Saturday, November 30, 2013

Its sunny!

Little Calamari Man? Or teddy bear?

Mmm ... but where's the meatballs?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Product Review: Hug-a-bub Baby Carrier

I always knew that one of these would join the family sling library I had promised to create for my children to use as parents. As Kaitlyn was first cab off the rank, she got to choose her beloved green, this time in the form of Pistachio and I opted for my preferred organic in the style with a pocket. We bought it on-line prior to Charlie's birth.

Every time I ran a Slings and Things event at the Breastfeeding Centre, the overwhelming response from mums was start with a Hug-a-Bub for the first four to six months. Even just that few years ago, there were very few optimal carriers in the market bordering on mainstream and these held their place.

So - a lot to live up to!

And it did.

The Hug-a-Bub quickly became the go to carrier in Charlie's first few months.

Without realising it, tucking her head inside the band of fabric became a sleep trigger that works in any wrap or carrier even now she is older!

The cocoon-like environment of the Hug-a-Bub meant Charlie was fully supported and cosy against whoever was wearing her.


Learning to use the Hug-a-Bub can be a little daunting - indeed, pregnant Kaitlyn wasn't even sure she would like it! But the DVD tutorial is easy to follow and soon it becomes a simple technique.

Kaitlyn and Melissa turned heads when a baby-switch at the library became a lesson, though the staff member who offered to assist was disappointed when it turned out they didn't need an extra pair of hands to hold the baby!


The Hug-a-Bub is definitely a young baby carrier - as Charlie has gotten older and heavier, it isn't as suitable for longer carries. However, recently we loaned it to a friend whose premmie daughter needed some extra skin2skin to get breastfeeding going once she left hospital. The Hugabub is so soft and cosy, it is perfect for this and mums can even wear their baby without a bra or shirt, ideal for kangaroo care too!

Precious cargo
I have found the Hug-a-Bub easy to use and without any strain on my back, neck or shoulders. I quickly worked out the technique and could put it on quickly when I was settling Charlie. I love the way she snuggles against my chest and falls asleep and the first time I cared for her when Kaitlyn was out for a short time, she quickly did so and stayed that way for a full sleep cycle.

Caring for the  Hug-a-Bub is easy and the way it folds up, with the pocket flipping through to become a carry pouch makes it easy to take along outside the house. I love that the product is produced in India by a Fairtrade certified company and that there is an organic cotton option. After 16 years on the market, this Australian product (Hug-a-Bub are based in Byron Bay) has stood the test of time. 

We love our Hug-a-Bub and it has earned a permanent place in our family sling library :)

I am also thrilled that Hug-a-Bub are supporting the babywearing community by donating both a wrap and ring sling to our Mornington Peninsula Babywearing Group. Trying different carriers at sling-meets is important for parents to not only find out which best suits their needs but also to be sure they are wearing it safely and correctly. 

And for those wanting to buy their own, they have also offered readers a special offer:
Simply enter this code GDU20 when you place any single-product order over $99 and get a 20% discount! (Does not apply to bundle orders) 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Taking the Suppori to the Hot Springs

With just a week to go in our three-week road testing of the Suppori sling, we took it for a day at the Peninsula Hot Springs yesterday.

Who needs a high chair?

Too cute!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

For Aunty Becky - a moment lost in time.

A borrowed vintage pram in a borrowed vintage garden, with a thouroughly modern baby ready for a sleep. That blanket peeping out was made for my birth by  your own beautiful mother and is my treasure.

Aunty Becky Asked: "Where did all those old prams go? They were so useful. Now that mothers drive cars has probably changed everything. Strollers were also very handy. Now it is a baby seat in mother's car. Are bassinets still in use. Cloth nappies had to be boiled if you did not have a washing machine. Boiling was hygienic as it sterilised the cloth for reuse. Kaitlyn might find these little bits of history of interest. 

Yes, these beautiful but bulky old style prams were intended as sleep spaces for infants to get sunshine and fresh air, with perhaps a walk to the local store. (Great Great Nana on my inlaws side famously wheeled baby John to the shops, parked outside the butchers, shopped, walked home and put the kettle on, before the neighbours returned John and his pram to their rightful place ;)

Charlie is 100% clothed nappied, but in their modern incarnation, ready fitted, no pins just snaps which grow with the baby, no soaking or boiling, into the machine as is and out in the sun or the drier. And not just plain white either - no boiling means rainbow covered baby bums. Another photo from today:

Posted by PicasaThese gorgeous gussies are nappies! Preloved, prefolds that wash and dry to look like this, loaned from a friends, handmade by a mum small business.

