6 Ways Babywearers Turn Moms Off From Babywearing

 Babywearing is fairly new to me. My oldest didn’t like being “worn.” We used the Baby K’tan when he was smaller, which was invaluable at times that he was fussy or clingy and I needed to get stuff done. But once he got bigger the K’tan got uncomfortable and my other carrier (Beco Gemini) I just couldn’t get the hand of and it wasn’t super comfy anyhow, and by then my son was crawling then soon after walking so he wasn’t much interested in being worn anyhow.

Once I found out I was pregnant with my second, and my oldest was just over 1, I thought babywearing might be more useful so I joined some babywearing groups on Facebook. I learned just HOW MANY different kinds of carriers there really are. After standing back and observing, reading and researching, I decided to try a couple new carriers – a woven wrap and ring sling. The ring sling even got used a couple of times while out with my toddler when he wanted to be held at the store and I couldn’t shop just holding him on my hip.

Once my new baby was born, I immediately dove into babywearing. I tried my wrap, which the go-to carry everyone says the front wrap cross carry (FWCC) just made me too hot and I really forgot to even try other carries and just set it down and used my K’tan. But once he got bigger I tried some other carries based on suggestions from the babywearing groups, and that was it, I was hooked. The wrap was SO comfy and SO versatile, that I really became a more hard core babywearer.

Then I got hooked … BUY ALL THE WRAPS! WEAR ALL THE BABIES! I was getting pulled deeper and deeper into the babywearing world. I got more wraps and ring slings, and even decided to try a Tula because I’d heard good things about them.

As I got deeper into this “world” and joined more Facebook groups, and talked to my friends more about it, I realized there was a particular sector of babywearers – probably the most hard core and extreme babywearers – that sort of turn people off to babywearing, with their judgments, obsessions and intrusions. In talking amongst my friends, we agreed that this small group of babywearers does quite a bit of damage to the reputation of babywearing.

While I’m sure they’re good intentioned, they’re just not helping their cause. I know when I initially looked into different carriers after my first son, I was actually turned off from it for a while when I saw some of the things they said and things that went on. So I compiled a list of the 6 things that these hard core babywearers do that actually turn moms off from babywearing –

