January Babywearing Educational Course with Becca at Jackson/Madison co. Hospital TN.

These last 2 years have been a whirlwind of trying to gain traction and notice for the public health uses of baby carriers.  2016 is proving to be a big year with many public health teaching events on the horizon for me and this first one that just passed in Tennessee was amazing.

They made this flyer blow to market it, and I wish I had known, because I would have provided my own images, but the massage was great and effective, I had over 30 attendees total!

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The attendees were not only Nurses and Lactation consultants from the hospital but also representatives from WIC and 3 other public health organizations from the area serving young families.

We had an amazing time and I really feel compelled to keep on this path of reaching into all the modalities of healing and support that contact young families and children and spread the positive effects of regular baby carrier use where there formerly was none.  Many attendees expressed to me that they thought that baby carriers could greatly influence the success of their clients.

Thank you especially to one specific WIC breast feeding peer counselor Iris, who took the time and passion to bring baby wearing education to her entire county by spreading it through the public health system via me.  I think we all had a great ole’ southern time!

I’m looking forward to my next public health adventure in Nashville, TN in April with Signal Centers of TNK an Child Care Resource and Referral.  More here as soon as I can!

 

Mommycon in Anaheim California

 

Last month I was hired by Naturepedic / Lullaby Earth to attend the Mommycon in Anaheim California and represent them and talk about their new breathable mattress cover. http://www.lullabyearth.com/products/additional-replacement-covers  and   http://www.naturepedic.com/our-products/mattresses/baby-crib-mattresses

It was something I really wanted to do because there was going to be a special surprise honoring my fellow educator and friend Laura Brown and I was eager to be involved in honoring such a hard working advocate and mama.

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Here I am! I was lucky enough during set up for Mommycon to score One of the Mommycon Babies to wear for a snuggly nap in this Tehkini Tuxedo.

 

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I ran into this mama wearing Twingo, the carrier I reviewed in my previous post and she was so happy i recognized it and was loving it as much as my customers and clients have been!

 

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The new Lullaby Earth Breeze mattress cover really is breathable, but some people have to test it for themselves. I admit I did the same thing when I first saw it at the ABC baby products show last october.

 

As a side note, I am collecting an awesome amout of Mommycon Gear.  There are so many awesome designs!!!!!

As a side note, I am collecting an awesome amout of Mommycon Gear. There are so many awesome designs!!!!!

Shop at : http://mommy-con.com/shop/

 

I hope to be at MANY more Mommycon events in 2016!

Right now I am a confirmed speaker at WEAR a Mommycon hosted Babywearing Conference in Chicago in May.  Thank you Mommycon staff!!  I had a wonderful experience!!

http://mommycon.ticketmob.com/event.cfm?id=110129&cart

Look at this Twin Mom on the Go – Don’t Feel Tied Down by your Stuff!

at home, this twin mom has a special nursing pillow, but it doesn't mean she NEEDS it to nurse every time, check her out on the go below!

At home, this twin mom has a special nursing pillow, but it doesn’t mean she NEEDS it to nurse every time, check her out on the go below!

She was in Elephant Ears the other day and just grabbed the nearest chair and pillow and fed her babies like she should.

She was in Elephant Ears the other day and just grabbed the nearest chair and pillow and fed her babies like they wanted her to.

Then we enjoyed a wrapsody Alyssa to sleep in a pocket wrap cross carry loaded double.  This carry is for advanced experienced wearers, or to be practiced under the supervision of a babywearing expert until you feel you have mastered it.

Then we enjoyed a wrapsody Alyssa to sleep in a pocket wrap cross carry loaded double. This carry is for advanced experienced wearers, or to be practiced under the supervision of a babywearing expert until you feel you have mastered it.

Nurse Family Partnership Detroit River-Walk and Father’s Day Talk.

I know this post is late, but it’s worth it.

Kyle and  I went down to Detroit to attend this event hosted by nurse family partnership and it was amazing.  So many families turned out and loved to hear what Kyle and the other dads there had to say about being a father, wrapping and creating positive memories with and for your children as a father.

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Sorry to start off with a fuzzy picture, but I wanted to give you an idea of the great turnout.

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The interest in wrapping was very high! All of these men want to provide a close father relationship for their babies or in this case, expected baby.

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He and Kyle mastered wrapping together in no time.  You can see the people in the park behind us were fascinated and kept rotating staring at us.

Kyle is so much fun to teach with.  We were so grateful to nurse family partnership for putting together this event!

