Thursday, November 24, 2011

December Slingmeet

We hope you all can come to Babywearing Wellington's next slingmeet
from 10 am on Friday 2 December,
in the guest room at the Southern Cross
39 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington.

This month's theme is "Babywearing on Holiday" - very appropriate for the season! This time we're going to run our slingmeet a little differently. It'll be an informal exchange of stories about using babywearing as a parenting essential when on holiday . We'd love to hear your babywearing on holiday stories too! Come along for a relaxed chat about the many advantages of babywearing when you're on the move, and swap some tips and tricks of the trade.

We'll have the full carrier library available for you to try out and practice with, and for this month only we're offering an extended hire period of up to six weeks! This means you can hire a carrier over the Christmas and New Year break, and don't have to worry about arranging to return it to us until the 2012. All our carriers are hired out on a first in first served basis.

We're also happy to answer any questions you may have about all aspects of babywearing and about any type of baby carrier. Please feel free to bring any questions you have with you on Friday, or contact us at any time.

Bring your friends!
Our meetings are open to the public, so please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested, friends, family, other mums and dads... you don't have to have a baby to be a Babywearing supporter!

Friday, October 28, 2011

November Slingmeet

We hope you all can come to Babywearing Wellington's next slingmeet
from 10 a.m. on Friday 4 November, 2011
in the guest room at the Southern Cross
39 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington.

The topic of this month's meeting is "Babywearing Safety". Come along and learn how you can safely wear your baby!

We're happy to answer any questions you may have about all aspects of Babywearing and about any type of baby carrier. Please feel free to bring any questions you have with you on Friday, or contact us at any time.

As always, we will have our carrier library available for browsing and borrowing.

Bring your friends!
Our meetings are open to the public, so please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested, friends, family, other mums and dads... you don't have to have a baby to be a Babywearing supporter!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Zealand Babywearing Week Events, October 10 - 16

New Zealand Babywearing Week is about to start and we're very excited about it. We have a number of events planned and would love to see you at any or all of them.

Our first event is a free Babywearing Dance Class on Monday, October 10th, from 10:30am at the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt.
In this 45min class you will learn the basics of Cha cha, how to Cha cha safely with your baby, a lovely choreography to dance with your baby at home and how to add in your partner to your Cha cha fun! All welcome, no previous experience or rhythmical talent required.
Check out the facebook event for more details.

Our second (and third) event will be a DIY stretchy wrap workshop.
This event will have two parts - the first is a fabric shopping trip to The Fabric Warehouse (126 Hutt Rd, next to Spotlight) at 10:30am on Tuesday, 11th October. The fabric Warehouse have offered us a very generous discount on fabric for the workshop. The discount is only available during this trip, so come along to take advantage. More details on the facebook event.
The second is an informal craft session at The Southern Cross, at 10:30am on Friday, 14th October. Bring your fabric and your creativity and we will be on hand to offer help in shaping and embellishing your wrap. Have a look at the facebook event for more details.
Come along to either or both events and make a wrap for yourself or share the wearing by making one for a new parent in your life. The only cost involved is for the fabric you purchase.

And to round off the week we have our main event: our annual Slingwalk through central Wellington. It should be a lot of fun and there are some great giveaways and amazing prizes to be won!
Check out the separate post about it here or have a look at the facebook event.

For events happening in other parts of the country you should have a look at the New Zealand Babywearing Week site.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Zealand Babywearing Week

Here at Babywearing Wellington we're looking forward to the first ever New Zealand Babywearing Week, which will run parallel to International Babywearing Week from 10-16 October.

Babywearing Wellington will be organising a few different events to celebrate the week, the main one of these being our annual sling walk through town on 16 October. This year we've decided to go for an easier (flatter!) route, starting at Frank Kitts park at 2pm then walking past Te Papa, onto Courtenay Place and then Cuba St ending at the Southern Cross Guest Room, our regular slingmeet venue. Check out the route map below.

Register on the day from 1.30pm to go into the draw to win heaps of great spot prizes from the NZ Babywearing Week sponsors Wickelkinder (Manduca), My Natural Baby, Rockin' Green NZ, Ours DVD, The Natural Parent magazine (more details at bottom of this email) and local businesses Le'esscience, Baby on the Move and Wish Skin Spa. The main prize will be a Sweet Soda limited edition Manduca valued at $255 provided by Wickelkinder! In addition, the first 30 families to register on the day will receive a small goodie bag with giveaways and vouchers.

We'd love to see you all there with your child/ren and favourite carriers, and it would be great if you could spread the word around your friends and family. Everyone is welcome - you don't need to have a 'worn' baby to attend, and the route is buggy-friendly. The idea is to get as many supporters of babywearing together as we can! The sling walk poster is available here for you to print out and distribute if you can - the more advertising the better. So we have a vague idea of numbers, we'd appreciate it if you could let us know by email or by RSVPing to the Facebook event whether you think you can make it. In the meantime, check out the photos from last year's sling walk.

In addition to the sling walk, we're planning a Latin-inspired babywearing dance class on Monday 10th and a 'Make Your Own Stretchy Wrap' with our resident craftster, Hester, on Friday 14th. More details to come on both these events.

Hope to see you at one or more of these events!

For information on events in other parts of New Zealand, check out the list on the New Zealand Babywearing Week site.

October Slingmeet

We hope you all can come to Babywearing Wellington's next slingmeet
from 10 a.m. on Friday 7 October, 2011
in the guest room at the Southern Cross
39 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington.

The topic of this month's meeting is "Babywearing around the world", which ties in with the theme of next month's International Babywearing Week - "A world of possibilities". And don't forget next month also marks the first ever New Zealand Babywearing Week. We hope you're looking forward to what we have planned as much as we do!

We're happy to answer any questions you may have about all aspects of Babywearing and about any type of baby carrier. Please feel free to bring any questions you have with you on Friday, or contact us at any time.

As always, we will have our carrier library available for browsing and borrowing.

Bring your friends!

Our meetings are open to the public, so please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested, friends, family, other mums and dads... you don't have to have a baby to be a Babywearing supporter!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Unido pouch slings available from our library

It's high time we did a write up on one of our earliest library donations - two beautiful, 100% NZ made pouch slings from Sarah at Unido.

