1. I am working on adding more troubleshooting videos to my channel since those are always my most popular ones, and let's face it there are enough general tutorials available!  I hope that sharing the things I've learned along the way is helpful for you.  

    This video addressing the tightening process of a front wrap cross carry.  I am using a base size wrap from Ethos called Cascade Electropurple, if you're interested you can find it here.  


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  2. Have you seen the Ethos Convertible Onbuhimo Carrier????  It's both a waisted SSC and a waistless Onbuhimo, yea it's two-in-one!  My little nugget is a teensy bit small for this one yet (it comes in standard, toddler, and pre-K sizes), but it's still pretty awesome.  My big kid wouldn't cooperate for a video of course and I wanted to get a video up so you could see just how versatile this is!

      

    The Convertible is available as a custom carrier, mine is made with a handwoven by Aquarelle Handwovens called "Care Bear".  You can send any wrap you have (new or used) to customize your carrier or you can purchase one from Ethos for a discount (machine woven or handwoven).  The base price is $249 for any size, which is a steal for something that is actually two carriers!  I have two of these for myself and will probably add more.  I had never really found the love for SSC's with my first but I definitely have this time around, I think it's just about finding the right carriers that fit your body in the most comfortable way.  This is my most comfortable SSC (the shoulder padding is true perfection) and I use it in waisted mode the most but it's just extra amazing that I can convert it to an obuhimo when I want to.

    I purchased Ethos in March of this year and shortly after that the seamstress that was working on the convertibles needed to retire from her work with us, which lead me to search for someone new to collaborate with.  I have worked with a lot of different babywearing companies as a blogger over the last 3 years so I had quite a few contacts at my disposal, but there was one in particular that I went to first.  Gracie and Sam has been a stand out company in the babywearing world and recently Val announced that she would be taking a step back from baby carriers to focus on her new venture with custom bags (I have one, and my gosh it's amazing).   Well, I had a chat with Val and her new venture with bags has really taken off but she also still has a great passion for carriers and she was so gracious in offering me her input on the design and workings of the Convertible Onbuhimo.  After a few weeks of discussion and collaboration I am so very pleased to announce that Gracie and Sam will be our new production specialist for the Ethos Convertible Onbuhimo!  All prior parameters from Gracie and Sam carriers (i.e. linen skeleton, used or new wrap, 4-6 weeks turn around) will continue and the custom slots can be purchased directly from the Ethos Babywearing website here.  I couldn't be more excited about this and I really hope to see more of these versatile carriers out in the babywearing world, snuggling kids close to their caregivers!

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  3. I love a Double Hammock for long term wearing and when I have a wrap that has a little extra length I really enjoy a special finish like the freshwater finish!  I consider my base to be a size 7 and in this video I am using a long size 7 handwoven wrap from Heartiness.  I hope you find this helpful.


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  4. Company: Rabbit Hole Handwovens 
    Name: Unicorn Kisses
    Fibers: Mercerized cotton warp with a Lyocell weft
    Weave Structure: Hearts
    Size: 6 (my base)
    Wrapee: 10 lb. infant

    Let me just rave right away here, this is divine!!!!!  If you are looking for a weaver that offers a more densely woven textile then this right here is where to begin.  Everyone has preference when it comes to wovens so it's not necessarily about good or bad but what you are looking for and this wrap is unique, it's one of the more densely woven pieces I've tried and it's amazing. 




    I don't know that Lyocell is always thought of for solid support since it's a soft fiber but when it's woven densely like this it is so very supportive.  And oh the silkiness, it glides like silk.  The combination with merc. cotton is awesome, it's heavy and dense but silky so it's not beastly.  I mean this provided true weightlessness, I would compare the support to the banana silk handwovens from Ethos which are my fav for any ruck variation to be comfy (although it's not a fluffy and thick as twill banana silk).  Because it's thicker and dense I didn't love base carries with leg passes for my little one so I went for variations that didn't pass under the leg.  And there is no doubt this is great for a big kid too, it doesn't sag under weight at all.  The density makes it maybe not my very first choice for hot weather since I tend to opt for something more airy, but still I would use it year-round I think as it's not a fiber combo that holds heat in my experience.      




