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Archive for the ‘Pouches’ Category

Pouches are supposed to be simple: there’s nothing to adjust or tie, you just pop your baby in and go.  But here’s the thing: it’s entirely too easy to pop your baby in a pouch improperly in the cradle position and end up with a squished baby with a restricted airway. That is not good. Babies need to breathe. There are some workarounds if your baby just really loves the cradle position. Go read M’Liss Stelzer’s article on correct newborn positioning. If your baby doesn’t insist on lying down, though, try the tummy to tummy position:

Tummy to Tummy in a pouch 

Many people don’t even realize that the tummy to tummy position is an option for their newborns. But yes, a pouch can hold a newborn in an upright position, and most babies like it. His feet will just curl up under him in the fetal position … which he’s used to! Pull the fabric on the outside of the pouch high enough to support his back well, but make sure there’s still fabric between the baby and your body. If you need to tighten the fabric, try a shoulder flip (see step six here). 

Older babies like this position as well. There comes a time when he’ll need to change from being “feet in” to “feet out.”  When that happens, remember to make sure his bottom is well below his knees … his weight should be on his bottom, not the backs of his legs. Also, you may need to pull the fabric back from behind his knees so it doesn’t dig in to the backs of his knees. 

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Magic City Slingers librarian Kim Hildenbrand was on live TV recently talking about natural parenting and promoting Alabama Baby magazine.  Her little one was calm and quiet in her Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Fleece Pouch.  Check it out!

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Our readers who aren’t from Birmingham may not be aware of how significant our Greek population is.   (Here’s a great article on the connection between the Magic City and the Greek village of Tsitalia.)  That’s just one more excuse for us to love this Greek babywearing website with photo and video instructions for just about any carry you could think of with a pouch, ring sling, mei tai, or wrap.  Don’t skip it just because you don’t read Greek!

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One thing I neglected to mention at our pouch meeting yesterday is that Target is now selling Hotslings, at least online.   They have sizes 2, 3 and 4, which cover most people.  We have sizing slings at Magic City Slingers if anyone needs them.  But, if you or someone you know registered at Target, a Hotsling is a great addition to that list.

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The topic of our meeting yesterday was Poppable Pouches, and much pouch fun was had by all.  We had enough beautiful and stylish Comfy Joey and Hotslings pouches to go around, so everyone in attendance got a chance to find their size. 🙂

To recap:

A pouch sling is a tube of fabric with a curved seam.  Here and here are some directions for making a pouch, so you can see the basic construction method.  Before you decide to make your own, though, consider this advice from Tracy Dower, the babywearing advocate behind The Mamatoto Project:

When deciding whether to sew or to buy, don’t forget to calculate the value of your own time — not only in sewing but also driving around looking for the right fabric, then getting out the machine, then threading the machine, then cursing and crying because it won’t thread right, then measuring and cutting the cloth, sewing the tiny short seam, trying it on, and realizing you made it too small and starting all over again. Consider all of that and you may find that many of the pouches sold online are a BARGAIN.

The curved seam goes along the baby’s spine in an upright carry; i.e., the tummy to tummy carry or the hip carry.  For the cradle carry, the seam goes under the baby’s bottom.  (A common mistake is to put the seam on top of your shoulder.)

Written and video instructions for putting on a pouch and situating a baby in it are are available on the web from Hotslings and also from Slinglings.

Pouches such as Hotslings and Comfy Joey are “fitted” pouches, meaning there are no snaps or other mechanisms for adjusting the pouch, so a proper fit is crucial for your comfort and the baby’s comfort and safety as well.  As a general rule, your baby should not sit much below your belly button in a pouch … any lower, and the baby’s weight will pull on the adult’s back, leading to back fatigue and discomfort.  Fitted pouches should be snug, but not too tight.  It’s normal for a pouch to seem a little small when you’re loading your baby in the pouch, but it should be comfortable for both of you once the baby is positioned properly.

We also looked at a Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Fleece Pouch … which is just too warm and fuzzy to use in Alabama in July.  The advantages of an adjustable pouch are that the pouch can often be shared by two different size adults, and you don’t have to know your exact pouch size when ordering (which is a real benefit when ordering from internet stores if you don’t have access to several different sizes of pouch to try before you buy).

Here, once again, is M’Liss Steltzer’s article on correct newborn positioning.  (Remember that you need to be able to see your baby in the pouch to monitor him and assure his airflow isn’t blocked by fabric, and you need to be able to fit at least one knuckle between his chin and his chest to make sure his airflow isn’t impaired by his position.)

Pouches are simple, affordable, and compact, and are great carriers for most situations that a one-shoulder carrier is good for (i.e., with little babies and for quick trips with bigger ones). 

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Doing the twist

When you need to have a tighter top rail in a pouch sling, you can do the “twist.” Did you know that?  I did not know that. That is cool!

Know what?  The Slinglings instructions are actually all pretty cool, and there are lots of videos.  Videos are especially cool.  Enjoy.

Pouch meeting Wednesday July 11 at Shades Valley Community Church at 10 a.m.!  Be there!

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