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Archive for the ‘slings’ Category

Trendy Tot Thursday (04/09/2014)

Welcome to the first #TT_Thursday of September, I am amazed at how quickly this year is flying by. My uni course is hotting up with ten tons of work due in the next month or so, hence why I’m slightly late with my post (again). Thanks to The Mother Geek and Clearly Bex for being patient hosts of this linky!

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These are important photos to us as the twins have never been in supermarket trolley before!! Living in Central London means we use baskets or online shopping. Grateful that this supermarket had a trolley with two seats next to each other, not sure how we’d have sorted this shop out otherwise!

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Miss Biscuit is wearing a really funky Primark ‘rock star’ dress. It is a nice length, has sleeves for chillier days but is light enough that she can run around and not get uncomfortable in it. I have, obviously, teamed them with Slugs and Snails tights. She is so comfortable in them, I genuinely can’t sing their praises enough (and can’t wait for my mummy-size ones to be delivered). As you can see from my pictures, I also had her in a back carry in our beloved Manduca sling. Having tights on means that she has no gaps for cold drafts to get in and no bare legs to get rubbed. I wouldn’t normally pair this outfit with white Clarks shoes, but we are getting the last wear out of them and I don’t mind if they get slightly messed-up!

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Mr Cracker is wearing some super comfortable tracky bottoms from Primark that he can run around in and fall over in (!!) and that are long enough to wear in the Manduca sling. He is also wearing out his Clarks shoes by jumping in every puddle within a 10 foot radius! The bit I love about his outfit is his rain jacket. This is a fantastic Boots MiniClub jacket that is waterproof, warm enough to keep the wind out but light enough to be suitable for Autumn or Spring. You may be thinking “so what, most jackets do that” but the great thing about these is that they fold down into little bags.

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This photo shows Cracker’s jacket open and as a bag, and shows the style of Biscuit’s coat too. I loved them so much that I bought more than one size of them. As a MoM (Mama Of Multiples) I am always on the look out for things that make my life easier- these coats fold down really small, they have Velcro ties to strap on to bags, buggy or, even, for the twinks to carry themselves. They will go over a t-shirt for summer showers or layered with jumpers for colder days. Why are all toddler coats not made like this?!?!
I hope you enjoy reading our slightly delayed Trendy Tot Thursday as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Hope to see you again next week for another Trendy Tot Thursday, and please feel free to stop by and say ‘hi’ whenever you have time!

Babywearing Alert: for your information

As a huge babywearing advocate, I will tell everyone and anyone to get themselves a sling and start wearing their baby as soon as they can. It is also important that people wear their baby as safely as possible too.

A recent babywearing tragedy has been reported to the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) by Dr Brierley, a consultant intensivist at Great Ormond Street Hospital. A baby was smothered whilst being carried in a ‘soft fabric bag-style baby sling’ around London by his mum (read the alert here).

The poor mum thought that she was doing her best at keeping her baby safe, and yet every parent’s worst nightmare happened to her. Of course, accidents happen each and every day. That is why we do our very best to try and prevent them happening. We secure our TVs to the wall, put stair guards on our doors and cover the sharp corners of all our furniture. If you, like me, still want to babywear then make sure you follow simple rules to make that as safe as you can.

Safety advice

The simple safety advice for wearing your baby in a sling is to make sure that it is tight, the adult can always see their baby’s face by simply glancing down, the adult can kiss their baby’s head by tipping their head forward and the baby should never be curled up so their chin is forced onto their chest, as this can restrict their breathing.

A very good rule of thumb for parents who use carriers is the TICKS mnemonic:

Tight
In view at all times
Close enough to kiss
Keep chin off the chest
Supported back

Remember there are many different types of sling available for you to use, we have used ring slings, Mai tais, buckle slings and woven wrap slings. If you are still worried, or feel you need extra help or advice then I strongly recommend you go to your local sling library and have a talk with one of their extremely qualified and experienced babywearing consultants who will be able to give you all the safety advice you need to feel comfortable.

The Baby Show 5: Cheeky Rascals and The South London Sling Library

When I go to the Baby Show I am obviously drawn to those stalls with products of the babywearing variety. Some of them are not so great: promoting slings of the outward facing, crotch-dangling variety, despite all the research out there highlighting the dangers of them. Some of them offer good slings that will maintain the correct frog-like position of the legs but do not have the time, or the expertise, to properly assess what sling is the best for you and your family.
Then there’s Cheeky Rascals, a company offering a wide variety of baby, toddler and child related products. We met them when we were looking for our buckle slings and went on to buy our much loved Manducas. They talked to us for ages about what we wanted a sling for and allowed us to try them out with the twinnies.
Now they have gone a step further, not only do they also stock mai tais and ring slings (which I am absolutely desperate to get, just having to buy two of them for twins means more budgeting is required) but they also now contract the very lovely, knowledgable and experienced sling and babywearing consultant Emily, from South London Sling Library. This means that not only can you go along to their stall to try out the products that they have, but you can also get to have a chat with someone who really knows their stuff and can answer all your sling and babywearing questions.
The Cheeky Rascals’ stall is always a busy and popular one thanks not only to their fantastic products, but also their fabulous staff and customer service. It is definitely worth coming along to their stall if you find yourself at a baby show and I promise you will not be disappointed if you stop to have a chat with Emily if you have even the tiniest interest in babywearing. In fact, if you live anywhere near South London, then I would recommend going along to one of her sessions and trying out her slings and really seeing what would suit you and your needs best.

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Again, I have not received products or money in return for this review of Cheeky Rascals or South London Sling Library. Just little old me recommending good people, products and customer service.

