Babywearing Celebration Day 5: In My Wrap’s Embrace


Babywearing Wrap Rap by Casey Umhoefer (To the tune of Gangsta's Paradise)

I take a look at my kids, and realize they need a wrap!

Cause they've been fussin' and yawnin so long that
Even their mama thinks that wrap time has come.
But I ain't never wrapped a kid that didn't just love it
Baby left to cry alone, you know that's unheard of
You better wrap up your babies, while the time lasts
For you know that kids all grow up too fast
I really love to gaze at my baby's face
As they grow I see them happy, in my wrap's embrace.
I'm the kinda lady little kiddies wanna be with
In my wrap in the night
Lullabies in the dim light


Been spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
Been spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
Keep spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
Keep spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
So here's the situation, they got me facin'
I can't live a stroller life, I want my hands to be free
So I gotta be down with the wrap team
Too much time on TheBabyWearer got me chasin' dreams
I'm an educated mom with wraps on my mind
Got health studies in my hand and a gleam in my eye
I'm an attached mama, keepin' my kids from danger
And my babies are happy, so don't arouse my anger, fool
My baby ain't nuthin but a heart beat away
I'm livin life as a mama, what can I say?
I've done my research, studied but is wearing best for babies?
The way that they're smilin' I just know


I'll tell you how to be, a kind mom, AP

The ones you love, should be wrapped, you see.
Been spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
Been spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
Keep spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
Keep spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise

Didymos and Storchenwiege, Neobulle and Elleville
Natibaby, Lana, Hoppediz, oh mama!
Every wrap is different, but half of them ain't for me
Which one should I choose, guess I'll have to try three…
They say I got ta learn, but nobody's here to teach me,
Videos on YouTube, forums online can reach me!
Front Wrap Cross Carry; the Double Hammock

Take action shots; that's the only way to get a good critique, fool…

Been spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
Been spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
Keep spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise
Keep spending most our lives living in a Wrapper's Paradise

I'll tell you how to be, a kind mom, AP
The ones you love, should be worn, you see.

Baby Steps for our Babies

There were loads of comments about the double-babywearers yesterday! Okay, okay. I was one of them (in the flowered hat) and it was a one-time deal with my and my friends' one year olds. (With kids nearly 4 1/2 years apart, there's not much need for double wraps in my house!) The other mama with the green sling (and Casey, shown above) are legitimate frequent double-baby wearers. Rad.

Seeing mamas like these inspires me to take my own babysteps towards my mama goals. For me that's more effective gentle parenting (NVC). For you it might be mastering your wrap or sling for the first time. 


Many thanks to all of you who have been sharing links on your blogs, facebook pages, and twitter. We're causing a stir! So many inspired parents, so much positive energy around wearing our little ones. People seem positively encouraged.

I just had to share this one beautiful example of the power of your comments, photos and essays. On Monday Lisa H. Said:

Before my son was born (3 months ago, yesterday) I was sure that I would wear him everywhere. No baby would change my normal schedule. Ha! Silly me. The first 2 months we struggled with a breastfeeding issue (which I successfully conquered!) and I just can't seem to get the hang of the couple slings we were given (one of them being the recalled one, yikes!). My husband uses a homemade ring sling with much success, but it doesn't seem to be for me…I so want to have a beautiful picture with my little Fritz like the ones you have on your site!

On Wednesday Lisa said:

I want to be a Super Mama! And give my tired arms a break from 3 months of holding. This week's blog has inspired me to find a better sling and start my babywearing adventure!

And her comment yesterday:

Success! After following this babywearing week blog, I started to feel a little braver. My husband and I went to the Wildlife Sanctuary a little bit ago and he (the ring sling pro) helped me get it on and adjusted, and then loaded little Fritz in. He didn't scream! And then he fell asleep!I have never enjoyed a walk more. And then it started raining, nothing better than a walk in a warm rain! I just put the sling's tail over baby's head, and he never even woke up. Not sure the ring sling is for me, but it was still incredible! Oh, and did I mention the sun came out at the end and there was a rainbow? Perfect!!!


 How awesome is that!? I am smiling from ear to ear, Lisa. Congratulations, Super Mama! 



