Bebe Sachi Anggun Review (27/5/14)

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I feel it is really important to first talk a bit about the company themselves. I didn’t know a lot before I was sent the sling, but through talking to them and from reading their pages online I feel a real love for what they are doing and I think it is important to raise awareness.

Bebe Sachi is very much a social enterprise. They invest in a small group of artisan hand weavers from Bangladesh and have single handedly managed to keep the weavers in occupation where most in their village have had to move away to find work. Bebe Sachi buys all that the weavers produce and everything that meets their strict standards goes on to become babywearing wraps. Bebe Sachi is most famous for their khadis … But I have been given the job of trying out one of their lesser known wraps, the Anggun (which means “a grace created in a dream”).

There’s no way round it, this is a very thick wrap weighing in at 345 g/m2. It is really solid but not hard or too beastly. It is suprisingly soft for its thickness and will get even softer with use. It wraps really nicely. It’s grippy but not too grippy that it is hard to wrap with. Once on it is so comfy and supportive and was a pleasure wearing both Eden and Ezra. I feel it would be more suited for bigger kids because of its heavy nature but there’s no reason you couldn’t use it for a smaller child too.

It looks really lovely on and I thought it was going to be a lot plainer than it is in real life. I was wrong though. It is really interesting and has a lovely bold pattern. The wrap came in a matching babywearing bag which was a really nice touch, but I that’s been stolen by Z. A small perk of having a husband who is wrap obvessed.

I have one small negative and one huge positive to add.

The negative is that it knots very big and this is a bit cumbersome and some may find this a problem for doing chest belts and candy canes if you are into that sort of thing like me. The positive is this … It is 76cm wide, the widest wrap I have ever used and I love that! I have always wanted to try a big wide wrap like this and I really love it now I have. The width is because of the handmade looms that are largely made from scraps that the weavers have found. Gotta love their make do attitude! For more information about Bebe Sachi and to see where you can buy their wonderful carriers check out these links.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BebeSachi

https://www.facebook.com/bebesachi

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Firespiral Slings Spindrift Cyano Seafoam

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I took this beautiful firespiral slings spindrift cyano seafoam out for a test drive today. Amazing as always! Fire spiral slings are so consistently brilliant you always know you are in for a treat when you use or buy one.

For starters the design and colour are stunning. Eden gasped and said “it’s like the sea is in the Forest” when she saw it. The hemp is quite slubby and I love the look and texture off this.

It is so supportive, both of my children were up for about half an hour today and it was equally comfortable with both of them. Amazingly soft hemp blend makes it suitable for tiny ones to big ones. It is easy to use and glides just right but also grips where needed.

I will definitely be in line trying to get one when they go on sale hopefully later this month.

Dare I say it… My favourite fispi so far? Its definitely up there with my hemp trees. Joint favourite I’m saying.

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Babywearing Hero’s

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When I got my first wrap I didn’t know how to use it, but I knew I wanted to learn. I had tried a few different tutorials but nothing had really stuck and I was still struggling to get that front wrap cross carry spot on without help. I posted on sling dads asking for help and one of the dads sent these two simple photos a while later with these words;

“First pic is to get a nice smooth back, lift both arms up whilst tightening rails and dipping shoulders slightly back into it. second pic to get a nice tight top rail around the babe, so tight over the shoulder and bent arm (think strongman pose) then under the babe’s opposite knee. A good seat sort of happens if you remember to keep knees higher than bum (think of an m shape with feet and bum being the low points). Wrapping is all about practice an technique through dude, it’ll suddenly all click and feel perfect. Hope this helps mate.”

It did click! He said it and showed it just how I needed to be told and shown! He will forever be one of the people I think of as helping me get to where I am with wearing my children happily and confidently and I will be forever grateful. Thank you Daren!

So with that in mind… When did it click for you? What was it that made it happen? And is there anyone, like Daren, that you will always think of as bring the person that got you to that point? If so, it’s time to tell them!

Wearing Twins

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Have you ever wondered about babywearing with twins? Do you know someone with twins that wants to learn? The amazing Amy House had written something for us to let us know about her journey.

Hello! I’m Amy and a single mama to Rylee who is 4 and Ava and Mia, who are 11 months.

Dom has asked me to talk a bit about wearing twins, and I hope it will be of some use to other twin mamas!

When I found out I was expecting twins, and even when they were born, I never would have imagined I would have been wearing them. I had a stretchy for Rylee and used that for around 8 months…I didn’t even know woven slings existed…when the twins came along I got another stretchy and after watching a YouTube video, I had them both snuggled in, I loved it and so did they.