    The colors and the weaving are exquisite, I found no flaws to note and the selvedges were quite neat (although not perfect).  The has a very heavy silk drape and drops quickly onto itself.  It's very very soft yet so supportive due to the density.  The weave offers just a bit of grip and I find it holds a slip knot very well.  The knots are larger as it is thick/dense but they're not beastly to tie since it's very soft and silky.  It's quite moldable and easy to use though I do know this piece didn't come to me brand new so I'm not sure how soft/moldable it is right away, this may partly be a benefit of having been broken in.  Really this is like the perfect combination of all things, I would love a wrap with the weave and fiber combination, it would serve me well for my little one and my big kind.


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  5. Little Big Bee contacted me about sending one of their sweet swaddle blankets for a review back when I was still pregnant with Kendrick.  I admittedly used my swaddles with my first son, Kellen, very few times but I love a good soft blanket so I was happy to oblige.

    The "beekeeper blankets" are woven on power looms in India and the company is dedicated to fair trade practices, something I think is very important.  I have experienced many wonderful textiles from the weaving community in India through the babywearing world and this is no exception.  


    These blankets are light and soft right from the packaging, which is simple and sweet.  As I mentioned I did not actually swaddle my first son at night/nap time and so I got very little use out of the swaddles we had with him, and truth be told that has been true this item around as well.  Because I am so keen on babywearing throughout the day (literally all of Kendrick's naps the first 6 months were while wrapped) and co-sleeping (we bed share) we really don't actually swaddle for sleep, but I do still use swaddle blankets throughout every day activities.  I have already gotten more use out of blankets for Kendrick than I did with Kellen because Kendrick really likes the hold blankets, especially in the car.  He likes something soft to snuggle in his carseat (and it keeps him from screaming at me the whole time) so we have toted this around in the car a lot for him.  Although we don't actually swaddle for sleep I think these would be particularly nice for warm climates when you want to swaddle a newborn for night/nap time but don't want something too warm.  I find these are generously sized, plenty big enough to swaddle a baby in and then some (which was not true for some of the big-box store swaddles I got when Kellen was born).      


    After 6 months I did start laying Kendrick in our bed for naps while I work on cleaning and laundry in the room, so I do frequently cover him with a light blanket since he seems to sleep better with something on him.  He sometimes likes to grab a fist full to hold and snuggle, which is so sweet and something Kellen never did (maybe I didn't have the right blanket lol).  I like how light and soft these are, they're great during the Spring/Summer weather here as I find them to be quite breathable.  They're definitely not a "beater" type blanket to take outside on a picnic since they are on the delicate side, but that makes them the perfect newborn swaddle and I think especially a nice gift for someone expecting.  This is the type of swaddle I would expect to find in one of my local baby boutiques carrying more specialized/unique items as opposed to something in a big-box store, and I love that.  The quality was beautiful, I didn't find any flaws with it and it has worn well too these 6 months that I've been using it.  Over all I'm quite pleased and I would definitely purchase these for friends, in fact I really kind of want one of the Twilly designs myself now! 


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  6. Have you heard about amber necklaces?  If you're a mom to littles there's a good chance you have, they're certainly popular.  One of the local boutiques I frequent carries amber necklaces from The Amber Monkey and I bought one for my first child 3 years ago.  I had heard that they lessened pain from teething and I figured it was worth a try.  I'm a stickler for research methodologies so I can't truly say that it was the amber necklace, but he sure was agreeable through the entire teething process.  He wasn't overly grumpy or cranky, there was never screaming and crying and I never once had to give him any medicine/homeopathic for pain.  Was he fussy sometimes, yea for sure, and he was perma-latched during teething periods but he seemed way more agreeable than I heard from other parents experienced teething kiddos.  So, I figured that while it's possible we were just lucky with a kid that tolerated teething well I also didn't have any desire to take the necklace off.  

