Baby Carrier Recommendations: Newborn and Beyond

One of the most comment Facebook messages I get from friends is some variation of the question "what baby carrier should I buy for my xx month old baby?" and I LOVE this question. I could talk people into buying things with their money all day. 

I also love babywearing. 

As I look ahead to our final babe I look forward to those first 9 months of babywearing, when they can't walk and they literally rely on their parents for being able to transport them everywhere. Before they find their feet and before you start to feel their ever increasing weight.

1. For the first 3-4 months the Solly Baby Wrap is my absolute favorite, and I've tried most of the popular options on the market.

The fabric of the Solly Wrap is soft and newborn worthy. You can easily put it on by yourself, compared to the Ergo for example which requires buckling a buckle that's located above your shoulder blades while you try to balance and keep a newborn baby balanced on your front. The Solly Baby Wrap, because of the design, protects their wobbly necks and hugs them in tight, compared to a sling that requires some extra tricks and effort, or a hand placed on their head at all times so that their little head doesn't accidentally fling back as you move around.

For our March baby I'm adding ochre to our shopping list.

2. Once your child has neck control I love Ring Slings. The Solly Baby Wrap will begin to phase out somewhere between 6-9 months (it maxes out around their 1 year birthday). Ring slings can be used truly from birth till your child is 4 years old / 35 pounds, at varying levels of comfort in those years. 

Companies to shop first:

  • Sakura Bloom: beautiful options and colors, silk as an option! (try it, I promise), wonderful community
  • Wildbird: budget friendly prices, sweetest owner, wonderful community

Overwhelmed already? Keep it simple! Choose either SB or Wildbird and grab a single-layer linen if you have a child under the age of one.

You won't need the support of a double layer yet, and it'll be easier to adjust if you haven't used a ring sling before. Once you get the hang of it -- Google and YouTube should have you feeling like a pro at ring slings in no time (shoot me an email if not!) then I'd recommend grabbing either a double layer linen or a silk sling from Sakura Bloom. The silk is incredibly lightweight but has the grip an hold that you'd want as your carry your child around.

Options I'm eyeing for baby no. 3: 

Wildbird Sandpiper + Sakura Bloom Fir (edit: their Fall line was released 9/28 am and those silks are SO good!)

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3. A baby carrier for when you're hiking / on active adventures. While I've happily hiked while carrying our girls in a sling in Spring and Fall temperatures, when the temps rise you're going to want a little space between your two bodies for airflow. 

Hiking carriers, though bulky, are wonderful for the job they're designed to do. Your growing toddler will appreciate the chance to be higher up on your back and looking around when their legs get too tired to keep up, or hike with you at all. 

An Ergo can be the man for the job if that's what you have on hand, but it can get sweaty, even with the back carry option. Check out Deuter and Osprey, or Craigslist listings if you're not looking to drop coin on something that may only be used occasionally. 

We've used the REI hiking carrier that my parents gifted us and will keep it going for baby no. 3!

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For parents on a budget or that are hesitant about babywearing as a whole: for some reason baby carriers hold value like nothing else I've ever seen. In most cases you can trust that you'll be able to sell your carrier once done to another parent for right around what you paid for it. This seems to be because of the limited edition selling patterns of colors, and the stashes of options many mamas like to accrue. 

Join a few BST groups on Facebook and learn the standards for resale -- important washing standards, even what detergent is best, and then you'll be in a group when it's time to list your carrier or trade out for a different color. Bonus perks -  those groups are often a babywearing community full of parents available to help with getting it right as well. Let me know if you need help finding a specific group.

Finally, the way I see it, you're going to be carrying that child everywhere for the first year of their life. I prefer to leave the 9-15lbs car seat in the car and go for the few oz option. Trust me, your body will thank you. ;)

16 Weeks: Baby No. 3

Her name this week: Remi Aspen

If you ask Paityn though, her name is sister Elsa, and she can't believe I think I get a vote on the matter.

