Babywearing Celebration Day 3: Your Secret Weapon


A Supermom's Super Secret, by Kristi Dalberg

Yes, I am supermom but shh…I have a secret.  I'm only confessing this so other moms can become the supermom they need to be for their families. 

From the beginning of my supermom days, Hudson has always desired my complete and total attention.  Being a mommy, you know there is a connection between mommy and baby…a confidence, a need for comfort. 

For the first several weeks after Hudson was born, all I wanted to do was cuddle my newborn…and I did.  But eventually, I had to start getting stuff done, also.  Dishes were piling up, and we had no clean clothes.  Our house was officially a disaster zone.  I felt so overwhelmed and I just wanted to go hide away in the nursery with my newborn. 

That's when supermom was born.  I had to figure out how to get things done.  Whenever I'd lay Hudson down, he'd cry and I'd feel like a bad mommy because I wanted to be there to soothe him and cuddle him.  After all, he had been inside of me for nine months and was used to that.  I needed to show him that being in the world was no different – I'd still always be there for him to care for his needs. 


So…I came up with my secret weapon – baby-wearing.  My mom gave me a baby carrier so I strapped it on and…never took it off!  Hudson cuddled to me, slept on me, fed, and played while I did dishes, laundry, errands, etc.  Yes, baby-wearing allowed me to be the supermom I always dreamed of being! 

We both absolutely loved it!  I felt I could still be his sweet mommy caring for his every need yet still be the amazing wife (and house-keeper) my husband needed me to be.






 The Giveaways

We are again indulging in a three-giveaway day. One lucky winner will receive Baby K'tan double sling. A second winner will receive a Kangaroo Korner fleece pouch. And a third winner will receive the babywearing DVD Tummy2Tummy , as described on Monday.

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 per post, please.)

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

Feel free to ask questions. I'll respond to just as many as I can. If you missed the posts from earlier this week feel free to read and leave a comment there as well.

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.


Baby K'tan Interview

I interviewed the enthusiastic, joyful people at Baby K'tan earlier this week. Because the Baby K'tan Baby Carrier came into existence after my last baby was born, I do not have personal experience with this carrier. If any readers have one and would like to post their experiences in the comments that would be wonderful!


Here is what Baby K'tan had to say:

Clean: What makes your carrier one of the best?

 Baby K'tan:The Baby K'tan Baby Carrier first launched in April 2007 as a new, innovative carrier that is a cross between a sling and a more structured front carrier, providing the positions and benefits of both.

In a Baby K'tan parents and caregivers can comfortably carry infants and toddlers, from preemie to preschool (up to 42 pounds) in eight different positions. It has added security and back support compared to a traditional sling, and added comfort and ease of use compared with a traditional carrier.

The Baby K'tan has no buckles, snaps, rings, or hardware that might otherwise complicate your babywearing experience and is made with a double loop design and an adjustable back support band for distributing weight across both shoulders.

Clean: Why do you believe caregivers wear their babies?

By being so close to your body's rhythms, the newborn "gets in rhythm" much more quickly. Research has shown how this helps babies to adapt to life outside the womb. Babywearing is also good for babies whose caregivers are overwhelmed. Babies who are not held need more verbal interaction and eye contact, just to be reassured that you're there. Carrying a baby is a great way to connect with him or her (and provide stimulation too) without the constant necessity of having to interact.

It is also good for baby's mental development. Babies spend more time in a "quiet, alert state" when carried – the ideal state for learning. Their senses are stimulated while being carried (yet there is a place to retreat too). Studies indicate that 'worn' babies have improved visual and auditory alertness relative to children that are frequently left on the floor or in a crib or playpen.

Other studies indicate that carried babies have improved speech development since they are more directly exposed to normal adult conversation rather than 'child directed speech'. Babywearing is also good for baby's emotional development. Babies are able to quickly develop a sense of security and trust when they are carried. They are more likely to be securely attached to their care-giver/s and often become independent at an earlier age.

Baby K'tan is offering 10% off to all Clean readers until May 1. Use coupon code "LUSAKTAN".


Kangaroo Korner Interview

The fleece pouch is another carrier that I have not had the pleasure to use. Below is my interview with the owner of Kangaroo Korner. I especially love what she said regarding tips for beginners.

