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