Babywearing During the Holidays

Babywearing is useful during all seasons, but there are many added perks to wearing during the chaos that is the holiday season.

1) Travel: Airports during the holiday season tend to be even more busy and stressful than normal. The convenience of being able to put your infant in an SSC or reign in a running toddler in a quick ring sling can’t be overstated. Babywearing frees up your hands to carry your bags, produce the requested documents, and take off your shoes and belt through security. You can wear your baby through airport security, though additional screening is sometimes requested.

2) Don’t want to play “pass the baby” with your infant? Put them in a front wrap cross carry and all eyes, but not hands, will be on baby.

3) Want to dig into your mashed potatoes but baby wants to be held? A hip carry in a ring sling or wrap can free up your hands to eat that delicious food. Just use caution when around extremely hot food or drinks, grabby hands can move fast!

4) Toddler over stimulated by all of the lights, sounds, or activity? Babywearing can provide comfort and a place to hide out from all of the chaos around them. Snuggling next to a caregiver allows them to take a break for a few minutes and calm down a bit which can help avoid a major meltdown!

5) If you are a breastfeeding mama, Babywearing can provide a more discrete way to nurse in situations that aren’t always comfortable. I practiced in front of a mirror several times to see how much you could actually see (not much!), and that gave me the confidence to try in front of others. Formula feeding mamas can also use Babywearing as a tool to get a busy baby to calm down long enough to take a bottle!

6) Babies are busy and new places are stimulating; wrap naps can be so helpful in avoiding an overtired baby or toddler who won’t sleep in an unfamiliar place.

7) Babywearing is also helpful for that last minute shopping we all end up doing! There is nothing more stressful than pushing a stroller through crowded stores and trying to keep baby happy long enough to make purchases. Babywearing frees up space and keeps baby close enough to avoid some of the overstimulation that comes with holiday shopping.

Whatever holiday you observe, this is a busy time for all of us. Utilizing Babywearing can help make this chaotic time just a bit more enjoyable and allow you a few moments with your child amidst all of the hustle and bustle around us. From our family at BWI Chicagoland to yours, we wish you a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year! Happy Babywearing!

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Seasons of Change

The Early Days

As Colleen and I (Heather) retire and step down from BWI of Chicagoland, we’ve both been reflecting on what a phenomenal journey we’ve been on, from learning to use our first carriers, to learning to wear toddlers and preschoolers, to learning to spread the love, and meet so many new and veteran caregivers along the way.

I am forever grateful and appreciative of Colleen and Hyacynth (our other leader from Lake County, when I learned of the group).  I found them when I had a 2 year old and newborn.  Colleen and I both started using carriers around the same time (8 years ago, if you can believe that!!), but all I had experience with was my Baby Bjorn and an awesome ring sling.

Colleen learned about different carriers through our local La Leche League, before her first was even born!  She then found the local Lake County group through an online forum at thebabywearer.com .  Helping teach others was a calling for her.   When I met Colleen and Hyacynth, they were warm, welcoming leaders for the Lake County Babywearers, and had group gatherings I wanted to keep coming back to.  That was almost 6 years ago!  Colleen was my inspiration, and she pushed me beyond my comfort level.  “You want me to try this long piece of fabric?”  “Are you sure he’ll be ok on my back”  (remember I had only used a ring sling and Baby Bjorn before this…).  THANK YOU COLLEEN.

Back then, we were a small group, with around 30 attendees online (and maybe 10-15 adults total in person each month?).  It was a social group, and very much about wearing all the babies!  There weren’t nearly as many carriers or brands of carriers out on the market.  I will always think fondly of my early days learning from so many women I consider great friends to this day.

There has been SO MUCH growth and it is really exciting to see how many parents and caregivers are embracing different types of carriers and holding their babies close.  There has also been an explosion of education along the way, and an explosion of options.  If you’d like to learn more about our history along the way, this post has a lot of great information:

https://bwichicagoland.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/10-years-old-2000-strong/

FAST FORWARD

We’ve both grown as educators, parents, and friends.  The organizations have had tremendous growth as well over the last number of years.  But now, our kids are growing up, our lives and passions as parents have changed focus.  It’s time for us to find some new adventures!

