Category Archives: babywearing

What Baby Carrier should I buy? and why?

What Baby Carrier should I buy? and why?

One thing that a lot of moms register for when they become pregnant, is a Baby Carrier. It is kind of a must in my book but most moms do it, because… well, its expected. Right? At least that is how I was when I became pregnant with our 1st born Caleb.

Babywearing, what to buy and why.and what did I register for?

A baby bjorn.

or a snuggi of course.

Those are the go to carriers of most new moms. I’m not sure why. Price may be a factor… popularity via target, babies r’ us or walmart? I for one knew nothing about babywearing when I had my first baby… and really it wasn’t until my 2nd son came along that I began to really learn more about this world of babywearing.

It is so much more than just carrying a child around to get them out of your arms.

Babywearing is very special and can create such a special bonding time. I adore it and encourage any mom I know to invest in a good baby carrier.

I truly cannot imagine not wearing my children. Once my boys get to big to wear, I miss it greatly. It is a time in their life and mine, that I adore.

I thought though I would address a sensitive subject here…. one that I am a bit vocal in… Over time I have found it hard to address this topic in person or directly to someone, without coming across as offensive. Even though those are never my intentions.

So before I get started…

Let me just say that everyone has to make decisions on their own.

No one has the perfect solution.

and I for one am not judging or thinking poorly of anyone who chooses otherwise.

I think babywearing is beautiful and love any time I see a mom doing it.

Even if I disagree with their carrier choice. :)

… but I want to talk today about some carriers that I feel are not the best for our infants… and explain why.

What every mom needs to know about babywearing and what carriers to buy.

— So that Snuggi that I owned with my first born son.

As popular as it was, it truly is not the best carrier out there. For mom or baby.

Here is why….

— Take notice of the legs. No support.

Why it is important to support a babies hips/legs during babywearing. Read what not to use and what to use when it comes to babywearing.Baby should always have their legs at hip level. When you look at an image of a baby in a Bjorn or carrier similar, their legs are dangling. This does not properly support their legs. There has been medical research proven by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute that has shown how this discourages proper hip development. It isn’t something other baby carrier companies are making up in order to sell their carrier. It is proven medically to cause harm. This is something I had no idea about when I registered and used mine…

The only way to give baby proper support of the legs, is to have the fabric on the carrier cover their entire back… and go up onto their thigh area, to almost the backside of the knee.

— It is not comfortable. For you or baby.

I was at aldi the other day and saw a mom wearing her 2 year old (or close to it) in a forward facing carrier. As she bent over to pick up the eggs from the display, the toddler almost fell out and hit her head. This not only causes discomfort for baby but also for moms back. When you lean forward and baby leans forward it is doing no good in the area of proper weight distribution. Trust me, if you wear a baby in a full supporting carrier, with proper placement, you will see a world of difference. Little did I know this with my 1st born. When I finally found a carrier that had proper support, my whole idea on babywearing changed. It was actually enjoyable AND comfortable then.

— Would you want something grabbing your girly or dude parts?

I don’t know about you… but one time I had to put a jump harness on when I used this huge trampoline thing in a mall… and as it pulled me up, it held me by my girly parts. I remember thinking how incredibly uncomfortable it was after just a few jumps, it actually began to cause soreness between my legs. Beautiful image I know… but imagine how this feels for baby… as he is dangling in the carrier. Especially for little boys.

— Support that neck… and head

While this isn’t so much important for infants who have great neck control… it is very important for tiny babies. Smaller babies should never be placed in a forward facing position that does not support their neck and heads.

There are actually a few other reasons I could probably go on listing about this topic… but to me those are the most important to consider.

I hear a lot of people say to me when I mention the carriers I use, that they don’t like that you cant wear the baby “front facing out“… They say that their baby likes to see what is going on… and that facing inward would not allow them to do so.

I get that… some babies are super curious and yes, sometimes they do want to see what is going on….

Can I be honest though.

I have had 4 children…

I baby wore 3 out of those 4.

My first born I wore maybe twice, because the snuggi I had was so uncomfortable for me to wear, I hated it… Out of the 3 children I wore OFTEN, I never once had a child really protest about facing inward.

At a certain age I do remember my boys getting curious and wanting to see more… when this time came, I began to wear them on my back. This allowed for a little bit more visual for them.

I hope this post comes across as non-judgmental… I don’t want anyone to think I think poorly of them or that I think they wish harm on their babies. I don’t think those things and hopefully the fact I use to use a snuggi expresses that a little bit more. I was there one day too. :)

Also before I get into some “Carrier” option chat… lets go over some…


Benefits of Babywearing

Cause lets be honest. You don’t do it just to do it. There really are proven benefits to wearing your babies.


