My Babywearing Journey & Baby Sling Carrier WrapyTM

Bekah title photo wrapy

Legalese Nonsense: I have been provided this wrap by Wrapy for reviewing for free, but have the freedom to state my own opinion and thoughts, and all my words and babywearing adventures and snuggles therein are thusly my own.

I can not even emphasize enough how much I love babywearing. Feeling the closeness and snugness of my little one, and their warm breath gently against my chest… smelling that baby smell… oh my…it just sends me and my oxytocin hormones into overdrive!

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Ollie and I snuggling when he was a baby!

I can still remember the first time I encountered baby-wearing as a missionary kid in Africa. I saw these fearless, bold warrior women who had survived brutal civil wars in west Africa, and yet had the tenderness and affection to hold their little ones close. These moms were living in the “poorest of the poor” conditions, and yet they knew more about baby-wearing than I have ever known with all my Youtube videos and online tutorials at my instantaneous disposal. They aren’t necessarily aware, like we are in our first-world society, of the benefits of baby-wearing scientifically speaking, but they know it is necessary if they are going to provide for their families. It isn’t a trend there or a fashion statement, it is survival. I always admired that, and long to live fearlessly and boldly in the face of life’s adversities like they have. To be as bold as a lion, but as gentle and tender as a lamb.

WRAPPPPY
My “bold as a lion/tender as a lamb” pose! Am I convincing? hee hee

Fast-forward years later, I am in my early 20’s and longing for a child after we had lost our Lily Neveah in March 2011. I had long since thrown out of my mind any real remembrance of baby-wearing from those brave West African women, but one Sunday, I saw a gorgeous young mama at our church baby-wearing her little newborn, and it was in an adorable stretchy wrap (although back then I didn’t know what a stretchy wrap was even). I thought it looked SO comfy and cute and stylish even.  I relished the thought and prayer and hope of one day holding my very own baby close in my arms and having the chance to babywear him or her.

Shortly after this encounter with the lovely young mom at my church, to our delight, we became pregnant! I quickly started researching everything I could about baby-wearing and had bought my own stretchy wrap, ring sling, and even a soft structured carrier, and then I awaited in eager expectation for my rainbow child to arrive so I could put the carriers to use.

Oliver - not even a day old yet! <3
Oliver – not even a day old yet! <3

When my son finally came into my eager arms and vacated my womb, I pretty much immediately put him into his first baby carrier the second we left the hospital, which was a linen ring sling. I also wore him in our stretchy wrap we owned, and loved the bond and connection I felt with my son in those moments I would babywear. We tried various carriers, and had many learning curves, but we both grew together not only in closeness, but together in our babywearing abilities as well. Oliver, with his continued trust in me as I attempted various different wraps and carriers with him, and me with learning to baby-wear properly. I still remember my biggest struggle was pulling the wraps strand by strand to make sure they were tight enough. BOY – can it be a workout, but so worth it once it is all done and secure!

WRAPY SUNSHINE
So supportive! Even my back is “happy as a clam” in this carrier!

 

 

With our son we ended up, as he got older, favoring our soft structured carrier and my woven wraps for their durability and support – especially with my back because I suffer from scoliosis, bone spurs, and arthritis in my spine (that is right… I have a horrible back. *cry * Chiropractor once told me that he has 70-year-old ladies with better backs then me!), but there is something so special about those newborn stages with our stretchy wrap and the coziness it brought that I always hold very dear to my heart. I can’t even count the days I spent with Oliver as a newborn in his stretchy wrap as I did my college coursework whiles my husband was at work. Oliver has always been my active child! Even from the womb, he was constantly moving, so it was no surprise that we always had to be moving (which my postpartum body was grateful for) to keep him happy, so our carriers became serious life savers!

Wrapy - Can buy on Amazon!!!
Wrapy – Can buy on Amazon!!!

All that to say, I just delivered our daughter 1 month ago, and so, my dear kindred reader, thou canst imagine my inner thrill when I was offered to receive a stretchy wrap from the company called Wrapy to try their product out and write a review. I just received the wrap a couple days ago, and have FINALLY been able to try it out! I was immediately enthralled with the softness and loved the dark blue color of the wrap. When I put it against my skin, the smoothness and coolness of the wrap just heightened my anticipation to put my darling daughter into it! I loved how easy the instructions were to follow, and before I knew it, my daughter and I were smooth sailings.

Wrapy copy
Such cute packaging!

 

Wrapy looking down
She fell RIGHT asleep once in it! She was super fussy, but this wrap was a miracle worker! <3

Now, because it is a stretchy wrap, I did have to work at making sure she was at kissing level and practice my T.I.C.K.S. (YES, beloveds, I am a stickler for SAFE baby-wearing so please research to ensure you wrap safely before starting), as well as make sure the wrap was tight enough. I also always go ahead and watch several wrapping videos on youtube to make sure I have everything correct and even learn helpful tricks and tips!

