Thank you

thankyou-web

Babywearing International of Tucson is so very grateful to all the volunteers, community partners, sponsors, and (of course) babywearing families that participated in our annual International Babywearing celebrations. Much love!!! We look forward to celebrating again in the future!

As always, we’ll continue to provide education and support around babywearing in the Tucson community.

Please follow us on Facebook to keep informed about our upcoming events! https://www.facebook.com/BWITucson/

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You Won’t Want to Miss it!

main-event16Tucson’s celebration of International Babywearing Week is quickly approaching! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to join Babywearing International of Tucson / Tucson Babywearers as we come together to celebrate and advocate for the practice of babywearing.

The heart of International Babywearing Week is celebration. The official celebration is the first week of October but our all-volunteer team has so much fun planned that we are starting our celebration a week early for two full weeks of fun (September 25-October 8)! We hope that you plan to join us for any or all of our 4th annual celebratory events. Subscribe to our Facebook events page to ensure that you stay tuned for all of the event details!

We’re planning in-person and online events throughout the two weeks, and many of the events are free or low-cost! Events include Babywearing Yoga; Babywearing Hiking; a Caregiver’s Night Out; Babywearing Zumba; a road trip to Apple Annie’s Orchard; professional Babywearing photo shoots; fun socials at splash pads, a local brewery, and other local attractions!

We are also planning for our Main Celebration and Fundraiser on October 8th at the downtown Tucson ASU School of Social Work Courtyard, where amazing prizes will be available to win (it’s a win-win – you support our non-profit chapter by purchasing raffle tickets and you increase your odds of winning an awesome prize donated to our chapter by generous community and national sponsors!). In addition to prizes, we’ll have food, entertainment, and a community showcase. Read more here. The address for the event is 340 N Commerce Park Loop (85745). There will be free parking available in the adjacent parking lot to the courtyard. There are several nearby Sun Tran bus stops.

Our celebration of International Babywearing Week would not be possible without the support of our generous community partners and sponsors. See the full list of community partners and sponsors here. Please take a moment to visit our sponsors online and thank them for their support!

We are so excited to have Tucson Babywearers join us at the events. ALL are welcome to our events — if you are expecting your first, are a seasoned babywearer who has never met another babywearer in real life, or consider yourself lucky to be a second or third generation babywearer whose bestie is also into babywearing. Friends and family are more than welcome too!

International Babywearing Week is Right Around the Corner!

General-IBW-Logo-FCInternational Babywearing Week is fast approaching – the celebration is October 2nd-8th. We hope that you plan to join us for any or all of our 4th annual celebratory events. Join this event to ensure that you stay tuned for all of the event details! There will be family friendly fun, prizes, and so many memories to share!

We’re planning events for every day during the week, and the majority of the events are free to attend! We are also planning for our Main Celebration and Fundraiser on October 8th in the downtown Tucson area, where amazing prizes will be available to win (it’s a win-win – you support our non-profit chapter with your donation and you increase your odds of winning an awesome prize donated to our chapter by generous community and national sponsors!).

We are so excited to have Tucson Babywearers join us at the events. ALL are welcome to our events — if you are expecting your first, are a seasoned babywearer who has never met another babywearer in real life, or consider yourself lucky to be a second or third generation babywearer whose bestie is also into babywearing. Friends and family are more than welcome too!

By the way, if you are interested in being a sponsor, vendor, and/or donor for the week contact us at babywearingtucson@gmail.com. You can see previous sponsors here…

Carry of the Month – October 2015: Jordan Back Carry with variations

What:    Jordan Back Carry and its variations

When:   31 days of October

Where: Start at Tucson Babywearers and take it anywhere you like!

Why:      It’s not because you can do it with any size wrap.

It’s not because you can do so many pretty and useful finishes with it.

It’s not because it prevents both leaning back and seat popping.

It’s because JBC is a wonderfully supportive and relatively easy to learn back carry that uses three basic types of passes (rebozo pass, cross pass, and horizontal pass) that would help you move your babywearing skills to a new level!

Now the details. For a basic Jordan Back Carry you need a base-1 size wrap (4 for petite ladies, 5 for average sized, and 6 for plus sized). You can always use a longer wrap if you have one, you’ll just have longer tails hanging from the knot. The other way of thinking about it is that you need a wrap one size longer than what you use for a ruck tied in front.

