Baby Equipment

Have you ever had to purchase a special occasion outfit for your baby or toddler, a special dress for a party, a little suit for a wedding, a costume, and wondered to yourself why on earth you were spending $30, or $40 or $50 dollars on a tiny little outfit that your child was going to wear once? It seems like such a ridiculous waste of money, and yet we spend it anyway, because, what else can you do. I’ve often wondered to myself, wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a place where you could “borrow” an outfit for your baby, kind of like a baby clothing library! Well, it turns out there is!

It is called Wooky Baby.

Babies grow fast!  Wooky Baby, a clothing rental service for size 0-3T, was founded with the goal of reducing the “cost-per-wear” of children’s clothing.  At an average of $8 per outfit, a customer can save upwards of $50 by renting instead of purchasing an outfit that a child may only end up wearing once or twice.  Wooky Baby clothing rental service is not only cost-effective but also environmentally responsible.

The option to purchase outfits (new and used) was recently added to the site.  Wooky Baby offers unique, fun clothes that are changing daily.  Labels include Burberry, Florence Eisman, Good Lad, and Bonnie Baby.

Here’s How it works:

 

The Wooky Baby online catalog works like most shopping carts.  There is a $5 flat rate shipping fee which includes the cost of a label to return the items when the child is finished wearing the clothes.  The clothes can be returned with the supplied shipping bag and label provided via email.  The shipping bag will be picked up in the mailbox by the postal service.  The cost includes a one-month rental, but the clothes can be kept for longer.  A recurring fee will be charged for each month the clothes are rented.   The $5 flat rate shipping fee applies to both the rental and/or purchase of as many outfits are in the order.

As the mother of two girls I know how expensive it can get buying clothing for them, especially those special occasion, one wear type outfits. Having a place to go where I can rent a beautiful dress for a wedding or a party seems like such a fantastic idea. I love what Wooky Baby is doing, the service they are offering to parents. I’ll definitely be scouring their site looking for a dress for Anna for an upcoming wedding we will be attending. I’m much more open to spending $8 to rent a dress she’ll wear once instead of spending $40 to buy it and have it hang out in the closet after one use.

Now for the best part! One lucky reader is going to get a chance to give Wooky Baby a try for free. Wooky Baby is giving away 5 free rentals to one lucky reader, that’s a $50-$85 dollar value! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me about a time when you wish you had been able to rent an outfit for your child instead of having to buy one. On Monday, February 27th I will draw the winner.

You can find Wooky Baby online, on facebook and on twitter.

*Open to US residents only.

*I received no compensation for this post and the opinions within are my own.

I love babywearing. I did it a lot with Maya when she was a baby, and even as a toddler and still willing to climb in the backpack or sit in the sling. Babywearing is a godsend when you need to have your hands free but your baby needs to be held, I can’t imagine life without a baby carrier. I’ve managed to grocery shop, make a meal, vacuum, go for a walk, write a blog post, all thanks to the wonders of the baby carrier.

I thought I knew the magic of babywearing from my experiences with it when Maya was little but, truly, I don’t think any parent can quite know how awesome it can be until you have more than one child to care for. Being able to throw Anna in my Moby wrap or Ergo carrier has been such a godsend. It has given me the freedom to do things with Maya, and care for Maya in ways I can’t when both my hands are occupied with holding a baby. Plus, I just love the feeling of wearing my baby, it makes me feel so close to her. I love how snuggly she is, the little comfort coos she makes as she lays against my chest. Plus, the added bonus is that she can’t NOT sleep when I put her in the carrier, it pretty much results in instant sleep.

I pretty much wear Anna every where.

Around the house.

Out on our little adventures around town to the zoo, the park, the botanical gardens, the grocery store, the mall, every where.

My piece of advice for any new parent, especially those dealing with a fussy infant who doesn’t want to nap anywhere but on mom or dad, is to invest in a baby carrier of some kind. Trust me, it will be the best baby dollars you spend. I mean what could be better than baby snuggles and both your hands free to do other things that need to get done.

Anna’s closet if filled with carriers of various kinds including front carriers like my ergo and baby bjorn, a moby wrap, and a sling. My favorites are the moby wrap and the ergo. If I need to wear her around the house my go to carrier is the moby wrap. When I wear her around town I usually go for the ergo.

 

Before Maya was born I didn’t know much about babywearing or the various means by which one could carry a baby, I just knew I wanted to do it.  The idea of having my baby close at hand, snuggled in close to me, sounded like exactly what I wanted.  Unfortunately, I didn’t do enough research about the various means of babywearing before Maya was born and instead of purchasing a sling carrier I went with a Baby Bjorn.  Though I loved my Baby Bjorn and used it a ton I really wish I had done more research and had gone with a sling style carrier from the very beginning.  I will know better next time ;)

Maya has spent the better part of her first 3 years on this earth in some sort of carrier, be it the Baby Bjorn, a backpack or the sling style carrier I finally purchased when she turned a year old.  Wearing her has been one of the best decisions I made as a mom.  Wearing her as a baby meant that I was able to tend to her needs more easily and more quickily, and it also meant I could get a few things done around the house when all she wanted was to be carried.  Lorne and I love hiking and being babywearers made that activity so much easier.  We could just put her in the backpack carrier or the sling and off we went.  We took a trip to Colorado when Maya was about 10 months old and without the Baby Bjorn we were using at the time that trip would have been rather difficult.  She got to see the sites right along with us, attached to our fronts.

