Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Great Babywearing Share’athon 2010

To encourage fellow babywearers to share their joys in babywearing, Baby Slings & Carriers is holding our 1st ever Babywearing Share’athon for our customers and fans. There are a total of 3 categories in this contest with an ergonomic carrier each to be won. The best entry in each category stands to win either a Limited Edition Manduca Organic Cotton Carrier Bamboo Flame worth $279.90 each or a Boba Classic Carrier Twilight worth $159.90.

To top it up, entries that submit both a photo and a testimonial (which means you take part in both Category A & B) also automatically qualify for a lucky draw where 1 winner will walk away with a $50 Baby Slings & Carriers voucher!

Hurry, check out our contest details below! Contest closes 11:59pm (Singapore time) 30 December 2010. Please note that contest has been extended to 7 Jan 2011 (Friday) 11:59 Singapore time by popular request. (Sorry folks, we cannot extend for any longer than that to be fair to everyone.)

Category A: Best Babywearing Photo Contest
(Prize: A Manduca Bamboo Flame worth $279.90)
  • Submit a photo of you wearing your child in any of our slings, wraps or carriers. Brands and carrier types accepted are Manduca Baby Carrier, Sleepy Wrap, Boba Carrier, Patapum Carrier, Ellaroo slings, wraps or carriers, Pikkolo Baby Carriers, JumpSac slings, TaylorMade Sling, Moby Wrap, Peanut Shell.
  • Each entry must come with you and your child’s name, where it is taken, as well as how old the child is in the photo.
  • You are automatically entered for both Category A & Category B contests if you add a testimonial using the requirements spelt out in Category B. In addition, you will also stand a chance to win a $50 Baby Slings & Carriers voucher in a lucky draw.

Category B: Best Testimonial Contest
(Prize: A Manduca Bamboo Flame worth $279.90)
  • Submit a testimonial of any baby carrier you had purchased from us telling us which sling/ wrap/ carrier you had bought, how old your child is, how long you have been using it, why you like it and how it has helped you in your parenting journey.
  • Brands and carrier types accepted are Manduca Baby Carrier, Sleepy Wrap, Boba Carrier, Patapum Carrier, Ellaroo slings, wraps or carriers, JumpSac slings, TaylorMade Sling, Moby Wrap, Peanut Shell.
  • You are automatically entered for both Category A & Category B contests if you post a photo and an accompanying testimonial. In addition, you also stand a chance to win a $50 Baby Slings & Carriers voucher in a lucky draw.

Category C: Guess the Carriers Contest
(Prize: A Boba Carrier Twilight worth $159.90)
Any fan is welcomed to join the contest in this Category simply by answering 2 questions:
  1. Guess the brands of the three carriers shown in the below picture. (*Hint: match the pictures at
  2. Tell us what the Baby Slings & Carriers tagline is. (*Hint: It is under the logo on our website.)

How to Join?

Terms & Conditions: 
  • Brands and carrier types accepted for Category A & B are Manduca Baby Carrier, Sleepy Wrap, Boba Carrier, Patapum Carrier, Ellaroo slings, wraps or carriers, Pikkolo Baby Carriers, JumpSac slings, TaylorMade Sling, Moby Wrap, Peanut Shell.
  • Baby Slings & Carriers reserve the right to reject any entries that does not fulfill the terms set out in each contest.
  • Contest is open to Singapore residents only as collection of prizes must be in person or by an authorised representative.
  • Winners will be notified on 8 Jan 2011 through Facebook and prizes must be collected within 30 days.
  • By taking part in this contest, you unreservedly allow Baby Slings & Carriers as well as the participating brands to use your photos and testimonials in any of our future marketing materials. 

So what are you waiting for? Send in your entries now!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Breastfeeding - Cover or Not?

Breastmilk is the most complete food for infants and there is no doubt that because breastmilk is highly digestible, a baby may need to feed more frequently (with their tiny walnut sized stomachs) than us adults. And that can mean every hour or so depending on the baby's metabolic rate.

So how does one deal with the need for frequent (or even infrequent) feedings in the public, once the mother feels well enough to get out of the house?