REFLECTIONS

Almost 2 years ago I won an educator award from BWI.  When I look back at the bio, I’m reminded of the passion to help others, and the empathy needed to help caregivers effectively.  I was asked to put together a BIO for the award page.  I think about these two quotes often:

“I love sharing what I’ve learned, and want and help others see how this great tool can help make parenting so much easier.  I wish I’d have found our group earlier in our lives as parents.  I don’t think it’s important for an educator to know everything; I think it’s more important for an educator to know what resources to look for to help with a difficult situation.  I also think it’s important to listen to parents, and figure out what they’re REALLY asking, so we can meet their needs.  I love the look on a caregivers face when they find something they like, or their baby quiets down and falls asleep, or is content to look around.”

“It’s easy to forget that it’s NOT about the special fancy carrier, it’s about using some fabric to help them and their babies.  The parents are the real carriers, the fabric just helps them do that effectively.  That’s really the heart of our organization.  Thanks for letting me be a part of it.”

BEST WISHES

Sometimes caregivers will thank us, but we really need to be thanking all of you!  It was all of YOU that kept us coming back meeting after meeting, month after month, and wanting to spread out more, and stretch ourselves as a group.  To meet more of you, and share what we’ve learned about wearing our babies close.  The years have flown by.

This volunteering journey and the people we’ve met have changed our lives, so thank you for that as well!

You ALL drive this group.  You help each other socially, through questions, and support on the off topic facebook chat group.  You help each other learn about carriers, carries, and support each other in the local BWI group, at meetings, and playdates.  The group will continue to thrive because of ALL OF YOU.  If you see a post that you can contribute to?  Share what you’ve learned with others.  That’s how all of our past and present leaders learned along the way.

We love how the current and future leadership team has such passion, excitement, and “fresh eyes” to share babywearing. Their ambition and passion will serve the Chicagoland chapter well, and I’m sure they will make great, positive changes in the future.  I’m looking forward to hearing about the things they accomplish that took a back seat during our tremendous growth.  They have drive and ambition, and they will make great improvements and changes for the group!

Hold those babies close.  They grow up WAY TOO FAST!  One day (believe it or not) they’ll get too big to want to be worn.  This weekend, we hope you all get a chance to use whatever carries at your disposal to enjoy time with family and friends!  Happy Independence Day!

(Here are some photos of us along the way.)

Types of Carriers

There are a lot of different types of carriers out there, and new ones are being created each day. If you are at one of our meetings, you will hear about the most common types of carriers: woven wraps, stretchy wraps, ring slings, mei tais, and soft structured carriers (SSCs). However, you may come across other types of carriers that you’ve never heard of, or seen. Most carriers fall into one of these categories:

Alyssa amauti

Amauti baby carrier coat

Rachel amauti

 

  • Babywearing Clothing: Throughout history, people from many cultures simply wrapped their clothing around themselves and their babies. The African Kanga, Japanese Obi, Welsh Shawl, and Mexican Rebozo are all examples. Many of these traditional clothing baby carriers are still available for retail. Some other types of babywearing clothing are hitting the market now too, kangaroo care shirts are an example of these. (Note. Not all traditional, cultural carriers are categorized as babywearing clothing. Cradle boards, for example, have their own category!)
    • Amauti Coat: (Amauti Baby) Traditional Inuit coat with a back carrier built in. Used with newborns and up. For use in winter or cold weather climates only. Beautiful, expensive, and custom made. These only do back carries.
    • Kangaroo Care Shirt (Nuroo, Vija Designs) A stretchy shirt with a built in baby carrier. Meant for kangaroo care with preemies and newborns. Holds baby similarly to a stretchy wrap. Not for older babies or toddlers
    • Rebozo: We see these sometimes at meetings. These are a traditional Mexican shawl that doubles a a hammock, baby carrier, backpack, or whatever is needed. A rectangle of woven fabric, when worn with a child this carrier is knotted over one shoulder to work as a sling. Some people purchase short woven wraps with the purpose of doing a Rebozo carry.
Heather frame

