We’ve written recently about how carrying your baby in a sling can promote breastfeeding. A sling can also help practically, as you can breastfeed safely and comfortably in all Oscha wraps, ring slings and carriers.
Using a carrier for breastfeeding/nursing can bring an amazing freedom as you use your carrier as a feeding aid. Carriers can help you to support your baby’s weight, while you support their head with one hand and use the other to latch on. It’s especially great for the early days when both you and your baby are still learning to feed and getting to know each other.
It also easily provides comfort – no more piling up pillows on your knee to get your baby to the right height, or leaning down and getting a sore neck, as you can easily use the carrier to spread the weight evenly across your back.
“What are the best slings for the heat?” – This is a question we get asked all the time as the weather begins to warm up and people start to begin travelling to warmer climates than they are used to!
Comfy carrying in the summer heat comes down to three choices: type of carrier, the fabric and the type of carry you use. Read on for our guide to choosing the right Oscha Sling for you & your little one this summer.
Choosing a carrier
Baby wraps and ring slings are popular choices for summertime carrying as they offer complete adjustability, allowing you and your little one to be comfortable together in the heat. Our Cairis Carrier is also a good option for summer carrying as the unique, lightweight design allows for natural airflow and all the comfort for a traditional woven sling.
Skin to skin carrying is one of the best gifts a baby can be given. Skin to skin contact helps them regulate their temperature, heart rate and breathing rates. It produces oxytocin in both the caregiver and the baby calming both of them, and the beauty of skin to skin is that Dads can do it too. This is not only fabulous for bonding, but also for occasions where mum may need further support or medical treatment.
Skin to skin from a father is so reassuring – whilst they may have only met moments ago, the warm embrace, the sound of his heart beating close and his familiar voice, reassures the baby that right here – they’re safe, they’re protected, it’s a beautiful home from home.
We were so delighted when we heard the announcement that the Scottish Government were going to introduce baby boxes for all babies born in Scotland, based on a Finnish Project that’s been running since 1938. I remember researching the Finnish boxes when I was pregnant with my children, thinking they were such a great idea and wishing we had similar here – and now we do!
The boxes contain over 40 different items that the government considers essential for new babies and for parents, and the box itself can be used with the mattress and sheets inside it to become a safe clean sleeping area for the baby.
Whilst it’s a wonderful gesture to receive new items for your baby – the reason for the box and gifts goes much deeper than a simple gesture, as the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “It’s a simple idea with a proven record in tackling deprivation, improving health and supporting parents” All babies will now have a guaranteed safe sleeping area, clean clothes and basic essentials.
Imagine then the joy at Oscha HQ when we discovered that a baby carrier was going to be included too.
The Winter Solstice may have passed & the days are getting longer, but there’s still an icy nip in the air. A question regularly asked by babywearing mums is “What is the best way to carry in the cold?”
As with all things there is no single right answer so we talked to our models and photographers, as well as some babywearing experts, to see what they do when the days turn chilly.
We take a look at Dr Rosie Knowles’ Why Babywearing Matters, Pinter & Martin, 2016.
With interest in babywearing increasing at a significant rate over the past decade, and recent growth of academic studies into the benefits of carrying your child, Rosie Knowles has produced a timely and accessible summary pulling together relevant information about the benefits of this practice that will appeal to both newcomers and long-time carriers.
Rosie (a GP and Babywearing Consultant who runs her own Sling Library and shop) is well known and highly regarded within the babywearing world, and for good reason – her work promoting carrying not only in her hometown Sheffield (known as ‘Sling City’), but more widely in the UK and beyond, has undoubtedly contributed to a better understanding of babywearing benefits. She is passionate, knowledgeable, dedicated and motivated – any discussion with her on this topic is immediately engaging and heartfelt.
Vicki delves into historic Scotland to find out more about the age old tradition of carrying children in slings! She meets our new designer Evonne’s granny and great aunt over a cuppa to hear about their personal experience in using the ‘Plaid’.
When our new designer Evonne told her granny about the products Oscha makes, her granny said,
‘Oh, I know all about that, your great granny carried me in the plaid.’
Intrigued, I drove westwards on Scotland’s hottest day of the year (temperature reached a miraculous 27C!), navigating the tangle of motorways which slice up Glasgow, and out the other side to Dalry, once a thriving textile town, where the last mill closed only a few months ago, to find out more.
Evonne’s granny, May (Mary), and her sister Fay, greeted me with tea in china cups, lots of cake and a fascinating glimpse into 1930’s and 40’s Scotland.
