.

Mr. No-No:

It’s a universally known fact….that spirited children’s “no” is very different from your average child’s denial. Iza still throws a sidewalk groveling tantrum even if I’ve just asked her to not run back into the store we’ve just left.

A friend of ours, Cynthia, introduced me to the world of empowering the toddler. Things have been much better though mentally exhausting when I’m literally speaking in either/or language. The first time I tried giving Monster a close-ended question in which she had to pick one or the other choice offered I was tongue tied. “Oh my GOD!,” I was screaming in my head. “How hard can coming up with a dual-choice question be?” I cursed the day I graduated college and decided if I can’t wing this, I need to go back to school.

Eventually though, like all things in parenthood do, it got easier. Like I said, I talk to Monster in constant questions. “Do you want to play with the blocks or do you want to pee?” “Do you want to walk and hold hands or do you want me to carry you?” “Do you want to cry or do you want us to go night-night?” “Do you want to eat or do you want to go pee first?”

I ask her if she needs to pee a lot.

Luckily I rarely hear a “no” anymore. Unless I’m tired and forget to give her a choice and instead just tell her to do something (oh my God just for this one time, don’t make me talk!)

Michelle confirmed all these strategies plus the importance of setting boundaries and routines. She stressed that for high-need children, routines are worth their weight in gold. They need to know what to expect, be prepared for the future and with routines they will be a time when they will automatically understand that bath time will be followed by bed time.

Even for trips to the doctor, (or impending vacations and oh.my.Lord. airplane trips) Michelle suggested utilizing role playing and pretend playing to get them used to what will happen in fact at the actual event.

(Today a friend, her preschooler and we played pretend airplane etiquette and we discovered that if nothing else works, pull out the big guns aka Caillou on a portable DVD player. It worked so well that I wished I WAS Caillou.)

We chatted about other issues as well, such as eating battles and sleep-wars. We will have to meet again to discuss these issues at more detail. From this one meeting, we got a lot of information and a lot of encouragement. Like Michelle candidly reminded us “it COULD be worse!” this is really something mothers—not just mothers of hi-need children—but really all parents need to remember when waking up for the 5,000th time in a night, or picking up crushed cereal from the carpet you just vacuumed.

All kids are precious and regardless of their varying habits and behavioral patterns, they do ultimately depend on us as parents to take care of them. We are their first lesson in trust and friendship. What they learn from us, they will utilize their entire life.

This is a great responsibility….let’s not screw this up! *lolz*

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The sweetest person in the laundromat

UPDATE: Coming back from my long vacation, I met our laundromat lady again and asked her if she's still carrying her son. The answer was a definite yes and she excitedly told me she'd be carrying him for a long time because she got an updated version of the Bjorn that gives her hip support.


Could she be talking about this.

I wished her happy carrying and continued with my laundry. Hey, I had good intentions =)

Do you know the laundromat on 48th avenue between 40th street and 39th place? Do you go there often?

There is a little lady working there who had a beautiful baby boy a few months ago. When she was pregnant, she used to admire Monster in her various wraps and carriers and told me she wants to carry her baby when he arrives.

Now, every time I see her and her family around she really is always carrying her little bub...in a green Bjorn. Sometimes when she sees me, she excitedly points her carrier out to me. It is just.too.adorable!

If I could, I would gift her a nicer carrier, something like an Ergo or even another structured carrier to make babywearing really a gift for her. It would help her wear her baby longer and with even more pleasure. However, money even for us is short and it would be great if I can score even 5 donors to donate at least $20 each to fund a baby carrier scored from the FSOT forum on TheBabyWearer.com.

What would you do? How would you do it? If I can find these 5 donors (me being the 6th one also donating $20+overage as required) I would have her featured on the blog and let her know who her beneficieries are.

Contact me (from the link on the side bar) if you're interested in donating, or have another idea on how to raise funds for this mama.

PS: I'll be looking around my home for items I can auction off for donations and raise funds that way. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Word gets out on dangerous Duffle-carriers for babies

The word was going around in baby wearing circles, a national channel will broadcast a news clip warning parents on the dangers of bag slings. The widest most common heard response was “finally!”

Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief that the national TV Channel has taken the burden of approaching parents using bag-slings (or duffle-carrier, as the community is calling them) tactfully and advising them against continued use. This is something we have all fretted over and sought advice regarding and have tried to be very sensitive when approaching parents either using them or looking into buying them.

