Review of babyhawk mei tai

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My friend has a babyhawk mei tai she let me borrow, so I was excited to try it out with Jack (13 months old and weighing 23 pounds). I am always looking for carriers that have good neck support because he likes leaning his head backwards which hurts my back, but he hates having a hood over his head. 

I wanted to compare it to the carriers I already have, and the headrest was about 2 inches shorter than the bamberoo, but an inch taller than the tula. The width is also a little smaller than my toddler carriers, and the waist belt is not padded and narrower.

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babyhawk vs. toddler bamberoo

 

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babyhawk vs. toddler tula

Pros of the babyhawk mei tai:

  • It can be made of organic cotton
  • It’s easier to do a high back carry than other structured carriers
  • It can be cheaper than other carriers, especially other toddler ones
  • It folds up really small
  • It can be reversible so you have a manly print for your husband and a cute print for the wife :)
  • Pretty nice sized headrest that didn’t fold down easily
  • You can criss cross the straps behind you during a front carry which gives extra support
  • You can do a hip carry with it

 

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Cons of the mei tai:

  • The waist band is not padded so I found it to be MUCH less comfortable for wearing my heavy boy longer than a few minutes
  • The long straps you use to tie it on would hit the floor if you were putting it on outside and get dirty
  • Harder to tighten after you have the baby inside than a buckle carrier where you just pull the strap

Overall I decided it just wasn’t comfortable enough with my heavy boy to get one, and it made me appreciate my other carriers a lot more. I bet it would work better for little babies though.

Bedtime routine update

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I’m pretty proud of myself that I’ve stuck with the bedtime routine since late December, so about a month now! Every night I read a book or two to Jack (while he tries to eat it or climb off the couch), put on his night time diaper and pants, and rub some coconut oil on him as well as some oil with lavender essential oil. Then I breastfeed if he seems hungry, and lastly walk around with him in the carrier until he falls asleep.

The routine definitely hasn’t hurt, but it hasn’t made bedtime magically super easy either. I try to start between 7 and 7:30, but he’s often not asleep in bed until 8:30. I don’t mind walking him around all that much because I look at my kindle while I walk and think of it as extra exercise, but I sometimes get frustrated if I keep walking and then take him out to feed him and then walk again and breastfeed again… But I’m sure as he gets older it will get easier. I keep hearing around 2 years old things get a lot easier with sleep.

Having the crib sidecared to our bed has been working great. I know my husband wants him to be in his own room, but I love the baby snuggles, being able to make sure he’s breathing whenever I want, and mostly not having to get up from bed to nurse! My friends who did cry it out still feed their babies once or twice a night, and the idea of walking to another room at night and back seems pretty horrible to me.

So while things are far from easy, I’m so glad I never let Jack cry all alone and I’ve taught him that I’m always there for him during the day or at night :) I want him to feel like he is loved all the time, and I’m sure when I’m old I won’t regret losing a few hours of sleep in order to have a great trusting relationship with my child and have gotten hours of extra snuggles at night.

Baby led weaning with a picky eater

blueberries for Jack

 

We’ve been doing baby led weaning with Jack since he was 6 months old, and he’s 13 months now but still barely eating much at all. All our friends with similar aged babies have babies who can’t get enough of food, but Jack often just throws it off the table to our dog. At first he will often put food in his mouth and then spit it out a little later, and then move to just throwing it over.

Some of the foods that he likes more than others are:

  • freeze dried fruit, especially blueberries (whole foods sells them near the nuts and dried fruit, and they taste really good)
  • puffed corn (sold at whole foods in the cereal aisle in a plastic bag. He prefers the corn over the kamut, maybe because it’s slightly bigger)
  • dried apple chips with cinnamon (sold near the dried fruits at whole foods)
  • banana chips I found at trader ioe’s
  • baked dried pea snack sold at trader joe’s and whole foods
  • most types of bread except sliced bread which I think is too squishy for him to hold well

 

Since his iron was a tiny bit low, I’ve also been giving him applesauce with some blackstrap molasses in it because that has iron, and he likes it better than many other foods (i.e. will eat about 2 teaspoons). Since we do baby led weaning I put it on a spoon and have him hold it with me, and he usually brings it to his mouth. You can also just leave the “loaded spoon” on the table but that got super messy for us.

