Author Archives: Elise Willson

My Nappy Bag Essentials – slowly learning as I go

A few essentials...

A few essentials…

I am certainly no expert but when a portion of my every day includes making sure the nappy bag is packed with all the essentials….. well, I could probably write a book!…. And so could most mums I know, so I thought today I’d share a few of what I consider MY super essentials…..

First things first… I have a fabulous Oi Oi Black Quilted Nappy Bag which I loooooove (similar here), it’s perfectly classic and non-feminine so Howard doesn’t mind slinging it over his shoulder! But with a very large baby bump, terrible balance and Evie not needing as much on our outings from the bag, I have recently purchased a simple, attractive Sportsgirl backpack (similar here)! BEST DECISION EVER! It is so so much easier having a backpack on when chasing a toddler around the shops, gives me two hands! Mine is also smaller in design so I can’t overfill it with a weeks worth of nappies… And thank God back packs are in at the moment!

My Essentials…

(Clockwise from Top Left) ** please not that this is NOT a sponsored post! Sharing my honest opinions on some great products…..

Cherub Rubs Skin Guard – Living in sub tropical weather it’s so essential to keep the mosquitos away from the little ‘uns but I always feel horrendous spraying anything overpowering or chemically laden on their skin…. especially when it’s a daily occurrence! This Certified Organic, all natural wonder is light, with no strong odours and does the job!!

Only Papaya Paw Paw Balm – Although Evie’s skin is a lot less sensitive these days, Paw Paw balm used to be one of the few things we could use on her little toosh for nappy rash…. We have many a tube stocked up ready for our next baby

Silicone Teething Necklace – I love this simple tube design for a teething necklace…. but honestly for the life of me cannot remember what brand it is! If anyone knows please shout it out!! Similar ones from Jellystones can be found in the link. I’m a big fan of necklaces, not so much when they’re destroyed by my mini me…. these are just the greatest, baby-proof invention!

Jeans West Lightweight Scarf – Trying to tackle breastfeeding in Queensland heat can be absolutely horrendous…. imagine drinking a milkshake in a sauna!! I now have a serious collection of large, lightweight ‘summer’ scarves that I use as breastfeeding covers when out and about! They look nice, aren’t bulky, they breeeeathe and are a bonus cover up for any spit ups or glamorous leaky boobs!

Moogoo Eczema & Psoriasis Cream – Queensland weather strikes again! Heat rash really smashed Evie this last summer and we really tried all sorts of creams but this bad boy honestly did the trick! Recommended by my fabulous Sister in Law who used this religiously for her 1 year old boy’s Eczema

Mint & Arrows Daisy Headband – You might think a kid’s headband shouldn’t be included in with Nappy Bag essentials but when you’re little girl’s hair is somewhere between Leo Sayer and North West, you stock up on headbands like tinned beans!! So instead of people worrying how my child looks like Kath from Kath&Kim (google it, it’s not a compliment), they comment on her gorgeous tamed locks peeking out from that saviour of a headband…. because, you know what, brushing knotted ringlets every day is just not on my game plan!

Natures Child Wonder Balm – We bought this brand originally to use as a Nappy Rash balm (which it did do a brilliant job at) but have since used it for other rashes, grazes, bites and stings. Organic and the brand also sell a brilliant Nipple Balm which I was totally happy using knowing that the ingredients would be getting passed onto my feeding baby.

I’m still learning and each different parenting stage brings a whole lot of new products and ‘essentials’ to navigate…. hope this helps someone out, it’s much nicer buying something from someone else’s honest feedback…. not because the cooing baby ad told you to.

xxx

Elise

Pregnancy brain ….. when even thinking of a blog post title is too much….

The fact that I’ve been sitting here staring blankly at the screen for about 10 whole minutes just about sums up this article….. my brain actually just shuts off… not distracted…. just a whole lot of _____________________________ and occasional blinking!

Pregnancy induced brain uselessness (official medical term that is), can hit at any time and manifests in a multiple of exciting ways…. such as frequently popping the kettle in the fridge (apparently an everyday occurrence for my beloved pregnant SIL Sarah), attempts at adult conversation just coming out as mumbled, fat-tongued gibberish usually only experienced after dental work, never arriving at the right place or time for anything scheduled and always ALWAYS stopping in a state of dumb confusion when entering a room thinking ‘what the hell did I come in here for again?’

