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!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fact: Babywearing dads are hotter.

I really wanted to make my first post here at Babywearing Wellington count. I wanted to make it thoughtful and personal, like the other accounts here. I wanted to write something insightful and inspirational. So why have I been sitting here looking up pictures of celebrities on Google image search instead?

It started with a conversation last week with some other babywearing mamas where someone mentioned photos of Orlando Bloom with his new baby in a stretchy wrap. Several of us were previously unmoved by his supposed heartthrob status, but with his child nestled against his chest his attractiveness was significantly increased. We postulated that this might hold true for men in general, so I took to the Internet to find out. What follows is a small sample of my research.

Orlando Bloom
Babywearing improves his hair, his fashion sense and even makes his ears look smaller.

Brad Pitt
He's world renowned for being quite unfortunate looking, but babywearing actually makes him look quite good.

Gavin Rossdale
You may have wondered what Gwen sees in him, but wonder no more.

Anthony Kiedis
Demonstrates how babywearing can be a substitute for a shave, a haircut and a change of clothes in making you look presentable.

Ethan Hawke
Babywearing is serious business.

Cam Gigandet
See how babywearing brightens his complexion?

So, there you have it. Some fine examples of what babywearing can do for a man. There are many more out there, and I vow to keep searching until I find Hugh Jackman with a soft structured carrier, Robert Downey Jnr with a mei tai and Johnny Depp with a limited edition woven wrap. In the meantime, feel free to post pictures of your own babywearing heartthrobs in the comments.