I bought some special baby organic puffs at whole foods, but Jack didn’t like them, and they had mostly rice flour which I worry about Jack eating too much of because of the arsenic, so I’m glad he prefers blueberries and corn.

We also tried those food pouches everyone seems to use once, but Jack would only eat a tiny amount at once and you are supposed to use it in 24 hours so it seemed like a waste. They also had some issues with recalls, so I’d rather just make my own purees and freeze them in ice cube trays and then use a cube over several days.

Hopefully Jack will start eating more soon! I’ve heard that sometimes they get really interested in food overnight, so we’ll see.

Comparison of toddler baby carriers

I got a toddler tula about a month or so ago and really liked it mostly, but my husband wants a carrier whose straps can criss cross, so we are in the market for a different toddler carrier. My husband prefers the crossing straps because he thinks it feels like the backpack kind will fall off your shoulders which is understandable. I also think when you cross them it give you some more back support. It’s been tricky to find toddler carriers with crissable straps though, so here is a list of a few that I found. We also want one with a headrest as high as possible because Jack hated the tula hood over his head, but his head falls backwards when he sleeps sometimes so he needs neck support. (Spoiler- the one we decided on was a bamberoo!) Note about sizes: when sizes are listed they are usually just of the panel, excluding the belt part. They are also often listed as the width at the widest point, which is not necessarily at the baby’s legs. For example our toddler tula said it was 19 inches wide, but it was really close to 17 at the bottom of the leg opening. It fit my 30 inch tall 1 year old who weighs 22.5 pounds perfectly though.

kinderpack

Kinderpack- good headrest, no pocket but you can possibly put your keys in the pocket where you stuff the hood on top. $164. 19 inches wide and 18 tall like tula but 2 inch headrest in addition. Only a few options are organic, many have really busy prints, some have mesh.

kanga XT

Kanga- 16 inches wide. I didn’t like how boxy it looked, but it has a great headrest

ABC carrier

ABC (action baby carrier)- 13.5 width – too small for toddlers. Many designs are more subtle and nice, but no headrest

bamberoo

bamberoo- toddler is 18 inches tall (in just the panel, extra tall with headrest) and 17 inches wide. Canvas ones often have mesh and busy prints. Many wrap-converted ones are available which look nice

manduca

manduca- 13 inches wide- too small

angelpack max

angelpack- all organic! $165, small headrest toddler sized. 19 wide, 18 tall, has a pocket!

Lillebaby organic

lillebaby– about 16 inches wide. Some are organic. Can face out if that’s important to you (although not ideal for long periods)

Babyhawk oh snap (organic version)

babyhawk oh snap 16.5 width 18.5 height. I didn’t really like any of the patterns though, or how boxy the headrest looked

olives and applesauce

olives and applesauce- 16×16 or 18×18 standard vs. toddler. Cute but short headrest

Moby Go

moby go- 14 inches wide- too small. Also not labeled as being able to back carry. People have seen it on clearance at target for $40 though

beco soleil

beco soleil– 16 wide, 17 tall, has a pockeet
I ended up deciding on a wrap converted Bamberoo (that means a woven baby wrap was sewn onto it to make it look pretty and soft) because it had the tallest back plus a 3 inch headrest, and also looked nice. It sadly isn’t organic, but the wraps that cover it are Oeko-tex certified which means no pesticides and toxic chemicals. The one I found (used on the facebook babywearing swap) is also reversible which is cool. I hope we like it, since I wear Jack in a carrier every day!

New years and new bedtime routine

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Happy new years from me and Jack! I am not doing anything and hope to be asleep by midnight… oh life with a baby.

Poor Jack is getting 3 molars now, so his sleep has been majorly messed up. Over the last few weeks either he wouldn’t fall asleep until 9 or 10, or would wake up in the middle of the night for an hour or two.

I decided to try a bedtime routine (since I’m not letting him cry so there aren’t a lot of other options). I tried halfheartedly before but felt that when he was younger he didn’t really notice so I got lazy.

Here’s our new routine: (has worked pretty well for 2 days now)

-Read book(s)

-Change into night-time diaper (pocket diaper with extra stuffing)

-Put coconut oil on, and use some oil that has lavender essential oil (lavender may help sleep, or the scent could become an association with bedtime at least)

-Get in the tula carrier and get walked around with dim lights while mom sings

hopefully it helps!