The Freeloader Child Carrier

*articles may contain affiliate links* This post about the Freeloader Child Carrier contains information provided by US Family Guide. I’ll be reviewing this carrier soon and will share my personal opinions with you then!

Where are my baby-wearing moms and dads? My hand is raised high, but my babies aren’t so much babies any more, so wearing them hasn’t happened as much as I’d like. Now that the twins are two, they’re bigger and less interested in being worn. But to be honest, sometimes it would make life so much easier to be able to wear them.

That’s why I am excited to be sharing information on The Freeloader child carrier with you – and soon you’ll get to see us using this carrier in action! Can’t wait to see how the girls do with it!

Freeloader

According to my friends over at US Family Guide:

The Freeloader is the First Child Carrier Built Specifically for Toddlers! It is a new, better child carrier. Compact, lightweight and portable, the Freeloader child carrier uses advanced materials and design to create a better experience for parents who love spending time with their kids.

Whether you are traveling by air, going to the zoo, or hiking with your little ones, the Freeloader is ready to help carry the load. When not in use, the Freeloader’s integrated aluminum seat folds up neatly to the size of a daypack. The Freeloader is a perfect fit for parents that want a lighter, more versatile carrier. The Freeloader features an easy-to-use, 5-point safety harness. The safety harness is specially designed to fasten securely and safely out-of-reach of your child.

The Freeloader provides wide, ergonomic shoulder and waist straps to evenly distribute your child’s weight to your hips and core. The contoured shoulder straps are adjustable and provide extra padding for comfort and support. Padding in the back panel and seat offers extended comfort for your child.

The Freeloader is small enough to carry-on and stows away neatly, making it perfect for air travel, road trips and more!

I can just imagine how this will revolutionize Greg’s Wildlife Wednesday hikes, can’t you? And for me, I’m excited to give it a try the next time we go to the zoo – Ava had me carry her far more than I expected (and she hates the stroller).

If you’re intrigued and can’t wait to see my review here on the blog, head over to the Freeloader Child Carrier website or find them on Facebook.

Bonus: My readers get to take 10% off your Freeloader Child Carrier when you enter the code “freeloaderfun” at checkout. Enjoy!

Tell Me: Did you baby wear your kiddos? When did you stop? Where was the coolest place you carried?

Top Five Reasons to Use a Baby Carrier

This post, Top Five Reasons to Use a Baby Carrier, and the associated gift certificate giveaway are a partnership with Nakturnal. All opinions and advice are my own. 

I’ve said it a few times, but using a baby carrier has really changed our lives as twin parents. We’ve tried several different ones and each baby and parent has a favorite.

It’s true that we’re all different, so maybe you are not a baby carrier family and that’s okay. I’m hoping to give parents our reasons to use them – I know I appreciated sage advice as I tried to find the best ones for us. Enjoy!

Please make sure you are aware of baby carrier basics like these from BabyWearing International before you decide to baby wear. xoxo

Top Five Reasons to Use a Baby Carrier

  1. You become hands free. For us, having four kids to be minding to means that it’s all hands on deck. The right carrier will keep you from needing to keep a hand stabilizing baby and leave you with hands to open juice boxes, hold hands crossing the street, and for you moms of multiples – changing the other baby’s diaper!
  2. Bonding. Baby just spent nine months on the inside and feels safest against you. Around the world, many cultures practice babywearing to help baby experience their new life on the outside right with mom or dad. Your voice is calming and your bond strengthens.
  3. Sleepy Dust. I’ve found several times when my babies refused to sleep in their bassinet that is was best to just slip them close to me and let them fall asleep. Then I wasn’t stuck on the couch and could get up and get myself checking things of the to-do list.

    baby carrier
    Ava really loves time with daddy in her baby carrier.
  4. Travel with ease. A double stroller is not always convenient to drag along on our adventures (even with the van). Having a baby carrier gives us more mobility. We’ve done so many things with the babies that I could not imagine with a stroller – exploring trails along the Wisconsin River, Greg taking all four kids around New York City, picking out veggies at local farmers markets, and enjoying a dinner at the winery on our anniversary when the twins were three months old. Thank you, baby carriers!

    wisconsin dells boat tour
    This boat tour was so easy thanks to our carriers!
  5. Safety. Regardless of the type of baby carrier you use, baby is close to you and kept safe from all the things the world brings our way. I’m guilty of stopping the grocery cart and running across the aisle to get something on the other side. How quickly could someone come and run away with the cart if baby were in it? That would never happen if baby was being worn.