Framed Hiking Backpack

 

  • Frame Backpacks: (Kelty, LittleLife, Deuter, Osprey) for the outdoorsy family, framed backpacks protect the baby from harm. They are comfortable for a day of hiking, and often sold at sporting goods stores. Use with older babies and toddlers. Interior frames (with the frame inside the material of the backpack) are becoming more popular than exterior frames. These tend to fit people with longer torsos better than people with shorter torsos.
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A Mei Tai being used in a front carry

  • Soft Unstructured / Asian Style Baby Carriers: A rectangle or square of fabric with ties that secure baby to you. These are unpadded and not structured traditionally, however western customization can make for more variations. Easily adjustable to different wearers. Mei Tai (pronounced “May Tie”) is popular, others include Hmong, Onbuhimo, Podaegi, Chunei, and Bei Bei.
    • Mei Tai: (Catbird Baby, BabyHawk, Kozy) an easy to use Chinese carrier for all different ages, comfortable for short or long term carries. An unpadded waist strap is a plus here, the bottom can be rolled up to make a smaller body size to fit a younger infant.
    • Podaegi: (FreeHand) A Korean carrier that is traditionally worn on the back. It is basically a blanket with a long strap over the top. The strap goes over the wearers shoulders and back under the baby’s bottom. It is used for newborns and up. Narrow blanket Pods have become more popular in the west because they tend to be airier.
    • Onbuhimo: (FreeHand) A Japanese carrier that is very similar to the Mei Tai, except, instead of  bottom straps it has two loops that the top straps are threaded through.
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An ergonomic SSC, KinderPack, being worn on the back

  • Soft Structured Carrier (SSC): Easy to use and position baby. Great for travel, can be used from birth until toddler depending on the carrier. Often padded for greater comfort. Usually uses buckles or snaps to secure baby safely. Easily adjusted between wearers.
    • Front pack: (Bjorn, Britax) A usually front only carrier that does not use an ergonomic seat. Better for short periods of wearing with smaller babies.
    • Structured Hip Carrier: (Scootababy, Mei Hip) A carrier for parents and babies who love hip carries. Structured with one shoulder strap. For babies 6mo+.  These can also be used on the front or back, but they do hip carries the best.
    • Ergonomic: (Ergo, Beco, Boba) A front/back carrier that hols baby in an ergonomic position. Best for older babies and toddlers, although can be used with younger infants with an insert). Comfortable for both baby and wearer, these can take the place of a framed backpack. Men tend to prefer these types of carriers because they work more like a backpack.
    • Half Buckle: A structured waist supports baby’s weight, and mei tai shoulder straps allow for easy adjustments
    • Reverse Half Buckle: Structured shoulder straps provide total comfort, while a tie waist allows you to place the waist wherever you want
Heather

A traditional, open tail ring sling being used with a newborn

  • Sling: a piece of fabric that is looped around the body, usually over one shoulder. Strains shoulder if worn for extended periods of time
    • Pouch Sling: (Hotslings, Slinglings) A loop of fabric folded to create a pouch. Easy to use, but sized by the wearer, so they cannot be shared between caregivers unless everyone is the same size. Not great for newborns.
    • Adjustable Pouch: (Zolowear, Mama’s Milk) A pouch sling with some adjustability in length to help get the right fit. Not nearly as adjustable as a ring sling
    • Bag Style Pouch: (Premaxx, SlingRider) NEVER USE with babies – babies have died in this type of carrier, giving all carriers a bad name. These carriers are non-adjustable pouch slings with elastic edges and a deep pouch. They lay very low on the wearer’s body, certainly not keeping baby “close enough to kiss.” The deep pouch curls baby’s body into an unsafe position, and the elastic edges close over baby’s head to prevent fresh air from entering the carrier.
    • Ring Sling: (Maya Wrap, Sakura Bloom) Easily adjustable to different wearers, features a ring over the shoulder, which material is threaded through. Works well for newborns through toddlers. AKA traditional or open tail ring sling.
    • Close Tail Ring Sling (Hava, Sling EZee): Similar to an adjustable pouch, this is a ring sling with a strap to adjust instead of the rest of the fabric. Does not adjust evenly like an open tail ring sling, and can be tricky to use with a newborn because of that. Some (like Balboa Baby) have extra padding and elastic edges that can create more slack.
    • X-Sling (Cashmere Cuddles, Michiko Baby): These are not very common in the US. This carrier has a loop over each shoulder, and is sewn together in the middle. This makes an X on the wearer’s front and back. Baby is slipped in to the X for an easy two shoulder carry. Usually not adjustable.
    • Stretchy X-Sling: (K’tan, Blue Celery, Caboo) Like a X-sling, except that the material is stretchy. These can be used to hold one or two babies. Holds baby like a stretchy wrap without the tying. Great for newborns, generally too stretchy for older babies and toddlers. Most brands are not adjustable.
Kokadi Erdvogel woven wrap (size 5)