  1. Sanctimonious judgments – I actually saw someone say the other day in one of these groups, “I feel sorry for a baby I see in a stroller or car seat.” Um, excuse me what? You’re sorry for my baby who is happily sitting by himself in his stroller with me right there? WTF is wrong with you. And I’ve seen similar sentiments before in these groups. Yeah it might seem harmless because they’re not saying it outloud in public, but on a private Facebook group, these groups have THOUSANDS of members and there are many new moms watching and observing like I was trying to see what it’s all about. And that statement, right there, if I was a new mom, would make me buy a stroller in a heartbeat. I’m a member of stroller groups on Facebook too. They never judge babywearing like that. It’s not all or nothing. You can babywear and you can use strollers. They have different purposes at different times.
  2. Guilt tripping – I recently asked a question in one of the groups worried I may be creating a habit of my baby falling asleep for naps being worn. Some of the comments I got annoyingly tried to make me feel guilty. “You won’t be wearing your baby in college, how could you not want to hold your baby?” How could I not want to hold my baby? Because I do it constantly and I’m an oven, he’s an oven, and we both like our own personal space every now and again. I don’t think it makes me a bad mom to want to put him down from time to time and have some time and space to myself. And I’ve seen similar comments before, equally as guilt trippy. They don’t help.
  3. Tula moms “cult” – There’s this whole separate group of babywearing moms – the Tula moms. They LOVE their freakin Tulas and that’s almost an understatement. There’s not another hard core brand advocate for the babywearing moms like the Tula moms. I have at Tula. It’s more comfy than my Ergo for sure, but a Tula isn’t a magical babywearing cape, possesses no super powers and it’s not for everyone. There are many different babywearing options – and MANY options for soft structured carriers (like Tulas). But some Tula owners seem to think everyone needs or should have a Tula. One comment I saw the other day was after a mom suggested a Tula to complete stranger (that she approached … whole nother topic, see below) – she said “You’ll thank me later.” A little presumptuous, but ok…. and speaking of Tulas …
  4. Tula black market – Also pretty unique to Tulas – they’re generally out of stock. Tula does “stockings” that the whole Tula loving group of course gets wind of, and they get snatched up in minutes when they do go on sale. Then shockingly, you see a lot of these same Tulas show up on the swap later on, usually at a markup. This whole stocking, out of stock, resell at a mark up makes it hard for new wearers to get a Tula if they wanted one. So Tula lovers seems to be hurting their cause a bit if they’re churning for a profit.
  5. Butting in – Like the Tula mom did above, babywearers are the only group that will approach strangers in public to try to give them the benefits of babywearing. “You’ll thank me later” said the Tula mom … ok, maybe I will maybe I won’t.  Do stroller using moms approach strangers and try to get them to use a stroller? Imagine the horror if a breastfeeding mom walked up to a mom feeding her baby formula and tried to give that mom the benefits of breastmilk? So why do babywearing moms think it’s ok to intrude on random strangers and trying to convert them like Jehovah’s witnesses walking the neighborhood?
  6. Babywearing defies logic and science – Some sentiments I’ve seen suggest that some babywearing moms think babywearing defies science logic and fact at times. This is frequently in reference to flying with a baby – I’ve seen moms who thought babywearing was just as safe or safer than baby being in a car seat on a plane. Just like any parenting decision – you weigh the information and make the best decision for you and your family. I’ve worn on flights before. But I know for a fact it’s not safer. It’s a calculated risk I take. But I’ve seen babywearing moms ask about biking, kayaking, roller blading, ice skating, etc with their baby attached to them. NO. Just NO.

Now for all of these things that are said and done by a SMALL group of babywearers, there are many wonderful things that the majority of babywearers do and say daily. I just think that this small group, because they are generally more vocal, do a lot to hurt the cause and reputation of babywearing.

But the good – so much good! I’ve known and gotten help from many wonderful ladies, particularly the “Girasol Love All the Rainbows” group (because Girasol is a brand that generally produces rainbows, and if you see from my babywearing pics, it’s all I own and I love them). That group is fantastic, and helpful, and generally non-judgmental and also generally not looking to profit on the resale of their wraps in the swap. But there are many other groups that have wonderful helpful members too, that’s just the one I’ve had the best experience with personally.

Babywearing has also done so much for me. It’s allowed me to do many things that would’ve been difficult or impossible without – shopping with a fussy baby and toddler, putting a clingy baby down to sleep while keeping an eye on a toddler. And with my wraps, it’s comfy and cozy and also versatile – I can wear him on the front, on my hip and on my back in many different ways.

I’ve had people come up and ask me about my wraps and I’m happy to educate them. But I would NEVER approach a mom unsolicited to tell her about babywearing. I think calmly and easily going about my tasks while babywearing speaks greater volumes to the awesomeness of babywearing than going up to and harassing strangers like a used car salesman, particularly if the mom is already struggling and frustrated. If I’m struggling and having fussy babies, I’m already probably hot and irritable and might snap on you if you try to tell me how I could do it better. Just don’t do it, babywearers. Show them, don’t force them.

Then they can see how wonderful babywearing can truly be, without judgment and guilt trips and the like. I’m not sure there’s much cooler than knowing your baby is calmed and lulled to sleep just by being snuggled up close to you. But it’s also okay to put them down, and use strollers and car seats. Everything can be useful to some, and there is no cookie cutter one size fits all way of doing things – including babywearing.

Now if you don’t mind me, I’m going to go take my baby for a walk in his stroller … pity him. LOL.

What are the ways you’ve benefited from babywearing, or maybe not?

