Featured on TheBabyWearer.com!

Today we are thrilled to have a feature interview on TheBabyWearer.com. For those who haven’t been there yet, this is one of the biggest and best forums around for baby wearing and natural mamas. Please take a look at out complete interview and leave us a comment if you have a chance right HERE!

The image to the left is what to look for on the right side of their home page:)

Next up in our babywearing reviews…. Rockin’ Baby Slings!

We are very excited to inform you about Rockin’ Baby Slings! These ring slings and pouches are so cute and stylish, they are likely to be the cutest thing you and your baby are wearing! I love the thick, high quality fabrics and the patterns are modern and beautiful. The slings and pouches consist of 6 yards of unique, modern textiles to make a mother feel beautiful and more like herself.

All the products are made in Richmond, Virginia, not abroad.  As well as having all of the sewing done by hard-working and well-paid moms and dads, Rockin Baby Slings are closely involved in the manufacturing of the product. Because of this they can be sure of the quality; actually seeing and touching our product, before it is shipped.

Rockin Baby Slings makes sure that all of the fabrics are made of natural fibers, breathable and of high-quality. They are all pre-washed in natural salt water to set the colors, prevent shrinkage, and soften the fabric.

All edges on the slings and pouches are overlocked then seamed twice to ensure no tearing or fraying at the edges.  They also use 40 lb weight thread as it increases the strength of the Rockin Baby Sling and Pouch. That means they are really strong.

The Rockin’ Baby Sling and Pouch have also been independently strength tested. The sling has been pull tested up to weights of 1100 pounds before the seams gave way, and the pouch to 460 pounds before the zippers began opening. The rings used for the Rockin’ Baby Slings are also tested by the manufacturer.

The reversible slings are made with 5 yards of fabric. The pouches are fully adjustable via zippers, reversible and made with 3 yards of fabric.

The majority of the slings and pouches are made of 100% cotton sateen or cotton poplin, or of a cotton/ linen blend.

Ok, as if these are not gorgeous enough, there is another hugely compelling reason to buy one of these ring slings and that is my favorite part about this stylish company. It’s the Mother to Mother program and it really is an amazingly generous program! Here is the lowdown.

With every sling/pouch you purchase, Rockin’ Baby will give a sling to a Mother in Haiti. As a Mother purchases a sling or a pouch for herself, she will be directly affecting the life of another Mother.  The women who will be receiving the donated slings will be fulfilled in so many ways.  By beginning this effort in Haiti, the women will be able to carry their babies to gather fresh water and food, while paying attention to their babies and breastfeeding them on demand.  Their attachment could be the difference between life and death.

How it impacts Mothers…

The short-term impacts on Haiti are that the women will be taught how to nurture, love, and breastfeed their babies.  They will understand that slings can be a part of your life, no matter how much they struggle with basic needs.  These babies and toddlers will immediately be calmer, more attached, and healthier, while the mothers will feel confident that their babies are the healthiest and happiest they can be.

The long-term impacts will be when enough women are using slings to carry their babies that it becomes part of their culture. Rockin’ Baby is motivated to help the women and babies of Haiti, and then to find another country that could use the same assistance with contributing to the attachment of mothers to their babies.  Of course, to see the infant mortality rate reduced would be the ultimate impact Rockin’ Baby could dream.

giving slings to mothers in Haiti

Wrap Spotlight :: Storchenwiege Leos

When I first decided to buy a woven wrap I scoured every website and vendor I could for information. I did see the Storchenwiege Leos, but I think I overlooked them because the product photography didn’t accurately reflect how beautiful they are in real life! When I recieved my Leo’s and began to photograph them for the site, I was really amazed by their beauty! The colors are rich and vibrant, the fabric is soft yet strong, and there is just a silky and rich quality to them that I loved. I also love the contrasting rails. This is a somewhat underrated wrap from what I have seen so if you are Storch-curious, you should definitely give a Leo a try!

These wraps are: Leo Cafe, Leo Turkis, Leo Bordeaux, and Leo Marine.

The first time I saw a woven wrap….

I was searching. I was searching for a carrier among what felt like thousands of options. This new parenthood this was pretty darn HARD! It felt like there were a thousand options for everything!! Why couldn’t it just be simple?? So I really did fall in love with wrapping the first time I saw it because it just looked so beautiful and stylish. The only problem was…. it also looked super HARD! There was no way I was going to be able to do something like that with my screaming (constantly crying) baby boy. No way, no how. Way too hard. Way too much fabric. Pretty much totally crazy.

