Saturday, January 9, 2010

Baby wearing information

A lot of moms and moms-to-be have expressed interest in wraps and slings. Though I've learned almost all I know from my friends Rene and Beth, here is some information on baby carriers.

Wraps

“Moby” style wraps are long, wide pieces of fabric that utilize your back and shoulders together to support baby. They are versatile and easy to use. You can use them to carry newborns through toddlers up to 35 pounds. Baby can be carried on your front facing in or facing out, on your hip and on your back. You can even use this style wrap to carry twins!



To make your own “Moby” style wrap:

1. Buy 5- 5 ½ yards of knit fabric (this should have some stretch to it).
a. This seems really long but it is better to give yourself a bit of extra fabric to play with. You can always cut off extra when you are an expert at tying but you can NEVER sew on extra fabric.
b. You can find knit fabric at JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, etc., for 4.99-13.99 a yard. You can also find fabric online. Keep in mind that good quality knits—like Interlock—are more expensive but will last longer.
2. Cut the fabric lengthwise.
a. If the fabric is 45 inches wide, cut it in half lengthwise. One length of fabric makes 2 wraps.
b. If the fabric is 60 inches wide then cut it two times lengthwise. One length makes 3 wraps that are 20 inches wide.
3. Hem the edges (optional).
4. Wear one, wash one OR wear one, give one to a friend!
5. Learn how to wear it!



Ring Slings

Ring Slings are the most well known type of baby sling. These slings are simple to use, offer quick and easy in-out, and there are many uses for that long tail (like covering baby up when nursing in public). Most people can wear any size - the size simply dictates the length of the tail.



Recommended slings:
  • Padded or unpadded Maya Wraps from www.mayawrap.com
  • Zolowear slings at www.zolowear.com
Ring slings can be home made. HOWEVER this is recommended only for confident and experienced seamstresses. Also, you CAN NOT use rings that you buy at craft stores. Only use rings that have been tested for human use.

Here is a site that offers free directions to help you make a ring sling

Get rings from this site

Learn to use your sling:



MeiTais

MeiTai carriers can be used on newborns through toddlers. Baby can be worn front-facing, facing out, and on your back. These are quick and easy to wear.


My favorite brand is mei tai baby but there are a lot of great SAHMs on Etsy you could check out too!


Some MeiTai brands use clips rather than ties. I don’t prefer those but it is personal preference.

MeiTais can be home made but again, this should be reserved for experienced seamstresses.

If you’d like to make your own, check out this link and look under Asian-style carriers.

If you choose to make a no-sew meitai you MUST use expensive, quality fleece. Do not trust your child’s safety to thin fleece purchased at Wal-Mart.

Other Information and Tips

  • In general, this link is a detailed and helpful website. Look on it for suggestions on what type of carrier is best for you, links to brand-name carriers, links to mom-made carriers, and information on DIY carriers.
  • Safety must be your #1 concern for baby even when using a carrier. Make sure to watch baby’s head as you move about and support baby when leaning or bending over.
  • When in a carrier, baby should be where you would normally carry them. When a newborn is cradled in your arms, he/she is up high—it should be the same in a carrier. If baby IS NOT where you would hold him or her than you should assume that baby is not in a safe position.
  • Most big-box stores offer carriers and pouches. Be cautious; these are not always comfortable for you or safe for baby (and they are pricey too!)
  • When in doubt, ask! Other baby wearers will be happy to help.
  • Don’t be surprised when a new baby wearer asks you for help. You don’t have to carry for long before you become an expert.

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