Is Easter the new Christmas? And other holiday social media competitions

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Going through my social media feeds this past Easter, I started to wonder to myself, when did Easter become Christmas? Since when do you get big Christmas like gifts or overflowing baskets with toys and games and clothes and so many things? I even saw pictures of elaborate “bunny prints” in the hallways at homes. Pinterest has made people crazy. KUH-RAY-ZY.
I feel like it’s a case of social media one upsmanship. We see something on Pinterest, or Facebook that another Mom or family has done and we gotta do one better. I don’t think it matters really to the kids. I believe when I was a kid I got maybe some books and a little bit of candy and maybe a tape or CD if I was lucky in my easter basket. See – I can’t even fully remember what I got in my basket. But you know what I do remember? The time I spent with my family.
You know what makes me smile and what I miss more than anything when I think about those holidays as a kid? That time spent with my family. We had so much fun! Whether it was just my siblings, or our extended family with the cousins, THAT is what I remember and think fondly of, not what was in my basket or under the Christmas tree.
My oldest son is 2 and I have yet to do any basket or anything on Easter. He’s gotten gifts the last couple of Christmases but we didn’t go all out. However, in contrast I saw the unofficial “under the tree” competition on Christmas morning on Facebook and Instagram – the photo of all of your gifts wrapped and stacked. No gifts under the tree photo from us. Hell we didn’t even have a tree. Ain’t nobody got time to keep toddlers and babies off of a Christmas tree. Our son really had no clue how many gifts he got or what they were for, and his birthday is right before Christmas.
Speaking of birthdays, those are getting just as bad! In my birth club for my youngest son, they are already planning 1 year parties. 6 months ahead of time, and I’m pretty sure some of them have started before now. Not just planning. Some have rented venues, and booked photographers, and already have boards they are pinning to regularly on Pinterest for this elaborate shin dig they are going to throw for this little munchkin who is going to have NO IDEA what is going on.
I don’t get that. We had a party for my oldest son, sure. I planned it maybe a month ahead of time? Bought a few decorations, invited some family, and voila we’re celebrating his 1st birthday. He’s not going to remember. Might he see pics of it one day? Sure. Is he going to pitch a fit because it wasn’t at the right venue, or the photographer didn’t capture his good side, or the decorations weren’t DIY? Nope, He’s not going to give a shit. If he even looks at the pics.
I just think that with much of our lives broadcast on and influenced by social media, Pinterest and other social media have become the fuel that lights the bigger better parties and gifts competitive flame. However, knowing what meant most to me as a kid, the time with my family, I plan to continue to blow up my followers feed with pics of family times spent together at these special occasions, and not the giant Easter basket, stacks of gifts, or elaborately decorated and planned parties.

8 Things I Learned Going From 1 Kid to 2

 Before I had my second son, I was terrified. I was mostly terrified at how it would affect him, and how I could possibly have the time and love for two when I felt like I already had so much to give to my first son. I was worried about how I wouldn’t be able to spend time with him because I’d be caring for or feeding the baby. I was definitely right, at least in the beginning, it was very hard for me to spend any time with him because a newborn baby needs so much from mom. That was hard for me because I was used to spending all my time with my oldest and now we hardly got any time.

But as baby got older, and started to nap and things regulated, and my body healed from my c section, I was able to spend more time with my older son again and it was great. I was actually surprised that as I adjusted, caring for two wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The hardest part was when they were both crying or both needed me. There were times that my baby had to cry and I hated it because I can’t stand listening to him cry. But those times were few and far between thankfully.

I did want to share some of the things that surprised me and that I learned as a new mom of 2. I hear in terms of transitions when adding kids to the family that 1 to 2 is the hardest. Here’s hoping!

