Thursday, 21 January 2016

Nova Baby Deluxe Mei Tai

I've not had much experience with mei tais. I tried a lower end one when middle boy was a baby but didn't find it particularly comfortable and was much happier wrapping! So I was looking forward to trying one again.
The Deluxe Mei Tai from Nova Baby Carriers, a Norfolk based company, arrived to stay for a couple of weeks. It's aimed at babies from 6 - 24 months old (max 15kg).
It has a padded waistband and straps, which were very comfortable. The fabric design was cute and fairly unisex, and I guess could be reversed so the plain side is showing if you wished. 
Smallest boy is now 9 months old and around 21lb and fit in really snug and comfortably - showing his approval by having a nap! The padding on the shoulders meant I could carry him for ages without it getting diggy. 
The only slight negative for me was I had to tie off under his bum when on the front, I'd personally prefer slightly longer straps so I could cross and tie at the back, but that is just a preference, though a couple of ladies who tried it at sling meet mentioned the same. 
We tried a back carry, excuse the face, I always feel a bit odd smiling for selfies when out and about! Again, the padding just made it super comfy and he was very happy.
All in all I enjoyed testing this carrier, it got good feedback from sling meet and if I ever decided to convert to a mei tai Nova Baby would be a big contender! 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Yaro Basket Wrap Review

Yaro is an affordable brand of woven wraps produced in the EU. I actually bought a Blue Ivy when smallest boy was newborn, but it was just a bit too baby blue for us (though wrapped gorgeously!)

So I was keen to test another Yaro, and was sent an Emerald Basket, size 6, 100% cotton wrap. 

When I first opened the Yaro Basket I felt it was a bit too retro looking for me, however, the design grew on me as soon as I wrapped my smallest boy! Here he is enjoying our go-to back carry - the double hammock. 

The wrap felt quite light and thin, nice and easy to wrap with but still supportive, and the thinness makes tying off almost effortless. It wasn't the softest wrap I've tried but being 100% cotton I'd imagine a bit more breaking in would improve that massively. 

Both Yaros I've tried have had a lovely sheen to them, and they come in a range of beautiful designs, blends and colours - definitely worth checking out, I've got a grey La Vita on my wishlist!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Positive New Year

2015 hasn't been my favourite year, which is a shame because it's the year gorgeous Luke arrived into our world. It just feels that everything has gone wrong recently, but I won't bore you with those details!
So I was on a bit of a downer towards the end of the year and around Christmas, and I'm sure my closest friends were sick of me moaning. Therefore I've decided 2016 is going to be a positive one. After all, I have a happy, healthy family, which is the main thing. 
I want 2016 to be the year of new things. The husband is starting a new job next week which he is looking forward to. It may mean a minor relocation for us, but that will come with its own adventure of exploring a new area with my boys.
I've set up a Facebook page to share this blog, which will hopefully encourage me to keep it up this time! (Please visit and give me a like!)
I am also going to be involved in starting a sling library in the very near future, South Cheshire Babywearers is already a popular sling meet and demo library which I have helped to run for a while now, so I am very excited about being able to hire slings out. 
I won't make resolutions as I always break them, but I have lots to look forward to and be positive about and I think that's a good start to a happier me in 2016.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Daiesu Jigsaw Mustard Wrap Review

Towards the end of August 2015 I was lucky enough to try out a Daiesu woven wrap. It was the Jigsaw Mustard design, 100% cotton, size 6.
It arrived with me in a Daiesu branded bag which was a thoughtful touch.
I'd liked the jigsaw pattern since it came out but personally preferred the more vibrant colours, like Chilli or Grape, so wasn't sure this was really my thing. However the colour in real life is lovely, less mustard, more pale golden, nice and neutral and goes with anything!
My first venture out was to a mini sling meet and I actually tandemed my two youngest using Jigsaw with my then 4 month old in a fwcc, and my 2.5 year old in an Indio in a ruck. (Photo credit to my then almost 4 year old!) First thoughts were that the slight texture of the jigsaw design makes it nice and grippy for wrapping securely. It was also a good weight for summer, thin enough to keep us both cool while still offering good support - this is a big plus for me as I get so hot when carrying. Smallest boy certainly approved of this wrap, sleepy snuggles are a thumbs up from him!
Later in the week I tried my 2.5 year old in my favourite back carry, a double hammock. I found this super comfy, not diggy on my shoulders at all, and as you can see, perfectly wide enough for a chunky toddler. 
I loved hosting this wrap and would certainly recommend Daiesu wraps in future! Thank you for the opportunity to test.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

It's been a while!

Well it's been 2 years since I last blogged, so much for my resolutions of 2014! I had written a whole introduction post with the aim of starting a new blog but then I rediscovered this one and decided to continue it, so will post it here instead! Need to catch up anyway!

