Tula Families: Steven, John, Benjamin, and Alexandria
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While Baby Tula grows, the people that make up our company continue to be our essence. We continue to work closely with our community and have, from our early days, worked with real families for our photo shoots. We would like to introduce you to the families that make up Baby Tula. Mothers, fathers, and children that enjoy Baby Tula carriers and the closeness that babywearing brings them. Meet Steven, John and their 5 month old twins, Benjamin and Alexandria!

Tell us more about you two and your family! How did you meet or anything fun you want to share on our blog? 
John and I live in the vibrant neighborhood of Hillcrest. He works for a major pharmaceutical company and I work for a digital marketing agency downtown. We both knew we wanted kids, and after 10 years of being together, we made that dream a reality. Earlier this year we welcomed two babies into our home and lives, Benjamin and Alexandria.

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Your family has a unique parenting story, would you mind sharing your story of surrogacy with us?
We are certainly a very unique, very modern family, being two gay young(er) dads with twins. Our path to parenthood involved surrogacy, and we opted to go with a local surrogate so we could have a high involvement experience. She was a lovely woman who is beyond selfless and provided us one of the greatest gifts a person can offer. We still stay in touch, sharing baby pictures and getting tidbits of advice, but she has a family of her own and we try not to bug her too much. Regardless of how unique and modern our family is, we are a family nonetheless, and we are beyond lucky and ever-thankful to live in a world and at a time (and with a family) that accepts us fully.

How old is your child/children?
Our children are just over five months old.

What has been the biggest challenge with welcoming twin babies into your lives?
The day-to-day of raising twins — or a single baby for that matter — would be fine if it weren’t for the lack of sleep. It feels like I’ve had major jet lag for five months. But your body gets used to it, you learn to rally, and you power through (coffee is a necessity).

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How is babywearing, carrying your child in a baby carrier, a part of your family?
Any parent will agree that it’s hard to get out of the house. Now imagine that with twins! Instead of having to pack a big, bulky twin stroller and maneuver that around crowded sidewalks and whatnot, we’ve found babywearing to be so much easier — we can just strap on a babe each and head out the door. Not only does this mean we can get out of the house faster, but we are snuggling them the whole time, which is a lovely time for us to bond.

How does your Tula carrier help you to keep doing what you love?
We’ve tried other carriers, and although we’ve liked most of them, Tula carriers are sturdy and safe but very lightweight. Now that the twins are growing and getting bigger, they are getting heavier, so having a lightweight carrier is a must. The lightweight property means they are also breathable, making walks cooler and more comfortable for everyone.

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Tula Families: Jess, Joe, Beacon, Juniper, and Elliette
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While Baby Tula grows, the people that make up our company continue to be our essence. We continue to work closely with our community and have, from our early days, worked with real families for our photo shoots. We would like to introduce you to the families that make up Baby Tula. Mothers, fathers, and children that enjoy Baby Tula carriers and the closeness that babywearing brings them. Meet Jess, Joe, Elliette, Juniper, & Beacon!

Tell us more about you two and your family! How did you meet or anything fun you want to share on our blog? 

We both were born and raised in the little beach town of Encinitas, California. We went to the same high school, but were only there together for one semester and never met. We met while I (Jessica) was in college and Joe was working with my best friend at Starbucks. She was crushing on Joe’s best friend, so she came up with a plan to go together to see Joe’s band (This Holiday Life) play at Soma in San Diego because she knew Andrew would be there. It was a great night and the rest was history. We got married July 2006 and just celebrated our TEN year wedding anniversary!

We love walking around our neighborhood and spending time with all our family that is all still local. I have been doing polynesian dance since I was 10 and now Joe is a part of that. He plays all the music we dance to and Ellie is learning to hula! We enjoy nightly dance parties in our living room to Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

How old are your children?

Elliette will be 5 this September
Juniper is 3
Beacon is ONE! (Just had his birthday on the 4th of July)

How is babywearing, carrying your child in a baby carrier, a part of your family?

When the babies are little it is absolutely essential. As a new parent it was so hard to learn how to calm my fussy new baby girl but wearing her was always a sure fire way to get her to calm down…. so Elliette pretty much lived in the thing! Ellie and Juni are only 21 months apart so the carrier came in handy when trying to do ANYTHING outside the house. I remember climbing all around the play ground with Juni on me so that I could keep up with Ellie’s exploring.

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You guys are always so easygoing at the photoshoots. What are some things you try to remember as a parent to stay calm?