With the increased awareness and number of mothers breastfeeding, the public's acceptance of public breastfeeding seems to have improved by leaps and bounds. However, we need to recognize that every person's perception and acceptance level appears to be different with public breastfeeding, be it the mother, father or the stranger in the street who chances on the breastfeeding pair. For a new mother who is not used to viewing her breasts as a natural human anatomy that is made for breastfeeding (yes, even in public), she may be rather apprehensive about "flashing her boobs" in public. We know perhaps by writing this post that we may get a lot of protests from our female counterparts or even hate mails (we've seen it appear in many forums - so many we lost count). However, we will like to reiterate the point that we are all for public breastfeeding and the reason for writing this post is purely to showcase different views on public breastfeeding for which we have got enormous mails about.

There are many reasons when a mother makes a choice to cover up when breastfeeding in public:

1) The mother may be unprepared to have her breasts seen by anyone except her partner and her breastfeeding child. For most of us growing up in a conservative society, we have been taught that we should never expose any of our "private parts" which includes our breasts. All these years of belief will not suddenly change every woman's view about having her privacy intruded when she has a baby. We should respect the mother's choice and support what she is most comfortable with. Breastfeeding in public is never about forcing a mother have her privacy intruded on (from the mother's viewpoint). For the more courageous moms who are less concerned, we are more than happy that you are showing the way that breastfeeding is really a natural part of life! :)

2) The father may be unprepared for his wife to be seen breastfeeding in public. The dads may have grown up in a conservative family as well and may feel uncomfortable for the reasons as how some mothers will feel about breastfeeding as listed above. From a more protective husband's point of view, "I really support my wife's decision to breastfeed in public, but I feel so insecure and helpless when there are prying eyes!" We again have to respect each couple's individual decision. Then again there are other daddies who are fine with any arrangements.

3) The extended family usually the grandparents, may be uncomfortable. As many of our parents did not grow up in an environment where breastfeeding is prevalent, it may be difficult for them to see it now as anything other than indecent exposure, after believing so for the last few decades. Old habits die hard and wouldn't it make sense to have a more amiable process for their acceptance by slowly winning them over? Of course, there are other grandparents who are completely supportive and are comfortable with public breastfeeding (without any cover-ups).

4) Friends or strangers (especially males) may be very uncomfortable being in full view of a mother breastfeeding her baby in front of them. They are worried because as a man once put it, "It's difficult for me to go up to this friend when she is breastfeeding nearby and in full view. I am worried that if I accidentally look at her she might think I am rude and trying to peep. So I pretended to not see her and walk away. It really puts me in an awkward position, especially when she spotted and called out to me."

Eventually we do hope that breastfeeding can become so common and people feel that there is no more need to cover up. Until then, rather than forced acceptance, some mothers feel that discreet breastfeeding does help them bridge the gap and allow for the baby to be fed when he or she is hungry and yet be respectful of other's comfort level. Afterall, it is about a gentle movement, at a comfortable pace where the end result is widespread societal acceptance of public breastfeeding where nobody even blinks an eye.

Until then, here are several ways we can think of that a breastfeeding mother can breastfeed discreetly (even in the hospital ward with visitors):

Nursing Covers 

Getting a nursing or breastfeeding cover with a rigid neckline can help loads for those who need to watch baby or to engage baby while avoiding prying eyes. Preferably they should come with a heavier weight at the bottom to prevent it from flying up and exposing the mother. An award winning stylish nursing cover from Bebe au Lait does that effectively. The covers can also be great for older babies who are easily distracted during breastfeeding.

Baby Ring Slings
Not only can a baby sling be used to transport your baby while leaving you hands-free. The tail end can even double up as an extra coverage for discreet breastfeeding. Because it is a baby carrier, you can even shop around while your baby is latched on without anyone ever finding out. A fashionable and comfortable linen blend ring sling from JumpSac can be a godsend for a stylish mommy. No special clothes required (although you should be wearing a top that is loose and easy to pull up if you are not wearing special nursing clothes).

Stretchy Wrap
An extremely user-friendly one like Sleepy Wrap not only allows for the mother to carry her baby hands-free and comfortably for long periods of time, it also allows for quick and discreet breastfeeding. A normal stretchy tank or camisole that can pulled downwards easily allows a baby to breastfeed on the go. Switching breast is a breeze if baby is already in an upright position. Just slide the head over to the side and nurse.

