Simply Beautiful Sakura Bloom

Sakura Bloom baby ring slings

 

The simplicity of a ring sling makes wearing your baby tummy-to-tummy easy and secure. Ring slings have always been my favorite baby carriers because they are so easy to adjust for position and comfort and so quick to put on and take off. They pack up small in your bag, and they don’t add bulk or hot layers over your clothes. They are the perfect balance of adjustability with ease.

Combine that simple utility of the ring sling with stunning beauty, and you get Sakura Bloom.

I just returned from a monstrously huge baby products trade show in Las Vegas. Every year I’m struck by how useless so much of the stuff is. I see products that are the life’s ambitions of the inventors—life’s ambitions and life savings. And, so few will survive because they are single-purpose, short-term products that don’t really improve lives. So many of these products just provide more ways not to touch babies when babies ask to be touched.

Yet, in the midst of that ocean of shocking color and plastic, there are areas of soothing, natural calm. I, of course, move straight toward the calm.

And, there is Sakura Bloom.

  • The product is simply beautiful.
  • The brand is touching.
  • The new products are irresistible.

Babywearing is all about touch, and sling style baby carriers can be used from newborn through toddler. These are the opposite of the short-term, no-touch products that abound at the baby products trade show.

We know our customers love the popular Sakura Bloom baby slings, so we have picked up their new products, and we have a few of these beauties on their way to the store right now.

If you are wondering about the difference between the Sakura Bloom sling styles, look for either silk or linen. The Irish linen is in the process of being replaced by Belgian linen, so you will see those listed separately. You can also get either single- or double-layer. The double layer gives more support for a bigger, older baby, and the single layer is perfect for summer with a newborn. Then, there are the special collections like Shabd Shibori.

Hand-dyed baby carriers

Shabd Shibori Collection
In-Store Only
Pattern/Color: Rich blues in four distinct pattern families: triangle, line, square, and feather. Every sling is one-of-a-kind.
Material: Single layer of 100% Belgian linen
Weight: lightweight & breathable
Made in USA

These slings are Sakura Bloom’s latest collaboration with Shabd Simon-Alexander. For this collection the artist has utilized Shibori — the centuries-old Japanese dyeing technique that highlights geometric repeat patterns. Shabd Shibori for Sakura Bloom is rendered in sophisticated, rich hues of blue.

Each sling is one-of-a-kind, dyed by hand in Brooklyn. This time, Shabd’s canvas is the Classic Linen—beautiful Belgian flax spun and woven to perfection. Shabd Simon-Alexander is an internationally renowned textile artist, designer, author and teacher with a background in fine arts. Her clothing line, shabd, is carried in high-end boutiques and art museums around the world. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NYC.

Dream about them online then come into our store in Orillia to choose your new sling in person.

Double Silk
Pattern/Color: Choice of color pairs. Reversible.
Material: Two layers of Indian dupioni silk
Weight: Lightweight & breathable, extra support for larger baby
Made in USA

Single Silk
Pattern/Color: Four gorgeous colors
Material: One layer of Indian dupioni silk
Weight: Lightweight & breathable, better for smaller baby
Made in USA

Double Linen
Pattern/Color: Choice of color pairs. Reversible
Material: Two layers of 100% Irish linen
Weight: Lightweight & breathable, extra support for larger baby
Made in USA

Single Linen
This Pure Collection of single-layer Irish linen is being replaced by the single-layer Belgian linen of the NEW Classic collection. When they are gone, they are gone.
Pattern/Color: 9 colors, including 2 organic
Material: One layer of 100% Irish linen
Weight: Lightweight & breathable
Made in USA

Chambray
In stock soon!
Pattern/Color: Choice of cross-woven colors
Material: Two layers of 100% Belgian linen
Weight: Medium-weight & breathable, a popular choice for the Canadian climate
Made in USA

NEW Classic Collection 
In stock soon! New slings on their way to the store. These will be replacing the Irish linen slings. This is the new basic Sakura Bloom baby sling.
Pattern/Color: Choice of colors
Material: One layer of 100% Belgian linen
Weight: Lightweight & breathable
Made in USA

Sakura Bloom Classic baby sling

Remember that every baby carrier purchased from bynature.ca includes a complimentary babywearing lesson with a Trained Babywearing Educator in our store in Orillia. Come in and see why parents love these slings so much.

 

 

 

Made in Canada Favourites

Anointment Skin Care Gift Set

 

Feeling all Canadian this weekend? Think about this: when we buy Made in Canada products from local stores, we are making sure that our money works harder for us. We are supporting local jobs in manufacturing and retail. We’re boosting local value for ourselves as well as for those who make and sell what we buy.

