COCAM: Babywearing Gets Your Family

Welcome to the Carrying On Campaign (COCAM) Week Four! It’s been a wonderful month, thank you for joining us. This post is part of the final blog carnival hosted by Kanga Collective!

 

Babywearing is something we’re passionate about here at BCD. We’re part of a broader passionate community, too, which is what COCAM is all about.

But babywearing is individual. It doesn’t have to be one style of carrier, or a particular way of carrying. You can carry your five year old, or you can decide enough is enough far earlier than that. You can back carry your newborn- or you can decide that back carries are not for you at any age. It’s all baby (and big kid) wearing. It’s a practice which supports your family not matter what shape, choices and form your family takes.

It’s a parenting tool for parents and caregivers. For Mums and Dads and families with two Mums or two Dads or a selection of each. It’s for step parents and grandparents. For aunts and uncles and cousins and older siblings. No matter what your family looks like, babywearing is a tool you can use.

Babywearing Gets My Family- if it gets yours too, we’d love to hear from you!

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A Week In the Life…

A new series we’re running here on BCD, we want to take a look at a week in the life of the babywearer. What’s your life like? Every time you wear for a week, snap a photo. We want to see the newborns worn constantly, the preschoolers worn once. The wrap jobs that didn’t quite work out and the stunning “hey look what I did!” moments. We want to see the life of the babywearer: the job done, the family tended to, the closeness, where you’ve been.

Welcome to: A week in the life.

Our first week is from Emily Walkerden- thank you Emily for sharing your week with us!

Want to share a week with us? Get out your camera phone, your DSLR or your point and shoot: take a photo every time you wear for a week, collage them up and send them to sacredchickens@rocketmail.com We want to see your life 🙂

(There are many free collage programs available for download, it’s easy!)

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The Babywearing Encyclopaedia of Sleep: Putting them Down

Yesterday we talked about getting babies down to sleep. Today we’re talking about how to put them down. Let me be very clear to start with: some babies are very, very difficult to put down. Some stages of baby development make this very difficult. A preschooler can be tossed out of the carrier onto the bed and stay asleep. A baby under four weeks old can often sleep through just about anything (although please don’t toss them!). The ages between can require considerably more finesse: welcome to the “ninja sneak”.

Some parents are perfectly happy to wear their babies through all their naps, every day. They prefer not to deal with the difficulties of the ninja sneak and prefer to continue on with their child blissfully asleep. This is fine. Other parents want and need a physical and emotional break from their blissfully sleeping children: there’s nothing wrong with that!

Before you attempt to put your baby down, make sure he/she is very deeply asleep. Trying to get them out of the carrier at the wrong stage of the sleep cycle is the easiest way to was them up again. One way of telling is to tickle them: behind the ear, their knee or their bare foot are all likely places. A light tickle won’t wake them, but if they move- they’re not deeply asleep yet. Keep them in the carrier!

 When you’re ready to risk it (or desperate to take a shower), the golden rule is to go slow! Here’s how I recommend you do it

– Either loosen your carrier or unclip it while holding the baby with one hand. If you need to jiggle/rock to keep them asleep at this stage, you may want to retighten and try again later.

-Lower them slowly into their sleeping space while holding them to you.

-Once they’re down, stay close to them (you don’t want any sudden change in temperature)

– Remove your hand from beneath them slowly and then gradually straighten up.

– Sneak away!

This method isn’t foolproof. Sometimes babies wake and many parents find it easier simply to keep them in the carrier. Bear in mind that as they grow older they are easier to put down as their sleep behaviour matures. But it is a slow and frustrating process! Once they’re down though, you’re free: for awhile 😉

Do you do the ninja sneak? How do you put your babies down? Are they easy or impossible to disentangle from? Leave a comment and let us know!

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The Babywearing Encyclopaedia of Sleep: Getting them Down

Babywearing helps your baby to settle to sleep- that much is clear to everyone who owns a comfortable carrier. This post offers some tips and tricks to help it along- but are you creating a difficult sleep-association? Should you settle your baby to sleep regularly in a carrier? If you do, how do you put them down? These are some other questions about babywearing sleep.

How to Get Them There

Old-hands at babywearing have this one down, but if you’re relatively new at babywearing, this may help. If you want to help your baby off to sleep using a carrier then anything that’s comfortable for you and the baby will do- front, hip or back carries.

Babywearing nap-time is a big advantage when you’re out and about. You don’t need to run at the first sign of a tired baby, just put the baby in your carrier and start moving. Babies, toddlers and even bigger kids settle down to sleep this way very easily.