Nursing clothes
There are many clothes made specially with nursing access for more discreet breastfeeding. Some allow for lifting up, others come with zips, yet others come with buttons or clasps (top-down access). Due to the wide range available, a new mother can perhaps think about the type of access she is best able to handle. For example, some women are more efficient with lifting up than pulling down. So choosing the one most comfortable for each individual can be an important decision with a hungry baby. If unsure, get a few different types and try out before getting more.

At the end of the day, we believe that the decision to cover or not when breastfeeding in public or how to cover up is an entirely individual (or familial) one and in order to provide a nurturing environment for continued breastfeeding, individual choices should be respected regardless of whether it is in line with our own.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Is Sleepy Wrap warm and tips for nursing

We have often received questions on the stretchy wraps and the most common ones are whether the Sleepy Wrap is warm and the kind of breastfeeding tops that can best be used with it. Below are the commonly asked questions and our answers.

Q: Will the Sleepy Wrap be very warm to wear in Singapore's humid weather? What has been your experience with this?

A: Firstly you will need to be aware that there will always be some body heat trapped as long as you carry your baby. A baby carrier made with natural fibres (eg. cotton, linen) is more breathable that those made of synthetic fibres (eg.polyester, nylon). The Sleepy Wrap is made of cotton and feels like a T-shirt material, so it breathes rather well. In our experience it is not exactly a lot warmer to wear than other carriers, although it will definitely be slightly warmer than using a ring sling since there is additional layer of cloth going around you. Having said that, heat tolerance is a personal thing and some people find that the organic cotton Sleepy Wrap can be cooler and more breathable than the normal ones. We have personally tested a Sleepy Wrap with a newborn in Singapore at home for two hours without any air-conditioning (mid-year) and do not exactly find it very much warmer than carrying the baby in arms.

Q: What kind of breastfeeding tops gives best access to babies to feed with the Sleepy Wrap? 

A: With the Sleepy Wrap, you should be looking at nursing tops with top down access. This will help you nurse easily and more discreetly. A bottom up nursing access can be too cumbersome for use with a Sleepy Wrap. For many of our mothers, they have learnt to also just wear a simple stretchy spaghetti strapped tank and pull down for nursing, doing away with any nursing tops. The top panel of the Sleepy wrap can be used as a cover up for when you nurse your baby.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Does Babywearing mean carrying your baby all the time?

During the course of promoting babywearing, we are fortunate to be able to encounter firsthand the concerns of parents or caregivers about wearing their babies.

The most often met question is, "I wonder if I will ever need a baby carrier, because I don't want to carry my baby all the time."

Firstly, allow us to clarify the term babywearing and what it means. Babywearing is the practice of wearing or carrying a baby in any forms of a baby carrier including slings and wraps irregardless of the length of time.

Secondly, let us explain that all babies need to be carried at some point, be it for a hug or if they need to be fed or any other reasons. Many times new parents do find that babies are not meant to be left alone on the bed and that they can frequently cry to be picked up. This differs between babies as well as their ages. It doesn't necessarily translate into manipulative action and a baby really cannot be spoilt by being carried.

A baby who has been in utero for the past 9 months really is used to being part of the mother and the motion that the mother engages in a daily manner. As a result, after being born (and detached) from the mother through birth, it may be rather unreasonable to expect that the baby can immediately lie down on his or her back for long hours without needing the same motion, especially since the new world is still very unfamiliar to them. In fact, putting babies on their backs for long hours or leaving them to cry it out for long periods is shown to be harmful.

A baby sling, wrap or carrier can be useful for such moments, as it allows us to carry our baby safely while being hands free to go about our daily chores.

However it is a misconception that babywearing means carrying your baby all the time. While babywearing is healthy and is instrumental in early bonding, it certainly doesn't mean that you need to carry your baby all the time. There will come time when your baby will learn how to crawl (that won't be long) and eventually learn how to walk, and that will be the time to let go and allow him or her to start exploring. At times they may still need to be carried, perhaps for a nap when out on long trips or when they get too tired to walk (remember their legs are short compared to ours) and that's when an ergonomic carrier is still useful. Other times, they will be happy to just get down and explore.

By then, you will probably be glad you decided to babywear. Because babies grow up so fast, they will not want you to carry them very soon (even if you want to).
Babywearing a toddler who needed a nap during a shopping trip

Monday, April 26, 2010

Distinction between Hard & Soft Structured Baby Carriers

(First published on our FaceBook Notes April 21, 2010.)

