February 2016 - Baby Tula Blog

February 2016 Archive

Tula Woven Review: Tula Love Gracieux by Brittnay Snyders

 

IMG_6152

I recently hosted my first Baby Tula Woven Wrap and it was a delight.  Baby Tula sent me Love Gracieux which I knew was a Tencel blend and having tried a few different Tencel blends already I thought I knew what to expect but it was nothing like I expected, in a great way.

Company:  Baby Tula
Name: Love Gracieux
Fiber content: 53% Tencel 47% Cotton
Weight: 320 gsm (loomstate)
Size: 6 (my base)
Wrapee: My 22 lb 21 month old son

blogger-image-809243211

Love Gracieux is quite a thick wrap, just look at that loomstate GSM!  I haven’t tried a tencel blend with a gsm that high so far and I loved this!  My toddler isn’t super heavy but I’m definitely starting to feel his weight these days (and therefore moving away from most thinner wraps) so this was a really nice change for tencel for me!  Most of the other tencel blends I’ve had are more around 270-ish gsm and although lovely that weight is not nearly as toddler-worthy as this one from Tula.

Love Gracieux is a beast in loomstate, do not judge it brand new out of the box.  It feels like a curtain and you would think no way is that wrap-worthy.  Not to worry, toss that baby in the wash and just wait for it to totally transform!  When I say transform it’s no joke, it’s like a completely different wrap after a wash.  It fluffs up beautifully, softens up perfectly, and it goes from stiff to moldable instantly.  There is virtually no breaking in required.  I don’t normally think of tencel as a cozy blend but because this wrap is thicker I feel like it really is cozy.  It hugs and molds to you and keeps your baby snuggly close, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

IMG_6485

Because this is a thicker wrap it probably wouldn’t be my pick for a tiny brand new baby.  Kellen was under 7 lbs when he was born and I couldn’t see reaching for this with a baby that tiny (I want something thinner in that instance) however I have a friend with a young baby between 10 and 12 lbs who tried this out and it worked really well, so it’s not that this is too beastly for most babies I just don’t think it’s a great tiny newborn choice.  It’s totally toddler worthy though, I can ruck Kellen in this wrap no problem.  It’s fairly forgiving of a sloppy wrap job and there is no diggyness at all.  I think this can totally rock a shorty as well as a base size so just go for whatever you want/need.  This has a moderate amount of diagonal stretch and drape.

The tencel offers the kind of nice “silky” feel I’m used to with this blend but this is more cushy and spongy than I have ever experienced with other tencel.  I love that quality for comfort!  It’s got some nice bounce to it (boing boing).  Due to the thickness a multiple pass carry (i.e. double hammock) takes a little bit of work although not a full on workout since the tencel does offer nice glide.  The tie off is quite easy but it does make for a medium-thick knot so hopefully you don’t mind a prominent knot!  A slipknot is no problem with this wrap as the tencel offers enough glide for easy adjustment.

IMG_5595

The quality is excellent and I did not find any flaws with my human eyes.  Over all this is a wonderful, easy, soft, and cushy medium-thick wrap!  I don’t think it’s too much for a new wrapper even though it’s on the thicker side, the softness and glide of the tencel makes it beginner friendly.  It offers some nice qualities for a more experienced wrapper as well, this kind of spongy cush isn’t always easy to find so I have truly enjoyed this.

See more photos on Brittany’s blog, Twice Loved and Modern: http://twicelovedandmodern.blogspot.com/2015/12/tula-love-gracieux-review.html

Carried To Connect: Postpartum Depression

 

ppd_banner_2

When first considering a Tula Baby Carrier, many families think of how it may help them accomplish daily tasks. But the myriad of benefits from babywearing extends beyond simple function for you and your baby. In particular, wearing your baby might prove to be helpful when experiencing Postpartum Depression (PPD) or other Postpartum Mental Illnesses. It is estimated in a CDC survey that 8 to 19% of women reported having frequent postpartum depressive symptoms. And approximately 4% of fathers experience depression in the first year of their child’s life. While treatment is very necessary, babywearing may assist caregivers experiencing postpartum depression in finding some comfort. Less crying and more sleep for baby may decrease stress levels for you.The closeness facilitated by babywearing raises oxytocin levels in mothers, fathers, and babies. Oxytocin is the hormone that promotes the bonding process for you and your child. Activities facilitated by babywearing, like feeding your baby and touch can increase Oxytocin levels to greater cement connection. Also, babywearing can often increase your confidence in your ability to care for your child. Thus, the act of babywearing may have positive effects on your emotional and mental state that can far outweigh the simple function that first attracted you to a carrier.

When considering the topic of postpartum mental illness, we wanted to highlight one woman’s story. We are very honored that one mother in our Tula community was willing to share her personal experience with postpartum depression. Below, Erika tells us about what she has encountered with postpartum depression and how babywearing is playing a role in helping.