The carry starts like a ruck. You put your baby on your back by an age appropriate method that you are comfortable with (santa toss for smaller children, superman toss or hip scoot for older children). Then make a good deep seat by pulling the fabric down taut over the baby’s butt and flipping it under the baby. Since the first pass is a rebozo pass, you would bring one of the tails under your arm. Conversely you can start with one tail over your shoulder and one under your arm, and make the seat then.

Now it’s your chance to perfect your shoulder flip skills. Hold the whole width of the wrap taut under your arm, flip it over your shoulder, grab the top rail of the wrap to hold tight and spread the width of the wrap over the baby’s back. Since the second pass is a cross pass, you bring the whole width of the wrap under the baby’s back. Now you have a short tail coming from under your arm and a longer one coming over the same arm.

For the horizontal pass you take the long tail and bring it across the baby’s back so that it comes under the other arm. To finish tie it off in front with a double knot.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Try to make a good seat from the start. You’ll reinforce it by a cross pass and a horizontal pass later, but having a good seat from the beginning makes the rest of the wrapping easier. Practice making your seat first over a soft surface or/and with a spotter who doesn’t panic easily.
  2. If you feel like your arms are too short to do shoulder flip and subsequently spread the wrap, try to work wide. That is, hold the wrap with both hands, use your elbows. Once it’s high enough you can always tighten the wrap job to your desire.
  3. To make the carry symmetric (since the ways a rebozo pass and a cross pass turn out are slightly different, especially since you’ll be doing them on the opposite sides) make the last pass a reinforcing pass instead of a horizontal pass. To do that, bring the wrap across the baby’s back, but instead of going over the leg, go under the leg.
  4. Don’t forget about pretty and useful variations.
  5. Have fun with it! JBC is a great way to show off both sides of a wrap.

Most useful variations (according to me):

Tied Tibetan: if you feel like the ruck straps fall off, if you have to accommodate a growing pregnant belly, if your wrap is slightly longer and you want to use it up, or if you just got an unseemly stain on the front of your shirt, do the Tibetan finish!  To do it, instead of tying off in front bring the tails across your chest and put them through the ruck straps. Then you can tie them off in the middle or do a knotless finish.

JBC with a ring: if don’t like even the idea of ruck straps, like more weight to be on your sternum and not shoulders, and if you have a slightly longer wrap, do the ring variation. To do it, once you have the first rebozo pass put both tails of the wrap through a large ring (use only rings designated for babywearing) and proceed as with the basic carry. You can tie it off in front or do a knotless finish through the ring.

Half-JBC: if you only have a shorty, are on the move, don’t have time to deal with tails, etc., this is for you. All you do is stop after the first two passes and tie off the carry at the shoulder with a double knot, a slip knot or do a candy cane chest belt. Another good thing about the Half-JBC is that it can be done without the shoulder flip.

Now to the instructional videos:

Basic JBC:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_6cO_gQctY

JBC with a ring:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai6I1o-sMWE

Half-JBC:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcshSFS7HhI

Half-JBC without a shoulder flip:

~ Valentina

Carry of the Month for April: Double Rebozo Shoulder to Shoulder (DRS2S)

Double Rebozo Shoulder to Shoulder is a good beginner-intermediate back carry. It starts off center which makes it a little more challenging for some people. You can do this carry with a shorty wrap and have a knotless finish, or with a longer wrap and have a little more support in the carry overall.

One of the tips I have found to be important with this carry is to spread the fabric in the shoulder to shoulder part.  In a shorty version this will be the knotless finish, in the longer wrap version it will be the chestbelt.

This carry of the month is super simple in concept. There are not a lot of real variations, and since you’re trying this carry after having done front carries, hip carries, and some great back carries to begin learning with, you may find it super easy to do now that you have a good skill set for wrapping.  However, as with any carry with a woven wrap it can take a while to learn the skills involved.  Don’t be discouraged if you find you’re struggling with it, or it’s not comfortable for you, not every carry is going to work well for every person.

Safety: Please keep in mind that if this is your first time using a woven wrap or trying this carry, you should practice over a soft surface such as a bed or couch. If you are attempting this back carry or it’s variations for the first time, you should have a spotter and/or practice over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch, or even kneeling on a carpeted floor. You can also practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable.  If this is your first time using a woven wrap please begin with a front carry such as FWCC or FWCC variations, which we have covered in a previous COTM: https://tucsonbabywearers.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/carry-of-the-month-for-june-fwcc-pwcc-fwcc-variations/

If you are a beginner with woven wraps, we recommend that your child be approximately 6 months old, with good neck control/head support, and able to sit before attempting ANY back carry.

