Sahara Sam’s Indoor Water Park + Babywearing in the Water

We’re heading to Sahara Sam’s next month and I am so excited to hit the water! Sahara Sam’s is an Indoor and Outdoor Water Oasis in West Berlin New Jersey. It boasts slides, surfing, tubes, and an adventure playland. Next month they are adding an entirely new Outdoor Park full of attractions for all ages. Since the park is for all ages, we’re bringing the two girls so that we can all hit the water. They have a great toddler splash zone and I learned some new tips from the Chester County Babywearers group on how to babywear in the water.

sahara sams water oasis

Option 1: DIY Make your own nylon sash and practice a variety of wraps using videos on Youtube. An experienced Mama recommends using two layer carries for this style since the fabric tends to give.

Option 2: Select a nylon carrier like the Boba Air. It is not technically designed for water, but it would dry and wash quickly based on the material contents.

Option 3: Purchase a two-in-one swimsuit with built in baby wrap like the Wrapsody. I don’t know why this suit doesn’t come in a men’s version?

There you have it. Plenty of options to babywear. I’m a fan of using what I already have, so I’ll probably just bring the k’tan to use in the water and the Ergo for anything else. The k’tan is cotton so it will wash easily. Audrey and I may feel a little soggy, but at least we can snuggle all day.

What fun, family destinations are you planning to visit this year?

Babywearing Business Mamas

If I were to credit one aspect of Motherhood that makes me feel confident and happy it would be babywearing. There are so many individual benefits that I experience each day, but overall I just feel an overwhelming sense of good coming from it. For as much as my body toiled at the weight of the baby through my pregnancy, I now feel like I am built to wear Audrey. Babywearing is the root solution for so many of the challenges I faced with my first baby. It also makes everyone happy. Not just Moms or babies, but people who see it happening smile, too! Because of all this, I want to put babywearing in the spotlight on this blog.

Introducing Babywearing Wednesdays

I’m sharing my profile as an introduction for this feature. If you are a business woman and you wear your baby, you could be featured as early as this Wednesday! I am looking for Moms who want to share their story and answer a few questions about how Babywearing helps you get through the day. Simply fill out this form and email a photo to jeannettebezinque@ecoincognito.com to participate.

Click https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1A1AoUMv_N5cU32_C7-UVznq7P6AfKi0oDZUJyjCRsNI/viewform

Whether you own your business, work from home part time, or work full time, I want to hear your story. Even if your baby is grown past the wearing phase, you can tell us about your experience.

Name: Jeannette Bezinque

Company: Eco Incognito, www.ecoincognito.com

Title: Social Media Correspondent

Briefly introduce your family: My husband Zac and I live with our daughters Audrey (6 months) and Hannah (1.5). We also have a 1 year old German Shepherd.

What is your business? I write a blog and support a growing social community of parents that are interested in natural living topics. I tweet, pin, Facebook, blog, vlog, and share everything that I love about Motherhood.

What carrier do you use? I use an Ergo primarily, but I used a K’tan when Audrey was an infant.

What is your favorite thing about babywearing? I love when she naps on my chest. It is so calming to feel her inhalations and heartbeat right next to mine.

How does wearing your baby help you get the job done? Right now Audrey is napping in the carrier while I type, so that’s helping! She also comes with me to events for social media coverage. She’s a really good baby, so it’s easy to bring her along and take care of her needs as we go. All she needs is Mama 🙂

What is your favorite thing to do while babywearing? I love going for walks or hikes with my family. It’s fun to tell her about the sights and to relax while enjoying the scenery. Most times, she’s so calm that I don’t even notice when she drifts off to sleep.

Have you ever had problems with babywearing? Yes, I was actually wearing Audrey sideways at first because I thought she was supposed to be next to my boob. It was putting a strain on my back and I was about to give up, but I found some really useful advice and encouragement on the Onya Baby blog so I kept it up. I’m so happy that I did! Now my only problem is if I forget the carrier. Luckily, I wear Audrey so much that it’s only happened once.