This is me every.single.day! Please please please reassure me with some sort of ‘it happens to every one’, ‘it’ll pass as soon as that baby is out’, ‘it’s actually a sign of advanced intelligence’…. because right now I’m feeling like a pretty useless, mentally stumped, rapidly expanding whale who’s brain has decided to vacate for nine months.

So far my pregnancy brain (or momnesia as google just informed me) hasn’t caused any serious injury or death to anyone….. not as far as I can remember anyway. It just rattles me enough to not undertake anything too vital that it can’t handle being done 100% completely wrong, if at all….. which of course my husband loves…. I’m sooooo useful right now.

I’ve recently undertaken some wonderfully helpful (and simple) tricks to help me get through this pregnancy with hopefully, in the very least, remembering how to get to the hospital.

Lists, lists, lists!….

The surefire way to make a dent in the jumbled, mumbled mess of whirling emotions, reminders, tasks and distractions is to right it ALL down… I have a chronic, possibly diagnosable obsession with writing lists! I have a list currently open on my PC titled ‘Lists of Lists to Write’. No joke! I have to categorise the craziness happening in my mind before I can tackle any of it. Any time I feel overwhelmed (which let’s be honest, with added hormones these days is pretty damn often) one of the best ways for me to cool my lid is to write it all out…… I currently have my next three months whittled out in to twelve lists! It keeps me sane….. well…. marginally more sane

Buy a diary

And I mean an actual tangible one… made out of trees and everything. Buy one that you love, looks good, not so big that you’ll never have it with you and preferably shows the whole week across two pages. Sit down at some stage every week, scribble out anything scheduled, write out things you’d like to tackle that week (but keep it low pressure, because some weeks just surviving should earn you a medal) and if all this task gets you is actually learning what day today is…. then YAY!

Basic meals and emergency food

For me, things were certainly easier with my first pregnancy in terms of keeping fed. But the added responsibility of feeding an 18 month old is most days almost enough to undo me! I am perfectly happy (and this growing bump seems super keen as well) to live off constant vegemite toast and M&Ms….. but I don’t think I’m being overly health-conscious in striving for a bit more variety in my toddler’s diet over this 9 month stretch. And little Evie’s routine (which I love, love, love) doesn’t allow tooooo much room for me to totally blank out when it’s time for a meal. So two of my saviours have been to have a freezer stock of super easy, go-to meals, like veggie slice/savoury muffins; and to always have eggs on hand…. maybe random, but eggs have got to be the greatest meal-time creation ever! Many a last minute omelette, scrambled eggs or good ol’ hard boiled egg have been whipped up in this house. It’s a healthy no brainer, and I probably only overcook/destroy on average 30% of them 🙂 That’s good stats for ‘pregnancy brain’ cooking, don’t ask about my continued failed attempts at ‘simple, no-fail’ fritters.

But my biggest saviour has been actually allowing myself to be mentally rubbish for the time being… because every single brain cell has been re-assigned to focus entirely on growing this mini human inside  of me into the perfect combination of healthy, cute, polite and sassy! That’s backed by science right? I’m just careful about what I promise people and try to keep everyone’s expectations nice and low 🙂 The fact that I’ve kept this post relatively on track (please don’t ask how many weeks/hours it’s taken for me to write/stare blankly at it) has earned me at least some emoji high-fives?!!

So once again, be nice to yourself as your mind and body keeps throwing you curveballs ….. and have a good laugh!! … see the funny side to your pregnancy fog! I know a few of my nearest and dearest definitely get a giggle out of me….. I might as well join them!

What are your ‘pregnancy brain’ stories? Share them in the comments section for some collective laughs and to reassure me that I’m not alone!

