Tag Archives: baby carriers

Babywearing Groups in New Zealand – Spotlight on Waikato Baby Carriers

In the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (Oct 10 – 16, 2011) we will be featuring the babywearing groups that run meetings in New Zealand. So far we have featured Slingbabies and Babywearing Wellington – this week we learn about Waikato Baby Carriers!

First, meet Kerry and Claire who run Waikato Baby Carriers – this is Claire:

Waikato Baby Carriersand this is Kerry:

Claire & Kerry answer some questions for us:

When did Waikato Baby Carriers get started and why? Our first ever meeting was 3rd August 2010.

(Claire) We started WBC because we are passionate about babywearing and its many benefits.  I used to get stopped by people who thought my baby looked snug and happy and wanted to know how/where/why etc.   It’s cool to be able to do something you love so much with a dear friend and it means we get to spend time playing with gorgeous carriers while helping other Mums.  It feels really good to be able to share the babywearing love.

(Kerry) What she said :0)

When and where are your meetings? We meet on theTHIRD THURSDAY of the month at Parent’s Place, 87 Boundary Rd, Hamilton. It’s the back room – go down the driveway and through the gate to get there.

What happens at a typical meeting?

(Claire) Our meetings are very relaxed and people just come and go as they please.  Some people come most months and some just when they need a hand.  We welcome everyone with an interest in Babywearing whether they are looking to buy a carrier, learn to use the one they have or simply have a cup of tea with other Mums.  We try to focus on safety and are largely guided by the wants and needs of the people at each meeting.  One day we might do a back wrapping demo while other days there is a lot of interest in SSCs or trying a stretchy.  Our aim is to meet people’s needs and by and large I think we manage that.

(Kerry) Our meetings are pretty informal and people can come for advice or just to connect – though our focus is to help people with their babywearing needs and we want to make sure people go away with new knowledge and/or skills.  people We will often do 2 or 3 different demos over the time period according to what people need to see as well as helping individual Mums with learning about new carriers or how to use their current carrier more comfortably. We love teaching people new tricks that make life so much easier.

I’m pregnant but interested in Babywearing, can I still attend meetings?

(Claire) We have a few Mum’s that we met when they were pregnant and they still come along now that their bubs are a bit older.  One Mum that springs to mind has gone from using a stretchy to a ring sling to a Mei Tai and now she wants to learn to back carry. It has been awesome sharing her journey with her.  When i bought my first wrap (a stretchy) I learnt to tie it well before bubs arrived so that i was confident tying it before i added the pressure of a tired/cranky/tiny baby so i think this is a great option.

(Kerry) Of course! It’s a great idea to come along and get a feel for the different carriers and ‘try before you buy’

Are baby carriers available to hire from a lending library? If so, how does the lending library work?  We do have a lending library which is a combination of carriers that have been donated and carriers we have bought ourselves – and many of our Mum’s have enjoyed taking home and trying an SSC, MT, RS etc. Lending is at our discretion and there is a nominal bond for the more expensive carriers. We also have a Tummy to Tummy DVD that is available for Mum’s to borrow.

Who organises and hosts the Waikato Baby Carriers meetings?  Claire and Kerry organize and host the meetings – though we happily would accept help from other experienced babywearers :0)

If each of you could share just one Babywearing tip, what would it be?

(Claire) Practice makes perfect (well nearly perfect lol)

(Kerry) Start with the one type of carry in the one type of carrier that you need most for your circumstances as they are *right now* – you can deal with the rest later

How can people get in touch with the group?  The best way is email (waikatobabycarriers@gmail.com) or visit the Waikato Baby Carriers Facebook Page

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Weekly Focus: Stretchy Wraps

Moby wrap nzIn the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (10 – 16 October 2011) we will be focusing on the six main types of baby carriers. Last week we started with the pouch sling.  This week we’re focussing on stretchy wraps.  Keep an eye on the  New Zealand Babywearing Week Facebook page too this week for more information about stretchy wraps including how to videos and photos.

Stretchy wraps are made from a 4.5 – 5.5m length of stretchy fabric (knit jersey or interlock fabric) which is tied to the caregiver’s body to create a baby carrier. Stretchy wraps mainly use the Front Pocket Cross Carry as the images in this post show, but you can also do a Hip Cross Carry and a Cradle Carry with a stretchy wrap.  They are able to be pre-tied, i.e. put on before you go out so that you can easily pop baby into the wrap once you get to the shops, park, library, church etc. With a stretchy wrap you can pop baby in and out around 3-4 times before you’ll need to re-tie it.

Stretchy wrap with new babyThe image above shows a Front Pocket Cross Carry with a young baby.  Their legs are tucked up inside the fabric and their head is also supported by the carrier fabric.  Baby is worn nice and high, ‘close enough to kiss’, with their face clear of fabric.

stretchy wrap older babyThis image (above) shows a Front Pocket Cross Carry with an older baby.  The ‘crosses’ have been spread over baby’s body and right up to behind the knees.  This not only creates a comfy seat for baby but also ensures that baby is carried in a position which is optimal for their developing hips and spine. Baby is still worn nice and high with their bottom about level with the wearer’s tummy button.

Stretchy wraps are also great for carrying twins, and fantastic for wearing premature or sick newborns skin to skin.

babywearing with twinsA note about back carries with a stretchy wrap: although many stretchy wrap manufacturers and retailers say they’re okay for back carries, it is not recommended by babywearing experts for safety reasons.  If your baby pushes against your back there is a risk that the stretchy fabric will give enough for them to fall or get into an awkward and dangerous position on your back.

For more detailed information about stretchy wraps and to find instructions complete with photos, please visit Slingbabies!    Also check out this great post about stretchy wraps on the Babywearing Wellington Blog.

Thank you to Moby Wrap NZ for permission to use their photos in this post.

Remember to check out the New Zealand Babywearing Week facebook page this week for more information about stretchy wraps too.

Article written by Helen MacMillan, My Natural Baby Ltd

New Zealand Babywearing Week Father’s Day Photo Competition

The Natural Parent Magazine and manduca front pouchFather’s Day will soon be here – Sunday 4th September 2011.  We want to celebrate the NZ babywearing Dads out there.  For a chance to win a copy of the latest The Natural Parent Magazine, and a manduca front pouch, share a babywearing photo of the babywearing Dad in your family on our facebook page and send in your contact details by email.  A winner will be drawn randomly on Father’s Day.

The Natural Parent Magazine is a treasure containing articles on intelligent living, connection parenting and health & well being.  The manduca front pouch can be used with any type of baby carrier that has a waist belt by securing it with the velcro strap.  It can also be used with the handy shoulder / waist strap.  Compact yet able to carry all the necessities including your phone, keys, cash, cards, sunglasses, snacks . . .  Total prize value $49.85

So post your images on the New Zealand Babywearing Week Facebook page, then email your name, delivery address and phone number to helen @ mynaturalbaby dot co dot nz  Your entry will need to be received by 9pm on Saturday 3rd September 2011.

Good luck to all who enter!