Tula Families: Jen, Shane, Nakoa, and Kaleo

While Baby Tula grows, the people that make up our company continue to be our essence. We 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. This very special family is the incredible photography duo, Acqua photo, who photographs all of our photoshoots! Meet Jen, Shane, Nakoa and Kaleo!

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

Today is our 12 year wedding anniversary– whoohoo! We first met way back when we were 17 & 18 years old at Neiman’s in Carlsbad.  Here’s the story from Shane: I was listening to a big band play swing & jazz music when Jen came up and asked me to dance! I was totally floored that such a gorgeous girl would ask me to dance, and I had no idea what I was doing– so I stepped all over her feet, but she was very sweet and gracious about it.  After that, I took dance lessons and really impressed her the next time we danced together 🙂  When we were dating, Jen introduced me to photography and we’ve both been addicted to making beautiful images ever since!

How old are your children?

We have a 5.5 year old daughter (Nakoa) & baby 4 month old son (Kaleo).


How is babywearing, carrying your child in a baby carrier, a part of your family? How does it help you run a successful business?

When our daughter was born, we made sure to get a BOB stroller because everyone had one at the time.  We ended up using it about three times total, lol!  It was just was so much easier to pack only the essentials and wear her wherever we went. Plus, it was quite satisfying to jaunt past families taking forever loading and unloading in the huge stroller parking lots at Disneyland. 😉  For us, strollers were far too inconvenient compared to simply wearing her. She loved being so close to us and we got a bit more exercise in the process.

We have worn our baby boy at some point every single day since he was born.  Carrying him in our Tula using the infant insert has been really great.  He loves cruising around and is perched up just high enough to look around while still being supported. If he’s at all fussy, a ride in the Tula quickly does the trick.  We’ve done photoshoots with Tula both behind and in front of the camera while wearing our favorite Tula carriers, slings, and blankets.  And, we have taught our nanny how to use the Tula!… it helps a ton to keep up with our 5 year old while still having a close eye on the baby.


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

There are so many that we’ve loved!!

We are HUGE fans of the San Diego Zoo, so it was super exciting that Tula partnered with them for a special edition Tula Carrier featuring the Zoo’s awesome Centennial Celebration logo. We were able to go all around the zoo for the photoshoot, and had the pleasure of having a couple of our very favorite families as models.

We especially enjoyed all the holiday themed shoots where we were able to incorporate fun props!  A favorite was the 2015 Christmas shoot where we collaborated with Adore Folklore and went to a local Christmas Tree Farm for the location. We used a vintage airstream trailer, mistletoe balls, wreaths, and the annual tradition of Christmas tree hunting with the family to show off the new Tulas.  Everyone dressed so adorably, and the kiddos loved the candy canes (maybe even a bit too much!!).

A couple weeks after our boy Kaleo was born, we did a Tula blanket shoot where both Nakoa and Kaleo got to model together.  It was so special getting to have them be a part of this wonderful company that we adore!


Do you have any advice for parents of newborns who also work or run businesses?

Divide and conquer, find a way to get organized, and be sure to make time to enjoy your family every single day!

Before kids, we were quite used to always doing everything together. After the first baby comes along, it is much more difficult to do that. We figured out which parts of life each of us were best at and divided responsibilities up!  Some of it happened naturally, and some was assigned after weeks of negotiation (who was in charge of taking out the trash or filing taxes for instance). 😉  As small business owners, it can be a life saver to delegate parts of your workflow to competent, trustworthy help whenever possible.

Also, we try to do things as a family even if we are working! A great example – last month we did a shoot up in San Francisco and brought the kids along. We were able to do the shoot and also had the opportunity to enjoy the city all together. We think that it’s really neat for our kids to see how much we love what we do for a living and to learn that work can also be your art and can be fun!


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

We rarely leave the house without one, so it really helps with everything!  Beach, zoo, traveling around the world, shoots with the kids in tow, even trips to Costco! Our kids are cuddle bugs that love being carried and snuggled, and we love that they can easily be close and then get down to explore and discover the world!

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DIY Halloween Baby Carrier Costumes

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes Using Your Baby Tula Carrier

Halloween is a wonderful time to make fun memories with your baby! But time as a parent is always limited so we have put together some DIY/quick & easy baby carrier costumes.  You don’t have to go out and buy an expensive costume for yourself AND baby, just use the carrier you already have and use year-round. Check out our last-minute costume ideas made with items you have around your house. Be sure to check back as we will be adding more as we approach our favorite spooky holiday!