“I had my son in July of 2015.  He was my second child, and we had a complicated, high risk pregnancy. My first pregnancy was easy and uncomplicated.  My daughter was born and we were over the moon about her.  It was an adjustment, but I never experienced the “baby blues” after her birth, let alone PPD.  I had no idea what PPD felt like. I had been anxiously awaiting my son’s arrival, and my husband and I were both relieved that he did not come early (as was predicted) and came out perfect, albeit tiny. We came home from the hospital after four days, and had the house to ourselves, just the three of us.  I knew something was wrong right away.  

"My first pregnancy was easy and uncomplicated. I had no idea what PPD felt like."

“My first pregnancy was easy and uncomplicated. I had no idea what PPD felt like.”

I wanted nothing to do with my son.  His crying set off extreme anxiety for me, more than the “normal” amount moms feel.  I felt like I couldn’t deal with him, I didn’t even want to hold him.  I had seen a maternal mental health provider throughout my pregnancy, and I contacted her right way and let her know what was going on.  I was seen a few days later, and I also started some medication.  I was considered to have “severe” post partum depression, which just felt like more of blow.

It was a strange feeling, not wanting my son, resenting him. I felt nothing like this when my daughter was born, so I wasn’t expecting this. Then again, we never do.  Moms aren’t “supposed” to feel like this, and yet, many moms do.

My husband did almost everything, from changing diapers, to waking up at night (multiple times) to feed him.  I had planned on wearing my son, and even had purchased a Tula (both SSC and ring sling) before he was born, but I couldn’t bring myself to use them. I had looked into babywearing while I was pregnant, primarily because of the convenience and I felt it would be easier because my son was so small.  I had joined a local BabyWearing International chapter to learn more about various carriers and brands.  I was prepared, I had a ring sling and a SSC before he was born. After a couple months of wanting nothing to do with my son, and having my carriers just sitting around, my daughter went back to school. I decided it was time to go to a meeting to learn how to use them, to make things easier on myself. I had no idea that it was going to help me on my journey to healing.  

"I know that babywearing isn't the sole reason I am getting better, but I truly believe it helped me get better, faster."

“I know that babywearing isn’t the sole reason I am getting better, but I truly believe it helped me get better, faster.”

I learned how to wear my son in the ring sling.  I don’t know how to describe it, but it started a bond.  I loved wearing him, and he loved being worn.  I had chosen Tula because of all the wonderful things I had heard about them and the cute prints!  Now, I feel like Tula has really helped me connect with my son and get better. It wasn’t an overnight shift and suddenly I was better, but even a gradual lessening of what I had been feeling was as if a weight was being lifted.  I was finally able begin bonding with my son. I know that babywearing isn’t the sole reason I am getting better, but I truly believe it helped me get better, faster. Babywearing, as I’ve learned, helps to form and strengthen bonds with our children.  I’ve witnessed this first hand.  I wear him every chance I get, much to the chagrin of my husband, who would love a turn every now and then!  

I think that it’s really important to talk about postpartum depression, it’s not talked about enough.  Moms feel, and are sometimes told, that they need to “suck it up”, or that it’s “normal”.  There is nothing normal about what I felt.  I always used to encourage moms to seek help, and I’m glad that I did before it became too much to bear. I’m still getting better, it’s a process, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Postpartum mental illness often goes untreated and many mothers and fathers may feel that they are alone in their feelings. Postpartum depression symptoms may include: tearfulness, difficulty sleeping, loss of interest in daily activities, guilty feelings, feelings of worthlessness or incompetence, feeling disconnected from your baby, and/or fearing that your baby will get hurt. If you believe that you or a loved one is experiencing postpartum depression, we strongly recommend speaking to your health care provider and getting assistance. Postpartum Depression is not something that you need to confront alone. We have listed some resources below that may help you get support:

Postpartum Progress (link to http://www.postpartumprogress.com/)

National Postpartum Depression Hotline

1-800-PPD-MOMS

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-SUICIDE

We want to thank Erika for her bravery in sharing her story with us and are wishing her and any others experiencing postpartum mental illness a full recovery!

Fireweed Baby: Transforming family history into woven wraps

 

Fireweed Baby's Night Star Woven Wrap converted into a Tula Baby Carrier.

Fireweed Baby’s Night Star Woven Wrap converted into a Tula Baby Carrier.

Baby Tula Wrap Conversion Carriers have been a fun and exciting item in Baby Tula’s collection of carriers for quite some time. These special buckle carriers are made with woven wrap material instead of solely canvas materials and printed fabric. These carriers expand the creative possibilities and make a carrier that looks and feels like a woven wrap but functions with the ease of a soft structured carrier.

One special reason we continue to make wrap conversion carriers is they allow for the chance to work with gorgeous textiles and artistry unique to woven wraps. One that we are excited to highlight was the opportunity to work with woven wraps made by Fireweed Baby.

This Canadian based woven wrap company creates high quality woven wraps that honor and speak to the traditions of the Giskaast clan which Liz, the creator of Fireweed Baby, is a member of. We chatted with this wonderfully passionate company about the woven wraps they make and the opportunity to have them transformed into Tula Baby Carriers. Here is some of what they had to share with us:

Baby Tula: For those not familiar with Fireweed Baby, can you describe the meaning behind your designs?