Side note: One of my favorite YouTube channels for baby-wearing is Wrapping Rachel, but there are numerous other tutorials on there that are fantastic!

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Ollie enjoying the sunshine!

Within a couple minutes of experimenting, tightening, and following the instructions, everything was super snug and wonderful with my Wrapy, and I was able to go outside and enjoy being with my toddler and husband in this beautiful spring sunshine! I also was able to just sit and cuddle on the couch later and let her slumber peacefully against my chest. I even was able to get some housework done, and work out a little bit, which my body desperately needs (so please give me grace for these photos! I am not in the shape I need to be yet, but I finally have the “all clear” to resume all activities postpartum – aka excercise as much as I want – YAY!) .

Josh and Ava Wrapy
Hubby loving his snuggles with Avonlea in the Wrapy!

She didn’t awaken or stir throughout all of these activites – even during our walk at a local park, which is a testament to how soft and comfy the wrap was against her delicate newborn skin! I was so grateful to have the perfect accessory, in a stunning color, to help me go about my day with success. Even my husband, who never enjoys wearing wraps of any kind, thoroughly enjoyed wearing Avonlea with our Wrapy, and kept on talking about how he couldn’t wait to wear her again!

Baby-wearing has seriously changed my life, and Wrapy is a fantastic brand, to hold your newborn close and get things done throughout the day! It is made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, which makes sense as to why it is so soft and breathable. It is super comparable to other stretchy wrap brands, and even more affordable then most, which I am all about!

Back view!
Back view!

SAFETY Note: I don’t find this stretchy wrap, or any stretchy wrap brand for that matter, supportive enough to do any back-wearing safely or carry a toddler in, but for the younger baby stage, they are fantastic! I also don’t recommend doing the cradle hold that is listed in the instruction manual (a lot of stretchy carriers offer this carry suggestion, but it isn’t safe due to potential breathing restriction issues.) I am one to always er on the side of caution with these type of matters.

Hubby kept on exclaiming how surprised he was at how much he loved this wrap! He has NEVER liked a wrap before! (PS: Aren't baby-wearing dads the best?!)
Hubby kept on exclaiming how surprised he was at how much he loved this wrap! He has NEVER liked a wrap before! (PS: Aren’t baby-wearing dads the best?!)

In glorious conclusion, I love how with baby-wearing I am able to accomplish all my daily goals at once and even have the freedom to chase around my wild toddle-bear as well! Since I am in school, working from home, trying to be a mom/wife, and look for a job in the medical field… to not be as productive as possible in a day is not really an option for me. I also go stir-crazy having to just sit around, so baby-wearing has given me access to new freedoms and saved me many times! I will forever be grateful to baby-wearing for allowing me to be a present and nurturing mother, as well as a productive and fearless woman in this crazy, fast-paced world!

Have you tried babywearing? What was your experience? What carriers do you enjoy? Tell me about it all, my kindred spirits!

Affectionately yours,

Rebekah M. Clark

PRODUCT NOTE: Here is the direct link to look at purchasing your very own Wrapy baby-carrier! So worth it in my opinion!

Almost a Big Boy & How Luvs Is Helping!

Luvs Diapers The Clue Is In the Blue
Legalese Nonsense: After 3 weeks of washing sheets, stuffed animals, and blankets *every* day I was ready to say yes to anything that would provide relief! Cue SheSpeaks & Luvs offering me a chance to try their Super Absorbent Diapers! All skeptical opinions, almost big boys, and adorable diapered tushies are my own.

Tyler is a big boy…..almost. At 3 years old he’s potty trained (mostly) and in a big boy bed that he stays in (4 nights out of 7).

When Amber was little almost as soon as she turned 2 I jumped on Operations Lose the Paci  & Ditch the Diapers, with the motivation of new baby arriving soon I was happy and relieved when she was both Paci-Free and Potty Trained relatively quickly & easily. Tyler…well Tyler is a whole different kettle of fish. Ever my super strong willed boy he’s also still considered “the baby” since there is no new little Elliott planned for a very long time to come. Also I’m very thankful for many of my mommy friends with older boys who highly encouraged me to not push potty training until he was after 3 years old–advice I was more than happy to listen to!

So his paci hung around for a super long time past his 2nd bday at night & naps until Bob figured out he was still using it and put and ending to all that cold turkey. (brutal but it worked, haha!!!) As far as potty training goes I halfheartedly started off when he was about 2 1/2 and he’d “get” it then decide he didn’t really care anymore, and with how busy I’ve been over the past 1/2 year and how much travelling we’ve been doing I knew that when he was ready, it would happen, so I haven’t pushed it. Once he turned 3 I cracked down and now he’s doing well but I still need/use diapers for naps & bedtimes. I’ve been having problems lately, however, since he’s such a big kid and he still naps for several hours a day and sleeps for 11-12 hours straight at night (no hating please–he’s a force to be reckoned with when he’s awake and *never* stops moving, which is why he needs so much sleep, haha!) So anyways because of all of that lately he’s been *soaking* through his diapers–even those uber expensive over night ones, boo!