    The Amber Monkey asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of their necklaces now that I've had my second kiddo and since I've already been a customer of their I was happy to do so, and they even sent a necklace for me to try out too!   


    I'll admit, I really don't have any pain/issues myself that I feel I can say were relieved by the amber necklace.  I don't suffer from headaches and don't have issues with pain in general, so in terms of efficacy for me personally I can't say "hey, it's amazing" but I will say that I have a number of friends that will attest to such benefits.  I've heard from at least a few friends and acquaintances that have found relief from headaches and neck/shoulder pain, even carpel tunnel too.  I think these functional necklaces are understated and effortlessly pretty, and they make some really intricate ones too actually.  I've admired some really cool designs at my local boutique.  Bonus, I react to most metal jewelry but that's not a problem with these.

    I have a screw clasp that I purchased myself shortly after Kendrick was born and they sent me a pop clasp to try as well.  I like both options, the pop claps is a little easier to get on and off and I haven't had issues with it coming un-done with it shouldn't (which was my only real concern with it).  Both clasps are designed to strip and pull open at a minimum 15 lbs pull force for 10 seconds, to prevent choking hazard.  Each bead is individually tied so if the necklace were to ever break (which I've never had happen) you won't have beads everywhere becoming a chocking hazard.  Proper fit is especially important with children, and per the Amber Monkey website the necklace should fit loose enough that you can fit two or three fingers but you should not be able to get the necklace above the child's chin so it cannot be put in their mouth.  Also per the Amber Monkey website, amber should be worn under adult supervision.  For adults of course there are various size options as choking isn't a concern, you can find shorter and longer styles along with multi-string styles too.

    Kendrick is 7 months old now and has two bottom teeth.  Just like his brother he has been quite agreeable while teething.  No screaming and suffering and I've never felt the need to treat his pain with medication/homeopathics at all.  So, just as I did with his older brother I'm rolling with it and keeping the necklaces on!!!  They're cute and simple and darn it all if I don't think they're functional too.    


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  7. Oh look, another Heartiness review.  I just realized this one didn't get published, don't know how I missed that!  So, I received another Tsumugi silk weft tester from Heartiness and as it's one of my favorite fibers I can't wait to tell you all about how amazing it is.  I saw these colors and this weave and was like holy cow need it!

    Company: Heartiness
    Name: Birthday Ikat
    Fibers: Cotton warp with a Tsumugi silk weft
    Weave Structure: Ikat
    Size: 6 (my base)
    Wrapee: 30 lb. 2.5 year old and 10 lb. infant

    Well I've had a lot of tsumugi silk from Heartiness and if you've read any of my reviews then you know I love it so that probably goes without saying.  Right off the bat I would say that this is most similar to the tsumugi silk m-twill weave.  It's on the thinner side, it feels a little thinner/ lighter than pebble weave but certainly not as thin/light as plain weave.  The drape is relatively light as tsumugi silk isn't a heavy fiber but as with m-twill when it's folded onto itself it has a surprising amount of smoosh to it.    



    There is a moderate amount of stretch, maybe a bit less than m-twill but pretty close.  It is, like all tsumugi, very grippy and sticky.  The passes hold their place very well and don't budge.  Because there is a bit of stretch and it's not really thick it can dig a bit if you're super sloppy with it, but really it doesn't take paying terribly close attention to get it just right.  Although it's not a thick wrap I did find it too overwhelming for a FWCC with leg passes with my youngest was first born.  The grip was too much at first and I preferred something that did not pass under his little legs.  But, it didn't take very long for him to be big enough that I didn't find it overwhelming.  I do really prefer this as a base size for my big kid but I recently decided to split this wrap to two ring slings (a friend has the other one) and it turns out that it's totally supportive enough for my toddler as a sling too.  The grip is something I find ideal for a ring sling.