Fireweed Baby (Liz): I am a First Nation’s woman, specifically, Gitxsan of the Giskaast (Fireweed) clan from Kitwanga, British Columbia. From an early age, I was surrounded by the beauty of my Gitxsan culture. The Gitxsan traditions, the stories and the songs are quite simply just part of day to day life. Part of my culture is the signature style of art that finds itself expressed in all mediums of fine art. I remember specifically always treasuring the designs on the clothing worn in the feast halls, the button blankets, the drums and watching our master carvers as they continue to preserve our culture. The designs represent our clans, they represent our Wilp (house within the clan) and they illustrate the history of our families, our roles, and our responsibilities. The killer whale actually represents my clan! I want my modern take on our traditional designs to introduce and share the beauty of my rich culture.

Liz of Fireweedbaby wearing her Night Star woven wrap.

Liz of Fireweedbaby wearing her Night Star woven wrap.

BT: Why did you decide to blend your family’s stories and symbolism with woven material?

FB: I finished my first drum and design in my late teens and focused mostly on carving spoons and various random applications. My killer whale garbage can is still proudly in use at our family’s summer cannery! Sharing my designs is consistently and wholeheartedly supported by my family, who mean the world to me. When I was looking to start my woven wrap line, it just made sense. I tend to run in circles of avid babywearers. I dare you to travel throughout our beautiful arctic and not find every baby everywhere being carried in a beautiful amauti. My family has a rich history of babywearing and although I am doing it my way, I feel like I am continuing a tradition. When I re-entered the infant/toddler phase with my youngest daughter, I knew I was going to commit to growing the shared knowledge and access to practical babywearing tools and support. I was so lucky to meet Arie Brentnall-Compton when I participated in the educator’s course with the Canadian Babywearing School and she really propelled me over the hump to get started.

 

BT:  What qualities of your designs do you think have a universal appeal?

FB: The form line art, what I learned in school, is truly a distinctive style from the Northwest Coast indigenous groups. The shapes, the designs, the distinct positive and negative spaces have been with us for centuries and are passed down through the generations. The style of the art is well known internationally because of the beauty and the work done by our artists who are typically our strongest advocates for preserving our culture. Once you dive into the style, you can find very distinct qualities that are passed on within the regions, through the mentoring of the artists, but overall the same appeal of representing our lands, our people and our stories is universal.

Liz and her family enjoying babywearing.

“Fireweed Baby is an extension of what I want to present.” -Liz, of Fireweed Baby

BT: What would you like someone to know about Fireweed Baby?

FB: Fireweed Baby is an extension of what I want to represent. In my culture, working together within your immediate and extended family is the backbone of what makes everything work. There is no generational divide, everyone has a role and is important in raising our families and sharing the work. As we grow our company, I want to ensure that same the principles of supporting our local economies and valuing the contributions of our partners is never lost. We are a micro business with a big heart and we are dedicated to sustainably offering our products and sustainably growing our business.

BT: Why do you think babywearing is important or ideal?

FB: Babywearing in my culture has been just part of the way we raise our babies. The instinct is natural to calm our babies by holding them and the need to get stuff done is also a strong priority, so babywearing achieves that end. Carrying my babies really just helped me feel balanced and it felt like the tool I could always count on to fulfill both of our needs. It is easy to see how practical the solution of a carrier is but it is also easy to forget when you are in the midst of minute to minute care. I remember being out with my Dad when my son was still a newborn and of course forgetting our carrier at home but not realizing why my day just seemed longer and harder. Never saying anything, my dad drove to the store and he just bought a carrier and handed it over. I will never forget that feeling of,” You’ve got this!” at that moment.

 

BT: What excites you about knowing that your wraps will be converted into Tula baby carriers?

FB: It is exciting on a few levels for us. On a personal level, my husband was the first Tula owner in our family. *His* Tula carrier has been, still is and likely still will be his primary go to carrier. He has taken and carried our daughter across Canada, to the top of Zugspitze Mountain in Germany and to his sister’s wedding in Jamaica with his Tula. I am curious to know if he will make the leap to a “Fireweed” Tula or stay with his trusted “vintage Dinos”. From a broader perspective, the support from a company like Baby Tula shows Tula’s commitment to valuing an authentic voice and really gives Fireweed Baby an opportunity to share our designs and our story with a larger audience.

 

BT: Anything else you would like to share about “Fireweed Baby”?

FB: Even though we are a small company we are still committed to growing the education and the safe practices of babywearing to ensure the practice and access continues to grow. In 2015, we teamed up with the Canadian Babywearing School (CBS) to offer a scholarship for an Aboriginal participant to join an Educator’s course. We saw our first successful participant complete her course this past December and we plan on offering the scholarship annually with CBS generously matching the initiative.

You can learn more about Fireweed Baby on their website:http://www.fireweedbaby.com/

We are definitely looking forward to these beautiful creations!