Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Wordless Wednesday: A Week In The Life Of Jennifer And Aline

July 11-17, our first week in Tokyo. We are limiting our rotation to our thinnest wraps until the summer is over. LewLewBelle noir ombre linen size 3, Didymos blaze linen blend indio size 4

- Tuckered out after a swim
- Making silly faces on mama's back.
- Terrified of the hairdresser. The only thing that would soothe him was the ring sling (she even cut his hair with him in it).
- Checking out a neighbourhood cat.
- Announcing the arrival of a bus.
- Hiking!
- Resisting sleep. Because if he falls asleep, the babywearing is all over.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Wear? What? Why?

By Tami Grosset and inspired by the Milkface workshops offered to many in Ottawa, including the Bringing Baby Home class provided by Ottawa Childbirth Education Association.

Are you babywearing curious? Want to know what all the fuss is about? What is babywearing and why do we wear our babies?

The What
Babywearing is the act of carrying a baby without using your arms. By strapping a baby onto your front, hip or back using a length of fabric, a sling or something more structured you are babywearing! Babywearing has been practiced for as long, perhaps longer, than humans have been using tools. We often see pictures of indigenous people babywearing on the documentary channel and so on but in fact babywearing was also enjoyed in western cultures by the majority of the population until the age of the stroller arrived.

Many modern western parents are again recognising the benefits of babywearing and the practice is on the rise, which bring us to the 'why?'

The Why
There are many benefits to babywearing, for the baby, mama, papa and the family in general!

Psychological Benefits
Human babies are the most immature mammal at birth. Ideally they would be born at 12 months gestation but the way the human body has evolved a baby of that size just would not be able to escape! So when our babies are born it helps to provide for them a kangaroo like pouch. A place on our body that can act like a womb outside the womb. 

Babies have a lot to contend with at birth. They are thrust into a foreign realm where they have to feed and eliminate, breathe and understand sights and sounds, wear clothes and diapers. Being worn allows babies to take a break from such strangeness. When they are worn they hear that regular heart beat they know so well. They feel the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe, which they sensed when in the womb. The snugness of the wrap or carrier around them replicates the pressure your body provided, hugging them throughout their growth in the womb. Being worn allows baby to feel like they are at home base. It provides for them a deep sense of comfort and security which lying them in a crib does not.

Our babies have not read the latest parenting books from Chapters or Amazon. To all intents and purposes our newborn babies are cave babies, at risk of being eaten alive by a sabre toothed tiger or trampled on by a woolly mammoth. They often will only know that they are safe from harm if they are held, either in arms or by use of a carrier. And the research proves this... worn babies have been found to sleep better than unworn babies and generally cry less than their unworn peers. This is not a promise! You do not get your money back if this doesn't work out for you, but it's a good place to start!

Wearing your baby can help establish breastfeeding. When a baby is held close to the mama the hormones required to kick start milk production start to surge. Having your baby close to you can also ensure that a parent is less likely to miss any cues, for food, sleep or any other reason (dirty diaper, general unhappiness etc).  A babywearing parent will notice all these cues before the discomfort escalates much sooner than the most attentive parent whose baby is in a crib.

Wearing a baby with both mama and child naked, skin to skin, can really get the milk hormones racing, yet still allow enough cover for 'public decency' and warmth.

Although our babies won't start communicating verbally until about 12 months they start to learn about communication with us immediately. At birth baby's vision is a bit blurry and they focus best at about 12 inches from their face, which just happens to be where your face would be when you wear them! Isn't that just perfect!!?! Because of this 'mother nature' perfection worn babies have the opportunity to learn how to communicate with us at an earlier age than their non-worn peers.

Our world is built for adults and as such it can be a scary place for itty bitty babes. Being carried or worn allows them to see the world from our perspective which is less intimidating and a lot more interesting!

Wearing a baby can make a huge impact with bonding and can really help fathers bond with their baby. Many babywearing dads testify to how they felt connected to their child after wearing them for a while.

