So, I'm now officially on Maternity Leave and *not so* patiently awaiting the arrival of baby no 5.
One to one babywearing consultations and group demos are now on hold for the next while but the sling hire service and online shop are business as usual.
As always, I'm available to all my clients for any questions you may have following a babywearing consultation, so please feel free to get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In preparation for our newest arrival, I've washed and ironed the slings I'll be bringing with me and have finally finished packing the hospital bag.
Here are the slings I'll be bringing in with me:
Wrapsody Hybrid Stretch (Green) - this wrap comes packed with memories for us as three of our babies have already been carried in this so far over the past 10yrs since I bought it. It's very light to wear compared to some of the thicker, heavier stretchy wraps but what's really great about it is that as it's a hybrid, it can be used for front, back and hip carries and can be worn in a front wrap cross carry aswell as a pocket wrap cross carry, so can be lovely and light to wear especially in the warm settings of a hospital.
JPMBB Little Wrap Without a Knot (Lavender & Brown) - this ring sling has a bit of stretch and bounce and is perfect for a new baby. With only one layer of material over baby, it'll keep us both nice and cool.
Lenny Lamb Woven Wrap Size 6 (Rainbow) - this bamboo/cotton mix wrap is lovely and soft and wraps a newborn really nicely. It's also a lightweight option for warmer days so perfect for the warm hospital setting. I'm looking forward to using this in front wrap cross carry with a twist and for kangaroo carry.
I look forward to posting actual action shots in a couple of weeks.
It's lovely to be able to have baby tucked inside a stretchy wrap for skin to skin, especially in those early hours and days in the hospital and the wrap will keep you fully covered at the same time, not to mention the handiness of being able to get up and move about or even to use the bathroom without having to disturb the little cherub. Daddies can also use the stretchy wrap for skin to skin which is a lovely way for daddy and baby to get to know each other and keep little one warm and close at the same time.
While I'm on the subject of packing fluff for the hospital, here are some other fluffy things that are going into my bag:
Mama fluff - I had been using a menstrual cup, reusable tampons and sea sponges for a year before becoming pregnant and so I decided that this time I'd also use mama cloth post partum. I managed to get a good deal from Cheeky Wipes during Real Nappy Week and so this lot of washable post partum pads along with with some normal day time pads and some back up Natracare Maternity Pads from Earthmother which are biodegradeable will do me over the next few weeks.
Cord Tie - I've gotten a beautiful cord tie from Crochet by Orla which will be used in place of the hospital issue plastic cord tie - action photos will follow once baby has arrived!
Cloth Nappies - this will be our 4th baby in cloth. Baby No1 was in Moltex Eco Disposables back in 1996 when he was a baby. I ventured into cloth 10yrs ago with baby no 2 and the same stash will do us again this time around. Except for a few newborn nappies that I purchased second hand, everything else was stored in the attic awaiting a new bum. I have everything I need from cloth nappies to cloth wipes and wet bags all ready to go! If you're interested in checking out cloth nappies, contact Cloth Nappy Library Ireland for some info & to arrange a cloth nappy trial!
Breastpads - these bamboo breastpads were bought in 2010 on baby no 3 and are washed and ready for use again for their 3rd baby! They can be washed in with normal clothes and using lanolin creams doesn't effect them at all. I found these so much better than disposable breastpads and the fact that I'm gettting a 3rd use out of them says it all really!
Hopefully we won't be left waiting too long to meet this little one and I'll be spamming you all with some precious newbie sling pics.
Enjoy your summer and have lots of lovely babywearing adventures while you can!
I was delighted to help co-ordinate this beautiful Madalo Handwoven Wrap on it's travels around Ireland!
Who are they?
Madalo is run by Yuridia from Mexico & Christoph from Germany. Together, they decided to offer handwoven wraps from Mexico to customers in Europe. These wraps are fair-trade, OEKO-TEX® 100 certified and handwoven on traditional looms with passion and love!
The wrap I've had the pleasure of trying out is Madalo Grasias Blanco, woven in Two Eyes Diamond Twill. With a weight of 300gsm, this wrap is most definitely toddler-worthy.