If these ideas help you make the choice to baby wear, awesome! There are many different kinds to pick from (go check them out here) and only you will know what is best for you and your ‘lil one. If you’re still unsure, feel free to ask me any questions or check out some of our posts about how we babywear the twins.


And if you’re still reading, you might just want to enter this giveaway for a $50 gift certificate! Nakturnal gave me a gift card to Diapers.com to share with one reader. The giveaway runs through December 28 at 11:59 PM EST. Good luck!

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Wrapy Baby Carrier

[Review Disclaimer] Today’s post is provided courtesy of the Wrapy Baby Carrier.

As a baby wearing family, we’ve run through many different types of baby carriers, all working differently for each of our kids, our adventures, and our budgets. I’m really not tied to one particular type or brand, though I will say that those with straps and buckles seem to help me feel safer when I’m also chasing the older two around. The Wrapy Baby Carrier is one of the carriers that we’ve given a try.

The Wrapy Baby Carrier

wrapy baby carrier

I’ll start by saying that we tried a similar carrier when Evan was a babe and again when the twins were fresh newborns. It worked, but I couldn’t get the hang of wrapping by myself (which is really the winning point of baby carrying in my book). The Wrapy was no different, unfortunately. With 9 feet of extra wide material, I would struggle to figure out how to get it wrapped just right without Greg’s help. Bummer! Double bummer? I would drag it on the floor when putting it on and because we have dogs, dog hair all over the cotton/spandex blend. Sigh.

That being said, a few positives about the Wrapy Baby Carrier:

  • The Wrapy is one size fits all. Although I’m somewhere (weirdly) between a 14 and a 20 (I know), it was long enough to wrap around my body and also to hold baby (mine are about 16 pounds). It’s the same length as the one I wore when I was a size 26, so I’d lean toward saying the one size fits all is pretty legit.
  • Baby is held close to the heart. This carrier is for front carries only. You’re able to see and kiss baby’s head because they are right there and safe against you.
  • Baby wearing is sleepy dust. I wore Isla when she was sick and it made a world of difference.
  • Breastfeeding is possible if your baby is in the seated position. Personally, I do not like the forward face in a carrier like this, so I only tried seated against me and Isla was able to eat while she hung out.

wrapy baby carrier

Would I wear the Wrapy in the summer? Maybe! It’s a lot of fabric, so I’m weary about sweat and me feeling uncomfortable, but it’s possible.

Will we keep using the Wrapy? From time to time, yes. Just like all of our carriers, there is a time and a place for it. Greg would probably work better with it, but I won’t rule it out.

If your interest is sparked and you’d like to try one of your own, you can purchase on Amazon and find out more on their website: http://wrapy.net

 

Gift Ideas for Newborn Twins

This list of Gift Ideas for Newborn Twins is my attempt at sharing things that my family has found beneficial in the first year of the girls’ lives. By no means am I an expert, and there are probably a ton of other awesome things twins parents could use – if so, I’d love to hear about them, too! (This post contains affiliate links.)

gift ideas for newborn twins

After having two other kids, we thought we knew what to expect when preparing to welcome the twins home. In some ways, we were right…in other ways, we were way wrong! Luckily, I stumbled across a few great blog posts, Facebook sites, and was even gifted some of these things. After I’ve been asked a few times what beyond my thoughts on what you should add to a baby registry and what to give parents of newborns (TO HELP OUT!), I figured I’d collect my favorite twin products, too. Seriously, double the love does mean mom and dad are shelling out double the money, so some of these are going to be a bit costly – group gifts work, too! We can help a little along the way, right?

Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Twins Bassinet

double bassinet playpen

Hands down, this was my favorite gift that the group gave me at my sprinkle. We use it in the living room for quick naps and diaper changes. The shades made it awesome to pull the girls out on the porch to enjoy some sun, too. When they got too heavy for the bassinets (at about 9.5 months / 14 pounds or so), we took the bassinets down and let them loose in the playard. There’s ample space for two girls and a gazillion toys. This item is available from Graco and on Amazon.

Twin Baby Carrier

twin baby carrier
(And hello, Anne Geddes!)

I loved my Weego Twin Baby Carrier, but once the girls started gaining weight, it was nearly impossible to hold them for long. My back just wouldn’t take it. More often than not, you’d find us with two ring slings. One for each parent, or one parent wearing both (Greg was so much better at that). If I were to invest again, I’d like go for something like the Twingaroo because there’s so much it can do. I haven’t worn one, but from what I hear, it’s awesome. (You can wear both on the front when they are wee, like above; but take it apart and wear one on the front and one on the back. You know. For times when you don’t feel like using ALL your super powers and relying on ring slings to do the trick. Straps and buckles sometimes are a LIFESAVER for twin parents.)

Baby Trend Snap n’ Go Stroller System

baby trend snap n' go

We’re still using this until we move to the convertible car seats (maybe stash away a Target or Amazon card now for this big purchase – we need four, so we’ve been saving any we get for this!). Literally, snap the carseats in and off you go. We bought ours second hand and the bottom netting is falling apart bad, but this stroller has been everywhere so we can’t complain. Check it out here: Baby Trend Universal Double Snap-N-Go Stroller Frame

The Twin Z Pillow

twin z pillow

Whether or not mama is nursing, the TWIN Z Pillow will come in handy. Our girls LOVE to sit in it, but I love how helpful it is while nursing and Greg uses it for bottle feeds. Win, win.

Extra diapers

There are never enough size 2 and size 3 diapers given at baby showers. And pregnant mom has no desire to waddle into the store are return newborns to get a box of 3’s. Nope. Neither does the mom of 10 month olds. If the babies will be in cloth, grab some detergent (like our current favorite, Eco Sprout Laundry Detergent) for them. Heck, bonus points for giving some free and clear detergent for all of the babies’ new clothes everyone else is sure to give! (Clothes are AWESOME, but there are some staples we need, too!) 😉

Other Goodies

Small things that make a big difference include:

  • Bottles and a drying rack
  • Socks – we can never find four at a time
  • Swaddles (I can’t speak enough about muslin blankets like these ones from aden + anais)
  • Burp cloths
  • Dishwasher detergent and/or dish soap (consider ordering from our Norwex Rep!)
  • Grocery gift cards (then they can get diapers, formula, baby food pouches – them things are expensive but SO easy for feeding! – as they are needed later on down the road)
  • Babysitting service for a date night at 3 months, 6 months and just before the year (or more if you can really handle multiples!)

Ok, twin moms! What did I miss? What do you think about my list of gift ideas for newborn twins? Please share and tell me below. If I have tried it, I’ll add to this list. If I haven’t, I’d love to test new things out.

Babywearing, Part 2

(This post is a continuation of the story I started yesterday about Babywearing.)

Fast forward to my pregnancy with E. I started to take a more laid-back approach to motherhood (ok, it’s probably the whole 2nd baby thing), and realized I could try to rock the baby wearing look. When I ordered my free (pay shipping) Udder Cover, I soon got an offer for a free Seven Sling. It involved sizing (which I measure all the time and according to their site have correct). Sizing scared me. What if I gained more weight than I expected? What if I suddenly lost weight post-baby? What if my ladies ballooned in cup size? So many ifs, so I bought size insurance. Evan arrived, and after he was a few weeks old, I decided to put him in the sling and walk around the house with him. I was comfortable, but he wasn’t exactly “close enough to kiss”. After about 5 minutes, he would get really upset. Now I see realize that the sling was pretty uncomfortable for him–I compare it to low thread count sheets. Basically, he didn’t like being held in a sling position by a carrier that I wouldn’t think twice about wearing as a piece of clothing.