Physical Benefits
A newborn baby, whilst only 7-8 lbs (on average) can become incredibly heavy when you are carrying them all the time! An ergonomic carrier can spread the weight of a baby, from newborn weight right up to toddler weight, across the shoulders, back and hips, making the wearing of a baby pretty much effortless.

This is clearly not a new born bub but this pic demonstrates how the wrap distributes the weight of the child evenly across the wearers back and shoulders etc, whilst supporting the baby across his back, bum from knee to knee and even behind the head whilst he's sleeping.

At birth baby bones are actually closer to cartilage and as such are easily molded. A good ergonomic carrier can support healthy hip and spine development. Ergonomic carriers allow baby to sit with a rounded (C shaped) spine, which is necessary until about 12 months when the spine starts to straighten up. The wide seat of a good carrier allows a baby to sit in an M seat. This is the optimal position for good hip development as it drives the head of the femur into the hip socket, encouraging it to curl around and create a deep and stable joint. 



Some well meaning family members might try to tell a babywearer that their worn baby will never learn to walk but in actual fact statistics tell us otherwise. Babywearing helps to develop the vestibular system, which is all about balance and a huge part of walking. Worn babies often start walking a lot sooner than their unworn peers.

At each 'Well Baby' check up your health care provider should ask about tummy time; how much do they get and how often do you offer it? Many babies find tummy time an uncomfortable and distressing time but if you wear them there is no need to offer them tummy time as well. Wearing your baby encourages the same muscles and development as the conventional tummy time, but with a lot less distress! Your baby can actually develop physically while you kiss them and hug them against your body AND make a sandwich!!

Being worn is not a passive activity for baby. As we move their muscles develop and become stronger.

Today's babies spend a lot of their time with their head resting on a flat surface. Remember those cartilage-like baby bones? That's not just the hips and spine but throughout the body, including the skull. Bubs who spend a lot of time in cribs, bassinets and car seats are at a higher risk of developing plagiocephaly or 'flat head syndrome'. This is not merely a cosmetic issue; some research has identified a link with plagiocephaly and learning difficulties. Wearing a baby considerably lowers the risk of their head flattening simply because they are spending less time lying down.

Practical Benefits
When you wear your babe you get your hands back! Its as simple as that!! Being able to make your own snack or brush your teeth or catch up with your favourite blog (ha ha ha) can be very fulfilling. If you're a Type A personality its possible that having a baby is a difficult time for you; with basically handing control of everything over to a tiny bundle of loveliness! Wearing your baby gives back a certain amount of this control and can help reduce postpartum depression. It can also help you get back to work, if you need to!

Sara McConnell is one of OBGs awesome photographers who returned to work, with a sleeping, wrapped baby at 4 weeks.

If you have an older child wearing your newborn can allow you to meet both children's needs. I spent many a time nursing and/or carrying my newborn daughter in a sling, whilst helping my toddler to use the potty, or take a bath or play on the swing. Alternatively, if you have a larger family, you can have one of your older children wear your baby which would free you to meet the needs of the others!

Using a carrier can help you get about, to every day places like the grocery store or the dog park as well as more exotic places like waterfalls and winery tours. Babywearing allows you to continue with your adventurous 'pre-child' life, whilst simultaneously experiencing the adventure that is parenthood.

Where will you and your baby go today, where strollers fear to roll?

Monday, 29 July 2013

My Stash Monday: Jennifer's Stash

When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time researching babywearing. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend, and I wanted to get the most bang for my buck. A few sites suggested that of the different types of ergonomic babycarriers, most experienced babywearers preferred woven wraps. I decided that I had better just start off with the best, so I started checking out wovens. A few minutes later my pocketbook started reeling. Then I read about gauze wraps as a budget alternative to wovens. As I was having a summer baby, this seemed like an ideal carrier. I shopped around and finally decided on a Babyette gauze wrap. Beth was great to work with and though she didn’t have the colour I wanted in stock, she was patient and suggested that I might like some of the colours that she was getting in soon. I picked out a light summery lime green. When I received my wrap, we started practicing right away so we wouldn’t fumble the baby. A sack of rice, potatoes, or in our case, flower bulbs is a pretty good practice baby.