We really try not to take ourselves too seriously. Parenting is hard, that is the truth, but freaking out about every little thing that goes “wrong” only makes it harder. We try to give ourselves grace as much as we can. As long as our kids are safe and they know we love them… we think we’re doing a pretty good job.

We also really love to see our kids figure things out for themselves. We let them take risks even it it means a cut knee or bumped head. They know their bodies pretty well because of it, we think. They are pretty capable and adventurous people and that makes us happy.

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Is there a favorite photoshoot that you have done with Tula? 

There have been some pretty fun ones! That’s hard. But I think the obvious choice is the zoo. Because who gets to go to the zoo after hours and have the whole place to themselves!?!? It was a beautiful afternoon and the kids loved it! They got to run around and we didn’t have to worry about them getting lost in the shuffle. I love when I see them having fun at the shoots. They don’t care that we’re thinking about lighting and clothes or whatever… they are just being kids and having fun!

Then there is the flower field shoot I got to do with just Beacon. There isn’t a lot of just mommy and baby time with 3 kids so that was a really sweet morning for me and it’s so fun to have pictures that captured that.

How does your Tula carrier help you to keep doing what you love?

I don’t know how I could do what I do without my Tula and I love what I do. Being a stay at home mom is hard work but I wouldn’t want it any other way. And especially when I had 3 kids, 3 years old and under, I needed both my hands to hold the “big kids” hands while I wore baby in the Tula. How people do it without baby wearing? I have no idea.

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Babywearing Educator Spotlight: Tiffany Brooke Johnson
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Babywearing educators are a wonderful asset to the babywearing community. Their experience, knowledge and passion for babywearing can help caregivers overcome challenges, find solutions, and gain confidence in wearing their baby. We appreciate the role that babywearing educators play in our community and we are excited to celebrate their role through this series of babywearing educator spotlights.

Our next Babywearing Educator spotlight is on a dedicated educator that volunteers for her local babywearing group. We asked Tiffany Broke Johnson, of Tulsa Babywearing Support, to answer some questions about herself and her role as a babywearing educator.

Where are you currently offering your services? 

Tulsa, Oklahoma and surrounding areas.

Tell us about your babywearing related work? 

I joined my local group about three and a half years ago, when there were a few hundred members and meet-ups of less than 20. Since I became a leader in the group the entire babywearing community has exploded! Our facebook group now has over 6,500 members and our meetings can be 100 or more people! Our community is incredibly active and I am so thankful for that!

I have been doing private consultations and classes for about the same amount of time that I have been an educator in my group. I have only, very recently, started making a landing pad for that aspect of my life on the internet. I had always just relied on word-of-mouth, which I very much continue to do, but I have decided I need a more focused outlet for the directions I want to grow and explore. I have started giving presentations in the past year, such as at the International Babywearing Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in July, and am really enjoying that. This has really influenced my focus in teaching. I have always been drawn to special needs wearing or special circumstances, but I have really started making this more of a priority in MY education and research. The life-changing impacts of wearing are really what drives me to continue outreach and support in my community.

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How did you get involved with baby wearing? 

Ten years ago my husband and I adopted a 10 month old little girl. Because of her traumatic early months, I knew I wanted to do everything I could to help positively impact our attachment and bonding. My research quickly led me to Attachment Parenting and Dr. Sears. That was about the time Dr. Sears endorsed a sling. I bought that and a stretchy wrap. Being able to wear her during the day really impacted my understanding of the benefits of babywearing and it just really felt authentic to my parenting style.

About 3 years after that, I became pregnant with our first son. I have scoliosis and had a 5 level spinal fusion when I was 16. At some point during my pregnancy, 4 levels of my fusion collapsed. The hardware is resting on nerves and is inoperable at this point. I had always had “back pain” to some extent but after my son was born the pain was worse than I had ever experienced it. I could barely hold him in my arms without tremendous pain and was scared to walk very far with him – I was terrified I would drop him. I continued my wearing with him, primarily, out of necessity. It literally allowed me to parent my daughter and keep my son safe at the same time. I could accomplish daily tasks and parent him the way I felt drawn to. I also learned how different carriers, and carries, can impact my body and pain level.

Our second son was born 3 years after that and, by that point, I had been on “The Babywearer” and other forums and was really involved with the babywearing world. I bought my first woven wrap, a Kokadi diorite stars, found my local group, and the rest was history!

Those experiences, of needing to wear out of necessity, really showed me that there is more to babywearing than a “trend” or “fad.” I fundamentally understand how life saving wearing can be in some circumstances and I’m driven to help people with similar situations make their lives a tiny bit easier.

