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Catbird Seat Blog Project

Catbird Seat Blog Project Contest/Giveaway Mei Tais Pikkolo

Watch our new video!

September 25, 2014
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by Beth Leistensnider, founder/president of Catbird Baby

 

So back in February Karyn Thurston of the blog Girl of Cardigan wrote this awesome post that knocked our socks off. With poetic grace, Karyn brought “the catbird seat” (the phrase our company is named after) to life. And this project was born.

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Karyn smiles for the camera, while Liz, our director, makes sure that Clark doesn’t fall down while perched on the stair railing.

Since Karyn is based in Portland, OR, we decided to shoot there. Karyn hooked us up with her friend, filmmaker Liz Vice (who sings beautifully in addition to making amazing films) and we got to work. Making a video was a new endeavor for us. We learned so much along the way. At first we were nervous about taking on this kind of project, but by the end, we knew we had created something special.

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Public transit + babywearing=winning!

And today, we are so excited to be sharing this video with you. We hope you agree that it shows both moms, dads and babies in the place of best advantage—the catbird seat. From convenience, to connection, to mobility; from comfort, to security, to freedom—there’s no better place to be.

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Getting adjusted before the shot.

The Catbird Seat from Catbird Baby on Vimeo.

To celebrate our video’s public premier, we are giving away the 4 carriers shown in the video: Sunset mei tei, Annika mei tei, Zephyr pikkolo, and Georgia pikkolo. Tell us which carrier or scene is your favorite;  comment (here or on Facebook), share, and then fill complete the Rafflecopter entry form for a chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Filming a family selfie. So meta.

 

 

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Catbird Seat Blog Project Parenting

Around the World in the Catbird Seat

September 22, 2014

by Chaviva Gordon-Bennett
Back in January, when Ash was just a wee bean, I wrote about the deliciously awesome Catbird Baby carrier I’d been sent for review. With our dip into babywearing, we were exploring Moby-style wraps, Mei Teis, and Baby Bjorn-style carriers. In case you need a refresher on why “catbird” is the perfect terminology for any schlepped-about baby:

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded usage occurred in a 1942 humorous short story by James Thurber titled “The Catbird Seat,” which features a character, Mrs. Barrows, who likes to use the phrase. Another character, Joey Hart, explains that Mrs. Barrows must have picked up the expression from Red Barber, a baseball broadcaster, and that to Barber “sitting in the catbird seat” meant “‘sitting pretty,’ like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him.”

It was Catbird’s mei tei that I initially fell in love with when Ash was small, but as time went on and we became more mobile, the pikkolo became (and still is) my go-to carrier.

Here’s Ash at four months after our trip
to the U.S. and before our move to
the U.S.He is loving his carrier because
he can see everything and every one!

When we first visited the U.S. back in February before we made the decision to move, we struggled to pack lightly when it came to baby carriers. Mr. T was fond of the Moby-style wrap we’d concocted, while I was using a ring sling. While in the U.S., we even picked up an additional ring sling to replace the one I’d been borrowing, but Mr. T stuck to the stretchy wrap that I just couldn’t master.

Almost the moment we got back to Israel, I feel like Ash wasn’t perceptive to the ring sling, so I needed an alternative. I finally got to give the pikkolo from Catbird a try, and I haven’t looked back.

When we made the move to the U.S. in April, it made life a breeze in the airport when we packed the stroller full of our carry-ons. With no space for Ash in the overflowing stroller, he rode in the Catbird seat! It’s amazing how comfortable he was in it and how easy it is to get on and adjust when I’m by myself.

The most surprising thing I’ve found about having the Catbird pikkolo as a consistency is that Ash knows the carrier. If he’s kvetching and whining in the car and losing it when we park and I get out, he calms down and gets excited the moment he sees me putting on the carrier. When he was very little, I used to call it his “special Asher chair,” and he now knows that it’s his special spot to see everything going on and he brightens up and calms down immediately. Talk about a baby making a positive association!

