July 2015 - Baby Tula Blog

July 2015 Archive

Newborn Babywearing: Safe, Snug, and Squishy

Soft, sweet, sleepy, squishy. There’s just nothing like a newborn, and the best place to cuddle them is right there on your chest!

Once your sweet little one hits 8 pounds, he or she can be worn in a ring sling or woven wrap. These lovely carriers are perfect for your wee babe – they are just fabric, rings, and cuddles. Or, if you prefer an ergonomic carrier, the use of an infant insert can make them an accessible option from birth. Soft Structured Carriers are easy to use, comfortable, fit multiple caregivers and offer a quick alternative for when you’re out on the go!

When wearing a newborn, it is important to remember some key things about safety.

First of all, in the first four months, it is important to remain vigilant about baby’s placement, especially when he or she is being worn. Since babies have a very delicate airway, keeping him or her upright and in a high tummy-to-tummy position on the caregiver is very important. This helps to mimic the way you would hold a new baby in your arms while giving baby enough space for you to put 1-2 adult fingers between his chin and chest to allow your little one to breathe easily.   If baby’s chin is pressed down toward his chest, or his nose and mouth are resting near your body, your little one’s vulnerable airway can become restricted.

You should also ensure that baby’s face is not covered from view at any time by any means, including blankets, carrier accessories, nursing covers, or hats. While you do want to make sure that baby’s head and neck are completely supported, there should not be any pressure on the back of baby’s head which could force the chin downward and affect the airway. Instead, if you’d like, allow your little one to rest his or her cheek gently on your chest – it can be a comfort to hear your heart. Be aware of your child’s breathing, check on your baby often, and reposition as needed for safety and comfort.

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From a physiological standpoint, babywearing can be very helpful for your little one as he or she grows. When first born, babies have a C-shaped curve to the spine. As your little one develops strength in his neck and is able to begin to lift his head, the curve in the cervical spine begins to develop. Using a properly-sized carrier correctly can help to support this spine development. Make sure you’re your little one is placed in a position which supports the neck and back and ergonomically distributes weight through the hips and legs in order to relieve pressure from the baby’s spine as it develops.

The perfect carrier for a newborn for many caregivers is a ring sling. Baby Tula Ring Slings can be an ideal option because they are a single length of woven fabric securely attached using multiple lines of stitching to a set of reinforced sling rings. The sewn/rings portion of the sling, known as the shoulder, rests gently high on the caregiver’s shoulder, while the remainder of the carrier passes down over the caregiver’s back, under the opposite arm, and creates a looped hammock pouch in the front which will support baby. Ring slings are easy to use, comfortable, easily adjustable, and very quick to put baby into and take them out of, which can be especially useful for small newborns that need frequent feedings and diaper changes. They are also a single layer of supportive but soft woven fabric, which is breathable and comfortable year round, regardless of the weather.

A video can be very helpful when learning how to use a ring sling, because it helps to demonstrate position, safety concerns (such as supporting your child while putting them into the carrier, airway concerns, etc.) and also offers common tips for usage of the sling. Our instructions page will also be a great resource for you as you get started. Ring slings are wonderful newborn carriers, and can also be used into toddlerhood, and are an excellent choice for those who like to carry their bigger babies on their hip.

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Another great option for a new baby is a woven wrap. Baby Tula Woven Wraps are lengths of fabric that have been woven specifically for the use of holding little ones. They range in length from about 2 meters long to over 5 meters long and are used by wrapping them around the caregiver’s torso and baby in a specific manner, and knotting carefully with a secure double knot. Woven wraps can be used through toddlerhood as well, and are best known for being versatile, comfortable, and ergonomic.

A simple carry that works well for a newborn is the front wrap cross carry, shown on our instructional video and instructions. This carry is helpful for keeping baby nice and high and upright on your chest, close to your heartbeat, and for spreading the passes across your body for comfortable, secure support. Woven wraps come in different blends such as Tencel/cotton, our delightfully breathable, soft, and eco-friendly blend, which is comfy for you and your little one and sustainable as well!

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If you choose to use an ergonomic carrier, make sure that you select the Standard Size with the Infant Insert accessory, which is intended to be used with any baby who is less than 15 pounds, as well as until he or she is big enough for his or her knees to hang freely down in the M-position with no pressure on the insides of baby’s knee or calf. The Infant Insert features a pillow to boost baby’s height, a back and neck support which helps both modify the size of the carrier to suit a smaller baby as well as providing structure to support their strengthening body, and a harness which helps maintain the appropriate positioning for your little one.  The Tula Carrier, demonstrated in our video, should not be used without the insert until your baby meets the criteria on the instructions page of our website.