A woven wrap back carry

  • Wrap/Wraparound: a long piece of fabric that is wrapped and tied around the wearers body. Baby is slipped into the fabric for a secure hold. Distributes weight evenly for long carrying. From birth until 40lb +. Easily adjusted for different wearers. Can carry two babies at once.
    • Stretchy: (Moby, Boba) A carrier made of a length of 4 way stretchy fabric. These ones are popular and easy to adjust, great for newborns. They tend not supportive enough for older babies and are hot in warm weather. Front and hip carries only.
    • Hybrid Stretchy: (Wrapsody) A stretchy wrap with 2 way stretch. Tends to be more supportive than a normal stretchy, and can do back carries. These can be slightly diggy though and require more precise wrapping.
    • Simple Piece of Cloth: Exactly what it sounds like, a sheet, blanket, shawl, or length of fabric wrapped around wearer. As long as you test the seams and body, then it is perfectly safe for baby.
    •  DIY Wraps: Pieces of fabric, often Jersey, Osnaburg, and cotton jacquard, that are cut and hemmed to a babywearing wrap size.
    • Woven: (Didymos, Storchenwiege) If you were going to have only one carrier, this would be it. Woven carriers are stronger than stretchy ones, meaning no need to adjust tying during the day. Can be used from a newborn to as long as you feel like wearing. These have a steeper learning curve than other common carriers but they are the most versatile. Woven wraps come in sizes for a variety of carries.
    • Mesh/Gauze Wraps: (Wrapsody, BabyEtte) Somewhat stretchy and cool for summer. Many prefer to use a lightweight woven wrap when it gets hot. The mesh ones are often used in water. Less supportive for heavier babies.
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A wrap conversion SSC in a front carry

  • Wrap Conversions: (Didy Tai, Two Mommas Designs) These aren’t really a different type of carrier. Wrap conversions just use woven wraps as the fabric to make other carriers. Most commonly you will see unstructured carriers, soft structured carriers, and ring slings made as wrap conversions. Since these are usually custom made, wrap conversions often have many options for additional padding, different sizing, and different strap styles.

Babywearing in Summer!

Sara and her son Ronan in their Wrapsody Water Wrap

Babywearing is hot in general, but how do you combat extreme heat when you have literally tied a little space heater to your chest? In Chicago we see highs in the 90s to low 100s, and humidity levels that make the rainforest seem like a desert. Combine that with a sweaty, needy, hotbox and… Wait! Where are you going?

Overheating can be very dangerous for babies, especially for infants under 6 months, who lack the ability to regulate their own temperatures. Use common sense and go back inside when baby seems to be overheating. Take breaks from the sun when you can and make sure both baby and you stay well hydrated. Don’t feed a baby, less than 6 months old, water without your doctor’s permission, and don’t add excess water to their formula, or any water to expressed breastmilk. Use sunscreen according to the directions, and according to your pediatrician’s recommendations, to prevent burns. Take your baby out of the carrier if it seems to be causing them to overheat.

