In case you missed it, the fun begins in just a few days!
That's right, International Babywearing Week starts Sunday, October 4. That's just a few days away! So mark your calendars and be sure to keep up on the many fun events scheduled. We have lots of things going on, at different times and skill levels, so there is something for everyone. Wondering what in the world we are talking about? Keep reading!
What is IBW?
International Babywearing Week is basically 7 days of classes, special events, and outreach activities taking place in person and online, designed to celebrate and educate about the benefits of babywearing. There will be opportunities to enter raffles and drawings for amazing prizes along the way. Come to one event, or all of them!
Every year IBW dons a new theme. This year's theme is Embrace Your World.
Each day, a new event will represent another hashtag phrase following this theme of Embrace Your... Follow these hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what other groups across the nation are doing to embrace their world! Here are some examples you might see on social media:
Schedule of Events
Now that you have the basic information, let's talk about what's happening near YOU! Here is a schedule of the local events taking place next week:
For more information on each event, be sure to watch for details in our Facebook group. Check under the "Events" tab to watch for upcoming activities.
And, as always, Happy Babywearing!
At the most recent monthly meeting, I asked our librarian which carriers just don't seem to get much love. There are plenty of wraps, ring slings, mei tais, soft structured carriers (SSCs), and pouches that always get checked out - and then there are a handful that usually get packed back into the bins at the end of the meeting. I wanted to try out a few of these less popular carriers and see what they were like. Sometimes carriers don't get love because they aren't super comfortable or practical for most. But sometimes they just aren't as flashy or well known. This week we did some investigating to find out the story on this half buckle.
What is a half buckle?
A half buckle refers to a carrier that has one set of buckles and one set of mei tai straps. Usually half buckle refers to the structured waistband that buckles like an SSC (though you can also find reverse half buckles, which keep the mei tai straps around the waist but adopt the padded buckle straps of an SSC). As you can see, this Babies Beyond Borders carrier buckles around the waist and has mei tai straps that tie.
This baby-sized carrier is budget-friendly (retailing for around $65-$75) and fits babies up to around 18 months old, due to the limited height of the panel (though the website boasts support up to an impressive 75 lbs!...I would be cautious about this number).
Pros and Cons
My toddler is getting pretty tall to wear on my front comfortably, so most of his time in the BBB was spent on my back. My first impression? Hmmm... Yep, that's it. I wasn't sure what to think. We walked around as I worked in the kitchen and attempted to land on a verdict. It took a little while, so I'll let you know soon. :) I began to wonder, Why a half buckle? So let's begin there.
PROS: SSC-style buckle waistband is quick & convenient, sturdy enough to support a toddler, and easily adjustable. Mei tai straps allow for a custom fit (which can be handy for petite wearers, or anyone who can't get a comfortable fit with most SSCs).
CONS: Buckle waistband does not allow for full customization, and may not cinch small enough for very petite wearers. Some find a buckle waist uncomfortable or unflattering. Mei tai straps are not long enough to tie Tibetan or cross at chest, both of which can increase comfort. Panel does not adjust for smaller babies.
When I finally landed on a conclusion, it was that this particular carrier is not my favorite. I actually really like the idea of a half buckle, but I always Tibetan tie my mei tai straps for comfort. If I can't do that, I have little interest in straps. I love the convenience of an SSC, but my least favorite part is the buckle waistband. For me, it's not super comfortable, so I'd probably be happier with a traditional mei tai or a ring waist.
Then again, my preferences are not everyone's! If you like the convenience of an SSC but can't get a good fit with padded straps, this may be a great option for you! Or if you enjoy mei tais but prefer not to have a knot in your belly, give this one a try.
This half buckle needs some more love!
For the past few weeks, my toddler and I have been playing with the Lending Library’s Inda Jani wrap. Handwoven in Oaxaca, Mexico, these 100% cotton wraps are known for being budget-friendly and a little bit beastly, especially to break in. The Inda Jani wraps I have used in the past have been thick and cushy – almost blanket-like, and therefore very “toddler worthy.” That’s why I was so surprised when I picked up this gem at a monthly meeting and found it to be thin and floppy.
Surprised…and a little disappointed. Yes, I have recently come to realize that I am becoming a wrap snob for thick, cushy, blanket-like wraps. Maybe it’s because I have a fairly heavy toddler and my shoulders need the support. Maybe I’ve too often cringed as thin wraps dug into my skin. Either way, I have come to compare everything to my Natibaby, and unless it’s cushier than that, I’m not interested.
But alas, it’s been a while since we had to sell our size 3, and I’ve been lamenting the absence. I decided that I could use a 4 similarly, and gave it a shot. True, it feels thin, but it’s also soft and floppy, and I know the strength of Inda Janis. Quickly I tied my fussing toddler in a Robin’s Hip Carry, and 30 minutes later was impressed with the support it provided in a one-shoulder carry…this might be worth playing with.
That’s how Turquesa came home with us. Not being a fan of ruck, I tried my hand at a few Double Hammock variations.
Oh my. That’s a lovely feeling.
This wrap is wide enough for a toddler, but without an overwhelming amount of material. It has a clear middle section without the need for an uncomfortably large marker. Pretty rainbow fringe, and best of all it’s easy to wrap with.
It has a surprising amount of grip considering how soft it is, which means your passes will stay nicely in place. But it’s not so grabby that I had any trouble keeping my chest pass tight as I spread the wrap across baby’s back. I wore him for long periods of time (up to 2 hours at one point) and my shoulders never complained. Although it weighs in at 260 grams per square meter (making it a medium-thick wrap), its light & airy weave kept us from overheating on walks.
And here’s the best part…my toddler likes it! When he asked to go up (a rarity), I had him choose between a wrap and a soft-structured carrier, to which he promptly exclaimed, “Wap!” and snatched Turquesa out of my hands.
This wrap is so user friendly that after some practice I became brave enough to take it grocery shopping. Usually I take an SSC or mei tai when we go out, mostly to avoid long tails dragging in the parking lot. But the manageable length and friendly wrapping qualities of Turquesa gave me courage. I was able to wrap my toddler quickly and comfortably, and those passes didn’t budge during our shopping adventure!
Bottom line: I love this wrap. It’s unlike my usual go-to, but it certainly was a pleasant surprise. The vibrant blue tones and lovely rainbow fringe go with everything. It’s floppy yet supportive; thin but not diggy. If you’re curious about Inda Jani but are intimidated by the stiffness, give this beauty a go. It bears the soft nubs of a well-loved Mexican wrap. Check it out at the next monthly meeting!
Turquesa, we miss you already!
*For more information on what to do with a size 4 wrap, see this helpful resource.*