July 2016 - Baby Tula Blog

July 2016 Archive

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.

Soul Surfer: A Collaboration with Bethany Hamilton
Soul Surfer Baby Carrier Bethany Hamilton

As you welcome a child into your life, it can be difficult to balance providing them comfort and connection with continuing to explore places and face new experiences. For us, part of the solution to this new challenge has been babywearing because of how it can allow you to hold your little one while still being able to accomplish other things. With this core value in mind, we are delighted to introduce ‘Soul Surfer’ made in collaboration with professional surfer, Bethany Hamilton. We celebrate the passion, determination, and loving spirit that Bethany’s story embodies and hope that ‘Soul Surfer’ will help Bethany and other families keep doing what they love.

Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith and hope. At the age of thirteen, Bethany lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark, which seemed to end her career as a rising surf star.  One month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and within 2 years had won her first National title. In 2007, she realized her dream of surfing professionally and since then her story has been told in a New York Times best selling autobiography and in the 2011 film, SOUL SURFER.

Soul Surfer Baby Carrier Bethany Hamilton

When Bethany became a mother, she knew that she wanted to keep her baby close. She looked at his first 3 months as the ‘4th trimester’. This was a beautiful time where she bonded with her child, allowing closeness to help build trust and a sense of safety in their new environment. She also felt that carrying her baby, Tobias, helped with colic by keeping him upright. Bethany’s husband, Adam, also wore baby Tobias often.

As her son grew older, she found that her son still had a desire to be close to her. He would often need her attention in the evenings or when she had many things to do. She found that she could strap on her Tula Baby Carrier and be able to continue doing what she needed to do. With Bethany having one arm, wearing her baby allowed to have her hand free to do more. Using her Tula Baby Carrier has become an essential part of her parenting and we decided to collaborate to create a carrier that spoke to her personally.

Soul Surfer Baby Carrier Bethany Hamilton

With Soul Surfer we wanted to work with Bethany to design a pattern that expressed her biggest passion and never ending strength. Being an ocean lover, Bethany wanted her carrier to be water inspired. She also loves the color blue. Soul Surfer has a modern abstract pattern of blue ocean waves and navy blue canvas to create a carrier that has a cool beach vibe. Accent embroidery appears on the waistband that includes Bethany’s signature, a flower, and the Baby Tula motto that embodies Bethany’s story ‘Keep Doing What You Love’. The repeating wave pattern speaks to the various journeys that Bethany partakes. Be it professional surfing, motherhood, and life as an amputee, Bethany jumps and navigates each experience with strength and grace.

When we asked Bethany what ‘Keep doing what you love’ means to her, she responded with, “When tough times come our way, it’s a beautiful thing to keep doing what you love. I think its a way to heal and overcome.”

Soul Surfer Baby Carrier

‘Soul Surfer’ will be available July 21st, at 2pm PDT, exclusively at www.tulababycarriers.com in Standard and Toddler carrier sizes.

We are on our way to IBC!

Team Tula is off to Atlanta for the International Babywearing conference (IBC) and we’re excited to share in the babywearing fun while connecting with all of our friends in the community! This biennial conference brings together babywearing enthusiasts, educators, and industry leaders to collectively learn, share and celebrate carrying your baby close. The three-day event will have learning sessions, opportunities to meet and chat with other babywearing fans, and explore what is new from many of the companies involved in creating babywearing carriers and other related goodies. We will be there with big smiles to meet all of the attendees and showcase all things Tula in the vendor hall.

Each of the Team Tula members attending IBC are certified babywearing educators and will be available at our booth not only to answer your Tula-related questions but also to assist if you have fit or general babywearing questions.  While at IBC, you’ll be able to touch, feel and try on many of our latest products, including our Tula Coast carrier, ring slings, and woven wraps. As a special treat, we’ve even set aside some of our most popular Tula Baby Blankets for purchase! Make sure to follow us on social media as we may be sharing some other surprises while we’re there!

We are excited to have some of our popular Tula blankets available, along with other surprises!

We are excited to have some of our popular Tula Baby Blankets available, along with other surprises!

While we are thrilled about the enriching educational sessions and time to share our great Tula products with you, we are most excited about the unique opportunity to go beyond our local or online community gatherings and see so many babywearing enthusiasts in one place! It’s so rare that we get to gather face-to-face with so many people that share our passion for connecting and growing with our little ones.

We can’t wait to meet and connect with everyone there!

Kangaroo Care II: Incorporating skin-to-skin contact into your babywearing routine

 

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You may have heard that babywearing improves bonding or that babywearing makes your baby happier. Babywearing can facilitate positive physical, social, and emotional development.

What many may not know is that the majority of research demonstrating the countless benefits of babywearing is not measuring outcomes from simple once-a-day outings wearing your baby to the store or the park. Instead, the science of babywearing is mostly comprised of medical intervention studies investigating a specific form of baby carrying: skin-to-skin kangaroo care.

All babies can be kangaroo babies!