Babyette Lime Green Gauze 4.6m; First time wrapping my son at 5 days old. I know it's nothing amazing for a newborn, but he slept in it for 3 hours as we walked to the grocery store to do some shopping and visited some neighbours.

Still before I gave birth, I made an impulse buy of a Bathing Buddies mesh pouch sling I found on sale at Kiddytown. Although it was XS, it was quite a bit larger than my idea of XS, and was too big for both my husband and I. We laced a shoelace through the holes to tighten it, which worked surprisingly well. 

Once I gave birth and the summer hit us full force, I found that my gauze wrap, although perfectly suiting my needs, got pretty smelly from all the sweat summer babywearing generates. While it was in the wash every other day, I didn’t have another wrap to use! I had convinced my friend about Babyette, so we both got one and split the shipping. My second Babyette gauze wrap was indigo blue with orange rails. It was a great colour and eventually became my primary carrier, since it was a little wider and lime green doesn’t always go with your wardrobe choice. Having two carriers is ideal for heavy-duty summer wearing, and WAHM gauze is very affordable, so it’s not a major investment; each wrap was around $40 plus shipping. 

Babyette Indigo Blue Gauze with Orange Rails, 5m.
The perfect wrap for over or under winter clothes and a great colour with jeans.

Fast forward through several months of happy gauze wrap use, to the next summer. At 1+ years, I still carried my son in my gauze wrap for 1.5-2 hours a day, but it started to get pretty diggy on my shoulders when he passed the 20lbs mark. That summer my husband found out about a work trip he would be going on for 5 weeks in the fall, and as I didn’t want to be a single parent for 5 weeks with no family in the province, he got permission for me to accompany him (paying my own way, of course). I started looking for a carrier to replace the gauze wraps, and in preparation of the trip started looking at carriers that would be easy to do some mum-and-baby sightseeing in. After trying on every framed pack, SSC and mei tai I could find in Ottawa and turning them all down, I found the Ottawa Babywearing Group online and went to my first meetup. I tried on a woven wrap for the first time and I realized that I really should have just started with the best from the start! I decided to finally invest some money and purchase a woven wrap, so I purchased a nearly-new Girasol Amitola Azarfan size 6 off the Babywearing Swap. It was a great intro to wovens, and it made the trip to Japan and Beijing a pleasure as I was wearing my 23lbs son for several hours a day. 

Girasol Amitola Azarfan size 6. Benefit of rainbow wraps? They go with everything!
Downside: you are a giant walking rainbow...good luck blending in to a crowd.

When I purchased the Girasol, I did so knowing that it is often considered a beginner wrap, as it is 100% cotton, fairly inexpensive and not considered to be very supportive for carrying toddlers. A few months after I started using it, I was ready to move on to something a little more substantial (and something a little less conspicuous). I posted looking for a temporary trade on the Trans-Canada Babywearing facebook group and also put my name down for a week borrowing a travelling wrap (size 7 Natibaby linen blend Fabula Hungarica Purple). Maybe it was just that the Natibaby wasn’t broken in yet, but I didn’t really like the wrapping qualities much, although they are reputed to be very sturdy wraps due to their density. 

Natibaby linen blend Fabula Hungarica Purple size 7. I wonder if I'd like it more now?

I decided based on reviews what my small “ideal stash” would contain and started looking for a size 6 Didymos hemp blend indio to replace my Girasol Amitola. I found a used Didymos size 6 Petrol Hemp Indio (PHI) for a decent price on the swap and went for it. (FWIW, the other half of my “ideal stash” at that point was a size 4 Diva Milano linen blend—I still haven’t even actually tried a Diva Milano, but I still keep browsing them on the swap). 