The Giveaways

Today is a pretty fabulous giveaway day as well. We have a Gypsy Mama Wrapsody Water Wrap, a gorgeous Didymos, and the final copy of Tummy 2 Tummy. We'll have one more round of giveaways tomorrow, so be sure to pop by to see what's in store (including a subscription to Mothering Magazine and a mama/toddler sling set, generously made and donated by a friend (thanks, D!) .

If you haven't already done so, leave a comment on the previous day's posts! (You can enter once every day, so if you've missed our first givewaways the comments are still open.) All will close on Saturday at midnight, CST. To be entered, simply leave a comment here.

Comments are closed. I'll announce winners later this week!

Didymos Interview

I've been enamored with Didymos wraps since Sage was a baby. They are the top of the line woven wrap on the market by many standards. However I never made the investment in one of these arguably wonderful wraps. Two babies later, I wish that I had. Now I have the knowledge (and confidence) to know that a few yards of fabric can't beat me – but rather, can free me.

1. What is your company and how long have you been in business?

Didymos: I started with DIDYMOS in 1972, shortly after my twins Tina and Lisa were born. I was completely unfamiliar with baby wearing and it took almost 20 years to really establish this original way of babycare in Europe.


Clean: What makes your carrier one of the best?

Didymos: I have never made any compromises with respect to quality and have always striven to find ecological ways of manufacturing and ecological sources. That is why we put emphasis in manufacturing exclusively in Germany or neighboring countries. We think it is important to point out that it was DIDYMOS to introduce the typical baby wrap fabric which is elastic in diagonal but firm in straight direction. Moreover, we were the first to develop and introduce the sizing and shape (tapered ends) which are used for almost all baby wraps nowadays.

Clean: Why do you believe caregivers wear their babies?

Didymos: It is the most natural way of transporting and caring for a baby. Being always close to your body, your baby feels safe and secure and helps him/her to develop a deep confidence of being welcome, accepted and looked after.

Clean: Any Babywearing tips for beginners?

Didymos: Do not put too much pressure on you by trying to be perfect. It takes some exercise and practice, but every time you wear your baby, you will become more confident. Soon, baby wearing will be as easy as putting on a nappy, which sometimes,in the beginning, seemed to be a challenge, too.


Gypsy Mama Interview

My parenting style is pretty hands on. If my kids are distressed at something I am about to do (go to the coop by myself, take a shower, go get the mail all alone) I rarely do it. I'll take them along. Because of that I mastered the showering-with-baby thing when Sage was little. I also enjoyed taking my babes into the water (lake, pool, or river) when they were small. But hands free? That sounds like a dream. And safer, too. Gypsy Mama's Wrapsody Water Wrap sounds dreamy for mamas like me…

Clean: What is your company and how long have you been in business?

Gypsy Mama: I founded Gypsy Mama in 2004 with the goal of providing affordable gauze wraps to every family — I loved the ease and lightness of them.  When I separated from my husband a year later, I realized that if I could grow the company fast enough, I might still be able to stay at home with my little ones — and things worked out beautifully!  I have added several products during my 6 years in business, but the ones that stayed (and I personally love and use) are the Breeze Wrap, which is made from sturdy cotton gauze, the Water Wrap, which is a really unique product in our market — it wears like a supportive bathing suit for taking babies wading and in the shower, and the Stretch Wrap, which met my goal of  creating a wrap with all the benefits of stretch fabric but without losing the versatility woven wraps provide.

My commitment to uncompromised quality, a strong commitment to fair trade practices, and Gypsy Mama's ability to find unmet needs in the market that really set my carriers apart from others.


Clean: Why do you believe caregivers should wear their babies?

Gypsy Mama: I was initially drawn to babywearing after reading an article in 1999 linking sling use to higher IQ — that article led me to the "babywearing lifestyle," where many parents find convenience melts into attachment theory and instinctive parenting, and babywearing becomes as integral to parenting as sleep.

Clean: Any babywearing tips for beginners?
Gypsy Mama: Always be aware of your baby.  Listed to his or her cues, never cover her face, and be patient with yourself.  Like all aspects of parenting, babywearing takes time and practice.  If you or your baby don't quite get the hang of it at first, try again — and if possible, seek out someone with experience who can help you choose the right carrier for your needs and who can show you some tricks for using your carrier that may really make it work in a new way.
Clean: What else should we know about your company or babywearing in general?
Gypsy Mama: I really think babywearing is a keystone in facilitating healthy parents and children.  It solves so many problems and has so many benefits that I think soft carriers are as crucial to raising children as diapers or blankets.  Physically, psychologically, neurobiologically …. the benefits to both baby and caregiver cannot be understated.  I think parents should remember that they are babywearing experts and should not be shy about sharing the information they have with others who can benefit.