xxx

Elise

Image – Modern Family

Pregnancy really messes with your body…

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds - source pop sugar.com

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds – source pop sugar.com

Curse you Blake Lively!!!!!….. It would really have done the world of good to the female populations’ self confidence if the stunning Blake Lively ballooned out like a swollen whale and was plagued with hormonal acne while pregnant…. but alas, apparently having Ryan Reynolds draped over her arm as the ultimate man candy wasn’t enough of a blessing, she blossomed into that glowing, magical pregnancy unicorn that I hate to know exists. Now I honestly don’t wish any curses upon her, and really do HATE mum-shaming culture but damn it bites sometimes! Being pregnant with number two I’m living in a little bit of fear of the massive weight gain I put on the first time around (25 kilos!!!!….. yes 25 kilograms on a nice average 62 kilo frame…. it was a waddling, swollen nightmare). I’ve been trying so much harder this time to look after my body (and in turn this growing baby), but to also appreciate and allow the necessary changes to happen. Because last time it was only really in hindsight that I realised how awesome being pregnant was, and how proud of my body I was. It totally completely sucks sometimes, I hate having the skin of a teenager for months, and proper elephant ankles (second only to Kim Kardashian’s whoppers when pregnant with North….. those pictures were my comfort)….. but my body honestly rocked it sometimes! Even with my breaking of the bathroom scales, I came out with only two minor stretch marks that soon faded into insignificance! My average B cup boobs totally owned the breast feeding thing, even though they loved to leak like tears in The Notebook. And at the end of the day my insanely clever insides managed to create and grow an entire perfectly proportioned human…. something that no male can ever do, no matter how fabulous or how many California’s they Govern. So if you are interested in any way at all, feel free to peruse your way through my pearls of incredibly substantiated wisdom in caring for that bump….

  • Do something active. This has been my salvation second time around… I am about as active and physically committed to exercise as Jabba the Hut on a good day! But horrible pain in my hips from them constantly expanding and the fear of having absolutely no endurance in labour has given me pretty damn good motivation. I now enjoy frequenting a local Aqua Aerobics class with the company of 40 women at least 30 years my senior, and honestly those old birds can aqua lunge and squat circles around me any day. This combined with a good old Pregnancy Yoga DVD from eBay has kept me feeling so sooooo much better. As always be careful what you’re undertaking physically while pregnant (especially if it’s new) and get the go ahead from your Doctor.
  • Smother that belly. I think each medical professional will give you conflicting advice if this helps or not but over moisturising those new bumps and curves will never do you any harm. In the very least you get a free massage out of the partner every now and then (threatening them with googled images of horrific stretch mark damage is usually enough). I started the habit nice and early, as soon as those two lines appeared I made sure there were oils and moisturisers always at the ready. Have even convinced Evie (my 18 month old) that rubbing cream on mummy’s belly is really fun…. still working on her neck massaging skills.
  • Magnesium and TEDS for fat feet and muscle cramps. If crazy hormones and snoring isn’t enough already to turn off your man then just wait until he sees you in a super hot pair of hospital support stockings! I get the worst fluid retention if I’m on my feet for anything more than one hour and wearing anything more attractive than CROCS or Nanna’s Paediatric Clogs. It’s not a pretty sight for anyone and is only surpassed by the vision of my uncoordinated struggle to pull on the super tight TED socks (that my wonderful father smuggles home for me from work at the Hospital). But these socks coupled with a few sprays of 100% Pure Magnesium Oil onto the soles of my feet seriously works wonders  for my fluid build up, those demonic calf muscle cramps and even help me sleep better. Seriously, buy some magnesium oil (wouldn’t recommend spraying it anywhere near your growing bump without a Drs thumbs up or any broken skin), it lasts forever! And go visit anyone you may be slightly acquainted with in hospital in the aim to steal their hospital bed socks …… or buy some from the chemist if you’re rolling in extra change
  • Beware Pregnancy Arms…. These things will put any bingo hall to shame and have a tendency to haunt you in Facebook tags for years to come. A little motivation goes a long way and I have a particular photo of myself around 8 months pregnant with Evie that is stuck on that social media wall of shame which shows my previously shapely arms as headless lumpy figures standing awkwardly close to my side. It is my absolute least favourite image of myself and although keeping my arms slim (or as slim as possible for someone who retains fluid like a camel) is an entirely selfish aesthetic goal, it is one I’m happy to be striving for. And there is thankfully an absolute master of arm sculpting called Tracy Anderson who’s ‘Sexy Arms’ workouts (easily YouTube searched) are deceptively horrendous and effective. Start off with the 4 min one and when you feel like punishing yourself a little further dive into the 12 minute version. And the major perk of strengthening your arms is that you’ll soon be carrying around a 3.5 kilo baby constantly and you’ll be wishing you did absolutely anything to help make that easier.