The girls were (and still are) just so happy and content when they were wrapped. After the stretchy got a bit snug, I wore them both in 1 ring sling, I found it so easy, once I had got the hang of it! I’m lucky that I’ve been blessed with 2 very patient girls who don’t mind me practising new carries with them!

My first woven wrap was a kokadi diorite stars, I wrapped the girls in a tandem hip variation of a front cross carry, and after receiving a lot of comments and questions, I decided to do a YouTube tutorial. I’ve gone on to do more tutorials of different carries for wearing twins using either 1 woven or a combination of 2, which is how I tend to wear them now, a size 4 on the back and a 2 on the front.

There are so many options and combinations and some great groups for advice and help. A fellow twin mama Rose has recently become a consultant and has set up Twin sling, fb group.

I am so glad I discovered baby wearing as I have been able to comfort both babies when they have needed it, had my hands free to play games with my boy, and had double the cuddles whilst still being able to do the housework

Thank you Amy. Here is a link to her YouTube channel where she has some tutorials for anyone that wants to learn more.

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA_tWuiWepniuT1uJlCw9Zg

Babywearing for Everyone

 

 

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Hello lovely lot. I’ve had a few comments and messages from people who have said that they would really love to babywear but can’t afford to. Some of them when I have spoken about it have thought that it is all super expensive. Once I have shared a few cheaper brands and carriers with them they have been so relieved.

It seems that the very visible “high end” market may be putting some people off as they feel that it reflects all babywearing and carriers. There are some amazing carriers and wraps out there that are really affordable. The sling that Zena is carrying a sleeping Ezra in here is really beautiful and affordable. It cost under £60 new and you can pick them up second hand for anything from about £35. The good thing about a pre loved sling is that it has usually been broken in and softened up already. This often makes them more comfortable and in some cases easier to use.

So please share your favourite information and links for slings under £60. Let’s see if we can find people some bargains and reaffirm that babywearing is for everyone.

Babywearing is babywearing is babywearing

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Hello lovely people. I’m a real believer that babywearing is babywearing is babywearing! One sort isn’t better then another. It shouldn’t be about progressing towards wrapping, it should be about finding a way you are confident and comfortable carrying your child.

Ive been asked a few times about getting a partner who already uses a structured carrier into wrapping. If this is something they want to do then brilliant but if it isn’t why push it? I adore wraps and wrapping and it was something I was always interested in trying and wanted to do. I can see why some would think it seemed like a bit of a faff and be happier just sticking to other types of carriers though.

With that in mind here is a video of me showing you how I use a mei tai. Hope you like it, and spare a thought for my poor phone. I broke the screen making this tutorial. Whoops! Like a pro I still finished and put it on YouTube though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtnDOC0z4XY&list=UUs4fWJauff3g7G_kyU2Wp-AkyU2Wp-A

Owrapel Applelicious Review (26/03/14)

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I love testing new wraps and at the moment i am lucky enough to be testing this beautiful thing! It is Appleicious made by a company called Owrapel. As well as being such a lovely fun design it is a joy to wrap with. It glides really nicely and tightens easily yet is still grippy too. I have tried it a few times with Ezra who is a tall and heavy 18 month old. I found it nice and supportive and not diggy on the shoulders or waist.

My only issue was the width being just 60cm but this is being rectified when the wraps are released (along with two other designs) next month as they will be about 70cm wide. Another slight change will be the weight of about 240gs/m² will go up to about 290gs/m². This is going to be such a lovely cushy wrap.

Wow! Sorry about the technical stuff! What I mean is…. Oooh! Look at the pretty sling!

My first blog! & Green Parent Interview

Hello! Welcome to my new blog. I thought to introduce this and get started i would share an interview that i did for issue 56 of The Green Parent magazine. I hope you enjoy it.

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1)-What inspired you to start babywearing?

My wife, Zena, was inspired to start babywearing by a friend that she had met in a pregnancy yoga class. I was interested and loved the practicality of it but despite Zena’s efforts I didn’t try it for myself for a long time. It always looked a bit fiddly for me as a big clumsy guy and she did it so well that there didn’t feel like much need. When Zena went back to work my shift work meant that I had days off in the week where I would look after our daughter, Eden, on my own. I tried a napsak mei tai one day when in a rush to get to a musical tots group and loved the way it felt and how easy it was to get about and have my hands free to carry bags and do other things. I showed Zena my achievement when she got in from work and she was very happy and showed me ways to make it more comfortable and other ways of wearing.

 

2)-Can you describe your babywearing history?