Carrier choice:

  • Soft structured carriers (SSC) are usually fairly cool. Any heavier fabric SSC may be a little more uncomfortable than one with a lighter fabric or a breathable panel, but just because you have a heavier SSC doesn’t mean you can’t use it comfortably in the summer. Infant inserts, on the other hand, can cause overheating. Use caution with infant inserts and speak to one of our VBEs if you have a younger baby and an SSC in the summer. There are often tricks to remaining cool that we can help you with, depending on the brand of carrier
  • Asian inspired baby carriers, such as meh dais and onbuhimos, tend to remain nicely cool in the summer. The exception being where they are made out of a heavy fabric or cover most of the body (as in a traditional wide blanket podaegi).
  • Woven wraps – depending on the weave and fiber content, woven wraps can be a cool choice but also can be extremely suffocating. If you have a warmer wrap, try one layer carries and use shorter wraps so there is less excess fabric. If you have only long wraps, still aim for one layer carries that eat up some of the length, like a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) with the passes bunched.
  • Stretchy wraps – Most stretchy wraps are very warm and don’t breathe well. However, there are some brands that are thinner and more airy, such as the bamboo blend ones I’ve seen out there. So check with us on your stretchy if you have questions. You have to have all three layers of fabric over baby with any stretchy wrap so choosing the right stretchy for summer wearing is important.
  • Ring slings are your summer friend! By their nature, ring slings have only one layer of fabric, and it is often a very breathable one, like linen or cotton.

Planning on hitting the pool or beach this summer? There are some great carriers specifically made for water usage you can find! Although you can often use regular carriers in the water, they will become heavy and the colors may fade or bleed in water. Additionally, chlorine can damage the sewing on a carrier making it structurally unsafe. The most common types of pool carriers are mesh or solarweave ring slings and wraps but there are other types as well.

***For safety reasons, use caution in the water, and don’t attempt to actually swim or go in deep water with a child tied to you. Nor should you wear a baby on a boat or anywhere else a safety device is needed that babywearing would interfere with.*** 

Remaining Cool:

You don’t need a special carrier for warm summer wearing. There are a few tips for staying cool in the heat no matter what your carrier is:

  • Dress for the weather. Remember that your carrier is another layer. It’s fine to dress baby in just a onesie and diaper, or just a diaper, when you’ll have another layer over them (watch for sun exposure though).
  • Dress yourself for the weather. Wear moisture wicking clothing and make sure you and baby aren’t skin to skin. When your skin meets you both get hotter. Wear a thin shirt with a higher neck to keep you both from sweating.
  • Dribble water on their heads, arms, legs, and any other part sticking out. Some people I know carry around a spray bottle to add a little mist, but letting a few drops drip from your water bottle works as well.
  • Cooling towels! These became popular a couple years ago and really hit the babywearing community last summer. You can find them in big box stores and online. Some name brands are Frogg Toggs and EnduraCool but you can find generic brands at the dollar store even! They are similar to a chamois – you get them wet, and the evaporation technology keeps them cool for hours (or even days!!). Lay them over baby’s legs, dab baby’s cheeks, and the back of baby’s neck. We just got back from the desert, and this is what helped the best to keep baby from overheating. Do not put the cooling towel between you and baby though. They work by evaporation and if the towel is between you two then it can’t evaporate so it will not work.
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible. The sun is hot and it’s not great for the skin anyway. Keep baby in a hat to block the sun and put a light, breathable blanket over baby (but not over their face!)
  • Since sunscreen isn’t recommended in large amounts for infants under 6 months of age, try to keep younger babies in the shade as much as possible. This is easier said than done, especially if you have an older child to chase after. There are a few companies that make carrier covers that are 100% UVA/UVB. Monkey Pocket and Rain or Shine Kids makes them, and you can sometimes find old Peekaru ones that were discontinued. Bjorn makes a UVA/UVB cover that fits over their carriers too. Outfits that have sun protection are also recommended; rash guards and UV blocking clothing are fairly easy to find these days but we can help you search if need be! A light blanket as stated above can help too.

*A note about sunscreen: Sunscreen is going to be a necessity on any day for a baby older than 6m (and even under 6m according to the AAP), but it can stain your carriers. Follow the general guidelines for using sunscreen by applying 15 minutes before going out. That should be enough time to protect your carrier.