1. No bulky strollers and gained confidence

Benefits of BabywearingI cannot tell you the freedom that comes with going into a busy mall wearing a baby, rather than pushing a stroller. Such freedom!! When you have a bunch of other kids to deal with as well, the last thing you want is to deal with hauling giant strollers everywhere. Then again, some moms like always having a stroller and thats totally fine. We each have our likes and dislikes… There are days I prefer my stroller to a carrier… but more times than not, I chose to babywear.

It also gives you a confidence in knowing your baby is so close. You are able to read their cues… sense when they are fussy, hungry, tired… and yes, while you can do this from a far… I found keeping them close, always made that easier.

2. Keeps baby close to milk source

Now even if you do not nurse… I find that having a baby near a mothers beating heart, is so comforting to that infant. Babies sense their mother regardless of nursing them or not. Their smell… their skin. I have found when I kept my babies close, they were so much more laid back and calm… especially as newborns-young infant.

You also could nurse in a carrier too, which some love to do. I for one never did.

3. Hands free time

hands free babywearing

This is an obvious benefit :) – I cannot count how many times I put one of my boys into a carrier so I could cook a meal! I did this often… and it saved me some sanity. I also baby wore a lot while cleaning. When my infant wouldnt settle in a crib or baby swing, the carrier always did the trick.


4. No Flat Head

Infants spend A LOT of time laying down. I remember my first born son Caleb had the hardest time with his head getting flat. I didnt babywear him… and he was a back sleeper. Any time he was out, he was in a bucket seat… or stroller. That dude laid so much on his back that his poor head began to flatten. This is a huge problem with many infants… Thankfully with Caleb I was able to use a sleep positioner and it helped to reshape his head. My other 3 boys NEVER had this issue. I firmly believe its because I wore them CONSTANTLY and they didn’t sit in something all day long.


5. Bonding

Benefits to babywearingThe image to the right of my oldest wearing my youngest in a wrap, is evidence of how precious babywearing can be. Not just for mom but the entire family. My oldest loved wearing his baby brother… Babywearing also gives dad a great opt. to bond with, while holding their infant close.
SO. Lets talk options.

This is where it can become very overwhelming….

I am going to post a few carriers I suggest. Some cost more than others… Do not let that sway you. You do not have to spend a fortune… there are patterns to create and sew your own baby carriers (I’ve done it!)… there are lots of great etsy shops to buy from… you can even find many of the carriers I will mention on ebay used for very little money.

Before I list these off… I’ll go ahead and let those reading know, in case it comes out down the road… that I am the photographer for Boba. Two of the carriers I will mention below come from this company.

However, I do not make a dime off mentioning their carrier. I am hired to do their photography and nothing more. They do not pay me to mention their carrier to other moms. I am not an affiliate…. so even if you click over to their site to purchase a carrier, I don’t get a dime.

I truly just love the carrier and the function of it. It is probably one of the best I have ever used… and I’ve used a lot.

Babywearing FAQ. What to buy, what not to buy.

1. The Boba 4G

This is the company I do photography for. I’ve been their photographer for years now… but I have been using their carriers since the beginning! Right around 7 years now. Great, great company. Amazing carriers that hold up to years of abuse. You will really only ever need one.

The Boba 4G to me is the carrier to get if you only want one. It allows you to wear baby from newborn to age 3 or so. It is simple to use. It is a one size fits all. It can fit a petite mom like myself (I am around 115lbs and 5 foot 2 inches). Yet it can fit my husband who is 6 foot and 220lbs. So it is a great all around carrier for both mom and dad.

It is VERY supportive. Great for hiking, church, mall trips or even in the home.

You can wear it on the back and front.

I cannot speak enough about how much I love this carrier.

Feel free to watch THIS VIDEO on my youtube. It shows me putting Reed into the Boba on my back in about 30 seconds. :)

& some man crush photos… I love a man babywearing :) – This is my husband Travis wearing our 3rd born Owen. Who is now almost 5! :( goes to fast….

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2. Mei Tai Carrier


Babywearing in a Mei Tai Carrier

I have used a few brands of the Mei Tai style carrier. I wont bother listing them all… One very popular one is the Baby Hawk Mei Tai. They are a bit pricey though but do function well… My mei tai from Babyhawk is many years old. Its very soft and works really well. It has held up to many kids now… So if you have some budget to spend, that is one I can recommend that will last. The Mei Tai is really easy to use, although some people think it looks complicated. It isn’t. I for one really like Mei Tais. They are really comfortable to wear on the back. I also find that the ability to tie a knot in the front with the straps, helps to hide any “new mom tummy” you may be battling. Even the thinnest of moms battle this, esp. when babywearing. :) So a lot of women do find that having the straps is more comfortable. I also do find as a petite mom, that I can get the carrier HIGHER UP on my back with the Mei Tai, than I can the Boba. So I do enjoy that about them. It just has a bit more learning curve… I have found a lot of men do not like them because they involve “tying” something onto you. If your husband is like my husband, they will like buckles more (which the Boba 4G above has). Still, Mei Tais are great and I would highly recommend them.