Tell us something unique about your babywearing experience: Since I have two under two, I almost always have Audrey in the carrier. Now that Hannah is more mobile, we’ll walk halfway to a location and I will carry her the rest of the way, too! It’s a pretty funny sight.

Babywearing Business Mamas, a Wednesday Editorial feature from www.ecoincognito.com. You could be the next featured Mom!

How Do I Do It?

babywearing momA lot of people like to ask me, “how do you do it?” I’m not sure if they genuinely want to know what a Mom and two babies do each day or if they are curious how I don’t lose my mind. Either way, I think this will show that I get through each day by spending quality time with my girls. I spend a lot of time just doing ‘anythings,’ but I try to give each girl focused attention for a solid block of time every day. Hannah and I work through an activity together while Audrey naps against my chest. We focus on what she wants to learn and I offer gentle suggestions if she stumbles. This little girl knows what she needs better than I do, so I watch and listen. She escorts me through all our chores (if I do them) and helps with the small steps. I’m not surprised any more when she begins to go through the actions of pulling out a cup or bowl. Sometimes she helps with laundry or changing Audrey’s diaper. But her favorite way to spend time is with her puppy. He captivates her. The two of them have standoffs from across the room and then chase each other around in fits of giggles.

Hannah is an incredible little toddler in my eyes. She’s not hitting any special milestones today or doing anything out of the ordinary, but she is inspiring me, as always. Hannah’s eyes are wide everywhere we go. Sometimes she greets others with a shy smile, but in familiar settings she takes off immediately to find the edge of the room. Her physical skills amaze me. From the sheer capabilities of a toddler motivated by her determination, she leaves nothing undiscovered. I absolutely love watching her ramble.

This morning, Hannah entered her playroom to find a vibrant collection of puzzles on the coffee table. They are the same puzzles we learn with and explore each day, but the display excited her. She immediately took the dolphin out of the sea and replaced him with ease. I dumped over a favorite gear puzzle and turned it around so that she could reassemble the pieces. We’ve spent a lot of snippets of time on various days working on color matching and affixing the gears to the pegs, so it was a joy to watch her work through the task on her own. She was so determined and pleased with the end result! We shimmied over to the next puzzle of farm animals. This time she took the liberty of dumping out the pieces and entertaining me with a rousing chorus of “E-i-e-i-o.” I asked her to point out the animals while she fumbled, without success to get the pieces into their spaces. She decided that the horse would prefer to attempt a daring feat of cascading through a hole in a box. Unfortunately, he was too big. All of a sudden it started to snow, so we watched at the window for a few minutes until snack time. Hannah repeated the words, “snow” and “cold.” She loves to watch the flakes fall.

I turned around to reply to a message on Facebook and THIS HAPPENED. Seriously, who says cell phone distractions are all that bad?

sleeping toddler

So I wrote a blog post while both girls napped and then I nursed Audrey when she woke up. We practiced blowing raspberries. She’s not really catching on, but she makes us both laugh with her hilarious attempts to puff her cheeks and PFFT. I helped Audrey stretch and bend her limbs and guided her through some baby asanas. After both the girls get their individual time, we just do other things around the house or outside. If Hannah wants to play toys, she’ll get engaged with something and I can step in. Since Audrey nurses at 9, 12, and 3, I usually try to have Hannah sit on the couch with me and read her a few baby books during Audrey’s meals. It’s a nice way to stay close with the pair. Hannah knows where Audrey gets her milk and sometimes she’ll sign for it, too. She is very attentive to Audrey’s needs and I like to foster that spirit. It’s really helpful if Audrey loses a pacifier and I can send Hannah on a search & rescue mission.

baby

Every day is a little bit different, but most of them are relatively the same. We all enjoy the familiarity of home and we all have similar needs that we can meet together. If we’re hungry, we eat. If we’re tired, we sleep. Got ya on that one, only the kids sleep. On days that are tough and everything seems to be off a beat, we all go outside. No matter the weather, we put on our gear and head out the door. The backyard makes a delightful space to explore. I can’t wait until this summer when we can troll around out there barefoot again.