The wrap was well packaged, delivered in a large heavy duty Madalo box, presented in a cloth bag. First impressions of the wrap were that it was so soft and I loved the colours; various blues on white weft with a gradient to grey with purple tones. I'm a sucker for blue so these colours really caught my eye.
At 300gsm or grams per square meter, this wrap is on the heavier side and would definitely stand up to the weight of a large toddler/preschooler. I had my 3.5yr old, 14.5kg daughter in a ruck and she felt very comfortable. With such a densely woven wrap there was no digging at the shoulders like I'd get with some lighter wraps when wearing a toddler.
The wrap is marshmallow soft and cushy, like a favourite blanket and as I understand, it's like this from new. At 70cm wide and 470cm long or a Size 6, this size wrap is my perfect base size and would be perfect for trying out almost all carries.
I had my trusty newborn demo doll in a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) and had a lovely chunky knot tied behind my back.
Due to the thickness of this wrap, a little extra attention to tightening strand by strand through the rails is needed but once tied, there's a lovely grip that will keep it all in place.
I really enjoyed carrying my 3.5yr old daughter (14.5kg) on my back in a Rucksack Carry. I'm 29wks pregnant in these photos and liked being able to finish tied tibetan so that I had no knots around my waist/stomach. While a 14.5kg preschooler won't feel totally weightless, she was very comfortable on my back, there was a soft padded cushiness on my shoulders, thanks to the chunky wrap and her weight was distributed nicely across my shoulders and chest. This wrap came loaded with sleepy dust as she was asleep before I had even finished wrapping! She was up for about 30 minutes when I transferred her to the couch and she was kept cosy for a snooze with the Madalo draped over her!
We had lots of fun trying out a hip carry, which is a lovely way to carry when pregnant. My busy 3.5yr old didn't want up for too long though so I had some fun myself after with some belly wrapping ☺
I'm due baby no 5 at the end of July so will be keeping an eye out on upcoming releases for a lovely legacy wrap for this little one. Definitely my very last purchase to complete my perma stash...
Thank you Madalo for sending your wrap travelling around Éire. I'm now sending it on to the next lucky participant to begin it's maiden voyage around Ireland!
Look what's arrived at Leanbh Babywearing HQ. The new Tula Free To Grow Soft Structured Carrier!
This carrier can be used from 7lb to 45lb and the body panel is adjustable in three width settings and two height settings allowing you to use this carrier from newborn without an infant insert.
The carrier comes with a removable hood and can be used for front (parent facing) and back carries. Padded shoulder straps and waistband offer lots of comfort and support for the wearer and there's even a handy pocket at the front of the waistband that could hold a phone or purse.
So I tried out the Tula Free To Grow with my newborn doll, 4mth doll and toddler size doll. It was easy to adjust both the width and the height of the body panel. The hood is removable which is a very handy option to have. You can easily attach it with the hook and loop snap fasteners inside the body panel.
The waistband extends to 140cm and the shoulder straps extend to 125cm so it will suit a wide range of wearers. The shoulder straps are worn in rucksack style and are nicely padded to take the weight of an older child.
As there is no option to cross the shoulder straps, this also means that you cannot use this carrier for hip carries, which won't bother everyone but is something to consider.
The waistband offers firm support and the handy pocket is placed on the front of the waistband for easy access.
All in all, it's a great addition to the Tula family and is great to see another "from birth" SSC on the market that does not require an infant insert.
I look forward to road testing this with my own newborn come August and will update with a more detailed review of how it fares with a real newborn then! Watch this space...
To try this sling out, check out the sling hire page for full info, T&C. Collection from Swords and nationwide postal hire also available.
I had intended on doing a series of blog posts before posting this but time has run away on me so I'm posting this one to get myself started. I'm now at 28 weeks and time is flying by!
Here I am towards the end of March at 21 weeks pregnant on baby no 5 with my 14.1kg 3yr old daughter in a back carry.
Today I was using a Je Porte Mon BeBe Original Shorty Stretchy Wrap in a double hammock back carry.
This is a really comfortable, soft, stretchy sling, with just enough bounce. As it's a hybrid stretchy wrap, it's suitable for back carries and for children up to weight limit of 14kg.
