Learning about woven wraps

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My first back carry with a littlefrog woven wrap

 

Since Jack is outgrowing our beco gemini and has been too big for the moby for a while, I bought a toddler tula like I talked about in the last post. I also wanted another carrier to trade off and have one to use if one is dirty, or just use different muscles in my back. I joined the group Babywearing 102 on facebook that has tons of great people and advice, and I decided to buy a woven wrap!

A Woven wrap is like a moby but not stretchy, so it can carry babies up through big toddlers. The one I got above is the Little Frog brand which is cheaper (I got it for $80 used off facebook) since other wraps can be $150 or more! But you can resell them for close to what you paid (like a tula, too).

It was suggested to buy a striped wrap first because it’s easier to see what color needs to be tightened, and I’m glad I did. Woven wraps have a big learning curve since you have to tighten them carefully so that they are supportive. I’ve had it for a few weeks and feel like I’m getting better, but still need a TON of practice!

The tula is way faster to put on (although some people get really fast with the wraps, so I’m sure that will speed up). I love that the wrap is just cotton and has no foam though. Many wraps are organic but this one is just oeko-tex certified. If I get good at it and want another better one, I would get a kokadi stars wrap which is organic and I like the style better.

Wrapping has been fun because it’s like learning a new skill/hobby, and I enjoy looking up videos and trying new carries. It’s also nice because if your back hurts from carrying around a 22 pound teething baby (hypothetically) there are tons of different ways you can wear them with just one wrap.

We’ll see how it goes! I really want to like it, but it does have some negatives like being harder to out on in public without getting it dirty and having less neck support if baby falls asleep on your back. But it’s cool that it’s an ancient thing and to think that women all around the world use similar ways to carry their babies.

Comparison of a Toddler Tula and Beco Genimi

12.19tulaI just recently bought a Todler Tula baby carrier, and I really like it! Jack weighs 22.5 pounds and is almost 30 inches tall and it just fits him. I previously used the Beco Gemini which I loved for the newborn stage through about 20 pounds or so, but recently his legs have gotten way too long for the seat and they hang down in a way that doesn’t look ergonomic. It also started hurting my back and shoulders after over 45 minutes of use, while the Tula doesn’t at all.

IMG_1855Pros about the Beco Gemini:

  • You can use it with a newborn without an insert
  • You can criss cross the straps for more support
  • It can come in organic fabric
  • I LOVE the headrest thing that can flip up or down. It provides great support during naps without obscuring Jack’s view of everything

Pros about the Tula:

  • The body doesn’t have padding (in the area behind Jack’s back it’s just canvas) so you feel closer and more able to hug them like with a wrap
  • The buckles don’t have a safety thing to push on to open them which is on one hand less safe but on the other hand easier to open
  • It’s sooo comfortable!
  • The straps adjust more (they always felt a little big on me in the Beco)
  • It’s OEKO-TEX certified (not organic though)
  • It has a pocket

 

 

On vacation with a (cloth diapered) baby

IMG_20131217_125142We are in Palm Springs, CA for a few days, and it’s our first vacation with Jack! We drove here which was convenient, but the drive was stressful since Jack doesn’t like the car. It was good because I was able to bring a bunch of pocket diapers, and we have a washer/dryer in our suite so we have been using cloth diapers during the trip. I just used one disposable for the car ride and plan to use another on the way back just to avoid any unnecessary discomfort in the car. 

We went on a hike today which worked well since Jack loves walking around in the carrier. However, he’s teething and doing lots of other normal vacation activities have been harder (like eating out). It’s hard to think of things to do in the evenings with a baby since you can’t go to  a show or movie or nice restaurant. He did enjoy the hotel pool which was fun, and crawling around the room a lot.

I think tomorrow we’ll hike again and go out to a restaurant to see how that goes. Then we’ll try to drive home around 8pm after Jack is asleep so that hopefully he sleeps through the entire trip. 2.5 hours is a long time to try to keep an awake baby happy in the car! Especially if his attention span is less than 5 minutes on average. 