So I have 3 boys. When pregnant with number one in 2011 I was desperate for a boy, I think more for the hubby than anything else as I knew that's what he wanted! Number two arrived in 2013, I really wanted my eldest to have a brother, and that's what we got. With number three I think it was just relief that we'd be having another boy - I felt I knew what I was doing with boys, as much as anyone can with children. He arrived in 2015 and completed our family. 

Three babies within 3.5 years. I think I must be a little crazy but most of the time it's fun, and I love that they will grow up together, enjoying the same things at the same time. But the small gap has necessitated babywearing.
I bought a Babasling for my eldest, Ryan, and regret that I have zero photos of him in it! I used the pushchair a lot but carried the sling with me always, as like most babies he loved to be close and carried. While pregnant with my second, Liam, I knew I'd need a better, more sustainable option, as although I loved my Babasling, it wasn't always the most comfortable for a long amount of time. So I discovered South Cheshire Babywearers, my local group. Fell in love with the cosy comfort of the Moby wrap and purchased a Cadbury purple one from eBay. Needed a bit of tweaking once babe arrived but I proudly wore him everywhere in that snuggly piece of cloth!
Liam was a chunk though, and an April baby so by 12 weeks I was too hot and he was too nosey, so I ordered my first woven wrap. A Lenny Lamb outlet buy, still not exactly sure which colour way it is, Summer maybe, but it was love, and I've been wrapping ever since. 
Smallest boy, Luke, had his first carry in a ring sling, my coveted Natibaby giraffes, and as well as being wrapped in my own humble stash, he has been lucky enough to try a number of tester wraps, as I am now involved in running South Cheshire Babywearers, having been volunteering there since Liam was small really, with a brief break when I returned to work. So I thought I'd start a page where I could share my reviews and love for the art of babywearing. And here it is!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Baby on the cheap

So the news today is that the cost of raising a child to 21 is over £227000! Eek! But it got me thinking of how much stuff we buy for the tiniest of babies these days, and what do they really need. So here is my guide to baby's first year.
Food - breast milk exclusively until 6 months, then they can join in with family meals, and don't eat a lot before one anyway so shouldn't have a great impact on your pocket
Nappies - get reusable! I've spent less than £100 on nappies, wipes, nappy bin and wet bags. It's just an extra couple of washes a week.
Sleep - my youngest baby has shared my bed from newborn. I didn't plan it this way but with a feisty toddler to entertain in the day it was either co sleep or no sleep! I imagine he will be in with us until at least one so no need for a cot yet, even though he has his big brother's waiting for him.
Transport - car seat wise, I feel this is a necessary expense. Get the best you can afford and never buy second hand. But there's no need for a fancy pram/pushchair/travel system. Get a sling! Start with a stretchy wrap for your teeny newborn, then move on to a woven, ring sling or SSC as baby grows. My youngest has barely looked at the pushchair! Though, slings can be an expensive hobby so it's debatable whether it will save you money. But you can get more slings to the pound than pushchairs, and they're prettier!
Bathing - no need for plastic baby baths, babies don't need a daily bath anyway, and when they do it's much lovelier to just climb in with them, easier on the back too! Do invest in a snuggly soft towel though, I can recommend Cuddledry.
Clothing and toys - yes babies need clothes, but avoid tiny outfits. Much comfier for baby to live in a onesie in those early months, and they grow so quick. Buy a few simple vests and onesies, everyone will buy outfits and toys as gifts anyway, and most babies prefer a good old box and a wooden spoon to expensive toys!
I wish I'd thought more about this first time round, but the excitement just catches up with you and you want everything! And the benefit of hindsight is a great thing. Have I missed anything?

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Sling meet sadness

A lovely mama took this pic of me at my last sling meet yesterday. 

Feeling a bit sad. I'm due to return to work in Feb, only a few hours, but most of them are on sling meet day. 

I attended my first sling meet back in February last year when heavily pregnant with my second son. I had used a babasling with my eldest, but was thinking I'd like something better so I could avoid a double pushchair! I asked for advice on my local Breastfeeding support group and was pointed in the direction of South Cheshire Baby Wearers. I remember my first meet in our local baby friendly cafe where I was totally clueless, but went home and ordered a Moby wrap from eBay - and the rest is history! 

Liam's first go in the Moby at around 10 days old.

I love my group, I've made some lovely friends and it's led to me being even more of a natural parent than I was. 

Looking around the hall yesterday, we had seasoned baby wearers trying out other people's wraps, newbies with teeny squishes being welcomed into our world, big kids happily playing together and, at least in my toddler's case - stealing all the cake and biscuits! I will miss being a part of it every month, but hope I can continue to spread the baby wearing love, join my group on our slingy socials, and maybe one day I'll be back on another maternity leave! ��