Today at Target, I saw the Eddie Baur sling-to-hip carrier displayed in the aisles and though the hip position looked like it was safe enough, but the way the carrier was used as a sling was definitely not. Yes, the drawing on the back makes it seems like safe positioning is possible, but you know what, there is a reason there is a drawing used and not actual mom and baby modeling proper position, because it is just NOT possible to get one for more than a few minutes. Even when learning ring slings, I was not able to keep infant Monster from turing into a dangerous position without a series of tugs and tightening. With these duffle carriers, there is NO WAY to adjust the thing!

Rule of thumb when it comes to baby wearing: You need to be able to see the baby ALL THE TIME! Anything that has a drawstring on the top rail of the sling is a no-go. I was surprised to see some Dr. Sears slings have this structure and even though I love Dr. Sears and his philosophy, I cannot back this product.

When demonstrating newborn wrapping, I teach moms how to maintain the natural curvature of the baby’s spine supported by the tension in the cloth covering the baby’s back. At the same time, keeping the neck held up and the head turned to the side supported by the mother’s chest (the slope that occurs between collar bones and the top of the breasts). This natural slope is the best support for a newborn’s head, and you must have noticed so as well how your baby just tucks his head under your neck when held in arms. This position is optimum for normal breathing flow. To recreate how breathing flow can be restricted, try laying on bed with three pillows right at the base of your skull, forcing you to tuck your head. With a newborn's undeveloped larynx, this position can cut off breathing, and with the baby so far away from you and covered from sight because of the drawstring design, that is not the position you want to leave your child in.

Keep the necks straight, heads at kissing-level and let’s keep our babies safe.

Examples of bag slings currently found in stores:

Eddie Baur Infant Sling

Infantino Sling Rider

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

When Toddlers' need R.E.S.P.E.C.T

The time my midwife handed me my baby wrapped in towels for her very first introduction to her mommy’s milk, I thought “this is going to be a breeze!”

The next morning, I was in tears. I was up all night with my ribs feeling like they were caving in and by morning, I was no longer fitting in the one blouse I had brought with me. I spent the day trying to figure out positions that were comfortable for both Monster AND me to breastfeed. The lactation nurses kept telling me “newborn hold” “football hold” and “don’t lie down!” until I almost gave up.

Ironically, it was at home and with my sister’s help that we were able to latch successfully, when she told me to lie down on one side, let Monster get comfortable with me while laying skin-to-skin with me. Monster fussed around for only a few seconds before latching on without any help and sucked me dry! The last time I had been that happy was before my back labor had started.

It bothered me why the lactation nurses didn’t tell me to hold my baby skin-on-skin. I was confused why all the positions they forced on me had me hold Monster as if she was an inanimate object. What I took from their brief sessions of “help” was that all I need to worry about is the shape of the tongue and “stuff your nipple in when she yawns!”

My sister taught me to just lay down with the little baby in bed, “let her become friends with the milk” were her actual words, something that still makes me chuckle, but it worked. Her words never fail to help us, even 2 years into motherhood.

Now as a toddler, Monster has become a picky eater eating only bland white rice and picking food from the floor where she threw it herself 15 minutes ago. (Incidentally, that has resulted in my floors being kept sanitized every day since I know she’s going to be eating food off them.) I saw the same behavior in my sister’s daughters and accepted it as being an inherited trait. I went to her home once, worrying about how little Monster was eating and seeing her kids eat their food opened my eyes to what was going on with my own child.

Rida and Amal, my nieces both eat on their own. My sister plops down a small portion of food in the kitchen table and leaves them both to their means. There I am, watching in amazement at the 4 year old and the 3 year old dig in, leave to wander around the house and my sister taking the opportunity to refill their plates just as they come back and dig in again.

A light bulb goes off on my head and I put another plate next to them and get floored as I see my very own Monster climb up and spoon the food into her mouth! Of course, that also started off a cute exchange of food as the 3 year old and my Monster began to feed each other and giggle happily.
We have since then stopped trying to “feed” Monster. We make foods available, accessibly and then give her space to eat at her own pace. It just never occurred to me till I saw my nieces that there will be a stage when kids will want to do everything on their own. Be it eat, potty, or play. Just like she won’t let me stay in the bathroom anymore while she pees, or runs away from me if I follow her on the jungle gym, now I know she’s asking for space to try things on her own in more areas.

