Monthly Archives: September 2014

The 411 on Wrap Blends

BWI of Central Iowa’s friend, Jaimie, admin to the Ames Area Babywearing Group offered us some of her insight on different wrap blends. Thanks Jaimie!!

Are you new to baby wearing? Do you wonder the difference between wrap fibers and blends? Or a veteran baby wearer and have only stuck with one blend? Well you have come to the right place! I will explain the difference between the 5 major blends and touch base on some other more exotic blends that I have tried.

Cotton: Cotton wraps are usually where people first start when they get interested in woven wraps. These are perfect for cuddling little babies and depending on the weave/maker can be supportive enough for big kids too. Cotton wraps take little effort to break in and are very easy to care for. They are light and airy, great for warmer climates. I like the cotton wraps for ease of use and care. I have found some lighter cotton wraps started to dig into my shoulders once my little one got to be bigger. I do have a few beasts that are very supportive and makes him feel weightless. With cotton wraps, a lot has to do with the tightness or looseness of the weave. A more loose weave may feel less supportive than a tighter weave.

100% Cotton

100% Cotton

Linen: Linen wraps are available in 100% linen or more commonly a cotton/linen blend. These wraps are by far the most supportive in my opinion. With the support though, they are a pain to break in, they are very stiff and crunchy when new. Once they are broken in they are very soft, super supportive, and dreamy. I disliked linen wraps when my son was a baby but re-discovered them once he got bigger (and heavier). The main difference I have found between the straight linen and the linen/cotton blend is that the blend has a little more cush to it. It have a little give so if you have picky shoulders I would recommend the blend. A straight linen wrap is a beast and can literally carry the weight of a full grown man. Linen wraps are very easy to care for.

Linen/Cotton Blend

100% Linen

100% Linen

Silk: Silk wraps are amazing. They break in so easy and are super soft and cushy. They glide through the passes easily and have grip so they wrap stays put. Depending on the maker, some silk wraps are better for babies and others can carry preschoolers. They are thin but are warm. They are not a good choice for Iowa summers. Silk wraps do take more care when washing. Some are hand wash only and some require a specific temperature. I personally do not dry these in the dyer.

Silk Blend

Silk Blend

Wool : Wool wraps are another amazing wrap. They are super cushy and have bounce as well as support. Wool is one of the most breathable blends available. It is very breathable in the summertime and keeps you very warm in the winter. These wraps do not require a lot of breaking in, but may be scratchy in the beginning. Once worn they become very soft. This blend is perfect for little babies up to bigger kids. Wool wraps are high maintenance and require very specific care. They need hand washing and air drying laid flat to prevent felting.

Wool Blend

Wool Blend

Hemp: Hemp is a great blend for beginners. It is very similar to linen with a slightly different feel. I did enjoy my hemp blend and looking back, I wish I did not trade it, hopefully I will have one again. Hemp wraps are another one that take some time to break in. A hemp blend wrap breaks in really well by using heat. Washing it on hot and using a steam iron will quickly turn a new wrap from feeling like a tapestry to a soft cuddle worthy blanket. It is supportive and cushy, so great for all ages. I did not have much time with this wrap so this is all I can tell you. Hemp is known to be a little bit warmer than a 100% cotton wrap

Hemp Blend

Hemp Blend

I have touched on the main blends, none of these blends are anything to be afraid of. They are all great in their own way. I have one of each of these blends in my stash. They all serve their own purpose while snuggling my baby. I have tried a few other blends that I will touch base on. These have not stuck around long because I just did not reach for them.

Bamboo: This is one blend that I like the least. I know several babywearers that love this blend though! This wrap is great for newborns, however I found it not as supportive for bigger kids. I found that this blend was very hot and slippery. It did not have very much grip either. Because I did not enjoy the bamboo blend I had tried, I have not sought out other brands, so my opinion may be limited on this particular blend.

Lenny Lamb Bamboo Blend

Lenny Lamb Bamboo Blend

Cashmere: This particular blend I have not spent very much time with; I have only worn this blend on one occasion. It is very similar to wool. Very cushy and soft. It has more bounce so I would imagine it would not be very supportive with bigger kids.

Didymos Cashmere

Didymos Cashmere

There are many different types of blends available on the market. I have tried most and to be honest with you I cannot tell you which one is my favorite. They all serve their particular purpose. Blends appear intimidating, but do not let the fiber scare you. Even the pickiest of blends (maintenance wise) is worth every penny. I encourage you to try a blend, you might just find the perfect fit.

Happy baby wearing, friends.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pampered Chef FUNdraiser

Babywearing International of Central Iowa is hosting an ONLINE Pampered Chef FUNdraiser! We’ll shop for great products to help us cook easier and HEALTHIER in our kitchens, while raising money for our BWI of CI. Our consultant, Pampered Chef with Carissa Beer, is available to answer any questions and offer tips, tricks, and ideas to make your “cooking life” a little easier!

Carissa Beer has been a Pampered Chef consultant for just over five years. She doesn’t enjoy cooking, so she started her business as a way to make cooking EASIER—both in her own home and for her guests and consultants. An amateur babywearer herself, she chose to help BWI of CI with fundraising because she loves their mission and has seen how much babywearing helps mommas and babies alike. The group is so encouraging, welcoming, and helpful she would love to lengthen their reach to as many Central Iowa moms as possible.

Carrisa Beer--our lovely Pampered Chef consultant for our fundraiser.

Carrisa Beer–our lovely Pampered Chef consultant for our fundraiser.

You can visit her her personal website as well as like her on Facebook.

