International Babywearing Week 2015

IBW2015

International Babywearing Week runs through October 4 – 10, 2015. They’ve made it pretty awesome this year with various themes and hashtags to use throughout the week. It’s all about embracing, like #embraceyourlove and #embraceyouradventure just to name a couple. You’ll have to go to Babywearing International to see the full list.

embrace your world

“International Babywearing Week is an annual outreach event sponsored by Babywearing International. It is a week-long opportunity to celebrate, promote, advocate for, and focus media attention on the many benefits of babywearing.” ~ Babywearing International

General-IBW-Logo-FC

Babywearing Calgary has various events organized to celebrate IBW2015, including mall walks at CrossIron mall, Market mall, and Chinook. They also have a zoo date planned for Friday the 9th, and are organizing a carrier drive.

Carrier Drive

The carrier drive is pretty awesome actually. Babywearing Calgary is accepting donations of quality carriers and will in turn be taking them to the Elizabeth House (home for pregnant teens) and hopefully the Louise Dean School (school for pregnant teens) as well. With the carriers, Babywearing Calgary will also send in a couple co-leaders to facilitate a small workshop and teach the moms to be how to use their newly acquired carriers. I cannot even begin to say how excited I am about this initiative. For those of you that don’t know, I am one of the co-leaders for Babywearing Calgary, so this is extra exciting.

If you’re in YYC and you want to take part in the events we have planned, look us up on Facebook, or check go take a look at the Babywearing Calgary Blog!

Happy Babywearing!

Advertisements

I can wear your baby

1931392_320090835025_3295567_n

I don’t wear my babies anymore. I often miss it, although I cherish the memories I have with my little ones tied on to me. I wore my youngest until I physically could not wear her any longer, and even now at age seven, she would want to go in my Amauti if I let her. I run a dayhome for my day job, and I am blessed with the sweetest little toddler that loves to be worn. Yesssss… I can still wear babies. And any of my friends that come over will no doubt hear me say at least once, “I can wear your baby”. I love it, okay?

549783_10152670771645026_2054413340_n

I am pretty passionate about babywearing for numerous reasons. With my third baby, I was determined to figure out this whole “calm baby” thing that I had heard of, yet never really experienced myself. I needed a calm baby, because I was already at the edge of losing my sanity. I love my older two immensely, but I also found them extremely challenging. I spent so much time researching, and a common theme I came across was that a worn or carried baby cries less. SOLD.

1923879_69243500025_4806_n

All I cared about at the time was my baby’s temperament, but some other amazing things came with babywearing! For instance, the baby’s heart rate, temperature and breathing synchronizes with mamas while being worn, helping the baby to get used to this out of womb business.  Dr. Nils Bergman does extensive research on how skin to skin contact dramatically improves the health of premature babies, even more so than an incubator. On a somewhat side note, Dr. Bergman’s research on Kangaroo MotherCare is what inspired a friend and I to book him as a keynote speaker at a conference we hosted. He is brilliant, and if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, definitely take it. But listen carefully, he talks very fast. 

Once I decided that I was going to babywear my baby, I purchased a fleece pouch made by Hotslings.  I had him in there from day 1 and he loved it!  I would snuggle him on my chest and then slide him to my back when I needed to do something, trusting the way I could feel him resting on my back, and never worrying about any sort of mishap. I know that if anyone ever saw me wearing him the way I did then now, I would likely be the topic on a very busy babywearing forum. But I stand by my methods of wearing, as I was so in tune with my baby and his safety. This was also before people could social police the use of baby carriers, because frankly, there were none around. I didn’t know anyone who wore their baby the way I did. I am not referencing the Bjorn style carriers, I used those with my first two babies, and they were pretty common.

This was the original pouch that I used from newborn in to toddlerhood. Wait! Gasp! A baby on my back in a pouch?! Oh the horror. Yes I did that. 

I also did this (well, with my fourth):

1929600_34410400025_6828_n

My baby spent plenty of time in the pouch, but I continued to research carriers.  The next carrier he was worn in was a Mei Tai.  A Mei Tai is a traditional Chinese carrier that is used to tie the baby on to you.  It has a body panel and two straps that tie around your waist and 2 straps that go over your shoulders, weave through the baby’s legs and tie off at your waist (depending on carry).  After the first 2 initial purchases of carriers I may or may not have gone a little crazy with the carrier stash building.  I proceeded to buy an Ergo, a few more pouches, a ring sling, a water pouch and a Didymos wrap. It was around that point I started EcoBaby Canada (my brainchild that I shut down in 2013). It seemed like the right thing to do.  🙂

The idea of a happy baby when worn was so appealing that I invested my whole life to it.  I wore that child everywhere, and you will never guess what.  He was happy.  He was gentle and calm.  And our breastfeeding relationship was amazing, I noticed every little cue he gave and managed to feed him before he lost his little mind.  I absolutely loved having him close enough that I could smell that sweet newborn smell and kiss the top of his head at any given moment.  Now, I understand that babywearing does not necessarily equal a happy baby, but I know for certain that it (among many other factors) contributed to the happiness of my baby.  And thus, contributed to my happiness.

This was the first carry we did with the Didymos wrap.  At that time, there were no local distributors, so I learned from a book, and ordered this beauty before ever even seeing a wrap.

I co-founded the “Bridge City Slingers” – the Lethbridge Babywearing Group while expecting my fourth in 2007. I still miss that group greatly. I have moved on to co-lead the Babywearing Calgary group, and I love it here, but I think I will always miss my original group. With that said, you should see the Babywearing Calgary lending library, it’s nuts!