Share your costumes with us by using #tulahalloween!

lumberjack-baby-carrier-costumeLumberjack Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
– ‘Jack’ Baby Carrier (‘Arbol‘, ‘Slow Ride‘)
– Red beanie (or any color beanie! We used one from Amazon)
– Plaid jacket or shirt
– OPTIONAL: real or fake beard 🙂





artist-flatlay-halloweenArtist Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Aquarelle’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Lunabrite‘, ‘Tide Pool‘, ‘Ripple‘, ‘Montana Sunset‘)
– Beret
– Paint brushes
– Paint palette (we used one from Michaels)
– White shirt or smock





surfer-baby-carrier-costumeSurfer Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Soul Surfer’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Ripple‘, ‘Trillion‘, ‘Indigo‘, ‘Little Blue‘)
– Bathing suit or wet suit
– Arm floaties (not pictured here)
– Sunglasses (not pictured here)
– Boogie board (not pictured here)
– Sunscreen on your nose (not pictured here)
– Towel (not pictured here)






superhero-baby-carrier-costumeSuperhero Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Sidekick’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Sidekick Coast‘ or ‘Fleet‘)
– Cape (we used a red Tula Baby Blanket)
– Mask (we made ours out of blue paper)
– Choose your superhero: all black for Batman/Catwoman, all red for The Incredibles/Iron Man, all green for Hulk/Poison Ivy







Rockabilly Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Betty’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Road Trip‘ or ‘Urbanista‘)
– Red bandana(s) for you and baby!
– Denim shirt
– Red lipstick
– Cuffed up jeans (not pictured here)





collage-katniss-hunger-gamesKatniss Everdeen Baby Carrier Costume (Hunger Games)

What you’ll need:
‘Archer’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Cloudy‘, ‘Overcast‘, ‘Olive‘, ‘Trillion‘)
– Boots
– Green/olive pants
– Black or brown leather jacket
– Braid your hair!
– A bow to carry (not pictured here)



pineapple diy baby carrier costume

Pineapple Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
– ‘Beacon’ Baby Carrier
– Green construction paper
– Scissors
– Tape (preferably double-sided)
– Pen (or something to curl the ends of the pineapple crown)
– Headband or beanie that fits around baby’s head
– Yellow baby outfit (not pictured here)
– Hawaiian/yellow shirt for babywearer (optional – for the person wearing the baby, to coordinate!)


  1. Start cutting different height/width pineapple crown ‘leaves’. For the baby pictured, we used about 10-12 leaves; however, it will depend on baby’s head width and how full/layered you want the crown!
  2. Start taping the ‘leaves’ around the perimeter of the headband or beanie. You’ll want to layer longer leaves first so the shorter pieces can be taped in front more visibly.
  3. Curl the ends of each ‘leaf’ around a pen or similar shape item to get a cute curl on each one.
  4. Place baby comfortably in the carrier and put the headband or beanie on.

butterfly baby carrier costume

Butterfly Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
– ‘Pixelated’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Beacon‘, ‘Aquarelle‘, ‘Gossamer‘, ‘Confetti Pop‘, ‘Tide Pool‘, or ‘Delish‘)
– Adult butterfly wings (we used blue butterfly wings from Target)
– Child butterfly wings & antenna (we used butterfly wings and antenna set from Target)

pirate baby carrier costumePirate Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Navigator’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Ripple‘, ‘Little Blue‘ or ‘Soul Surfer‘)
– Pirate hook (we used one from Target)
– Shoulder parrot (we used one from Target)
– Single hoop earring (we used one from Target)
– Pirate hat (not pictured here)
– Eye patch (not pictured here)
– Red pirates jacket (not pictured here)






dinosaur baby carrier costume

Dinosaur Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Olive’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Later Gator‘ or ‘Tulasaurus‘)
– Dinosaur hood (we used one from Target)
– Dinosaur headband for baby (we used one from Target)
– Dinosaur paws (we used one from Target)
– Dinosaur tail (not photographer here)
– Green or brown shirt/onesie (optional)






nerd baby carrier costumeHipster Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Clever’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Trendsetter‘, ‘Urbanista‘, ‘Arbol‘, or ‘Jet‘)
– Black bow-tie or tie
– Black-rimmed glasses
– Black top hat (not pictured here)







turtle diy baby carrier costume

Turtle Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Olive’ Baby Carrier
– Green Construction paper
– Scissors
– Washi Tape (green and gold – we used Gold Scotch Expressions Washi Tape and Green from Recollections Washi Tape Dispenser)
– Green Beanie (or just use the green hood on the carrier!)
– Regular tape
– Green baby outfit (optional)
– Green babywearer outfit (optional – for the person wearing the baby, to coordinate!)