There are also lots of great tutorials on how to make a Mei Tai on Pinterest.

Or look on Etsy to find some Mei Tai shops.

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3. Ring Sling

These have a bad rep… after some infants suffocated in them. The ring slings sold in department stores do not come close to the awesomeness a ring sling made properly can bring. Do keep in mind any time you babywear, in any carrier… your infants head should be close enough that you could essential kiss it. You do not want your baby to ever have their face buried down where you can’t see it.

I have owned many ring slings! My favorite was created by a work at home mom. I purchased it off etsy for like $25.00. I LOVE IT!! She sadly does not make them anymore. If SHE EVER DOES, you better believe ill let my readers know… cause her slings and the way she has designed the shoulder, are perfection if you ask me. I cannot praise her slings enough.

You can find lots of great ring slings on Etsy. This one looked pretty good (note: I have never used that shops slings, but from the look of them, it looks great.)

One thing to look for in a ring sling is a pleated shoulder, or shoulder design that CUPS your shoulder well. Also always make sure the sling designer is using SLING RINGS. DO not buy a ring sling that does not use sling rings, unless you intend to replace the rings (which ill talk about in a sec). Sling rings are tested and seamless. They were created to babywear with. You do not want to buy a sling that does not use these. Also I highly recommend LINEN, cotton muslin *single layer* or Batik fabric. Its light weight and thin. Not a huge fan of double layer slings or silk.

Ring Slings, what to look for?A popular company that does have beautiful and soft slings as well is Sakura Bloom. This one is very popular but also WAY overpriced (if you want my opinion). I own one [that I got 50% off years ago] and can honestly say my inexpensive/affordable $25.00 WAHM ring sling [featured in the cream and reddish tye dye pattern, both made by the same mom] beat the Sakura Bloom any day. So just because it cost more, does not mean its better. Look around and have fun shopping for a great sling. For those who are sakura bloom fans, this is in no way meant to down Sakura Bloom. They truly are beautifully crafted slings and so soft. I do love my linen one from them… for those on a budget though, these really aren’t ideal.

Another option for a ring sling too btw is the Lite-on-Shoulder ring sling. It has some padding in the shoulder, but not a lot. Its isn’t overly bulky. I used one for a while and actually really liked the light padding it had on the shoulder and rails. It was thin enough that adjusting it wasn’t hard. HOWEVER.

DO NOT buy this sling if you do not have the intention of switching out its rings.

The rings it comes with are CHEAP and thin…They don’t adjust easily because of their size. However, the base and design isn’t bad. So, what I did was I had my mom who is great at sewing, undo the shoulder and replace the ring with a Medium Sized SLING RING. Once this was done, this made for an amazingly comfortable sling. So if you can sew, I think this is a great option too. It also has a small closed tail. Which was nice for adjusting and less fabric to deal with. If you go to the amazon listing you will actually see a photo of me wearing Taite years back. :-) *Pre-sling-ring change –Here is the photo using it with the replaced rings (bad photo of me, for you, ill show it haha)* – Again those rings come from SLING RINGS. Very inexpensive to buy. I prefer aluminum ones over their nylon too.

I find having a ring sling great for quick trips into a store. Church. Events. Post office. That sorta thing. I would never recommend a mom wear their infant for longer than an hour in a ring sling. Not because its bad for baby but because it is terrible for moms shoulder and neck. Because it does not evenly distribute the weight onto both shoulders, it really can become uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. However, for shorter periods (20-40 minutes), they are great!! I used mine to many times to count :)

Also I asked my Chiropractor years ago to look at my Ring Sling and Boba… and he agreed that to use either of those carriers is much better for our backs than to just hold an infant on the hip. He was very impressed with the support from all the carriers I brought in. Yes, Im that mom. I showed our chiropractor baby carriers. :)

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4. A Wrap

These are wonderful but have a high learning curve. I love my Boba Wrap and cant imagine not having it when I have newborns…. its my go to for ages newborn-4 mo. of age… They are a bit harder to deal with though. Because of the longer fabric, a lot of people don’t like this.

I will say, if you master using a wrap, you will swear by them. :)

I have a Boba Wrap. I have also used a Moby (this one is really popular in dept. stores). Between the two, Boba wins. Much better fabric. Better hold. Better feel. I’m not just saying that because I do their photos either. Trust me!

Pro babywearers rave about Didymos (or woven style) wraps too btw. That is a whole new level of babywearing however… so I wont get into all that. :)

…. alright.

I think that sums it up :)

There are obviously lots of other carriers out there. Ergo, Catbird, Tula, etc..etc… so many!!

From all the many I have tried, these are my favorite.

So if you are a newly preggo mom registering for a Carrier. Check out some of the ones I mentioned above. Also, Boba sells their carriers at Target as well as on Amazon! So lots of places to register for those at.

