Wearing A Child With Talipes

A wonderful been-there-done-that post by Ellen Coombes whose daughter has talipes, commonly known as club feet. The treatment for talipes often involves casts or brace and Ellen offers some suggestions for babywearing with both types.

Casts

When the baby is in casts they need to be kept in a lying down position the majority of the time to avoid swelling and loss of circulation. This makes wearing them very restrictive. Adjustable slings or short woven wraps are good at this stage, you need to be able to wear the child in a cradle type carry.

Brace

Once the baby is in a brace your are able to wear them in positions where they can be up looking around. Woven wraps are great at this stage. If the bar clips out of the boots then you can wrap the baby with the bar off and then clip it back on once your finished wrapping. It is difficult to get the baby in the optimal position especially when they are very small because their legs and knees will only move apart so far due to the brace, as they get bigger it will become easier. Sitting down is  very difficult while wearing a child in a brace, try and plan your baby wearing for times when you will be up and moving about.

Soft Structured Carriers and Mei Tai’s tend to be too wide at the base but there are some Carriers that snap down smaller for little babies and some Mei Tai’s have a chinchable base so that they can be made smaller. A FWCC (Front Wrap Cross Carry) using a woven wrap tends to be the easiest and most comfortable for wearer and baby. Back carries are possible but you may need help to get the bar clipped back on.

 Thankyou Ellen for taking the time to get this information out there, it’s hard to find good babywearing information on wearing children with talipes and this will be invaluable to many!

Posted in Babywearing Info, Special Needs Babywearing, Special Topics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Babywearing Ages and Stages: The Little Baby (3-6 Months)

Your baby is no longer a newborn: but he or she is still little! Quite a bit heavier, with good head control and some core stability developing: there are more babywearing horizons opening up all the time!

What Works Well:

Ring slings still work really well for babies of this age, but your baby may becoming too heavy to wear on one shoulder for an extended period. Woven wraps are still the most flexible carrier, but maybe they don’t interest you too much. Stretchy wraps may not be offering you enough support by the end of this stage either.

Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs) and mei tais really begin to shine at this age. Babies are becoming old enough and big enough to leave the infant inserts behind. Mei tais are easier to tie from this age onwards. You may even be ready to try back carrying your baby in them by the end of this stage depending on their weight.

Things To Watch Out For:

Despite the many options expanding in this age range, there are a couple of hiccups that parents may face along the way.

– You may find that your baby does not want to be in a front carry as much any more. He or she may fight it and become quite grumpy whereas before he or she loved it. Babies of this age are often becoming more curious and have an intense desire to see the world around them. Parents often interpret this as a need to try front carries: and you can if you wish. However, they rarely offer ideal positioning for the baby and can, frankly, be tough on the parents’ back! An easy alternative is the hip carry or a high back carry. You’re comfortable, baby is comfortable and can see everything he or she wishes.

– Too big for Option A, too small for Option B! This is also a tough age, the baby may have nearly outgrown the infant insert or “froggying” in the mei tai but isn’t quite there yet: in the meantime you’re both frustrated! This one is tough. One option is another carrier, but you may not wish to spend money on another carrier when you have one you love and will be fine in a few weeks time again. You can try one leg in and one leg out of the carrier or insert and see if that solves the problem- some babies love it! Just make sure to switch legs regularly.

– If your baby is still showing signs of not wanting to be worn, don’t despair. It’s quite common around this age. Try putting them in the carrier when they are relaxed and happy. Try feeding them in the carrier if you can. Once they’re in the carrier, go for a brisk walk and see if that settles them down. They’re also at the stage where they are sleeping less and are interested in more, so they may associated the carrier with sleep and want to see something new instead!

What’s your favourite part about wearing at this age? Leave a comment and let us know!

Posted in Babywearing Info | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Week in the Life of Karen!

This one is a very special week in the life from member Karen Horovitz. Karen spent the week in Fiji and she took a photo for us every time she wore her little ones. It looks like a marvellous week, Karen. Thanks for brightening up our day!

Posted in Babywearing Advocacy, Personal Stories | Tagged | 1 Comment

Babywearing Ages and Stages: Term Newborns (0-3 Months)

Welcome to our new series: Babywearing Ages and Stages. We’re working with Babywearer’s Circle on this series. In it, we’ll take you through some of the ages and stages your little one will go through in your babywearing journey. We’ll let you know some of the problems that come up, which carriers work well and what to look out for. We love newborns here at BCD blog. We have pages of posts devoted to them. But here is a brief run-down of what it’s like to wear a baby at the 0-3 month stage.

What Works Well:

Ring slings are easy to learn and perfect for newborns. Wraps are a little harder to learn but offer perfect positioning and the best way to back carry a newborn (if you should choose to do so).