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Regardless of which carrier is your favorite for a new baby, having your little one on your chest or in a carrier has so many positive benefits, from helping babies to grow and develop better, as is shown in kangaroo care research, to supporting their sense of balance and security, to enhancing nursing relationships, to lowering stress, to bonding and brain development! Plus, it helps make caring for yourself and other children easier!newbornsurfnewbornviv

Carrying your little one on your chest allows you to reap all of these benefits and many more, and just feels great, so cuddle up and take in those newborn days!


 

The one, the only… San Diego Tula Momtourage!

A world-famous zoo, towering cliffs overlooking sandy beaches, and endless attractions for traveling adventurers… San Diego is a place many people dream about visiting for one reason or another! San Diego is also home to Tula Headquarters… and an incredibly vibrant babywearing community, including several local groups, one of which is the San Diego Tula Momtourage!

The group started out small by a local mama passionate about babywearing and Tulas, but it quickly grew as word spread. A year later, it has become a safe haven for nearly 600 members… a place where members can turn to one another for advice, ask questions that range from “do I need a standard or toddler” to “help! I am a potty training failure!” and a place where they feel welcomed with kind words and a line of caregivers ready to assist.

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San Diego Tula Momtourage co-admin Thea Martin explains, “Our love of Tulas and keeping our babies close are what brought us together, but the friendships are what keep us around. The San Diego Tula Momtourage is truly a one of a kind group that couldn’t be more thrilled to support an amazing LOCAL to us company, Tula Baby Carriers.”

Co-admin Marisol Hernandez Shewbert says, “I love the camaraderie within the group. I have met and kept lasting friendships because of Tulas. I love that in addition to them coming up with such a great product they also really do build communities and everlasting friendships.”

Jennifer Dahlquist Ramirez believes it is amazing that a group from the internet can motivate relationships such as those she has developed. “The support, and camaraderie I’ve encountered here illustrates that social media often gets an unjustified bad rap. I am grateful to be a part of a group that shares my passion for not only babywearing, but so many other aspects of parenting as well.”

Emily Tupta adds, “This group has been nothing but encouraging and helpful to me! Safe babywearing is obviously a priority, and these ladies are a wealth of knowledge! Love my Momtourage!”

Thea adds that finding Tula and this group of moms was life changing when she had her third baby. “I had so many fears about how to balance life,” she says, “when I literally didn’t have enough arms to wrangle the kids around me. Insert Tula. Safe babywearing has transformed the way I parent. I thank this group of women, who taught me, helped me when my back carry, was, well, a total disaster, and never once made me feel bad when I showed up to a play date thinking I was wrapped correctly when in reality, I was a total mess.”

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Local mom Jamie Miller explains, “‪I have made so many friends through our local Tula group, some of whom I have yet to meet in person. We not only share Tula love but we also share our passion for babywearing, something some of my other close friends don’t understand. I’m lucky to have found really genuinely caring friends through Tula and a slight obsession that will probably stay with me even when my kids are grown adults.”

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From playdates at local parks and beaches, to participating in parades, to supporting each other via the Facebook page, the San Diego Tula Momtourage is an amazing example of how #tulabuildscommunities and Tula is honored to have their smiles and support of this incredible babywearing community.

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Stay tuned in the next few weeks for features on some of the other local babywearing groups rallying to help the San Diego parenting community, and the amazing work they are doing!

Tula Trends: Oh My!

Since our inception, we’ve been committed to making an easily accessible, high quality carrier that caregivers feel GREAT wearing! Part of what makes Tula Baby Carriers, Baby Tula Wovens, and Baby Tula Ring Slings special are their fun, fresh, and trendy designs.

As a parent, our focus often moves to our children – keeping them fed, safe, and happy – but part of being the best parent you can be is taking care of yourself as well! Self care means different things to different people, but whether it is comfort or style, we are thrilled to provide different Tula designs so that you can find the one that best appeals to you!

To kick off our Tula Trends series, check out this fun outfit paired with one of our newest Tula designs, Oh My!

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This Tula Trends design set is perfect for the mom who is looking for a balance of comfort and style. A cool chambray shirt is set off perfectly by a pair of black skinnies and a crossbody bag with gold detailing.  The “love” necklace is a bold and welcome reminder that love is at the center of everything that we do. Toss on a little mascara, your favorite color gloss, and your feisty new Oh My! Tula, and you’re ready to hit the streets looking fresh, confident, and poised. We’re thrilled about how Oh My! puts some teeth into your chambray and skinnies and takes your attire from now to wow!