What do you find most rewarding as a baby wearing educator
Making people smile. Whether it is suggesting a carrier that works well, getting them their desired lending library assignment, finding a carry that helps alleviate pain, or helping a NICU mom directly impact her child’s growth and healing, that moment when the other person’s face lights up and they smile, that’s the best part for me. I have always been drawn to the role of an educator. I am also an Attorney and have been drawn to similar aspects in that sphere. Even though I am not currently practicing, that part of my life really taught me that I love teaching and am drawn to opportunities to give back. I enjoy making a tangible difference to people. I donate a large amount of time to my local group as an educator and the lending librarian. It is an easy role to get “burned out” in and a lot of educators “age out” and lose interest in wearing as their kids move on to preschool and beyond. I just don’t see that happening – while I do sometimes get overwhelmed by how much needs to be done and how time consuming it is, the rewards are so great. I love snuggling all the babies at the meeting and educating new wearers, I honestly see this being a part of my life for many years.

What do you find most rewarding as a babywearing educator?

Making people smile. Whether it is suggesting a carrier that works well, getting them their desired lending library assignment, finding a carry that helps alleviate pain, or helping a NICU mom directly impact her child’s growth and healing, that moment when the other person’s face lights up and they smile, that’s the best part for me. I have always been drawn to the role of an educator. I am also an Attorney and have been drawn to similar aspects in that sphere. Even though I am not currently practicing, that part of my life really taught me that I love teaching and am drawn to opportunities to give back. I enjoy making a tangible difference to people. I donate a large amount of time to my local group as an educator and the lending librarian. It is an easy role to get “burned out” in and a lot of educators “age out” and lose interest in wearing as their kids move on to preschool and beyond. I just don’t see that happening – while I do sometimes get overwhelmed by how much needs to be done and how time consuming it is, the rewards are so great. I love snuggling all the babies at the meeting and educating new wearers, I honestly see this being a part of my life for many years.

What is one important tip you like to share with new or first-time baby wearers
Don’t give up! The world of babywearing can seem very overwhelming to new wearers, especially first time parents. They are inundated with what they “should” be doing or using or buying, and it is all ridiculous for the most part. It really doesn’t matter WHAT carrier you pick. It doesn’t matter how often you wear or for how long. Whatever makes YOU feel like a better parent, that’s what you should be doing. Don’t get overwhelmed by people telling you what you need. Don’t think you need to own the “best” carrier or most expensive thing on the market to be a good parent. You don’t. If you are starting to wrap, pick one carry and focus only on that. It doesn’t matter if you ever learn another one. Do what is best for you and your family and trust your instincts. If you have a not so positive experience at a meeting, online, or from people in the community, know that it is not all like that. Find the people that will support your parenting choices and lift you up. If you struggle finding a community or resources, know there is an entire network online willing to help. Don’t give up! The joys and benefits of babywearing far exceed any feelings of frustration or of being overwhelmed, and can even help!

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What is one important tip you like to share with new or first-time babywearers?

Don’t give up! The world of babywearing can seem very overwhelming to new wearers, especially first time parents. They are inundated with what they “should” be doing or using or buying, and it is all ridiculous for the most part. It really doesn’t matter WHAT carrier you pick. It doesn’t matter how often you wear or for how long. Whatever makes YOU feel like a better parent, that’s what you should be doing. Don’t get overwhelmed by people telling you what you need. Don’t think you need to own the “best” carrier or most expensive thing on the market to be a good parent. You don’t. If you are starting to wrap, pick one carry and focus only on that. It doesn’t matter if you ever learn another one. Do what is best for you and your family and trust your instincts. If you have a not so positive experience at a meeting, online, or from people in the community, know that it is not all like that. Find the people that will support your parenting choices and lift you up. If you struggle finding a community or resources, know there is an entire network online willing to help. Don’t give up! The joys and benefits of babywearing far exceed any feelings of frustration or of being overwhelmed, and can even help! 

To connect with Tiffany, visit her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Tulsabwsupport/).

If you would like to nominate babywearing educator to be featured on the Tula blog and Facebook, please visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1MXmdmoof68jhHn6n547gd-9iUJLNBj46kQhYlrtPzbQ/viewform

If you would like to nominate yourself to be featured in our Babywearing Educator Spotlight, visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1IMF9cr6on1G64nBCArY2Vih1kI1cP9K7LVNWRUBtjAM/viewform

 

 

Tula Families: Rina & Raven

While Baby Tula grows, the people that make up our company continue to be our essence. We continue to work closely with our community and have, from our early days, worked with real families for our photo shoots. We would like to introduce you to the families that make up Baby Tula. Mothers, fathers, and children that enjoy Baby Tula carriers and the closeness that babywearing brings them. Meet Rina & Raven!

