Benefits of Babywearing

toddler babywearingMore and more parents are realizing the immense benefits of wearing their baby. Among these benefits are less crying from your baby, the chance to bond with dad and other caregivers, and increased socialization. Read on to learn more about each of these benefits of babywearing.

Less crying

Another benefit of babywearing is less crying from your baby. According to research, babies who are carried regularly cried an average of 43% less than those who weren’t. Many times babies are fed, changed, and burped, yet continue to cry. Often all they want is to be next to mom or another person. The attention given makes babies feel well-attended to, and the movement from walking resembles the movement the baby got used to while in the womb and so calms the baby down. Also, if there are any loud noises or other things that might scare or startle the baby if he was on his own, mom or dad is right there to offer comforting words and to calm the baby down.

Increased socialization

Babies who are worn by their parents get the chance to experience socialization earlier than those who aren’t. Babies get to see others up close and watch facial expressions of family members and others as they interact with mom or dad. When carried in a cradle hold, where they are face-to-face with mom or dad, they get the benefits of a close up view of emotions and facial expressions.

Increased stimulation by the world around them

When babies are being carried in a sling, particularly in a position where they’re facing outwards, they can learn about the world from your perspective. Rather than laying in a crib or playpen staring at the ceiling, young babies are moving around and being exposed to the world around them. They experience how things move, cause and effect type situations, and they see what everyday life in their world is like. Also, because they are crying less, they have more time for looking around and taking in visual stimuli.

Regulation

Especially in newborns, babywearing helps regulate their bodily processes such as breathing and heart rate. The person wearing the baby acts as an external regulator. The regular rhythms of parents’ breathing, walking, and heartbeat have a regulating effect on the baby’s irregular rhythms.

Increases hormone levels

Babywearing can help increase prolactin (important for breastfeeding) and oxytocin (important for feelings of well-being and happiness) in the mother. These can also help reduce the feelings of stress common in new moms.

Smarter

According to Dr. William Sears, a leading attachment parenting expert, babywearing can help babies become smarter. This is due to the reasons stated above; the increased socialization and stimulation from the objects and people around them provide invaluable learning experiences starting from a young age.

More interaction with dad and other caregivers

Especially if mom is breastfeeding, dad and other family members probably don’t get much opportunity to bond with baby. By babywearing, your baby will get used to the unique rhythms of others, and being comforted by dad and others will help her bond with them.

The Rich History of Babywearing

Cultural BabywearingBabywearing has become popularized recently among those in developing countries. It’s often thought of as a revolutionary new concept. However, babywearing is nothing new; in fact, it has been around for thousands of years. Babywearing has a rich history. Nowadays we have slings and carriers of all different materials and designs, but even before the manufacturing of baby carriers, women used whatever they had to wear their babies, such as sheets or shawls.

Babywearing was the norm in the U.S. until around the 1900′s, when parents were advised by doctors and other child rearing “experts” to not hold their babies very long or their babies would be spoiled. Thus there was a rise in products such as strollers and cribs, and a decline in babywearing. Only the poor who couldn’t afford a stroller would still babywear, and it was looked down upon.

According to drsears.com, one of the leading resources for attachment parenting, in cultures where babywearing is the norm, babies cry much less often, and crying is measured in minutes rather than hours as is common in Westernized cultures. Many women in countries where it is still popular find the fact that some babies ride in strollers perplexing.

Babywearing saw a resurgence in the United States in about 1981, when Rayner Garner invented a sling called a ring sling. The sling was taken up by Dr. William Sears, and it only continued to grow in popularity thereafter. We still have a ways to go before babywearing becomes more mainstream in the U.S. and other Westernized countries, but we are getting there!

Types of baby carriers around the world

It’s a very beautiful thing to see all the different types of baby carriers used around the world. One popular style of baby carrier is called a Mei Tai, which is actually a traditional Chinese baby carrier. The version referred to as a Mei Tai in the U.S. has been modernized, but the concept remains the same. Here are some other examples of traditional baby carriers.

Inuit: Inuit mothers wear their babies in an amauti. This is like an oversized coat with a “pocket” for carrying the baby in.

Native Americans: Babies were often worn in a cradleboard. This was a board to which the baby was tied and the worn on the mother’s back.

Peru: Peruvians mothers wear their babies in a manta.