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Catbird Seat Blog Project Parenting

STICK: Basic rules for better back carrying

August 5, 2014
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by Karyn Thurston of Girl of Cardigan
S.T.I.C.K. (Basic Rules for Better Back Carries)
There is a moment when a you become a babywearer.  There are newborn days, dusty with rest and snuggles and the haze of oxytocin haven that settles over perfect wrinkled toes and tired parent bodies.  There are those first awkward attempts in stretchy jersey, too-small baby precariously cradled loose and low, pictures with proud smiles that will later be sheepishly tucked away.  And then there is a moment when it clicks – oh! – this is a thing you are going to be doing for a good long while.
You Google.  Admit it.  You totally Googled.
You Google and the doors to a new and utterly confusing world are opened, and if you are anything like me, you spend hours soaking up information and wondering how on earth, through 10 months of pregnancy and obsessive message boarding and crazy book reading, you managed to miss all of this?  Mei tais and buckle carriers and woven wraps and it’s all confusing and weird but one thing is consistent – an acronym – TICKS.
TICKS (Tight, In View, Close Enough to Kiss, Keep Chin Off Chest, Supported Back, if you were wondering) is Babywearing 101 – welcome to the club, here is your secret handshake.  TICKS teaches you, in easy to remember terms, how to keep your little one safe and snuggled and happy.  You learn, you love, you wear on.
Fast forward a few months – now you’d like to explore carrying your strong kiddo on your back.  It has long been my belief that we are in dire need of a TICKS adapted for back carries.  So many of us start with our buckle-carriered infant stuck mid-back and staring at the sweaty spot between our shoulder blades, said shoulders hunched awkwardly to soothe the ache of horrible posture…people.  Nobody wants that.  And switching TICKS around to the back is simple, and silly, and might just change your life!  Blogging: now with loftier expectations!  I digress.
It is with great pride that I present to you “TICKS for Your Back.”
That sounds completely terrible.  Let’s call it STICK.
S – Start High!
In order for everyone to be at their happiest in a back carry, we need baby high!  Start the waist belt of your mei tai or buckle carrier up, up, up at your natural waist (or heck, just under your bust will do!)  Ask yourself where Marilyn Monroe would tie a mei tai, and start there.  I adore the Pikkolo for this purpose – it’s one of a precious few buckle carriers on the market designed for a comfortable high back carry, and it’s tops, kids.
T – Tighten Up!
The first thing I ask anyone and everyone who solicits my help with babywearing is “How tight are your straps?”  Much like the jeans of many a teenage boy, most of us are wearing our straps waaaaay too loose.  I’m not a short girl, and when I have my 18 month old on my back, my buckle carrier straps are nearly at their tightest setting.  Your baby should not be sagging in a back carry – he or she should be tightly snugged to your back, keeping both of you able to navigate safely through the world.  The further your babe is from you, the easier he or she can lean back or bonk on something accidentally.  When baby is closely sharing your space, your natural ability to judge positioning AND your center of gravity and balance are 10,000 times better.*
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I – In View!
Hey, just like TICKS!  You should be able to see your little one over your shoulder – Hi baby!  The reasons that being able to see your baby is beneficial should be rather obvious to you if you’ve been in this parenting gig for more than a few minutes.  Seeing baby = way better than not seeing baby.  You’re welcome.
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C – Catbird Seated!
Is baby positioned high, tight, and in view, leaving him or her able to see over your shoulder, interact well with other humans, and generally participate nicely in the goings-on of life?  Yes?  You win!  On to K!
K – Keep on Keeping On!
Mastering a high back carry, like so many things worth doing, isn’t easy.  Keep trying.  Get yourself a carrier (cough cough Catbird Baby cough) designed to help instead of hinder you.  Get yourself to a babywearing meet-up where other parents can advise and assist you.  Then perch your little one way up high, in the highest seat – the seat of best advantage – and go out and take on the world.
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*This is not a very scientific estimate.  But it sounds about right.

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