I guess, when it comes to Motherhood, I don’t know exactly what ‘it’ is, but the girls let me know if I’m doing it or not. Raising the two of them is such an exciting challenge. We were chugging chugging for so long and I finally feel like we’re beginning to plateau out for a little bit of an easy streak. We know each other now. We know how to meet our needs and we all go to sleep feeling loved. In my book, I think that’s the ‘it’ I’ve always hoped to achieve.

Onya Baby Carrier Review + Giveaway

Hold onto your babies, this is the BEST giveaway I’ve ever hosted! I’m excited to introduce you to the Onya Baby Cruiser. This soft-structured baby carrier is similar to an Ergo, but it packs a very handy secret. Not only can you wear your baby on your front or back, but it also has an integrated seat so that you can use it for safety on a chair. When it comes to a portable seating option for 6 month olds and up, you won’t find anything more convenient. (*Note: you can wear babies as little as 14 pounds, but you’ll want to wait until they can sit unassisted before using this attachment.)

My 19 month old loves the comfort of the Onya.The carrier is built to accomodate a larger child. In fact, it has been tested for kids up to 75 pounds. I’m currently rotating my two babies in and out throughout the day. I can even *gasp* wear them both at the same time. Although, we can’t go very far, it’s a neat option. I enjoy the flexibility of swapping from front to back and the durability of the straps. When positioned correctly, it truly makes babywearing a comfortable experience for everyone. I’ve learned several creative strategies for making babywearing better from reading the Onya Baby Blog (http://onyababy.com/blog/). This site is a must-read because it combines helpful tips with expert commentary on the topic. They’re also a very interactive brand on Facebook and Twitter. If you love babywearing and enjoy talking to others about babywearing, I encourage you to connect!

Audrey gets a boost from a rolled towel to fit the Onya.My favorite thing about wearing Audrey in the Onya Baby Cruiser (since she is my most frequent passenger) is that we are so connected. Her forehead is at a kissable height and she always welcomes my gaze with a smile. For me, it has been a necessity because I need both my arms free to wrangle Hannah. A lot of times I even leave the house without a stroller. Hannah does an excellent job walking and holding my hand on the way into a new place. However, you’ll often catch me carrying both girls on the way out. In general, it doesn’t take much more effort than juggling a bulky stroller.

It's easy to chat with my toddler whenever I wear her.

It’s easy to chat with my toddler whenever I wear her.

One of the best places to wear your baby is at the grocery store! If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing to change about the way I toted Hannah, I would absolutely give myself that advice. It is so simple to carry an infant through the store in a carrier. 9 times out of 10 she falls back to sleep immediately after we start walking around or else she takes in the sights. Babywearing makes it easier to do anything around the house, too. Sometimes I throw Hannah on my back while Audrey naps and race through a few errands without her ‘helpful’ hands tearing apart everything I do.

Although it’s work, another great thing about babywearing is that it’s actually a workout! I have never had such a toned back or arms in my life since wearing Audrey every day. Truly, your body will strengthen to hold your baby as she grows. With a properly adjusted carrier, you shouldn’t experience back pain at all.

Where's the Baby?

Where’s the Baby?

As the Mom of an active toddler, there is no way I could do it all without wearing my baby. She falls asleep so easily in the carrier, so I am still free to chase after Hannah. I wear Audrey in the backyard while Hannah climbs the swingset so that I have my arms free to catch her. Sometimes, I even nurse Audrey in the carrier. It really is a one-size-fits-all solution for our family. I love ending each day knowing that it was filled with one-to-one contact. We both sleep more soundly for that reason.

Do you want to WIN your own Onya Baby Cruiser (valued at $149)? These carriers are great for Moms and Dads of all sizes. The straps are generously sized and easy to adjust. Every registry should have a least one carrier on it. There are a lot of reasons why carriers that support babies facing inward are superior, so this is a must-have for new Moms and Dads!

onya babyGIVEAWAY DETAILS:

You can win an Onya Baby Carrier of your choice by commenting on this post! Simply click over to www.onyababy.com and let us know which carrier and which color would be perfect for your family in the comments below.