Above everything be kind and forgiving of your body and its changes…. I like to maintain that with a team of stylists I too would look like Blake Lively…. hmmm, maybe more like an average Lena Dunham…. but that’s ok coz I make insanely adorable babies and people would pay good money for that! Stay tuned for some more pregnancy-change related articles….. might be a while away because my next subject is Pregnancy Brain so naturally I have absolutely no idea what to write…. xxx Elise

Lets shop small – my picks of the best small business finds this Christmas

Oh how we love the online world……. particularly for it’s never ending end of shopping goodness. This Christmas make a decision to shop from small businesses and keep this amazing creative community kicking 🙂

I’ve created a wonder list of shopping ideas for you to start you in the right direction (mainly it’s my personal wish list so dear ones please take note of this not so subtle hint)

For her

Mint and Gold Wooden necklace $16

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2015 Letterpress Desk Calendar $40.51

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Silver Tube necklace $50.04

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Hand printed paper $18

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For him

iPhone 6 Wooden Desk dock $41.70

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Cookie Mix $14.95

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DIY Kit for Leather sunglasses case $69

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For the little’uns

Tropical Pom Pom shorts $28

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Handpainted Timber Block Set $64.95

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Sunshine Head wrap $22

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Mint Wooden Toy Camera $47.65

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Mint and Metallic Romper $38

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For the home

Set of 3 mini concrete houses

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Slate Garden tags $24.95

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Mint X Cushion Cover $45

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Do you have a handmade/small business or absolutely love one in particular? Give them a shout out and share the love!

Happy shopping everyone, I much prefer shopping from the comfort of my couch to the craziness of the malls/shopping centres this time of year…… holiday cheer is NOT always around

Surviving an international trip with a 4 month old

The Laynes, Brighton

The Laynes, Brighton

Rewind about 3 years and I was in Sydney meeting up with some English friends travelling through with their 4 month old baby girl… they were stopping in Sydney en route to Los Angeles from London… ‘Crazy!’ Is what I thought, I sat there in absolute awe of this couple who had either the balls or the stupidity required to attempt something like this!

Present day, I am a survivor… I honestly think I deserve a badge or plaque or something 🙂 We did it! Last Christmas my ridiculously good looking hubby and I slummed in on a 36 hour flight journey (and back), braved the wrath of fellow passengers, struggled with a jet lagged baby (our darling bubba Evie), slept in 6 different beds over 3 weeks, and all in all had a wonderfully memorable, exhausting and well worth it trip!

We planned, planned and planned before departing (well I did anyway)… I think I read absolutely everything on the internet which had anything to do with travelling with babies (which in turn made me freak one minute and feel calmly reassured in the next…. the joys of internet contradictions). So  naturally I need to add my 2 cents to this pile (although I do feel my 2 cents is worth a lot more…. 5 cents at least)

Read on for my 7 lessons learnt from international travel with a baby….. (phew)

 

1. Age is key!

As any parent knows, a baby literally changes before your eyes… they grow and develop at an incredible rate! So taking a 4 month old on a plane is going to be verrryyyy different to taking a 14 month old. For us, we found our little Evie was at a great age for long haul flying, at 4 months old she was happiest when being constantly cuddled, slept easily in new places and with noise, and only needed breastfeeding for sustenance. As babies go, she was at a low maintenance age.

Half way there

Half way there

2. Never enough nappies!

Someone suggested doubling the usual nappy/to hour ratio for when on planes and I’m glad I did. It must have something to do with the cabin pressure….. or maybe the hideous plane food travelling through to my milk, because I swear she has never ever pooped so much! You know those teeny tiny bins in the plane bathroom toilets?? I was terrified it was going to be overflowing with 5 hours of travel still to go.

3. When you gotta go….

While we’re on the subject of baby poop… There’s always one comical moment that you’ll joke about being the worst time for your baby to fill their nappy. Yes we joked, and yes we were not the last ones laughing. It was the beginning of our very very long journey home, 40 hours to be precise, we had settled into our seats, seat belts fastened as the plane started to taxi along the runway. My precious, delicate little girl was in my arms with her own seat belt fastened around mine…. she hadn’t pooped in 3 days…. as she gazed at me with her perfect big blue eyes she started to frown…. and go red…. and… oh god…. what was that noise?? Her little body actually shuddered for about 2 minutes as the most horrendous smell seeped through the cabin. The plane hadn’t even taken off at this stage so we were still confined to our seats for what seemed like years (and probably an eternity to the poor souls sitting nearby). It was what is know as a uber poo… filling every single layer of clothing and dousing mum just to be sure. As soon as that seatbelt sign switched off we run like Usain to the toilets. No item of clothing was salvageable, everything was binned. I’m sure somewhere on the net you will be able to find the horror story written from the viewpoint of our fellow passengers.