Kyle is so much fun to teach with. We were so grateful to nurse family partnership for putting together this event!  Fathers are Important!

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Here are some of the awesome home visiting nurses for the Nurse Family Partnership program. They really are an amazing group of people helping families one at a time where they need it most!

Thank you Nurse Kim for staying connected to how important baby carriers are to public health!!  We will continue to work with Nurse family partnership and hopefully someday all the babies will be worn!!!!

Thank you Nurse Kim for staying connected to how important baby carriers are to public health!! We will continue to work with Nurse family partnership and hopefully someday all the babies will be worn!!!!

A Preemie’s Journey Home, and What a “Do-over” Looks like!

i was called in to see a little one who came 6 weeks early to introduce wrapping and wearing into the routine of nicu care.  When we do this addition of supported skin to skin and wearing during routine nicu care and procedures, and we can often the shorten the babies projected stay by 20-80% in my personal experience.   This particular Hospital is small, so there are no real rooms for the babies, just curtains separating the babies, a chair, and moms bed is in a separate wing.  Even with all of these things stacked against us we really made magic with this family.   Ultimately we found that the nurses and doctors were really supportive of our wearing and breastfeeding agenda, as usual, overall.

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Most moms upon my arrival get to see a demonstration of the options available to them, and inspect them carefully. i could tell as she looked at this ringsling that it was not going to be her choice. i always say, everyone has a favorite, and thats ok, you dont have to love all the carriers, just one.

Ultimately the ringsling or the wrapsody wrap (pictured directly above in the colorway kristen) is the most common carrier end up using in the nicu. they are soft and flexable enought to navigate around most lines and gentle enough not to apply to much pressure or overstimulate the little one.

Ultimately the ringsling or the wrapsody wrap (pictured directly above in the colorway kristen) is the most common carrier end up using in the nicu. they are soft and flexable enought to navigate around most lines and gentle enough not to apply to much pressure or overstimulate the little one.

this little one had been born 6 weeks early and was on an ng tube for feedings. Mom was eager to try breastfeeding, but wanted to wait until discharge which she informed me should be in another month.

This little one had been born 6 weeks early and was on an ng tube for feedings. Mom was eager to try breastfeeding, but wanted to wait until discharge which she informed me should be in another month.

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With the addition of wearing during the tube feedings and regular wearing during all tests and procedures, 10 days later they were discharged!  i was in their home, everyone safe and healthy, and facilitated this reintroduction, with much success.

Many families who start life in the nicu think that starting over sounds like an awesome idea, and its almost possible!!!!  Often my advice in these situations is;  “Go home take off all yours and your babies clothes, get in bed, and imagine that they were just born right that moment.  Start again by enacting everything that you would have done in those first moments like a do-over”  that was the prescription given to this beautiful family, and i stand by it’s success.

And what awesome success it was.

And what awesome success it was.

Beautiful Follow Up Visit, and Evaluating Readiness for Back Wrapping

Back in December I visited this beautiful family and met the most wonderful mama.  Below is the link if you want to refresh your memory.

https://closeathandbaby.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/beautifully-embracing-challenges-with-cleft-lippalate/

This visit was focused on evaluating wether or not his little man, 5 months in this post, was ready to be worn on the back or not, and at the time of this visit a few months ago, we decided he was not.  But 3 months later, which is how behind on my blogging I am, I am happy to say, that has now changed as I’m writing this post.

First update is that breastfeeding has been mostly fresh pumping and feeding with this medela haberman special needs feeder.  This experienced and dedicated mama has created sucha  breastfeeding like atmosphere by cooing at her baby the entire feeding and maintaining eye contact.

First update is that breastfeeding has been mostly fresh pumping and feeding with this medela haberman special needs feeder. This experienced and dedicated mama has created such a breastfeeding like atmosphere by cooing at her baby the entire feeding and maintaining eye contact.

at the time of this visit, little man was not quite 9.5 lbs and therefore had not qualified for the surgery a bilateral cleft palate entails.  I saw that he had some low-ish muscle tone and i knew that we probably would not be putting him on mama's back any time that day.

At the time of this visit, little man was not quite 9.5 lbs and therefore had not qualified for the surgery a bilateral cleft palate entails. I saw that he had some low-ish muscle tone and I knew that we probably would not be putting him on mama’s back any time that day.