You can earn two extra entries:

1. ‘Like’ Onya Baby on Facebook, then come back and leave a comment letting us know!

2. ‘Like’ Eco Incognito on Facebook, then come back and leave a comment letting us know!

Contest is open to US residents only. Winners will be announced 2/25/13 and contacted via email. 

Disclosure: I received a sample of the Onya Baby Cruiser to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Babywearing – a Poem to Kickoff the Start of Febru-wear-y

febru-wear-yBrrrr! It’s cold outside, but I’ve been keeping warm with Audrey close by. We’re celebrating the month of Febru-wear-y on Eco Incognito with lots of excitement! Next week, we will have a review and giveaway of one of my favorite carriers, the Onya Baby. Babywearing is truly a great way to care for baby during the first year and beyond. As she grows, you will grow the strength to hold her. With two under two, I practically always have one of the kids strapped in. I love the closeness it brings between us, the warmth, and the interactions. It inspired me to write a little poem. Sometimes I sing it to the girls to the tune of Ode to Joy. After the jump, read I’m Everywhere She Wants to Be.

Continue reading

The Unspoken Rule of Babywearing

When you wear a sleeping baby, onlookers marvel at your mothering skills and comment at how cozy your baby looks. A smiling baby creates a contagious smile for everyone who passes by. Wear a crying baby, however, and all of a sudden that snuggly sack begins to look like a medieval torture device. It’s likely to elicit the questioning stare of, “why doesn’t that baby have a pacifier” or “is she pinching the baby, poor thing.” As a new Mother, it is not easy to weather those comments, so I would like to reassure everyone that those crying babies are just fine in their Mother’s arms.

Simply put, a baby belongs in her mother’s arms above all else. Realistically, that’s not always possible, but babywearing makes it a much more feasible task. The other truth about babies is that they cry. Even though you can minimize crying by keeping babies on a routine and in familiar surroundings, these little people have to peep to get their point across! The best part about babywearing is also the worst part. You are in a front row seat for the tears and yelps. During certain developmental weeks babies will cry even more as part of an adjustment to their new awareness. Similar to wearing a horcrux, it is a necessary challenge to wear your baby through these leaps.

I can’t guarantee that wearing a baby will always be the happiest part of your day, but I can guarantee that on days that you wear a baby you will be happier in general! Parents, remember this, keep your baby close by through the hard parts. That is when she needs you the most!

Babywearing Family

The Joy of Babywearing

This week is International Babywearing Week, and I’ve been supporting the cause by swapping my two girls in and out of an assortment of carriers. In fact, Audrey is napping soundly against my chest as I type. Since I spend a good portion of my day chasing after Hannah, I honestly don’t know what I would do without a carrier. This habit that started as a matter of necessity is one I’ve grown to love. Luckily, I rarely hear a complaint from Audrey about it either.

I had intended to wear Hannah when she was an infant, but we never really got into a groove with it. I stubbornly refused to buy a double stroller for the girls and I’m glad I held off since Audrey lives to be carried. Spending all day heart to heart with her has so many benefits. I often find myself wishing that I could strap another carrier on my back for Hannah! She’s a little trooper though, and she’s learning to hold my hand while walking so she’s rarely jealous of Audrey’s special spot. However, I did pass off the wee one to Zac for a while and Hannah delighted herself in the carrier with me while we took a leisurely walk along the water. We talked about animals while she smiled and mimicked their sounds. Then she started to play peek-a-boo with me. If you think it’s hard to pretend not to “know” where your kid has gone while playing that game, try doing it in-arms!

My husband is also an excellent babywearing parent. He prefers the backpack for Hannah, although his favorite way to transport her is on his shoulders. She bats at his head and bobs through the woods with him for hikes. When he does wear Audrey, it generally makes me smile. I’m the only person who gets to see his toned physique contrasted by the delicate sling because he generally bundles her into a sweater outside. He has a way of always making me nervous with his nonchalance for safety features, but somehow the girls come out unscathed.

As with most weeks with these little angels, it’s been delightful. I always laugh when people comment that I, “must have my hands full!” The truth is that I do have my hands full and I love it.