The memories I have from wearing Maya are some of my fondest.  I miss wearing her now that she is a big girl and would rather walk on her own.  I enjoyed the bonding, the quietness, the reassurance and the naturalness of babywearing.  I recommend it to all my friends when they have babies.

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The BCIA (Baby Carrier Industry Alliance) has made a call to action.  We need to make our voices heard, we need to advocate for babywearers everywhere.  Babywearing is safe and any parent can do it, it doesn’t require special skill, just a good baby carrier, a baby and a parent who wants to wear their baby.

Stephanie over at Adventures in Babywearing has declared October to be National Babywearing Month.  So in honor of National Babywearing Month I have shared my story, what is your babywearing story?

Head on over to Stephanie’s site and the BCIA Facebook page to read other parent’s stories about their babywearing experiences.

Babywearing is defined as the practice of wearing or carrying your baby around in a sling or other form of carrier.  For many in the western world babywearing may be a newer concept since for many decades our culture got away from babywearing.  However, in many cultures around the world babywearing is the norm and has been practiced for centuries.  It is on the rise in western cultures again, and is becoming more and more common.

Are you a babywearer?

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I would consider myself a babywearer.  I used a baby carrier or a sling to carry Maya around almost everywhere when she was little and I still sometimes use a sling to carry her.  Although she is getting a bit heavy for it now :)  When she was very tiny I would use my Bjorn infant carry to wear her around while I did most of my chores around the house and anytime I went shopping.  When she was fussy it was the best way to calm her down.  I would just put her in the carrier and walk, either around the house doing odd little chores or we’d walk outside if the weather was nice.  After a while I purchased a sling and she loved it.  She would ask to go in the sling when we went for walks instead of using her stroller.

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I found that having the close contact with her, especially when we were first working on establishing a good breastfeeding routine, was immensely beneficial.  And I discovered very early on that being close to me and being with me while I went about my daily routine was very calming to Maya and she would often stop fussing or crying the minute I plopped her in the carrier.  There is something very calming to both mother and child when you carry your baby close to your body like that.

There are so many options when it comes to choosing a baby carrier.  Everything from wraps, to slings, to front carriers, to hip carriers, to carriers that convert from front to hip to back as the baby grows.  Choosing the right one for you can be challenging.  I used the Bjorn front carrier and a sling with Maya.  With my next child I will likely do the same, although I’m thinking I’ll spring for an Ergo carrier instead of the Bjorn next time since it seems to be more practical and useful as the baby grows.  You may find that you have to try out a couple of options before you find the one that works best for you.   There are many sites out there that can help you in your search for the right carrier for you, my favorite is, TheBabyWearer.com.  They have a ton of information whether you are new to babywearing or an old hat at it.

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I think babywearing should be encouraged, especially in the early months when you are establishing breastfeeding and getting to know each other. Babywearing can be especially handy if you have an infant who is colicky, or just one of those babies who fusses if he or she isn’t being held by someone.  Getting things done around the house, going shopping, going out to eat are all so much easier when you use a carrier, sling or a wrap.  Babywearing just feels natural and calming.  And if you have our hands full with other things is a great way to still get that bonding time with your baby.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Hello Baby Direct, a really cool online baby store based in the United Kingdom, to see if I would get interested in reviewing one of their top selling products, Sophie the Giraffe.  I had heard about Sophie before but never come across one in my baby store perusing.  Know how important a good teething toy is I, of course, agreed to review the product.

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Sophie the Giraffe has been around a long time, since 1961 to be exact, and has been a huge seller all over Europe.  My Nana, who is from England, actually purchased a Sophie the Giraffe for my mom when she was a baby!  Slowly, Sophie found her way to North America and has become a hit here as well, selling mostly in small baby boutiques.

Sophie is made of 100% natural rubber that is derived from the Hevea Tree and painted using food paints to make her a very safe toy for babies and young toddlers to chew on.  Her shape, texture and squeak make her an instant hit with babies.  I love her bright smiling face and her natural colors.

When Sophie arrived in the mail I gave her to Maya to see what she thought of her.  Almost immediately Sophie found her way into Maya’s mouth :)  Clearly my daughter knows a teething toy when she sees one!

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After a little further examination Maya discovered that Sophie squeaked and she spent much of the rest of the morning dancing Sophie around the house making her squeak.  She was a huge hit right off the bat with Maya.

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This really is a great toy, especially as a teether.  The rubber is sturdy and strong and held up to my daughter’s teeth tugging on it very well.  The shape and texture of the giraffe make it very appealing to babies.  Good, strong, natural teething toys are hard to come by.  When your little one is working on those first teeth it can be challenging to find something that not only helps with the pain they are experiencing but that you also feel comfortable with them shoving in their mouth.  Sophie definitely fits that bill.

One of the things I liked most about Sophie the Giraffe was her shape and how it allows babies and toddlers to use this as a teething toy even when the are working on those molars way in the back.  Many teething toys don’t seem to reach way in the back and so become useless for when those molars are coming.  Sophie’s long legs and long neck mean toddlers can still use her to chew on when their molars are coming in.

My only beef with Sophie the Giraffe is the price tag.  At about $20 a pop here in the United States she certainly isn’t a toy that is attainable to all parents.  I’d love it if these safe, natural, cool baby products were priced so everyone could afford them.  If you are okay with dropping that kind of money on a toy for your child, than I would definitely recommend Sophie the Giraffe.  She was a huge hit with Maya and I’m looking forward to seeing what my next child thinks of Sophie, especially since he or she will get to play with her from the beginning, assuming Maya is willing to share her (if not we may end up with 2)!!