Me and my winter Bear

Me and my winter Bear

4. Jetlagged baby

Jetlag is a horrible horrible thing for anyone  afflicted by it and I have always hated being struck down with it. But while preparing myself for the usual middle of the night wakings, 3pm nodding off and general uneasiness, I just never even considered that my baby would be jet lagged too. And while adults have the ability to ‘push through’ mentally, bubs just have no bloody idea what is going on….. She would wake up at 2am bright as a daisy, getting more and more frustrated as to why mum and dad wouldn’t play with her, and the afternoons saw her getting ridiculously overtired and agitated. I’m not sure if I actually have any advice as to helping this, except if at all possible try and keep some kind of routine for them to get used to (pretty difficult when visiting and staying with different relatives every two days), and as much sunlight as you can find always helps the body clock.

5. Prepare for lots of luggage

Plan to be comfortable wearing the same outfit A LOT! Because something a whole lot more deserving of valuable luggage space is all the baby stuff! so so so much stuff! Pram, car capsule, capsule base, pram winter cover, pram rain cover (it was England), winter clothes, winter snow suit, so so many baby blankets, baby wipes, nappies, nappies, nappies, bottles, breast pump, breast pads, dummies (pacifiers), teething rusks/medication, comforting blankets/toys, familiar toys…… oh the list goes on and on. Tips are …. use your pram to wheel all the crap around, gate check your pram if your airline allows it, get a GREAT baby carrier to use in airports or while on the plane (safer than walking the aisles with no spare hands), beg borrow and steal baby paraphernalia from your contacts at the other end, and just be ready to spend a lot longer than usual juggling all of your stuff in the airports…. it’s not going to be glamorous or fun… I’m sorry.

Christmas day walk

Christmas day walk

6. Don’t expect relaxation

If we had planned this trip to the other side of the world with expectations of a grand European adventure I am pretty sure I would have been bitterly disappointed. 3 weeks is way too short a time to fly that far, expect a baby to adjust, adjust yourself, and take in exciting sights every day. Although we enjoyed ourselves across England, Holland and Spain, our primary reason for the whole trip was to see our family and introduce them to the newest member of the family. The highlight for me was the entire extended family getting together to celebrate Oma’s 96th birthday in Holland…. incredibly priceless and worth all the jet lag and travel problems in the world. After the whirlwind journey we came home utterly exhausted and entirely in need of a post-holiday holiday.

Oma's 96th

Oma’s 96th

7. Prepare for after

Which takes me to my final point…. prepare for afterwards. If you can swing extra days before returning to work (or return on a Friday) and plan to just recover you will thank me! Bribe family and friends with overseas treats to bring you healthy food for a few days, help with your laundry and make sure you don’t sleep all day…. but only invite people you’re comfortable with seeing you in all of your blood-shot, panda-eyes and pyjama-wearing glory. It took us a reeeaallllly long time to adjust back and recover. Healthier food, sunshine, gentle exercise, fresh air and rest will be your best friend. Which is very easy to say but hard to do when all you want is unhealthy amounts of coffee, hot chips in gravy and a week of staying in bed. And prepare yourself for your little one needing to adjust as well, it took Evie a good two months to get back into her pre-holiday sleeping routine.

So be brave and tackle the dreaded international travel with a baby thing! But for me, I’m staying local for relaxing getaways, the long haul is for family only with little’uns.

Have you survived any big journeys with your baby? What are your sanity-saving tips and tricks?

Nursery Feature – Oli’s Monochrome Big Boy Room

We all have them… those stunning friends with impeccable taste, who’s awesome little one’s could put North West or Cruz Beckham to shame. And the nurseries and playrooms belonging to these lucky offspring are always STUNNING! My beautiful friend Angela, with the help of her handy hubby Ant and little mister Oli, have created this awesome monochrome big boy’s room and been wonderful enough to share it with us!

Read on, enjoy and be inspired. xx
Bed scape

Dresser Corner Bedside table

Oh the places you'll go... Table

Dresser wall

 

Ang, how would you describe your styling choice for Oli’s Room?