Our two Unido pouches - S on left, M on right

Like all pouch slings, Unido slings are great for quick and easy babywearing and fold up nice and small when you're not using them. They can be used for front, back and hip carries. What sets Unido apart, though, is the fact that their pouches are fully customisable. You can buy them direct from stockists around NZ but if you want one that is exactly tailored to your body size, all you need to do is go to their website, put in your diagonal shoulder to hip measurement, choose your coordinating fabrics and place your order. There's an extensive range of fashionable printed cotton fabric to choose from for the outside, and the solid coloured fabric on the inside is a diagonal weave for added strength and durability. Unido slings are fully reversible as well, so you can wear them with the print on the inside for a different look. Another nice touch is that you can order a matching mini pouch for your child to wear their 'baby' in as well. Unido also provide a comprehensive illustrated guide to using their slings.

Please check out Unido's blog or their Facebook page.

The Unido pouches in our library are a small (fits size 10-12 or 59-63cm) and a medium (fits size 12-14 or 63-68cm). We'd love you to come and try them out at one of our slingmeets and they're also available to hire at any time by contacting our librarian.

Thanks again, Sarah!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Natures Sway carriers now available from our library

The team at Natures Sway have kindly donated three carriers to our library. Natures Sway (NS) have recently added to their range - in addition to the NS sling which you probably already know about, they now also make a soft structured carrier (NS Pouch Pack) and a stretchy wrap (NS Carry Wrap).

Here's some information on each of the carriers:

NS sling

The NS sling is available in either 100% cotton or an organic blend of 55% hemp/45% cotton (which we have in the library). The design of the organic sling has been updated to make it easier to adjust and more comfortable for both you and your baby, especially in the hip carry position. The sling is designed to be used from birth till around 2 years old. The slings are easy to adjust between different wearers as they do up with an adjustable buckle, and they are also great for breastfeeding in, as shown below.
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NS slings now come with a yellow safety loop which goes around the buckle for added safety. Also, in terms of safety, rest assured that the NS is not a 'bag sling' however it's very important that you place your baby in the sling correctly following the NS instructions. Your baby needs to be lying diagonally along the line of stitching (which indicates the placement of your baby's head and spine). Here's a video from NS showing exactly how to do this:
For more information on NS sling safety, see here.

NS Pouch Pack

The NS Pouch Pack is a soft structured carrier so is more comfortable for extended periods of wearing and can be used from birth to around 3 years of age. It can be used as a front or back carrier, as well as on your hip if desired. Like the organic NS sling, the main fabric of the body is 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton, with a front panel available in several different patterns (we have a fabric sample book available for you to look through). The front panel has a zip to extend the height as your child gets older. The wide shoulder pads are padded with wool for comfort on your shoulders, although, like all SSCs, the waist strap means the weight is largely distributed to your hips. There is also some padding around the the bit where your baby's legs go for added comfort. It's easy to use, and folds up relatively small to put in your bag if necessary.

NS Carry Wrap

The NS Carry Wrap is a stretchy wrap with a woven panel. The woven panel adds extra support around your baby's spine and helps prevent sagging, while the 100% organic cotton knit on the rest of the wrap is comfortable for your shoulders and back. The woven panel (available in the same range of patterns as the panel on the Pouch Pack) also means it's easy to find the centre of the wrap and tie it correctly. The wrap has a built in storage pocket so it's easy to fold up and put in your nappy bag. 


NS have a great comparison chart available on their website comparing the features of each of these carriers to help you work out which one is right for you. If you'd like to check out any of these carriers, they'll be available to try and/or hire at our slingmeets or you can email our librarian anytime. 

Thanks again to Natures Sway for making these available to us!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

September Slingmeet

We hope you all can come to Babywearing Wellington's next slingmeet
from 10 a.m. on Friday 2 September, 2011
in the guest room at the Southern Cross
39 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington.

After the success of our earlier "Babywearing 101" talk (which covered the basics of babywearing), this month's talk "Babywearing 201" goes further and focuses on the many health benefits of babywearing. It turns out that babywearing is not only convenient for mum, but also very good for baby! So do come along, hear our talk, check out the carrier library and mingle with other parents who "wear" their babies!

We're happy to answer any questions you may have about all aspects of babywearing and about any type of baby carrier. Please feel free to bring any questions you have with you on Friday, or contact us at any time.

Bring your friends!
Our meetings are open to the public, so please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested, friends, family, other mums and dads... you don't have to have a baby to be a Babywearing supporter!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No August Slingmeet

There will be no Babywearing Wellington slingmeet on the 5th of August as the date coincides with the Big Latch On.

Our usual venue, The Southern Cross, will be the central Wellington venue for the Big Latch On. There will be Babywearing Wellington committee members attending there and others at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt. We invite you to join us with your children in carriers at either location.

Slingmeets will resume as usual on the 2nd of September.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Library update - Hoppediz woven wrap

I'm happy to announce that our carrier library now includes a woven wrap - a Hoppediz in the bright and beautiful Delhi colourway.
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It was kindly donated by MayBaby who currently sell Hoppediz wraps through Trademe.

Hoppediz are very similar to Storchenwiege woven wraps and the Didymos stripes range of woven wraps. They have quite a dense, thick weave which makes them super supportive, especially as your child gets older and heavier. In addition, they're really wide (this one is about 4 cm wider than my Storchenwiege Inka which is already considered a wide wrap) so they are great for back carries for toddlers.

Like other European woven wraps, Hoppediz are made from high quality cotton free of pesticides and chemicals.

Hoppediz have a couple of extra handy features - firstly they have middle markers on both the top and bottom rails of the wrap. This is very helpful when doing back carries. In addition, they come with a little pocket at one end to put your keys, phone etc.

Hoppediz have lots and lots of different colourways, possibly more than any other manufacturer, so there is something for everyone. The Delhi colourway we have is very cheerful in shades of red and orange.
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The wrap comes with an extensive instruction booklet so it doesn't matter if you've never used a woven wrap before.

All in all, a very good example of a woven wrap for you to try out. Please email our librarian if you'd like to try it (or ask at one of our slingmeets).

If you're thinking of buying one for yourself, let them know that you're a Babywearing Wellington member and you'll get a 10% discount.