Gypsy Mama his offering $5 off any purchase over $50 through the end of April from their web store. Use coupon code LO2010. 



Babywearing Celebration Day 2: Finding your Mama Groove (or Papa Groove).


Finding your groove as a new parent is not always easy. Everything is new. The learning curve is painfully steep. And the challenges keep coming. Babywearing might feel like one more wrench thrown into your day if you are a parent who just can't seem to get it.

Today I want to speak to those parents who found babywearing to anything but easy. I'm grateful to Cassandara for the raw honesty of her submission below:

I really want to have one of those touching stories you are seeking. But…


They cry. They always cry. I put them in the carrier and they squirm, scream and fight. I have had 3 babies and they have all acted the same way. At the farmer’s market I watch with envy the other mommies wearing their cozy, sleeping babies. Their hands are free as they shop, snack, knit, etc. Not me, as you can see from my pictures, I got to walk around the Field Museum in Chicago with a miserable 2 month old. Maybe it’s the carrier, or the angle, or me? I don’t know.



What kind of earthy mama am I if I can’t wear my baby? This is the question I ask myself every time I strap a baby to my chest. I am crafty and on-the-go and wearing my baby would be perfect.  I really, really want to!


Out of frustration I am driven to haiku…  

My heavy baby

Mommy needs her arms today

Don’t scream your head off

My heart goes out to Cassandra. I've been there. I've uttered the words "My baby hates baby carriers." And "Oh, no thanks. I don't use the carrier. It sucks." And "Look what I got done today with no hands!" (motioning towards piles of dirty dishes, crusty spit-up soaked towels, dirty diapers, and unfolded laundry).

I was a babywearing drop out. Like Cassandra, I had learned to loathe my carrier.

My story starts at the thrift store: I am extremely frugal and try to buy nearly everything second hand. When I was pregnant with Sage I purchased several used carriers (a front pack similar to the one above, a homemade front pack, a sling and an awkward backpacks). They seemed good enough at first glance: sturdy, a bit of padding, a reasonable price, and someplace to tuck my baby. (My extremely sensitive, particular, and communicative baby.)

The cheap carriers sucked and he let me know in no uncertain terms. He felt the same way about the stroller, so in arms he was (as I pushed the empty stroller back home with my knees). I essentially gave up on both babywearing and baby buggies within the first three weeks of Sage's life.

Enter the Sling-Wearing-Goddess-Friend into my life. Her (extremely sensitive, particular, and communicative) baby was happy as can be in their sling. Every time I saw them. No screaming. No arching. No shaking of wee fists in the air.

She suggested I give it another shot. "He's too old," I told her. (He was then a mature 5 months old. The same kid who now at 7 1/2 years still longs for the sling. Oh, the irony.) She wore me down and I agreed to give it another go.


Sage (age 1) and I in our sling

She hooked me up with an Over the Shoulder Baby Holder to try out and I was nothing short of amazed. He didn't scream. I didn't scream. So I bought one – brand new – on the spot. It was the best $50 I spent on that boy. We wore it daily until Sage was four and Lupine was born. Then Sage relinquished it to his baby sister. When we wore it out we purchased another Over the Shoulder (ironically at a thrift store.)

Since then we've had or made close to a dozen other carriers, but if you ask me which one owns my heart it's my sling. My dirty, tattered, threadbare, memory woven, badge of motherhood sling.

 But I digress.


The upshot is that be successful in wearing my baby I needed two things three things:

1. A mentor. Without the Sling Mama I never would have given carriers a second chance. (Love you, P.!)

2. A quality carrier. One that did not torture my baby by hanging him by his crotch (like many front packs do) or jam him into uncomfortable and unsafe contortions.

3. Confidence. (This one I added as an afterthought, but was key for me. I am sensitive, and my kids are sensitive. When I worried that they would hate it, they did. But when I knew it would be brilliant it was.)


Cassandra, I hope that helps a bit. Ditch your old carrier. (Some people swear by that type, but others say they hold the baby's pelvis in an awkward/unnatural position. For us it was a scream factory.) Invest in (or sew) an upgrade. Read some reviews, talk to other parents, try some on. Read the comments that parents leave here this week. I've already seen some great suggestions there. I hope you win one this week, mama. You've earned it!