Approx. size as of today: an avocado 

What's making me cry this week: Dear Theodosia, Regina Spektor

Pregnancy checklist: met and love the midwife we found, 100% on the fence about the hospital she delivers at, however

Shopping: Sakura Bloom linen sling in Farrow. Embracing pink with this babe!

Sweet relief: though a mini Landon would've been dreamy (give me all the toddlers with fade haircuts), girls are my thing. I can't wait to raise three girls.

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Most of all that beating heartbeat is what is makes my heart sing. 

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due March 3, 2018

First Trimester: Baby No. 3

Is there no better feeling than the first week after learning that you're pregnant? When it's still a secret, you're feeling 100% human and healthy, while exchanging smiles with your partner at random moments that now suddenly feel magical.

Experiencing this again took me by surprise -- it was one of the first moments that "we always knew we'd have three / we couldn't deny there was 'one more" turned into, "of course this is just as exciting as the first two girls." The baby suddenly became personal, and I couldn't wait to meet the last member of our family.

That is the first emotion that if I could bottle up I could -- that increase of love for my husband and the magic of it all. 

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The second emotion of pregnancy that'd I'd pay good money to bottle up is the relief that happens once the spontaneous vomiting and intense exhaustion finally disappears in the second trimester. 

In between those magical milestones are long days and nights, weeks and months that I'd like to call "Kyra when you read this post in the future you don't want a fourth baby; I promise you. I promise you. I promise you."

This pregnancy is my first pregnancy trying to work through the first trimester. I'm a lucky woman to be able to work from home. I literally have no idea how people survive in an office setting. I had weeks of laying in bed, completely exhausted, computer next to me, typing up emails and moving the mouse with one hand, while the girl's did their own thing. The messes increased and the girls lunches became incredibly simple. 

Landon would come home each night and save us, while I laid on the couch feeling as though the baby had put me on bed rest. We were in survival mode and that husband of mine kept us sane.

My first aversion this pregnancy was electronics near my body: specifically my Garmin watch and my laptop on my stomach. Both made me want to die. 

My second aversion was anything other than Ritz crackers. 

The gym absolutely did not happen a single time from mid-June to the end of August. I could barely do the dishes. 

The first trimester with this baby was still exciting for me on some level, despite it all, until at some point it wasn't.

And suddenly it was all annoying, every current and future reality of pregnancy,  down to realizing that birth didn't sound like a beautiful spiritual experience that I couldn't wait to experience again. It sounded terrible. The first trimester with this babe gave me an immense understanding and empathy for other mother's journeys through pregnancy that I would've never had before. This isn't a political side thought. But an acknowledgment that even with a baby that I knew was right, I was annoyed by the sacrifices it was requiring of me, I questioned the timing, and was so overwhelmed by it all. 

Someone create a business that sends first trimester moms handwritten notes of encouragement in the mail on random days from women who have just gone through it. Ginger ale and handwritten notes. And lovely bottles of fancy dry shampoo.

Speaking of needing encouragement, the last thing I'll want to remember about the first trimester is the fear that grew and grew about this baby not making it. About not being able to meet him or her in early March.  It wasn't until that first ultrasound at 15 weeks (just days ago) that I really relaxed a bit and felt that I could be confident that this was a child that would become a physical part of our family. 

Self Care During the Young Mom Phase of Life

Hey mama 

I see you. Working a job or two, raising a few babies that sometimes make it feel like you're actually raising wolves. (Raises both hands)

You're trying to do your best, from your marriage to your family budget. Maybe you're doing the Dave Ramsey thing too, and your next baby step victory is 18 months to 4 years away. 

You're probably a proponent of self care, but likely find yourself calling the things that can be squeezed into your busy schedule "self care" and calling it good. 

This is your reminder to make sure that you're taking the time and adding the things to your budget that make you feel human and that help you thrive. 

Time for a dozen uninterrupted  scrolls through Instagram is good, but a pass to the yoga studio you drive pass often is great. 

