Monday, November 25, 2013

A Thankful Heart

Green Baby Elephant has now been in business for 3 years. Time flies when you are having fun! I have met a lot of families here in Tucson at local events, shopping days, and consultations. And I have met many families virtually. A lot of you have also referred family and friends to the store, which is the best compliment ever. Green Baby Elephant would be nothing without your support. I started Green Baby Elephant in 2010 to be a resource for families to learn about and purchase cloth diapers. The store has now expanded to carry other natural baby products as well as baby carriers. I know there are hundreds of other stores that sell cloth diapers, baby items, and carriers, some in the form of big box stores and other small, independent businesses. When you choose to shop at Green Baby Elephant, you are helping a mom live her dream. I’m a stay at home mom to 3 roar-some little boys. It’s sometimes difficult to juggle between owning my own business and raising 3 boys, but I’m passionate about both. I want to help families with the sometimes overwhelming choice to cloth diaper & wear their babies. We all subscribe to different parenting styles, but the one thing we have in common is that we want to do the best for our child{ren}. So whether you want organic diapers, diapers that are made in the USA, diapers that fit in a tight budget, or somewhere in between, Green Baby Elephant is here to help. The same goes for baby carriers. You are sure to find something that will comfortably carry your newborn, infant, and toddler. And like any well rounded baby store, you’re sure to find some fun and perhaps necessary extras. I’ve spent the last 3 years slowly building up the store to become a one-stop shop for families that are looking for a green baby boutique, and I hope that you find that is the case. I want to give a big ‘Thank You’ to everyone that has supported Green Baby Elephant during the past 3 years.  I’m looking forward to many more years!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Babywearing Journey

I don’t think I’m any different than any other mom with more than 1 child in that I’ve evolved with each baby I’ve had. I tweak my parenting skills, try different things, and work daily to find a groove that works for me and each of my boys. One thing that has changed with each boy is how I carried them. I recognized quickly after each of their births that life still moved on ahead. Chores needed to be accomplished. Groceries still needed to be bought. Care for older brother{s} needed to be met. Wearing each baby made daily tasks possible, as well as for fun outings & vacations.

I remember the first time I wore my first son, CW. He was about 5 weeks old, and I used a Snugli at the grocery store. He wasn’t a fan of his car seat, and neither was I. It was so heavy, and it took up too much room once it was put inside the basket. I rocked out in that Snugli! I still remember how accomplished I felt walking up and down the aisles with my first born fast asleep. It was such a good feeling. I wanted more. Unfortunately, my back did not agree. After using it a few times, it was quickly retired. It didn’t deter me from finding something else. I moved on to a Bjorn with the extra back support. That worked much better. We traveled to the Midwest and didn’t take a stroller along. It was great to find a carrier for the both of us. But again, it didn’t last long. CW grew out of it at about 6 or 7 months. So that was the end of my babywearing with CW using a carrier. I held him in my arms up until the day before his brother was born.

Baby #2, BW was carried in the Bjorn at a much younger age. He loved it. I loved it. Like his older brother, he quickly outgrew it. I knew I needed something else. There was no way I could keep up with an active toddler and a baby at the same time without having my arms free. A dear friend lent me her pouch sling. Nirvana was reached. BW and I just about wore that thing out. I would go to 2 hour MOPS meetings, and he’d be in it the whole time. Unfortunately, I would wind up with vicious migraines afterwards because the fit wasn't exactly right. It was so worth it though. He was happy the whole time at the meeting, and I got to be with friends for a bit. Eventually, he grew out of it. He was too heavy, and I couldn’t bear the thought of using the pouch any longer. So again we upgraded to a new carrier due to necessity. I needed my hands free to care for both boys while accomplishing daily tasks. This time I invested in a soft, structured carrier, an Ergo. BW was probably around 1 year old when we first began using the Ergo. It was so great to be able to put him on my back and wear him. It literally opened a whole new world without having him ‘in my face’ the whole time. I could cook meals safely without him crying & pulling at my legs. I never wore him in any other carrier while cooking because I was too scared of him grabbing at a knife or having something hot splash on him. The only drawback was some slight hair pulling at the very beginning. We used that Ergo until my belly didn’t allow it anymore. It was time to grow baby #3, MW.

My babywearing evolution really kicked into high gear with MW. He was in the Ergo with an infant insert at a few weeks old. Now I had 2 older kids to care for on top of a growing business on top of daily household chores. Life didn’t stop, and MW rolled along easily with me. The buckles started to get to me though, and I needed to find something that was a little faster to use. Once again another wonderful friend lent me a ring sling. Heaven! I found what I needed. Quick and easy ups & downs with MW. At this period of time I was getting all 3 boys in and out of the car for my oldest son’s preschool drop offs & pick ups. I needed speed, and I found it with a ring sling. I did some quick research, and I purchased a Sakura Bloom. It was amazing. MW is now 16 months, and we still use it. He took a brief snooze in it this morning. Teething has been a little rough lately, and wearing him comforts him so quickly. I’ve also moved on from an Ergo to a Tula. MW loves it. I love it. We recently took a vacation, and we traveled without a stroller. Our Tula made going through airport security with 3 boys a little smoother. It made naptimes easier while on the go visiting with friends, walking around in museums, and shopping with family while on vacation. I can’t say enough wonderful things about our Tula. Within the past couple of weeks, I’ve also began using a Dolcino Wrap. My skills are very basic, but I’m improving. At 16 months, MW still can be worn comfortably in the wrap. Next on my babywearing to-do list is to wear MW on my back with a wrap. I’ll get there eventually.

So why did I tell this long story about myself and wearing my boys? I wanted to share where I am coming from and why I added baby carriers to the store. Babywearing has been and still is a huge part of my life. I love it. I need it. I also wanted to share where my babywearing journey has taken me. I am proud of my evolution. Proud of how much I can accomplish with my 3 boys by my side. Let’s be honest. It’s more like 2 by my side and 1 up on my hip. Maybe you feel the same way, and you need somewhere to start. I needed friends to help me on my babywearing journey, and I’d like to help if you need it. There are quite a few different carriers that are now available in the store. Hopefully, you’ll find something that will work for you and your baby. Maybe you’ll use multiple carriers with your child. Maybe you’ll use a different carrier with each baby you have. I’m here to offer support and a place to find what you need. Green Baby Elephant is proud to carry Tula Baby Carriers, Sakura Bloom ring slings, Snuggy Baby wraps, Dolcino Wraps, and EmeiBaby Carriers.

For my Tucson families, there is a Babywearing Inernational chapter here. You can find out more about this wonderful group here They meet regularly, and they offer great support during your babywearing journey.
Baby #3, MW. Sweet, sleepy snuggles.

P.S. Watch for more babywearing stories & pictures on the blog in the future. It’s fun to reminisce.