Friday, April 11, 2014

Babywearing Q & A

I am often asked questions about babywearing since I openly share how wearing my third child has been a life changer. I decided to post and see if anyone had any questions for me on my social media, and the same few questions appeared more than once.


1. What is the best carrier for a newborn?
I started wearing my firstborn with a Baby Bjorn about a decade ago. One day, when she was about four months old, I accidentally pinched her little wrist when I was buckling the side straps. I didn't put on another carrier for about eight years, when my third child was five days old. I went with the Moby Wrap because I really didn't know what my options were with a small budget. I later discovered HAPPY BABY WRAP, which is similar to the Moby, but without so much awkward fabric. In those early days when you can't remember the last meal you had or when you last got more than a couple of hours of sleep, tons of fabric tangled around you and your baby can be overwhelming. Actually, being tangled even when not sleep deprived is still super annoying. Go with the Happy Wrap for those new babies.


2. What carrier(s) do you use, and why?
Besides the Happy Wrap, I am a huge fan of wrap conversion ring slings (WCRS) and the ERGOBABY CARRIER. My son (pictured above) was five weeks old when I first used a WCRS, and I felt like I had him secured to me in a soft baby blanket. Wrap conversions are just that- they are long baby wraps converted into something else. I prefer WCRS because getting a baby out of the infant carrier and wrapped close to me only takes a minute. Literally. And once you've done it a few times, it only takes a few seconds. WCRS are my go-to carriers for quick trips (think: grocery shopping, doing school pick up with older children, eating at a restaurant, etc.). Some people use WCRS for long trips, but for anything that takes more than an hour or so, I prefer an Ergobaby. I once wore my Ergo for seven straight hours. Granted, that was a day trip to Disneyland when my little guy was happier nursing around the clock than doing anything else.


3. How do you breastfeed in a carrier?
I prefer nursing in the Ergo. Unless you really peer into the carrier, you won't see that I am nursing. With the Ergobaby carrier, you can lower the straps a bit so that baby is in an easier breastfeeding position. There is a hood on the carrier that conveniently snaps to cover baby's face if you need some more privacy. I took this photo to show what it looks like nursing without the hood. (Notice Franky's expression.)


4. What can you do if you are big-chested?
I can only guess that this would be uncomfortable for babywearing in the front, but truly, I'm not sure. I want to say that I recommend a back carry, but there are so so so many different options and carries available with wraps that I'm sure something out there is perfect for bigger chests if you choose not to back carry. See a list of different carry styles HERE.


5. What is the best carrier with a face-forward position?
I have only used the BECO GEMINI with outward-facing, but I am super excited about the new ERGOBABY 360 CARRIER! I have tried it on, but can't give any opinion because I wore it briefly without a baby inside. I have a feeling that those who love outward-facing are going to love this one! I wasn't in love with the Beco as an outward-facing carrier because it felt really narrow- like my baby was in the carrier the wrong way. Wearing him chest-to-chest in the Beco was super comfortable, however.


6. Are there any carriers that fold up small so that I can keep it my purse?
A WCRS is always tucked in my purse. And by "purse" I mean DIAPER BAG. (Linking because it's the best thing ever.) A wrap (like The Happy Wrap or a woven wrap) could also be rolled up and kept close if needed. CARRY ME AWAY is a great resource for products.


7. My baby/toddler is tall and heavy. What do you recommend?
I have heard wonderful things about a carrier called a TODDLER TULA, but truthfully haven't used one. When Franky gets bigger and heavier, I promise to tell you what I'm using!


8. Your baby is too old to be worn!
Babies and toddlers are pretty good about letting you know when they are unhappy. Do what works for you.



Happy babywearing!










Thursday, April 3, 2014

Advice from an emo girl.






Just popping in to tell you that I'm blogging over at Life. Rearranged. today.
Some advice and stuff.
 
Come say hi!

Friday, March 28, 2014

3 Easy Steps to Taking Better Kid Pics

I have asked my photographer friend Dustin Bryson to tell my readers some tips to taking better photos of children. In other words, I asked him indirectly for help. His post and beautiful pictures are below.

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We all have beautiful kids.  They have those little fingers and toes that just scream TAKE MY PICTURE AND PUT IT ON FACEBOOK!  But what if those photos are blurry, poorly lit or boring?  Check out what I do to take crazy fun pictures of my kids without setting up a full studio to do so.

1. Change your angle.
I'm six feet tall and if every shot I captured was from a six foot angle my images would get pretty boring pretty quickly.  So I stand on things and I lay on floors.  If you're snapping a quick shot of your child holding up a newly won award, jump on the coffee table, play a little air guitar, and then sprout "SAY CHEESE" in your silliest voice.  You're going to capture a true moment of delight, all expressed by your child's eyes.  Uh, but Dustin, my kid wasn't holding their award perfectly so all who see it could read that they are a 'Super Kid'!  Yeah, so what?  The image you grabbed will get way more play on a real or FB wall because you captured joy, happiness and laughter.  Laying on the ground is also an easy way to add interest and fun to an image.  Re-imagine that image of your kid flying his kite from the grass, now go grab that shot!
 
 

2. Pre Shoot, then Shoot.
I always recommend pulling out your camera or phone and shoot a frame or two from the hip.  Shooting from the hip is a great way to check the lighting and exposure before committing to the image.  The moment you put that camera to your face of phone out at arms length you will have an audience so check your levels before going for the actual shot.
 
 
 

3. Find the light.
This is crucial when thinking about capturing an awesome shot.  A camera is simply a light box that allows light in as you direct it, so having a solid amount of light is always a plus.  If you are posing your children, have them stand in front of a light source.  That can be a window, you're on camera flash or even a flashlight. Think about the direction of the light before snapping the image and remember you can always adjust exposure a bit on camera or in post.
 
 
 

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Dustin Bryson has been a film and digital photographer for over twenty years.  He has photographed everything from magazine covers to rock and rollers and everything in between.  He has two amazing crumb crunchers, Micah and Eliana who he says "own his heart".  Dustin also founded a non profit for photographers called Lightwriters and a business development site called ShootLove to help amateur and hobby photographers learn the business side of photography.  You can see his personal portfolio at DustinBryson.com.
 
 

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