Feel free to comment with any questions… and I leave you with a cutie babywearing his stuff toy and skylander toys. Happy Babywearing!

What baby carrier should I buy? and why? Here is a list explaining benefits and options.

What baby carrier should I buy? and why? Here is a list explaining benefits and options.

All the images above are of myself or my husband babywearing our children over the years. :)
Such awesome memories! I love looking back on these photos….

To those wondering how I afforded so many carriers over the years…. One cool thing about being a blogger is you get a lot of freebies to try. Many of these carriers I got for free over my years of blogging. Which was really fun, because I got to try lots of different designs and find which ones I liked best. A few of them I did purchase myself… but many I did not.

I was not paid by ANY of the above companies to mention them in any way what so ever. I chose the carriers I mentioned above because after 8 years of babywearing, they are my go to. There are lots of other brands and options available… feel free to look around. Also google and look for a Babywearing Lending Library in your area. Many times you can rent these carriers to try and find a fit for you. Then purchase the one you like best. :)

Another great site to check out as well is TheBabyWearer.com – sign up to be a member for free and you can search lots of listings for great baby carriers gently used. I purchased a few of my nicer carriers from this site for much less than I would have paid retail.

Just keep in mind the design of the carrier and make sure it supports the babies spine/hips and legs well.

Happy Babywearing!

Must Have Things – for Pregnancy, Newborn & Up

Must Have Things – for Pregnancy, Newborn & Up

Can I admit something to you? I kinda sorta… some what, just a little bit… miss the newborn/baby stage. My husband would be like “you do!?” :) – haha… but really, you do miss it once its gone. To a degree. I will say I enjoy my full nights sleep now that Reed sleeps amazingly at night. Still, I hate how fast they grow.

I see often baby items advertised on facebook… or web ads… and when I see them, I would just think, “Mom’s really don’t need that….

Well, I am here to finally put together a list of MUST HAVES for pregnancy and beyond :)

I’m calling this list….

musthaves

SO lets get started :)

A list of Pregnancy Must HavesPregnancy Must

Bellabands ~ I swear by these. They extended my wardrobe many months and made it possible to wear my regular jeans and pants throughout majority of my pregnancy. I have had the same Bellabands since my first born Caleb. Those same bands lasted me 4 pregnancies! I tried other off brand ones along the way and none of them were as good as the Bellaband. These also make for great use after baby is born. Helps hide the mum tum while you nurse… or helps you fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans sooner. I cant speak highly enough about these. Love them! My favorite color ones were white/black/gray. :) I also liked the ones without the lace.

A Birth Plan ~ While you can’t really PURCHASE this item :) – I felt it worth mentioning. Don’t go into birth blindly. One thing I regret greatly with my 1st two babies was going into the birth experience with them, without any plan. Be informed with the drugs they intend to use during pregnancy… the risk, procedures and options you have as a mother. Also be informed on what they intend to do to you and your newborn after baby is born. One movie I really enjoyed watching was on netflix called “The Business of being Born” – while parts of it are a bit “eh…” a lot of the information they shared during that documentary really opened my eyes to a lot of things. While ultimately the “important” piece to the end of any childbirth, is a healthy baby and safe mom… how baby “gets out” doesn’t really matter in the end… but I will say, from experiencing both medicated and unmediated births throughout my 4 babies… I am thankful to have experienced both ends of the spectrum… and thankful for knowing more going into my last two birth experiences. It was good to know and helped me a lot.

Maternity Portraits ~ I know money is tight for many….(so there) but some way, some how, get maternity portraits taken. You will cherish those images as will your children. Its worth putting yourself out there and getting in front of the camera. Promise :)

Tunic Tops ~ Buy larger tops or tunic style tops to extend your wardrobe a bit. No need to buy super expensive maternity tops. I always just purchased a size or two up from my normal size and it worked just fine. Some got a little short towards the end of my pregnancies… but almost always I was able to stay in regular style clothes for majority of all my pregnancies. I did invest in some maternity jeans during the “larger” months :)

A list of Newborn Must Haves

Newborn/Infant Must

Miracle Blanket ~ Some babies like to be swaddled. Some do not. 3 out of my 4 loved it! I tried swaddling with normal swaddling blankets… I tried velcro ones… and nothing comes close to the awesome swaddle magic of the Miracle Blanket. By far the best swaddling blanket around.

A Baby Swing ~ A lot of moms are against things like this… because they feel “you should hold the baby” or give baby full attention, more often than not. Well, you know… thats all fine and dandy if you have just “1” kid :) – times those kiddos a few times and you’ll greatly appreciate a good baby swing… I loved having a baby swing with all of my boys. I had the type that swung both side to side and front to front. Mine was a Fisher Price. I borrowed one from a friend with baby Reed… I had sold the one I used with baby Owen/Taite and Caleb prior to us moving to Georgia, but it was the same brand, just different print.