I have accepted the changes as best as I can without letting it bother me. I still follow her every move on the jungle gym and am there when she gets too close to an unenclosed edge and I let her chose her own mismatched clothes (usually pink) when we are getting ready and I’m letting her decide which part of the egg she eats and which she stows away for later.

It is a constant struggle just like every part of parenthood is. What has changed is that her eating habits (or lack thereof) don’t bother me anymore. I don’t get frustrated with her if she throws her pasta around. I don’t cry when she wastes a plate of bulger and I just laugh when I see her push pieces of meatballs inside the storage bin.

I merely go ahead post a note on Facebook for laughs, reminding me to empty the said bin of leftovers before bedtime.

This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monster Takes the Highline

It's always a good idea to snap on an SSC when leaving for even a short walk...especially when Monster has just risen from a nap.

We left the car on 14th and 10th where we luckily found parking. I considered leaving the SSC because Monster has been preferring to walk on her own these days but in the last minute changed my mind and hung it around my waist 'just in case.'

Turns out it was a good idea as she was in that phase of wanting to cuddle and the crowd was not helping either. So we swung her up only a few yards down and there she remainded until she felt fresh enough to explore on her own.

For more images of our first trip to The Highline, see my daily photo blog here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Compliant friend enjoys newborn snuggles

Our neighbor and friend Emel S. happily agreed to join Monster and me on a trek to Northern Boulevard. Her only concern: she had not yet experienced having to take out both kids at the same time, her 2.5 year old toddler Little Miss A who is Monster's prototype and the 2 month old baby boy T.
Of course, my first reaction was "OH MY GOD, CAN I CARRY HIM?" But my over zealousness could have been worrying to Emel who decided to try on a wrap just for the occasion.
Don't they look adorable?

Wrap: Saffron Honey Nino with Wool,
Carry: Pocket-wrap cross carry.

Editing to add: A JuneFireFly mommy friend of mine began thinking along the same lines as we've been thinking after seeing Emel's cool gear and wondered if she can somehow avoid buying a double stroller. For her, I suggested the Hitchhiker stroller board, a stand-on board that attaches to most single strollers and for the walking preschooler provides a relief from walking while your younger child sits in the stroller. I like this specifically because Monster is at a stage where she neither wants me to hold her for very long, she occasionally gets tired of walking yet she definitely does not want to stay IN the stroller for very long as well.

Call me crazy, I have that scenario figured out when I have a newborn in a wrap, a toddler in the stroller, and a preschooler walking next to me. It's not written in stone though...I may leave the preschooler at home.

Fast approaching the Terrifying Two!

I'm not afraid anymore, I've been terrorized by this monster far too long to give into her deliberately aggravating behavior.

I'm standing up to you, you little terrorist! If you want to pee in the living room, you got it! Go ahead. I'm armed with my BioKleen and ready for any amount of disaster you leave in your wake. Go ahead, I encourage you.

If it gets too much, as five hours later it seems to be getting, you're getting this, a potty-chair slash bench that we can keep in the living room without surrendering all my aesthetics. Thank you Cynthia, for the idea. It was at my friend's house that I saw this potty-bench.

For the next few days, let's talk about potty training or how to graduate from Elimination Communication...hopefully before our trip to Turkey in a month.

Tips, suggestions and links are welcome in the comment box.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How I converted two old ladies

I'm not saying the best way to shop in Marshall's is to strap a sticky-finger toddler on your back; you should have seen the path of destruction behind us as I navigated the tight spaces and the looks on the poor salespeople.
What does rock though is to have a carrier that switches from back carrying to front carrying just in time for a very cranky toddler trying to doze and having it hard to do.
So there I am waiting at the bus stop, when I hear the two sweet ladies comment towards me "She's very big, she should be walking."

Me: "She does. Right now she's asleep, so we cannot demonstrate."

Old ladies: "Mothers these days use strollers."

Me: "If I had a stroller right now and my daughter sleeping in it about to board a bus, I'd be in trouble. And if I did manage to somehow fold the stroller and get on the bus, you'd be trouble, because there'd be wheels everywhere!"

Old ladies: "You are absolutely right! Way to go! I'm going to make sure my daughter uses a carrier instead of a stroller when she takes public transportation next time."

And then we become best friends.

