Monday, November 29, 2010

Emotionally Attached to my Didy

This is the story of how I developed an emotional attachment, akin to that of a child to a blanky, to my Didymos Silk Indio woven wrap sling. I call her (yes, it's a she) “Didy” and she holds a special place in my heart.

Of all the slings I've tried, Didy is my absolute favourite. Aside from being beautiful, tactile, and totally practical for a warm baby in summer, Didy holds a lot of meaning for me as a solution to many of my baby Holly's initial sleeping problems.

Holly was a colicky newborn who found evening sleeping and feeding really difficult. Every evening from around 5 she would start crying, and it wouldn't stop until late (which I'm sure sounds familiar to many new parents). Most of the time she wouldn't take to the breast so feeding to sleep wasn't an option, much to my distress. More often than not we would rock her to sleep, singing while she cried in our arms until she tuckered herself out. It was really hard. Nothing we tried was working, and nothing had prepared me for the anguish I felt at being powerless to stop my baby crying.

Wrap slings had appealed to me since I had seen my dear friend Emma wearing her first born in one. What I liked most about them initially was the convenience and portability. Emma also looked stylish, relaxed and somewhat like a supermum, and baby Leith was snug and contented. So, with Emma's guidance, we invested in two lovely stretchy wrap slings before Holly was born.

We had of course heard about helping your baby to sleep using a sling, but for some reason in those early, sleep deprived weeks, we primarily used the slings we had for taking Holly out walking or shopping. Eventually the light went on, and tried them as a sleep solution, but when we did she was already overtired and would cry even louder as we put her in. We persisted despite those cries because, once she was snug in her sling, Holly would fall asleep much quicker than the rocking method, and would sleep soundly against either mummy or daddy for a reasonable length of time.

Once we made the conscious decision to use slings as a sleep tool, we were much better at putting Holly in the sling before she became really overtired, and eventually she stopped protesting altogether. Often it was only a 100m walk up the road and back that put Holly off to sleep.

We were determined to make a go of it, and the more we looked into slings, the more benefits we could see for Holly. She was such a spilly baby - before, after, in between and during feeds - and seemed most comfortable in an upright position. Of course it meant washing the sling quite often!

The reason why we went for stretchy wraps over woven ones was that we were reluctant to fork out the big bucks on a woven sling without trying the sling idea out first. The stretchy wraps were good for Holly as a newborn, but as she started to pack on the weight, the wraps would sag a little and constantly need retightening. She would also get way too hot, and seemed to need a much lighter fabric. For this reason, Didy was absolutely perfect for our needs.

We also tried a number of different carries before settling on the front wrap cross carry as a preference. All three of us preferred this carry because Holly was completely upright (as opposed to a cradle carry) which helped with the spilliness, and it was the most supportive of all carries for my back.

Once we'd bought Didy there was no turning back. I also stopped using the stroller, taking Holly out for walks in the sling instead. Having Holly sleep in the sling made it so easy to get out of the house, jump on a bus to town, catch up with friends, or do whatever I needed to at whatever time. It has meant that Holly is a completely portable baby – she'll sleep wherever as long as there's a sling handy. Even evening sleeps were blissful, with Daddy putting Holly to sleep in the sling until we adults were ready for bed (then a quick transfer and a dream time feed did the trick). Things really started to come together sleep-wise when Didy arrived. Like a beautiful, woven kind of magic.

Daddy still loves wearing his sleeping daughter. I know it has assisted in their bonding – each sleep is an extended hug. For myself, even when I'm having a bad day, and feel cranky with Holly for whatever reason, wearing her blissfully sleeping in the sling lets me reconnect with her every time.

While it is still completely usable for our bonnie baby, Didy's fabric blend and weave means that it isn't quite as supportive as a 100% cotton wrap sling or a soft structured carrier. So now we use the Manduca or the Neobulle sling. But Didy still remains our most precious sling, because she was a real life saver in our time of need. Didy helped with Holly's sleeping difficulties, her spilling, and I am totally convinced that wearing Holly so much in the first six months of her life helped strengthen that special bond between us. Didy has been fundamental in Holly's development from baby into toddler, and I give Didy much of the credit for the confident, smiley and happy little 12 month old that Holly is today.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wgtn babywearers unite!!!

International Babywearing Week is from 6th - 12th October

To celebrate Babywearing Wellington are organising a special slingmeet for you and your families to attend.

Join us on Sunday 10th October 2010 from 2pm for a picnic followed by a slingwalk through the gardens, town and looping back up through the gardens again via the cable car.

The lovely Helen from My Natural Baby has donated a Manducca for us to give away on the day. We're so excited!!

All are welcome; whether you're an experienced babywearer, a novice or someone wanting to find out about babywearing - join us! Bring your family and friends too.