At bynature.ca we are careful about every product we stock. We always look close to home first, so we have found a lot of great parenting products Made in Canada. These are a few of our favourites that you might consider next time you are shopping.

Anointment
Handmade Natural Skin Care

Anointment Natural Skin Care Baby Balm

Range: herbal soaps, new mom & baby, beard & skin care for men, lip balm
Home: Sackville, New Brunswick
Cool Fact: The owner lives in a 150-year old farmhouse, where she grows many of the herbs used in Anointment products.

Naked Tank
Nursing Tank that covers your mid-section

Naked Tank breastfeeding tank

Range: Cotton or Bamboo Nursing Tanks
Home: Guelph, Ontario
Cool Fact: One of the co-owners cut up her own tank top to find a comfortable solution that would work with any bra. When that top sagged, she asked her mother to help her make a shirt that worked. Now, that is the Naked Tank.

Co-operative Games
Family Pastimes makes 100+ games

Cooperative Games Yard Sale

Range: Games by age group, multi-age, and game books
Home: Perth, Ontario
Cool Fact: Founded in 1972 because the founder wanted games for his own children that reinforced sharing attitudes. They still use the shop they built for the business in 1984.

Colibri / Sling Sisters
Organic baby products

Colibri Organic Cotton Wrap

Range: Wrap-style baby carriers, wet bags, snack bags
Home: St Adolphe, Manitoba
Cool Fact: These sisters (actual sisters) design and make all of their products in their own facility in Manitoba.

See these and more Made in Canada products in the bynature.ca store in Orillia, Ontario. Until then, Happy Canada Day.

 

Baby Carrier Safety

Baby Carrier Safety

 

Your baby belongs close to you. Babywearing keeps your baby close enough to kiss. We find, though, that a lot of parents start with concerns about the safety of babywearing and baby carriers.

Parents are right to be concerned. Babywearing is safe when done right with a safe carrier, but not all carriers are equal.

Baby Carrier Safety

Until quite recently, every parent had to rely on baby carrier manufacturers themselves to make safe products without any basic standards to guide them. It was manufacturers themselves who sought standards, and they now have clear, strict standards for making baby carriers as well as clear guidelines for parents to be sure that they use baby carriers safely. An international alliance of baby carrier manufacturers, store owners, and babywearing educators all join together in one organization that oversees baby carrier safety: the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA).

Basic Babywearing Guidelines

Always keep in mind a few basic guidelines:

  • Holding position. Keep your baby in a position you would hold them in arms. Using a carrier mimics holding your baby.
  • Close enough to kiss. Unlike a should bag, your baby shouldn’t be hanging low. Keep the baby up high as you would hold them without a carrier.
  • Face visible. You need to be able to see you baby’s face at all times without skin, fabric, or anything else in the way.
  • Head and neck supported. This is very important. Proper support keeps your baby’s airway from restricting.

Wearing your baby safely is a skill you need to learn. Basic guidelines help, but they aren’t enough. This is why bynature.ca staff are Certified Babywearing Experts, trained to help you learn the skills you need for safe use of your carrier with your baby.

Please come by the store to learn more about babywearing. We want you to be close and safe.

Babywearing Workshops

Which workshop or consultant do you need? Choose from four. If you aren’t sure, drop by or call.

Just starting out? Our Babywearing 101 workshop for new and expectant parents is a great way to prepare for your baby’s birth or learn to wear your infant under 3 months old. The workshop is about 1.5 hours. Register online or in the store.

If you already know the basics, our Better Babywearing Clinic might be for you. Every Thursday morning at 10:00AM we hold a clinic that lasts 30-45 minutes where you learn infant physiology and step-by-step instruction. Each week, we focus on a specific style of carriers, so choose the week you attend based on the style you are interested in. We will also help you try carriers before you buy them after the clinic. Register online or in the store.

If you need more help, we also provide private babywearing consultation. If you’ve already attended the Bettery Babywearing clinic, you start with a 30-minute session. Without the clinic, you will need two 30-minute sessions. Your fee can be deducted from the cost of your carrier purchased from Parenting by Nature within seven days. Register online or in the store.

If you just need your carrier fitted, we can walk you through your choices, help you get the right carrier, and give you lessons to get started. Register for the Baby Carrier Fitting Service for a 30-minute consultation. Your fee can be deducted from the cost of your carrier purchased from Parenting by Nature within seven days. Register online or in the store.