While I was waiting for the PHI to show up in the mail, I sent my Girasol Amitola out on a temporary trade with another Ottawa Babywearing Group member. The wrap I got in exchange was a Didymos size 4 “Blaze” linen blend indio. At first glance, I didn’t think much of the colour, but after wrapping with it once, I was in love (and looking in the mirror I changed my mind on the colour). I chatted with the owner about possibly buying it. She didn’t have it listed for sale, but wasn’t in love with it and wanted to sell eventually. I wasn’t certain that I wanted to buy it, with a new wrap on the way on a tight income. I thought I’d give it a shot though, so I listed my Girasol for sale on the OBG facebook group and within the day found a local buyer. We treated it as a three-way trade and I never saw the money or the Girasol again, but haven’t let the linen indio out of my sight since. 

Didymos Blaze/Glut Linen blend Indio size 4.
This wrap has gotten a lot of play in 2013, the closest thing to a
beater wrap that I have (since everything here takes a beating!)

The Didymos Petrol Hemp Indio turned out to be a great decision and I think it may end up being a heritage wrap I will pass down to my son. Although I don’t necessarily love it the best of all the wraps and I certainly don't use it as much as my shorter wraps, it’s a classic pattern, a great fibre blend that is easily laundered and soft and squishy, the loose weave means it is easy to wrap with, and the size is a great size to allow a lot of people to use it. Oh yes, and my son's favourite colour is definitely blue, so when I let him pick which wrap colour we're using he often picks the blue one.

Didymos Petrol Hemp Indio size 6. Our potential heritage wrap.

I felt pretty stashified for a few months, and honestly, 2 wraps should be enough for most needs. I was curious about size 2 though, so I mentioned it to an OBG member at a meetup and she immediately handed over a brand new Didymos Orient size 2 to test out and break in. I had been ogling Orient since it was released, and was pretty pleased with the idea of trying it out. I had it for a month and it broke in beautifully; fluffy and squishy and oh-so-buttery-soft. I loved the size as well, but it just didn’t feel quite right, so it finally went back to its owner, who had been trying with no luck to sell it for most of the time I had it. I had a wrap’s worth of extra money burning a hole in my pocket (I sold my stroller—don’t tell my mom!), so I decided to get a size 2 of my own, and bought a Linuschka Anthracite Dahlia size 6 to chop. 

Didymos Orient size 2. I had a lot of fun learning how to make use of this awesome size and breaking this wrap into a smooshy cottony dream.

When I received the Linuschka, it was a bit of a downer. It’s a beautiful pattern, but it just wasn’t what I expected from a 100% linen wrap. I had tried one at an OBG meetup several months before and it was totally different. I chopped it anyways and sold the short portion locally, keeping a 2.9m size 2 for myself. I waffled for a little while on it, because it was hard to let go of such a pretty pattern, but functionality really is the most important thing, so I sold it after only a few weeks. It’s a shame that there weren’t more reviews online that I could read
beforehand; I wrote a review of it so you can decide for yourself if it will suit your needs. 

Linuschka Anthracite Dahlia size 6 (chopped to a size 2 and a 1.7m super-shorty)
Isn't it a beautiful pattern? It doesn't look as great with the shlubby around the house sweater, but dresses up nicely and goes perfectly with jeans.

While I was trying my best to really love the Linuschka, I borrowed a size 3 Didymos Cherry Blossoms linen blend, and a short size 4 Oscha 100% linen grad (thinking I might purchase one of the two as a replacement for the Linuschka). 

Didymos Cherry Blossoms size 3. Pretty wrap, but I wish the pattern were more pronounced.

It was nice to have the three at the same time to compare, but I wish I had spaced it out a little more as I felt the wraps were really competing for my attention and I couldn’t try any of them out as much as I wanted. 

Oscha Rich Apple 100% linen grad size 4. I was frustrated by this short size 4 because I couldn't do my usual size 4 carries with it and had to resort to my size 2-3 carries, with long tails. But, it's a rock solid carrier even with shorty carries!