I used the napsak and didn’t really look into anything else until Eden started to outgrow it. Zena had tried to get me a buckled carrier because she thought I’d like it but the one she got didn’t fit me. We ended up getting me a pre-loved wrap conversion mei tai and it was with this that I did my first ever back carry. The feeling the first time Eden snuggled down and fell asleep on my back was incredible. I got another mei tai that was more structured and had seat darts and padded straps and I was hooked. I loved it and I would wear Eden at every opportunity. When my son, Ezra, was born I started wearing him from the very beginning, at 1 day old putting him on my front in a close carrier and taking him down stairs so my wife could get some well needed sleep. I then realised what I had missed in not wearing Eden at this early stage.

It was at this time that I found the slingdads group on Facebook. It was started by an amazing guy called Simon who was looking for a place to find Dads like him but couldn’t find it so made his own. It was just what I needed at the time and it was brilliant speaking to likeminded dads. I started becoming interested in woven wraps and would try Zena’s with varying degrees of success but she didn’t have anything long enough for me to front carry with. I got my first woven wrap, a size 7 storchenwiege and I used so much that I soon got myself more wraps. I learned to do other carries and to back wrap and now can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner.

I’ve worn Ezra lots in the first year of his life, although he’s been exclusively breastfed we’ve been buddies from birth. I could read him, soothe him and understand his needs. I felt equal as a caregiver and not on the side-lines. Babywearing has enabled me to be the dad I wanted to be but was not sure how to be. It sounds crazy that a piece of material can do this but it really has.

I found slings were a great way to help soothe Ezra when he was a new-born. I’ve heard that the warmth and motion mimics feeling of being in the womb, it has been referred to as the fourth trimester. Being able to do something so intimate with my new-born which made him so happy was such a blessing and allowed my wife time to rest or to have some really important one to one time with Eden.

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3)-What is your favourite sling and why?

That’s a big question for me because I love them all. But if I had to narrow it down I would pick: my natibaby oogas wrap, my Fire Spirals seafoam wrap and my Oscha Orion wrap. All three mean a lot to me for very different reasons. Oogas was the first sling I saw that made me think ‘wow, I need to learn how to do that!’. Seafoam was made by a small British company in Bolton, and aside from being beautiful they are the comfiest, easiest to wrap with slings I’ve used. And lastly, Orion. The online sling world is a very big one. During my journey through babywearing I have met some genuinely amazing and kind people. After an accident left me unable to carry my children for a few weeks some of these online friends got together and bought Orion for me and presented it to me at the European babywearing conference in Bristol. I was overwhelmed and emotional that a group of people I’d never met could do something that would mean so much to me.

 

4)-What advice would you give to dads eager to try babywearing?

It is a shame babywearing, especially by dads is not more commonplace, but don’t worry about what other people think. Your happy baby will be all the proof you need that you are not crazy and wrapping your baby is a large cloth, mei tai or buckled carrier is a great thing to do!

It is such a wonderful and easy way to bond with your children. There is nothing better than walking along with Eden on my back chatting in my ear about everything she can see. If she was in a pushchair I would not be able to hear her and would have missed out on so many wonderful conversations. Babywearing allows us to discover together and be together.

I also like how safe children seem to feel in slings, they can gauge your reactions in unfamiliar situations rather than being pushed into them first with nowhere to hide. People always comment how happy and content they seem when they are in the sling.

 

5)-I loved the calendar that you created last year. What are your future plans with Slingdads?

The calendar was so much fun and raised a lot of money for our charities, and not just because my mum bought a copy for everyone she knows!  We aren’t planning on doing one this year though as there is a fantastic “Naked Babywearing” calendar being made by a group of mums in the north east that we will be supporting and hoping as many people buy it as possible.

We have recently hosted a workshop at the European Babywearing Conference which was great and we gained some great ideas for moving forward. We have since started the website and forum slingdads.co.uk – on the site we have sling reviews and information on carries and carriers and tutorials. We have a YouTube channel where we have some great montage videos and some of our wrap tutorials made by me and other dads.

Next year we will be having the first (hopefully of many) Slingdads Camp which we are all very excited about. We hope that this will involve activities for children and adults, entertainment, merchandise and a marketplace for retailers. We are hoping to have male babywearing consultants and peer supporters trained who will be running classes and informal drop in tips and tricks sessions. It’s still in the planning stage but keep an eye on the forum, website and Facebook page for more details.

 

6)-Please can you give us a brief biog about yourself (first name of partner, first name and ages of kids, county where you live) so that we can put your comments into context.

I’m Dom, a 31 year old from Reading, Berkshire. I’m married to Zena and we have a 3 year old daughter Eden and a 1 year old son Ezra. I work at Reading University as a security controller and Zena works at Reading University students union as a student money and housing advisor.