Shameless plug: Don’t forget about your local lending library! If you need to borrow a carrier for a vacation or want to use something lighter in the summer without actually buying a new carrier – check one out from the group! You can borrow one carrier a month for $30/year.

Happy wearing, and stay cool!

March Madness and Carrier Giveaways!

Continue reading

Winter Babywearing in Chicago

(Note:  The original post content is courtesy of our former leader Katie, who originally wrote it up for BabyCenter/BBC, and gave permission to post it here.  The photos are courtesy of our group.)

Kindercoat (Shell) in the fall

Kindercoat (Shell) in the fall

The weather is getting cold, and suddenly you are wondering how to keep baby warm. How many layers should you use? How do you get from car to carrier? What should baby wear? Where can you find a babywearing coat? What kind of cover should you get if you wrap? What bout back carries? What if you are short on cash? Not to fear – I have been there done that in wind chills double digits below zero with infants to preschoolers in my carriers (and in multiple carriers!).

The most important thing to remember is the same no matter what weather you wear in – keep baby’s airway clear. As always, chin up, a free path to fresh air, and no slumping. Second most important actually has to do with the cold weather. Be careful not to overheat or freeze baby. If possible, put baby in the carrier before either of you are wearing your outer layers, then layer over both of you. Apart from making it easier to identify baby’s body temperature, layering over both of you allows you to disrobe when you get inside without having to remove baby (yay errands!).

Dressing Baby

Be careful not to overheat baby as you venture into the great outdoors, but you don’t want to freeze them either. When the temperatures start to dip below 65F, start putting baby in an undershirt (or onesie) underneath their regular clothes. As it gets colder, add the necessary outer layers. If you are venturing out into the below freezing temps, and you have a coat on that is made for that temperature, no other layers aside from the added undershirt should be needed. If your coat or cover runs to the thinner side, you may find that baby needs an additional sweater or jacket on. Remember, the cover or coat is acting like baby’s jacket. Depending on the one you get, this may be a thin or thick layer. Hooded jackets or sweaters are a good option, or just use a hat as needed. Toddlers and older babies that prefer to ride arms out in the carrier will need their own winter coats and gloves on to keep warm.

Toddler with her own coat on

Toddler with her own coat on

Knee high socks (like Rock a Thigh Baby), and baby leg warmers (like Babylegs) are the perfect addition to your little one’s winter wardrobe. Pants have a tendency to ride up in the carrier, and the cool air that sneaks in will be sure to bite at any exposed skin. Leggings a size too large cover baby’s legs really well too.

Tip for car transferring: put your carrier on ahead of time and wear it in the car, then you just need to pop baby in, tighten and throw a coat, jacket, blanket over you both to go.

Products

So, what can you use to keep warm? Specially made babywearing covers, coats, and vests are great for this. Many carrier companies make weather covers: ErgoBABY, Catbird Baby, and Bjorn are just a few that do this. It also tends to be less expensive to buy a universal cover. Covers are usually for front carries only. Many of them tie or snap onto the straps of carriers, so they may not be suitable for wraps, or wrap-strap carries. Some, like Jolly Jumper go around the wearer’s neck and work great over wraps. Covers are an option that works well if you are in and out of the car (side note: no coats or covers under baby’s harness straps in the car seat), because you can move the cover to go over baby in the car, stroller, or carrier. These usually fit to about 2yo (especially in ergonomic carriers). Here are some covers available:

A really wonderful option is the babywearing coat. These are awesome if you spend a lot of time walking outside or take public transit. I used mine all last winter on the bus and train. Babywearing coats also mean you have one less thing to carry with you. Many of them have back carry options too, and can go over any type of carrier. Here are some of the available coats:

Suse’s Kinder Coats (left is the fleece liner only, right is the full coat)

Amautiks are a traditional Inuit baby carrier that is built into the back of a coat. Since the Inuit people live in cold climates, they needed a carrier that could handle the weather. These can be used from newborn to preschool age, but are pretty pricey. They are built to last however. Check them out at Amauti Baby.

If a babywearing coat sounds nice but the price doesn’t, another option is a zip-in coat extender to turn your regular coat into a babywearing coat.