Mei tais are not ideal for newborns, but if you want to use one, you may like to cinch the base of the carrier with a hair band or ribbon so that it’s narrow enough to fit your baby. Also, you may need to roll the waist of your mei tai (if possible, the mei tai will need to have waist straps at 90 degrees to the body) so that it’s not too long. Try to tie underneath baby’s bottom so as not to push against the spine.

Some soft structured carriers can be made suitable for newborns, either through means of an additional insert, a built in insert or a cinching mechanism in the carrier. Whilst these don’t offer perfect positioning for this brief period, they work very well as a single carrier that is easy to learn and use into the toddler years.

Legs In Our Out?

There has been a lot of debate over the last few years over whether a newborn’s legs should be “froggied” up in the carrier or allowed out of the carrier. It comes down to two things: personal preference and the style of carrier.

Some SSCs require the newborns legs to be froggied. Some mei tais cannot be cinched or rolled: these are not particularly good carriers for newborns but can be used in a pinch.

Otherwise, however, feel free to allow your infants’ legs out of the carrier and just be aware that their legs are not spread uncomfortably wide.

What To Watch Out For:

The most important thing to keep in mind at this age is the TICKS safety guidelines.  Ideally, the baby should be in upright carries: this makes it easier to follow the TICKS safety guidelines and helps with reflux. Clip slings and most pouches should be left until around 4 months old. Babies of this age should not be faced outwards. Babies should not be back carried in SSCs or most mei tais at this age.

Take a look at our downloadable pamphlet on wearing newborns for lots of great pictures and information on how to wear your newborn.

Finding likeminded parents is also a great way to get help. Come check out Babywearing Buy Sell Swap or Baby Carriers Downunder for help and support. You’ll be able to find a local sling group who can give you hands out support and advice.

Have you worn a newborn? What did you use? What did you find difficult? Leave a comment and let us know!

Posted in Babywearing Info | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Babywearing Ages and Stages: The Premature Baby

Welcome to our new series: Babywearing Ages and Stages. We’re working with Babywearer’s Circle on this series. In it, we’ll take you through some of the ages and stages your little one will go through in your babywearing journey. We’ll let you know some of the problems that come up, which carriers work well and what to look out for. Babywearer’s Circle will tell you about some of the brands that work well for these tiny babies, where to find them and how to get started.

First up is the premature baby. These little ones need touch, but they are also some of the most delicate babies to wear.

The Advantages of Wearing your Premature Infant:

Kangaroo care fills a specific function in the growth and development of the preemie baby and its advantages are well-document: increased milk supply for Mum, improved temperature and respiration regulation for baby, better growth- better everything!

Once you leave the hospital with your baby, skin-to-skin contact is still enormously beneficial. You and your baby may have undergone a traumatic separation and carrying your baby close as often as you both desire may help you both bond and heal.

When you have a preemie baby, your life is put on hold. Babywearing helps you get back into life, gently- while still attending to your baby’s needs.

What Works Well:

A woven wrap works very well for a premature baby, cradling the baby in the best position possible. Certain manufacturers have speciality wraps which are narrower than usual to accommodate the premature baby. A ring sling is another excellent choice and is easier to learn than the woven wrap for an often-times overwhelmed new parent. Babywearer’s Circle is talking about specific brands and where you can get them.

Kangaroo care is very beneficial for premature infants and while in the hospital you may not need any particular carrier for skin-to-skin time.

What You Should Watch Out For:

Premature babies are often very delicate, and whilst in the hospital you should only wear your baby in the sling with the guidance of your baby’s caregivers. Once home, you’re making the decisions. Be aware of your baby’s airway and breathing at all times: your caregivers will tell you what to look for.

Premature babies often have difficulty regulating their temperature and wearing a beanie may be advisable. The premature baby may also have sensitive feet from many heel pricks whilst in NICU and socks may help!

Always be aware of the TICKS safe babywearing guidelines and carry your baby in an upright rather than cradled or reclined carry. Unless your caregiver advises otherwise, don’t back-carry your pre-term baby.

Take a look at our downloadable pamphlet on wearing newborns for lots of great pictures and information on how to wear your newborn.

Finding likeminded parents is also a great way to get help. Come check out Babywearing Buy Sell Swap or Baby Carriers Downunder for help and support. You’ll be able to find a local sling group who can give you hands out support and advice.

Have you worn your premature or pre-term baby? What were the challenges you faced? What were the advantages you found? Leave a comment and let us know!

Posted in Babywearing Info, Special Needs Babywearing, Special Topics | Tagged , | 3 Comments

A Week In the Life of Cheng

Thankyou Cheng for sharing your week with us! Here’s what it looks like…!

How was your week? 🙂

Posted in Babywearing Advocacy | Tagged | Leave a comment