The wraps went back to their respective owners and I decided to purchase a new LewLewBelle 100% linen grad, since they are much more readily available than Oscha and I wasn’t interested in stalking for the perfect colour to come up. I lucked out that the colour I wanted was in stock on the LewLewBelle website, so I bought a Noir Ombre on natural linen size 8, again with the intent to chop. 

While I was waiting for the LewLewBelle to arrive, I convinced myself to buy another new wrap (it’s a really slippery slope folks!). I wanted a heavy duty size 4 wrap to eventually replace the size 4 linen indio, which is a very thin wrap. Since we no longer have a stroller, I figured that we have to think long term, as in only a few short years a 2 year old becomes a preschooler who still gets tired after a full day of sightseeing. I was eyeing up Natibaby linen since it’s supposed to be great for heavier kids, but after borrowing one and disliking it, I just couldn’t commit. I had half a mind that a Didymos Natural Hemp India would be a great wrap for me, but the prices I was seeing on the swap just weren’t jiving with me. Then, BAM! I happened to see one posted for what I considered to be a steal of a deal and snapped it up only 6 minutes after the seller posted it.

Didymos Natural Hemp India size 4.
Photo thanks to Breathe In Photography in Ottawa, who loves to shoot babywearers!

I had been out of town, so I received both the LewLewBelle and the NHIndia when I arrived home. It was glorious. NHIndia and I hit it off right away even though I was a little hesitant about the colour at first. The LewLewBelle took a little more time to get into, since it was brand new and, let’s call a spade a spade here, a ridiculous size on me. It was a long size 8, measuring over 6m after wash. After the Linuschka fiasco, I was determined to get to know this wrap a little better before chopping, so for a week or two I could be seen wandering around town using shorty carries with a giant braided tail or about 4 passes around my waist. I decided it was a keeper and chopped into a size 2 and a size 3 (one of the benefits of a 6m wrap). I sold the 2 and kept the 3, which wasn’t my original intention; in keeping with the plan ahead school of thought I realized a size 3 would give me the options I wanted with a 4 or 5 year old. 

LewLewBelle Noir Ombre on Natural Linen size 3.
Another beautiful photograph by Breathe In Photography in Ottawa.

I did a very short temporary trade of the NHIndia for a Toddler Tula, and I was awed and amazed that it actually fit correctly and I was able to get my son nice and high. When I used it for just a few minutes I was very tempted to purchase one, but when I went on a longer walk, the waist band was too much for me (I always use a chest pass instead of a waist pass with a woven wrap). Since my husband didn’t love it more than a wrap, we decided to keep the LewLewBelle and nixed the idea of a SSC. 

Tula Toddler "Folk Art". I'll admit it, if this pattern had still been in stock, I might have gone for it...

Although I appreciated the look and support of the LewLewBelle linen wrap right away, I really started loving it when I moved to Tokyo and it was six million degrees humidex. Linen is pretty rad in hot and humid weather. It absorbs more moisture than cotton, so doesn’t feel or look drenched in sweat even though it actually is. The short size has also been a key to success.

LewLewBelle Noir Ombre on Natural Linen size 3.
Our first weekend in Tokyo and a successful front-to-back transfer with a jet-lagged toddler.

Just before I moved (early July) I found the instruction booklet for the Bathing Buddies pouch sling. It had been a quiet supporter filling in where necessary and had always been our around-the-house carrier, but the weight limit listed in the booklet was 25lbs and my son was over 26lbs at last weight check. I passed it on to a local OBG member and I hope she’s finding it just as useful. It’s the only carrier my son has missed and asked for, and most of the time a wrap just won’t do when he wants “the white wrap”. 

Bathing Buddies mesh pouch sling. We often natter on about expensive carriers but this low-cost number really did more than its share of baby-carrying (it just doesn't look as impressive).

