I wanted to be a babywearer

I know a lot of people who love baby wearing. I read lots of blogs and babycenter posts that say handling a toddler and baby is achieved by baby wearing. It’s how stuff gets done when you have your hands full or a needy baby. The carriers are so cute and the moms and babies look so peaceful that I really wanted to be a baby wearer. I bought ergos, a ring sling, a woven wrap, a mei tai… All cute, thinking if they’re cute I’ll use them. And I figured with all the different styles I’ll find at least one that I love and I will become a baby wearer.

I’m not a baby wearer. Insert the sads here.

Ok, technically, I am. I’ve had many baby wearing moms say if I wear my baby I’m a baby wearer. And I do wear him some. But I love my stroller so much more. I love having my space and I love my baby having his space. The biggest relief to me was this week when I put him in the stroller and he loved it. I’ve been wanting to walk and get back into a non pregnant shape, but it’s been hard wearing the baby for me, it’s just so much more hot and sweaty when I’m already hot and sweaty. So I was finally able to put him in the stroller with his big brother and go for a non baby wearing walk. Yay!!

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But I do think that there are many carriers that the general parenting public isn’t aware of, and maybe would help someone like me find a way to wear their baby if they’ve been unsuccessful with the more popular carriers, so I’ll share my baby wearing trials and opinions here:

My favorite is my woven wrap. It was also the more expensive. Think Moby but longer lasting. Being woven rather than stretchy it’s more longer lasting. Mine is by Girasol. I actually want to buy another wrap because this thing is a beast to carry around with me, but the comfort (for me) and sleepy baby factor hasn’t been duplicated in another other carriers for me.

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Second on my list is probably my ring sling. This one is by Little Frog. I love it for its quick and easy up factor. It’s also very portable. It also can easily be used with my toddler if needed.

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Next would be my Ergo performance. I’m not a big fan of “structured” carriers (think buckles and straps) compared to my woven, but if I have to have one, this would be it. It’s got a mesh front which is great for where I live. I used to have a Beco Gemini, and I felt like that one was hard to figure out. The Ergo is easy to me. What doesn’t work for me as well on this one is that the straps run right under my arms (which doesn’t work well for a hot running engine like mine).

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Lastly would be the mei tai. In all fairness, I’ve only tried it once. It didn’t look nearly as comfy for my baby and the fabric wasn’t very comfy. I’ve heard good things about pricier ones, mine is just a cheap one by Infantino (I got it for $17 at Target to be exact).

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But to me – baby wearing hasn’t made me much more productive. I was disappointed because I’d read so much about how housework or dealing with a toddler is so much easier with baby wearing! To me, it’s hard to do housework with a baby strapped to my chest. Yes my hands are free if I’m trying to do dishes or fold laundry, but I have to work around this appendage on my chest. And dealing with the toddler – bahahaha! Maybe those who said this have calm toddlers. Mine will kick at me when I’m changing his diaper, trying to get him dressed, trying to put his shoes on, trying to do anything that isn’t exactly what he wants to do… And that’s not cool if I’ve got the baby on me.

However, baby wearing has come in handy during growth spurts, and wonder weeks, and developments where baby is just needier and fussier than usual, or will only sleep on me, and my arms or tired or my butt is asleep from recliner duty. I also never leave home without one because if I’m at the store shopping I do take them both in in the stroller but if the baby starts melting down and needs to be held – I still need to be able to finish up and get out of there and my carrier has saved me with that. So it does have usefulness to me for sure – but it’s just not something I do all the time, and I do like to have my space. I just have to keep telling myself that that’s ok.

Mom Wardrobe

I’m not the type of person who enjoys clothes shopping. I also don’t like spending a lot of money on articles of clothing so looking at maternity clothes my first pregnancy got a resounding “oh hell no” out of me. ESPECIALLY since they have such a short useful life. Even if you have multiple pregnancies you’re still using them for only months. I can’t bring myself to spend much money on clothing that’s so short lived.

So for my first pregnancy I was determined to not buy them unless I had to. Instead if I did go shopping, I made sure anything I bought was stretchy – stretchy t’s, elastic waist pants or skirts, yoga pants and leggings. And it worked. I never had to buy anything maternity.

Second pregnancy I wasn’t so lucky. End of second trimester, beginning of third my “normal” clothes were leaving my belly exposed. But thanks to a thread on my birth board on Babycenter, someone turned me on to an Old Navy maternity sale. I stocked up on some tanks (my staple as a pregnancy momma in a hot climate), a couple of shirts I could wear to work, and some gaucho pants. Very reasonably priced stuff – all right around $5/piece give or take a little. That’s my kinda prices. It all came in and I loved it all. So next time I saw a good sale there I got some more.

