Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December Member of the Month: April Hamilton!

Meet April: mom, babywearer, musician, and our BWI of Knoxville Member of the Month!

Let's start simple; your name, children's names and ages?
April Hamilton.  Zilpha Fisher will be 2 on New Years Eve, and Charles Sawyer Fisher- EDD Feb. 9th 2015

How long have you been wearing? 

Multitasking at its finest
I started wearing Zilpha pretty immediately after her birth

What led you to babywearing and how has it changed your parenting?
I was very tired of being confined to a chair and needed to get chores done. I was so thrilled when I was able to conquer breastfeeding and babywearing simultaneously. After those gates were opened, I was unstoppable, being able to do laundry, clean, cook, and even play music.

Have you had an interesting babywearing experience you'd like to share?
The most interesting babywearing experience I’ve had is usually what the nursing home residents have to say to me when I put my daughter on my back before a show. I truly am a unicorn playing music and wearing my toddler to the elderly.

What is your favorite carrier and why do you prefer it?
I will always have a soft spot for a good comfy wrap, but because of the easy access of my SSC, I always reach for our KP.

Do you feel like you have support from family and friends on wearing your baby?
I have an extremely supportive mate and family!

What do you like to spend time doing aside from babywearing and spending time with your kiddo(s)?

There’s time that I’m suppose to have without my child? HA! Especially now that I am pregnant I NEVER get alone time…. but, if I were to have my alone time, I’d love to break out my sewing machine and quilt. 

Babywearing adventure

What is your favorite thing about living in Knoxville?
I love that this city is big enough to have different options of support groups for parenting styles but yet its small enough to feel like there’s still a community and not a mass of folks in a town.

What's your favorite cartoon from childhood?
Oy vey! Cartoon? As a single cartoon? That's impossible to narrow down, so I’ll go with a few, and I’m totally prepared to show my age. I loved Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies, DuckTales, Inspector Gadget, Jem, and Pound Puppies just to name a few.

Gotta have some juicy in every interview, right? Tell us one guilty pleasure of yours? 

Guilty pleasure… hmmm… I have waaay to many carriers in my stash right now, and I can not sell one in fear that I’ll want it for the baby on the way. Pretty lame guilty pleasure, I know! Sorry! :) 

What do you like best about BWI?
LOVE the lending library! We also have some amazing women to help bring it all together. I have to say I’ll never forget meeting with Ashley Teller and her amazing teaching skills to help me feel confident in babywearing!

What would you like to see in the future with BWI?
Keep this amazing program going! I can only imagine all the babies and mama’s, like myself, who have been helped so much by this group!

Little music lover

What's the cutest habit of your kiddo(s) you feel the need to share with the world?  
I love how my daughter dances to basically any music she hears! she’ll also hold the microphone correctly and actually sing in it!

Let's be open-ended and vague to close: anything else you just want to tell us about yourself?  
Ummm...not really. I would love to get to more meetings and will eventually be able to. Maybe my opportunity will arise with the birth of my squish!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Shorty Lovin'

        When it comes to woven wraps, I hear the same thing over and over, "But it's just SO MUCH fabric!" And that's valid! When dealing with yard upon yard of high quality, heavy duty fabric (often as much as 17 feet), it is easy to become overwhelmed. Sure, you could go with a soft structured carrier or ring sling, but wrapping can be so much fun! Wraps can also serve to be much more multi-functional than other carriers. Do you have more than one wrap-ee in dramatically different sizes? No worries! Wraps to the rescue! The main reason I personally default to wrapping is that I have a lot of back issues. Carriers keep all the weight of baby on one area of the body. With a woven wrap, I can wrap one way, then switch it up to shift the weight once that place is sore.
        "But, but, my tails drag on the ground and get nasty!" "My toddler loses interest before I'm finished dealing with 5+ yards of fabric!" "I'm petite, and even a size 5 is more than I can handle!" Never fear! Shorties are here! Shorties are generally considered a size 1-3, and sometimes a size 4. Another perk? They are cheaper than the same wrap in a longer size! I also love to use my shorties as scarves in the winter. My children are getting older; so we don't wear as often these days. I love to still be able to make use of my wraps, and I can't count how many times it has come in handy to have a carrier on hand for unexpected nursing sessions (or "boo boo's" or over-stimulation...).

       But could a shorty possibly be as versatile as a long wrap? Honestly, I believe they are MORE versatile. The possibilities are endless, but I will try to list as many as I can. To give a frame of reference, I am 5'7" and about 160 pounds. I have very petite shoulders. My base size is a 5, but I need a 6 to have tails left over.

Size 1: Unless you are extremely small, a rebozo will be about all that you can do.

Size 2 and 3: I am combining these as the carries one tends to do in these are the same. The size of the wrapper and the child, as well as the skill level of the wrapper, will determine which size you need. Typically I find that the main carries I do in a 3, such as Half Jordan's Back Carry (Half JBC) or Double Rebozo (DR), I can tie at shoulder in a 2 or finish with a Candy Cane Chest Belt (CCCB)with a 3. I prefer a size 2 for a torso carry, but the tails are not cumbersome in a 3. If you need a front carry, rebozo will most likely be all that you can do in a 2. With a 3, however, I can also do a Semi Front Wrap Cross Carry and the Crankaroo. I need a 4 for a Kangaroo (which is another front carry). For back carries, the possibilities are endless. Below, I will list as many as I can think of, but I'm certain I will miss some. Please comment below if you think of any I have left out!

Double Hammock Rebozo and Double Hammock Double Rings
RRRR (Pirate Carry) and Ruck Tied at Shoulder
Short Cross Carry
Shepherd's Carry
Double Rebozo
Half Jordan's Back Carry

Ruck Tied under Bum

Back Rebozo

Torso Carry

Semi Front Wrap Cross Carry

Semi Front Wrap Cross Carry with Rings


Front Rebozo

How to wear your Shorty as a Scarf
SCC vs. Half JBC vs. Double Rebozo