It started with me just wanting to create a retreat for Oli…. not just somewhere for sleep but play as well, his own little room. It’s quite fresh, a little edgy and timeless… something he’ll (hopefully) still love for years to come. Although knowing me, I’ll want to change it up before that! Apart from the monochrome trend in the room, we wanted to fill it with encouraging quotes and travel inspiration, something that we’ve loved sharing as a family.

 

What’s your favourite piece in the room?

The bed! We bought it second hand for just $50!!! Was originally bright pink but became a labour of love as Ant and I made it work together. And I just love how it’s all come together style wise. The quilt (made by Oli’s Oona) and lightning bolt cushion (handmade by me) have sentimental value and I’m so happy with the results.

 

What design rule would you swear by when creating a new room?

Timeless! Especially for a kid’s room, stick to things they won’t grow out of in two years.

 

What was your splurge buy for this room?

Table and chairs! They’re replica Eames and I completely went all out on them!

 

Being a beautifully stylish mumma, who do you recommend following on Instagram?

Oh wow, where do I start!? So so many…. this list might be quite long.

Children of the Tribe @childrenofthetribe

FromZION @fromzion_

AURA Home @aurahome

Petite Vintage Interiors @petitevintagebel

Jr. Cooper Australia @jr_cooper_

Beau Hudson @beau_hudson

Zilvi | Interior Decor @_zilvi

Little Urban Apparel @littleurbanapparel

Leo and Bella @leoandbella

Hello Little Birdie @hellolittlebirdie

They’re all great for inspiration (and building that wish list)

 

Thanks Ang for letting us peek into this amazing room update! Maybe you can come and style my house now? 😉

 

Item details

Table and chairs – Replica Furniture

Bed – bought second hand from a friend

Bookshelf – Ikea

Baskets – Ikea spray painted yellow

Yellow Basket Bedside Table – Willow & Bird at Cotton Tree, QLD

Lamp – Home Secret at Kawana

Triangle garland – homemade

Zebra Print – Farrah’s Stone

Quilt – homemade by Oli’s Oona

Lightning Bolt pillow – homemade

#Awesome pillow – Ruckus from Adairs

Black crochet cushion – Ikea

Wall decals – McKnight Signs 

Stag Head – Typo

 

Baby Wearing Part 2 – a whole lot of information

~ please note that this is not a sponsored post ~

The wonderfully helpful ladies at Wear Your Baby (WYB) were kind enough to sit down with me, my limited knowledge and multitudes of questions to try and help decipher the often overwhelming world of Baby Wearing.

So if the idea of deciding on a carrier or even considering one is enough to see you cowering in Baby Wonderland then read on, arm yourself with some knowledge and tackle the process with the confidence of a Ring-slinging, baby-toting, Paltrow-shaming, superwoman.

I’ve included below a GREAT and simple guideline to lay a nice foundation for your baby-wearing expertise that can be found from the Office of Fair Trading Baby Wearing safety page. A few of these have popped into my head when putting on our carrier lately. A few odd glances may have been given with me muttering ‘close enough to kiss, close enough to kiss’….. incidentally people give you a wide berth when you mumble this under your breath.

TICKS

Lots of information! I have referred back to my notes multiple times over the last few weeks so please don’t try to ‘download’ this all at once. Take one bit of advice away at a time.

Let’s go through the different types of carriers.

Boba Wrap

Boba Wrap

Wraps – what I tend to think of as the most intimidating carriers. Still yet to personally attack this option because I feel like I’d either fail so miserably with the wrapping  directions, resulting with a baby bungee jumping from my chest or over wrap and triple knot so much that I’d need those Fire Department jaws of life to untangle me.

But I have been reassured!!! Once again thank the Lordy for the internet that spits out all the life instructions we need! Step by step videos (click here) spell it out for us and WYB strongly recommend practising over a bed until you’re confident you have it right.

Wraps can either be…

  • Stretchy, made from a cotton/elastene mix and ideal for smaller babies (up to 6kg)
  • Woven (with no stretch)
  • or Pre-tied wraps (e.g. such as the Caboo, perfect for Dad’s or those new to baby wearing). 
Hug a Bub Ring Sling

Hug a Bub Ring Sling

Ring Slings – these have the wonderful added benefit of basically being pre-tied. Stretchy, generally woven cotton. Quick and adjustable and are slung over one shoulder and around the waist. A really nice middle ground I feel on wraps! I did once have one of these and once again my lack of having any idea how to use it left it buried at the bottom of the closet. I cannot stress how fabulous it is having someone show you (sometimes over and over again) how to use it properly.

