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Covers more than just carriers!

December 9, 2015
Cover snapped over Chicco infant car seat

The first winter after we started catbirdbaby, we had a realization: the winter carrier covers on the market then only fit narrow-based carriers. This was 2005-06 and there were not nearly the options available then as there are today! We developed the first babywearing cover that was specifically designed for wider-based, ergonomic baby carriers, accommodating a baby’s legs when seated in a carrier in the typical “M” position you see in many carriers today.

Our All-Fleece Carrier Cover in Steel Gray/Black with a pikkolo in front-facing in carry

Our All-Fleece Carrier Cover in Steel Gray/Black with a pikkolo in front-facing in carry

With our carrier cover you can also snap it over the top of your carrier (will fit any two-shouldered wide-base baby carrier) before you put it on. Then it’s easy to use in a back carry, and to just tuck your child’s feet in after you have the carrier on and properly adjusted.

Back Carry in Winter Cover

Winter Cover Microfiber and Fleece

But beyond babywearing, our carrier covers area are also excellent for use in car seats and strollers. Especially in car seats, their strength is that they do not interfere with the car seat’s intended function as they do not go behind the baby and the seat, or between the baby’s body and the straps of the harness. Depending on the width of your car seat’s top bar, you can snap the flaps of the cover over the bar, or tuck baby’s legs into the pocket and then tuck around baby’s body (after dressing in layers).

Cover snapped over Chicco infant car seat

Cover snapped over Chicco infant car seat

 

 

Cover tucked around baby

Cover tucked around baby

Recently, Dr. Alicia Baer, aka “The Carseat Lady” included our cover on her blog as a car-seat-safe option for winter warmth, as well. Although the same safety concerns regarding compression are not present for strollers as with car seats, our covers can also be used as a stroller blanket. And since they fit kids’ legs up till age 2 or beyond, they even make a great lap blanket in the car seat for toddlers/preschoolers.

Our carrier cover can be used with your stroller (Phil & Ted's jogger pictured)

Our carrier cover can be used with your stroller (Phil & Ted’s jogger pictured)

Our covers are available in two versions: All-Fleece, which is an outer layer of 200 weight polar fleece with a 100-weight microfleece lining. Our Microfiber version has an outer shell of water- and wind-resistant microfiber with a 200-weight polar fleece lining. All are one size fits up to approximately age 2 (about 37-8″ tall) and featured an elasticized foot pocket for your child’s feet/legs.

Shop our Winter Carrier Covers here!

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How to wear Mei Tais Newborn Pikkolo Safety Tips and Troubleshooting

Avoid These Common Babywearing Safety Mistakes

September 11, 2015
Zephyr pikkolo

The benefits of babywearing abound. It promotes physical and emotional development, strengthens the bond between parent and baby, allows baby a bird’s eye view of the world, allows parents to be hands-free and can allow for on-the-go breastfeeding. Here are some common safety errors when first using a carrier.

Too Low, Too Loose
Always aim for the baby to be high and tight or “visible and kissable.” You always want to be able to keep a close eye on your baby and be able to monitor his breathing. Remember to reposition baby after you’ve finished nursing him.

Too low and loose

Too low and loose in a Pikkolo

Too Low

Too Low and Too Loose in a Ring Sling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fit Tip: When putting the carrier on, hold your baby in the proper position on your body (on your chest where you naturally hold him), then bring the carrier to your baby and tighten while supporting his weight. If you support the baby’s weight gently in one hand, it will be much easier to adjust your carrier.

3 mo in Catbird Baby Pikkolo

High and comfortably snug in Pikkolo

High and Snug

High and comfortably snug in Ring Sling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrier That’s Too Big/Unadjusted
When using a carrier that’s too big, getting the proper fit can be tough and safety can become an issue. Infants may not get the lateral and spinal support they need, the carrier may be too tall/cover the head, or their knees may be spread too far apart.

Too big without insert

Baby’s face is buried

Not sized properly

Baby’s feet are splayed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When using traditional SSCs with newborns, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, make the proper adjustments and use recommended inserts as indicated. Remember, visible and kissable!

Proper fit in SSC using infant insert

Fitted properly with recommended insert

Proper fit in SSC that is adjustable for infants.

Adjusted properly per instructions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The unstructured design of mei teis, ring slings, wraps and buckle carriers like the Catbird Baby Pikkolo are great for newborns.

3-month-old baby in mei tai

Catbird Baby Mei Tei

3-mo in Catbird Baby Pikkolo

Catbird Baby Pikkolo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fit Tip: When babies are little, less is more. Look for carriers that provide snug support without excess fabric or padding.

Compromised Airway
Babies can sometimes slump into a chest to chin position when in their baby carriers (or car seats or bouncers). The upright, tummy-to-tummy position is the easiest way to maintain an open airway.