I also still stocked up on “normal” stretchy stuff. Being in a hot climate, I generally live in shorts. But as a mom (and one that runs super hot when pregnant and post partum nursing, not to mention how I look) shorty shorts aren’t gonna be a part of my wardrobe. I actually found some comfy Bermuda type shorts at Walmart, in their Danskin section. They make them shorter and I got a couple pairs of those too anyway, and some longer in Capri length. I stocked up in all colors. And voila – my pregnancy wardrobe for kiddo #2. Mostly tanks, then maternity tanks, and comfy shorts/capris/yoga pants/leggings. Little did I know it would stick with me post partum also!

So after having baby, I’m still fluffy plus I’m nursing so I want to be be comfortable and be able to nurse easily. At home, nursing tanks are my staple. I want to thank my friend Robyn for turning me onto this idea – she wore them to bed. But for days I don’t leave the house I wear them all day also. Days that I must leave or be more presentable, I put on my nursing bra and still a maternity tank over because they are stretchier and more giving for access. With my first child, I also wore similar attire but when it was cold I used cardigans or hoodies to go over my tanks.

Those would be my recommendations for a pregnancy and post partum wardrobe that’ll be most useful!

Boy Stuff

When you get pregnant you’re so excited to go shopping for baby things. Once you find out you’re having a boy, and you head to the store, you soon realize there are not near as many cute things to buy for boys as there is girls – especially when it comes to clothes. I also can’t bring myself to spend much more than $5 on a piece of baby or kids clothing since they grow out of them SO FAST so that’s a factor in what and where I buy as well. Here’s what I’ve come across after shopping for now a second boy.

Newborn – 12 months: I prefer Carter’s brand. I like the styles and the fit. They’re also great in that you can return/exchange nearly anything – been washed, no tags, any length of time, Etc. I actually prefer gender neutral for the newborn stage personally I just don’t like the color blue so much. Haha. I like the fit but both of my boys have been very tall for their age. My youngest is thicker, but even the wider onesies from other companies still look odd on him. I do like the onesies with the cute/funny sayings on them from Walmart as well.

12 months+ : I don’t use onesies anymore, I go strictly with tshirts and pants/shorts. I also don’t like Carter’s anymore. Seems like everything has a character, animal or saying on it. I don’t find if as cute for every piece of clothing to have that once they start looking like little men. My favorite brands at this stage have been Old Navy, Circo (Target) and Garanimals (Walmart). You can’t beat the price of the Walmart pants and shirts. However sale or clearance prices of Circo can get close. Also catching a good Old Navy sale can get some good prices also.

Socks: I just like to get big packs of Hanes from Target or Walmart, even when they’re small. I started buying them when my son was 6-12 months I believe. Otherwise Targets Circo baby socks were my favorite and I had a few pair from Old Navy that I liked also.

Shoes: I’ve liked Target (either Cherokee or Circo) when they’re on sale or Walmart – Avia or Starter. Again they outgrow them so fast I can’t bring myself to spend more than $20/pair. I also don’t buy shoes until they can walk. No point!

Pajamas: always seemed to be outgrown first, size wise, so I always had to size up on these first. With my tall skinny kids, I had to buy the “skinny” fit type of pajamas. I did the zip up sleep n plays up til 12mo, after that I went to the two piece type. I get my skinny two piece pajamas either from Target (their Carter’s brand), Walmart (the character ones), or Kohls character ones.

Pants: I’ve heard from others (and with my sons) about having a hard time finding pants that fit and the sizing not matching up with shirt size. Ever since 6-9 months my sons pants/shorts sizes fall behind a size or two. Also being skinny I try to go with elastic waist. I don’t do jeans really. They just seem uncomfy for baby or toddler. I get cotton elastic waist shorts and pants. For the pants, I get the ones that don’t have elastic at the bottom. I think they look good and comfy. I’m blessed in that where I live we can get away with shorts most of the year but this winter I found exactly what I was looking for in pants at Target (Circo lounge pants – $5) and Walmart (Garamimals -$4).

After my second time of shopping for boys now, I actually enjoy it and I like dressing them and finding good looking but inexpensive boys clothes. I just wish manufacturers would make and stores would stock equal amounts of both genders clothes. I am kinda glad I don’t have to worry about headbands, bows, tights, skirts or tutus … Just yet. I am having plenty of fun scouting out stuff for my boys – and I buy what I can because I do plenty of laundry with boys!