Stretchy wraps (such as the Moby, Boba Wrap, DIY knit wraps, etc) are not designed for the carries described in this Carry of the Month and should NOT be used for back carries.
These video tutorials and more can also be found on our Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/BWITucson/cotm-8-drs2s/

I will always precede back carry COTMs with some videos and tips for getting baby on your back, off your back, and making a good seat.

Superman method

How to make a good deep seat + pre-seat with a superman toss

How to get baby off your back

Double Rebozo Shoulder to Shoulder (with shorty variations)

Carry of the Month for March: Rucksack and Ruck variations

COTM #7: Ruck, Reinforced Ruck, Ruck TUB, RRRR, Ruck TAS

We are returning to back carries this month with a bang! Ruck and it’s variations are popular carries for those newer to back carries, but they are also well loved among those with more experience.  All around, these are great back carries, and some come with a little extra support if it’s needed.

Rucksack carry and variations

The Rucksack carry is a great carry for those new to back carries with a woven because it is simple and fast (the more you do it, the faster you become). It starts with a ruck pass, which is over both legs of the child and over both shoulders of the wearer.  Bunched passes are then pulled back over one leg of the child and under the other with both passes ending in front to tie off.  The Rucksack carry is typically done with a base size wrap, or base -1.

The Ruck Tied Under Bum (or Ruck TUB) and the Ruck Tied at Shoulder (or Ruck TAS) are variations of the Rucksack carry that can be done with shorter wraps, typically sizes 2, 3, and 4 woven wraps work great for these. The Ruck TUB is essentially the Rucksack but instead of the bunched passes crossing over the child’s legs and then under to tie off in front, the bunched passes pass over the child’s legs and then tie off in a secure double knot under the child’s bum.

In Ruck TAS the carry starts somewhat off center and allows the wearer to work with only one side of the wrap instead of both.  After making the seat and tightening strand by strand, the longer tail is again bunched and then passed over both legs coming up to the front under the wearer’s arm and tying at the shoulder in a secure double knot, slip knot, or if there is enough length in the tails a few other tie off variations can be used.

As children get older and heavier reinforcing passes can add to the comfort of both child and wearer. The Reinforced Ruck may be the version for you if you feel extra support is needed, or if you just like extra support no matter what.  This version of the Rucksack does require the wearer’s base size wrap or longer.  For this carry, instead of bunched passes, we have spread passes which is where you will get the extra support.

Lastly the Reinforced Rear Rebozo Rucksack (RRRR) is another variation that can be done with a shorter wrap.  Depending on the wearer and the size of the child a size 2 woven wrap to a size 4 woven wrap can work wonderfully for this carry. Like Ruck TAS this carry starts off center and the wearer works primarily with one side of the woven wrap. RRRR (or the Pirate carry) uses a rebozo pass instead of a cross pass, the rebozo pass is spread over the beginning ruck pass and is brought under the opposite arm to tie at shoulder or in a chestbelt variation.

As with all wrap carries, importance is placed on creating a nice, deep seat for baby, with baby’s legs being in a good M position (knees above bum) and fabric supporting under the legs from knee to knee.

Younger babies should have fabric supporting them up to their necks, whereas older babies should be supported at least up to their armpits.

The hardest part about the Ruck carry and it’s variations is maintaining a good, deep seat for your child.  Sometimes the seat is popped due to over tightening the bottom rail, and other times t is popped by a quick, leg straightening child.  Either way you’ll want to make sure to keep that deep seat with knee to knee support as you finish the carry.

Some of the tie off variations you may see in the linked videos below are: Candy Cane Chest Belt (CCCB), Tibetan tie off, Knotless, and the slipknot.

Safety: Please keep in mind that if this is your first time using a woven wrap or trying this carry, you should practice over a soft surface such as a bed or couch. If you are attempting this back carry or it’s variations for the first time, you should have a spotter and/or practice over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch, or even kneeling on a carpeted floor. You can also practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable.  If this is your first time using a woven wrap please begin with a front carry such as FWCC or FWCC variations, which we have covered in a previous COTM: https://tucsonbabywearers.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/carry-of-the-month-for-june-fwcc-pwcc-fwcc-variations/

If you are a beginner with woven wraps, we recommend that your child be approximately 6 months old, with good neck control/head support, and able to sit before attempting ANY back carry.