 

 

Jack’s organic first birthday!

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We had Jack’s first birthday party today, and it was really fun! I was a little stressed and barely got things ready in time, but it all went smoothly and Jack and our family and friends enjoyed themselves. Here are some highlights:

  • I made a dairy-free and sugar-free date-sweetened cake with coconut milk frosting, and Jack loved it! I thought it was good (especially the frosting), and other people liked it too which I was surprised by! We had another dessert too, but I was happy that anyone tried or liked our cake at all. I decorated it with walnuts since it was a carrot cake, and used a natural candle on top. The recipe I used for the cake only is here except I used pureed dates instead of honey. I also cut it in half and put a filling of frosting which was a very good idea and made it moister.

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  • We had healthy and mostly dairy-free food. I made deviled eggs, I got organic hummus from trader joe’s and served it with veggies, and we got some bagels and cream cheese. I also made spinach artichoke dip with mayo and vegan cheese melted on top and people loved it! My step-mom brought amazing roasted veggies too, and there was also fruit salad.
  • I made an adorable fabric bunting using scraps of organic fabric from making a picnick blanket. It turned out so cute, and I’m really glad I spent all that time sewing it since we can use it for lots of future birthdays.
  • We used real plates, cups, and silverware to be more eco-friendly. After the party was over I cleaned up and it really wan’t a big pain to rinse everything and put it in the dishwasher. We did use disposable napkins though because we didn’t have enough cloth ones.
  • I didn’t have any other decoration except the bunting which was eco-friendly, but things still looked festive with all the food out etc
  • Jack also wore and organic outfit. Pants from burt’s bees, and a shirt from Frugi. (My outfit was also coincidentally organic from Patagonia)IMG_1665

Night weaning attempt #1: fail

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I can’t believe it, but Jack is going to be a year old soon! My husband and pediatrician had suggested not night-weaning completely, but decreasing the number of night feedings for a while now, and I finally gave it a more serious try the last two nights. I kept putting it off because it’s so easy to just roll over and breastfeed at night, and then Jack goes right back to sleep (we cosleep with a crib sidecared).

My pediatrician who is pretty nice suggested picking one feeding (I chose the next one after 1am, so around 2 or 3am) to get rid of. He said try to pat the baby back to sleep or use another method besides nursing, and after a while the baby will learn to sleep though that feeding because he doesn’t have a reason to wake up and won’t expect food.

That makes theoretical sense, and I know Jack will got 4 hours without eating often during the day, so it seems reasonable that he doesn’t necessarily need to wake up every 2 hours at night for a short nursing session. However, I was really hesitant to try to mess with his eating and just naturally feel that he is doing what he needs to get enough calories or whatever.

Anyway, I tried two nights ago and last night because I felt like I should, and it did not go well. Both times he fully woke up after a minute or two of rooting around and being patted (which never works for us). He started crying really hard, so I walked around with him and put him in the carrier until he fell asleep, but as soon as I transferred him to the bed he woke up again and got really upset. It broke my heart to hear him that upset because of something I was doing :( I was also super tired and I hate having to get out of bed, especially multiple times, during the middle of the night. I ended up feeding him both times after a while, but it took a long time for him to calm back down and fall asleep, and he woke up a lot the rest of the night.

The following day, I was exhausted even though I napped with him. Waking up and walking around really messes with my sleep, while just waking up and feeding him in bed is not a problem.

I hope that I can try again later on and maybe he’ll be more ready. I can see how a method like this could work better for a baby who is easy to soothe, but Jack is more of a high-needs baby who easily gets very upset and doesn’t calm down quickly, even with my help (let alone by himself!) At least I’m so thankful we are cosleeping which makes breastfeeding at night really not a big hastle, so I don’t mind waking up every few hours for the next few months :)