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Keep an eye on our page for more fun outfit inspirations coming in the future – and if you have your own fun Tula Trend you’d love to share with us, use the hashtag #tulatrends for a chance to have it featured in an upcoming blog!

Happy Canada Day, Canadian Tula Mamas!

It’s Canada Day and we are excited to be able to celebrate a very large, diverse group, Canadian Tula Mamas! Canadian Tula Mamas is a Facebook group that started in September of 2013 as a place for Canadians to discuss all things Tula. Starting out as a small, intimate group, it has blossomed into a very active one: Canadian Tula Mamas now have nearly 4500 members, and a supportive, smiling admin team: Sarah Downes, Christine Taylor Ferguson, Michelle Hillyard, Josephine Sram and Kayla Steyvers!

Canadian Tula Mamas co-admin Michelle Hillyard writes that the connections this online community has created have resulted in real, lasting friendships from one side of the vast country to the other. From the rocks of Newfoundland, to the roar of Niagara Falls, the wheat fields of the prairies to the towering Rockies, the Canadian landscape is as diverse as the people who live there.   She explains, “Besides all of the amazing reasons to wear our Tulas, like holding our children close, accessing hard to reach uniquely Canadian terrain and keeping warm in our freezing winter, we can’t forget the importance of being able to have our hands free to enjoy poutine, maple syrup, and Tim Horton’s coffee. We may apologize for a lot of things but keeping our little ones close will never be one of them.”

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The lovely mamas of CTM were happy to share their perspective on how Tula has affected their community:

“No matter what the day brings, what mood we are in, all it takes it going ‘Up in the Tula’ to bring our energy back in harmony. Not only is spending the day with a 33 pounder in a back carry a good workout, it’s also a fabulous way for me to be close to my very busy 2 year old boy. The connection we continue to have because of our Tula means the world to me. The friendships I have made as an Admin of the Canadian Tula Mamas have changed my life. I am blessed to know such wonderful women.”
– Sarah Whalen Downes

“Babywearing for me started out as a necessity with my second child, born during a particularly cold winter. I couldn’t imagine how I would have survived during those cold months without my Tula. What I discovered though was an entire community of parents facing similar challenges as I was. The Canadian Tula Mamas Facebook group became a resource and a support group! I’ve made lifelong friendships thanks to this group, and have made connections to parents all over the country! Now at 19 months he wants to be worn a bit less, and maybe babywearing isn’t as much of a necessity for me, but the Tula still provides us with much needed comfort and snuggles! I wouldn’t give that up for the world! And equally as notable I wouldn’t be able to have my daily dose of Tim Horton’s coffee in peace as we go for our morning stroll!”
– Kayla Steyvers

“It was love at first Tula. Tula has helped me to keep my babies close and comfort them. Babywearing has extended beyond my children and has led me to find amazing mothers with similar interests. I will always remember the friendships formed as a result of being a part of the Tula community.”
– Josephine Sram

“Not only has Tula helped me do what I love, but also the community has brought me close to so many people near and far. I’ve met so many wonderful, generous, kind ladies, some that a day never passes that we don’t talk. I’ve seen Tula groups rise up in a wave of support for one another. We may all start out with one thing in common – a love for Tula carriers – but the friendships, connection and community we all have ended up sharing as well.”
– Michelle Hillyard

Some of the mamas also wanted to add a few words about how Tulas have benefitted their lives:

“Outings by myself with my 9 month old daughter have never been this easy before! I can bring my little 3 yr old niece to the dentist, go on a train with two kids, and nap time is anywhere she pleases, close to mommy.”
– Terra Barton

“It means all snuggles, all the time. Adventuring places that strollers can’t. It means bonding with your child. It’s late night soothing when teething strikes. It’s the cure-all for boo-boo’s, owies and bonks. It’s the prescription for fevers and illness. It’s a parents sanity saver. It’s a way to help baby socialize from eye level rather than below. It lets dinner get made. Houses get cleaned. It’s how we share our life. It’s love.”
– Tasha-Joanne Gandevia

“A visit to the art gallery is one of our favourite ways to spend a rainy winter day in Vancouver, and with our Tula, baby gets to see all the artworks up close– without fear that he’ll start climbing the sculptures!”
– Tracy Milton

Here are some photos of some of their lovely group adventures:

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Thank you so much for sharing your group with us, Canadian Tula Mamas! We are so thankful to have such an active, supportive group, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your hard work in helping as #tulabuildscommunities!