  • When you need to go somewhere, with both, say to the store, give yourself HOURS to get ready. So if I wanted to leave by 11 or noon, I needed to start getting ready the second I got up. Between dressing me, dressing the oldest, feeding the oldest, dressing youngest, feeding youngest, getting the bag ready, changing both diapers, it is a several hour affair. As long as I planned on having several hours to get ready, I would get out the door without a hitch and (mostly) on time.
  • This one took me a while to find a routine that works – bed time – bathe older one first. That way he’s ready for bed, and if baby starts to melt down, I can send oldest to his room to read or play or whatever and then eventually fall asleep. Or let him watch Mickey, whatever, but at least he’s ready for bed if it takes me longer than expected to get the younger one ready and down for bed.
  • Playing alone is okay! For both of them! It helps them learn and explore on their own and it helps me give (almost) undivided attention to the other …. or get some shit done around the house.
  • Get out of the house. Whether it’s for a walk, go to the store, whatever. I feel more like a human and less like a hormonal zombie if I get out and breathe some fresh air. My kids feel it too. They’re less fussy when they get out of the house too.

  • Going to the store – not as bad as I thought! But the whole thing will take a while. Getting two small kids in and out of the store is a feat in and of itself. Car seats, strollers, carts, loading and unloading, crying, feeding, snacks, pitching a fit… it’ll take a while. But as long as you’re prepared and know that going in, it’s not so bad!
  • Speaking of the store and errands – be prepared to abandon ship! And know your limits! Generally speaking you won’t be able to fit in maybe more than 2 stores or 3 total stops with 2 small kids. At least mine. They get over it pretty quick. Sometimes they surprise me and I can get more out of them than that, but I always go in expecting it not to last more than 2-3 stops so I prioritize. Whatever is most important to get done is first and second, and anything else is less important and can be done another day and often if we’re melting down, it is scrapped for another day. As much as I’d like to knock everything out in one trip that I need to do to save time, money and gas – with 2 small kids in tow it’s not going to happen anymore.
  • Don’t forget to take pics of the bigger one. I noticed my phone is a lot of pics of the little one whereas it used to be all pics of my toddler. He’s still young too I try to make myself remember to take pics of him as well.

  • Let it go – the clean house. Sing it if you want to (thankfully I haven’t seen that movie yet) but seriously I had to learn to let the idea of a clean house go. I came to accept that my house won’t be clean for the next 18 years and that’s okay! I have kids! I’m sure no one, if they did come to our house, would expect it to look spotless with two small kids. I do basic cleaning and I clean up toys at the end of the day. That’s it. You’ll have more time for the kids, or just to lay around with your feet up, but clutter and toys doesn’t really matter right now.

What were some of the big things you learned as your family expanded?

Review: Skip Hop Forma Diaper Bag

Some women like shoes or clothes, I like bags. Always have. Purses, tote bags and now… Diaper bags. I get bored and change bags fairly frequently. I sell old ones or I’ll keep them if I think I might use them again.

Since my son was born 2 years ago, I’ve had a few diaper bags. I first tried a Vera Bradley diaper bag but found I couldn’t ever zip the bag shut and it’s one of those bags that just looks sloppy open so I sold it. I tried the Kate Spade Stevie and just found it too shallow for my tastes. I tried a Coach leather diaper bag and I found it too stiff and heavy.

Then I found on clearance at the Disney Store a Storksak with slight Mickey ear embellishments that was super cute so I got that one. That one has been my LOVE for the longest time over the last 2 years. Fits so much, looks cute, lots of pockets and DISNEY! But I started to get that itch again before my new son was born because I didn’t think it would be big enough for 2 kids in diapers.

I was at TJ Maxx shortly before my second son was born and found a Coach bag that wasn’t leather and stiff and a matching crossbody purse. PERFECT! I snatched it up and it’s been great for holding everything that I need with 2 kids. Having the matching crossbody is nice also because with 2 kids now I frequently don’t have spare hands or a shoulder to put a big bag on so being able to sling it across is perfect.