Having the chance to read through that article on Facebook is good, but if you're a fellow book lover, don't forget how nice having a book in your hands feels. 

Adding "take a shower" to your to-do list and actually doing it is the best. Getting your hair done when it's been 6 months, if it's your kinda thing, is also the best. 

So whatever it is that brings you joy, fight for it. Save a few minutes or dollars and when you can make it happen, whatever self care means to you, I hope you're able to take a deep cleansing breath and enjoy it.

Treat yo self.


Let me know in the comments one thing you'll make an effort to do in the next week in the name of self care. For a bit more inspiration, here's a wonderful list of 101 self care ideas from The Mighty for when life feels like it's all a bit too much // https://themighty.com/2016/04/self-care-ideas-for-a-bad-day/

Hogle Zoo

When you let Paityn plan a "Paityn Day" it'll start with donuts and end with her asking for more.

Guaranteed.

That's my girl.

With adventure money in our pockets last week I quickly jumped into planning mode, working out the logistics of a Moab trip I hadn't thought would get to happen this year. And then we remembered Landon was subbing for a class on Sunday.

So we switched gears and let Paityn plan out a Saturday that would make her happy. We told her the sky was the limit and she asked for donuts and Target. With a little help in the suggestion department we helped her draw out a plan for Saturday.

We started with Branbury Donuts in downtown SLC and wrapped things up with the girls asleep just as the Utes game was starting that night. 

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Hits from Hogle Zoo: the elephants, seals, & nostrils. Everybody's nostrils. 

After lunch we put our feet up (literally) as we watched Middle School at the SugarHouse theater.

When planning a child focused day assume everything will take so much longer than you expect. You're probably not going to get to everything on the list. Right? We didn't make it to the gym (where she plays with kids) we realized as she checked things off that night. But doing things at Paityn's pace was beyond refreshing. We followed her lead -- from which way she wanted to turn at Hogle Zoo to how long we stayed there. 

While I'm still dying to get down to Moab, this past Saturday was such a welcome reminder that we don't need a grand road trip adventure to have some carefree hours together.


A note: So I don't know if I'm back to blogging. Seriously. But oh has the past year been a needed break. We'll see. 

Throwback Hogle Post: here.

The Sling Diaries | Transformation

For my final Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries post we went back to the spot where we shot my entry post at the end of February earlier this year.  Paityn passed out on the short drive to downtown Provo and was having the hardest time waking up once we got there. The poor girl just wanted to sleep. So I took the chance to capture Hudson's baby blues and her growing self at just a few days shy of 6 months. 

So much has changed since I put together that entry post in February.

Pregnancy dragged on and felt like it'd never end, false labor became an emotional drain that I didn't think I could handle, and then one Spring morning our little girl made her entrance into the world. We've gotten to know that chubby little one so much since then, as we spent late Spring and summer getting to know what life is like with both girls.

While we thought Paityn was an easy baby, Huddie is next level. Her soul is sweet on a realm I just can't process yet. She's gentle and patient. And while I know that doesn't make sense given how small she is, I'm realizing there's more to learn from children that I ever realized before being a mom.

As I've made the transition to being a mom to two, I've found that my soul has been making a transformation as well. I spent last Monday at the park with a few friends and one of the conversations had me admitting some of the changes that I've wanted to make lately. It just felt good to vocalize them to someone other than my husband, to release them into the universe. 

They're small changes, but they're enough against the grain that I find some part of me clinging on, resisting to follow my heart. 

Lately I've questioned if having wifi in the house made me distracted and distant mama (it does),  if it was time to cut caffeine for the millionth time to finally value my mental health (it was), and how having a blog and the biblical idea of modesty can coexist. I've pondered ways that I could get to know Landon again, and in new ways -- starting with eye contact, turning off the tv, and being a better listener.

I want to make sure that my life is as meaningful as I desire, that my days reflect who I am, and that I'm constantly checking in to see if I'm doing something for applause or because it's what feels right. 