Newborn without neck support in a Manduca Soft Structured Baby Carrier. Note how it wraps around the entire back, and provides some form of neck support for the baby. Available at

There are many types of buckle type baby carriers available on the market today and parents are definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing one. Some have a hard body that usually involves some kind of padding which then buckles to the wearer. These hard structured carriers tend to boast of thicker padding.

Others like the Manduca, Pikkolo, Boba, Beco, Patapum, etc. are soft structured carriers which molds well around baby's still developing spine, wrapping around snugly so that there is no extra gaps between the carrier body and baby's body.

It is important for a new parent to recognize that there is a major difference between these two types of structures. The main difference being how one hugs the baby's spine more naturally (the soft structured types) allowing the baby's developing spine to grow optimally while the other hard structured types tend to create spaces between the baby's body and doesn't hug the contour of the spine.

Comparatively soft structured carriers provide a lot more support for the growing baby's spine as it is not allowed to wobble against anything, whereas hard structures tend to be rigid and a baby's still developing spine tends to wobble against the hard structure with every step the parent takes. The logical deduction will be that hard structures may then compromise the healthy growth of the baby's spine (since there is so much wobbling or knocking with each movement).

We hope that parents can make more informed choices when selecting a safe and comfortable baby carrier and will be more than happy to help if anyone needs help in choosing one.

Happy Babywearing.

Dangers of Sun Exposure & How to Prevent the Damaging Effects of UVR on Babies

(This article first appeared in our FaceBook Notes April 13, 2010.)

The sun is getting stronger as we approach the hottest months of the year in Singapore and probably rest of South East Asia. While the sun is important in giving us warmth and allowing us to enjoy the great outdoors (as compared to the rainy seasons), the stronger UV radiation (UVR) can also have devastating effects on skins, eyes and our immune system, and in the worst cases increasing the incidence of skin cancer.

Do you know that babies whose skins are thinner than adults tend to be more vulnerable to the harmful effects of UVR? Yet in comparison, babies and young children are largely the most ignored when it comes to sun-protection. By employing simple sun-protection strategies for babies and young children the risk of skin cancer later in life can not only be easily reduced, they can also contribute to an adult's habit to stay sun-protected throughout their lives.

Simple precautionary measures can be easily undertaken by avoiding the midday sun, typically between 10am to 4pm when the sun is at its strongest. While you should seek shade with your baby when the UVR is strong, do continue to wear sun protective gear as shade do not offer complete sun protection. Some simple protective gear you should always have on yourself as well as your baby in a hot tropical country like Singapore includes:

1) UPF 50 Hats with a wide brim that protects the eyes, ears, face and back of necks (our recommendation:
2) sunscreen with at least SPF+15
3) good sunshades with good UV protection (if your baby will wear them)
4) tightly-woven loose fitting clothes

We especially love the UPF 50 hats from Sunday Afternoons that are not only stylish with a few designs to choose from, they are also easily acceptable by kids because of their soft touch.

So go on, enjoy your activity and babywearing times with your baby or preschooler in tropical Singapore and stay sun-safe!

Staying sun safe with Sunday Afternoon UPF50+ Sun Hats at the pool

Our response to Sunday Times Article on baby slings "Hazardous or Handy" 4 April 2010

(This article was first shared on our FaceBook notes April 10, 2010.)

There were 2 articles that were published on baby sling safety in Sunday Times on 4 April 2010 which didn't quite seem to put things right because it was portrayed that convenience was the reason why parents will put their babies in a baby sling. We thought that while it was good the writer in the main article tried to point out the danger of slings, it didn't try to differentiate between the baby bag slings that were recalled vs other styles of slings like the sarong/ ring sling. Because it was very vague and seem to point to slings in general despite the response from the babywearing community in the US having voiced out like 3 weeks ago, we thought we wanted to at least try to send in our take on it.

We had hoped that they will publish more in detail so that parents don't get misled into thinking that "all slings are unsafe and should not be used for below 4 months of age". We had some lively discussion with a journalist who wrote the other article (he is a babywearer) and even though the entire letter we wrote wasn't published, a part of it was published today in Straits Times Life Section. Well, although it doesn't lay out the facts like we wanted it to, we were at least glad that parts of it was picked up so that readers are made aware and investigate more.

Below was the original letter we sent in, enjoy and feel free to share with fellow new parents.
Dear Editor,

We refer to your article last Sunday on baby slings titled “Hazardous or Handy?”