But I have the itch … again. Dangit! I was on a thread with my StrollerQueen StrollerSwap ladies (on Facebook – if you haven’t seen me mention them in my prior post, check it out here they’re awesome) again last week and someone was asking about diaper bags and someone mentioned the Skip Hop Forma. I was intrigued by the color and the cubes that it comes with. So I decided to check it out!

It’s a tote style bag with a zippered top that comes open. The fabric seems very sleek and stain resistant as well as washable. The biggest advantage is the front zippered pocket opens up and has these 2 cubes – one for bottles and one for snacks, spare clothes, etc. I measured it at 14.5″ x 5.5″ x 12″.

It has two side pockets for bottles or sippys.

On the front of that pocket is another small zippered pocket for your keys or personal items. 

If you take the cubes out, the pocket they fit in is very roomy if you decided not to use the cubes and there’s also some mesh pockets behind the cubes. 

The cubes themselves are pretty big and pretty handy. They are 6″ x 10.5″ x 2″.

The back of the bag has a pocket that zips open and has a cushy changing pad inside.    On the inside of the main compartment on the sides are stroller straps built in.  The main compartment has several pockets inside as well.

While the cubes are an advantage, the disadvantage is that they minimize the space in the main compartment because of their depth. They push in to the main compartment.

So for me, with two kids in diapers and one needing snacks and a sippy cup and also needing to carry a woven wrap in case I need to wear the baby, the space in this bag is very quickly taken up.

And there really is no spare room for anything else, it would be hard to get the stuff out of the pockets, and it would be hard to zip. 

So for me, as a mom of 2 in diapers and carrying a woven wrap with me as well, it wasn’t a good fit. For someone who only has 1 kid, or only 1 in diapers, I think it would be a great choice and I would highly recommend it for it’s features, functional pockets and cubes. I would get it again once I didn’t need to carry so much around with me. The color itself is actually beautiful as well. It’s available in a few colors – black, berry and this one is peacock.  There’s also a backpack version but that one is much smaller. I purchased mine from Amazon.

Since it didn’t work out for me, I returned it, and per another recommendation on that SQSS thread, I got the JuJuBe BFF. So that will be my next review! And as a tease … I LOVE IT! So stay tuned!

Remember when I said I wanted to be a babywearer …

Turns out I might be. 

 

(Not perfect form, I know fellow babywearers but it was my first successful attempt at a back carry so I was proud)

This little squishy bundle of adorableness … Loves to be with me. Or dad. Preferably me (hey I provide the food). But either way loves being held. And he may look teeny in the photo, but he’s not. A big ole 27″, almost 19lb, 5 month old. I love that he wants me so much but mommas arms get tired. Especially since he’s in the “I want to explore the world and see all the things” phase. This phase equals no matter which way I hold him, he cranks around to look in the other direction. Even harder on said momma arms. 

So I’m picking up the wraps and ring slings more. And attempting back carries. Because momma hold + baby turn around crank = not much getting done (plus the sore arms). Back carries used to terrify me. I practiced over my bed, many many times, only to end up sweaty and frustrated and too loose a carry to leave the bed. In fact, after my last attempt, not only did I fail but I ended up with baby spit up in my hair. Not once, but TWICE in the same attempt. Thats talent. 

So I decided the other day to finally give it a go again. This time, I used the couch instead of the bed. Wow! What a difference that made. I could comfortably sit while I worked on it. I could also brace him up against the back for some tension as well. And I actually got it and didn’t feel (AT ALL) like he was gonna fall out! The pic you see above is my finished product!

I know, fellow babywearers, that I have some work to do. And I got lots of feedback from Babywearing pros on Facebook on what I could do better and different carries to try. I really like this one though. I just need a shorter wrap now so I don’t have the long tails… Muahahaha. An excuse for another wrap! 

But the result felt very freeing. My little munchkin could explore the world. And I could enjoy my front free space, and free arms, once again! 

  

But I still love my strollers too. 🙂 

Edited to add: clearly he didn’t like it.