Bouncy Seat ~ Im not sure the proper term for this item… but mine was one of those papasan bouncy seat things you get from Babie’s R’ Us or even Walmart I believe carries them now. Its a soft seat that vibrates. I used this thing constantly for the 1st 6 months or so with my babies. It was great to use outdoors… indoors… and my favorite use, setting it in the bathroom while I took a shower. Kept baby close and cozy while mom got 5 minutes of “shower” time. :)

A list of baby must have items - from a mother of 4

Wubbanub ~ This amazing little invention is a God send at 3am. Tired of the pacifier bouncing out of your little ones mouth? Buy up one of these, you’ll love it! I have used wubbanubs for 3 of my boys. Can’t speak highly enough of them.

Aden + Anais Blankets ~ The most awesome blankets. While I still believe the Miracle Blanket is the one to have for swaddling. The Aden + Anais is also great for swaddling but more so just a great blanket for every day use… For the carseat. For the crib… I also used this some to cover up while nursing. I wasn’t able to nurse long but when I did nurse, having a light weight blanket like this was a must. These blankets hold up to a ton of abuse too. Reed who is over age 2 now uses these to sleep. He calls them his Binket and he adores them. I have 4 and use every single one to this day. (Note: Good book suggestion that talks about blanket’s… which are a great tool to use to transition baby from a pacifier – worked with all my boys. This book is a favorite of mine and has been for all four of my boys)

Pack-n-Play ~ I have had the same Graco Pack-n-Play since 2004!! :) Having one of these has been a must for us. In fact one of our boys, our 2nd, never even slept in a crib. He used a pack-n-play his entire newborn-baby stage. We moved 2 times between the time he was born and 6 mo old… so we just never set him up a crib. We use this packnplay a lot for travel as well. It has survived air plane travel, many hotels, lots of visits to grandparents… and so on.

Baby Monitor ~ Currently I am using one by Levana. Its a video monitor. Although, I have used others without video and they worked just as well. Find one that has a good range and clear sound. I am not brand specific on this one. The Levana does have amazing customer support though and the monitor does have great features. So that is one to look into if you are considering video monitoring.

Homedics Sound Machine ~ Buy a sound machine or invest in a good sleep white noise app. This homedics sound machine (I actually got mine from walmart, not amazon), It had a white noise sound that helped my last baby sleep like nothing else. I would even take it with me when we traveled. Another option would be a box fan. Only problem with this is they are rather large, so traveling with a box fan isnt as easy. Also they can blow cold air into the room which isnt always ideal either.

A list of baby must have items written by a mom of fourA Baby Carrier ~ I am going to list off 3 below… I suggest all 3 :) – but if I had to choose “only one” – I would choose the 1st one I list.

>> Boba 4G ~ I could go on and on about baby carriers I like. There are SO MANY to choose from. I have tried Mei Tais, countless structured carriers, including ERGO, Bjorn, Snugi, etc… and out of all the carriers I have tried the Boba 4G takes the prize as the best. So easy to use. So comfortable. Super simple to adjust. Fits mom and dad… or even your 10 year old ;) – it can fit a newborn – age 3 easily. It can go on the back and front. It is machine washable. It also holds up so well and can be used for countless children, year after year. Feel free to use “andreawood10″ over at www.bobafamily.com for 10% off.

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>> Ring Sling ~ I love the Boba 4G above but also really love having a ring sling. I use a few brands… Sakura Bloom is a popular one and one I do own… however it is expensive. When I purchased mine it was 50% off. That is the ONLY reason I purchased it. IMO humble opinion it is not worth $100+ dollars… One of my favorite ring slings was actually one from a work at home mom named Kim. It cost me $25 bucks. She sadly doesn’t make them any more. Feel free to check out etsy.com for ring slings. There are so many great ones out there. Just look for one with linen or muslin fabric… or a thin soft batik. No double layer slings!! trust me, its to thick of a fabric and hard to adjust. Ring slings are the carrier for quick trips in and out… or for those times you have to carry baby and need some extra support, without putting on a full on backpack style carrier.

Baby Must Haves

>> Boba Wrap ~ I know everyone getting to this bullet is going to think im some sort of affiliate for Boba. Note to all those reading. I’m not :) – although I would be if they had an affiliate program. I do Boba’s photography though and therefore I am even more so fond of this company. I have used Boba’s since before I did their photography. That is how they found me, because of my love for babywearing… and so I don’t think my being their photography really sways my opinion much. Their carriers really are great.

Luna Lullaby ~ Ditch the BOPPY and get a Luna Lullaby. I used a Boppy with my 1st 3 babies and never really liked it. The Luna Lullaby I got with my 4th born and I just love it! The most AMAZING Boppy style pillow. You can actually nurse with it, without having to prop 4 other pillows under it. It also makes for a great sleeping pillow during your pregnancy.