The Giveaways

Onto the goodies. Today we are hosting three giveaways. One lucky winner will receive a padded ring sling from Over the Shoulder Baby Holder. I could talk for hours (and have) about the virtues of this particular sling. if you've been a close friend in the past 7 years and had a baby changes are if I didn't give you a Moby I gave you an Over the Shoulder when you were pregnant.

Another winner will receive the babywearing DVD Tummy2Tummy , as described yesterday.

A third winner will receive a digital copy of Mothering Magazine's Babywearing 101. (Also described in yesterday's post).

To be entered in the drawing please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on babywearing, something that inspired you to wear your baby, or a hope you hold in your heart. (One comment per person please.) Feel free to ask questions. I'll respond to just as many as I can. If you missed yesterday's post feel free to leave a comment there as well.

Comments are closed. I'll announce winners later this week!

To let more families know about this week's events, I encourage you to re-blog, post to your Facebook page, and share on Twitter. Thanks for spreading the word! I will close comments on Saturday, April 17 and announce all winners the following week.


Over the Shoulder Baby Holder

There are countless fancy, modern slings on the market. With great marketing and gorgeous fabrics and modern features. Sexy, sexy slings that you might just want to wear as an accessory, with our without the baby.

Over the Shoulder is not that sling. As opposed to sexy, they remind me a bit of myself in seventh grade. Not the prettiest girl in school (but lovely in her own right), a bit quiet, not the most popular but loved fiercely by those who have taken the time to connect, extremely hardworking, honest and easy to get along with. And one with strong ideals.

Underrated and wonderful, you might say.

We used our Over the Shoulder sling from the time Sage was six months old until he was 4. (And by then Lupine was occupying it.) Pete walked Sage to sleep in the woods behind our house in the sling every night. The first baby sign Sage made up was a sign for "sling". Sage even had a wee Over the Shoulder of his own for his babywearing adventures.


On the top shelf in my sewing room is what is left of our sweet baby sling after six years of constant use. I am making quilts for the kids. Each will contain a piece of the sling they were comforted and loved in for countless hours. That way they are always wrapped up in my mama love in that sling.


Below is my interview with Over the Shoulder Baby Holder. They are truly ethical, big-hearted, honest folks.

Clean: What is your company and how long have you been in business? 

OTSBH: We were the first company to manufacture baby slings back in 1987. Early on the Lord put on our hearts the desire to help children. We saw that all children responded to, blossomed, if you will, when they were nurtured in love.

  Clean: What makes your carrier one of the best? 

OTSBH: Our padded and adjustable sling allows the caregiver to exactly ‘mimic mom’s arms’. The padding supports the newborns head and torso so that they lie naturally rather than sagging into a ‘C’ shape, and we can see their face and check on their comfort. And being adjustable allows the caregiver to make the sling fit perfectly no matter if the baby grows, or if we change caregivers, or the baby changes positions.

Clean: Why do you believe caregivers wear their babies? 

With our first baby, my wife & I who were followers of Jean Liedloff’s Continuum Concept, determined to carry our babies every waking moment until they naturally weaned themselves from continual contact with us. This is not only convenient for the parent, but allows the baby to develop maximum security as they develop a sense that they are in control of their environment as they give cues to their responsive parent. This is in opposition to a baby who is left to fend for himself in a ‘away from parents body’ type of device (strollers, walkers, bouncers, etc.); these babies do not develop the same sense of security because they have no control over their environment–a device cannot respond to a baby’s cue.

Clean: Any tips for beginners?

OTSBH: Fool proof sling wearing:

1-Before putting your Over the Shoulder Baby Holder on, hold your baby in your arms in front of a mirror–note where the baby's head is in relation to your elbow, bustline, etc. Note where your baby’s bottom is.

2-Wait until your baby is sleeping and you are free to practice putting the sling off and on. Practice tightening and loosening the sling until you can do it with your eyes closed.

3-Again in front of a mirror, put on the sling, put a doll or teddy bear in the sling. Tighten & loosen as needed and position the doll exactly where you were holding your real baby–head near crook of arm, bustline, etc.  Remember, practice makes perfect, do it again! And again!