Tell us more about you two and your family! I know you have lived in some exciting places! 

We are an active duty Marine Corps family so we do get to move around a lot. We’ve called San Diego our home for two years but also have lived in South Carolina, Virginia, and Hawaii. We’re looking forward to our next adventure already although San Diego will be very hard to beat!

How is babywearing a part of your family? 

My husband deployed two weeks after Raven was born and I remember being gifted a baby carrier shortly before then. Wearing Raven, especially during those first few months where it was just her and I really helped me get things done around the house while keeping her close and constantly having that physical bond. Once daddy got back 6 months later, he was all about babywearing and we feel that it helped them bond almost seamlessly. Raven will be 3 in November and we still get to get some “uppies” in on those difficult days where she needs to feel secure but mama still has things to do around the house.


What has been your favorite photoshoot that you have done with Baby Tula?

This is a hard one! I feel like all of our photoshoots have been an incredible experience in their own right. But if I had to pick only one, it would have to be the one that included Martin at the beach in La Jolla. He’s such a low-key guy so to have him in the photos wearing Raven and sharing that moment with the “babywearing world” gives me all the feels.

You’re an experienced ring sling and woven wrap user! What is your favorite asset to each carrier? Was there a type of carrier that you turned to at different stages in your life and Raven’s development?

I love the Ring Slings for when Raven was younger. I think it was so perfect when she was itty bitty and it was so easy to slip her in and out of it and nurse her in it too.

As she got older and more mobile and active, I appreciate the woven wraps because I feel like I could get a snug and “customized” fit each and every time.

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How does your Tula Baby Carrier help you to keep doing what you love?

I love to exercise and stay active and our Tula has helped me get workouts in even on those days when Raven couldn’t stand to be put down. I was able to still work out at home or outside while keeping her close making it a win-win situation.

A Tula Carrier as Cool as You!

Tula Jet

Becoming a parent is a life changing event. For many, welcoming that new addition can drastically change the way you see yourself. We aim to make baby carriers that are not only highly functional and comfortable, but also beautiful and a way for parents to express their personal style. You, our loyal fans, are always telling us that wearing a Baby Tula carrier can do more than just get you through the day. It can give you confidence, it can bring a bit of joy, it frees up your hands to get more done, and it can help you express yourself.  For these reasons, we are always looking for more ways to excite our community with new styles, patterns, and designs.

Baby Tula has been using woven wraps to make carriers since our early days, because we wanted to combine their unique, beautiful designs, with the ease and intuitive use of our buckle carriers. As many of you may know, our wrap conversion carriers are often difficult to get ahold of because of their popularity and a production process that is lengthy, limiting the number of carriers we are able to produce. While we will continue to produce our much loved wrap conversion Tula baby carriers and host regular releases for them, we’re happy to offer a new variation of our canvas Tula baby carrier that has a similar aesthetic of a wrap conversion Tula baby carrier, yet will be more accessible (for your budget, too). We are excited to introduce our first fully-printed Tula Baby Carrier, ‘Jet’. ‘Jet’ has a full printed canvas exterior featuring a cool, modern plus sign pattern, with a light gray canvas interior and detachable hood.

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The fully-printed Tula Baby Carriers use high quality, sturdy printed fabric on the outer portion of the straps, body panel, and waistband to create an appearance similar to our wrap conversion carriers. The interior is lined with solid colored soft brushed canvas. These Tula Baby Carriers have the same structural design as our current soft structured baby carriers and will be available in both Standard and Toddler sizes.

Specialty printed fabrics and our attention to detail and design means that this more accessible answer to your wrap conversion carrier desires doesn’t compromise on quality and comfort. With the availability and added flexibility of printed fabric, we will be able to make fully-printed Tula baby carriers in greater quantities than our wrap conversion Tula carriers and at a more accessible price point. Tula baby carriers with the full print design will retail for $159 USD, for the Standard size and $179 for the Toddler size.

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Stay tuned for the release of ‘Jet’ along with additional unique and creative designs for the other fully-printed Tula baby carriers that we are already working on. Each is being designed to reflect different personalities, moods, and aesthetics. We hope that this version of our Tula baby carrier will be another way to make you feel confident and feel like you! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to future previews and announcements for this creative line of carriers. 

Tula “Jet” will be available in Standard and Toddler size on August 2nd on  tulababycarriers.com and at specialty retailers.