Continue reading “Almost a Big Boy & How Luvs Is Helping!”

Five Unique Baby Shower Gifts You’re Overlooking ~ Mama’s Emergency Kit

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I was provided with a pack of BabyGanics Hand and Face wipes to clean off Tyler’s adorable yet always dirty face. All amazingly clever ideas, pictures, and messy babies are my own

Today’s gift idea of giving a Mama’s Emergency Kit is super practical and super fun!! I had the most amazing MOPs group in Boston and they always had the most clever, practical crafts–this is one of the ones we made and it has come in handy *so* many times since then! It’s small enough to stick into your purse or leave in your car glove box.

I tried to find where they printed off this beyond cute insert for the baggy but couldn’t find it–you could easily make one for yourself using PicMonkey and free stock people or if I get enough interest I’ll create a new, downloadable one–so let me know if you’d like me to!

Continue reading “Five Unique Baby Shower Gifts You’re Overlooking ~ Mama’s Emergency Kit”

Chemical Free Baby Products ~ Ology

Ology Products

More and more companies are jumping on the chemical free train and striving to make products that are green and free of harmful chemicals. As a mommy of two kiddos with eczema this makes me very happy! When Amber was a little baby in 2008 it seemed most of the only natural and chemical free products were all extremely expensive which was confusing and frustrating for me. I’m so happy to see companies like Ology who are making great, natural products both affordable and easily available as it’s offered exclusively at Walgreens-which has recently become one of my weekly shopping destinations now that I’ve jumped into the “drugstore game” as couponers call it.



Ology Baby
Even my messy monster loves the Ology Bubbles!

Ology offers everything from shampoo to light bulbs and 100% tree-free paper products. I opted to go for the baby products and conditioners, as that’s where I spend the bulk of my chemical free dollars! I was pleasantly surprised at how these brands cost as much as, if not a little less than, many of the comparable brands. At under $15 for 3 good sized bottles which included moisturizing conditioner, soothing baby lotion, and baby shampoo and wash my deep down frugal heart rejoiced!

Baby Lotion

A product is only as good as it works in my mind, however green, safe, or cheap it is. The value for the price is always the bottom line and while I usually shop deals I will splurge on items if I can’t find a better alternative that delivers the quality I expect.

The quality of the Ology products blew me away! The scent of all of them is light and great-and since it’s all natural I’ve been able to use it on Amber without it breaking her out (note: this is just the case for her, if your baby has ecezema always be extremely careful with any scented product-natural or not). The lotion is thick and rich-as you can see in the picture above, and I love that the body wash pulls double duty as shampoo and works great at both (which some multipurpose claims don’t really do).  The price, quality, and availability means that I will definitely be purchasing them to use for both my little ones in the future!

What is your favorite, safe Baby Product? Do you have any Tips for Dealing With Eczema I might have missed?

I was sent a Walgreen’s gift card for the purposes of obtaining Ology products to review. No other compensation was offered or received. No suggestions or requests to select specific products within the Ology line were offered. I was in no way obligated to write a positive review and all opinions are mine and mine alone.

Nicole Elliott

Love2Read Book Review

With his new job Bob has to be gone a lot. I knew it would have to come at some point, he is in the military after all, but playing “single mom” with a toddler and a newborn is proving to be a little tricky! I also knew it would be hard on Amber to have Daddy gone working all the time when she’s so used to having him at home. When I got the chance to pick a love2read book out to create and review I knew the My daddy… one would be just perfect for us!!!! Each page begins with My daddy… but I was able to completely personalize it with my own pictures and the rest of the sentence. I love how it turned out and Amber does too. Plus I think it made my husband feel really special when I showed him the book we made where he’s the star! The quality is great and the pages are made of thick glossy card stock so they’re easy for Amber to turn and won’t wrinkle easily. These books are super affordable too! I’ve already recommended them to several friends after getting mine in and definitely plan on purchasing more in the future! With tons of different themes there are so many different books you can create!

To show you how amazing this little book is here is a video of Amber “reading” it with me!

Love2Read Book Review

6/19/2014 Update — so now many years later this little book is still one of our favorites! Amber (who is now 6) read it to us last night and it makes a perfect “early reader” book. She loved giggling over the old pictures and she found the page where “you and Daddy are in loooooove” to be especially giggle worthy. So happy we have this book and now I’m inspired to go make a few for Tyler!