I try to remember to question everything if I find that I've become complacent, or that life is beginning to lose the vibrancy and meaning that I've come to love. 

Rotating questions that I've had on repeat for the past 6+ years include: is this where I should be living right now, and if not, where do I need to be? What do I need to do to help let true happiness into my life? And, what positive habits have I forgotten to make time for lately? 

The answers are usually short & simple --  "yes, stay" "no, move to __" "make time for yoga" "forgive so and so" "it's time to think about baby #2" "be less self centered" and, "remember to start you day with prayer one of these years." (:

Our life is nowhere near perfect. But you already knew that, right?  Life has been incredibly difficult the past two weeks if we're being honest. But with it comes the opportunity to transform as a couple as well.

And if there's one thing I know to be true about life, is that we get as many chances to make course corrections as we need. Remember to take them. 


A HUGE thank you to the beautiful ladies at Sakura Bloom for putting together the Sling Diaries and letting my be a part of this volume the past 6 months. past entries here: ambition, laughter, community, celebration & health

Sling: C/O Sakura Bloom, the classic linen in Sencha, jeggings: AE, sweater & booties: Target.

Photos by Landon (Landon Faulkner Photography). 

The Sling Diaries | Laughter

This is my fifth post for the Sakura Bloom Sling diaries, all on the idea of laughter. This is my first chambray sling and it's LOVE. 

This morning you woke up howling like a wolf at the moon. There's a chance you were saying "Caliouuuuuuuu." I cracked up softly not wanting to wake up Hudson who was sleeping between us.

As the day went on, I carried my phone with me fully expecting to whip it out every so often, documenting shared laughs as we experienced the day together. 

But all I did was sigh at you. 

I sighed when I saw our tomatoes flying through the air and landing on the hard kitchen tile. 

I sighed and thought swear words when I came out to the living room, where I thought you were watching the movie Brother Bear, but instead you were egging our house. 

Literally. You cracked 11 eggs from the dozen we'd just bought that morning, in 11 different spots. 

So instead of pulling out my phone to document laughs, I pulled out my phone to look up how to get raw egg out of carpet. 

I tell you I need to clean and ask you to lay down for a bit, recognizing this as something you do when you're exhausted. You tell me your eyes are happy. I tell you your eyes are tired. You don't believe me.

You don't believe me for two hours. 

I tried tucking you in, reading a book, playing mute and not talking to you, giving you playful instructions. But still, no nap. The nightgown you're changed into tells me that by now you know you're tired too. 

So I get back in bed with you, the living room picked up and text to Landon sent that our hike tonight will be put on hold in lieu of renting a carpet cleaner. 

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A few hours later, by that evening, everything was right in the world again. We pushed all the furniture to the edges of the room and strip by strip I helped make our carpets refreshed again, while you giggled in the kitchen helping dadda make homemade bread. 

The air in our home changed to have the most peaceful and loving vibes I'd felt in a long time.  Maybe it was the contrast to the stress from the afternoon, the smell of fresh bread, or the relief of having clean carpets again. But most of all it seemed like it was because we were working together, and that life is better when we're all together. 

As the week went on I realized we don't laugh as frequently as I thought. I observe you, I watch over you, we talk, I want to know your heart, I help you and ask for your help; and sometimes during sweet genuine moments, we laugh.

And in my  heart, I know that's enough. 


If you want a interesting perspective give this a try: choose a day and document laughter. You might be surprised at what you find! I seriously would've told you that Paityn and I laugh all the time. And while our days do include laughter and lots of smiles, this experiment seemed to teach me something. And confirmed a few suspicions I already had about Mondays. So I want to keep this up on my own, and to cherish the times when we share full belly laughs. 

Ps: it'd seem wrong to not sneak in that Hudson laughed for me this week! Her hands on my thumb and pinky finger, drawing my hand over her face she laughed again and again.

Baby giggles are just the best.