Welsh: A siol fagu, which means a nursing shawl, was used by Welsh mothers to carry their babies.

Korea: Korean mothers wear a podegi or podegai.

Indonesia: A selendang is a long wrap used in Indonesia for carrying babies.

Papua New Guinea: a bilum is worn across the forehead, and then the baby goes in back.

Mexico: Mexican moms use a rebozo to wear their babies. It is a square shaped cloth.

There are many other countries and cultures in which babywearing was (and sometimes still is) common. In parts of Africa, a khanga is popular. It is a type of wrap that is tied low around a mother’s back, so that the baby rides low. European mothers used to use pouches and wraps as well.

Boba Baby Wrap Review

Green Boba Baby WrapThinking of babywearing but don’t have a big budget for buying a baby carrier? The Boba Baby Wrap is a great option that won’t break the bank, running at a cost of about $38. But can a baby carrier on the lower end of the price range be as good as more high-end ones? Read on to find out.

Design

The Boba Baby Wrap is made out of 95% cotton and 5% spandex. It’s very simple and functional; there are no buttons or snaps to contend with or bother your baby. It’s easy to fold it up and pack it in your diaper bag. There is also the option to purchase an organic version of the wrap. It comes in a wide variety of color and pattern options.

Features

The Boba Baby Wrap is designed for use by the youngest of babies up to about 18 months or 35 pounds. In fact, it is great for use for kangaroo care in premature infants. It can be used for front carry positions as well as infant holds. It is designed so that your baby’s weight is distributed evenly for your comfort. The sturdiness of the material makes it be able to be used hands free. The Boba Baby Wrap is also machine washable.

The Boba Wrap is designed to be easy to use, but they also offer instructions to help you get the hang of tying the wrap. Go here for detailed wrapping instructions for two different holds complete with pictures of every step.

Cost

The Boba Baby Wrap costs $38. The price may be a little higher for certain prints. An organic version is also available for about $60.

Reviews

The Boba Baby Wrap has received 4.3 out of 5 stars as an average customer satisfaction rating on Amazon.com, with a total of 70 reviews.

Customer reviews praised the ease of use. Many agreed that it is an easy wrap to tie, which makes it a good compromise for those who want the customizability of a wrap but not the difficulty of learning to tie it right. There were mixed reviews on the issue of temperature while wearing the wrap. Some said it left them sweating, while others said that compared to other wraps, the Boba wrap was a lot cooler. Another complaint was that for petite people, the amount of fabric after tying was too much. Another commenter mentioned that a good solution was to tie the fabric around again.

On the Boba manufacturer’s website, the wrap got a solid 5 out of 5 stars as rated by seven users. One user has used the Boba wrap over the course of four years and two kids, and she says it’s still as strong as when she first got it. Another reviewer mentioned that it has withstood lots of washings and drying and is still holding up fine. She does mention that learning to tie it just right is a little tough. Another reviewer used it with her newborn and said it was “like a womb outside of the womb”.

You can purchase the Boba Baby Wrap on form Kiwibabyshop.com.  They have a good selection of colors as well as a pattern option and an organic option.

Will Babywearing make my baby too dependent?

Like many other issues where a new mom is going against the norm, a mom’s decision to babywear may be met with resistance from well-meaning family and friends. One question these moms may hear is “Won’t she become too dependent on you if you’re carrying her all the time?” in addition to, “You need to put her down and let her cry more…she’ll get too spoiled.” As inexperienced new moms, some women may question their decision or become unsure of themselves. So, what’s the real answer? Will babywearing make your baby too dependent? The simple answer: No, babywearing will not make your baby too dependent. Read on for an explanation.

Attachment parenting

This is a method of parenting popularized by Dr. William Sears, a pediatrician and author of numerous books. Attachment parenting encourages things like breastfeeding and cosleeping. The idea is to build a loving, trusting relationship with your baby by responding to his needs and keeping him close. Among the things recommended is babywearing.

It all comes down to this one simple principle: your child will feel loved and secure when his needs are met, thus ultimately making him more confident and independent when it’s the right time. Of course, this independence doesn’t come right away, but rather is something instilled in your baby from a young age. The flipside to this is that babies who are left to cry it out may end up feeling less secure in having their needs met, thus leading to decreased independence. Babies who are left on their own may feel insecure because they don’t know whether they will be attended to right away or not when they cry. And no, the experts say your baby will not be spoiled by being taken care of right away. Babies naturally need to be close to their mother especially in their early months.