We worked on a  new carry called the front cross carry that you can pre wrap and take the baby in and out without rewrapping.   I'll put a link below.  You can see that little man can lift his head to look at mommy, but he still thrusts back involuntarily, and lays his head down to rest on mom's chest fairly often at the time of this visit.

We worked on a new carry called the front cross carry that you can pre wrap and take the baby in and out without rewrapping. I’ll put a link below. You can see that little man can lift his head to look at mommy, but he still thrusts back involuntarily, and lays his head down to rest on mom’s chest fairly often at the time of this visit.  Both signs that he wasn’t ready for extended back wearing at the time of this visit.

Link to the Front cross carry :

It’s a great carry for housework, errands and taking care of multiple children.  But it wasn’t back wearing, and this mama was not thrilled that I didn’t have all 100% great news that day.  She called me the next day and I went back and we discussed her sons neck strength issues one more time with lots of hugs.  This job is amazing, but it’s not 100% straightforward all the time.  Each baby is evaluated individually, and it’s important to remember that each time I work with  a new family.

Babywearing with WIC to improve public health outcomes for babies and mamas!!

Back in the late winter I visited and talked at a Macomb county Michigan Wic Breastfeeding meeting and had a blast.  Having the right baby carrier can help you get around, manage multiple children, and breastfeed longer, and more discreetly in public.  We had such success!!

Wrapsody Kristen is a great wrap for learning to wrap for the first time.  It also takes the tiny shape perfectly of this little not quite 7 lb twin girl :)

Wrapsody Kristen is a great wrap for learning to wrap for the first time. It also takes the tiny shape perfectly of this little not quite 7 lb twin girl 🙂

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Learning to wrap was on everyones mind at this meeting. wrapping on the front and back 🙂 We talked about coverign the child from knee pit to shoulder blader and tightening and back loading techniques.

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This first time back rucksack carry was amazing and both mom and babe were so happy. THis wrap is my special rastamama girasol.

The scootababy hip carrier is my favorite least known carrier ever.  it holds your little one front or back, but especially on the hip, which is amazing and so useful for housework and errands.

The scootababy hip carrier is my favorite least known carrier ever. it holds your little one front or back, but especially on the hip, which is amazing and so useful for housework and errands.

i grab a baby snuggle whenever I can when I teach, and twins always makes for a great opportunity.

I grab a baby snuggle whenever I can when I teach, and twins always makes for a great opportunity.

The next week I went to a WIC conference up in traverse city to talk to the heads of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services  as well as the WIC breastfeeding and nutrition counselors about babywearing and its health benefits.

The next week I went to a WIC conference up in traverse city to talk to the heads of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as well as the WIC breastfeeding and nutrition counselors about babywearing and its health benefits.  THere were lots of people there!!

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This beautiful Breastfeeding counselor did her first double hammock back wrap carry with my instruction and her baby took the cutest nap!!

The Wic employees are some of the most loving and enthusiastic people I have ever had the joy to spend the weekend with.

The Wic employees are some of the most loving and enthusiastic people I have ever had the joy to spend the weekend with.

I even got to grab a snuggle myself.

I even got to grab a snuggle myself.

My goal is to get the WIC organization to distribute a baby carrier as one of the benefits for their families.  I believe that it will revolutionize the breastfeeding initiation and duration rates of this state with very little discussion or hubub.  People want to feel successful with their babies, and baby carriers, by my experience are the number one way to do that.

Check out my new page on facebook promoting our public heath goals!!!

https://www.facebook.com/babycarriersprovided?fref=ts

Adoption and Babywearing – A Perfect Combination

This spring and summer has seen an amazing set of clients come through my practice.  So many have graciously agreed to share their stories here, and I am going to start with this amazing adoption story.

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This little angel was in dance class with my ZZ. Her beautiful social nature brought our families together in the dance waiting room. 🙂

Last winter I met the most wonderful family at the place where my kids take dance class.  The mom told me that she homeschools her three children who are adopted from Ethiopia.  She mentioned that they were waiting to go pick up their second son from the orphanage he was at, and that he was 3 years old, and had some special needs.  I gave her my Preschool Kinderpack and told her to just return it when they came home with him safely.  Fast forward to many months later and much passing of the carrier back and forth, with paperwork all in order and approved, Peptio was brought home by his whole family to Ann Arbor.   These are the pictures from my visit a few days after he came home, when I went to swap my lent kinderpack, and deliver her their own.

Here is Peptio with one of his sisters on his first week home.