Boba Carrier

Boba Carrier

Soft Structured Carriers. These guys can be verrrrry overwhelming and are what really stumped me while shopping. There.Are.HUNDREDS!…. So many different brands that honestly looked identical to me, so where the hell do you start? Luckily for me (and you!), WYB really know their stuff and instead of overwhelming customers with too many options, they have sourced the brands that in their opinions are the best. The Beco Soleil that we chose for me and my family is honestly brilliant and has already been worth its weight in gold (and don’t tell the Hubby but I’m eyeing off a Boba wrap in prettttyyy fabric).

Soft Structured Carriers will generally have a waist belt (my advice, make sure you have a waist belt, sooooo much more comfortable and less neck/shoulder strain), and two shoulder straps. They have many different position options for varying ages/weights; such as, forwards front, inwards front, inwards back, on the hip etc.

My 1 year in particular does love facing forward for periods of time, especially when outside. But worth noting that forward facing isn’t ergonomically the best option and can also be overstimulating. It should also only be used when hub is old enough to have good neck/head control and only ever for short periods of time.

Pearls of Wisdom from WYB

  • Every carrier (that WYB stocks anyway, I probably can’t vouch for every single one worldwide…. but most anyway) should be possible to put on on your own when correctly following the instructions
  • Try and avoid the cradle hold, and only carry your child in the upright (straight up and down) position. This is something that WYB do feel strongly about after their accredited training due to breathing complications that otherwise can incur.
  • Double wearing is a possibility with multiples! But definitely seek some professional advice and assistance when learning the best holds, combinations for your unique kids’ ages and weights. You do need confidence and strength for this but will always be more supportive on your body that double carrying without a carrier.
  • For a child with special needs always consult for proper assistance. A properly used carrier can assist with many varying needs. WYB have had particularly great feedback from clients with babies struggling with reflux. A secure upright position can be a godsend for this! ( And who wouldn’t try anything to help settle reflux)
  • Confidence is key when getting used to your new carrier. Practise putting it on either with help or over a bed until you feel comfortable. Babies pick up on your nerves as well so maybe keep them distracted with a toy or song when you’re practising.
  • Always use as per instructions…. and if they are cryptic/ridiculous then chat to a professional consultant. Sometimes someone physically demonstrating it is all you need

Benefits of Baby Wearing

  • People often talk about the ‘fourth’ trimester. Those first 3 months of baby’s life where it’s beneficial to simulate the closeness of pregnancy. Baby Wearing soothes and comforts with familiar smells and sounds
  • Wearing your baby can help make night sleeps better! Sign me up now!
  • When worn tightly and securely in a carrier, the gentle movements of the parent (or carer) can help baby’s stabilising muscles develop. Sometimes resulting in a reduced need for tummy time (though baby wearing for 5 minutes a week doesn’t mean you can avoid it completely…. nice try! Who really loves tummy time?)
  • Great for Dad’s and other carer’s to build attachment! They still have two hands free to cook dinner, massage mum’s feet etc… and get amazing bonding time.
  • Jessie from WYB has personally vouched for Baby Wearing being a saviour when building attachment to their young foster children. It helps them feel safer and more secure in a different environment

Now before you start shopping for your carrier ask yourself the following questions to help narrow down the options.

  1. What will you be using it for? How long each day? Where?
  2. Who’s going to use it? What is their size, strength etc?
  3. Price range – a decent one with longevity (in Australia) $160-$250
  4. Book in with a consultant if still struggling

And remember if someone isn’t loving their carrier (like I used to feel) it’s usually because it’s not being used properly. A good carrier should be able to last your whole family and grow with your child (probably not to teenage years, I’d draw the line before then).

Phew! Information overload. No wonder this post has taken me so long to write (sorry bout that)….. but so much of what I was learning is still sinking in. Would love to hear your stories (and struggles) with baby wearing and pleeeease share any wonderful tips and tricks with the online world here. We’re all constantly learning how to be mums.

And honestly Carly and Jessie from Wear Your Baby have been incredible and really know their stuff. If you are on the market for a carrier or need some help with one you already have, hit them up!

www.wearyourbaby.com.au

And thanks for reading 🙂

xxxx