In addition to gaining the skill of independence, babies who are worn by their mothers also experience better socialization and more stimulation by the world around them. In fact, babywearing is so beneficial for babies that it has led to statements like that of James Prescott, Ph.D., “The single most important child rearing practice to be adopted for the development of emotional and social healthy infants and children is to carry the newborn/infant on the body of the mother/caretaker all day long…”

Common practice

Before the concept of attachment parenting existed, people practiced many of its principles. Babywearing was and still is a very common practice in many countries. With the practice of babywearing being so widespread, it’s hard to imagine that it would be so persistent if it was detrimental to children’s sense of independence. In fact, if we even look at animals, we find that there are many in the animal kingdom that carry their babies as well. It’s a universal practice. In fact, the idea that babies should not be held often, should sleep in a crib, and should be left to “cry it out” is a fairly modern idea, conceived in the early 1900’s.

The bottom line

Babywearing will not make your baby too dependent; on the contrary, it will help make them more independent in the long run. In addition, there are many other benefits of babywearing that make it a practice worth doing with your baby.

Kolcraft Contours Options 3 Wheeler Stroller Review and Giveaway!

I’m back again!

To celebrate Jackson’s first birthday and the beginning of spring, here is a review on the Kolcraft Contours Options 3 Wheeler Stroller. One of my lucky followers will also get one of their own!

Michelle from Kolcraft is awesome and sent me the stroller for review purposes. First of all, I have got to tell you how much I LOVE the color! I am a HUGE fan of bright things so this stroller is right up my alley! The stroller that we received for review is the ruby one and it’s just amazing!

I’m going to get my one Con of the stroller out of the way before I go on to tell you how much I like it:
The stroller is listed under the “Lightweight” section of the Kolcraft website but it is pretty bulky and heavy. It weighs 27 pounds! If it wasn’t listed as a lightweight stroller I would have no problem with this, I just wasn’t expecting it to be so big! It also takes up quite a bit of room in my big trunk:

Kolcraft in Trunk

 

Hello World:

Kolcraft Facing Foward

Hi Mom!

Kolcraft Rear Facing

 

It is really easy to switch the seat direction, you just pop the seat off, turn it around, and pop it back onto the stroller base.

Other reasons I love the Kolcraft Contours Options 3 Wheeler:
The basket is pretty roomy but not huge. It fits my Vera Bradley diaper bag just fine, along with some shopping bags but if I am using my Fleurville MotherShip diaper bag that day, the bag is pretty much the only thing that will fit in the basket.

The seat reclines and the foot rest is adjustable. Jackson is a very long baby so I’m going to have to put the foot rest down soon but so far it’s been great.

There is a 5 Point Harness which is very important to me!

The stroller has a 40 pound weight limit so Jackson will get to use the stroller for a long time (he is between 19 and 20 pounds right now at 1 year old)

And again, I just have to mention how easy it is to push and steer the stroller and how pretty it is :)

The stroller is also very comfortable for Jackson, he is kind of a stroller snob but he likes this one and even falls asleep in it when we are out! (That is amazing because he usually only sleeps in his crib or car seat!

Here’s a picture of Jackson enjoying his Contours Stroller:

Kolcraft-Jackson

 

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for!

One of you will win your very own Kolcraft Contours Options 3 Wheeler! WHOOOO!

To enter:
Leave a separate comment for each entry and leave me your e-mail address so I have a way to contact you if you win!

MANDATORY ENTRY:
*Head on over to the Kolcraft Website and find something that you have to have. Come back here and leave me a comment telling me what you found.

Extra Entries (Leave a separate comment for each)
*Follow Kolcraft on Twitter
*Follow my blog via Google Friends
*Browse my blog and tell me something you learned about cloth diapers
*Tweet about this giveaway, include a link to this blog entry, also include @Kolcraft You may Tweet 1 time per day.
*Spread the word about this giveaway on Facebook

This giveaway will end on 11:59pm on April 7th. I will then use Random.org to pick the winner, the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail. If they do not respond, a new winner will be chosen!

Good luck and thanks again to Kolcraft for the review and giveaway opportunity!

I’m Back! I’m Back!