It always helps to be well informed. For more babywearing safety, see the collection of links from BCIA.

Baby on a Budget: Just One Baby Carrier

Wrapsody Hybrid Baby Carrier Wrap

 

Before you have a baby, you probably aren’t sure exactly what you need. I’m sharing my experience to help you avoid buying stuff you won’t use.

A baby carrier is one of the baby essentials I recommend for you, even if you have a short list and a tight budget. Save money by buying just one baby carrier.

Why Is a Baby Carrier Essential?

  • Your baby gets what s/he wants: being close to you.
  • You keep baby close enough to kiss, so you become atuned to your baby’s needs. (The “attachment” in attachment parenting.)
  • You are free to use your arms and keep moving.

Especially in the first few months, most babies want to be very close to their parents. After babies start to move around, they will still spend a lot of time asking to be picked up. You have a higher vantage point to see the world. You are comfort when there is too much stimulation. Even a toddler wants to be held a lot. I still think of my little boy (before he was 6′ tall) saying, “Hold me,” and me getting out the sling that was sturdy enough to hold a toddler.

You will hold your child a lot. A baby carrier makes that a lot easier.

How to Save Money on Baby Carriers

Baby carriers are an expensive item because they involve a lot of high-quality fabric. I wouldn’t advise you to save money by getting a low-quality carrier or low-quality fabric. This is a safety issue. The baby carrier industry has done a great job in the past few years creating a standard that keeps your baby safe. It’s worth choosing a carrier that adheres to the high standard.

So, my alternative method of saving on baby carriers is to get just one carrier that works for all sizes and situations.

The One Baby Carrier: Wrapsody Bali Stretch Hybrid

The staff at bynature.ca recommends the Wrapsody Bali Stretch Hybrid as their most versatile and economical carrier over the lifetime of your use.

  • Wear newborn to toddler
  • Use as front carrier, hip carrier, or back carrier
  • One size fits all. 6 yards of fabric with hemmed, tapered ends so it is easy to tie
  • Soft fabric doesn’t create pressure points on your body, like heavier wraps or too quick wrapping sometimes creates
  • Compact enough to fit in your bag
  • Includes a DVD to help you learn wrapping

It is perfect for newborn.
Wrapsody Bali Stretch Wrap Aphrodite pattern

Perfect for napping babies.
Wrapsody Bali Stretch Wrap Alyssa

And also perfect for toddlers who really need to see the world.
Wrapsody Bali Stretch Wrap Chronos

What makes this carrier a particular favorite is the soft, stretchy fabric. This 100% cotton fabric is soft like a stretchy wrap but strong and supportive enough to function like a woven wrap.

One of the most important things for about a baby carrier, since you will be spending a lot of time wearing it over the next few years, is what it looks like. I hated my baby sling that had pastel baby patterns on it. I always reached for the one that matched my clothes (black). Think about how you dress, and buy your baby carrier accordingly. You will save yourself having to buy another one because you hesitate to wear the first.

With the Wrapsody Bali, the choices are gorgeous. Each one is unique because of the variations in hand-dyed and batiked fabric (from Bali, Indonesia). You can get a beautiful pattern, if that fits you, or a rainbow stripe, or a more subtle, neutral color. You have choices, and they are all dyed with baby-safe dyes (no heavy metals). You baby will suck and chew on the carrier, so that is important.

You will probably be wearing this carrier every day for a year, most days for the year after that, and occasionally into the third year. You will get a lot of wear out of your baby carrier. Don’t let the price tag scare you into skipping the baby carrier or opting for a cheaper version that you will have to replace.

Choose wisely the first time, and you will save in the long run.

More Baby on a Budget

All this month we will feature posts on saving money with babies.

See my short list of baby essentials and the stuff you will find on all of the other lists but you probably won’t use: “Baby on a Budget: What Do You Really Need?”

What is the best way to save on cloth diapers? Find out in “Baby on a Budget: Cloth Diapers.”

And, simplest of all, what do you need to buy to breastfeed? My answer in “Baby on a Budget: Breastfeeding Supplies.”

Common Questions about Forward-facing Baby Carriers

Babywearing mistake in advertising photo

We caused a bit of a stir earlier this week when we posted the photo above on Facebook and asked, “Can you spot the babywearing faux pas in this Babies R Us photo?”

The answer is: the baby carried outward-facing on the back. A baby should not be carried like this. The carrier is designed to be worn on the front with the baby facing outward.