988770_10152894542825026_2119652031_n

Sometimes I put my littlest biggie on my back just to test a wrap out.

So that is my history with babywearing, and what led me to be as passionate as I am about it. It really saved my life, and I can’t imagine what life would have looked like without my babies tied to me.

I am still involved in the babywearing world, as a co-leader with Babywearing Calgary, helping doula clients, and also while working at Babes in Arms. I love seeing parents have that Ah-Ha moment when they get their baby snuggled in on their chest and watch him/her drift off to sleep.  I also love reassuring the parents who have a baby that screams every time they go in a carrier, and helping them troubleshoot and figure out what needs to be tweaked to make baby more comfortable and happy.  All in all, I love everything about babywearing and I have dedicated a good portion of my life to researching it, learning it, practicing it, and teaching it. I am so thankful that even though my youngest is too big to wear, I can still help others, and wear my lovely dayhome baby. So even though I may not have a baby of my own to wear, I can wear your baby… or even better, teach you how to wear your baby.

PS… I can also help you wear multiples 

KangarooCare Giveaway

In honour of World Breastfeeding Week, I have an incredibly beautiful breastfeeding/babywearing necklace available for one of my lucky readers.

The necklace comes to us all the way from Estonia, and is made of Apple wood and 100% cotton. Wooden beads are naturally antibacterial, and are nice for babies to play with or chew on.

aboutvarja

“Breastfeeding & babywearing necklace is a the must-have accessory for every mom, because it makes mommy beautiful and baby happy 🙂

KangarooCare necklaces help to catch your baby’s attention while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, and avoid pinching your nose or pulling your hair. KangarooCare necklace is also a perfect accessory for babywearers, because it keeps your baby hands busy while you are walking or doing your homework. Babies just LOVE playing with these beads! Bright cotton covered beads and different textures help to improve the vision of your baby, evolve the fine motor skills and stimulate him or her to look and explore.

KangarooCare’s breastfeeding & babywearing necklaces are completely safe for your baby to chew on, because they are made using only the best quality natural materials, and are really sturdy.”

I am giving away ONE Flower Rainbow Necklace

untitled (39 of 49)

untitled (20 of 49)

untitled (19 of 49)

Giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. residents and will run until August 19th at 12:00am. Enter below!

Enter here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOOD LUCK!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Babywearing

One of the services that I provide my mamas is hands on, one on one babywearing instruction and help.  Actually, I will help anyone and everyone, not just my mamas.  I currently co-lead the local babywearing group and help moms all the time.  I will also teach doulas or professionals working with mothers, so that they can help their mamas/clients safely  and comfortably wear their baby.

There is information all over the web about babywearing and there are also a few books on the topic.  One in particular is “Babywearing” by Dr. Maria Blois.  Taken from Dr. Maria Blois’ website:

“Biologically, babies need to be carried in order to thrive. Studies have shown that otherwise well nourished and cared for infants who are deprived of human touch fail to thrive and can even die. Good things happen when baby is carried.  Research shows that babies who are held often:

  • cry less: Studies have shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry. The long-term consequences of letting infants cry without responding are just beginning to be understood. One study found that letting babies cry permanently alters the nervous system by flooding the developing brain with stress hormones. This makes these babies overly sensitive to future trauma and may lead to incidents of post-traumatic stress and panic disorders in adulthood.  Babies who cry less in the first few months cry less in the following year.  Responding quickly to your crying baby is an investment – the less she cries now the more peaceful the upcoming year.  Well worth it.
  • are more calm and content: Carried babies have a more even respiratory rate, heart rate and steady internal body temperature.  Even very tiny premature babies can be carried safely in a sling without danger of compromised breathing or heart rate.  Regularly carrying a baby encourages baby to feel secure and content.
  • sleep more peacefully:  Keeping baby close helps baby organize his sleep/wake cycles.  Naptimes are spent in constant motion, close to mother’s heart and night time is dark and still with a loved parent near by. This helps baby make a difference between daytime and nighttime, an important step in sleeping longer stretches at night. One study of premature infants found that babies had longer intervals of quiet sleep when they had skin-to-skin contact with mother.
  • nurse better, gain weight better: Research has shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not.  Full-term babies nurse more frequently when they are carried close to mother.
  • enjoy better digestion: The constant motion and frequent small feedings associated with carrying baby can promote good digestion.  Babies who are carried often spit up less. Babies with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can benefit from being carried in the upright position after a feeding.  When baby is upright, the force of gravity helps the acid stay down in the stomach where it belongs.  Most babies outgrow this condition.
  • develop better: Babies who are held experience human touch and movement.  This stimulation has been shown to have a positive effect on the baby’s development. Carrying baby enhances motor skills by stimulating the vestibular system (used for balance).  Baby constantly readjusts as mother moves around, using his developing muscles to hold his head up, kick his feet and use his arms to cling to mother. Because soft carriers keep pressure off the back of the head, carried babies are at a much lower risk for plagiocephaly (asymmetrical head shape). Carrying baby naturally limits the time baby spends in hard plastic carriers, such as carseats, automatic swings, and such. Holding baby while moving counts as “tummy time.”

There are other physical advantages of being carried for baby. Babywearing can be kind to baby’s developing hip joints.  Baby hips are unique in that formation is not complete at birth.  The acetabulum, or the ball and socket joint of the hip, continues to develop for the first few months of life. When baby straddles our front or our back, his legs are said to be in the abducted position, or turned out from the hips. This position aids in healthy hip development. In fact, children with congenital hip dysplasia are often placed in this position to help correct the problem.”

If you are in the Lethbridge area and would like more information on babywearing and all the different carriers available, please let me know, I’d love to help!