Clean: What makes your carrier one of the best?
Our Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Pouches are snug yet not constricting so you are easily able to wear your child and have two hands free to accomplish almost any task. Unlike non-adjustable pouches, our Adjustable Pouches are designed to grow with your baby and will accommodate your changing size due to a pregnancy. Each pouch has 4 rows of adjustment – for one low price, you are essentially receiving 4 pouches in 1! 
Clean: Why do you believe caregivers wear their babies?
Less crying, fussiness & frustration. Less boredom. Protection from overstimulation. Encourages a healthy dependency. Less clingy as baby gets older. Benefits special needs babies. Counteracts sibling rivalry. Promotes bonding. Better for baby's back and legs. Allows for richer stimulation. Improves motor skills and muscle tone. Easier on baby's digestive system. Breastfeeding friendly. Gentle on parent's back. 
Clean: Any babywearing tips for beginners?
Move. While eventually you will be able to putter around the house with your baby in the sling, at first your baby needs the steady rhythm of your walking. As soon as you slip your baby into the sling, start walking! Pacing in the living room is OK, walking outside or at a shopping mall is even better. The new environment will distract your baby, allowing him or her to become used to the snugness of the sling. Next to finding a comfortable position, this is probably the single most important factor in successful babywearing! 

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

We are a locally owned and operated company. All of our products are manufactured in Minnesota where our employees are all paid a living wage. In addition, we have donated hundreds of Adjustable Pouches to Family Medical Center in inner-city Minneapolis, a clinic that serves low-income families.

Kangaroo Korner is offering Clean readers 25% off of any purchase of Kangaroo Korner brand items during the month of April. Please use coupon code "April25%".


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.


Call for Submissions: Your Babywearing Stories; Your Babywearing Photos.

Update April 12,2010: The Babywearing Celebration is now going on. Go here to see the latest posts, read stories, and enter your name for the giveaways.

For those of you new to Clean, welcome!
Take a look around. We think you'll love it here. We post daily on
natural cooking, baking, crafting, and homeschooling.

We're hosting a Babywearing Celebration. Every day during the week of April 12 we'll have a safe, comfortable carrier or two to give away (see list at bottom of post) plus other babywearing resources. To you! Just for popping by.

We will also be posting five reader stories, (or poems, prose, essays, haiku, etc.) on Clean. Stories that illuminate the simple magic of wearing your little one. What it means to you – or to them.

Was babywearing an important part of your journey in becoming a mother or father?

Did it affect your experience as a grandparent, nanny, aunt, or uncle?

Did wearing your little one ease a painful time or allow you a joyful adventure?

What did you see in the child you wore that spoke to your heart? 

Has babywearing changed your life?

Share your story. Inspire us. The five selected essays will be published on Clean the week of April 12 and the author will receive a $25 LuSa Organics gift certificate. Oh, and fame and glory. Plenty of fame and glory. I have no requirement on length or style. Bring it on in whatever way inspires you. To submit your story email it to: rachel <at> lusaorganics <dot> com. Deadline is April 9th. Deadline extended to April 11th, 12pm CST! Reader submissions are now closed.

Family Xmas 009_1

And photos! Sweet babywearing photos.

I expect ya'll are getting tired of seeing Lupine and I allover this blog by now. I want your photos! They needn't be professional. Just photos of ordinary people wearing their kids. Upload them to our flickr page and I'll begin sharing them throughout the month of April here on Clean (or send them via email to rachel <at> lusaorganics <dot> com.) (If the photo is not of you and your child, please get permission before submitting.)

Edited: For more up-to-date information (including a schedule for giveaways) go here.

Thanks everyone for the great response the babywearing celebration is receiving. I can't wait to read and share your stories. So far we have the following giveaways lined up:

Mothering Magazine subscription,

3 copies of Babywearing 101,


Moby Wrap,

Ergo Baby Carrier,

Baby K'tan,


five copies of Tummy 2 Tummy babywearing DVD,

a carrier from Kangaroo Korner,

a carrier from Happy Bambino,

and a mama made sling/toddler doll sling set. With lots more to come!

Please spread the word via your Twitter account, Facebook page, blog, website, or mama's group. And thanks!