4-Now when you and your baby are in good moods, have plenty of time, etc. get in front of the mirror, put the sling on. Now put your baby in exactly the way you did the doll. Don’t be afraid to gently move your baby to where they need to be, then tighten. Voila! Happy baby, happy mom!

Clean: What else should we know about your company or babywearing in general?

OTSBH: Raising a baby in a sling naturally increases the bonding and attachment between baby and all people. Your child will grow to be attached to people, rather than things. Relationships are the only thing that make us joyful for our entire lives. When we are attached to peopel, love people, we do things for other people instead of thinking of our selves. When we have this kind of joy it is not conditional on some event making us happy – we have joy, even when undergoing the trials of life.


Feeling Like a Mama, Danielle Reiner

My last steps into mamahood came to me as a surprise. A pop and a splash, too early in the morning and too early in the pregnancy.

There was, of course, joy: joy at welcoming a new life into the world, at meeting my son. But there was also sadness, fear, and heartache. Being a mama to a preemie changed everything, my dreams and plans for becoming the mama I wanted to be. 

For the first two weeks of life, my access to my little one was restricted. I was restricted by the incubator; an unnatural barrier between us, mother and son, with only two holes for my hands to fit through. I was restricted by the noon to 8pm visiting hours. I was restricted by the doctors, the treatments, the tests, the tubes, the policies, everything. I went home without my babe in my arms and without my babe in my belly. It was, quite possibly, the hardest thing I've ever done.

In the care of his doctors, he improved. Slowly, piece-by-piece, equipment was removed, until my little one was there, breathing on his own, eating like a champ, and gaining weight like he should. Finally, he was released into our home and our care. Things should have been right, as they were meant to be, Mama and babe, together.

However, even though we were reunited, things were off. I had a hard time finding my groove as a mama. I struggled. He was only two weeks old and I felt as though I had missed so much. I wanted to catch up, to connect, to get to know my babe and have him get to know me. I wanted to hold him close and make up for lost time. 

This is where babywearing helped us find ourselves. Babywearing helped us be together. Babywearing helped us bond. Babywearing helped me connect to a babe that I, for a short time, was physically disconnected from. More than anything, babywearing helped me feel like a mama, while I learned about my little one.

I felt like a mama when I learned to identify and pick up on his most subtle signals. With the babe in the sling, I could see his tiny little mouth starting to open and shut like a little bird. Before he even fussed, I could tell he was hungry. I was his mama, I knew.

I felt like a mama when I could feel him shift through cycles of sleep. When his eyelids would flutter, or his body twitch, I knew that if I walked or rocked a bit, he would go back into a deep slumber. 

I felt like a mama when I would slip him into the sling, during a particularly challenging part of our day, and he would melt into my body and relax. While I couldn't erase the troubles of the day or take away the gas pains in his tummy, I learned that being close to me was enough to bring him comfort. 

While babywearing couldn't erase the pain of the start we had, it helped us heal. It helped me connect with my little one, and it helped him connect with me. Being close allowed us to get to know and trust one another.

That first time I put him in the sling, I had no idea what a powerful act it was. After an unexpected and rocky start, that sling helped me to become the mama that I wanted to be. The mama I dreamed about. The mama that my little one deserves.


Babywearing Celebration Day 1: Your Cheek on my Heart.


My second daughter slept on my chest from the moment she was born.  She screamed all the way home, in the car, from the hospital because she wanted to be near me.  For months, she spent every nap and every night with her cheek on my chest.
When I look back I can see clearly why she fussed in slings, why I felt so uncomfortable too.  I had bought a Moby wrap before she was born but had been too intimidated to try it out.  Finally, I took her and the wrap to the shop.  When the woman working there finished adjusting the baby and the wrap, all the tension left my body and everything felt so perfectly right.  I opened up my shirt, turned her little head to the side and lay her cheek on my bare chest.
When my baby, was six weeks old our family moved to Ukraine.  I felt like the only person in the country using a wrap — or carrying my baby.  I was stared at.  But the stares and the comments never made me feel uncomfortable.  There was nothing better than having this baby next to my heart.
I walked my older daughter to school every morning.  There were 180 stairs between our apartment and the school.  With my little child on my chest, I quickly lost all the baby weight — and more.
Even the French women at our school made comments — perhaps even more than the locals.  Most believed that my baby would never walk — nor be a social, autonomous being.
How marveled when that spring, following a long winter, I let my baby down and she walked all over the schoolyard.  Until then , they had only glimpsed her face and legs.  But when she emerged, the community was astonished and full of love for this little being who had spent the previous twelve months in a warm cocoon listening to her mama's heartbeat and blocking out the sounds of distrust. I doubt any of them decided to wear their future babies, but I am sure many still tell the tale of the cocoon baby.
My daughter continued to sleep "on me" until recently.  Even after my mastectomy, nearly two years ago, I managed to find ways for her to be on my chest.  Now, at four and a half, she is too heavy to lay there.  It was a bittersweet night when I knew she would never say, "I want on you," again.  But she still opens up my shirt and lays her cheek on my bare heart.
MamaShift, Vilnius, Lithuania


