Wednesday, 30 October 2013

More reviews coming very soon...

It been a bit quiet here on my blog this week, as now that the clocks have changed here in the UK, it is too dark to take photograph when my hubby gets home from work in the evenings. This means I have to either take pictures myself during the day, or wait until the weekend. However, I am currently working on several reviews, plus have an amazing wrap held in customs at the moment, as well as a tester wrap from a brand new company 'winging' its way to me this weekend. I can't wait! I just need to hope that we get some decent weather this weekend to be able to take lots of pictures to go with my reviews!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Woolly wraps!

As the weather is getting colder, and the evenings are drawing in here in the UK, I thought I'd write a little bit about woolly wraps, and do a little comparison.
A lot of people are a bit nervous of woolly wraps, as there is the potential to 'felt' your wrap (meaning the fibres end up matted together) if washed incorrectly, meaning your wrap becomes unsafe to use.  However, I've had a few woolly wraps, and as long as you follow the washing instructions carefully, you can't go wrong!
Woolly wraps have many benefits, the best one being the added comfort and cush provided by the wool. They are often warmer than other blends, and can start out being quite itchy, but I would highly recommend trying at least one woolly wrap this winter! 

Oscha Strato Aequus
Very cushy, lambswool blend wrap. Very comfortable wrap. Starts out quite itchy, but many people seem to find that the itchiness disappears with use. Pictured here in the snow last year - it was very cosy!

Oscha Starry Night Marina
A recent release. Quite similar to Strato Aequus, but slightly thinner. Still a lovely cushy wrap. Also begins with a slight itchy feeling, but that is already disappearing. Very comfortable in a ruck or rebozo hip carry due to the lovely cushy feel of the wool.

Oscha Starry Night Maya and Nouveau Bramble
Thinner wool blend wraps, which don't feel like wool at all. Don't particularly offer extra warmth, so are actually suitable all year round. Absolutely no itchy feeling, better in a multi-layer carry with bigger children as they are fairly thin.

Artipoppe Two Birds Akka
A beautiful quality merino wool blend. Very smooth and beautifully cushy. One of the most comfortable and mouldable wraps I've ever tired! No itchy feeling at all. I actually wore this on cooler days during the summer, and we didn't get over-heated. A snuggley, blankety soft wrap.

Natibaby Graphite Elves
A lovely smooth cushy merino wool blend. Has no itch at all, and doesn't actually feel like wool, except for the lovely blankety softness and cush.  Glides into place when wrapping.

Didymos Reindeer
Lovely soft alpaca blend wrap. Started a little bit itchy, but soon became smoother. Pictured here last Christmas. Easy to wrap with and nicely supportive.

Oscha Braid Mallo
A heavy-weight tri-blend. Very supportive and thick, requiring a bit of breaking in. Amazingly supportive and cosy. Pictured here last winter.

There are so many beautiful wool blend wraps available from many of the different wrap companies, plus more being released all the time as we approach winter in many parts of the world. These are just a few that I've tried, and although not all of them still live here, they were all lovely wraps to use.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Daddy Babywearing

We've spent the weekend getting a few more pictures taken for the little project I'm working on with Bebe Sachi, which involved a few pictures of my hubby wearing Joey. I thought I'd share a sneak peek of a few of the pictures here.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Review: Monkey Mei Tai Wrap Conversion of Kokadi Gluckstuch

Brand: Kokadi
Type: Gluckstuch
Blend: 50% hemp, 50% cotton

Brand: Monkey Mei Tai
Size: Large preschool size
Features: Infinity straps, tie waist.

I am very fortunate to already own two beautiful Monkey Mei Tai wrap conversions which were made especially for me, but when I saw Helen from Monkey Mei Tai was selling a beautiful conversion from her own personal collection recently, I couldn't resist. Not only is it beautiful, but it actually met all the features I had been looking for in a carrier.
I recently started Sling n Swing classes, and have been using my Okinami wrap conversion, which is amazingly comfortable, and perfect for when Joey always falls asleep during the class. However I found that the wrap straps (which I love in normal circumstances), weren't suited to some of the dance moves. The Gluckstuch conversion has Infinity straps, which are padded at the shoulder and flare out to wrap straps, meaning I am free to lift and move my arms, but can still spread the straps over Joey to help support his weight. The size of the panel is very large, and as Joey is getting very tall, its perfect for holding him in place whilst dancing, and is tall enough to support his head when asleep even without a hood. The large size should last us for many years to come.
The carrier is beautifully made, and is absolutely perfect. It is incredibly comfortable in both front and back carries, and I am really impressed with the infinity straps. Helen has used the Gluckstuch pattern perfectly, showing her usual artistic flair. It is such a soft, cosy carrier, and Joey obviously finds it comfortable, as he seems to fall asleep in it every time we use it!

Pics of the conversion in action during a dance class. These two photographs are joint copyright of Sling n Swing and photographer Nick Ashton. More detail about Sling n Swing here.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Babywearing in Children's books......again.....

You may recall that back in May I shared a few of my favourite children's book that featured babywearing. Some books are based around the subject of babywearing, whereas others just happen to have a sling-wearing character or even just a babywearer in the background.

I thought it was time to share a few of my recent finds!

The Wheels on the Bus
by Penny Dann
A lovely little board book illustrating the well-know 'Wheels on the Bus' song, featuring a lady wearing a baby in a sling on many of the pages. The pictures are fun and really charming. We were lucky to find this one for 50p in a charity shop! 