Thanks again to Anna at MayBaby!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Babywearing and breastfeeding

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  • Babywearing helps facilitate breastfeeding.
  • Human milk is low in fat and protein and is easily digested meaning newborn babies require frequent feeding.
  • Humans are classed as 'continuous feeders' – other animals in this category carry or are followed by their infants and so are in almost constant contact. It makes sense for humans to do the same by babywearing.
  • Frequent feeding following your baby's cues is important for breastmilk supply, especially in the early weeks.
  • Being close to their food source is comforting for babies and encourages the frequent feedings which stimulate supply. This is even more important for low weight gain babies as they don't need to waste energy by crying for their food.
  • Having your baby close to you stimulates production of the breastfeeding hormones oxytocin and prolactin, also important for supply.
  • Some babies need the movement of being worn to 'organise' their sucking. Babywearing can also soothe and relax babies who arch their backs when breastfeeding.
  • If you're using a carrier but taking your baby out to feed it can feel exhausting having to keep popping them in and out, or retying, each time when they're feeding 8-12 times a day.
  • Learning to feed in a carrier is very liberating – you can meet your baby's need for frequent feeds but not be tied to the sofa. This is especially great when you have older children to look after.
  • Being able to feed in a carrier means you can feed while out and about without worrying about finding a place to sit down – I've fed in the carrier waiting for the bus, pushing my older child on the swing at the park, during a wedding reception, doing the supermarket shopping, and out walking.
  • Breastfeeding in a carrier can also be very discreet – most people would have no idea that your baby is feeding.
  • Breastfeeding can also be a good way to encourage babies who protest against being put into a carrier. Once they're in and latched on and you're moving around they'll more than likely settle and hopefully go to sleep.
Tips for breastfeeding in a carrier:

  • It's a good idea to wait until you're confident about using your carrier and have successfully established breastfeeding. It's important to have your latch sorted out first as it can be harder to ensure a really good latch in the carrier especially when moving around.
  • Wear something that can be pulled down from the top – it's a lot harder trying to pull up your top when your baby is in the way (and avoids flashing any wobbly bits while walking around!).
  • It's easier to feed in a cradle position when your baby is little but as they get older and taller they'll probably prefer to be upright.
  • To get your older baby into the right position, loosen the straps (or the knot in a wrap) and bounce the baby down till their head is at the breast height. You may have to manipulate your breast to get the right angle. However, older babies are usually pretty good at latching on by themselves!
  • Once your baby has finished feeding, tighten the carrier so that your baby is at 'kiss height' again.
  • Breast size can affect how easy you find it to feed in a carrier. A tip for more well-endowed mums is to prop your breast up with a muslin so it's in a better position. Hip carries might be more suitable if this is the case, too, as your baby is more to the side of the breast. It may just be a case of trying different things to see what works for you. No baby or mum is the same!
  • All carrier types are suitable for feeding in but some are easier to get the hang of than others. Like all aspects of babywearing, practice makes perfect!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New to our Library - Little Tree Baby Mei Tai

One of the beautiful new carriers to our library has been donated by the wonderful and generous Sita of Little Tree Baby - a stunning Mei Tai.

One of the things that struck me about this Mei Tai was the fabric selection. The colours and patterns are absolutely gorgeous. The photo doesn't do it justice - you'll just have to see it for yourself!

When purchasing a Mei Tai, I think the fabric selection is the hardest part - so many beautiful fabrics to choose from! I think by leaving it to the expert and letting Sita choose the fabrics for us, she came up with something really creative, unique and special.

There's also the option of a waist buckle or tie. This particular Mei Tai has a buckle. A buckle means you only have one knot, but it is entirely over to personal preference. You may feel a tie is better to get the right fit for you.

This is the first time I've tried a Mei Tai, and I was surprised just how easy and comfortable it is to wear my heavy toddler in it. It was really supportive, and I quickly got the knack of tightening the shoulder ties. I loved the fact that I could fold up the Mei Tai and fit it easily into Holly's nappy bag. And, did I mention I loved the fabric? I felt rather stylish strutting around with Holly in it on my back. :)

It was also supremely easily to adjust a front carry for Holly to breastfeed in it. This is the first time I've successfully breastfed Holly in a carrier!

Thank you to Sita from Little Tree Baby for this awesome donation. We love it! You can visit the Little Tree Baby facebook page at

If you'd like to hire this gorgeous carrier, simply email us at with your contact details, and Emma will be in touch.

Much respect,
Sarah C

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nurnurz Pouch Slings - new to our library

Babywearing Wellington has recently received two Nurnurz pouch slings for our library, thanks to Carissa from Nurnurz Slings.

One of our members, Stefanie, just bought one of these for herself and has kindly written a review for us. Here it is:

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"My daughter has just turned 5 months old and as much as I’ve loved popping her in the Moby wrap we’ve been using since birth, I was encountering some convenience issues with it and wanted to find something more handy and easy to pop on.

I live in Wellington and as everybody knows, the weather can be a little challenging sometimes. Battling with my Moby, the wind and the puddles between the car and the pavement, it was not convenient for me when I wanted to just ‘pop in’ to the bank because I happened to be passing it in my car. I found myself just grabbing her and popping her on my hip to run in and out of shops. My chiropractor had words with me about that, much more thoughtfulness was required. Let alone the moments when I have her in my hand and am juggling my credit cards, phone, car key in the other, while trying to pay for something. Having only really known about the Moby since her birth, I decided to investigate other quicker options and found myself on the Nurnurz Nuture Slings website.

Ahah! Here was a double thickness 100% cotton fully reversible, and quite pretty, pouch. Made to measure the wearer exactly (meaning unfortunately my partner can’t have a go), it rolls up quite neatly into my handbag for those dash and go moments. My first port of call was Babywearing Wellington, to see if they had any in their library to hire (which they didn’t at the time but now stock two), but as I’m a little impatient I just went ahead and ordered one off Trade Me.

The moment it arrived it changed my life! My little one likes to look out at the world whether we’re walking down the street or hanging up the washing, and this was becoming a little difficult with the larger wrap that I have.