Cradle hold in ring sling

Cradle position can pose a risk

Tummy to tummy in ring sling

Tummy-to-tummy position for safety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fit Tip: Make sure that your baby’s chin is off the chest and that there is adequate airflow. Never cover baby’s head with a blanket.

Babywearing is a great parenting tool! With the right carrier (or carriers), you and baby will look and feel comfortable. If you’re having trouble getting the right fit, babywearing groups, volunteer and certified babywearing educators are wonderful resources.

The post Avoid These 3 Common Babywearing Mistakes first appeared September 2, 2015 on The Leaky Boob as part of their #TLBsafeKids campaign.

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How to wear Mei Tais Silliness

Mei Tai Love

September 17, 2014
SONY DSC
by Cynthia Soliz, BWI of Austin

I Lurve a Mei Tai.

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And in my deep contemplative moments… I have tried to put my finger on exactly why.

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The answer is simple. Mei Tais keep it simple. Elegant in it’s simplicity, a mei tai is easy to use, clean, size, and wear. So, I took that simple answer and (like only a lawyer would be expected to do) complicated it tremendously with twelve subpoints.

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Without further ado… The 12 Reasons to Love Mei Tais.

1. There are no buckles. Yep. I went there right out of the gate. Mei Tais keep it simple. Two ties and you are done. Without buckles, there is no need to loosen, tighten, adjust, and so on. Did you know that some buckle carriers have over 20 adjustments available? Just the thought of that has me all twitchy.

2. It fits anyone. Speaking of adjustments, there is no need to have separate carriers when you have more than one babywearer. Through it’s simple design, the same Mei Tai will fit 5’2″ Grandma, and 6′ 2″ Daddy. Does a size 4 wrap fit you the same as it does your partner? What is your base size if you are 5’5″ but busty? Mei Tai doesn’t care.

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3. It can switch from front to back quickly and easily.

Before I found BWI and drank the Kool-Aid, the way I used to change my worn baby from front to back included these steps:

1. Lay carrier flat on bed.
2. Lay baby on top of carrier flat on bed.
3. Lay parental back on top of baby (laying on top of carrier) while flat on bed.
4. Try not to squish baby.
5. Sing a song as to distract squashed baby and buckle quickly.
6. Now… rise.
***Please note that the “Cynthia” method for switching baby from front to back is not our standard recommendation. Here are lots of better ways to get your baby on your back.***

BUT… In a Mei Tai, you can do this:

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And it is awesome.

4. You always know which part touched the parking lot floor and it’s not the part that touches your baby.

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Germaphobes, rejoice! This is a big one for me.

5. It takes very little space.

Pack-rats and hoarders, rejoice! #hoardallthecarriers

6. It’s tried and tested. Mei Tais are the traditional Chinese baby carriers and have been in use for thousands of years.

7. It’s washable. I have a little story for ya, babywearers. I borrowed a carrier and the friend that I borrowed the carrier from called me very apologetically a few days later, her son was sent home from school with lice. Lice in all my carriers?? I panicked. I thought of the easiest carrier I had to wash and dry, the simplicity of the Mei Tai won the day! Most of my other carriers have special laundering instructions, but my beloved Catbirdbaby Mei Tai could go in the washing machine and (very importantly) in the hot drier. I had to make sure all of my other wraps were washed, air dried, then IRONED before any lice or eggs would be guaranteed to be gone. Mei Tai was ready to go (for all that ironing) in the hour. YES!

Also, whenever I tell that story, I get all itchy. Sorry, if you are having sympathy itch reading this. You are not alone and you also probably don’t have lice. Stop scratching.

8. The Mei Tai offers lots of versatility. without having the learning curve that wraps do.

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9. You can learn wrapping skills easily with a Mei Tai.

You don’t have to be a wrapping expert to use it, but you’ll be more comfortable with wraps after getting some Mei Tai practice.

10. It’s a pretty economical choice. The one we’re wearing here (my personal Mei Tai) is from Catbirdbaby. We have three in the lending library and it continues to be a great option for us because they are so reasonably priced.

11. The Mei Tai will go anywhere. Mei Tai isn’t scared of the baby covered in sand from the beach or the germs and bodily fluids of the hospital (TMI? perhaps). This no-fuss carrier means you can take it ANYWHERE.

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12. And the MOST important reason to love a Mei Tai, it doesn’t produce the dreaded muffin top.

Note: We like to have free carriers and are willing to write blog posts for free carriers, but companies don’t get editorial input. Also please note that I am not an educator and gifted carriers/carriers I write about don’t affect educator recommendations. Catbird Baby suggested a post on the “simplicity of a Mei Tai.” I doubt that this is what they were thinking they would get. I wrote this because I DO love this Mei Tai for lots of reasons.

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