Babywearing vests are exactly what you think they are. A vest is kind of a cross between a cover and a coat. These are great for spring and fall, but also can be used under your winter coat to keep both you and baby warm.

This all sounds awesome, but I can’t afford it – what do I do?
There are definitely less expensive options! If you are crafty, a DIY option would be great. You can find tutorials for DIY coats, covers, vests, etc. online; here are a couple:

A DIY Zip in Insert!

A coat with a DIY Panel sewn in!

Front and Back Carrying with the same DIY Poncho

A few of us have made a poncho per the link above, and it was great, but we found that increasing the size opening of the collars was helpful, especially if you wanted to do back carries.  If the collar of the babe is “tight” and they sit lower, they tend to strangle the wearer a bit.  Here are a few pictures of the DIY poncho Heather has.  It was easy to make, fast to make, and only cost around 10 dollars with Polarfleece from Joann Fabrics.

But I’m not crafty!

Neither am I. Don’t worry, I have you covered (pun not intended!). Here are some other options:

  1. Walmart, Target, and the like sell fleece jackets that cost about $15. Get one two sizes too large, and simply zip it over both you and baby – this can even be used for back carries! Or steal your significant other’s coat if it is big enough.
  2. Take one of the aforementioned fleece coats two sizes up, and cut a hole in the back. Fleece doesn’t need to be hemmed, so you can use it just like that for a back wearing coat.
  3. Grab a couple of binder clips, a ribbon, and a warm baby blanket that you have lying around the house. Tie the ribbon to the end of both binder clips, and clip them onto the blanket. Put the ribbon around your neck, and ta da! Easy babywearing cover (and it works as a great nursing cover too!). You can also just take a blanket and tuck it around you, but the ribbon and binder clips helps it stay up.
  4. Get a nursing cover clip like LatchOn or Little Carr Cover Me, and use that in lieu of the binder clips and ribbon. 

Using a roomy coat or jacket in the winter and fall

Have you loved any winter babywearing products not mentioned here? Tell us about them!

Remember to watch baby’s airway, temperature, and extremities this winter when you are out and about!

 

Updated 10/2017

Last Call for Fundraising Raffles!

Raffles, Raffles, Raffles!

Why are we fundraising and doing some raffles right now?

We are a volunteer run organization. We don’t pay ourselves for time, for gas, or other incidentals. We use this money primarily to get new carriers for the lending library, whether it is to buy something used, something new that a company gives us a deal on, or to pay shipping for a donated item.  We LOVE that the lending library is so popular for the group, but it also means carriers are well loved, and see more wear and tear because of the members who borrow carriers.  So we keep track to see when they need to be replaced or pulled out of the library because they become “too loved”.  We also use this money for printing, business cards, or room reservation fees on rare occasions.

We keep 85% of the fundraising money this month (and the other 15% goes to the international organization).  Tickets will be available before, during, and after each event between now and October 25th.  You will choose which raffle (s) you would like to enter and put the ticket (s) in the correct envelope.  Before the raffles end, the leaders will combine the tickets

Our raffle tickets will be 1 ticket for 3.00, 2 tickets  for 5.00, or 5 tickets for 10.00, or 10 tickets for 20.00. So, the more you buy, the less each ticket costs!  We can take cash or a check.  Paypal doesn’t allow online raffle sales through our account, so we will not be taking payment through the group’s paypal account.  If you would like to purchase tickets, but can’t make it to an event, we are HAPPY to get you set up.  Email bwichicagoland@gmail.com or contact a leader for details.

Raffle tickets will be available at both the Grayslake Meeting tomorrow night, as well as the Mundelein Playdate meeting Friday morning.  You can get raffle tickets until 4pm on Saturday October 26th, and will be drawn after that time when leaders can meet up!

If you would like to have the raffle winnings shipped instead of picking it up from a leader, we are happy to do so if you cover shipping costs.  Good luck!

NOTE:  We received two extra, generous offers to add to the raffles.

1.  The first is a one month adult supply of Juice Plus Chewables Orchard Blend and a one month supply of Juice Plus Chewables Garden Blend (120 chewables each).  Here’s Megan’s page!  http://mv87906.juiceplus.com/  This has been added to Raffle #6, with Mary’s custom portrait.