I find the double hammock carry very comfortable as it's tied across my chest, above my baby bump and as it's a shorty, I've tied it off under my daughter's bum so there's no straps tied around my waist.
What to consider when babywearing during pregnancy:
Only carry when you feel up to it!
Listen to your body and rest if you feel any type of back or pelvic pain.
Pregnancy wouldn't be the best time to begin babywearing for the first time. If you're a seasoned babywearer, your body has built muscle memory from carrying your child over time and you can continue to carry your little one as long as you feel able to do so.
Hip carries and back carries can be most comfortable.
Carriers that don't tie around your waist can be very comfortable as your bump grows.
Try out an onbuhimo if you can!
Woven wraps and ring slings are very handy during pregnancy.
You can tweak a meh dai or a soft structured carrier to ensure there are no straps around your waist.
Seek advice from a babywearing consultant if you have any questions.
What a weekend! I'm honoured to have spent the weekend with a group of amazing, inspiring colleagues, friends, babywearing consultants from around the world to complete my Trageschule Certification course. I feel energised and refreshed this morning with loads of new ideas.
I've uploaded my presentation on Keeping warm when it's cold & keeping cool when it's warm; how to dress yourself & your little one whilst babywearing and would love to hear what you think of it!
Sling rings are back in stock in both large and small sizes. There's a range of colours available and they're each sold seperately, so if you want, you can choose different colour rings to compliment your sling!
Why do I need sling rings?
Sling rings have a few different uses. First one being DIY ring slings for those sewing enthusiasts and the second one is using them to tie your wrap in various ways.
I've added some links here to sling ring tutorials. I'd love to know how you get on!
Rucksack Carry - different finishes (incl with sling ring)
Reinforced Robin's Hip Carry with a sling ring
Jasmine's Tandem Hip Carry (2 ring variation)
PAXbaby uses sling ring with a mei tai
How to create a No Sew Ring Sling with a short woven wrap and a pair of sling rings by Wrapping Rachel
Happy New Year to all of you! I hope you have had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed the time off ☺
We've had a busy time of it, kids off school, birthday parties, play dates and general Christmas business.
Little Miss turned 3 in December and so while she's still carried everyday for the school run, she doesn't go up much other than that. She likes to run and scoot and chase her brothers when we're out and about instead.
I must say though, I find it so handy to have her in a sling for the school run so I can walk as fast as possible up the road to get to school on time (or to those that know me....nearly on time....).
The lovely Fun2BeMum Polar Fleece Babywearing Jackets arrived just in time for Christmas and are up on the website now waiting for their forever homes ☺
I was delighted to be sent an Easy Feel Wrap Converted Toddler Sized Soft Structured Carrier made from Handwoven Cotton Ikat to try out with my 2yr 9mth old helper. She's not carried as much as she used to be as she's a busy little girl but little legs still get tired sometimes and it's so handy to have a comfortable carrier for those times.
New thing I learned today: Ikat is a decorative technique in which warp or weft threads (or both) are tie-dyed before weaving.
Easy Feel is a family run business based in Gurgaon, India, set up by Shikha Nitash Garg, a mom with a love for babywearing, cloth nappies and attachment parenting. All Soft Structued Carriers comply to ASTM F2236-14 Safety Standards.
My first impressions of the Easy Feel SSC was that it was well made and I really loved the vibrant colours.
My 2yr9mth old helper felt weightless in it and it came with lots of sleepy dust ☺
The toddler size SSC is suitable from 11kg to 22kg. The padding on the waistband is firm, offering lots of support for heavy toddlers and the shoulder padding is soft and cushy. We had lots of fun trying out this carrier ☺
The handwoven cotton ikat fabric is light but very durable and is machine washable.
The shoulder straps are 8cm wide and 2cm thick and can extend from 46cm to 108cm or to 120cm when the perfect fit adjusters have been opened fully. I found the soft, cushy padding on the shoulder straps allowed the strap to sit nicely on my shoulder and to mould softly under my arm.
I really love carriers with perfect fit adjusters as I find it makes breastfeeding when front carrying way easier. My husband also found them handy as he opens them up fully to get the chest belt positioned comfortably for when he's using the carrier.