Newborn Mitts ~ Before you go to the hospital make sure you have some mitts for your newborn. They are great at preventing cuts on your sweet newborns face. Another great option would be Jammies with the glove built in or onesies with the glove built in. Either one is great to have for the 1st few weeks at least.

Wood High Chair ~ I have had the same high chair since we had our first born Caleb. Its an Eddie Bauer High Chair, solid oak. I LOVE IT, although at times I hated how heavy it was. Still, to this day, that thing has held up so well. So I highly recommend WOODEN high chairs over plastic any day.

Good Stroller ~ I have tried so many strollers… and always found myself back to a Bob. These cost an arm and a leg but are the best of the best. They glide so easily and fold up very well. I purchased my Bob off of yardsale page on facebook. It was half what you pay new. My friend has one and has had 7 kids. She has used the same bob stroller with all 7 of her babies! This thing is built to last! So if you want to invest in a great all around stroller plus jogger, this is it.

Good Diaper Bag ~ This is all a matter of personal preference. I’ve tried many bags… but the skiphop Studio Tote is my favorite. I love it so much I actually purchased 2… although recently I gave one of those to a friend :) – I found one of my skiphops at TJMaxx for $30.00 – and another one I found on craigslist. Buying it new is high… but I got to say, its one amazing bag. Id probably pay full price now that I know how great it is.

Cloth Diapers ~ This is totally up to the individual… I have cloth diapered 2 of my boys almost 100%. My 4th baby though I only cloth diapered a few months… then life got real with 4 boys… and I could not keep up with it… and all the other laundry I had to do. For the two boys I did use cloth diapers with, I loved it. It without a doubt saved us money. I used Bum Genius One Size Pocket Diapers with them. They work great and held up really well. Mine came from Cottonbabies.com – another alternative that Ive heard lots of praise about would be the Kawaii Diapers. I have not tried those personally but have friends who love them.

Baby Must Haves

Baltic Amber Necklace~ I swear by these. I used them with my last 3 kids and all 3 of them have been great teethers. There is lots to chat about in regards to this item but feel free to check out Hazelaid to learn more about baltic amber and its benefits.

Carseat ~ This is an obvious. :) You have to have a carseat. I used two brands in the infant carrier style carseat (the kind that snaps into most strollers) I used a graco with my 1st two and then a Chicco keyfit with my last two. BOTH IMO were comparable. If I had to choose, I would choose the Graco though because the price is much less. Once baby is to big for that seat, Im a huge fan of the Diono Radian seats. Very expensive but well worth it. They allow for rear facing longer and just over all work very well. Also they have a lot longer life than most carseats (yes carseats expire). They are also very narrow, so if you plan to have lots of kids close together… this seat will save you some room.

Baby Must Haves

Infant Gym ~ I don’t buy many toys for my babies… but an infant gym is something I had with all 4 of my boys. They are great and travel well.

Natural Wash ~ Be sure to always read the ingredients on the back of a baby shampoo bottle. There are lots of great natural alternatives you can use over the popular Johnson and Johnson brand. :)

Baby Must Haves

1 year+ – Toddler Years

I wasn’t sure how to set this category apart from the “infant” one… but I had a few items to list that really didn’t apply to infants… so I thought I would separate these items from the above list. The image to the right btw is for laughs. Reed was not harmed in the taking of that photo :) – but I found it summed up life with four boys wells in a humored way.

Good 1st Walker Shoes ~ I personally love Stride Rite Shoes or Pediped. Any SOFTER SOLE shoe is great for new walkers. Baby/Toddlers have chubby feet… I just find it very uncomfortable to shove those chubby feet into a thick soled hard shoe. Thankfully for me, Ive passed on my Pedipeds to 4 children :) – if you do not have the money for a Pediped new, check out ebay. There are lots listed there. I also have found 4 pairs of my striderite shoes used at Thrift shops for under $2.00 each. Theres no reason to spend a fortune on baby shoes… but I do highly recommend these two brands.

Myself Belt ~ Once you potty train, belts are nice to have. Seems like once your tot leaves the diaper world, their butt gets dramatically smaller :) – which results in the need for a belt. The Myself Belt is my favorite. A little pricey, but works great and holds up very well. Anything that can help assist my child in putting their own pants on and give me ease as well, is worth a few extra dollars. This company also recently got featured on the shark tank. I found them probably 8 years ago tho! I’ve loved them since.