Oh and yes, bassinets still get used, though Charlie mainly sleeps safely in beside mummy, her back-up co-sleeper is right there if she needs it:

Three babies across the generations

1964: Yvette is 7 months old and Daddy photographs her on the verandah of their Camden NSW home, lying on the blanket Gran Louisa had made, with teddy and the dolly Aunty Becky had given.

1984: Melissa is 7 months old and Mummy photographs her outside their Frankston home, contributing her teddy to the props.

2013: Charlie is 7 months and Granny's childhood friend Lanni provides the weather-boards at her her home in Tyabb, taking the photo. Mummy has shared her teddy alongside Great Great Gran's blanket and Granny's dolly.
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Monday, November 18, 2013

On the weekend ...

Such a busy day on Sunday! At least our lives are never to be described as boring or ordinary!
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Walking laps while Mummy is in the spa!

Taking the Suppori for a swim

Took the mini-mermaid to the pool again for the third time. She must remember going there before she was born, she is just so relaxed in the water! The SUPPORi Baby Sling earned its stripes this afternoon: Granny and baby did some deep-water walking in the warm-water pool while Mummy had some time-out in the spa!! So much better for my body than trying to hold a slippery little lycra-clad baby on my hip!!! .Not sure why she got to nap after I did the exercise - must have been the post-spa Mummy milk!

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review: Nic Nac Nappy Wrap and Bag

A day away from home with a cloth-bummed baby in a baby sling means your nappy bag needs to be able to handle everything you need without turning you into a pack-horse! Our quest for the perfect solution begins!

We came across the Nic-Nac store at the Pregnancy Babies and Childrens Expo in Melbourne. Owned and run by a mum, we were soon chatting and enjoying Charming Charlie being charming amongst the display. Then we spotted the Nappy Wrap and Carry-All Bag and explained our quest. We were offered the chance to review both products, buying them at a reduced price to do so.

The next day we hit the road to return to the second day of the expo, this time with no  pram and catching the train. Charlie was carried in the Manduca sling for the day, I brought my Nana Trolley for our shopping and everything Kaitlyn and Charlie would need for the day had to fit in the Carry All Bag.

Melbourne is known for having four seasons in one day, so dressing in layers is a lifetime practice started in infancy! Add in a one-hour train ride each way needing enough toys to keep boredom at bay, plenty of MCNs and resusable wipes in their before and after state and any nappy bag quickly gains bulk.

The Nic-Nac Nappy Wrap design uses the bulk of the nappies as a padded head rest for the baby, which is great if you find yourself needing to change on a hard surface. The centre panel of pockets swings out of the way and the wrap becomes the changing mat.

Kaitlyn carries washable wipes in a disposable-wipes container, of the same brand (Huggies) as the pocket is designed to hold, which was great and there is still room for liners and bum cream.

The wet bag for used nappies simply fits back in the pocket alongside the clean ones. This is a Baby Bee-hinds bag. (A matching one would be nice!)

A nappy change on a communal change table can be confronting but one being used by hundreds of babies over a three day event means you REALLY want to have a change mat that covers the table!
Six month old Charlie easily fits on the mat.

Can't keep those hands off though!
The contents of the Nappy Wrap - holds all the essentials and can be a stand alone bag.

The Carry All Bag does what it says. Two external pockets easily hold toys and other things you want easy access to while an internal pocket keeps phone, wallet, keys etc handy but concealed. Extra internal pockets would be handy, as the main body of the bag tends to end up with everything at the bottom. Perhaps extra pouches/zipped bags to match could be added to the range?

The adjustable strap is long enough to be worn over the shoulder without intruding on the baby in the sling.It isn't so bulky as to make the wearer unpopular on a crowded train or tram. My dodgy back did complain a little when I took my turn to wear it but I think I would be fine with less stuff for a shorter trip.

The bag is sturdy and the denim will take a pounding. The washable surface of the nappy wrap is good quality and shouldn't crack or peel like some. Unfortunately, the pockets on each end weren't big enough for Kaitlyn's stainless steel drink bottle, meaning it had to go in the main body of the bag which could lead to a spill risk but a smaller bottle should fit. A couple of external loops/rings to hang keys or toys from would be handy too.

A typical busy couple of weeks for us has seen the bag comfortably hang from the pram handles as well as hanging from a shoulder without Charlie in a sling. It has been to a couple of ABA meetings, a sling meet, shopping and visits to Granny's house! It has easily replaced Kaitlyn's previous nappy bag and while there are a few modifications we would love to see, over-all it is a reliable product that does the job well.

Is it the perfect baby-wearing, cloth-bummed nappy bag? That remains to be seen!

Closed nappy Wrap, holding four cloth nappies - probably one too many

Folded out, it becomes the change mat

The Carry-All Bag is roomy