Well, ok the last commen is made up, but we did have very amicable conversation about toddlers not wanting to hold hands and hands-free carrying being a very good option for kids that won't stay put.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The New Baby Bjorn

I always wodered if the designers at Baby Bjorn ever saw the carriers like Ergo, Beco or the mei tais and ever wondered "damn that looks comfortable for the parent!"

It was a mystery to me why Bjorn creaters wouldn't use a waist belt on their carriers. They have obviously spent a lot of time trying to make it user friendly, comfy and snuggly for the baby, why not spend a little more time in trying to make it comfortable for the parent? The narrow straps, awkward positioning and then lack of a waist belt, cannot be good for the the parent's shoulders.

I am so glad to report that they have indeed picked up a few pointers and here is their new Comfort Carrier.

Would you buy it? Add it to your registery? Give us a review? Share your thoughts with us below.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow Day is Sunny Sunnyside

I hate to admit it, that even though I am not a fan of snow, watching kids try to navigate fresh, powdery snow has to be a mother's best entertainment ever!

Do you have cute pictures of your own little Bambi? Share your photo blog, or share your pictures by emailing to a_aischa@yahoo.com

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Why Monster and I are taking a break

For the last few weeks I was feeling increasingly tired. Add to that Monster's everyday spunk, accidents, tantrums and demands and there was a very fatigued, depressed and stressed out mother in the house.

I reached the end of my nerve one Friday night while having a heart to heart with the Mr. O: while relating my day and how I was feeling, my pitch got higher and weirder till I noticed a glint of fear in Mr. O's eyes. I took a deep breathe, tried to relax and went to bed very early hoping for a refreshing sleep.

After 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep (thank you Mr. O), I woke up sadly, just as tired as I was the night before. Still, the show must go on and while the family too slept in, I went out for an early load of laundry. Alone in the laundromat, I began noticing the fatigue from just bending over the washing cart, and from just folding one table cloth. "This cannot be normal, even if I am close to AF, this is NOT normal!"

I did some research and decided to try out supplements. Now, I'm not a huge fan of vitamin pills, so if I am desperate enough to take one, that alone says something about how bad it got for me. At GNC on Queens Boulevard and 47th street, I got to chatting with the rep and she hooked me up with a bottle of Big 50 Vitamin B Complex, with the instructions to start with one pill a day unless I don't feel any different and then to increase to 2-a day.

I have been a much happier mama, much more patient and with enough energy for my toddler. Of course, now I want all my readers to take a look into their diet and remember to stay well nourished. I don't mind being a little dependent on vitamin supplements (until summer when I can find more vegetables in farmers' markets), to be a good mother to my child.

The fog has lifted and I'm catching up with spending quality time with my daughter instead of plopping her in front of tv and collapsing in tears.

Hugs for all the children, and for stressed out moms everywhere.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Beyond Ergo, for our bigger Sunny kids

A certain SunnyMom wondered what her options are beyong Ergo for her preschooler. Here are a few carriers currently most discussed among toddler-wearing mothers.

Toddler Dream Carrier:
Andrea, the founder of Dream Carrier, started making carriers herself when she was pregnant with her daughter. Her carriers found fame just by word of mouth and are now one of the most loved carriers in the baby wearing world.
The Toddler Soft Structured Carriers start at $125, with additional custom options available. You can join Andrea's Yahoo group to get notices of when she lists open custom slots, which are weekly and the turn-around time is 5-6 weeks.

Reportedly one of the most expensive customs, and getting a custom slot is the only way you can probably get one.
The carrier is built to fit big kids and preschoolers up to 5 years of age. It has a unique combination of a high head rest (so your child can take a comfortable nap) and low sides (so they can still ride with their arms out). Kanga users rarely look for anything else after trying on this one as this really is one of the most comfortable carriers for heavier kids.
Join Bloo Kangaroo's Yahoo Group for pricing and how to buy a customs slot.

Olives and Applesauce:
O&A's most recent addition to their already great carriers came in the summer of last year, when they started adding a harness or infant seat. "It is both a safety feature and one of convenience that allows you to use the same carrier from birth until you are no longer needing your carrier. It is also a great option if you will need to carry both a toddler and a newborn but don't want to buy two separate carriers."
You can find a standard O&A full buckle carrier readily available in many beautiful prints, or order a custom with an 18" body for taller children. Carriers start at $155 for the extended body version.