The padding on the waistband is 13cm wide and 2cm thick. The waistband fits from an 80cm waist and extends to 150cm. There's also has a handy pocket large enough to hold a phone securely. The legs out padding and seat darts offer a more comfortable seat for your little one! There's also a safety elastic that the closing buckle passes through to offer an additional layer of security to the waistband.
This toddler size carrier measures 42cm across at the seat and 45cm on the back panel.
* Please note all measurements are taken by me with soft tape in hand and may be slightly off!
There are no buckles on the shoulder straps, meaning that this is a "rucksack style" carrier and the straps cannot be crossed. I didn't find this an issue as the straps are so supportive and there is 18cm of a webbing sliderail for the chest strap to be positioned comfortably. There is also a small extra piece of fabric to cover the webbing that might be positioned under/near your armpit when back carrying which could prevent rubbing and provide additional comfort, a small but functional bonus!
The shoulder straps are tightened by pulling in a downward motion when back carrying and pulled to the front when front carrying. In the case of single adjustable straps, I find this set up easiest to tighten.
There are elastic bands at the end of each strap to roll up and tidy away any excess webbing.
There is a 36cm flat hood rolled into the neckrest. It can be shortened to 6cm using the hood straps to bunch it up. There is a small plastic hook on each shoulder strap to tie the hood straps to when the hood is in use. It's handy to have it for when your little one is sleeping or feeding or to protect from the elements.
This Easy Feel SSC is also available in standard size, suitable from 7kg to 20kg.
All in all, I was really pleased with this Easy Feel Soft Structured Carrier. It was very comfortable and my toddler felt weightless in it, even when I wore her for a couple of hours. I liked that I could get a really nice fit in a back carry where I felt she was close enough against my back to feel really secure. I think Easy Feel is a very welcome addition to the Babywearing world and with such well thought out carriers at very reasonable prices, I think we'll be seeing lots of these carriers being worn around Ireland soon!
This Easy Feel SSC will be available to try out at the Wear A Hug Fair , THE Irish Babywearing event of the year. It's on the 9th October from 10.30am in the Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth.
If you'd like to hire this Easy Feel SSC to try out for a few days, you can do so by completing the sling hire form.
It's been a busy old summer in the Leanbh Babywearing household. 3 littlies at home and my eldest is hanging around the house a lot too. It's meant that things took a little step back so we could enjoy some very important family time and it's nice to wind down a bit over the summer and get out as much as possible with the kids. Endless picnics and park visits.
Smallest little miss is now a very independent 2.5yr old and is only up the odd time now and again. She's busy chasing her brothers and scooting everywhere instead.
It's those little moments she wants up when she's tired or wants a cuddle or is feeling a bit clingy that I get to wrap her for a short while. I'm loving my LennyLamb red & grey hearts ring sling and my Oscha Roses Danna in size 3 and those are what I reach for on the rare occasions I'm allowed to carry her.
With the LennyLamb she sits in a lovely hip carry and the tails are long enough for me to reinforce the seat to give extra support and prevent the leg straightening that some toddlers love to do!
With the Oscha, my go to carry is a Reinforced Rear Rebozo Rucksack finished with a Candy Cane Chest Belt (RRRR with CCCB for the babywearing geeks ☺). I find this a really comfortable carry that offers a lot of support without feeling diggy on my shoulders.
Eavan O'Leary of Súsa Weaving is based in Cork. She has an amazing craft handweaving wraps and is currently at the testing stage! Keep an eye on her Facebook page and website for details of her launch.
I was kindly given the opportunity to try out one of Eavan's beautiful handoven wraps.
We had Hello Mister Magpie land in our house for a week and I got to try my toddler demo doll and my 2.5yr old daughter in it. I found it to be easy to wrap with, very soft and loved the large knot when tied. I had my daughter up in a double hammock with chest pass (tied under bum) and found that to be the most supportive with her size and weight. I also tried her in a ruck which was not as comfortable for a long walk for me. I prefer the extra support the chest pass offers.
Overall, I absolutely loved the heart weave, the softness and the weight of the wrap.
I look forward to trying out more Súsa Weaving wraps over time.