March 22, 2017

Searching for our baby carrier

We need things for Baby. This week we have been researching various baby carriers and thinking about what will best suit us. I know that the only way to test out a carrier is with our baby actually inside the thing, but my problems go beyond that. Being so small as I am, I have my doubts about fit and comfort. Baby needs to be safe and cozy but Mama, too, needs to be comfortable. James shouldn’t have much of a struggle finding a carrier to fit his frame; he is a normal sized human after all. So with this statement, I want to find a baby carrier before our baby arrives and see that it meets my personal needs. At 5’0” and 102 lbs (pre-pregnancy weight), yeah, I am small. Let’s begin the adventure of finding a baby carrier fit for a petite woman.

We tried out an inexpensive Infanta front style carrier from Target and it was stiff and uncomfortable on me (before my tummy grew), hitting my body in all the wrong places. Hip straps were too large and bulky as well as the padded shoulder straps. This one could have been an easy adjustment for James, yet I would prefer he wear one of better made quality. I’m not here for Infanta. It felt wrong for my frame but usable for an average person. Priced cheaply at under $30 it also had the cheap look to match. I pass.

Now I am looking at the Baby K’Tan. This one looks like a front carrier but is actually a sling pouch. It has two shoulder straps to ensure my back and hip aren’t giving out too soon. There is no wrapping required as it comes in one already to go piece that slips over the head. AND it is sized small enough that I (think) I can wear it without upsetting my hip bones. These carriers have a size range starting with XS, so if James wanted one he would have to buy a separate carrier for himself. The K’Tan has high reviews for safety and comfort and I was pleased at the selection of products on their website. New costs about $49 to $59 - not too bad - but I have already found gently used K’Tans on eBay for half that price. This one I am going to buy one before Baby gets here.

Also looking at side slings like the Maya Wrap which seem quintessential for summer time baby carrying. I see this style sling on other mamas while I’m running around and they look good to me. The wraps are made of lightweight fabric so I won’t be weighed down and they supposedly are adjustable in fit (some available in a range of sizes to purchase). Complaints I read of are that the wraps can have excess fabric hanging off and they can become uncomfortable as your child grows. The former is an easy crafting solution but the latter has me wondering for how long can you wear a baby in one of these? Given that my baby will be an infant through summer I am willing to find one of these slings and try it out during that time, if I can price it accordingly. At over $50 I would need a second-hand sling, because I’m not convinced the Maya will be my best choice for comfort.

Lastly, I am interested in this Boba carrier that I see all over my midwifery center. Boba makes a wrap and a front carrier, so I want to test both of these next time I have an appointment. The wrap looks very snuggly fit and secures baby in place. I have watched the tutorial videos, so I know that these wraps offer multiple ways to place baby (facing front, out, side). I also know that learning to wrap one of these will take practice. There is a lot of material to work with that allows for that tight, secure fit and I can see that becoming a little excessive for my frame. I don’t want to be swallowed into my carrier. The front carrier is less threatening and more simplified. Baby can only face toward you so there isn’t any variance in positioning. The straps looks well made and the pouch fits nice and snug, plus there is an insert for infants to allow for a range in baby wearing. Boba gets positive feedback from baby wearers and the fact that my midwifery encourages them is a good sign. The wrap costs under $50 and the carrier costs $125. If I like these when I try them on, we may just get one or both.
Another mention for wraps is the Moby Wrap that gets high remarks for fitting a range of sizes. It’s another one that requires some practice getting on securely, but learning curves are why I would start practicing early. Baby can be worn front or back, and I imagine as Baby grows heavier the backside would be a wiser carrying choice for me. With limited options for petite wearers, I may search for this one used on-line, too, as they are priced around $50 new.

Having written this out, I see that I do have some choices for a petite sized baby carrier. The K’Tan is my priority, followed by the Boba carrier, then the Boba and Moby wraps, and lastly the Maya. My plan is to try these on in store (where allowed) and purchased second-hand. Based on product research and customer feedback, K’Tan and Moby carriers may be my only option for a small frame. James has it easy in selecting his carrier (he’ll probably go classic with a Baby Bjorn), so once I make my decision I will post an update of our baby wearing picks.

March 19, 2017

Week 31

Everything is getting so hard for me. My tummy is big enough that I uncomfortably bump around counter tops and table edges. I can’t believe I am going to keep growing, but I read that our baby can up to double in size over the next several weeks. I am tired all day long. Baby moves about throughout the day and night, and I can feel every movement. No longer can I leave the house and take a leisurely walk for comfort. Now I worry about going anywhere unchaperoned because my energy level drops in an instant. Worst of anything is my volatile emotions. I cry over everything! It’s like first trimester but a lot more often. Poor James. I’m kind of a mess.

With all this nonsense happening to me, I still feel completely fine and healthy. I am sleeping well enough and finding comfortable positions during the day. I still have my burst of energy in the morning that allows me to do housekeeping and some stretching activities. I have accepted that afternoons are my down time, so I take naps or read quietly to give myself rest. I am working a balance between preparing the home for our baby and helping the baby grow. All through pregnancy my struggle has been resting enough, and now I am finally getting my rest.

We’re in the last weeks of pregnancy! This is the time when we collect the necessities and arrange the nursery. Anything we’ve been considering needs a decision made now because procrastination is no option. The house may be in disarray a few weeks while we finish organizing and improving things, but that’s okay right now. My job is to rest and keep our baby healthy. I can overlook a messy room for the time being. James has to work a bit harder to make up for my lack of involvement, but it’s all okay. We’re still a team and we’re making everything happen for this baby.

March 18, 2017

Knitted Diaper Soaker

I finished another baby thing! With the upsetting passing of Toby I haven't been working on anything in the last couple weeks. My motivation is coming back and I'm crafting again. There are so many projects to make for the baby that I can overwhelm myself searching through all the patterns. I selected something basic and useful and I absolutely love it. This is a baby diaper soaker for overnight use, so that our baby doesn’t sit uncomfortably waiting for me to change them. The idea is that the wool blend will wick away moisture from their skin and provide warmth. I really enjoyed making this and I think it looks pretty cute (simple, sure) so I will want to make multiples. This pattern suggested using a twist cord to tie through the belt loops, but I opted to knit an actual belt with adjustable sizing. I used a vintage button, too, knitted in with the yarn for a secure attachment.

There are other variations of diaper covers to try knitting, but I really like how this one turned out. I may give another one or two patterns a try before I commit to naming a favorite diaper cover. So many options!

I can’t wait to dress my little baby in their diaper soaker. Seeing them wearing my handmade items is going to be very special.

Pattern is Old-School Baby Soaker from One Skein Wonders for Babies

Yarn used is Paton’s North America Decor in Blanc Casse