Looking forward, I realize that the size 4 indio has become fairly redundant to own, but I’m having a hard time letting it go. It’s the first wrap I loved; the wrap that convinced me that shorter wraps were awesome, and the wrap that I have used the most in 2013. It is hard to let go of something that had been of such great use. I have forced myself to alternate between it and the 100% linen size 3 lately, just to make sure I’m not keeping something I don’t have a use for.

One of my most recent uses of this wrap. He was asleep before
we even got into the subway coming home from dinner out.

I’m also thinking maybe it’s time I actually gave a real try at figuring out ring slings as a replacement for “the white wrap”. I have only tried them once or twice but never when my son was willing. I am having a hard time with making the decision to move into a more limited carrier, so sometimes I think I should get a true size 2 and some rings…but then I figure that I don’t love the look of rings anyways, so why don’t I just use the size 3 with a slip knot and a rebozo carry…then I think of that Natibaby Delin that I DIDN’T buy and think of how great it could be as a ring sling… 

In Summary:
Babyette lime green gauze 4.6m (sold locally)
Bathing Buddies mesh water pouch sling (sold locally)
Babyette indigo blue gauze 5m (sold locally)
Girasol Amitola Azarfan size 6 (sold locally)
Didymos Blaze/Glut linen Indio size 4
Didymos Petrol Hemp Indio size 6
Linuschka Anthracite Dahlia size 6 (chopped and sold both pieces, one of them locally)
Didymos Natural Hemp India size 4
LewLewBelle Noir Ombre grad on 100% natural linen size 8 (chopped, kept a size 3 and sold a size 2

My patented "self-hammock" method of breaking in a wrap;
people are always willing to lend out wraps if you promise to try to break them in!

Natibaby linen blend Fabula Hungarica Purple size 7
Didymos Orient size 2
Didymos Cherry blossoms size 3
Oscha Rich Apple grad 100% linen size 4
Tula Toddler “Folk Art"

But wait, there’s more! Other things around the house I’ve used for carrying my son:
Small cotton tablecloth for torso carry
Peruvian manta (aka that blanket someone brought me as a souvenir) for manta carry
Towel for torso carry

Sunday, 28 July 2013

COTW #26 - Reinforced Rear Rebozo Rucksack (RRRR)

by Aline Kelly

The RRRR (aka Pirate Carry - Arrrr!) is a secure back carry that can be tied with a short woven wrap, usually a size 2 or 3. 

General instructions:
- Place the middle marker of the wrap on your chest and bring it around to your back. Where the wrap crosses your spine is the spot on the wrap where you will center baby. 
- Get baby onto your back and create a good seat. Bring both tails over your shoulders. 
- Your tails will be uneven. Using the long side, bring the tail under your arm, across baby's back and bum, and under the opposite arm.
- Tie at shoulder, tie a candy cane chest belt, or do a knotless or Buleria finish.

Video instructions: (onbuhito [Jennifer MacNeil])

Alternate finishes: (Faith) - Tied at shoulder, knotless Buleria finish, and candy cane chest belt.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Thursday Thought: Keep Calm And Wear Them

by Tami Grosset

Recently, on the Facebook page, there has been some dialogue about certain terms.... or more specifically about the term 'crotch dangler'. 'Crotch dangler' is the term used by some to describe narrow seated carriers like the Baby Bjorn or Snugli carriers. The phrase 'crotch dangler' is a 'take your breath away' phrase, especially for those of us who have used or currently use a narrow seated carrier.

The OBG is a place of information and support for all babywearers and we are trying really hard at changing our lexicon. Its important to us that all members arrive at the OBG feeling welcomed and safe and using this term can have the opposite effect.

What we say and how we say it can have a huge effect on people, especially new parents who are trying hard to do everything perfectly for their new precious bundle. A throw away comment can cause pain and heartache when there needn't be any and could easily turn a new member away from the group; potentially away from the information and support they might need and want to keep them babywearing as long as they and their babe needs and wants.