Their mother had nine children and they lived in a two-roomed tenement flat with no running water or electricity. ‘We had to carry buckets of clean water up a flight of stairs and the dirty water back down again,’
The International Hip Dysplasia Institute acknowledges Oscha Woven Wraps, Ring Slings, Baby Cairis and Coorie as “hip-healthy” baby carriers (when used as directed). This means that our slings provide the correct support to your child’s hips, which encourages the normal hip joint development that is especially important during the child’s first 6 months.
The IHDI has reviewed the Oscha products that are suitable for babies under 6 months as the risk of hip dysplasia or dislocation is greatest in the first few months of life. By six months of age, most babies have nearly doubled in size, the hips are more developed and the ligaments are stronger, so are less susceptible to developing hip dysplasia.
IHDI supports proper babywearing with the hips in the M-position as a method to encourage healthy hip development. Our Coorie and Todder Cairis also hold the hips in this position as recommended by the IHDI but as these products are for use with older babies, they are not eligible to be tested for ‘hip healthy’ positioning.
A little information about healthy hip positioning:
If you would like to read more about Hip Dysplasia and baby carriers, you may want to read Dr Rosie Knowles blog post about ‘Busting some Hip- Healthy Myths’. Rosie is a qualified GP and an experienced Sling Consultant. http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/healthy-hips-busting-some-myths/ she explores Hip Dysplasia in detail and recommends different styles of carriers for healthy hips.
You can explore the International Hip Dysplasia website to read more about hip healthy positioning and the research around preventing hip dysplasia here http://hipdysplasia.org/
Ciaran McKenna, AKA The Babywearing Dad, talks about why he enjoys carrying his first son in a sling and why he would recommend other fathers do the same. Ciaran will be this years Face of the Fair at Babywearing Irelands annual Wear a Hug Fair.
Ciaran also reviewed our Starry Night Midnight wrap recently (pictured below), read what he thought here.
I am a first time dad, like all first time dads I had no idea how this was going to go. I didn’t know what kind of a father I would be. Without babywearing I think things would be very different. I didn’t wear him for the first 6 weeks, mainly because I thought I might break him! I know now that that’s nonsense, and the next time round in will do it as soon as the baby is handed to me! In the run up to the Wear a Hug Fair I’d like to talk about some benefits of babywearing for any dads out there that might have their doubts about it. Don’t forget you can always contact me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you’ve got any questions. I’m always more than happy to talk about my love of babywearing!
Anyone who has read a few of my blog pieces or interviews knows that this is always a big one for me. It can seem to some dads that mom can bond faster than dad, and why wouldn’t they? They could have just carried the little one for 39ish weeks! The best way to bond, in my opinion, is babywearing. Having your baby so close to you, sleeping on you, getting used to your voice, your smell, your heartbeat. You can also do skin to skin, or kangaroo parenting while babywearing, which is a great way to bond too.
2. Hands Free Parenting
I honestly don’t know how parents who don’t babywear get anything done! Feeding/walking the dogs, hanging out washing, stuffing nappies, making lunch, playing Xbox, all these and more are done in our house whilst babywearing. It’s so practical, and your baby is happy and contented the entire time (often asleep!)
3. Sharing Hobbies/Experiences
When babywearing you can really go pretty much anywhere. There’s no clunky buggy stopping you get in or up places and you are hands free. I’ve done some hillwalking, hiking, collecting plants for college work and changed the spark plugs on my bike with my little fella strapped to me. He was delighted and I got to continue doing things I like while still parenting and having my baby close to me. This also gives Mom a well deserved break which earns major brownie points; another benefit for dad!
4. Settles Babies Quickly
I have yet to find any way to soothe or calm my baby as quickly and easily as babywearing. Even my mom wears him now when she minds him! It’s unbelievable, and no matter what’s wrong it always helps, be it the position he’s in giving him relief from wind etc. or just the close cuddle giving him comfort, it has yet to fail. Every morning now for nap time he goes in a wrap for 10 minutes and he’s out like a light, and can be transferred to his cot (if I don’t want to just sit there cuddling him). Happy baby makes for a happy dad, and that time in the cot gets you a break for a cup of tea, or making bottles!
5. Impress Your Lady!
There isn’t a babywearing mom out there that doesn’t find their partner wearing their baby extremely attractive! I don’t know exactly what it is, but I haven’t met one woman who doesn’t love it!
Ciaran will be at the Wear a Hug Fair this weekend in Kildare, Ireland. Why not pop along to say hello if you’re near by.