  1. Start laying your turtle ‘grid’ with the gold tape by cutting pieces for each line. You can view a better front-image of our example on Pinterest.
  2. Once the green grid is finished, start laying the green washi tape over it. We used two lines of green to make it more apparent and cover more of the gold.
  3. Cut arms and legs out of green construction paper. Our arms were longer than the legs to make it look more realistic 🙂
  4. Tape arms to inside of the carrier.
  5. Place baby comfortably in the carrier and put the green beanie on.

safari baby carrier costumeSafari Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Roar!’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Shenandoah‘ or ‘Campy‘)
– Safari hat/fedora (we used a Panama hat from Target)
– Olive dress or top (we used an olive tank dress from Target)
– Giraffe or other safari stuffed animal







hippie baby carrier costume

Hippie Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Road Trip’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Aquarelle‘)
– Tie dye shirt or sweatshirt
– Fun sunglasses
– Leather headband (not pictured here)
– Bell-bottoms (not pictured here)




witch baby carrier costumeWitch Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Concentric’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Urbanista‘, ‘Fleet‘, ‘Arbol‘ or ‘Jet‘)
– Witch’s hat (we used one from Target)
– Witch’s broom (not pictured here)
– Black shirt/dress (not pictured here)
– Black tights (not pictured here)
– Black shoes/boots (not pictured here)







gardener baby carrier costume

Gardener Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Garden Party’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Bliss Bouquet‘, ‘Juliette‘, ‘Lunabrite‘, ‘Poppy Sky‘, ‘Gossamer‘, ‘Aviary‘, or ‘Melody‘)
– Sun/garden hat
– Watering can
– Flowers
– Gardening apron or tool belt (not pictured here)
– Gardening tools (not pictured here)





Firefighter Baby Carrier Costume

What you’ll need:
‘Look for Helpers’ Baby Carrier (would also look great with ‘Jet’ or ‘Indigo’)
– Head to your local fire station and get an actual firefighter!
– Firefighter jacket (not pictured here)
– Firefighter hat (not pictured here)
– Dalmatian pet (not pictured here)



Babywearing Costumes Using Pet Costumes

What you’ll need:
Any soft-structured baby carrier
– XL pet costume (costumes in the video are from Petsmart)
– Safety pins
– Tape

How-to: (Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions)

  1. Buckle the carrier around your waist
  2. Take the bottom of the pet costume, and velcro it around the bottom of the carrier
  3. Place tape on the velcro on the top so it doesn’t scratch baby
  4. Bring the top straps around the arm straps of the carrier and safety pin the strap to the costume (NOTE: do not pin the strap to the carrier)

We hope you find your perfect costume and maybe get inspired to make something different with your carrier. Please share your costumes with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest by using the hashtag #tulahalloween! Happy Halloween!

A few reminders when incorporating your baby carrier into your Halloween costume:
1. Make sure you are wearing your carrier properly, where baby is close enough to kiss and keeps an open airway. Review our instructions page to ensure you’re wearing your baby properly.
2. Do not alter your baby carrier in any way that makes it unsafe (NOTE: physically altering your baby carrier may void your warranty, please review our warranty guidelines)

#GoGold Playdate in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

We are delighted that we could find a way to honor the families that are facing childhood cancer and support research into finding cures during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. On a large scale, we introduced our Tula Baby Carrier ‘Beacon’, which was inspired by the strength and love that is exuding from the families on this difficult journey. We have committed to donating 10% of proceeds from every ‘Beacon’ sold to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, beyond this month, while the carrier is available.

On a local level, we were able to host a community playdate where we collected toy donations to bring to the cancer unit of Rady Childrens’ hospital in San Diego. It was incredible to see the local Tula community come together to support this important cause and be able to collective work to raise awareness about the importance of research. Below are some images from our playdate. In these last few days of September, we hope you will join us and #GoGold to help conquer Childhood Cancers. Help by purchasing a Tula ‘Beacon’ Baby Carrier, or donating directly to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

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Carried to Connect: Emma’s Story

For Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we want to honor the families facing the difficult journey of childhood cancer and #GoGold to raise awareness. We’re connecting with real families, who have found babywearing helpful during their fight against cancer, and we are sharing their stories on our blog. Today, Emily shares her daughter, Emma’s, story. Continue reading to also learn how we are supporting childhood cancer awareness with our fully printed Tula Baby Carrier, ‘Beacon’.

It was October 8, 2015, a routine 11 month follow up for my daughter Emma James. I mentioned her easily bruising. She had bruises all over her legs, arms, torso, and even on her head. She had been extraordinarily clingy and whiney the previous month. Her pediatrician put in for a complete blood count. I got a call 4 days later stating I needed to rush Emma down to Rady Children’s Hospital for further testing. Her platelets were at 26,000. I had always used a carrier with Emma. She was always very clingy, and wanted to be close to me. Little had I known she probably didn’t feel well, or was having bone pain that I knew nothing about. I wore Emma those first 11 months of her life at home while cooking, cleaning, walking, or running errands. I couldn’t get anything done without having her attached to me.