The article seems to imply the usage of baby carriers as a convenience versus risk issue. It is certainly far from truth that any parents who choose to use a baby carrier to carry their child are putting their babies at risks for the sake of their convenience. As avid and professional babywearers, we would like to point out that although convenience is one of the advantages of babywearing, it is certainly not the only advantage. Just to name a few other more common benefits of babywearing, carried babies:-

- Cry less (43% less overall and 54% less during the evening hours - Increased Carrying Reduces Infant Crying - Urs A. Hunziker MD, Ronald G. Barr MDCM, FRCP(C): A Randomized Controlled Trial). Babies who cry less learn more.

- Are healthier (gain weight faster, have better motor skills, coordination, increased muscle tone, and sense of balance - Anderson GC. Current knowledge about skin-to-skin (kangaroo) care for preterm infants)

- Get a better view of the world. Babies pushed in strollers or lugged around in car seats only get to see the adult world at knee-level.

- Become independent faster, making them more confident and less clingy because their psychological needs are quickly met.

- Sleep better. They tend to fall asleep quicker and sleep for longer periods of time.

A good baby carrier that is used properly can be a very effective tool to help parents bond with their baby and allow them to enjoy a much better parenting experience.

The warning issued by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission last month speaks of the risk of baby slings in general and has led to recalls of some of what is known as bag-style slings in question. Bag-style slings are not representative of all baby slings. It would be good for your readers to be aware that the warning and call for action against the bag-style slings had in fact been sounded by babywearing advocate groups as long as 2 year ago (See The CPSC warning not only came late in light of the risks, it unfortunately also failed to address the type of baby carriers in question (bag-style slings) leading to numerous outcries from babywearing and physician organizations worldwide (eg. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine “CPSC warning on slings misses the mark” March 19,2010). The crux of the matter should therefore not be debating about how baby slings are good or not, it will be more constructive if it had been about identifying inferior baby carrying products that are defective by design.

In your article, Dr Adeline Wong correctly pointed out that pre-mature babies and babies with low birth weight might be too small to fit safely into a carrier or sling. This is true for many types of carriers but there are some carriers that are built specially to cater to preemies and have already been adopted in some hospitals in the US to facilitate “Kangaroo Care”, a specialized preemie care method whereby babies are held close to a mother skin-to-skin. Research has shown that such Kangaroo Care reduces newborn deaths by more than 50% and it has been proven to be more effective than incubators for stable preterm babies (SaveTheChildren.Org, March 26, 2010)

To expand on Dr Adeline Wong’s precautionary notes, below are some crucial points to take note of:

1) Apart from making sure that baby face is not pressed against the carrier’s fabric, it is equally important that baby’s face is not placed against the wearer’s body when they are in the carrier. More importantly, baby’s head should never be tucked into a “chin to chest” position especially if they are in a cradle position. This is one key reason why the design of “bag slings” increases the risk of suffocation and therefore should never be used.

2) Before a baby has neck control, typically from birth to about 4 or 5 months, the recommended position is a tummy to tummy foetal position with the baby’s face lying sideways, cheek on the babywearer’s chest. This position makes it easier for the babywearer to check on the baby.

3) A good carrier or sling must be able to hold the baby snugly with the baby’s neck well-supported by a soft snug hold, especially for babies without neck support in an upright position. For babies with neck support, their necks should also be supported when they fall asleep in the carrier to avoid any likelihood of whiplash. Likewise for older babies, chin to chest positions can still be harmful as it obstructs the airway.

Proper use of baby carriers is beneficial to both babies and their parents. A little effort in research and educating oneself can go a long way in ensuring safety when bonding.

 6 weeks old newborn safely positioned in a Jumpsac baby sling

Ever wonder why our Baby Carriers have no Back or Lumbar Support?

(This article first appeared in our FaceBook notes on March 25, 2010)

We have often been asked why the baby carriers carried in Baby Slings & Carriers do not have a "back support" or a "lumbar support".

What is a lumbar support and what does it do? A lumbar support that comes with some baby carriers simply helps to provide support for your back with a heavy baby. Some baby carriers we see around today all tout the lumbar support as an ergonomic alternative to the normal baby carriers of yester-years (which have two straps, one for each shoulder). These lumbar support baby carriers may come in good quality materials like memory foams so that the wearer's back is straightened and thus some people do feel a little more comfortable with baby loads of up to about 8kg or 9kg (depending on your own physique).