'Ting Finds a Bell' 
from the 'Alice's Bear Shop' series.
By Rikey Austin
A lovely story book for young children, all about the adventures of a teddy bear called 'Ting'. I've met the author several times, and bought this one from her last weekend, and was lucky to get it signed for Joey by Rikey herself. The babywearer appears on the first page and isn't actually part of the story, but it is a lovely illustration.

'Baby Carriers and Slings: A Child's Colouring Book'.
by Delia M. Hubbard
This one is a bit different! Its a wonderful colouring book full of line drawings and babywearing-themed activities, with many of the drawings being labelled with a description of what sling is being used in the picture. Definitely a book to encourage the next generation of babywearers!

'Baby Animals'
Produced by Sainsbury's
This one shouldn't really be included, but I couldn't resist! It is a little lift-the-flap board book, and one of the pages features a joey, who apparently likes to rest inside his Mummy's pouch, all safe and cosy, just like my own little Joey!

Review: Oscha Japanese Knot Ooki Juliet

Brand: Oscha
Type: Japanese Knot Ooki Juliet (JKOJ)
Blend: 100% cotton
Size: 5

I really love Oscha's 'Juliet' colour, and its a colour I wear a lot, so I couldn't resist trying these beautiful large Juliet knots when they became available from Oscha recently. 
I was delighted with the colour when they arrived, as I feel it really suits the pattern. The ecru cotton, combined with the plum colour, makes the paler section of the design look like a soft lilac colour from a distance. The wrap arrived already feeling soft, and after a wash and steam iron, it was beautifully soft and mouldable. JKOJ feels slightly thinner than some of Oscha's other recent wraps (although I would say it is still a medium-weight wrap), and due to it being cotton rather than combed cotton, it appears to have slightly less cush. However, the wrap is particularly easy to wrap with, and just glides into place, and being so soft makes it perfect from newborn onwards. It is also very supportive and holds my toddler's weight well. This wrap is really beautiful, and such a delight to wrap with!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A fun week!

International Babywearing Week has been so much fun! We've joined in several events, plus lots of babwearing out and about. I hope you all have a lovely week aswell!

Review: Bebe Sachi Zen

Brand: Bebe Sachi
Type: Zen
Blend: 100% cotton
Size: 6

As you may recall, I was very lucky recently to win a little competition on Bebe Sachi's Facebook page, and my beautiful prize arrived a couple of weeks ago. The first thing to strike me about Zen is how amazing the colour is and how it appears to shimmer in different lights. It is so soft and mouldable straight out of the matching bag, and the diamond weave patten works perfectly with this combination of red and gold. It is a medium weight wrap, and is supportive and slightly cushy.
I've tried this wrap with both my 3 month old niece and 22 month old son, and it was very comfortable with both. It is so easy to wrap with, as it just glides into place, and it would be a perfect first wrap for someone new to wrapping, as well as lovely for more experienced wrappers. I found it more comfortable in a multi-pass carry with my toddler, but it would be very comfortable in a single pass carry with a smaller baby. Zen slightly reminds me of the feel of a Girasol wrap, but I found it a lot more supportive and sturdier than a diamond weave Girasol. Its a really special wrap, and as it was a prize, it will always feel very special to me.
Bebe Sachi is a Malaysian based social enterprise which produces hand loomed woven wraps in Bangladesh that help to support the local economy and works with local artisans to produce beautiful wraps. Zen is part of Bebe Sachi's jacquard woven range, which are quite different to the Khadi wraps which Bebe Sachi is also well known for. 

Review: Oscha Roses Hera

Brand: Oscha
Type: Roses Hera
Blend: 100% combed cotton
Size: 6

I have loved Oscha's Roses Noel wrap since the first time I saw it, as it is a beautiful and striking green and red combination. I've never been able to buy one, as they now sell for a lot of money, so I was delighted when I saw Oscha had produced a similar wrap. Roses Hera is a 100% combed cotton wrap in red and pale green/grey. The green cotton can look different in different light conditions, and sometimes looks like a moss green colour, and other times looks a silvery grey. It is a more subtle version of Roses Noel, and although I still adore the original, Roses Hera is a lovely, more affordable, alternative.
The combed cotton gives Hera a wonderful luxurious feel, and it arrived feeling lovely and soft, and hasn't required a lot of breaking in. I'm finding Hera very easy to wrap with, and although the roses pattern is fairly textured, Hera appears to glide into place a lot easier than some of the other Oscha roses I've tried. It is a beautifully supportive wrap, and it offers a lovely cush on the shoulders, making it very comfortable even with my large toddler.
I'm delighted with Hera, and despite my wrap being a second grade, I can't find any flaws on it! The red colour is the same as used in the Eros and Aphrodite wraps, and it is remarkable what a difference the green/grey colour makes to the overall appearance of these roses. I find this wrap really comfortable and classy, and can't wait to wear it at Christmas time (although we'll be wearing it during the rest of the year aswell!).

Roses Hera (top) and Roses Aphrodite (bottom) showing how Hera can look quite green in some lights.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Sling n Swing Flashmob

We had great fun this afternoon doing a 'Sling n Swing' flashmob in Cheltenham, as part of International Babywearing Week. It was such a lot of fun, and a lot of shoppers stopped to watch us. A total of 15 babywearers took part. I've been going to Sling n Swing classes recently at Blue Skies Natural Parenting Centre, a lovely local venue which opened in Cheltenham in the summer, and it was a lot of fun doing one of the routines out in public!
You can watch the flashmob on Youtube here.