I did not fall off of the face of the earth, I just got busy, then lazy ::doh!::

I promise to be back to posting regularly soon, I have several reviews and giveaways to do, including one from Kolcraft!
Speaking of Kolcraft, they are currently hosting a silent auction on their facebook page to benefit the children of Haiti. I think this is an AWESOME event and if you are a mom or a mom to be, you should start bidding on the amazing items! I’m bidding :)
All proceeds from the auction will go to the KIDS relief fund.
Kolcraft is such an awesome company and I’m so happy that they are doing something to help the children of Haiti!
To bid on something, just go to their facebook page and leave a comment with the amount you are bidding under the item that you want!
More later!

Greetings From Florida!

We are on vacation this week…we’re in Florida in the Orlando area.

I didn’t know what I was going to do about diapers because I didn’t want to have to pay a ton for an extra bag to take our cloth diapers and I didn’t know what the laundry situation would be like. After a quick google search, I found a local diaper service in Orlando, Eco-Diaper Service.
We are renting a house for the week and this morning, I got a delivery!
1 2 3
Keep checking in throughout the week to see how our diaper service experience is going!

Cloth Diapering While on Vacation

I was very excited to get our package of diapers from Eco-Diaper Service this morning! Jackson had been stuck in sposies for the past 2 days and I was more than ready to get back to cloth.

Michelle from Eco-Diaper Service in Orlando, Florida has been EXTREMELY helpful and accommodating to me and my situation. Jackson is long and skinny and in-between prefold sizes. Michelle agreed to let us use half newborn diapers and half infant diapers. Perfect!
I checked the diapers out when they got here and they are so clean! I didn’t really know what to expect but I didn’t find one stain which impressed me a lot. I changed Jackson into cloth right away. We started with a newborn diaper and a small Thirsties cover…No leaks!
The next diaper change, I used another newborn diaper with a Thirsties Duo Wrap. We went and visited with my husband’s aunt and uncle and Jackson did leak while we were there but he had been drinking a lot. The fit of the newborn prefold is good for him but he needs the absorbency of the infant prefold.
We got through the rest of the day with no more leaks which is good news! For overnight, I trifolded a newborn prefold and stuck it on the middle section of an infant prefold then trifolded that one. He went to bed 3 hours ago and hasn’t woken up yet so – so far – so good! I’m hoping this combination will keep him dry through morning…if not, I’ll try something different for overnight.
I’m so happy that I contacted Eco-Diaper Service so I could continue cloth diapering while on vacation. The customer service is amazing so if you are vacationing in the Orlando area, definitely check them out! I’m sure they would be more than willing to accommodate your family.
All I had to bring on vacation to continue cloth diapering was a small wet bag to keep in my diaper bag and our covers. I also brought a small sample bag of Rockin’ Green cloth diaper detergent so I can wash the covers while we are here.
If you live in the Orlando area and would like to start using a diaper service — definitely check out Eco-Diaper Service! I checked out their newsletter that is on their site and if you use the discount code “holiday2009″ when you sign up for the service, you can save $5 off of your setup package! That offer is good until December 31st.
I will keep you updated during the rest of our vacation but so far, everything has been great!

Bummis Organic Cotton Diaper Kit Review and Giveaway

The wonderful people at Bummis were nice enough to send me my own Organic Cotton Diaper Kit to use and review. I love the kit, it’s awesome. In it is everything you could possibly need to start cloth diapering FULL TIME!

After much debate, we received the Baby sized kit (15-30 lbs)
Bummis Cloth Diapers
The kit contains:
18 baby size Organic Cotton Prefold Diapers (4x8x4 layers thick)
2 Super Whisper Wraps – Medium
2 Super Brites – Medium
1 Roll of Bio – Soft Liners – Large
5 Reusable Fleece Liners
1 Fabulous Wet Bag – Large
User Guide
The infant kit fits babies from 8-15 lbs and contains:
24 infant size Organic Cotton Prefold Diapers (4x8x4 layers thick)
4 Super Whisper Wraps – Small
2 Super Brites – Small
3 Rolls Bio-Soft Liners – Small
5 Reusable Fleece Liners
1 Fabulous Wet Bag – Large
User Guide
After using the kit for a few weeks, it is now clear to me that I should have chosen the infant kit :DOH!:
The medium covers fit Jackson, but just barely! I think he would fit much better in the small covers. Jackson had an appointment today and he is just a little over 18 pounds. He is also 29 inches tall (less than the 10th percentile for weight, 75th percentile for height)

