We’ve added a few new ways to support the Iowa City Babywearers. We’re now offering private in-home babywearing consultations and babywearing 101 classes, accepting content sponsors, and providing advertising for local businesses and events. Of course, we also accept Patreon and PayPal donations. Your financial support helps us keep doing this work and ensures that it remains free for everyone who needs it. Check out our Become our Sponsor page, Advertise With Us, and Services tabs to learn more. And we’re introducing affiliate links for products that we mention in our posts, this just means that if you happen to purchase one of the products through our link we get a small percentage of the sale (which helps support the group, so everyone wins!).
Stork Storytime EXPO
Back in August, we had a great time at the Stork Storytime EXPO. We saw some old faces and met some great new folks– a special shout out to Beth Buchholtz at Naturally Nourished Lactation Services, Maria Teresa Ferrer at Genesis Pediatric Therapy, and the Doulas of Iowa City. And of course, a big thank you to North Liberty Community Library and Mercy Iowa City for sponsoring this event and inviting us to join. While we didn’t get a chance to talk to them, a parent walked past, just having scooped up a crawling baby from the floor on the way around the conference. She looked towards our signage and said, “Oh I’m sorry, she’s probably too big for that then” and kept going before we could respond. While our sign says “infant carriers” we want to make sure people understand that using a carrier (assuming it fits) can make carrying any sized child (or adult) easier. That’s why we chose a photo of Kelsey holding 4-year-old Clara in a back wrap carry for September’s event image.
The Saturday meeting we attempted to help a mama with tension issues with the Moby Fit wrap, which is a kind of hybrid between backward onbuhimo and a kangaroo carry top made of their regular stretchy wrap fabric. The main complaint with stretchy wraps is that users aren’t getting them snug enough to start with. Unlike a woven wrap, stretchy wraps are pre-tied and you don’t leave room for the baby. The fabric should be body-contouring, stretching to accommodate the baby and then hugging the baby to you. No sagging material and no bounce. We’ve contacted Moby to request one of these for our lending library (and we’ve put in a request for a Lillebaby toddler-preschool size carrier). Any other carrier requests? Just let us know! 🙂
We love it when there is a synchronicity to meetings, today we had two moms with 2-3-year-olds looking for carriers for baby #2. Both moms said that with their first baby using a carrier wasn’t such a priority because they could just sit and hold their babies, but with two in tow, they knew they were going to want their arms free– especially when it comes to breastfeeding. What they didn’t want was a long wrap. Fair enough. So we looked at the mei-tai (the Infantino Sash is a solid budget option at ~$25) and a couple convertible soft-structured carriers (SSC), specifically the Tula Free-to-Grow, the Lillebaby All Season and the Action Baby Carrier. These carriers have the benefit of being quick, once adjusted to suit, just buckle and go. They can be used for upright nursing by lowering the waist belt (loosen and lower, then tighten) and loosening the shoulder strap(s).
The ring sling is a great minimalist carrier that is ideal for hands-free nursing or “elbow” nursing since most will want to keep a little bit of support on their baby’s head, though it’s not always necessary. You can throw it on like a sash and take baby in and out of it without having to take it completely off. We demonstrated with a wrap conversion ring sling, which had a thick cushy fabric that made the tensioning more forgiving but adjustments through the rings a little more difficult. A classic ring sling brand is Maya Wrap, we have two for trying at meetings and one for checking out. For complete instructions check out our classic (slightly cringy) Ring Sling Tutorial. The major things to remember when using a ring sling:
- Make sure it’s threaded properly, no twists.
- The tail is the control panel for the pouch adjustments.
- Be sure to feed all the slack in the pouch out towards the rings so baby is well supported, especially from under the arm opposite the rings.
- Baby’s butt should be at or above the belly button, with knees higher than butt.
- When you lean forward, baby should remain in contact with your body. No gaps.
- Rings should be on dominant shoulder side for a free range of motion without smacking junior with bingo wings.
Nursing in a ring sling is fairly straightforward, for up-right feeding, lower the pouch and latch; for cradle (reclined) hold feeds, loosen the top or outer rail of the pouch, swing baby’s legs to the opposite side you want to nurse on and then latch them on before re-tightening the top/outer rail to support baby’s head. It’s important to check for good alignment here, head, neck, and spine should be in a fairly straight line, not a curve. If there is a curve, use your hand to support their spine and pull the excess fabric out through the rings. When you remove your hand the pouch should be supporting them as your hand was.
We want you to know that you’re always welcome at our meetings– even if you don’t have a specific babywearing question, it’s always nice to just hang out and often there are other children around so both kids and adults get some time to socialize. And if you can’t make it to a meeting in person, please get in touch with us (email, facebook page/messenger, Instagram, Twitter, or the facebook group) or join in the livestream (and our apologies that Tuesday’s live stream was a spectacular fail, we think it might have been the weather, i.e. monsoon).
During our October meetings, we will continue to have both voter registration forms and absentee ballot applications available to fill out. We’ll also have envelopes available in case you want to mail your own– or if you live outside of Johnson County. Otherwise, we will be dropping them off at the auditor’s office after the meetings. WHY get an absentee ballot? If for any reason you don’t want to go to your polling place on election day, an absentee ballot is a great choice. You need to be registered to vote, then you fill out the absentee ballot application, the auditor then mails you your ballot which you can fill out at your leisure so long as it’s mailed back on or before election day (which is November 6th).
More voting information:
- Register to vote online or get your own form here.
- Pick your county and get an Absentee Ballot Application form here. You need to be registered to vote and you do have to fill out the application and deliver by hand or by mail to the county auditor. Thems the rules.