But oh, it’s just so pretty…..Here is the photo I fell in :love: with. How cute is this mama?? It’s the Ellaroo Kristen and it can be found here.

ellaroo kristen blue and green woven wrap

Fast forward a few months later after buying/trying/returning every other carrier under the sun. I am still looking at this photo. So, I decide to go to a local baby wearing meeting finally. Just to see what these crazy people are up to with their yards of fabric and fancy oragami-like wrap tying methods.

When I finally tried my first FWCC (Front Wrap Cross Carry) I discovered…..

1. It is the most comfortable carrier I have ever tried.

and

2. It is NOT THAT HARD!

But it does take a little practice to discover the best method of getting that wrap on comfortably and quickly. I truthfully thank all the tutorials on YouTube and TheBabywearer.com for teaching me to wrap.

So really, can I ask you, what in life that is worthwhile does not take any practice at all?? Yes, it does take a little practice. Like, maybe once or twice a day for a week to be totally pro at a front carry. Yes, it takes a little longer to get a back carry down and to feel comfortable doing it alone. But once you get it, it is oh so worth it. And oh so pretty, cute, and dare I say… STYLISH? That’s right people, that is what I’m saying. Give it a shot and give it a real chance or you could be missing out is all I’m saying. If you really don’t like it after that, there are other options that are also awesome. Carriers like Mei Tai’s (“May Tie”), and backpack style carriers are also super easy for dads.

So let’s just say that you end up having 3 kids. That is at least 6 years of comfortable and hands free baby wearing with a woven wrap (or other carrier of your choice:)! It’s such an amazing carrier as well as parenting tool, I say it’s well worth it.

A little side note. Occasionally I hear parents say, “I tried that and my baby hated it!” Now, I suppose this could be a genuine possibility and might be the case for some babies. I apologize in advance if this is the case with your child….. but I have to admit that it is so hard to believe! It seems that this could be the result of a parent fumbled wrap job. Sorry! It’s when you don’t really know how to comfortably, quickly, swiftly, get the wrap and baby on and ….surprise! The baby doesn’t like being fumbled like that! So like I said, it takes a little practice.

The second thing I occasionally hear is, “My baby doesn’t like to be wrapped tightly to me and restrained.” Well, the goal of wrapping is not to saran wrap your baby to yourself! It’s a comfortable seat for them to sit snugly against you with arms cozily (not mummified!) in the wrap, or with arms out if they choose. And babies do love very much to be snuggled up warm and cozy to you:)

I guess my point is that I personally found that wrapping practice and perseverance was one of the best things I did as a parent and I’m glad I learned. If you have tried wrapping with a woven wrap just doesn’t work for you, then there are lots of other carriers out there that can be equally comfortable with no learning curve. I also LOVE my ring slings and SSC’s (soft structured carriers like a Mei Tai or buckle/backpack carrier) and could not live without those. So here’s to finding the perfect thing to work for you. I do hope you find that amazing level of comfort and coziness with your carrier because it’s a pretty great feeling.

San Diego Babywearer’s Photo Fundraiser!

Recently, I had the pleasure of donating babywearing photo sessions to our San Diego Babywearing group in order to fund the growth of our lending library! In case you didn’t know, I am a photographer- and now a recent baby-prenuer;) This is so awesome for new moms and moms new to babywearing because a big library means that they can try so much before deciding to purchase. I can’t tell you how much money I have spent on the WRONG carriers! And, how many trips to the store my sweet dear husband has made for me to return things that didn’t for, or that just didn’t feel safe. The photo fundraiser was a huge success! Mamas were allowed to purchase a slot for only $25 and they received a disk of professional photos…. not a bad deal! Now our library is pretty amazing too.

I shot sessions on Saturday and Sunday along with the very talented Amber Robertson and we spent the weekend getting awesome babywearing and family photos. Hopefully Amber can come on over to this thread to post some of her favorites too, in the meantime, here are the ones I loved! Just wanted to share what is going on in our local baby wearing group!

**I would also like to give a special thanks to all these wonderful moms who allowed me to use these images as part of this blog’s masthead! Beautiful images are the foundation of good design and I couldn’t have done this without them!

