slings, swings & things

Apologies: This might be the longest post ever. (EVER.) But I included lots of pictures for all of you visual readers so bear with me. Or skip to the bottom if you're checking for the what-is-this-lump-in-my-neck? update.

I'm certainly no super fan of attachment parenting but I (mostly) like The Baby Book and there are a few really great things I'm on board with. And one thing they spend a great deal of time talking about is babywearing. I know that babywearing is not for everyone (especially if you are very anti-attachment, I understand), but if I could give only three pieces of advice or product recommendations for pregos... "wear your baby" would be one of them. I don't know if I've really talked much about babywearing after my initial decision to test the waters, or how much I LOVE using the sling with Grayson. So if I haven't... let me just tell you how much we love the sling. Gray is a pretty cuddly baby (as most are). He loves to be held, rocked, burped... he just really loves to be loved on so it just makes sense that he loves the sling. If he is fussy for who-knows-why... I can put him in the sling and he is almost always calm within minutes if not seconds.

love the sling because I can do things around the house with both hands free while still getting snuggle time in. Maybe it's because I know I'll blink one day and he won't be wee anymore. Or because it makes outings a little more peaceful and fun. Or because adding 11+ pounds to my frame makes walking up the stairs twice as difficult which means I have no choice but to exercise a little bit all the time when I'm wearing it (Must.Lose.Baby.Weight). But it took me three tries to find the perfect fit for both of us.

First, I tried Munchkin's Jelly Bean version but in the wrong size. I exchanged it for the right size but he was still a bit too floppy for it to work. Great sling but I'm waiting until he's a little bigger and the weather is a little warmer (the fabric is pretty thin... not great for this cold weather, even with the body heat).

Next, I tried the Baby K'tan. Tried it one day while I vacuumed, put away sanitized bottles and tried not to pull my hair out. Great at first but it was a little more involved and difficult to put G in (probably because he was still a little more floppy). And I found it very uncomfortable for me. I hate (HATE) when my clothes are bunched up or pulling anywhere -- I just don't wear clothes that are uncomfortable. If clothing makes me feel confined in any way, it's a dealbreaker. And this sling made even my yoga pants and Old Navy tank top feel bunched up and uncomfortable. Not cool. It's made of a jersey cotton material which is great if you're looking for washable and soft. Not great if you're looking for ease with a snug yet comfortable fit. And guess what... all baby slings are washable and soft (would they sell if they weren't??) and they're half the price of the Baby K'tan. My opinion? Way overpriced for what you get. (And I have a personal story about the company that you can ask about later.)

And, as the saying goes, third time's a charm... when I was on a Target run, I glanced through the aisle with the carriers and happened to see Eddie Bauer's take on babywearing. Brought it home, popped G in like a string bean and waalah (!), he was happy as a clam. Super easy to put him in, even easier to slip on, doesn't make my clothes gather in any of the wrong places and it doesn't cramp his floppy baby body. AND... if wee G is sleeping but I'm ready to put him down or we're out at a restaurant and it's convenient (see picture below), all I have to do is gently place him in the pack n play or on the booth and slip the strap off (though this will no totally be possible once he's more mobile). A babywearing winner in my book.

G in the sling, ready for some frisbee golf:
From february 09

Sleeping like a champ in the sling at Chili's:
From february 09

Finally, we got out the Baby Bjorn. I knew they were crazy popular with the parenting masses and now I know why. Becca got this for us even before my first baby shower but I've been waiting to get this thing out once he quit flopping around so much. If I had known what I know now... I probably would have skipped my first few trial-and-errors altogether. Two days ago, Gray and I went on my first post-baby "workout!" Two laps around the neighborhood with Gray in the Bjorn. I didn't think I would love a carrier more than I've loved the EB sling so far, but... the Baby Bjorn is where it's at! Super easy to put on, which I didn't expect. It almost looks like a bulky mama-baby torture device on the website but it's a piece o' cake and not at all cumbersome as I had expected. Wonderful for exercise -- walking, lunges, doing stairs (yesterday's quickie workout), etc. And there are multiple styles and colors now so it's not all basic black! I know owning one is enough but they make me want to own five. Another win for babywearing (and Baby Bjorn marketing, apparently).

Here we are hooked up and ready to leave for our first walk. G's all alert and killing me with cuteness:
From february 09

And by the time we were one house down... passed out:
From february 09

And STILL passed out an hour after we got back:
From february 09

I <3 babywearing. Even if it is my first step on the slippery slope to becoming an Attachment Parent. (Parenting philosophies... so complicated, controversial and, again, another blog for another day.)

[Other slings/carriers that I've heard some pretty great things about: Peanut Shell -- their slings have super cute colors and designs for the fashion conscious mama; Baby Hawk -- more like the Baby Bjorn type of carrier and also SO cute


Gray's latest new baby thing is trying to grab and reach for things, especially my hair, clothes and the animals on his swing. (He is really starting to love the swing, too. He did NOT love it in the beginning.)
From february 09

swinging at the giraffe. (so.cute.)
From february 09
From february 09
annnnnd he's spent.
From february 09


Here's the update on my CT scan/biopsy that was scheduled for yesterday morning:

Went in, got the CT and then the radiologist cancelled the biopsy after giving it a quick look-over. Which would be wonderful news but... the "mass" just happens to be located at the bifurcation (sp?) of my carotid artery (where it splits in your neck). If you saw that episode of Grey's with Seth Green where the artery in his neck was exposed... that's what we're talkin here. (NOT COOL.) Since it's in such a delicate place, he decided it would be too risky and inappropriate to do a needle biopsy. (Um, agreed.) So, instead, they will most likely be going in and cutting it out. Not my idea of fun but I go to my ENT tomorrow to talk about the rest of the results from the CT and to figure all that out. Great news is that it's most likely a benign tumor. We really won't know what the dealio is until tomorrow but that's the update. Fuuuun times :/


Three Scobeys said...

I am all about the baby wearing...I cannot wait to wear Evie all over the place :) Gray is looking super cute and happy. I will be praying about your appointment!

Stephanie said...

We LOVED the the Baby Bjorn. Billy would wear it all the time and I loved wearing it in the grocery store so that people would not touch them. It seems like every time we were in the grocery store and they were sitting in their car seats, people would gravitate towards them and touch them (ewww -- strangers). You are in my prayers for your appt. tomorrow.

Susan said...

Spacify offers modern Green Baby Sling in organic 100% cotton fabric.