Monday, September 22, 2014

Carrier Review: Kokoskaa (Woven Wrap)

Brand Name: Kokoskaa
Carrier/Colorway Name:  Natty* Royal Quill (Winter weight) and Royal Quill Fern
(*natty is slang for "natural," generally meaning undyed)
Materials/Fabric content:
Natty RQ: Unknown
RQ Fern: 100% Cotton

Royal Quill Natty (top); Royal Quill Fern (bottom)

Size of Carrier:
Natty: 3.24M
Fern:  4.79M

How Long has this carrier been used by you?
Over the course of a couple weeks

What size is the infant/toddler/child:
Baby A: Age 10m and 24lbs
Baby B: Age 3 yrs and 25 lbs

What were/are the exact measurements:
Natty: .73m width, 3.24m length
Fern: .73m width, 4.79m length

How did it feel on your shoulders:
Both wraps were soft and not diggy. Natty had more cush on my shoulders but I found both to be comfortable.

Kokoskaa Royal Quill Fern

Can you compare this wrap to another wrap already on the market?
Natty, in terms of cush, reminded me of Pavo Etini Magnolia. Fern is similar but is thinner and has a tad more grip. Fern is also more airy and would choose it over Natty in a hot climate.

Who do you think this carrier would best be geared to:
I don’t tend to recommend thicker wraps for beginners but in a longer size i don’t feel like it would be too much. The stretch would cause a novice to possibly need to retighten while wearing until he or she becomes accustomed to the stretch but the support and grip would definitely make it supportive and comfortable. As for a certain age range, I think i would be likely to use this wrap for both babies and toddlers.

Kokoskaa natty Royal Quill

Please tell us a little more about yourself:
I have been baby wearing for over 9 years, 6 children of my own and several babies I have watched. I have owned and tried hundreds of woven wraps and my tastes have varied greatly over the years. I have used everything from $30 gauze wraps to stretchy wraps to higher end woven wraps. I started and led a baby wearing group for 2 years before moving to Virginia earlier this year.

***BWIofHR received two woven wrap samples for testing purposes from Kokoskaa. Kokoskaa is donating a different woven wrap to our lending library. The donation was not contingent upon a review of these wraps. This review was solicited from our members and we hope to provide member-written reviews for more carriers available for purchase and from our lending libraries.***

Monday, September 15, 2014

Babywearer of the Month: Meet Jenny T

I am Jenny T, mom of five children. I began baby wearing with my daughter in 2008. We were fostering her and she came into our home at 4 days old. I previously worked at CHKD in the NICU-step down unit and knew the importance of skin to skin contact. I wanted to make sure this precious baby could feel the love for her. I was honored to adopt this beautiful girl a year later. I kept her in the wrap her first two years. We have such a wonderful bond. I now encourage all of my fellow foster parenting friends to baby wear too.

We also have a precious baby boy we began fostering in 2011, he spent his first year in the NICU at VCU. He came home on a ventilator, oxygen and NG tube feeds. despite all of the tubes, I wrapped him too. Again, I wanted him to know the wonderful feeling of mommy snuggles.

We felt like the only way to carry babies around was in a wrap.

When Gideon was born, he went right in the wrap. He now points to it and even gets it for me. He loves to tuck his hands in and snuggle. Gideon is only 17 months old and was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2014.  He finds so much comfort in being worn.  Gideon is currently going through chemotherapy and daily procedures.  The wrap is his safe place.

Thank you for sharing our family's babywearing story. I pray our story encourages parents with medically fragile children, special needs, foster and adoptive children to enjoy all of the benefits of babywearing.

You can read more about Gideon's journey on his Facebook page, Prayers for Gideon.

Thank you, Jenny, for sharing your babywearing story!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Carry of the Month: Hip Cross Carry

Please read our disclaimer before trying this carry. Infants should have head control before being placed in a hip carry. 

The hip cross carry is such an easy, easy carry so I'm pretty excited for everyone to try it. It's also extremely fast! It's made up of just two passes so if you have a leaner or a back archer, it may not be the carry for you but if you've got a toddler who is up and down, this will work out perfectly. If you're stuck with a base size (such as a size 6 or 7,) you can make it work by just tying the long tails around your or if you're a lover of all wraps short, this carry is perfect for a size 3 or 4. 

 I started off pretty simply here. I like to fold wraps in half when I'm doing some pretying or if I'm trying to keep things nice and neat. This carry can be pretied, however after trying this carry out a few times, I decided it was the most comfortable when I tied it around my baby. You can find what works best for you and your baby though. I then plopped the middle marker right on my shoulder with the two rails facing in toward my neck.
It doesn't really matter which pass you start with, I just thought the pass in front of me was easiest. You don't want to pull this too tight because I haven't anchored my wrap anywhere yet. You *could* anchor the pass behind you by putting it between your legs behind you but I was just careful to spread it over nice and even without pulling too hard. You want it to spread from the top of baby's neck to baby's knee and then pass it under baby's other knee. If your wrap is short, you can just leave it pinned under baby's leg to tighten up later or if you're working with a long wrap like I was, you can bring it to the front and pin it between your knees. It's good to remember some babywearing safety while doing this as well and that's to keep one hand on your baby at all times while adjusting the wrap.

You're nearly done after this. All you have to do now is bring the pass behind you under your arm, over your baby's back and spread evenly. Pass it under baby's leg and tie off anywhere. Tying off can be a little tricky with baby in the way but just do your best to tie off as soon as possible to make the carry secure. If you have a long wrap like I did, you can pass them around your waist again and tie under baby's bottom or wherever your knot lands.

 Now here's how you remove baby to keep the carry nice and poppable! Just simple peel off the layers of the carry slowly while supporting your baby and lift baby out and free their legs of the wrap! Try not to mess with the carry too much but it should look like the 3rd picture of this sequence after baby is out OR if you've pretied it.
When you're ready to pop baby right back in, just slowly put them back into the cross passes. Always work with the pass that is closest your body and secure it completely. So do this by placing baby's leg into the pass to straddle it and then spread the rails all the way up and as wide as you can. Once that pass is completely secure, you can work with the other the same way.
Last little tip to this carry is that if you've pretied and you're stuck with some extra slack, flip the shoulder out to take it all up!

We hope this helps and please do not be afraid to ask questions!
You can email questions to our Education chair at
Education (at) BabywearingHamptonRoads (dot) Org any time. 

Photo tutorial not doin' it for you? No worries. Check out Babywearing International of Hampton Roads's YouTube channel for more information and tutorials!