The covers have leaked a little for us overnight but I’m positive it’s because they are just too big for him. I’ll re-review the covers in a few months when Jackson has grown into them more!
The prefold diapers are amazingly soft and quilty, I really like them! I also love that they are organic.
The Fabulous wet bag that came with the kit is exactly that — fabulous! It is very big and it has a zipper as well as a drawstring, which I love. I hang it on Jackson’s door in his room and it works out great! I have a different wet bag that has a zipper on the bottom and that one leaks because of the zipper, I don’t have any leaking problems with this one!
The flushable liners are AWESOME! I had been using the Imse Vimse ones and the Bummis liners are MUCH softer, I couldn’t believe the difference between the two kinds! I will definitely be using the Bummis liners from here on out.
You can find a retailer near you that carries the kit as well as other Bummis products on the Bummis website.
I really feel lucky that I got to review this Diapering kit…and now, thanks to Bummis, one of you will win one of your own, in the size that you need!
To enter…leave a separate comment for each entry and please leave your e-mail address…I can’t contact you if you win if you forget to leave your e-mail address!
Mandatory entry: Head on over to Bummis and find your favorite product. Come back here and leave a comment telling me what that product is.
Extra entries (leave a separate comment for each):
*Follow my blog publicly
*Become a fan of Bummis on Facebook
*Grab my button and put it on your blog, leave me a link
*Tweet about this giveaway, you may do this once a day. Include @TheCDExperiment @Bummis #clothdiaper and a link to this giveaway in your tweet! Include the link to your status in your comment please!
*For THREE extra entries, E-mail me a photo of a kind of prefold – fold that you use. After weeks of fighting Jackson, I’m giving up and he won’t be able to be the model for the different kinds of folds :(
I will be using the photos on the blog in a special folding post. You get 3 extra entries for each photo you send in! Please send photos to: TheClothDiaperExperiment(at)gmail(dot)com
Good Luck!
This giveaway will end on December 17th. Random.org will choose the winner who will then have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail. If I don’t get a response, a new winner will be chosen!

Bummis Prefold, Super Whisper Wrap and Super Brite Cover Review and Giveaway

As you may have previously read, Maggie from Cuddle Wuddle Diaper Co
. sent me some Bummis prefolds and covers to try out. She also sent me some covers to giveaway! I also decided to giveaway half of the prefolds she sent me since I’ve kept you all waiting for a giveaway for so long…
I love the Bummis prefolds, they are super soft and absorbent and we haven’t had any leaking issues with them at all. I apologize for not having any pictures of Jackson modeling the prefolds, I find it impossible to snappi them to his wiggly butt these days!
The Bummis covers are also really nice. They are very thick but we have had some leaking issues with them. I am almost positive it is because they are still too big (we are trying out some mediums and the velcro completely overlaps and is still a bit too big in the waist). The medium covers are made for babies 15-30 pounds and Jackson is a very long, skinny baby and is about 17 pounds right now. He can fit 3 month pants in the waist but he needs 12-18 month pants for the length if that will give you any perspective.
I love the prints that the covers come in and the celery dot is my favorite!
I am giving away 3 infant Bummis Organic Cotton Prefold Diapers, 1 small Super Brite Bummis cover, and 1 small Bummis Super Whisper Wrap.
bummis prefold 1
Here are the prints that you are entering to win:
bummis prefold 2
The infant sized prefolds fit babies from 7-20 lbs.

The small covers fit babies from 8-16 lbs.
Please only enter this giveaway if your baby will fit in the prize!
To enter…leave a separate comment for each entry and please leave your e-mail address…I can’t contact you if you win if you forget to leave your e-mail address!
Mandatory entry: Head on over to Cuddle Wuddle and find your favorite product. Come back here and leave a comment telling me what that product is.
Extra entries (leave a separate comment for each):
*Follow my blog publicly
*Follow me on Twitter
*Grab my button and put it on your blog, leave me a link
*Tweet about this giveaway, you may do this once a day. Include @TheCDExperiment and #clothdiaper in your tweet! Include the link to your status in your comment please!
Good Luck!