2.  The second is a jar of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder that washes approximately 100 standard loads, generously donated by New Mother New Baby in Northbrook.  This item has been added to Raffle #8, with the little boys items.

The RAFFLES!!

Raffle #1:  A gift certificate for two months of swim lessons and registration at Goldfish Swim School in Roscoe Village, Chicago.  Estimated Value of 199.00

Raffle #2:  A one month membership for one child to the Purple Monkey Playroom in Chicago (estimated value 100.00).

Raffle #3:  A 6 pass punch card for Bubbles Academy in Chicago (estimated value 60.00).

Raffle #4:  A 5 pass gift certificate at Bloom Yoga Studio in Chicago, good for 5  drop-in yoga classes, including prenatal, mom &baby, and kids classes (estimated value 70.00).

Raffle #5: One knitted hat from Manziknitz (any size). Winner and knitter will discuss patterns and color choices after raffle ends.  Jen has made some really cute items for others in the group.  We’re looking forward to seeing what the winner has made!  This raffle also includes an adorable  unique Didymos baby bib, with the didymos logo on the front, and a 40 load bag of Norwex Ultra Plus Laundry Detergent.1238325_10201324721934904_50188713_n

Raffle #6:  Juice Plus and a Custom Portrait by Mary Haas:  Mary is one of our fearless leaders, and also an artist.  She has volunteered to donate an 8×10 matted Custom Black and White Charcoal Portrait of a Single Subject.  Details as follows:

Portrait will be drawn on archival quality charcoal paper. Portrait will be drawn from photographs supplied by client. Supplied pictures must be ones for which the client owns the copyright, and has the legal right to reproduce. Please plan to provide multiple photographs to give the artist a better sense of how the subject truly looks. Higher resolution photographs (such as those taken with a DSLR camera) are best. Additionally, the best photographs for portraits are taken in natural light without a flash. Please allow 4-6 weeks for completion of the finished portrait. Certificate does not include shipping charges, if applicable. For examples of finished pieces please visit  http://maryhaas.com/custom-portraits/

Also included is a one month adult supply of Juice Plus Chewables Orchard Blend and a one month supply of Juice Plus Chewables Garden Blend (120 chewables each).

Raffle #7:  WAHM made custom nursing pillow donated from Cygnus Lactation.  The pillow has 3 removable foam inserts to adjust to the height of the pillow.  Also includes a pair of girly reversible teething/suck pads from little trendsetters and a pair of Monkey patterned Rock-A-Thigh baby socks in size 0-6 months.  And last but not least, a fun wooden toy donated from Max and Jack’s Room.1374148_10201324722374915_2032321595_n

Raffle #8:  A Pair of new brown football babylegs (NWOT from a combo pack a leader had), a pair of boyish reversible suck pads from Little Trendsetters, a 2T-3T tie dyed t-shirt from The Pink Willow Tree, and one beautiful grad dyed mama scarf from Lavender Llama.  Also now included is  a jar of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder that washes approximately 100 standard loads, generously donated by New Mother New Baby in Northbrook.

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Raffle #9:  One beautiful grad dyed mama scarf from Lavender Llama and one Corolle mon premier 12 inch Tidoo Candy doll (bath baby) donated by Building Blocks Toy Store.  Soft and poseable, Tidoo is so light that it floats in the water. Featuring smooth, delicately scented vinyl skin and filled with polystyrene beads that dry quickly, Tidoo is a favorite playmate out of the tub, too. Designed in France and part of Corolle’s Mon Premier Collection for the littlest mommies.- (estimated value 62.00).1394033_10201324722534919_168611583_n

Raffle#10:  One pair of red babylegs, one pair of size 6-8 Rock-A-Thigh Baby socks (they run small), and one size 6 tie dye girls short sleeved dress donated from The Pink Willow Tree.

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To Purchase any tickets, please email us or contact a leader via the Facebook group and we will get you taken care of ASAP.  The raffles will be chosen after this weekend, and some have great odds right now!