Why then none of our baby carriers have such a lumbar support? The reason is simple. You may notice that almost all our ergonomic baby carriers (mainly soft structured carriers) come with a hip belt (or at least allows you to add one easily). The provision of a hip belt on a backpack helps bring the center of gravity of the load (baby) in the backpack (baby carrier) closer to you and below your waist, thereby shifting the weight below your waist by more than 50%. As such, since there is no more strain on your lower back, there is no more need for you to put a support there. This is true ergonomics.

In other words, baby carriers that are not well-designed still continue to put the stress (weight) on your shoulders. Once your baby gets heavier, you will find that the weight pulls you downward and forward (even more if you allow your baby to outward-face). To maintain your balance, which is a natural reaction, you will tilt yourself backwards, resulting in a strain in your lower back. You then add a lumbar support after the lower back becomes strained. The outcome? Still lower back pains, but perhaps a little more delayed because you had been "forced" by the lumbar support to straighten the back.

So when choosing the right carrier, be sure to understand the physics of weight distribution. How well a baby carrier is able to distribute weight also depends on how well the baby carrier wraps around your baby's natural curves and your hips. Even between ergonomic carriers, there can be some differences. No two carriers are entirely alike. Choose an ergonomic one that fits your needs and physique most, and you can be sure to enjoy this wonderful babywearing journey for a much more comfortable period of time.
 Wearing an older child with good weight distribution in a Manduca Baby Carrier

Do you really need to see a Lactation Consultant?

(This was first published on our FaceBook notes January 26, 2010.)

 Baby breastfeeding discreetly in a Sleepy Wrap

When I just had my first baby almost 6 years ago, breastfeeding wasn't the norm and lactation consultants were very much unheard of in Singapore. So it is no wonder why I never thought of visiting a lactation consultant at all to ask any breastfeeding related questions. Five years and two breastfed children later (with breastfeeding experience of over 4 years as well as in tandem nursing), I notice more and more of my friends and customers who are new parents seeing lactation consultants and thought it such a wonderful idea to be able to ask an "expert" about nagging breastfeeding questions we were too shy to ask our mothers or friends who never breastfed.

So is the greater availability of lactation consultants really a blessing? I think the equation actually swings both ways.

Due to the fact that more people are willing to breastfeed and understand that it is a skill to be learnt, more hospitals are prescribing the services of their lactation consultants when new mothers give birth to babies. That is wonderful, especially for new mothers who have no idea what a football hold is or a correct latch-on is like, or even what is colostrum and how it looks like.

A lactation consultant can be helpful in explaining these and checking whether a mother's milk supply has kicked in. However, the squeezing of the new mother's nipples when her breasts are sore aren't really the best way to introduce a mommy to breastfeeding. Some lactation consultants experienced or otherwise can be quite rough and squeeze quite hard (which happened with my nurse and a lot of my friends' lactation consultants), leading a new mother to associate breastfeeding with pain. Not a very good start to a successful breastfeeding journey if you ask me. For those of us who have successfully breastfed our children, we know breastfeeding with the correct latch is rarely ever painful.

Throughout these few years, I have heard various misconceptions about breastfeeding which my friends have gleaned from their lactation consultants. One common one is to have the baby breastfeed from both breasts and empty both breasts with each feed. While some babies have the stomach for it, my practical experience is it rarely ever happens. Remember how small your newborn is - how big can their stomachs be? My friend whom I used to call when I first had breastfeeding problems reminded me that the size of a a baby's tummy is really the size of a walnut. It's that small! So it is really not necessary to empty both breasts in one single feed. Remember too that sometimes babies do suckle because they get thirsty, for which they only suckle a little for the foremilk which acts like water to them.

Another common one will be switching breasts after a certain time limit. Yet another misconception. We are all different individuals with different babies and different demands for milk (and different speeds of drawing milk). Our bodies are such a miracle because they adapt and provide for our children. A better way will be to allow baby to suckle one one side until it is emptied and offer another side if they can have more. If your baby has fallen asleep, let him or her be.... because your baby is already satisfied and you will only stress yourself out by trying to stick to what your LC tells you. Only baby himself knows best if they are hungry. If they are thriving and wetting enough diapers, there is really no cause for concern.