Stretchy wraps (such as the Moby, Boba Wrap, DIY knit wraps, etc) are not designed for the carries described in this Carry of the Month and should NOT be used for back carries.
These video tutorials and more can also be found on our Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/BWITucson/cotm-7-rucksack-carry-variations/

Getting your child on your back (practice this over a soft surface before trying a back carry if this is your first time trying a back carry):

Rucksack with hip scoot method:

Rucksack (with Reinforced Ruck variation):

Rucksack (with tips):

Ruck TUB (RUB):

Rucksack Tied At Shoulder (Ruck TAS):

Reinforced Rucksack:

Reinforced Rear Robozo Rucksack: 


RRRR with leg pass: 

Rucksack with different finishes:

Babywearing Foward Facing Out

Babywearing Forward Facing Out
By Sarah Whiting, VBE

(Note: Because narrow based carriers were predominantly the only way to wear forward facing out until recently, I will be addressing this type of carrier specifically throughout most of this post.)

To prepare for writing this blog post I googled, “why to wear baby forward facing out”, and I was bombarded with links for why NOT to do so.

“Hip Dysplasia: Why we should burn forward facing baby carriers”

“Nine Reasons Not to Carry Your Baby Facing Out”

“Babywearing: Why Forward Facing Isn’t For You”

“Better Babywearing: Why I Don’t Like Forward Facing Carriers”

Those are just a few examples. There is such a stigma surrounding wearing babes in a carrier forward facing out. Some of those carriers have been called “crotch danglers”, a negative and off putting term if I ever heard one. Narrow based carriers are predominantly associated with wearing baby forward facing out, but there are other carriers newer on the market that enable a more ergonomic way of babywearing in this position. There’s a perpetuated myth that wearing your baby in a narrow base carrier can cause Hip Dysplasia. So, there has been some negativity foisted upon the babywearing community, and that has resulted only in damaging the community as a whole. When we, the babywearing community, insist that forward facing out is dangerous or improper babywearing we exclude instead of welcome, and I know that we want to welcome all babywearers regardless of how they choose to wear their littles.

This issue of wearing forward facing out isn’t as black and white as it has been made out to be in the past. I’m so happy to see the babywearing community coming out of this exclusion and recognizing that FFO is indeed an acceptable form of babywearing and, when done safely, is not dangerous.  Let us continue this and begin to educate caregivers on how to wear forward facing out safely, just as we do with all other forms of babywearing.

Is Babywearing Forward Facing Out Okay?

The simple answer is, yes. However, as with all other babywearing, there are safety tips to take into consideration.  What are they? The biggest one is proper support of baby’s head and neck.  Because baby’s head and neck are not supported while forward facing out, it is safest to be sure that baby has good head control before using this position.  Typically that’s around 4-6 months old (which happily coincides with a baby’s natural desire to begin taking in the world around him/her).(1)

Next we want to be aware of baby’s spine.  Make sure the baby carrier is properly fitted with adjusters so that baby’s spin is not overly curved.

We must also note that when/if baby is beginning to fall asleep they should be readjusted into an inward facing position for best head support and keeping an open airway.

After that we need to be aware of baby’s emotional needs. One reasoning by those against forward facing out is that baby will get over stimulated and they cannot turn into their caregiver when that happens. This is true, babies can get overly stimulated by their surrounding world and naturally turn into their parents to seek comfort and escape. This is easily dealt with by paying attention to baby’s signals.  When it seems the world is beginning to overwhelm them, simply readjust so that baby is in the facing in position instead.  One way to be proactive in this regard is to limit the time baby spends in the forward facing out position. Really, it is all about listening and watching for baby’s cues that will tell you what he/she needs.

 

When Is Forward Facing Out Not a Good Option?

If your baby has hip dysplasia or low muscle tone, or is predisposed to developing hip dysplasia it is not a good idea to wear baby in the facing out position.

I am not a medical professional, so everything I know about hip dysplasia as it relates to babywearing is purely internet research based.  From my research, I know that hip dysplasia is developmental and can easily be missed, however most cases of hip dysplasia are caught during an infants newborn exam.(2)

“In babies and children with developmental dysplasia (dislocation) of the hip (DDH), the hip joint has not formed normally. The ball is loose in the socket and may be easy to dislocate.”(3) The treatment for hip dysplasia, or developmental dysplasia of the hip, is to position the legs in such a way that the thighbone is positioned in the hip socket properly.  Narrow based carriers do not offer the proper positioning which is why they should be avoided for children who may or have developed hip dysplasia, but other ergonomic carriers do offer correct support  when the seat or base of the carrier stretches from knee to knee.