Washable Bib ~ I got some washable bibs years ago from Walmart that were food catcher bibs. I have yet to see these there since. I found them on ebay tho! These bibs are butt ugly, well not butt, but pretty tacky… I am willing to look pass the tacky bright designs because of how well they function. In fact I ordered 2 last night after writing this post. :)

baby must haves

Toilet Seat Topper ~ Ok, not sure what you call this… but when it comes time to train those cute babies to use the potty. Invest in a toilet topper for your toilet. While the infant toilets you can buy with all the bells and whistles seems like the right thing to buy for tiny hineys.. trust me, its a waste of money. All 3 of my older boys who are now all potty trained (thank the Lord), used this sort of toilet seat to train with… and it works so well. No more DUMPING poop from one toilet to another… no more washing out little bowls of urine. This type of seat also begins to help train your child to use a “big person” toilet faster… and makes the transition much easier. (The image of my little one on the toilet was taken about 6 years ago. That is my 2nd born Taite, who is now 8! I am sure he very must dislikes me for posting that now haha)

Waterproof Mattress Covers ~ This was an addition I added on after posting this originally. My friend Lis mentioned it in the comments and I couldn’t believe I left this out. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST!!! We have waterproof covers for all of our boys beds. From Crib on up. Even if a kid is potty trained, they still have accidents. So buy up a water proof cover from the start for all your infant/children’s beds. You can find them anywhere.

Now… I think that is it :)

I think :)

I tell you, it took me FOREVER to finish this list.
I wanted to make sure I steered everyone in the right direction :)

To end… here is one more list :)



The “not so” must list for Pregnancy-Toddlerhood

Wipe Warmer ~ Unless you have no heat in your home, you don’t need this. Ive had 4 babies and not once did I need my wipes warm. :)

Bottle Warmer ~ There is a very real and easy solution to this need. From the very start… don’t warm your bottles. None of my boys ever had to have a warm bottle. Never. If you nurse, you will bypass this problem automatically… but if you can’t nurse or choose not to, you can make a choice here :) – to warm… or not to warm, that is the question :) – and my answer, don’t warm. My boys chugged their milk just fine at room temp. :)

Palmer Cocoa Butter ~ Stretch marks happen. No amount of cocoa butter will prevent them if you were genetically designed to develope them. I hate when I hear women say “I got no stretch marks, it was because of the cocoa butter.” Lie lie lie… I used palmers cocoa butter MULTIPLE times a day with my 1st pregnancy and I am evidence that does not guarantee no stretch marks. While it did soothe an itchy belly, it did not prevent me from developing them. I am a firm believer that genetics play a key role in this dept… and as unfortunate as it can be, some people are just prone to stretch marks… its life. Now if you want to put lotion on your belly, by all means :) – do it. I did, even after I got stretch marks. My choice of butter, the whipped body butter I make. Nothing feels better and its much more natural than Palmers.

Name Brand Clothing ~ Save your pennies. Babies grow so fast… there’s no need to fork out a fortune in name brand baby clothes. Thrift those high end items and put those pennies to use elsewhere :)

Diaper Crib Caddy ~ That thing that hangs on the side of your crib to hold diapers. Dont bother :) – just buy a cute diaper caddy you can carry with you from room to room, its way better.

Changing Table ~ After 4 children I can admit I have never ever owned a Changing Table. Never. Not once. We used the floor. Or a bed. Or a sofa. Or a table. :) With proper “sanitary towel placement” of course haha.. or not. It was one more piece of furniture we did not have the money or space for… so therefore we never bought one. I am not anti-changing table, but I am perfect proof it is not a must. My babies butts got cleaned just fine without one.

Baby Tubs ~ Don’t bother with those plastic baby tubs. They are a pain to clean and use… I had one with my 1st that leaked constantly and caused more harm than good. Invest in a sink hammock of some sort, or place a thick towel in your tub for baby to lay on (this was what I went for most times). It works just as well and there is less clean up.

Fancy Crib Bedding and Bumpers ~ The image above of my 3rd born Owen sleeping in the crib with the bumpers and cute bedding. Well. I splurged on that lil man because I had yet to do so with any of my other children. While I did love having cute bedding, it really is not needed. Bumpers too bring up some concerns on safety… and it is just one more thing to wash. After Owen grew and was no longer in a crib and I had my 4th… I used the same crib set with Reed but it didn’t take me long to ditch the bumpers and matching set. Reed who is 2 and still in a crib uses whatever sheets I have clean, no bumpers, no frill :) – and hes cozy as can be. Some of the crib sheets I use were given to us with Baby number 1. They sport Classic pooh (ughhh, so not my style now), but they are soft and broken in. So I use them. Use what works and know baby will be just fine, with or without.

I hope those reading found this post informative and helpful :)

Becoming a mom for me 10 years ago was so overwhelming. So many things to choose from…. so many methods of parenting…mothering… I was 21 when I became a mom. In fact I turned 21 the same month I had my 1st born son. I was clueless to so much… Over the course of 10 years I have really grown and am so thankful for how much my boys have taught me.

Motherhood is so much more than the products we buy… or the things we use on our babies.

It is not about how long you co-sleep.

If you co-sleep.

It doesn’t matter if you can nurse, choose not to nurse, or bottle feed. Although to many it is the very ground in which they swear motherhood is measured.

Its not, I promise. Although I believe if you can nurse, you are blessed.