    I would have expected this might be more prone to pulling since the weave has longer threads crossing over but really it's not, I haven't noticed any.  It's also nice for warmer weather since it doesn't hold heat and is relatively airy.  I think this is a great all-year all-ages option, which honestly is true for a lot of tsumugi.  As always with Heartiness the weaving was nearly flawless and man these colors are stunning!  I love the slight tweed look of tsumugi. 


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  8. An onbuhimo is used for a back carry most frequently, but it can be used for a front carry as well (although some companies have not safety tested their carrier for a front carry so note the manufacturer's instructions for that info).  When I was pregnant I found an onbuhimo especially nice for a front carry to keep up high above my bump, which wouldn't necessarily work for everyone depending on how you carry and your body but I think this is a valuable thing for me to demonstrate.  I hope you find this helpful.

    In this video I'm using the buckle onbuhimo prototype from Soul Slings.  They are just about to release the carrier in various designs though there have been changes made since I tested the prototype.


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  9. Apple Blossom Wovens is a brand close to my heart, I was able to test their first run of Morning Glory and the prototype of the Heirloom wraps so now that they've begun releasing various colors and blends in Heirloom I was really excited to try one out!  I received the linen blend and as I'm not often a fan of machine woven linen I was very curious to try it out.  I'm please to say I enjoyed it very much and I think ABW really knows how to do linen, well let's me honest they know how to do everything!

    Company: Apple Blossom Wovens
    Name: Heirloom Diamond
    Fiber content: 75% Cotton 25% Linen
    Weight: 290 GSM
    Size: 7 (my base)
    Wrapee: 32 lb toddler and 10 lb infant




    This is not a thin diggy linen wrap, with a GSM close to 300 I expected it to be more of a toddler worthy wrap and it truly is.  This was fantastic with my big kid!  It wasn't brand new when it arrived to me, it wasn't all broken in by any means but I wasn't the first tester so it did have some use.  It's definitely a textured grippy wrap which I found with the prototype as well, this weave pattern lends itself to texture I think no matter what the fiber content is.  I think this will certainly soften up more and more with use but I think it will also maintain it's grip due to the weave, which is nice.


    This is definitely something that will need some breaking in as linen usually does but it's not super stiff, actually it had amazing bounce to it.  That was my favorite thing, the bounce was superb.  When you pair texture and grip with stretch and recoil it's all the best of everything for a bigger kid.  The comfort of this thing for a more than 30 lb kiddo in a DH was perfection.  It feels rather dry in hand and has a moderate drape, the linen keeps it from feeling too heavy.  It can hold a single knot like a champ and due to the grip does take a bit of effort to tighten and tie off but not a lot.  It's certainly something that an inexperienced wrapper could use easily once broken in, linen just tends to be a little moe difficult when it's brand new.  I liked that this wasn't too heavy or beastly to be a base size wrap, multiple passes weren't overwhelming but I could also ruck my toddler with it comfortably.



    Although this was great for my toddler it actually worked nicely with my infant as well.  I prefer a carry without leg passes for an infant with this since it could be a bit much in that respect, but this is definitely one of those wraps that once you get past that tiny squish stage it can carry you all the way into toddlerhood and beyond.


    The color combo is soft and beautiful, it's a classic choice that pairs beautifully with the pattern.  I absolutely love the Heirloom design, I'm a sucker for the classics and this is the epitome of classic and delicate.  The silver color provides just a subtle contrast to the natty warp, if you like low contrast this is for you.


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  10. I adore ring slings!  It was one of the first carriers I used with my oldest and now with my little ones I use them all the time.  I think a ring sling can be tricky sometimes.  I find that some people just have the "feel" for them right away while others need some practice to get the hang of it.  Repetition is key, and watching someone else do it can help a lot too.  I hope you find this tutorial helpful!





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