I'm tired and feel like my thoughts are coming out clumsily. I've been looking for someone else's much more elegant words to link for you but alas I cannot find anything so you'll have to make do with this...

'Lets show love and support for all babywearers and help to educate in a caring manner that will reflect a babywearing inclusivity, rather than an exclusivity. Lets keep the 'mommy wars' out of our wonderful caring and gentle group and just...'

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Wordless Wednesday: A Week In The Life Of Alexandra

Evelyne and I have been having a very busy summer with lots of babywearing! Here we are camping, shopping, attending local farmer's markets and learning more about woven wraps at OBG meet ups.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Perfect Day For A Picnic!

by Tami Grosset
Photographs by Sara McConnell

Back in April, on a cold but sunny Sunday morning, whilst celebrating the OBG's first birthday a seed of an idea was sown.... to have a summer picnic with fun and games, crafts and face painting, an opportunity to celebrate our community and maybe raise some money to get our sling library off the ground.

Over the following weeks and months the idea germinated and was planted in some beautifully fertile soil; the creative minds of the planning team for the event which included our general admins (Veronique Bergeron, Julie Duncan, Nancy Lentini-Brown, Aline Kelly and myself, Tami Grosset) and also included the wonderful Kim Brooks and the talented photographer Sara McConnell.

On Sunday 21st July, we finally saw our event flower and fruit! And what a sweet bloom it was!

The picnic was held in Hampton Park, Westboro, where there is a cool shaded area under some beautiful leafy trees. It was a sunny warm day with a refreshing breeze. A perfect picnic day!

We settled in next to the play park and wading pool and quickly took over the space. A patchwork of picnic rugs covered the ground, some as colourful as the wraps and carriers that members were enjoying with their bubs and tots.

At 1:00pm we were mostly assembled. The Silent Auction items were available for bidding and Angela Thain, the baker of the most delectable 'everything free' cupcakes brought a few boxes for us all to enjoy and tempt us to bid more!!

Older children were invited to decorate a doll or teddy carrier using fabric markers. It was adorable seeing so many 'wrappers in the making' wearing their lovies and stuffies for the rest of the afternoon!

The highlight of the afternoon, for many, was the Wrap Off! Members were invited to take part in a speed and style competition. The twist was that instead of wrapping their baby they would be wrapping a bag of potatoes. This lent the benefit of putting everyone, even our most experienced wrappers, at beginner level. You'd be surprised how tricky it is to wrap spuds- there's no legs for a start!! Points were given for speed and for a neat job with a secure finish, even tails and tight rails.

There were 5 heats; basic ruck, reinforced ruck, double hammock, front wrap cross carry and poppins hip carry. The contenders did an awesome job of wrapping in front of a large cheering, and sometimes jeering crowd! Generally the OBG is a pretty non-judgemental group but in this case the judging was, at times, fierce!!

Our wrapping champions are;

Basic Ruck- Caro, who did a lovely neat job in just 19.3 seconds!

Reinforced Ruck- Megan Brunetti, who's stylish finish tipped her to the top, although Johanna Persohn won the kudos for being the speediest!

Double Hammock- Ariane Richards, who perfected this carry in speed and style!

Front Wrap Cross Carry- Shelley Guilfoyle, who did a great job making this carry neat, supportive and swift.

Poppins Hip Carry- Johanna Persohn, who made this position truly her own! What a great job!

Each winner received a unique trophy!! As well as a 5 minute session with our official OBG Picnic Photographer, Sara McConnell!

Throughout the afternoon Sara McConnell worked her photography magic offering 5 and 10 min sessions to individual mums and taking some impromptu shots as she wandered about the picnic ground. Sara completely captured the magic and spirit of the event so perfectly. 

It really was a perfect day for a picnic!

(The silent auction is now over and the money is slowly rolling in. We collected cash donations at the picnic as well and will be adding both these numbers to the money raised at last months Salsa event. We can't wait to announce how much money we've raised but want to wait for all the numbers to be added together! Stay tuned and thank you for your patience!)