I keep it in my handbag because it is just so convenient. Simply fold it in half, pop it over the arm babe needs to be sat on, making sure her spine will sit in the seam exactly, it weighs near to nothing and fits over my jumpers and under my raincoat. To use, just pop baby over the shoulder, her legs either side of your hip, bum into the deepest part of the pouch, hitch up her knees, pull the pouch up her back to her neck (arms in or out) et voila! In addition, pull over the loose fabric over the ‘holding’ shoulder to reveal the beautiful fabric design underneath, to cap on the shoulder and produce a lovely balance of the weight. One happy, secure, looking out at the world baby, and one happy, straight-spined mum with two free hands.

The thick cotton ensures that she’s really secure and I feel very confident in just letting her be, she does like to put her hands in her lap and just sit there. Because of the unique vantage point she calms right down if she’s been in a little strop, and we have great fun stopping to look at things that have caught her eye, be it a tree, flowers, a poster, and I get to see exactly what she is looking at alongside her.

So I’ve found all sorts of big uses for this little piece of fabric:

Popping to the neighbours or dashing in and out of the car to and from shops

· Supermarket shopping (if you’re prepared to be stopped at every aisle to be told how gorgeous your baby is)

· Midnight wind/walking around sessions take the weight off my arms

And my personal favourites, having her:

· Breastfeed

· Sleeping

My little one has had a cold for the last few days, feeling very sorry for herself, and she wants to be upright all the time to drain her nose and near mum for hugs and cuddles as much as possible too. We attended a workshop for two and a half hours on Sunday, space was tight and after a little wriggle, I popped her in the pouch to feed her (very simply, lift up the rear leg, lean forward, shuffle the wrap around, place baby’s mouth on the boob and there you go), then as usual she fed herself to sleep, so a quick shuffle up and back, her head nuzzled into my shoulder and mum was able to do the figure-8-hip-dance-rock to keep her asleep (for an hour), and I didn’t feel it a strain to hold her that long at all.

I am a bit forlorn that I didn’t buy one earlier in little one’s life, as I would so have used it from newborn had I known about it, especially seeing as she was born in summer and the layers of Moby were super heated in the sun. I’m also looking forward to deviating from my favourite ‘hip carry’ position to the other uses; cradle, front, back and kangaroo. And as I’m going to get use out of this until for at least 2 years, it is a great investment and fantastic value for money.

The fabric is beautiful and the make is really high quality, so my impatience paid off. I’m considering buying another now, just a different colour/design for when one is in the wash, or it doesn’t match her outfit, and I’m waiting for the swim edition to come out so I can hold her in the pool when we go.

As for juggling my keys, credit card and phone, never again. There’s the best little pocket right by her back, and the lovely people at Nurnurz said ‘not for mobile phones please, we don’t want those so close to a baby’, so now I just leave that in the car. Who needs their phone when they have the world to explore through their babies eyes?"

Thanks for the great review Stefanie!

Babywearing Wellington has a medium sling (fits 62-64cm) and a large (fits 65-67cm) available to hire. Please contact our librarian or ask at our slingmeets if you're interested.

Friday, June 24, 2011

July Slingmeet

We hope you all can come to Babywearing Wellington's next slingmeet at 10am on Friday the 1st of July , to be held in the guest room at the Southern Cross 39 Abel Smith St, Te Aro.

This month's topic is "Breastfeeding and Babywearing." We will have a demo on how to breastfeed in a range of carriers and Emma will be talking about the benefits babywearing can have to your breastfeeding journey. Come along and learn about Breastfeeding and Babywearing. We're happy to answer any questions you may have about all aspects of Babywearing or about any type of baby carrier. Please feel free to bring any questions you have with you on Friday, or contact us at any time.

In addition, you will have the chance to see and try the extensive library from Blissful Babes, who run babywearing workshops here in Wellington.

We have a range of carrier types available for hire from our library for just $5 per week! Carriers include stretchy wraps, a woven wrap, Mei Tais, and a Manduca. To hire a carrier, you need to be a Babywearing Wellington member. It only costs you $10 to join, and all proceeds go towards running and updating the library, and keeping our meetings free. For more information on the library and how to become a Babywearing Wellington member, contact us or come along to Friday's meeting. Remember you don’t have to wait until the slingmeet to hire a carrier, just contact us at any time.

Our meetings are open to the public, so please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested. You don't have to have a baby to be a Babywearing supporter!

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Babywearing Beyond Infancy

We're Babywearing Wellington, but we've been around for well over a year now, and our babies have grown up a lot in that time so we have a bit to say about how wearing an older baby or child differs from wearing an infant and why you might want to consider it.

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Emma wearing 2.5 year old Leith in a woven wrap

My son will turn 2 next week and I've been wearing him since he was a few days old. When he was little, babywearing was very useful to me, but as he got older and more aware it became a joy.

One of my favourite memories from his first year is from when he was just over 6 months old and I had him on my hip in a ring sling. We were walking through town and he was looking around at the world and then turning back to look at me with a delighted "Did you just see that?!" look on his face. It was lovely to be able to share in his developing awareness of the world, and that's one of the beautiful things about wearing babies and kids who are awake a reasonable amount of the time. They are getting to see the world from you level, where all the exciting stuff happens, where they are part of your interactions and conversations. You also get to talk to them about what you're both seeing. And, when it all gets too much, you're right there for them to snuggle into for comfort.

One of the reasons that a lot of people with small babies don't envisage wearing them when they get bigger is that they think they're going to be too heavy. My son is about 14kg, so he probably looks gigantic to those with little babies. If someone were to wear him for the first time now they'd probably struggle a bit, but I started wearing him when he was 3kg and have been wearing him as he's grown, so my strength has built. It is a pretty good workout, to be honest. I can no longer wear him all day, but he wouldn't let me, anyway.

These days I don't wear him much around home, but he does sometimes get pretty clingy when he's tired, sick or teething and wearing him allows me to get things done while also minimising tantrums and meltdowns.

Many parents still find it helpful to wear their toddlers to help them get to sleep, but unfortunately it's incredibly rare for me to be able to successfully transfer him out of the carrier onto the bed. He'll occasionally nap on me when we're out, but I'll admit that that is rather tough on me physically, so I try to avoid it.

More often I wear him in public.