Mei-Favorite Toddler Buckle Carrier:
By far the most affordable carrier in this post. (Infact, I'm still not convinced and am wondering if I need to investigate about the "true" price.) Starting at just *take a deep breath* $95. "These women work in their homes and communities with other women and are paid far more for their stitching and sewing than they would make if working in an industry or sweatshop environment away from their family. These are FAIR TRADE products, you do not have to worry about thaT issue here at all!"
These are only the most favorite carriers for toddler and beyond toddler wearing. As the trend of wearing bigger kids is only a "cult" activity as one baby wearing father says, the companies are still making them on demand. If waiting for a customs slot is not the thing for you, you can always spend a few minutes on the For Sale or Trade forums on thebabywearer.com, or post an In Search Of thread explaining what you're looking for. Many regulars on the board keep circulating their carriers to fund new ones and you're sure to find something that suits your needs.

If you know and have tried other carriers that you want to recomment for mothers wishing to wear their toddlers, please leave a link in the comments and tell us why you love them, Thank you -Ayesha

Monster's Books: Everywhere Babies

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee

We borrowed this book from our local library and Monster was truly in love with it. She loved pointing out the babies as they go about their day. She kisses them and exclaims out the pictures of things and animals she recognizes.

We loved this one because of the very cute pictures of different baby carriers in the "Everyday and Everywhere, babies are carried" part. (As I am looking through the book just now, Monster came over cooing, 'babies babies' and has taken the book from my hands).

Among strollers and carseats, there are several instances of parents carrying their little ones in slings and on their backs. This is wonderful for Monster to see and she points out the babies in the carriers each time.

I'll keep adding more children's books with Baby wearing instances in the same post and the link to this post will be made available on the sidebar. Come back soon to find more books that include Attachment Parenting and babywearing.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meet Sunnymom and Baby wearer, Beth

MonsterHugs: What attracted you to babywearing beyond the infant years?

Beth: I live in a fourth floor walk-up and it’s just easier for me to carry Sarina in my carrier than carry a stroller. Also, I like to be able to talk to Sarina while I run my errands rather than have her facing out from me in the stroller. I also like the closeness of being able to carry her, especially because I really feel like the time we have together is limited since I work full time.

MonsterHugs: How many carriers did you try before settling on your current carrier, and what is your current carrier?

Beth: I started with the Moby Wrap and used that until Sarina was 4 months old. I liked the softness and I liked to do errands around the house with her inside. But when I felt that when she got heavier, I needed more support. So, I went to the Baby Bjorn. I liked using the baby bjorn cover for her-like a sleeping bag over her whole body, it was great, especially in the winter time. I always kept her facing me, although my husband wore her facing out. He also refused to wear the moby wrap since he could never figure out the straps. When Sarina was eleven months old, the bjorn started to really hurt my back. Wearing her was a chore. So, I got the ergo, which is what I still use now. I would have gotten the ergo from day one, had I known about it. I didn’t know about it til Sarina was eleven months old and I started to research new carriers. I love the ergo. I still use it all the time. I keep Sarina in front most of the time, although if we are going for a long walk, I will put her on my back. I took Sarina to Ireland when she was one and the ergo was great for our hikes. She also used to sleep while she was in it and I loved having the head cover.

MonsterHugs: Everyone has times when they stop and think “How do I carry the diaper bag.” What do/did you do with your diaper bag when baby wearing?

Beth: The diaper bag keeps falling off my shoulder and onto my wrist. It’s annoying and still hard to carry the diaper bag, my purse and groceries, etc. I usually will just try to take a mini diaper bag and put my wallet in there too. Or I will just shove some money into the front pocket of the ergo if I am going grocery shopping and not bring a diaper bag.

MonsterHugs: What is the best comment you have received from strangers when out and about?

Beth: They usually just comment on how happy Sarina is when I talk to her or sing to her.

MonsterHugs: What is the worst/strangest comment you have heard from strangers?

Beth: Isn’t she heavy? Doesn’t she hurt your back? I usually don’t get anything but positive comments though when I am carrying her, especially in an airport. We go to the airport with no stroller and no car seat, it’s great. Rent a car seat when we get there and buy an umbrella stroller or go without. She doesn’t go crazy and run around at the terminal and she is easy to contain through security. And, we don’t have a ton of bags. I used to carry her in my front and my pump backpack on my back. I guess you just get used to carrying lots of things, at least I had to because of my living situation.