Welcome to the LuSa Organics Babywearing Celebration! The response to this joyful week has been astounding. I am so grateful for all who submitted or donated their writing, photos, baby carriers, materials, information, and support. Thanks to all who's eyes are here this day!

I am of the mind that wearing your child is nothing short of magical. Babywearing promotes bonding. Facilitates multitasking. Soothes fussy babies. Eases the life of multi-child parents. Connects your child with their world. Promotes healthy communication. Is simple (after you learn a few basic steps). Is affordable. Is low-impact. Is good for your body. Is phenomenal for your baby. And it is as old as humanity.

And babywearing has been getting a bad wrap lately (pun intended). The CPSC recently released a statement discouraging sling use for children under four months of age after several infants died in a poorly made, poorly designed carrier.


The age-old practice of wearing babies with a proven track record of safety and innumerable benefits has been underminded a bit by a single, cheap carrier. I mourn for the families effected, and also worry about new parents who are now confused about the safety of babywearing. This week we intend to clear that confusion and inspire you to pull out that carrier you've been nervous to use (or perhaps buy or make a new one). And we'll be showing off some beautiful babes while we're at it. 


Is Babywearing Safe?

Yes. If you choose a good carrier and learn to use it properly. It's easier than installing your car seat properly, I promise you that. And I'd bet money that your newborn will take the carrier option over the car seat if given the choice every time. 

For those of you with reservations on babywearing's inherent safety, Mothering Magazine is a perennial resource on all things mama, baby, and child. (If you don't have a subscription yet get on it! I'll be here when you get back. I mean it. Go. This magazine changed my life.) Mothering Magazine responded eloquently to the CPSC, and I will refer you to their response which includes six bullet points for fool-proof safe babywearing. Throughout the week's posts we'll address getting your child accustom to your carrier, safe wearing tips, making your own wrap or sling, and we'll share some amazing online resources for babywearing.


The Giveaways

Today we are hosting three giveaways. One lucky winner will receive a Moby Wrap. This was my favorite everyday carrier for the first six months of Lupine's in-arms-life and along with Booty Balm is a favorite gift for new families. I LOVED my Moby. Love, love, love.

Another winner will receive the babywearing DVD Tummy2Tummy. This marvelous DVD teaches proper use of four different carrier styles (ring slings, pouches, asian carriers, and simple fabric carriers). I used this DVD to perfect use of my sling, my mai tai, and my Moby. It was indispensable.

A third winner will receive a digital copy of Mothering Magazine's Babywearing 101. This, too, is a fantastic, well written resource for new parents and experienced babywearers alike. We read it, used it, and shared it many times.


To be entered in the drawing please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on babywearing, something that inspired you to wear your baby, or a hope you hold in your heart. (One comment per person please.) Feel free to ask questions. I'll respond to just as many as I can.

Comments are closed. I'll announce winners later this week!

To let more families know about this week's events, I encourage you to re-blog, post to your Facebook page, and share on Twitter. Thanks for spreading the word! I will close comments on Saturday, April 17 and announce all winners the following week.


Moby Wrap

The Moby Wrap fits into a category of carrier I'll refer to as stretchy wraps. Made of jersey (heavy tee-shirt type fabric), they have a gentle stretch and give, making it easy to get a little one in and out of the wrap and making them forgiving and comfortable for the adult. I've worn Lupine in some amazing holds in a stretchy wrap – both front and back, facing in and (at home) facing out. Most of the time she was simply asleep on my breast, nuzzled in against my heart.