He likes to walk places these days, but he gets tired easily so it's great to have a carrier in the bag for when he decides to sit down in the middle of the pavement. It's a lot easier to cart around "just in case" than pushing an empty stroller (unless you're picking up groceries, in which case a pram can be pretty handy). We use public transport a lot so I definitely don't want to wrestle a stroller on and off the bus when we might not even need it.

It's also great for when he refuses to hold my hand and I don't want him running off. I can put him on my back or I've been known to tie one end of a wrap around his waist and use it as a leash!

Many carriers are suitable for carrying larger kids but ones that can be used for back carries are ideal. Carrying a heavier child on the front of your body can be very tough on your back, and as they get taller they are more in your way as you have to reach around them and peer over them!

There are two common kinds of carrier I wouldn’t recommend for carrying larger babies, neither of which are suitable for back carries. Mainstream frontpacks are designed for babies up to a year old but many find them uncomfortable well before then. Stretchy wraps tend to sag a bit with a heavier child and are rarely wide enough to support the back of a taller kid.

SSCs such as the Ergo or Manduca are a popular choice and most of them have a weight limit of about 20kg, which could be around 4 years or older. They're also quite quick to get on and off so can be good for a kid who wants to get up and down a lot or for putting them in it quickly when you're out on the street.

We have started using a Mei Tai recently and have been enjoying it. It's not quite as quick to put on as an SSC but it's easy to wear higher up to let the wee bloke see over my shoulder and it folds up smaller than our SSC if we're carrying it "just in case".

Our personal favourite is the woven wrap. I learned to do back wraps from Emma about a year ago and it's been brilliant. It was a bit of a learning curve but we soon got proficient with rucksack carries and I can quickly get M high up on my back where he can see the world, talk to me, kiss me and rub food in my hair. We find our Storchenwiege particularly supportive and I feel very confident about carrying him in it, despite his ever increasing weight, as the fact that it is one piece of fabric means that there is no stitching to possibly break or come undone.

Though one shoulder slings like ring or pouch slings can be quite tough for long periods with a heavier child they certainly make things easier on your arms for quick carries. They fold up small to fit in a bag and they're quick to pop a child in and out of, so can be a good option to have around for your toddlerwearing emergencies.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sharing the Wearing - Our Mission Statement

You may have heard, we have an exciting new mission statement for Babywearing Wellington!

We wanted to share our journey to develop a mission statement that was really meaningful and resonated with all of us. We believe we’ve achieved that, and found the journey rather inspiring - we hope that you do to.

When I joined the BWW committee late last year, I was blown away by the passion that all the other committee members shared, and their willingness to put a lot of effort into something that they believed in, for no monetary reward. The satisfaction of a job well done was more than enough.

I wanted to harness that passion and help channel the energies of the group effectively. To start the process, I floated the idea of jointly developing a mission statement, which was received with great enthusiasm.

The process started with a questionnaire, which asked questions intended to ferret out what had ignited our passion for babywearing.

The questionnaire revealed that we had all come to babywearing through word-of-mouth or on-line research, and as such Babywearing Wellington filled a niche requirement for an organised group for people to come to for advice. Also, our passion for babywearing was very personal. For the most part, babywearing as a parenting choice had been a saviour in our hour of need. We had each experienced different challenges and had overcome them, largely due to support from friends and family. Because of the success we had had on a personal level, we were inspired and motivated to share our collective experience with others. In particular, we wanted to be in a position to provide support to those that needed it, just as we had received from others in our hour of need.

Something that was also very apparent was the diversity amongst our committee, in terms of background, skill sets, and often parenting choices. The thing that had brought us together was Babywearing. We really love the fact that we each bring something unique to the committee, and wanted to extend that vibe to our meetings and everything we do.

And as for the mission statement. It is:


Babywearing Wellington
- Sharing the wearing -

We are passionate about promoting the benefits of babywearing through knowledge sharing. Our mission is to see the safe use of baby carriers become a normal and mainstream parenting choice, and a priority for parents and carers.

Babywearing Wellington provides a haven of acceptance for all parents and carers. Babywearing meets a range of needs as unique as the relationship between baby and parent, and is the common thread that ties our diverse community together.

The values that we see in each other are the same values that underpin our mission: dedication and commitment, acceptance and diversity, generosity and integrity.


If you feel particularly inspired about sharing the wearing and would like to assist the committee in any way, please approach us with your details. It could be writing a post for our blog, hanging up posters in your neighbourhood, helping us organise an event, or even joining the committee. We would gratefully accept all offers of help.

Much respect,
Sarah C and the Babywearing Wellington Team

Monday, May 30, 2011

Next Slingmeet

Our next slingmeet is at 10am on 3 June.

This month's topic is "Babywearing Beyond Infancy". Hester will be talking about the benefits and beauty of wearing your baby as they grow and develop, and the different advantages and challenges you might encounter wearing a growing baby, toddler and even pre-schooler. Sarah C will also be talking about Babywearing Wellington's newly developed mission and vision, and sharing our passion for spreading the word of Babywearing.

Come along and learn about why so many of us love wearing our toddlers and older bubbas. We're happy to answer any questions you may have about any stage of babywearing, from newborn and upwards, or about any type of baby carrier. Please feel free to bring any questions you have with you on Friday, or contact us at any time.

Sharing the Wearing

We just wanted to take the opportunity to share with you one of the stories submitted to last month's "Heart to Heart" competition. The winner of the Heart to Heart stretchy wrap was Emma C., who was nominated by a friend for the grace with which she has dealt with some serious parenting challenges and for using her experiences to help others. Emma is expecting a second baby at the end of this year and, with two under two, we thought the wrap would help her to wear her new baby while keeping up with her toddler.

Another submission that really stood out for us was this one submitted by Rachael. Though she didn't win the main prize we felt that her story of gifting wraps to friends to introduce them to babywearing matched our passion for sharing the babywearing love. Rachael received a pair of Huggalugs legruffles for her daughter, and has allowed us to share her story with you.

