Curious about what happens at the Ottawa Babywearing Group? Here are some recent meeting summaries.
February 19, 2015
We had a boomerang mom back in on her second maternity leave and we said hello to two new moms and babes to the drop-in this morning. All with babies ranging around the three month mark and one with a VERY cute mohawk. We got to play with a Sewfunky Gira wrap conversion ring sling, a older blue Ergo with sailboats on the lining, a new handwoven, and of course, the kit I brought along in my bag: Natibaby and a BBSlen shorty, BBSlen padded ring sling, a pod and an Ellaroo mei tai.
We briefly talked about how sometimes healing from a c-section can take quite a bit longer, and how some women still feel discomfort and pain months after their baby’s birth. We discussed proper carrying technique to avoid aggravating the incision site, which includes waiting to use carriers that attach at the waist. We played with a tummy to tummy carry with three month old L– in the ring sling, and also about how using a front pack carrier like a Snugli or Bjorn with no waist attachment is a great option until your core is feeling stronger. These carriers place the entire weight of the baby on your shoulders and are great for little bubs who have reflux and do not like to be swaddled. It is important to respect and limit the amount of carrying you do when you are recuperating from a c-section. Smaller bursts of carrying are better than one longer session.
I also got to play with the N– again today. Jen and Shannon were trying to get her into a ruck with a superman fly but she was having NONE of it. At this point, you can switch and use a Santa toss. The great thing about using a Santa toss is that you can use it to swaddle a child that is squirmy into a hammock, then lift it up over your shoulder before securing them into place. You can practice with a 5-10 kg bag of flour, or a bag of rice for all you gluten free peeps, it’s on sale with it being the Chinese New Year. The things we talk about during babywearing meetings. A proper ruck with a short wrap can be safely tied under the bum, here is a picture of me wearing my youngest with a 2.4 m long wrap.
If you’ve never learned wrapping with me, then I will let you know I like to scare the moms a bit by purposefully popping the seat when their child is in the wrap. It is a good way to show what it feels like when you are in a safe environment, what signs to look out for if a mirror isn’t handy to check the seat, and to learn what that loosening sensation can really mean.
Milkface has new nursing necklaces that features textured and wooden beads. They are very pretty and perfect for babies who prefer wood.
February 5, 2015
This meeting was a lot of fun because we had Susanne Reinhold in with her cute little girl and we did a million rucks (no word of a lie) with this six-month-old and not at any point did she do anything other than smile each and every single time she went on her mom’s back. We chose to superman the little one as it was a fast and easy way to get a crawling babe up quickly. You need to remember to cross both arms, grab both the top edge of the wrap and the baby at the top of their shoulders just underneath their armpits.
Because Susanne is originally from Germany, I didn’t have to explain why it was called a ruck carry, and she translated what ruck means in German. It means to push or toss, like in a sort of heave ho movement. Lol. Susanne’s opinion of the ruck carry? Easy! Yay – my favourite answer.
We also had an old friend visit us with her 3 year old daughter. It was great to see them again. She wanted to know how to use her beautiful Gira to carry her daughter over her winter coat when she got tired, instead of hauling the stroller about just in case it was needed. The best solution was to have the wrap around the mom’s hips prior to moving her child on her back using a hip scoot. A neat thing we figured out was that you can keep the tails of the wrap as dry and clean as possible by stuffing them into the pockets of your winter coat. Pretty cool, eh?
Susanne and I are both small business owners here in town, and I have known her for a few years. Her business is called Kangaroo Fitness and she has a pre-natal fitness series starting soon. Click on this link for more information. BTW, Susanne love the quote at the top of the page. Haven’t seen that one since university! Here’s a great picture of Susanne on my Crown of Dreams facebook page goofing around at the Baby Boom expo in 2013.
January 22, 2015
We had a lovely meeting. Today, we welcomed some moms of twins. First a set of older boys with mom Alison, and we played around with how to get a really really active boy into a back carry. He was very vocal, very opinionated, and a back archer to boot. The first time we tried superman, loading him right onto the back and he went so quickly into a back arch, that he had that wrap down at his bum lickety-split: It was like Houdini reincarnated. So we did an improvised partial rebozo carry with the long wrap, got it snug, then hip scooted him around to the back so mom could be more upright on the second pass, which reduced the little guy’s back arching tendencies.
Some babes will be very active as they get older when you are trying to get them onto your back and it can be hard to distinguish when they are truly popping out of their seat versus bouncing up and down. I do recommend, if you can afford it, a $10-$40 wall mirror for checking yourself – it is not only reassuring to see yourself as you move through each pass, but the babes also like to see their reflection when they are older and then that lets you turn it into a cool game while you’re getting them in.
The second set of twin boys were soooo new, they squeaked! They are Ottawa’s latest birthing sensation – surprise twins born naturally at full term… Dad was there too. While mom Vicky was nursing, Dad and I did a tummy to tummy carry with the other babe, then a partial cradle. It is really important that a stretchy wrap be so tight to keep it from loosening so it holds the baby’s weight overtime. Also keeping the neck extended, and the airway clear is really important.
I also got to chat a bit, discuss a small amount about how the holidays went, and I got to show Ashley how to use her new to her Psling (which she bought to support me) to hold our girl S—. I got to hold A—, which is always lovely, especially when he cuddles right down tucked in against my chest just under my chin. A baby who trusts you so much he just tucks right in like you’re part of his family is one of the best things in the world. We also got to play a little game of pass the babies as the older twins visited a little bit with everyone in the room. So fun.