Generally, the easiest way to settle them down to sleep in the carrier is to walk- a gentle walking motion that is continuous is a sure-fire way to get them down. Some babies resist it more than others, but very few can do so altogether. A gentle sway, rock or pat are also good ways of getting them to sleep. Generally, upright carries are more comfortable over the long term than cradle carries.

Highly resistant or distressed babies sometimes need extra help, though. Breastfeeding in your carrier is a sure-fire combination. Alternatively, a dummy if you use one may offer the soothing suck-and-motion combination.

Lastly, like all sure-fire baby-sleep-tricks: it doesn’t always work. Sometimes you can walk for miles, bounce like a zumba instructor and pat until your hand is about to fall off, only to find that your child is still wide-awake and grinning. Or worse, grumpy. Don’t worry: try again later. It’s not you, it’s not your carrier: it’s the baby!

Sleep Associations: Good, Bad- or Just Don’t Worry?

Breastfeeding to sleep, rocking to sleep, carrying to sleep: problematic, great or individual?

The answer is definitely individual.

A sleep association is a pattern of behaviour developed over time to encourage the baby to sleep. Some babies are very specific and only want to settle down to sleep while  breastfeeding, for example. For some parents, this is a problem. For others, it’s seen as a bonus.

Dr Sears recommends getting your baby used to multiple associations for sleeping. Babywearing is one of them. Chances are, you won’t leap out of bed every time your newborn cries and put them in a sling, so babywearing is just one way of settling him/her down. It’s also a great way to swap between parents and caregivers- the method is consistent, but the carer settling the baby can change.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the holy grail: Putting them Down!

How do you get them to sleep? Any sure-fire methods? What’s your favourite carrier to do it in? Leave a comment and let us know!

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I Think I Bought a Fake Carrier: What Do I Do?

Babywearer’s Circle just posted their Top Five Tips for avoiding a babywearing scam. It’s a good read for everyone who is buying a baby carrier.

Unfortunately, what do you do if you are scammed? Here is our top five tips for victims of scamming:

  1. Report it to the distributor, this is useful information to them. They do their best to shut down unauthorised and scamming sites, but they could use our help.
  2. If you paid by non-gifted paypal, file a claim for “item not as described”. If you paid by credit card, request your bank do a charge back for “item not as described”. If you bought on eBay or other trading community, report the seller. Sometimes sellers will accept the return if they genuinely did not know the product was fake. Often a scam-artist will seem like the nicest person you ever met and do anything to avoid you making your paypal or credit card claim within the time period you have available: don’t miss your window. File then sort it out.
  3. If you are left with a fake product on your hands, you cannot ethically sell it on. That said, you may not have the money left to buy a new and genuine one. We do not recommend fake items be used since the quality of the materials used are often poor and the testing they undergo is non-existent. If you do decide to use the carrier you’re stuck with, make sure you give it a thorough testing following the instructions here.
  4. If you decide you want to get rid of the carrier, there are sling groups who would like a donation in order to demonstrate the differences between real and fake carriers. Otherwise, please do not gift it to goodwill. Gifting it to someone handy at upcycling things might be another option.
  5. You have been the victim of a crime, go gently on yourself. Remember this was not your fault. You have no reason to be ashamed of other people’s bad behaviour.

How do you stay safe?

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COCAM: Babywearing Gets The Job Done

Welcome to the Carrying On Campaign (COCAM) Week Three! This post is part of the blog carnival hosted by Kanga Collective and we’re thrilled to be a part of it!

The problem with parenting is that you get a baby, but don’t get an extra set of hands at the same time. One set of hands is quite enough to take care of the needs of one person. However, one set of hands taking care of the needs of two, three or even four persons (most of whom may be very small) is an exhausted set of twenty digits.

Part of the problem is not just the physical act of basic child-minding: feeding, watering, cleaning. If that was all there was to parenting, then we could just apply farming principles to the whole thing and it would be relatively easy. Children need more than physical care, they need to learn. They also need to be cared for emotionally. Their souls need nurturing as much as their tiny bodies. And you only have two hands.

Babywearing nurtures your little one’s soul while making her breakfast. It soothes a distressed psyche while it hangs out their laundry. It rests a weary head while you check your email. Baby wearing is an extra pair of hands which come with a hug.

Babywearing helps you get the parenting job done: all of the jobs, especially the most important.

Which jobs has babywearing helped you get done this week?

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