* * *
I first saw a friend, Shannon, wearing a stretchy wrap in 2007. It was a home-made one, gifted to her by another friend. Her baby looked so sweet and happy cuddled up and sleeping that I knew I wanted to use one "one day". Cue 2009, aka Year of the baby, I was pregnant as were several of my friends, I decided to try my hand at making my own and others for gifts. Shannon lent me hers to use as a template and away I went. I spread the baby-wearing love and ended up gifting wraps to four of my friends as well as making two for me! Things being the way they are, mine didn't get made until after baby was born. She was 3 weeks old when I finally cut one for me. It was such a blessing. I wore her uphill and down, inside and outdoors, around the house andout shopping. I wore her in restaurants and museums and I wore her at a friend's wedding reception. When she started to be a bit too big and wiggly for the full on front carry, I wore her in a side carry on my hip, so handy for the walk between door and car. After a month or so of that, a friend gave me a woven wrap and taught me a back carry and that's what we mostly use now.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Skin2Skin wraps - new to our carrier library

We're happy to announce some other recent additions to our carrier library - two beautiful Skin2Skin stretchy wraps donated by Rhian at Skin2Skin.

Rhian aims to provide pretty and stylish wraps at affordable prices. Perfect for style-conscious mums on any budget!

The first wrap that Rhian has donated is a reversible one in the colourway Bright Blue Pacifica. It's made from a single length of high quality one-way stretch cotton fabric which ensures the perfect amount of stretch to comfortably yet securely embrace your baby. One side features a beautiful central panel in a colourful floral print while the rest of the wrap is a gorgeous purpley-blue. When the wrap is worn on the reverse side the embroidered skin2skin logo is visible at the centre but the decorative panel is unseen. So you effectively get two wraps for the price of one. Rhian's reversible wraps are usually one of a kind too so you'll stand out from the crowd.

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This wrap is the widest stretchy wrap I've ever seen - at the widest point on the middle panel it's around 53cm. The extra width and the fact it's only got one-way stretch mean that you can keep using it even as your baby gets taller and heavier. 17 month old Audrey (1o.5kg) feels light and well supported in it and I know Beth wore her 21 month old in it with no problem. The width also means this wrap is properly suitable for use in back carries. It's particularly good in a double hammock carry as this shows off the pretty middle panel.

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The other wrap, which is on temporary loan to Babywearing Wellington, is a bamboo-cotton blend reversible wrap. The main part of this wrap is made from 70% bamboo-30% cotton with a middle panel of woven bamboo and wild nettle. The fabric on this wrap is extremely soft and lightweight and will draw moisture away from you and your baby keeping you both cool. All these things make it a great choice for a summer newborn (Rhian recommends this wrap for use up to around 12 months).

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Both wraps are easy care (machine washable and dryable) and come with a detailed and easy to follow DVD and set of written instructions. They also come in their own storage pouch.

Rhian also offers plain cotton and merino wraps which are suitable for front carries only.

The wraps will be available to try out and/or hire at our slingmeets. Please come see me if you're interested. Otherwise check out Rhian's website or her Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Be in to win a Heart to Heart Stretchy Wrap

At Babywearing Wellington we're running a competition for one lucky person to win a Heart to Heart stretchy wrap in natural colour. This is thanks to the generosity of Jackie from Baby Wrap, who has donated this beautiful and comfortable stretchy wrap. Check them out at

All you need to do to be in the draw is send us a Babywearing story by 29 April: a short paragraph or few detailing why you think you (or a friend) should get the wrap. You can use email, or send us a message on Facebook. The BWW committee will collate all stories and select by vote which one speaks 'Heart to Heart' to us the most. I can tell already that we have our work cut out for us!

The winner will be announced at our May Slingmeet, so if you enter the comp please make sure you attend on Friday 6 May at 10am at the Southern Cross in Te Aro to be able to claim your prize.

We'd love to hear more stories from our Babywearing community, and this is a wonderful opportunity to do so.

Check out the fabulous specials that Jackie has going this month - only $50 for a beautiful wrap!

I have one of these beautiful wraps myself, which was perfect for Holly as a newborn. Being cotton, it was very easy to take care of. I just threw it in the wash after one of the many messy incidents involving a number two. As Holly grew into a very bonnie baby (aka chubba bubba :)), the extra width was very handy too.

This photo is one of my earliest outings with Holly in the Heart to Heart (at just 8 days old). Fond memories of those newborn days!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Popit wrap - new to our carrier library!

Amy from Popit Wrap has generously donated one of her stretchy wraps in aqua/black to our carrier library. So we thought it would be a good opportunity to review it.

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Popit Wraps are 100% NZ designed and made. They're made from 100% light weight cotton knit which only has width wise stretch for more support and safety. They're machine washable and dryable - a big plus with babies, especially newborns! They also come with an instruction DVD (included with your hire) showing different tying methods.

They're the first stretchy wrap I've seen with two sides - colour on one side, black on the other. I really like this, as you can change it to suit your mood. When you have the black side facing out, the colour peeks through at the edges which looks cool. It's also a good way of making sure the wrap hasn't twisted as you're tying it.

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Believe it or not, this was the first stretchy I have tried and I was pleasantly surprised when I put Audrey (15 months and around 10 kg) in it. It was comfortable, supportive and not nearly as 'stretchy' as I'd thought stretchy wraps were. Sarah C had one when Holly was born and enjoyed using it with a newborn. The fact it came with instructions on DVD was a big plus, and she liked how many different colourways they come in.

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The instruction DVD has well paced video instructions with a voiceover explaining the different steps. I think it would be easy to follow for a beginner wrapper. The DVD contains instructions for 6 different carries, including front carries, a hip carry and a back carry. Because the Popit Wrap only has 2-way stretch it is theoretically safer for back carries, however it is not overly wide (compared to a woven wrap) which means you would need to wrap very carefully to ensure a safe carry. I would recommend only trying this if you are an experienced wrapper and don't have a child who likes leaning back.

The Popit Wrap is available to hire from Babywearing Wellington's carrier library. If you're interested, please let us know at the next slingmeet or by emailing

Amy would appreciate any of your feedback once you have tried it out too.

Thanks again, Amy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tips for Successful Babywearing - The Early Days

You've done the research, bought the sling and are completely committed to wearing your baby. So what does a new sling mumma do if their baby doesn't seem to 'like' being worn?

We've all experienced some degree of difficulty in those early days of babywearing, so here's a few ideas for successfully working through those hard times, and wearing your beautiful newborn successfully and safely. These tips are based on our own experiences of those early days of babywearing, and what we did to overcome our own personal hurdles.

