Soft Structured Carrier Sizing

Purchasing a carrier is a huge investment and there are many things to take into consideration. Soft Structured Carriers (SSC) offer convenience, support and are easily accessible. Many SSC brands offer different sizes, some offer Infant, while most offer Standard and Toddler, which provide appropriate sized panel width and height.

Sizing is incredibly important with SSC’s, a carrier that is too large for the child can over-extend baby’s knees, not allowing for the “M” position. (knees above bum and carrier only going to the back of the knee) Hyper extending a child’s knees in a carrier that is too large can be incredibly painful for the child, as their weight is resting on their legs instead of their bottom.

Often we are asked “what is the best SSC”, or “I was told I NEED a such and such SSC carrier” SSC’s fit different body styles differently, what one person finds comfortable, another may not. There is a large number of SSC brands and we highly recommend trying on several carriers to see which is the most comfortable for you. There are several stores where you can try on carriers, or you can attend one of our ten monthly meetings. We would be happy to help you find a soft structured carrier that fit both individual carrying and the individual being carried appropriately.
Below we have placed a large toddler in each different soft structured carrier. The toddler’s stats are 31lbs, 38” and wears 4T clothing comfortably, she has both a long torso and long legs.

pickerimage(8) pickerimage(2)pickerimage(7)SSC'spickerimage(6)pickerimage(5)pickerimage(3)pickerimage(4)pickerimage(12)pickerimage(1)  pickerimage(10)  pickerimage(11)    pickerimage(9)

Advertisements

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.)

Thank you for the Goodies!

We’re gearing up for International Babywearing Week (IBW), and life is pretty hectic for our group right now.  We actually have 9 events planned over 6 days next week!  Can you believe it?  All of our events are listed on our blog calendar HERE.  And we did a preliminary post HERE.  We have gotten two packages in the mail from BWI recently, and we don’t want to forget to say THANKS!

THANKS BWI, Moby Wrap, Boba, Slingrings.com, and Comfy Joey!

We are a large group, and we actually have a really nice lending library.  But we also have a lot of members who borrow the carriers frequently, and get great use out of their optional membership, so we see a lot of wear and tear from use on them.  Between the 4 libraries and around 8 monthly meetings, we’re often running carriers from leader to leader before meetings, to ensure we have adequate carriers for folks to try on at the free meetings!  We are really, really thankful for donations of carriers for the library.  We appreciate the support as we all help support one another in this parenting (and caregiving) journey.

A few weeks ago, we were sent 3, count them 3 Boba carriers!  Boba was kind enough to make a HUGE donation to BWI that was distributed throughout the chapters.  We are really grateful for these carriers.  We get a ton of requests for Boba carriers in our group, so this was a welcomed package at my doorstep.  We received:

  • A black Boba stretchy wrap
  • A striking blue Boba Air carrier
  • A very gender neutral “Safari” Boba version 3G carrier

Much of our group had never seen a Boba Air in person, so we’re excited to hear the feedback from our group on it!  They are very well made and well loved carriers.  You can find more information about them HERE.

Here’s a quick photo:

IMG_3992

Then today, low and behold, another package arrived from BWI.  It contained carriers that were donated from sponsors of this year’s IBW Celebration.

Today’s box contained these fun goodies:
1379559_10201288312504691_181809995_n

We received:

  • A black MobyGo carrier with a very pretty pattern called “Barberry”.
  • A few reusable bags that say “International Babywearing Week 2013 Get Carried Away!” and have logos for peace, love, and babywearing.
  • A few coupons included for online retailers, as well as pamphlets that we can give to new attendees at meetings.  (I know a few of you missed those recently while we waited for more to arrive).
  • Multiple sizes and pairs of slingrings, that we can use with woven wraps to show caregivers additional versatility of wraps, with variations on standard and nonstandard carries.
  • Last but not least, a beautiful gray Comfy Joey linen ring sling in “Storm Gray” that has a gorgeous tail accent in “Surf Blue”.

Comfy Joey is Extra Awesome!

We also have an extra thank you for Comfy Joey.  They gave a number of lending libraries a 50% discount to purchase carriers this summer.  We purchased 3 ring slings, one of each type.  We bought:

  • A royal blue water mesh ring sling
  • A toddler width linen sling (Sipadan Island- teal green linen)
  • A regular width linen sling (Sullivan’s Bay- sea green linen)

1013369_10200664121300301_1541776078_n

Here are two of our members rocking CJ ring slings. 😉

If you’d like to find out more information about any of these carriers or accessories, here are the websites that can help you.  We’d also LOVE it if you thanked them for their generosity!

Boba:   http://www.bobafamily.com
Moby:  http://www.mobywrap.com/mw/Home.htm
Slingrings:  http://www.slingrings.com
Comfy Joey:  http://www.comfyjoey.com/index.php

Stay Tuned!

The next week or two will be a flurry of fun activities and information!