Our point was that even a very large baby store can get babywearing wrong. Someone clearly didn’t read the instruction manual before the photo shoot. It does help parents when they buy from an experienced retailer that spends the day helping parents carry babies close and safely. Our employees at bynature.ca are trained in babywearing safety.

What actually happened during the Facebook conversation, though, was very interesting. Some commentors thought that both the baby on the left (front-facing front carry) and the baby in the center (back-facing back carry) were incorrect positions. The position on the left is not optimal, but it is not unsafe either.

We had a good discussion about forward-facing carriers, and we heard some of the comments and questions we hear a lot in the store. We’ve gathered those questions for you here.

Aren’t all outward-facing baby carriers bad?

No! Not at all. We don’t sell or suggest the BabyBjorn or carriers that don’t allow for optimal positioning, but we don’t feel they are inherently bad, either. Some babywearing advocates dismiss all use of these carriers, but in other circles the Bjorn and Snugli (the carrier worn incorrectly in this photo) are often referred to as “gateway carriers.” These carriers are readily available in mainstream department stores, and they are often a new parent’s first introduction to babywearing. They can be a first step toward an optimal carrier.

The BabyBjorn, for example, has been used for more than 50 years. As babywearing advocates, we would much rather see a parent using a carrier like a Bjorn, keeping baby safe and close to the wearer, promoting bonding and easing the transition to life with baby, than not using an baby carrier at all.

But, when a narrow-seated carrier is no longer comfortable and parents come to us asking how to continue carrying baby beyond 8 months, we’ve got lots of suggestions to help them continue babywearing comfortably (and safely) for much longer than the Bjorn will allow.

Carrying a baby in a carrier is much safer than any other device (car seat, stroller, bouncy seat, swing, etc.). Evidence supports this. We would rather support parents using these carriers, so they understand that it’s safe and good for baby to be carried close, especially since it can mean the difference between having a baby carried or not carried at all.

Isn’t wearing a baby front-forward facing unsafe for the baby?

No, there is nothing generally unsafe for baby about it. Forward-facing is not ideal, but it isn’t unsafe either.

But, I heard that outward facing baby carriers harm a baby’s hip development.

There isn’t any substantiating evidence that supports the theory that forward-facing is harmful to developing hips—despite rumors circulating on the internet. Absolutely no studies have been done with babies.

Front-forward carrying does not cause hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is congenital, meaning: babies who actually have hip dysplasia are born with it. A mild case could potentially be exacerbated by swaddling or poor carrier positioning, but poor positioning isn’t going to give a baby hip dysplasia.

Does forward facing babywearing cause a baby’s back to arch?

Yes, it can, and a baby’s back should not arch in any baby carrier, but that can be fixed with proper positioning.

Shouldn’t the baby have hip support in a baby carrier?

An optimal carry will support a baby with legs bent at the hips in an M-shape (the baby’s bottom being the center of the M with knees at the top of the M). A narrow seat is not optimal because it doesn’t support the bent legs. Yes, the M-position is ideal, but it is not unsafe or harmful to have baby forward facing even if not in M-position.

What are the issues with front-forward carrying?

For the wearer. The front-forward carry may not be comfortable for the wearer. For a newly postpartum mother, the baby facing out puts a lot of outward pressure on the wearer’s core muscle structure—even more if baby is hanging too low—as well as downward pressure on the pelvic floor. With a body that is recovering from pregnancy and birth, a body still processing relaxin, this outward pressure can damage the pelvic floor and core muscles and delay muscle recovery.

For the baby. There is nothing inherently unsafe about front-forward facing for a baby. A proper seat will likely be more comfortable for a little one (consider how you might like to be positioned in a swing with a seat or by a narrow band across your crotch), but it’s not a safety issue.

You might find that facing forward can be over-stimulating for some babies, since they can’t look away from what is going on around them, but this isn’t a safety issue. Many babies do like to be facing forward. If your baby is unhappy with the stimulation of seeing the busy world, you will probably hear about it. When your baby is uncomfortable or unhappy, it’s time to turn around and face in toward you.

Babywearing Safety

Our focus in our physical store and our online store is babywearing safety.

Babies should face in as infants, since this position stabilizes their head and neck and protects their airway. While forward facing or a narrow-seated carrier isn’t something we recommend, neither do we call it “dangerous.” When we talk about safety and babywearing to new parents, we only call “dangerous” those real, clear dangers of serious injury or death, such as positional asphyxia, poor positioning, or improper use of a carrier.

For more information on babywearing safety, see Babywearing International’s safety guidelines.