I didn’t want to give up. So, I became a Twitter lurker on some chats and learned about the Moby Wrap. After many reviews, this seemed like the one for me. This carrier was made of higher quality material that felt like a t-shirt. Unlike other similar carriers, there wasn’t a size to be chosen. This was great, because as a plus-size mama and tall and lanky daddy pair, we needed a carrier that would work for both of us. So, I bought the wrap, washed it, and started to wear it that night. I hadn’t felt closer to E than when I was pregnant! It was love at first wear.

(Here’s a shot of me wearing Evan.)

My husband was a bit unsure of it at first, but after he realized all I could do while wearing the baby, he wanted to join in, too. We were both hooked.


(Greg and Evan)

So when the opportunity was presented to join Mrs. ‘Ski at a Baby Wearing Class, I was all about it. It took a few days, but Greg was interested too. Off to Robinson’s Happy Baby Company for a free class presented by Pittsburgh Babywearers. Let me warn you, the store is adorable, especially if you are into cloth diapers, I already have a wish list. But, my Navigation (on my phone) did NOT take us far enough down the road and we got lost. Thankfully, the class waited on us, and we hung out for over 2 hours learning about the right carriers for us and what we could move into.

It was nice to have our choice of the Moby Wrap affirmed because unlike other similar carriers, it keeps baby from sagging (until they get too heavy) and their chin off their chest. Evan is extremely comfortable in the wrap, which helps a lot. You really have to find what is right for you; however, the wraps or carriers that require sizing are not necessarily the best. We also have a lot to look forward to–other ways to wrap the Moby Wrap, carriers like the Beco and Ring Slings (that if we really wanted, we could carry Ari in. There is also a lending library from Pittsburgh Babywearers and meetings you can attend to learn more about baby wearing. Exciting!

Spring is coming, and you are guaranteed to see us rocking our lil man wrapped while we are out and about! (Greg even whipped out the Moby later in the afternoon at a cousin’s birthday party.) Thank you, Pittsburgh Babywearers & Happy Baby Company, for helping us with our journey as Baby Wearers!

Babywearing, Part 1

Years ago, I never pictured I would be excited about be considered a “Baby Wearer”. Never. To me, I thought people who wore their babies were some “elite” society of women who truly had this mommy thing down. They were a style of mom that I didn’t think I could be. Seriously, whether it is a mother in Ethiopia, Africa, or here in the US, I think that baby wearing moms are adorable and strong. (Check out this great article/gallery from Growing Your Baby!)

When I was pregnant with Arianna, I briefly read up on babywearing but wasn’t all that into it. Personally, I didn’t think I could exactly rock the sexy, pulled together yet hippy look, but needless to say, I was a teensy bit jealous.

So, in preparation for Arianna’s first flight, I knew I didn’t want to tote a carseat (my parents were getting us with her carseat at the airport), diaper bag, and my carryon with a new(ish) born. I can’t remember where I bought it, but I picked up a “knock off” Baby Bjorn carrier with straps and buckles. Before the flight, I practiced putting the carrier on a few times, but I wasn’t 100% sold on it. I was a single mom, and would be traveling alone, so I was scared to death I was going to drop her without help. I remember taking a practice trip to the mall with a friend, and I asked him not to help me…well, I snapped the buckle on my finger and ended up throwing up some words my little one should not have heard. But I trudged onward. I knew carrying A was essential for ease. I got to the airport and had my roommate make sure she looked secure, then it was off to check in and security. When I stepped up to the TSA Agent, I was asked to remove my baby from the carrier. Seriously? What was I supposed to do with my baby? So I handed the baby to the agent and walked through. Next, they were demanding I put my shoes back on and open her bottles for testing. I was so frustrated, and had to put her back in the carrier. Once she was back in, I boarded my first of two flights and was asked to remove her from the carrier. After I finally landed in Pittsburgh, I was able to seamlessly carry A through the airport and to my Dad’s truck. Needless to say, this first flight was made needlessly stressful, but I survived. Sadly, the carrier sits on the floor of a closet, not used since.

…you are going to have to come back tomorrow to hear the rest of the story!…