As far as low muscle tone, or hypotonia, is concerned, the safety considerations are the same as a newborn. A child’s muscle’s need to be strong enough to fully support their head/neck when worn facing forward. Along with that, hypotonic babies do not have the muscle strength to combat gravity and thus narrow based carriers may not be ideal for their hip development.  Wearing babies with hypotonia in a more ergonomic carrier with full very specific support is still recommended, and you can read more about that in an anecdotal post (real life experience is often very helpful) written by a babywearing consultant at The Practical Possum.(4)

When Is Forward Facing Out Babywearing Helpful?

When I was first introduced to babywearing I learned that forward facing out was bad for babies after I had attempted it once or twice using a Snuggli carrier when my son was about 3 months old (don’t worry, I supported his head, but he did have incredible head control very young).  I was so new to babywearing, and there was no local community at the time.  My information and knowledge was solely gained from one friend and the internet.

My son never wanted to be carried facing inward, not even in arms (without a carrier).  He needed to face the world, to see everything and take it all in. I remember walking with him to the mailbox and carrying him cradled in my arms so that he was angled outwards. I remember, when he was older, carrying him facing outward on my hip.  For most outings he ended up in a stroller because carrying a baby facing out in arms without the help of a carrier is awkward and my arms would easily get tired. (I later discovered that carrying a baby in arms facing me put much less strain on my arms and was much easier.)

Years later he was diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorder (SPD). (This is not to say that every baby who insists on being carried facing out has either ASD or SPD, but looking back I can see that this was the case for us.)  SPD is very complicated and is comorbid with many different diagnoses, and simply a diagnosis of SPD is not a reason to wear facing out.  Some children with SPD very much need to be able to hide from the overstimulation of the world and so wearing them facing out would be too overwhelming for them.  However, some children with SPD are more sensory seeking and need much more stimulation than the typical child, and this is when forward facing out babywearing could be very useful. (The evidence to support this is currently purely anecdotal.)

There are other special needs that might require forward facing out babywearing.  For example, FFO might be what works best with medical equipment that a child may need. The main point is that forward facing out has a time and place, and for some may be exactly what is needed.

Aside from special considerations, wearing an older infant forward facing out can be a perfectly acceptable way to allow baby to explore the world around them. The key is to simply be aware of baby’s signals so that you know when they may need to be readjusted into an inward facing position.  Hip carries are also wonderful for this purpose, and allow a baby to turn in towards their caregiver on their own.

Carriers That Allow the FFO Option

It used to be that the carrier people thought of for forward facing out babywearing was a narrow based carrier. However, not only are there more options these days, some more traditional carriers can also be used for forward facing out babywearing.  Ring slings and woven wraps can be used for FFO carries, particularly using the buddha (kangaroo) carry.  Along with those two options, other carriers available are the Ergo 360, the Bjorn One, the Lillebaby carriers, Catbird baby carriers, most narrow based carriers, and the Beco Gemini.

I want to conclude with a summary of some important points:

  1. Babywearing in the forward facing out position can be done safely.
  2. When using this position be aware of baby’s signals that they are getting overwhelmed or are unhappy with this position.
  3. FFO is sometimes THE best option.
  4. Though narrow based carriers are perfectly fine to use, there are now some more ergonomic carriers with FFO capabilities.  Soft Structured Carriers are not the only carrier available for babywearing forward facing out.

Happy babywearing however you babywear!

BWI of Tucson babywearers wearing their babes in the Forward Facing Out position.

This is a great post about the FFO controversy: http://shopzerberts.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-forward-facing-controversy.html

Information on Sensory Processing Disorder: http://spdstar.org/what-is-spd/

  1. ErgoBaby: http://blog.ergobaby.com/2011/02/facing-in-facing-out-a-science-based-view-on-baby-carrying-positions/
  1. International Hip Dysplasia Institute: http://hipdysplasia.org/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip/infant-signs-and-symptoms/
  1. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Ortho Info: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00347
  1. The Practical Possum: http://www.thepracticalpossum.com.au/babywearing-low-muscle-tone/