- Practice the different carries first with a teddy or doll. The doll won't wriggle or cry like a newborn baby might, but the practice will set you in good stead for when the baby comes along. This is particularly important with a wrap sling, so you can understand the body mechanics required for wrapping your baby.

- Practice putting your baby in the sling when she isn't too tired or hungry. Often people use slings as a last resort as a sleeping tool (I certainly did!), with first attempt when baby is completely overtired. This may mean that the experience of getting baby into the sling is traumatic both for the wearer and baby - it is no surprise that many people give up if this happens a lot.

- Have your partner, friend or relative be a support person when putting your baby in the sling. Your support person can assist hugely by boosting your confidence and keeping you calm while you put the baby in the sling. They can also assist with the more difficult wrapping techniques. However, you may find that once you get your wrapping mojo, an extra pair of hands can be more of a hindrance than help.

- Enlist the help of an expert, preferably in person. Babywearing Wellington committee members are available to give advice whenever you need it. We also hold monthly slingmeets, which are a brilliant place to get some help and practice the different carries.

- Don't be rushed. Take your time to get the carry right and don't be afraid to start again from scratch if you need to. 

- Try different carrier types. Sometimes a baby won't enjoy a wrap sling, but will love, love, love a mei tai! Sometimes the wearer will find a certain sling type or brand uncomfortable, but finds another type or brand to be the perfect fit. The Babywearing Wellington Sling Library gives you the opportunity to 'try before you buy'. We have a range of sling types and brands that might just be perfect for you.

- Be patient and keep trying if it doesn't work the first time. It may also help to have a break and come back to it again later (after a nice cup of tea and a well deserved piece of cake!).

The most important thing is to feel comfortable asking for help if you need it. We are a phone call or email away, and are ready and willing to help you with any aspect of Babywearing. Don't hesitate even for a second to reach out to us. :)

Kia Kaha,

The Babywearing Wellington Team

Friday, March 4, 2011

Slingmeet March 4th - Stretchy Wraps

Stretchy wraps tend to be 4.5-5.5 meters long and made from a knit jersey or interlock fabric. They can me made from natural or synthetic fibres, though natural fibres like cotton have the advantage of being more breathable. Fabric with any spandex or lycra content will tend to be very stretchy - carriers which are 100% cotton or other natural fibres will tend to have less lengthwise stretch.

All wraps are incredibly versatile. Though they can not achieve as many holds as a woven wrap, there are still a wide range of ways to tie a stretchy wrap. The most common seen is the ‘front pocket cross carry’ but you can also achieve cradle holds, outward facing and hip carries.

Outward facing in Popit Wrap
Hip carry in a Popit wrap
They make hands-free breastfeeding very do-able in the cradle hold or upright position.

A lot of people find stretchy wraps are easier to learn to use than wovens, as you can pre-tie it onto your body before placing baby in. This is also helpful when removing baby, as you take baby out before removing the sling. This ‘poppability’ is really useful, as when you are out and about you don’t need to worry about re-tying on the street front after a car trip or toilet stop.

Stretchies are often used as a ‘starter’ wrap, as they are an awesome way boost the carers confidence in wrapping because they are very forgiving while you're learning, and they are still very comfortable even when not tied on perfectly.

Though a lot of retailers recommend them for back carries, we do not, as often they’re not as wide or as supportive as a woven wrap. Baby can push against the carers back, pushing themselves backwards, which combined with the stretchy nature of the sling puts the baby at risk of falling or getting into an awkward position on the carers back.

I tend to direct people to stretchy wraps if they have a colicky baby as it is so easy and comfortable to have the baby in an upright position (helping avoid stomach acid rising up) from newborn as their head can be fully supported. Being upright really seems to help soothe baby and the motion from the carer often helps them bring up wind.

The wonderful thing about slings, particularly stretchy wraps, is that baby can self regulate their stimulation by looking out sideways at what's happening around him, or up to the carer, and can snuggle into the carer and sling easily when they feel the need. Babies are really good at regulating themselves, and a sling enables them to do this easily. This is one of the criticisms of the outward facing position.

When a baby is facing out to the world they are unable to turn in when it is getting a bit much for them. The baby may signal this with a wriggle or whimper, and if not picked up by the carer the baby can become overwhelmed and unsettled. Stretchy wraps are a great way to balance this as you can help you baby avoid this by being aware of the risk and changing babes position in this wonderfully poppable carrier when they are showing signs that they need less stimulation.

 We have a couple of stretchy wraps in the library, including the New Zealand made Popit wrap - so you can hire them to try or just have play and feel the different fabrics that various brands use.

And thank you to Natasha, Michelle, Rachael, Rhian and Popit for the use of your beautiful photos.

Slingmeet 4 March 2011 - Woven wraps

For anyone that missed out this morning, here's the information I handed out on woven wraps at this morning's slingmeet:



  • At its simplest, a wrap is just a long piece of fabric tied around you and your baby.
  • German-style woven wraps such as Storchenwiege and Didymos are designed specifically for carrying babies and children. They are woven with the right amount of diagonal stretch, support, mouldability and breathibility. They are expensive because they are made by hand in Europe under strict quality controls and use all natural fibres.
  • Woven wraps are soft and comfortable enough to use for newborns, but also wide and supportive enough to use up to age 3-4.
  • They can be used for front, back, hip and torso carries.
  • Woven wraps provide even weight distribution over your back and shoulders so are great for people with bad backs.
  • There is a big learning curve to start with, but once you get the knack it is just as quick, if not quicker than putting on a soft-structured carrier.
  • They can be used by both parents or other caregivers even if different sizes.
  • They can be pretied in a 'poppable' carry for easy ins and outs, or retied each time.

Tips and safety:

  • Only practise new carries when your baby is fed, changed and content. It's normal for them to fuss a bit to start with, especially if you're not sure what you're doing. They'll usually stop once you've tied it properly and start moving around.
  • Make sure wrap is spread out over your back and not twisted (each edge of the wrap – called 'rails' – are usually different colours to help with this).
  • Make sure the fabric is tucked under your baby's bottom and spread from knee to knee (if their legs are out).
  • Your baby's knees should always be higher than their bottom. Newborns should have their legs 'froggied' inside the wrap.
  • Always keep one hand on your baby at all times.
  • Your baby should be high enough for you to kiss their head and the fabric should be snug along their back (keeping their spine in a gentle curve).
  • You can tuck your baby's head in for them to sleep but make sure their face is clear so they can breathe.
  • Always practise back carries with a helper or over a bed to start with. Lean forward while you're making any adjustments.
  • For back carries, pull as much fabric as you can in between your baby's legs and your body to create a 'seat'.
  • Remember the wrap adds at least an extra layer so don't dress too warmly.