My Moby was my uniform for six months and I can't imagine that time without it. I've since passed it along to friends, who enjoyed it and passed it onto friends, who again used and passed along the wrap to another family. I occasionally have the pleasure of seeing other cute babes snuggled into our carrier and recall Lupine and I spent our loving days together, heart to heart when she was small. Four babies and counting? Not bad for a $35.00 investment.


I interviewed the folks at Moby Wrap about their carrier, benefits of babywearing, and tips for newbies.

Clean: What makes your carrier one of the best?

Moby: A Moby Wrap is a long piece of ultra soft, breathable cotton that is wrapped around the wearer to create a safe, custom-fitted and versatile baby carrier. Wrapping around both shoulders and the entire back, the Moby Wrap evenly distributes baby's weight making it comfortalbe to carry baby for long periods of time. All Moby Wraps are machine washable and provide one-size versatility. There are no buckles, snaps, or other fasteners, making a Moby Wrap simple and convenient. 

Clean: Why do you believe caregivers should wear their babies?

Moby: Babywearing helps a baby develop a strong and secure attachment to parents. It meets baby's security needs: baby can feel, smell, hear, and see their parent. Babywearing communicates to children that they are loved, safe, secure, and cared for. It is a naturally soothing baby tranquilizer which helps fussy and tired infants fall asleep. It lowers the levels of stress in the infant and parent. It enables parents to accomplish their day to day activities while maintaining close physical contact with their babies.

Clean: Any tips for beginners?

Moby: The best time to start putting your baby in a carrier is when he is happy, fed, and rested. Use gentle movements to soothe baby. It is best to walk or slowly sway than to remain still. Always use your senses to be aware of baby. Look, listen, and feel baby.   

Moby is offering 15% off your entire purchase at Use coupon code cleanmoby before April 25, 2010.


Your Stories, Your Poems.

Thanks to each and everyone of you who opened your hearts and shared your stories, your thoughts, and your images. We were all so touched. I put four friends to work reading your contributions (thanks ladies!) and I dare say we all cried. Frequently. If anyone has a creative way for us to share every entry let me know. (I am wanting the literary equivalent of Flickr.).

They were so lovely that it was nearly impossible to choose just five. In fact, I didn't. Today I selected two. And we'll have a bonus Haiku day (so feel free to submit to your heart's content. Please title your email "Haiku" to simplify my sifting process.)

Today we begin and end with a reader submission. I can relate to Meg and the feeling of expectations and life turned upside down with a first child.

Love to all.

~ Rachel





Baby Carrying, by Meg Grant

I wish I could say baby wearing came to me from a place of love and warmth, rather than its true source…desperation.  My first baby, Ava, took all of what I expected life with an infant to be and turned it upside down. She rarely slept, ceased to stop crying, and never simply relaxed. After many days of insanity, I finally asked my pediatrician what to do and his callous response was, “well, you need to remember who the parent is, you’re letting this baby dictate your life.”

Crestfallen, downhearted, and angry barely describes how I felt leaving that office. I could not believe he actually said what he said and could not understand how, as a new mother, my baby should not dictate my life. She was two weeks old, for goodness sake. I walked home in tears, along with Ava who was supremely quiet. The moment I stopped walking, she would scream.  This was probably the closest I’ve ever come to an epiphany, with the realization that movement was the only way to soothe her.  I raced home and  opened the carrier I purchased, never really sure I would use it. I strapped it on myself and put a very calm Ava in, holding my breath. Not a peep, not a scream, just a quiet, content baby.   For the rest of that day, I found myself overwhelmed by the freedom the carrier provided while simultaneously allowing me to be close to this little creature.  It was truly the first time I relaxed as a new mother. I accepted that this beautiful baby was forever going to dictate my life, a fate that I was more than happy to accept.

It is hard to believe, but that little baby is turning six soon and I have two other little babies that I have been lucky enough to carry.  With my second baby, Lillian, carrying her was a necessity; Ava was only nineteen months when she was born and I quickly learned a toddler waits for nothing. Lily lived in the carrier a good portion of the day and in the quiet moments of bedlam, the love and warmth I felt from her soft breath and quiet coos on my chest got me through the day.

Today I sit here writing this while my nine week old son, Oliver, sleeps soundly. I have since updated my baby carrier to the Moby Wrap, which is my new accessory I wear with pride. Although the carrier has changed, my feelings of carrying these precious babies has remained the same. I am a better mother because my hands are free, my heart is warm, and my baby is happy when I have them close to my heart.