On October 13, 2015 we were admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital to begin treatment for AML M7, a very rare type of cancer especially in children. Emma’s diagnosis doesn’t have a favorable prognosis. The type of leukemia she has/had is very aggressive and acts quickly.  The goal was to put her into remission as fast as possible then move forward for a bone marrow transplant. She needed at least 3 rounds of chemotherapy each lasting at least one month. The chemotherapy was intense and harsh. We knew we would be inpatient on the oncology unit for least 4 months and that is if it went smooth.  They started treatment almost immediately.

Emma had co slept with us (Justin and I)  so when we were admitted I had to attempt to put her in a crib to sleep..hospital policy. The only way I could get her to sleep in that hospital was with a carrier. I would have to pace our little room, or do squats with her in the carrier. I can tell you I probably did 70 squats a day/night trying to get her to sleep in the carrier. Then I would gracefully sneak her into the crib after she had passed out. I was still breastfeeding Emma at the time. Her appetite would come and go throughout the months but she breastfed for mostly comfort while inpatient. She could breastfeed in the carrier. It was so handy when the staff would come in and I had some privacy while she would continue to breastfeed in the carrier. She had a lot of nausea and vomiting after her 7-10 day chemo infusions. I could breastfeed her in the carrier. I could take her on walks in the carrier. Whatever we did in that hospital I was chest to chest with my baby. With so many strangers coming and going out of our room, and people poking her, causing her pain… she always wanted to be close to me. I was her comfort zone…inside that carrier was her comfort zone.  If it wasn’t for babywearing during those long months I don’t know what I would have done.

We were inpatient at the hospital for 8 long months. Emma almost didn’t make it. She was basically unresponsive for a month in the ICU. The chemo they had given her to wipe out her bone marrow before transplant was so harsh, it caused her liver to fail. Her kidneys were on the verge of failing. She had tubes coming out everywhere.  She didn’t speak any sounds, open her eyes, or touch me for an entire month. I would try to arouse her, sing to her, talk to her. I remember going back to the basics to try to get any kind of response from her. I got in her bed and would try skin to skin contact. I would lay her next to me and put our chests together like she liked it for months. Thanks to the grace of god and the amazing hospital staff they saved my baby. She slowly recovered, had to relearn how to walk and talk. We spent another month or two at the hospital getting therapy and waiting for her counts to come up.

Emma is about to turn 2 yrs old and is 6 month post bone marrow transplant. Her counts look great. We are working on putting some weight on her. She’s running around outside of the hospital happy as a clam, exploring and into everything. She still loves to be in a carrier, even though she has outgrown our current one. We cherish every moment we have with her and pray for her health and happiness daily.

Thank you to Emily and her family for sharing Emma’s story! We hope you will join us this month and #GoGold to help conquer Childhood Cancers. For every ‘Beacon’ Tula carrier sold, we will donate 10% of proceeds to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation so they can continue funding the fight against childhood cancers. Help by purchasing a Tula ‘Beacon’ Baby Carrier, or donating directly to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.


‘Beacon’ expresses the connected love, care and hope that surrounds each child and family facing cancer: each element coming together to offer strength and support. ‘Beacon’s’ geometric pattern, in a bright yellow gold color, covers the body panel, waistband, and shoulders straps. ‘Beacon’ is lined with light gray canvas and comes with a light gray hood.

Babywearing Educator Spotlight: Kelsey Stone

Babywearing educators are a wonderful asset to the babywearing community and families wanting to explore options for carrying their child(ren). 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 community group. We asked Kelsey Stone, of Toledo Area Babywearers, to answer some questions about herself and her role as a babywearing educator.

Where are you currently offering your services? 

Northwest Ohio

Tell us about your babywearing related work? 

We are a group of babywearers in northwest Ohio, we love to share the babywearing love as well as share our knowledge with all of those in our group. We host two monthly meetings at a local church on the second Saturday at 10am, as well as the fourth Monday at 5pm. We also do classes at a local babies r us every second Thursday.

How did you get involved with baby wearing? 

I first got involved with babywearing with my now 5 year old daughter Kaitlyn, which I wore in a way too big pouch sling and a narrow based carrier I couldn’t get to work. Now, I wear my now two year old Joseph almost daily even now. I joined the group and eventually took over the previous leaders role and now lead our local group.

What do you find most rewarding as a babywearing educator?

What I find most rewarding is the look on a caregivers face when it finally clicks, or when we finally get that perfect fit, and when carries get easier and faster for them to do. Most of all, I love when people approach me and thank me from the bottom of their hearts. All those feel good moments, they make being a babywearing educator worth it.

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

If I had to pass on a single important tip to a fellow babywearer, it would be to never give up and keep on trying. I used to take 10 minutes to do a double hammock and I was exhausted, or finding the fit on a favorite buckle carrier just right made me so angry. But over time I mastered the carries, as well as fit.

To connect with Kelsey, visit the Toledo Area Babywearers’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/694329100594113/).

If you would like to nominate a 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