About Beth Pocius:
I am an associate attorney for the New York Supreme Court law department. Bryan is my husband and we moved here almost three years ago from Brooklyn. We have lived all over Brooklyn and Manhattan and we love Sunnyside. I am originally from Connecticut. Sarina was born in April 2008 and her current favorite activity is kicking and throwing a rubber ball that I picked up from our mother/daughter trip to FAO Schwartz (I took her on the bus, in the ergo). My husband is a musician in his spare time and plays in two bands and writes his own music. I also used to play the piano and flute and I really need to get started again! I enjoy going for long walks, hiking, playing with my cat zeke, and spending time with my family.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dangers of Bag Slings

All baby carriers have the potential of being unsafe if not put on correctly. However, if a carrier’s construction is such that it is impossible to get a correct positioning that does not compromise the worn baby’s breathing, is not worth taking the risk with.

Recently in the news, a family whose 6 days old infant suffocated in an Infantino Slingrider last spring, filed a lawsuit against the company. The case has brought attention to the dangers of bag type slings, a topic M’Liss Stelzer, former registered nurse, has been researching for quite some time.

M’liss covers the various design flaws in her research:,

1. Bag slings are roughly triangle shaped; flat bottom and two sides that slant upwards toward the elastic top. This “triangle” means that the pouch fabric is always angled very close to the sides of baby’s face. If baby rotates even slightly he ends up with his nose within a ¼” of the side, or even pressed against the side of the pouch. Once baby has his head pressed against the side of the carrier and/or against the parent's body there is a risk of him becoming oxygen deprived or even suffocating.

2. It is difficult for the parent to closely monitor their infant unless the top of the sling is pulled open. Bag slings are generally deep, plus they sag when baby is placed in it, further increasing the depth of the carrier. The gathered top, and the fact that the sling hangs so low, obstructs the parent’s view of baby. If a newborn were to have difficulty breathing, and/or rotate until his nose and mouth was pressed against the side of the carrier, the parent may not be aware of the baby’s respiratory distress for some time. Compounding this problem is the difficulty of feeling the baby's distress through the thick fabric of the sling.

3. Although there are bag slings designed with large mesh panels placed near the infant’s head, others are not. There is a possibility that, with only a very small opening at the top of a non-mesh sling, an infant may not receive an adequate amount of fresh air. There is the concern that carbon dioxide levels could rise the longer the infant remains in the sling.
4. The design of a bag sling causes baby to curl chin to chest, larger babies more so because their heads are positioned further up in the carrier. This position kinks baby's airway causing the baby to work harder to breathe.

“In October of 2006 I emailed Infantino with my concerns,” write M’liss. “I included a file with all the information I have concerning adverse events or infant deaths in fabric carriers, a copy of my "Correct Positioning" article as well as photos illustrating the differences in positioning in fabric carriers like pouches, RSs, MTs and wraps versus their product. In the spring/summer of 2007 I resumed researching the SlingRider and all additional sling tests and photos were emailed to Infantino as soon as they were obtained. In June 2007 I mailed all pertinent information to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“Infantino has added a mesh panel to the upper half of the SlingRider. This should improve airflow to the newborn but does not, IMO, address other problems inherent to the design.
“The CPSC, to my knowledge, has not taken any action.”

Many parents do not realize that “grunting” is NOT normal, as was the case with one of her guest parents. Grunting means the baby is having trouble breathing, either in or outside a baby carrier. It happens most commonly if the child is laying in a position that pusher her chin to chest. "The analogy I use, to help explain the difference, is that a newborn’s airway is like a straw and when the “straw” is kinked it is a lot harder to get air through," writes M’liss. "Once the baby’s breathing becomes more labored the baby starts forcing air through the 'kinked straw'/airway and that is why the whistle or grunting noises are with every, or almost every, breath. "

Compare the SlingRider with a shallow fabric pouch or adjustable open-tailed sling (or mei tai or wrap). In these types of carriers an infant is easily monitored and visualized. Also, a newborn's head is effectively sandwiched between the sides of these carriers, preventing the infant from rotating his/her head into the sides of the carrier.

"Using a bag sling is, in my opinion, just playing russian roulette." --M'liss

More of M’liss article and observations from her research are found at http://www.blogger.com/www.%20babyslingsafety.blogspot.com

M'liss Stelzer is a former registered nurse and now a babywearing educator and now mother of two.
Author "Correct Positioning", September 2006
Author "Babywearing Bliss", Mothering magazine January - February 2007
Instructor Chicago Babywearing Conference, June 2008