Because of the effectiveness of kangaroo care for low birth weight and preterm babies, skin-to-skin kangaroo care for full-term healthy babies does not have as much of a place in the spotlight.  However, kangaroo care is much more than a medical intervention for at-risk babies.  In fact, kangaroo care is an easy addition to your babywearing repertoire and almost all benefits are just as applicable to full-term healthy babies. Though much of the research has focused on outcomes for preterm or low birth weight infants (see Kangaroo Care Part I), studies with full-term infants have found that kangaroo care also facilitates more time in quiet sleep,[1] decreased crying,[2] lower levels of distress during painful procedures,[3]and earlier development of social awareness[4] among healthy, typically-developing infants.

And the kangaroo baby is not the only one that benefits. After participating in kangaroo care, mothers reported more breastfeeding success,[5] positive feelings toward their child,[6] and decreased likelihood of post-partum depression.[7]

Give kangaroo care a try!

The consensus is clear: the benefits of skin-to-skin contact have been consistently proven with the highest standard of scientific research. Many of these same benefits likely extend to standard babywearing without direct skin-to-skin contact, but the overwhelming amount of data confirming the positive effects of skin-to-skin carrying may tempt you to give kangaroo care a try. So where to start?

The optimal positioning for post-natal skin-to-skin kangaroo care is with the baby placed upright on the caregiver’s naked chest with baby wearing only a diaper. Baby’s head should be turned and slightly tilted upright to ensure the airway remains open and unblocked (and visible!). Baby’s knees should be bent and legs open so that an M-shape is formed with baby’s feet, knees, and bottom.

Figure adapted from Kangaroo Mother Care: A practical guide. (WHO, 2003)

Figure adapted from Kangaroo Mother Care: A practical guide. (WHO, 2003)

 

Once in the proper position, the baby can be secured in place with a carrier, such that the fabric of the carrier is tight enough around the chest of the baby to keep them snug and secure, yet loose enough around baby’s abdomen to ensure that breathing is not inhibited.

Figure adapted from Kangaroo Mother Care: A practical guide. (WHO, 2003)

Figure adapted from Kangaroo Mother Care: A practical guide. (WHO, 2003)

 

Though traditional kangaroo care suggests securing your kangaroo baby with a simple woven or stretchy wrap, skin-to-skin carrying can be done with any of your favorite Tula carriers, including Baby Tula Wrap Conversion Ring Slings, Soft Structured Carriers, and Woven Wraps.

 Kangaroo care benefits are not specific to mothers nor to women, so let baby’s other caregivers enjoy skin-to-skin carrying as well!

Note: When using kangaroo care as a medical treatment to care for a low birth weight or preterm infant, please seek professional medical advice. The information provided here is meant as a guide for healthy typically-developing infants only, and it is still recommended that you seek professional guidance from a babywearing educator –especially when wrapping newborns – to ensure that your baby is wrapped safely.

 

This Guest Blog was written by Emily E. Little, M.A.

Emily is a doctoral candidate in developmental psychology at University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation research examines the social mechanisms underlying the benefits of babywearing, including how increased mother-infant physical contact facilitates higher maternal responsiveness. Her research program more broadly investigates culturally-mediated mother-infant communication, and she has collected data on early teaching in Vanuatu, infant emotional displays in Bolivia, and breastfeeding patterns in Guatemala. She is also specializing in anthropogeny, or the study of human origins, through UCSD’s Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA), which has added an evolutionary perspective to her interests in culture, mother-infant interaction, and babywearing. She is passionate about making a positive contribution in the communities where she works, not just in San Diego – where she volunteers as a Volunteer Babywearing Educator in training with Babywearing International – but also at her international fieldsites, where she volunteers at community health centers and raises money for maternal and infant health services.

 

1 Ferber, S. G., & Makhoul, I. R. (2004). The Effect of Skin-to-Skin Contact (Kangaroo Care) Shortly After Birth on the Neurobehavioral Responses of the Term Newborn: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. PEDIATRICS113(4), 858-865. doi:10.1542/peds.113.4.858

2 Christensson, K., Siles, C., Moreno, L., Belaustequi, A., De La Fuente, P., Lagercrantz, H., … Winberg, J. (1992). Temperature, metabolic adaptation and crying in healthy full-term newborns cared for skin-to-skin or in a cot. Acta Paediatrica81(6-7), 488-493. doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.1992.tb12280.x

3 Gray, L., Watt, L., & Blass, E. M. (2000). Skin-to-Skin Contact Is Analgesic in Healthy Newborns. PEDIATRICS105(1), e14-e14. doi:10.1542/peds.105.1.e14

4 Bigelow, A. E., & Power, M. (2012). The effect of mother–infant skin-to-skin contact on infants’ response to the Still Face Task from newborn to three months of age. Infant Behavior and Development35(2), 240-251. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2011.12.008

5 Bier, J. B. (1996). Comparison of Skin-to-Skin Contact With Standard Contact in Low-Birth-Weight Infants Who Are Breast-Fed. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 150(12), 1265. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170370043006v

6 Tessier, R., Cristo, M., Velez, S., Giron, M., Ruiz-Palaez, J. G., Charpak, Y., & Charpak, N. (1998). Kangaroo Mother Care and the Bonding Hypothesis. PEDIATRICS102(2), e17-e17. doi:10.1542/peds.102.2.e17

7 De Alencar, A. E., Arraes, L. C., De Albuquerque, E. C., & Alves, J. G. (2007). Effect of Kangaroo Mother Care on Postpartum Depression. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics55(1), 36-38. doi:10.1093/tropej/fmn083