It was really nice to have a mom of older twins there to share her experiences with us. To be able to cope with twins, you have to be a lot more flexible. We talked about feeding and how parents of multiples learn very quickly to be very accepting and very flexible in terms of feeding arrangements, some pump for a bit then are able to transition one or both over to nursing, with or without supplementation as needed.
There is an Ottawa Multiples breastfeeding support group run every month on the 4th Monday in the Carling area. Next meeting is this coming Monday January 26, 2015. For more information, join their facebook group. Both the group and the drop-in are run by the lovely Beth McMillan.
Another important thing to remember while parenting twins, if they are sleeping in their car seats when you get to the store, accept the pause for the gift that it is and leave them sleeping in their car seats / strollers. Then you can enjoy a coffee without worrying about spilling it on your child. Although carrying two twins looks very beautiful and can be very practical, it is okay to use a stroller and alternate their time in it and carry one at a time. Also carrying two on each hip does reduce your ability to go successfully through doors and is less supportive than having one on the front and the other on the back. A good resource in town for parents of multiples is the Multiple Birth Families Association (MBFA).
Crown of Dreams also offers courses on how to carry multiples.
January 8, 2015
It was a low key meeting, no surprise given some of the temperatures we have been seeing this week. Although, this past snowfall was lovely and fun to shovel because it was so FLUFFY! Such a relief after the mucky cement this weekend.
There was one mom who nursed her little one for a bit at the start and we had a nice chat about how important it is to have a good support network, a laugh about the comic routines of JG (what is like having a fourth baby, you are drowning and they hand you another one), and how it can take some adjusting to get used to being on maternity leave, the challenges and fun of subsequent children. Then I chatted with Elvie about the crazy situation in France, how some Europeans want American products whereas here we are all agog over EU goods as Canadians before I headed on home. Humans, they be a funny lot always thinking the grass is greener on the other side, especially since most goods you purchase are neither made in North America or Europe.
December 18, 2014
Had a fun, relaxed meeting today. Perfect for just before the holidays – and with lots of yummy treats… everything from chocolate covered raisins, clemmies, toasted coconut, lemon squares, lemon loaf, and lovely scones.
Today the important thing we learned is to never play on kangaroo. Apparently it’s nasty. We played with Jennifer’s new to her home-made pod and finally got Alex happy and smiling up into it, played around with a back carry using a Tula (and sorry we didn’t get to practice more!) and met new friends. Including a mom who may come back as she needs help with her Bjorn.
We also got to play with a handwoven TieLark wrap that is recently fresh off the loom and made locally. It was brought in by Bernadeth, who with her friend has started this company. You may recall awhile back that I posted their funding video.
For those having issues nursing, a new to us resource was discovered called Ottawa Breastfeeds. For a list of services and clinics check out their website at:
And I got to hold LOTS and LOTS of babies, and get lovely toddler smiles. What better thing can there be this close to the holidays? Except hanging out and meeting great people like we did today… We compared holiday traditions, and discussed everything from nursing issues, to fiesty interfering relatives, and wished everyone a Happy Hannukah and Merry Christmas. Happy holidays everyone!
November 27, 2014
Thank you to everyone who came today, it was a great meeting. We had some friends come back to group on another maternity leave (yay!) and we got to talking about how expressing yourself is important, especially in relation to a poor prenatal and birth experience. Jennifer is extremely active with ICANN and one of their goals is to provide support for mothers healing from caesareans. I strongly recommend tapping into this resource, the next meeting is in a few weeks at the Ottawa Integrative Health Centre (OIHC) Wednesday December 10, 2014, at 7pm at 1129 Carling Ave. For more information about what happens in meetings, please post them here or you can pm Jen directly.
Making sure you have the right support network in place once you’ve expressed your anger is important. A release of anger is cathartic if you can feel supported, but can make the anger increase if you feel like all you’re facing is isolation, loneliness, or a blank wall of indifference.
Today, we also talked about transitioning from one carrier style to another, practiced a front wrap cross carry (or three), and I even got to toss A— up into a quick ruck by jollying him into thinking it was exactly what he wanted. The truth is that sometimes we can use a variety of tricks to make it easier for your babe to accept being put in the carrier. But other times you have to decide: Your needs vs the child’s. If mobility, the need to get things done, etc, takes precedence over a temporary grumpiness on your baby’s part, then you win. It’s that simple. A bit of a bounce, some singing, a special toy can make the transition happen faster. My kid would eventually just grab my braid and cuddle it.
I also got to talk complete utter nonsense to N—, and talking nonsense to cranky babies can be so much fun (unless it’s like the millionth hour of no sleep). I got to determine the ENTIRE conversation and she got really serious and listened. Lol. I would be spooked, however, if she repeats it back to me verbatim in a few years.
November 13, 2014
We talked about a lot of different things during this meeting. The difficulties and isolation you can feel when on maternity leave, how to ask for support even if you are shy, your right to be supported, and different things you can do to find your tribe. Not everyone who babywears walks around all zen with the world, with hairy legs singing kumbaya, sacrificing all for the needs of their baby. The whole point of babywearing is to make it easier for you to feel empowered and be able to do what you love, not become someone you are not. Here are some options to combine what some of my moms love to do and still have their babes along for the ride.
City of Ottawa mom and baby bootcamp: https://apps102.ottawa.ca/Activities/ActivitiesCourseDetails.asp?cid=662441&LanguageID=1
And then party with baby which is much like Salsa Babies.