Our First Giveaway! $100 to WovenWraps.com!

It was so much fun to do our first giveaway on Facebook! It actually started out as an tagging game with the number of tags you added to our Woven Wraps announcement being your entry….. but it turns out that FB frowns upon anything that uses their functionality in a contest. Party Poopers! I thought it was fun while it lasted! So we switch gears and all you had to do to enter was to sign up for our newsletter. So super easy and honestly, why would you not want to sign up?? There are exclusive coupon codes in every newsletter that are just for subscribers so it’s really a winning situation no matter what

I would like to congratulate our winner, Alison Dvorak, and thank everyone for entering! We used a random number generator to pick the winner and that number turned out to be #78! Congrats Alison and happy shopping:)

TAHOE! :: The first Exclusive Girasol by WovenWraps.com ::

Editor note: The following article was published on the site when we sold products directly. It is here for historical purposes. These wraps are no longer sold.

Exclusive Girasols are wraps specially woven for a particular store. What’s a Girasol you ask?? Pronounced “Geer-a-sol”, this is a weaver who allows special order weaves. The company is based in Germany but the wraps are woven in South America. This means that *usually* you can’t find it anywhere else other than in the store that created the wrap. They are limited edition woven wraps that will only be around for a limited time. For the most part, when they are gone, they are gone. This makes a few of the most sought after wraps much more valuable than retail. These woven wraps are soft, flannel smooth, supportive, and great for newborns all the way to toddlers.

I am so super excited, proud, overjoyed, to present to you WovenWraps.com’s very first (of many) Exclusive Girasol.  It is called Tahoe and it is so appropriate for many reasons. Lake Tahoe is a place that is very special to us as a family. It’s where Ben took his first steps. It’s where I finally learned to snowboard “for reals”;) And it’s where the idea of; and the commitment to; WovenWraps.com began and developed. On drives to the mountain every morning my husband and I conceptualized and dreamed. On the lifts we imagined the possibilities. On hikes, with Benji safely snuggled in a wrap on my back, we were thankful for the way babywearing made our lives easier and better. Does this sound dramatic? Maybe…. but it really does touch a special place in my heart to think about the beginning of this store and the about the wrap that I promised I would make a reality, woven and named after the beautiful colors of the mountain lake town.

So without further ado….TAHOE!

Babywearing is Beautiful… The Official Launch of WovenWraps.com!

I am delighted to announce the opening of WovenWraps.com! WovenWraps.com is a new online source for information on natural woven baby carriers and slings. We scour the internet to bring you high quality woven wraps, slings, and carriers which are showcased beautifully. You will love the website’s easy navigation.

We are so excited to share our motto: Babywearing is Beautiful.

Enjoy!

Babywearing Beginnings

I think I came to babywearing a little bit late. At least late for me, since I needed to learn how to do this in the hospital! Seriously. There should be babywearing mamas marching around the hospital teaching new moms how to wrap up that newborn before they even get home! Let’s just say that my first son (who I love dearly!) was a handful. I think some people call it “high needs”. My husband called it many things….. “birth control” and “daddy’s little burden” among the top few;) But we got through it! I was lucky enough to learn to wrap (first with a ringsling and then with a woven wrap or simple piece of cloth) by attending a local babywearing meeting when Ben was 5 months old. Learning to wrap has to be one of the top things I have learned to do for my baby. It’s right up there with EC (elimination communication) and breastfeeding! That warm, snuggly feeling of having a sweet, happy, content, sleeping, cooing, (you get the picture!) baby on your chest next to your heart is absolutely melting.

So needless to say, wrapping and babywearing in general has given me a lot back. Lot’s of memories, lots of love, and also lots of camaraderie with fellow babywearing mamas. Now, with the start of this blog, The Willow Tree, and also the beginning of WovenWraps.com (the woven wrap store) and Carrier Classifieds (the used carrier marketplace) I hope to give a little back too. My purpose here is to spread the babywearing love. To let mamas know that they have great options to keep their hands free. To educate on the right ergonomic way for a baby to be carried so he/she does not have to dangle from their crotch or lie flat and alone in a stroller. I want to bring this art into the mainstream so mamas all over can enjoy this amazing feeling of attachment and bonding with their little ones. And also so they can just have both hands to make a sandwich again!