If you'd like to RSVP for this event visit but there is no RSVP necessary, just turn up on the day - we'd love to see you there.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kozy Love

It must be love!

Today I met in person Helen from Aquabub to chat and receive the Kozy Carrier she is lending Babywearing Aotearoa for our sling library.

I'm am really impressed with this carrier. I'm not sure what it is that makes this Mei Tei different, but man, it is comfortable. Its less padded then I imagined and instead is made from a sturdy cotton. The ties are nice and grippy and don't need to be tight around your waist (so no flab roll!). It would be nice if they were a bit wider through the shoulder and back to make it even more comfortable, but still, thumbs up from me!

It's a joy to feed it. Evelyn looked so comfortable nursing and fell asleep in it tonight. Tomorrow I will test it out on a bush walk and I need to find a small baby to try it on! I'm really enjoying gaining the experience of different carriers and can't wait to share the love with our soon to be members!

So, for a library update.

At this months committee meeting we decided to set a deadline to have the library up and running. This will be our August slingmeet. It does seem far away, and I'm sorry! We have set roles together, and I'm the librarian, and am flat out this month. We really want to have a strong grounding to avoid any possible miss-haps before lending carriers.

So far we have:

2 Unido pouch slings (S and M) donated from Unido
1 Kozy Carrier on loan from Aaquabub

I cant thank you two enough for your support!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Introducing Sarah!

Hi everyone!

I'm Sarah, mama to my wee girl Natalie, who is almost one year old already!! We live in trendy Petone with my partner, a rainbow lorikeet and five budgies (I like birds, can you tell!?).

I founded this group after thinking for ages "I really want to try out some different carriers and learn to wrap... I wish there was a Slingbabies in Wellington!" So one night I started a Facebook group and invited all my friends to join. Word spread rather quickly, and before I knew it we were having meet-ups every two weeks at local cafes. Now we are growing far beyond my wildest dreams! It is so exciting to be a part of this group, and I am so grateful for the help I have received so far from fellow babywearing parents ^_^

Natalie (5 weeks) in the Moby wrap for the first time.
We are not amused!

I started babywearing as soon as Natalie was born, though the pouch sling I had brought to the hospital with me was, unfortunately, far too big for me :( When she was five weeks old I summoned the courage to try out a stretchy wrap, which she lived in until she was three months old. I always had to wear her facing outwards, cuddles were not (and still aren't!) her thing. Then I discovered the complete joy of wearing a baby on your back, and the Manduca-love began!

Natalie (8 months) fast asleep in the Manduca on Daddy's back

The Manduca has been a lifesaver for us (yes, daddy loves to wear it too!). There was a period of a couple of months when Natalie would only have her day sleeps on our backs. I spent A LOT of time walking around - the house, the neighbourhood, the mall... and then once she was asleep, I would often sit perched on the edge of the computer chair, ready to jump up and start walking again at any sign of waking!!

Luckily, that phase is over, and we are now just regular babywearers, opting for a carrier over the pram 95% of the time. Since this group's incarnation, I have been lucky enough to try out a range of different carriers, and am currently coveting a mei tai (perhaps a half buckle...) and a woven wrap, and have plans to make my own pouch sling that actually fits (they're so easy!). But for now, the Manduca is still doing us proud!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Introducing Emma!

Hi, I'm Emma and I love wrapping!

I have two children - a two year old boy and an almost 6 month old girl and I have worn both of them in wraps since they were born. I'm sure that wrapping my son turned him from a fairly high needs baby to a relaxed, confident toddler, and I've found wrapping indispensable with two under two. My daughter has most of her naps in the wrap, leaving me free to play with (or chase after) my son.

I love the versatility of wraps - with one piece of cloth you can do front, hip or back carries. They don't need adjusting from one wearer to another so my husband can use the same wrap. I've enjoyed learning heaps of different carries and finding out which ones work best for us. And, I guess I also love how pretty they are!

Hope to see you at the next slingmeet where I'll be talking more about the ins and outs of wrapping.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Introducing Beth!

Hi, I'm Beth.

I have two wonderful girls, Mia and Evelyn and a lovely supportive partner Josh. Together we live in a nice small house in a less then desirable suburb of Lower Hutt. We dream of living locally in our own little permaculture paradise. Josh also dreams of money, while I dream of helping women birth their babies in a warm, calm and natural way. I love natural parenting, and want to share it with everyone! Hence, my passion for babywearing has taken this turn.

I see Babywearing Aotearoa as a resource for people to learn the glories of babywearing. I want to provide parents the opportunity to find the carrier that fits with them and their lifestyle - as there really is something for everyone! We don't live in villages where slings are the norm, so I want to provide that community support to the people of Wellington. I love to wrap and have been using a stretchy and woven wrap since my second daughters birth. I really want to try a podaegi and gain confidence with torso carries!