Here is Peptio with one of his sisters on the couch. 🙂  He is very used to laying on his back and his head is very heavy and delicate from a condition called hydrocephalus, which now that he is home, shouldn’t get any worse.

We put him in the Preschool sized kinderpack and it supported his needs perfectly, especially the hood!

We put him in the Preschool sized kinderpack and it supported his needs perfectly, especially the hood!

Being up and around is new for this little one, but access to love is going to be so amazing for him and his famliy, all of whom are just thrilled to have him to love on!!!

Being up and around is new for this little one, but access to love is going to be so amazing for him and his famliy, all of whom are just thrilled to have him to love on!!!

He did indeed have his first on mommy carrier nap that day, a huge milestone!!!

He did indeed have his first on mommy carrier nap that day, a huge milestone!!!

For me, this visit was a real and tangible reminder that love and  closeness make a family.  They might be the only ingredients.

For me, this visit was a real and tangible reminder that love and closeness make a family. They might even be the only ingredients.  Isn’t this one of the most beautiful adoption babywearing moments on this blog?!  In 7 years of doing this, I don’t know if I have ever been so moved.

Adoption and babywearing.  Could there be more of a match made in Heaven?

check out these little articles for more information on physiological and emotional benefits of babywearing. :

http://onyababy.com/2013/11/adoption-bonding-babywearing/

http://io9.com/5865557/mothers-and-babies-can-instantly-synchronize-their-hearts-just-by-smiling-at-each-other

Stay tuned for more amazing stories from this spring and summer!!!

Ann Arbor Babywearers. Buckle Bonanza!

On Tuesdays, I never know what I am going to find going on at our local Babywearing Meeting.  A bunch of Newborn tiny babies, a group of people wanting to learn to put their baby on their back, whatever it is it seems to come in waves and last week was no different.  Presenting 3/17, the day everyone came to try on toddler buckle carriers!  We had a blast comparing Tula, Kinderpack, Action Baby Carriers, Obimama, scootababy and more!

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Around 2 years old in a toddler tula carrier

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About 19 months old in an obimama carrier, sweet as can be!

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One of my all time favorite carriers for babies over 5 months old, the scootababy!!!!

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And of course, the beauty of a wrap converted into a buckle carrier, and the sweet sweet loving closeness. 🙂

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Wraps and ringslings are still a staple at every meeting, especially for the leaders, no matter what age baby we are carrying

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Girasol amitola, a beautiful babe, and an amazing leader.

Mommycon Chicago & Project Babies A Babywearing Celebrity Who’s – Who.

 

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Arie B-C of the Canadian Babywearing School and Heather H-F of the Babywearing Institute and I arrived at Mommycon chicago and we stopped in the vendor hall first to see all of our industry friends. It was Full of People having Fun!

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Our first stop in the vendor hall was to drop off Heather for her gig working at the Tehkini Booth. This is Tehkini’s new pattern and color Mountain Delta. Stunning!!!!!!

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Here is Me on the Left of the screen, Arie in the Middle and Heather on the right. The Tehkini Booth was Beautiful!

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Our dear friend and co-educator Laura Brown from Ergo, who helped bring us all to mommycon for our evening project babies activity, a meeting focusing on babywearing educational development in the US. Joanna of the Center for Babywearing Studies in the middle and Arie on right.

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Laura gave a wonderful talk on opportunities and pathways to becoming a babywearing educator professional. It was very well attended and she did an amazing job.

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Jamie the Baby Guy NYC is the biggest celebrity at Mommycon. I feel lucky to know and love him. check out his amazing blog if you don’t already know it! http://www.babyguygearguide.com/

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As we prepared for our evening project babies dinner meeting, we took a little break at a nice social table with Xza, the organizer of Mommycon on the left, and Arie, then Angilique Geehan of the Babywearing Institute and Babywearing International., and Joanna Mc Neily of NYC.

After Mommycon a group of Babywearing educators and activists met up across the street to start a conversation about formally organizing some way to register Babywearing educators and agree on some baseline standards to start working with that overlap in basic safety, so we can have a consistent safety message for the industry.  It was an inspiring meeting with friends coming in from Texas, Hawaii, California, Delaware, Edmonton, NYC, and More!

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The Project Babies Initial Think tank, minus me 🙂    Angilique L, Laura B, Heather H-F, Alisa, Alex, Arie, Joanna, Stefanie, and Angilique G.

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The only one with me has my eyes closed! But Gibson’s Steakhouse in Chicago was out of this world amazing.