The Baby Show 3: Morrck

Every now and then you go somewhere like the baby show with a specific idea of what you want but no idea if anyone even makes it! A situation like this is what led me to the fab people of Morrck and their brilliant products.
I have made no secret on this blog about my love of babywearing and how useful babywearing-related products can be. When the twins were really little we could babywear them with a normal jacket or zip-up hoodie and it would do up over their backs, as they started getting bigger this started to be impossible but we struggled through. Then came a very blustery and chilly day in London and we decided to babywear and walk along South Bank. Rob had a baggy enough jumper on that Biscuit was zipped up nice and warm, but there was absolutely no way that my jacket would do up over Cracker. So I did what any parent would do and sacrificed my lovely warm jacket to him. I took it off and wrapped it round him, leaving my arms exposed and blue! That’s when I knew I wanted a babywearing jacket.
At the next show we went to, thankfully quite soon after that happened, I discovered that Morrck do a fantastic ‘Maternity and Beyond’ coat. This is a reversible blue/red waterproof coat that fits like a normal coat, but has removable zip-in panels that you can add and use either when you are pregnant or when you are babywearing. This means that it will last you from the moment you find out you’re pregnant with your first to when you stop babywearing your last (and beyond, I’m guessing it will come in useful at numerous sporting events etc), with no need to go back and get another coat for when you’re slim between babies or when you’re not wearing them. I wear mine ALL the time, whether I’m wearing one of them, pushing them in the buggy or popping out by myself. It is long enough to cover their toes (also to cover your bottom), has a hood for those particularly miserable days and adjustable elastics to make it more fitted when you are baby free! It is something that always gets admiring comments and is a very asked about product when I’m out and about.

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From the shows, we also found out all the other lovely products that Morrck make, from their car seat/buggy wraps to the beautiful toddler ‘Wrapture’ coats which I may have purchased yesterday in blue for Cracker and red for Biscuit!
Another bonus of the shows is being able to connect with the people you’re purchasing from, something lost when you buy online. We have visited Morrck over a number of shows now and they are some of the loveliest people. We always stop and chat and see what might be new on their stall or in development. We have been chatting lots recently to them about a babywearing coat for Dads to wear (as Rob normally has one or the other of them in his sling when we go) so watch this space…..
Oh, before I forget to mention to the twin mamas and daddas in the audience- this is a very twin friendly company. Isobel has twins of her own and offers a TAMBA member discount. They also have TAMBA as their chosen charity.

We have not received any money or products for writing this review. We met them at the Baby Show and love their products and amazing customer service and I wanted other families to get to know them too!

Babywearing

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Ever since I decided to start writing a blog on my amazing journey as a proud Mama of twins I knew I wanted to include a post on babywearing. It is something that I love, that I am extremely passionate about and, also, that surprised me as a Mum.
I mean, I knew I wanted to carry my beautiful little bundle around (even before becoming pregnant) but knew nothing about the vast array of slings and wraps available out there. I knew nothing about how damaging using the wrong sort of sling can be for your children and their development. I knew nothing about how much I would actually fall in love with wearing the twins whilst out and about.
I cannot lie, I didn’t have a great pregnancy. I was terribly ill throughout the 35 weeks they were in there and it culminated in an emergency c-section for both my health and the health of Biscuit and Cracker. I felt that I missed out on that lovely time of enjoying carrying my bubbas round inside me and babywearing has really made up for that by giving me that gorgeous time of holding them close whilst walking about.
If you are pregnant, or looking to expand your baby transport options then I beg you to take your time, do your research, look at blogs (!), visit your local sling library, go to baby shows where they have experts on hand, talk to friends who enjoy babywearing and look for slings that will suit you, your baby and your lifestyle.
When choosing and using a sling, make sure they conform to TICKS and promote healthy hip positioning.

20131130-223338.jpg The slings that will promote the best development for your baby will ensure that you wear them parent-facing. This is not only best for their neck, spine and hips, but also their brain development- if they get scared or overwhelmed when they are facing you they can seek reassurance or a hiding place, if they are facing out they will be bombarded by stimuli then can never get away from.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on the many choices of slings and wraps out there (for this you can try an accredited babywearing consultant) but I am a passionate babywearing Mama who can, and will, tell you about her experiences.
We were lucky, the sling that I initially liked and bought was a beautiful woven wrap from Amazonas . Having a woven wrap is a hard way to start babywearing as it requires you to tie it in a certain way at a certain tension. It is, however, brilliant for those babies who are born small (like my 2.5kg twinks) as there isn’t a lower weight limit as there is with other slings, amazingly versatile as there are numerous ways of tying it to carry your babe, beautiful and so comfy cosy.
After some time using the wraps, I knew that I wanted to expand our sling collection with a buckle sling for ease of taking it on and off. After a lot of research and talking to experts we went for Manduca slings from Cheeky Rascals . They are super comfy, super easy and brilliant for toddlers who will want to get down the moment you step into the park (and back up again when they get tired). The padded waist band and straps distribute their weight over your hips and back, meaning that we regularly go on 5+ mile walks wearing the >10kg twinnies with no problem.
I have now become addicted! I love window-shopping online, at baby shows and on the street at new designs and styles of slings. My family is struggling to buy me Christmas or birthday pressies as the only things I really crave are slings (and apparently these do not count as presents for me). I adore the fashion and functionality of Wompat Slings and Rose and Rebellion Carriers. I love the structure and practicality of the Boba 4G and the transportability of the Connecta Integra. I want them all!!

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I have written this post to tell you about the slings we own, and those we’d like to, not because I have been paid to or sent any to review but because we love them.