  • Front carries – front wrap cross carry, front cross carry (poppable), kangaroo carry.
  • Back carries – rucksack tied tibetan, rucksack tied in front, back wrap cross carry, secure high back carry (good for newborns), double hammock carry.
  • Hip carries – simple hip carry, Poppin's hip carry, Robin's hip carry, front cross hip carry.

For more information and instructions on the different carries, see and or ask one of the Babywearing Wellington crew for a demo.


Woven wraps are generally available in 2.7m (size 2), 3.2m (size 3), 3.6m (size 4), 4.2m, (size 5) 4.6m (size 6) and 5.2m (size 7) lengths. The most common length is 4.6m which is suitable for doing lots of different carries.

If you want to make your own wrap, you should look out for fabric that is cross twill and has a good amount of diagonal stretch but no vertical stretch.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Babywearing Babies

We all know how babywearing allows parents and caregivers to get on with their everyday activities while comforting, interacting and bonding with their babies, but what about our kids? They're busy people, too. They have games to play and a whole world to explore, but they want to keep their favourite toys close. That's when they take a leaf out of our books and wear their babies.

I present Babywearing Wellington's younger generation demonstrating the latest in stylish and functional mini carriers.

14 month old Audrey is thrilled about the ease with which she can pop her "baby" in and out of her mini Moby.

2 year old railway tycoon, Leith, prefers a chic fringed woven wrap from his mother's wardrobe.

Very nearly 3 year old Lillan wears her doll in a beautiful mei tai made by her mum.

Gorgeous sisters Mia (6) and Evelyn (16 months) take their babies for a walk together in wraps coodinated with their outfits. Babywearing even leaves them free to hold hands.

19 month old Mika finds his short Storchenwiege Vicky wrap handy when he wants to take his teddy bear for a motorcycle ride. (Do not try this with a real baby, or a real motorbike!)

18 month old Natalie finds her linen blend woven wrap cool enough to carry a penguin in.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On the road with Miss Nearly-Three

by Isa

“I like the bus” says Miss Nearly-Three as we walk to the bus stop. “You don't have to click me in on the bus”.

And I agree with her. The bus is great. As it turns up around the corner Miss Nearly-Three starts waving. And then she greets the bus driver with a cheerful “Hello”, before racing along to find just the seat for her.

A few hours later we set off to take the bus home. Miss Nearly-Three is tired and whiny, and begging for a breastfeed. It's time to whip out the mei tai from where it lives at the bottom of my bag. With the promise of a feed, Miss Nearly-Three lets me tie her onto my front (this is the way we both prefer it, I find my back and hips hurt when I carry her on my back). I get her settled and feeding (discretely, although that isn't actually that relevant to either of us, anymore), and feel her whole little body relax, as I once more set off to the bus stop. I kiss the top of her head, and think how lucky I am to have her.

And she'll probably fall asleep as soon as the bus is moving, which is fantastic now she rarely sleeps in the afternoon (but still needs it). She'll sleep and we'll both get a rest.

I don't wear her as much now that she is older. But there are times when it is useful. She doesn't have the strength yet to walk as far as we do. And she gets tired when we've been out all morning. That's when it is so practical to get the mei tai and get her settled. We enjoy going for walks. A while back we walked up Mount Kaukau, and Miss Nearly-Three walked all the way up herself. Then she slept on Daddy's back all the way down! And there are times, very occasionally, when she is miserable, tired, sad, clingy. That's when the mei tai comes into its right at home.

And I remember, as I watch my baby sleep, her little head resting heavily on my chest, a time, not so long ago, when she was in the mei tai much more. She had her day-time sleeps in there, at home or about, at other people's houses, on trains, buses and aeroplanes (though I preferred the Ergo on the plane). I walk a lot, and use public transport, so she was always there with me. Where I could see her, talk to her, sign to her, and see everything she saw. Sweet memories now. But also the odd long night with an inconsolable baby, and walking around in the dark with her in the mei tai until she calmed, fell asleep and we could get her back to bed. Other nights at parties, where my little girl had a blast until she got tired, and I got her settled in the mei tai. And we could enjoy the rest of the evening, with her sleeping peacefully on my chest. Not so long ago. A year ago or less.

I step off the bus, one hand on Miss Nearly-Three's head, and one on her back, and set off, up the road and up the 200 steps, and I am grateful I'm no longer dependent on the push-chair, as in my little one's early months. In a few minutes we'll be home, and Miss Nearly-Three will be rested and ready to raid the garden, have a smoothie and turn a dining chair into a climbing frame!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fit mums wear their babies!

Sometime ago a fellow babywearer was telling me about an online forum discussion about getting babies to settle in their prams. It appears to be a common conundrum. Some babies don't like prams - fair enough too, they've just spent 9 months curled up all cozy and snuggly inside their mummy then they go through the trauma of being born into this cold, bright world without the constant lulling of built-in rythmic sound and shock absorbent rocking motion. The obvious answer is WEAR YOUR BABY! The response to which often appears to be "but I want to exercise".

You can't wear your baby and get a decent workout can you? Well yes, actually, you can.

Although it wouldn't be safe to go for a run while wearing your baby, walking is a great aerobic workout and if you add weight (i.e. a carried child) and hills it's even better. You could even throw in some squats and lunges using your own and your baby's weights as resistence if you're keen.

This morning I spent an hour walking around the local hills wearing 1/4 of my body weight (aka my son) and burnt approx 2000kjs which is several hundred more than I would have burnt if I'd gone for a run. It was much easier on my joints too but the best part was that when Andrew woke up from his wee kip on my back he was in the prime position for us to interact, practice talking (him not me) and enjoy the scenery together.

So to all those mums that have issues getting their babies into their prams against their wills but really want to get out and exercise - WEAR YOUR BABY!!