It wont matter in the end if you birth a baby via c-section or with out any epidural at all.

A baby and its mother cannot be defined by the fancy clothes that baby may sport for 6 mo.

Or the trendy little diapers he or she wears.

These are just a few things that can make the journey just a wee bit easier :) – and can be fun to use at the same time. Feel free to comment with any questions. I will try my best to get back with you.

You can view most of the above items over on my amazon estore. I save things I like on there… Many of what I listed above can be found at a local walmart or babies r us, or target. Amazon has most of the items I listed above as well.

Hope you enjoyed :)

Disclosure: I am not being paid by any of the above companies to post or represent them in this post.

Behind the Scene Boba

Behind the Scene Boba

A few weeks ago right before Christmas I did some more photos for Boba. :) Love working for them and all the amazing moms/dads/babies. Really, a lot of fun. My dear friend Charlene assisted me the two days I shot for Boba. Helping to carry boba carriers, paper work, help with client’s kids, etc… could not have done it without her. She even snagged some behind the scene photos! So I thought for fun, Id share a few snippets she got. You will be able to see my photos taken soon over on the Boba website :) – as well as other photos I have done for them already up.

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Can I add it was like 34F out during the 1st day of shooting. It was so cold!! Thankful for fingerless gloves, ugg boots and coats :) – big props to the moms who nursed in this cold for the sake of boba photos hehe. Brave moms.

Inbetween the Books

Inbetween the Books

Inbetween the books and schooling my dudes….

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You can find me photographing for Boba :)

I finally get to link yall to some of the photos I took for Boba earlier this year. They came out with some new prints. Both for their carriers and wraps. I love them. Below is one of my favorite photos out of the bunch. Model Tiffany – amazing mom of 3 modeling her youngest, who was just so precious. This photo for me sums up my love for babywearing… and the dad’s expression was just perfect. Thank you to all my amazing models and for Boba who helped put this together as well. I think we all made a great team this year.

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See more of the new prints on the Boba Website.

I also got to photograph this cutie over the weekend….

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& this coming weekend ill get to photograph THIS ARTIST in concert. SO EXCITED about that. As well as like 9 students for school photos & a sweet little guy on Saturday who I photographed at age 1.

Its been kinda a slow season for me with photography. I didn’t push it over the summer… not to many families want portraits when its super hot… and well honestly, I was a bit burned out that I needed a break. I think its good for photographers to take occasional breaks to recharge. Im back in the swing though and look forward to a busy fall. I only wish I had more energy…. seems with photography teamed with home schooling and the task of housework and cooking meals, it leaves little left. Im worn out by 1pm most days and by the end of the day I am just whooped. I so wish I liked coffee…..

If anyone is curious how schooling has been with the boys this year. I thought about doing a post with our daily routine laid out. Anyone interested in that? If not, I probably wont blog it. So do comment ;-)

It is all I use

I get lots of babywearing questions via e-mail and instagram. Just had to share and echo my love for one particular carrier. & No they are not paying me to do this :) – I truly love their carriers and company. Had a few photos taken of myself wearing Reed when it snowed… figured this be a fun way to share them.

SO before I post them, lets flash back to former Reed moments in the Boba(s).


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Video Putting Reed on my Back in the Boba (poor quality video, sorry!)

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I still use the Boba 3G with Reed. They have a new 4G out that is even more awesome. It has a newborn insert now and it works so good. I photographed a mom for them using it and was jealous the 4G wasn’t around when Reed was a baby. The insert makes a huge difference when wearing a newborn. Reed is to big for the wraps and is quickly becoming to big for myself to wear in the 3G. I may wear him til he is 2 but my times wearing him are becoming fewer due to his desire to walk now and be more “independent” with his brothers. None the less, ill soak it up while I can. Love babywearing for so many reasons. My journey with it has been an interesting one :) – Ive tried lots of carriers and still prefer the Boba over all of them. Although, I do love having my homemade Mei Tai and also a ring sling. Id say besides the Boba if I had to choose 2 other carrier must, it be those two.

Happy Babywearing! Let me know if you’d like to see maybe a better quality video showing myself wearing Reed or putting him on the back. Note: Im so not a video person.

Just shimmy him on

Its all about the shimmy :)

I cannot even begin to count the times moms ask me “how do you get him on your back!?” while I stroll through the store with my 4 dudes. It is so easy! takes seconds. I will say, it takes practice! You also have to start it when your babes are young if you want them to “be use to it” by age 1. Reed is so use to being worn on my back that he knows what to do with his arms and everything. He is one worn lil dude ;-) – and worn in a good way.

Love baby wearing with the Boba. I not only LOVE them because I get to do their photography ;-) – but they truly are an awesome company who’s carriers I love and use daily‚Ķ. and have FOR YEARS.

Here’s the video. Sorry it isn’t the best quality. Just snagged it tonight with my iPhone on our way to Lowes.