Follow this link to order through the Babywearing of Central Iowa fundraiser. Carissa has also offered that when you share the link with a friend, family member, coworker, neighbor, etc and you’ll get a FREE gift when they place an order (be sure to let Carissa know!)

Happy Babywearing, happy shopping, and happy cooking!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Can the ‘Real Babywearers’ Please Stand Up

May I have your attention please?
May I have your attention please?
Will the real Babywearers please stand up?
I repeat, will the real Babywearers please stand up?
We’re gonna have a problem here…
Y’all act like you never seen a child worn before

Alright, my rapping days are over but I can still rucksack with the best of them. So let’s talk about the ‘real babywearers.” What and who do I mean?

I mean you. You. YOU! The mom with the Baby Bjorn front pack that you used with your firstborn 8 years ago but stopped because it hurt your shoulders. The mom with a Moby Wrap that she got at her baby shower but was too intimidated to use it. The mom with 3 Tulas and one on the way. The mom that has never even touched a woven wrap. If you wear your baby. You are a babywearer.

front pack

front pack

There’s no defining carrier or fancy tie off that somehow magically classifies you in the babywearing yearbook as a ‘babywearer.” So let’s pause a moment and celebrate all of the moms, dads, grandparents, and siblings that are babywearers. With or without huge stashes. To babywear you need two things: a baby (or child–furbabies DO count) and a carrier. That’s it.

You can even wear your dog and be a babywearer.

You can even wear your dog and be a babywearer.

Guess there’s a babywearer in all of us
Come on, let’s all stand up

Babywearers at a PAXbaby playdate.

Babywearers at a PAXbaby playdate.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Big Kid Wearing and Safety

Your toddler is too old to be worn! Let him be a kid and run around with others his age!” That’s a phrase I hear all too often. I would love nothing more than to let my two year old explore the world around him without me hovering over him. But sadly, the safest place for him to be in some situations is on my back.

But why? What’s so dangerous with kids playing? I’m not afraid he’s going to get dirty or even scraped knees. My fears are very real and very scary. I’m afraid my two year old may go into anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic shock is the body’s natural response when someone has been exposed to a severe allergen. Symptoms include: swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure, and dilated blood vessels.

I am the mother of a child with severe food allergies. Playdates are terrifying. Potlucks are my worst fear. Stray Goldfish crackers left on the sidewalk gives me nightmares. A rogue peanut butter and jelly sandwich gives me more anxiety than facing a firing squad. A lone sippy cup could be his demise.

Child-Allergy-Symptoms

I cannot control what people eat or drink around my son–or even if they clean up after themselves. The only thing that I can control is my son’s immediate exposure to his allergens. Other than avoiding places and people that cannot respect his allergies (which isn’t always possible or fair to him) I need to wear him. When I wear him I know he doesn’t have access to those allergens. We carry an EpiPen Jr. everywhere we go in the event he is exposed.

epipen

Wearing my son and speaking out about the dangers of food allergies protects him. I will continue to wear him and advocate for him until he can make safe food choices himself. In the future, if you see a toddler or preschooler being worn, please consider the caregiver’s reasoning for safety and protection.

bigkidwearing

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Dark Side of the 4th Trimester

So tired. So hungry. And so lonely. Do you remember those feelings? Those ‘new mom’ feelings? They’re the taboo topics that What to Expect When You’re Expecting doesn’t hit on. Although many women experience the “Baby Blues” or even Postpartum Depression (PDD) we want you to know that you are not alone.

postpartum-infants-1

How can babywearing help alleviate those feelings? A Volunteer Babywearing Educator cannot diagnosis your PDD. BUT we may be the driving force to encourage you to speak to a medical professional. If you are experiencing sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced desire for sex, crying episodes, anxiety and irritability we urge you to speak to a medical professional. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postpartum_depression. How do we know this. Because we’ve been there. We know what that cold dark place is like. And we don’t want any other moms to feel that way. We want you to be the best mom that you can be. For you and for your child.

untitled-bebe-1

But realistically, can babywearing help with PPD? And the answer is yes.

Babywearing reduces infant crying. Less crying is less stress for mom.

Babywearing allows for children to fall asleep faster and sleep longer. Again, less stress for mom.

Babywearing increases the mother’s confidence in her ability to care for the baby. Like animals, babies can sense insecurities and those making them [babies] anxious.

Babywearing promotes bonding between caregiver and child. There are studies that show the correlation between babywearing helps promote a secure attachment.

Babywearing helps satisfy the baby’s need for human interaction. Human touch, which
is facilitated through babywearing, reduces the baby’s need for eye contact and verbal interaction, both of which can be a struggle for mothers suffering from depression.

You can care for your child while doing other things. Babywearing allows the caregiver and the child to be physically close, which allows for the caregiver’s hands to be free to do household chores or interact with other children.

Babywearing allows for mobility. Babywearing allows the caregiver and child to experience things that may not be possible with a stroller.

gemd_02_img0084

http://www.babywearinginternational.org/PPD brochure for email.pdf

And lastly, babywearing events and meetings are a chance for you to socialize with other moms. You can make friends. If you have older children, they can play.

Additional meetings available in the Des Moines Area include
Beyond Birth: http://www.unitypoint.org/desmoines/classes-and-events-details.aspx?id=e2d12774-2eeb-402c-b0eb-64dfa9e592b9&typeid=33755c89-b9c3-4503-9355-4e0c33be2eb1
The Des Moines Stay at Home Moms Group: http://www.meetup.com/desmoines-SAHM/

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized