Thursday, 24 April 2014

Manduca's 'Size It' Review

by Carmen Cheung
Preface by Tami Grosset

We recently were gifted a couple of 'Size It's by our friends at Manduca.

I asked some of our Manduca fans in OBG to try the Size It out and give it a review. Carmen took the challenge and here are her thoughts! Thanks Carmen, for taking the time to do this for us!


Out of the package, the visual instructions for the Size-It are quite simple and easy to follow. The padded section goes within the elastic loops that hold the integrated infant insert in the inside of the carrier. You clip the buckle around the outside of the carrier, place your baby in the Manduca and tighten each side while having your other hand on baby's bottom. The package states that the Size-It can be used with or without the integrated infant insert. The function of the accessory is to cinch the width of the seat so the "M" or froggy position can be maintained during the in-between phase when the baby is too big for the infant insert but too small to use the Manduca without the insert. For babies that are cloth diapered or those wearing winter gear outside of your jacket, this can happen fairly early.

My baby is 4 months old, 14 lb and has a long torso and short chubby legs. We have been using the Manduca with the integrated infant insert since 1-2 weeks of age with the Manduca unzipped. She is cloth diapered so recently the infant insert has become too tight when an extra layer of winter clothing is worn. As a temporary fix, I've been putting a warm hoodie and fleece pants on her during our winter walks, under my babywearing jacket.

As you can see from the photos, an "M" position can be maintained when the following are used: the integrated infant insert (photo #1), my unpatented Scarf-It (photo #3), the Size-It (photo #4) and a shoe lace (photo #5). In contrast, when the Manduca used on its own (photo #2), you can see that her legs are splayed slightly outwards due to the width of the seat.

Overall, I didn't notice a difference in comfort when the different accessories were used with the Manduca. Although it is a neat accessory for a great SSC, I wouldn't purchase it since a similar function can be achieved with a scarf, shoe lace or hair scrunchie. If the Size-It was included with the SSC as a package, I would definitely use it.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wordless Wednesday: A Week In The Life Of Kim (Visiting Nova Scotia)

We (still) love our Ergobaby Performance while traveling! I had also brought along a short wrap and a ring sling, which we used indoors, but the Ergo got the most use for carrying our toddler during our Easter trip to Halifax.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wordless Wednesday: A Week In The Life Of Laura

Our collection of moments. Mak, our almost 3 year old, is dropping her nap, and we just got a puppy!Babywearing to the rescue! There is no way I could get anything done without it!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Sunday, 13 April 2014

COTW #10- All About Ring Slings

By Aline Kelly
Photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury

Ring slings are a versatile carrier that can be used from birth through toddlerhood. They are appreciated for quick ups and downs and can be used in a large variety of positions on the wearer's body. You can be creative - many, many carries can be accomplished with a ring sling, simply by using the rings to fasten instead of a knot or other finish. This COTW will be a comprehensive look into the world of this carrier!

Success with a ring sling can often be pared down to two main factors:
1. Getting a good deep seat, so baby is seated in a secure pocket. Knees higher than bum is important. 
2. Tightening the rails effectively so that baby is perfectly secured by the sling and you can be hands free.

A reminder of the TICKS babywearing safety guidelines. Many of the issues that people have when learning to use their ring sling can be boiled down to these points.
Tight: Baby should be snuggled right up against you. If you can press on baby's back and they can move in closer, you should snug up your rails. 
In view: Fabric should never obscure baby's face. 
Close enough to kiss: You should be able to tilt your head forward and kiss your baby's head. If they're too low, lift them up higher and re-tighten your sling. 
Keep chin off chest: Ensure baby's airway is clear and they are not slumped in a way that would compromise their airway. You should be able to fit a finger or two between their chin and chest. 
Supported back: Baby's body should be well-supported by the sling and not sagging in any way. 

General overview, shoulder types, threading your ring sling, photo demonstration

Getting a quality seat in a ring sling:

How to tuck your tail into your rings:

Front/hip carries
Hip and Front carries, including how to effectively tighten your rails so they don't get stuck in the rings (really fantastic tips - I recommend this video very highly!): 
(Nicola WYSL)

Hip carry:

Rings on back - this option keeps the rings away from baby's face. 
(PaxBaby) - Comprehensive rings on back demo with a toddler- includes front/hip, nursing, and back carries. 

Newborn carrying
(Paxbaby) - the definitive video of wearing a newborn in a ring sling. Rings on back, multiple positions, nursing, creating a neck roll with your tail. 

(BabywearingFaith) - Putting a newborn in a ring sling without putting them down.

(Paxbaby) - Newborn high-shoulder burp hold with a ring sling.

Back carries:
Basic back carry:
Rucksack carry with a ring sling:
(quick, russian, silent)
(PaxBaby) - Baby barfs in Jillian's hair midway through.

(weecarry) - Ruck with rings at corsage position instead of under bum.

Double Hammock rebozo with a ring sling
(Brianna Borntobeworn)

Torso carry with a ring sling:
(Amberlea Parker)

Reinforced Rear Rebozo Rucksack (RRRR) with a ring sling:
(Allison Wonderland)

* Any shorty back carry can realistically be done with a ring sling, provided that it is long enough. These are just a few examples! *  

Miscellaneous other ring sling skills:
Nursing in a ring sling:

No-sew ring sling:(WrappingRachel)

Wearing one baby with two slings: (PaxBaby)

Using a ring sling while pregnant, including how to support your baby belly with a sling:

Monday, 7 April 2014

Meme Monday!

Why thank you darling!! Now, don't whatever you do wipe it on the carrier!
Photo by Jenna Sparks
Caption by Johanna Persohn

Sunday, 6 April 2014

COTW #50- Charlie's Cross Carry

by Aline Kelly

Charlie's Cross Carry (CCC) is a new carry in the babywearing world! It was developed by a mama named Amanda Chaney whose daughter Charlie is a kicker, leaner, and seat-popper, and has gained steady popularity online since its invention in Fall 2013. This  multi-layer carry is very wiggleproof and requires a long woven wrap, usually at least a size 5, 6, or 7. 

General instructions:
- With your wrap centered, get baby onto your back and make a nice seat. 
- This carry starts with one tail over your shoulder, the opposite tail under baby's knee (cross pass).
- Pass the lower tail horizontally across your abdomen, keeping it bunched. 
- Bring it under your opposite arm, under baby's knee, spread it across baby's back and bum, and bring it over the opposite shoulder, creating a second cross pass. Pin this tail to keep it secure while you work with the other side. 
- Using the opposite tail, shift it down so it now comes under your arm (You can have it under your arm the whole time, but it's harder to keep secure while wrapping the first side). 
- Pass this tail horizontally across your chest. You can either keep it bunched, or spread it as you would in a double hammock. 
- Bring the tail under your arm, OVER baby's knee, spread it across his back and bum, and bring it up over the opposite shoulder (rebozo pass).  
- Take one tail down and tuck it under your waist pass. Bring the other tail to meet it and tie a knot. 

(WrapYourBaby). This is the ultimate internet resource for this carry right now. It contains a more extensive history, many videos with alternate finishes, and step-by-step photo instructions. 

Video instructions:

Finishing variations:
(Amanda Chaney) - Double Ring finish

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Tall Mama & SSCs

by Tami Grosset
Photographs by Laura Lo

Today we are continuing with our project showing how our 6 favourite soft structured carriers fit mamas with different frames. This week its Tall Mama's turn!

Our Tall Mama is Faustina. Faustina is 6' tall and wears a size 16-18.

To recap, the carriers we chose to focus on are;
The Ergobaby (which offers a front facing in, hip and back carry)
The Beco Gemini (which offers a front facing in, hip and back carry. It also offers a front facing out position but since it was the only carrier in our selection that offered this carry there was nothing to compare it to so we chose not to picture this.)
The Boba (which offers a front facing in and back carry)
The Onya (which offers a front facing in and back carry) 
The Manduca (which offers a front facing in, hip and back carry) and
The Tula, standard (which offers a front facing in and back carry)

Front Facing In
Beco Gemini
 Back Carry
Beco Gemini
Hip Position
Beco Gemini
 Faustina's favourite carrier was the Manduca. It's the carrier that she enjoyed using to carry her own children so it felt familiar and she anticipated that it would work well for her at the shoot. Its assumed that there was a good reason why she used the Manduca to use with her children. Her least favourite carrier was the Onya.

NB When looking to purchase a SSC it is always recommended to try a carrier first, rather than base the purchase on reviews. Whilst there are some generic fitting issues for certain body frame types the fit of a SSC is very personal and subjective. If you are looking to purchase a new carrier in Ottawa there are many brands that can be tried out first at Milkface, Extraordinary Baby Shoppe and Belly Laughs (see our recommended retailers list). If you are planning to purchase a used carrier the Ottawa Babywearing Group Sling Library has a good selection of SSCs for you to borrow before you make your purchase.