There are so many more misconceptions out there (the above is just the tip of the iceberg) that were formed by new mothers after listening to their LCs that sometimes I cannot help but wonder if most LCs are sticking too much to a "standard" and whether they have any practical/ hands-on experience in breastfeeding. Am I then saying that seeing an LC is not useful? Absolutely not. For any breastfeeding journeys to be successful, it is important for new mothers to perhaps first understand a little more about breastfeeding and what to expect, then surround herself with people who have successfully breastfed their children. The Internet is a treasure trove for these and if you have more specific questions like checking on a baby's latch or breastfeeding problems like Mastitis, then it will be best to seek out a qualified LC to help resolve your problem.

One resource which I have found very useful will be the Kelly Mom website at for more reading and specific problem solving. And if you need a listening ear in Singapore, we have the Breastfeeding Mothers' Support Group at

And if you really need to see an LC, you have a say in choosing someone who can support you in your breastfeeding efforts, who is open and with a keen listening ear. It will definitely be a big plus too if she also had practical experience in breastfeeding her own babies.

(contributed by Pearline Foo, 26 Jan 2010)

How to Wear Your Baby In Winter

(This was first published on our FaceBook notes October 22, 2009.)

It's the end of the year and you are heading for a winter vacation with your baby. Congratulations for that well-deserved treat!

Now, we have a little problem..... baby is still young and since we stay in hot humid Singapore, then what should we do with baby to ensure he/ she doesn't catch a cold during the winter holiday? How should we dress our baby? What are the essentials?

If you are wearing your baby, we say - don't fret!

Some tips we at Baby Slings & Carriers want to share with you about winter babywearing:

1) Dress baby and yourself in layers. Remember that you may be going in and out of the cold, so dressing in layers help as you can take off whatever you do not need when you are out of the cold.

2) Baby should preferably be wearing something that wicks moisture away. Long Johns are good in wool blends. Wear an additional layer of clothing that is not too thick. Remember that you will be wearing your baby and body heat can be trapped.

3) Dress the same way yourself.

4) Wear your baby with your favourite carrier (we find that Buckle-Tais & Mei Tais work well as they are quite flexible). Those that are more complicated can be a little cumbersome as it is cold and you want to have your baby on quickly. If baby is young and cannot walk, then we recommend the Sleepy Wrap which keeps baby warm & snug and is quick to put baby in. In essence, you have to bear in mind that you will need to adjust/re-adjust the carrier straps according to how thick your clothing is as well so minimizing the adjustment can be a great help.

5) Wear legwarmers ( as this will help keep baby's legs warm while making diaper changes.

6) Put on a winter carrier cover (these are available at our boutique right now and fits most structured baby carriers or Mei Tais) so that it keeps baby warm and lowers risk of baby catching a cold.

7) Wear your winter outerwear over yourself. Preferably you should opt for an oversized one so that if it gets too cold outside you can always wrap and button around your baby. In essence you will not need a thick winter coat for baby if you wear him or her! :) .................Well, unless you will need to take him or her out of the carrier away from your body heat while it is still cold.

Someone asked: So does it mean then that it is better not to wear the baby in winter? Well, we'll say no.

Putting baby in a stroller will mean that you cannot know how your baby is faring and whether he or she is cold or warm so you may end up over or under-dressing him or her. Having your baby close to you will allow you to judge his or her body temperature and to be alert to his or her cues, without any fuss at all. Having experienced winter ourselves with babies in tow, we know that it can be quite difficult and even impossible to lug the stroller around. Places that have snow on the ground can be difficult and too slippery to manipulate a stroller.

Babies in arms without a proper carrier may also mean that baby will have less skin to skin contact, which is one of the biggest benefits of being able to feel whether the temperature is right for your baby when babywearing.

With these seven tips, we hope you'll enjoy your winter holidays and happy babywearing!

Fleece and waterproof baby carrier winter covers from CatbirdBaby
Available at

Breastfeeding & Babywearing - why they remain the best ways to bond with your baby

(The following was first published on our FaceBook notes on August 24, 2009.)

We had the good fortune of being invited by the Breastfeeding Mothers' Support Group (S) to be a GOLD Sponsor for their World Breastfeeding Week event held last Saturday at the Health Promotion Board in Singapore.

Mdm Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek Holdings (also PM Lee Hsien Loong's wife) and guest-of-honour shared with the audience in her speech about her futile breastfeeding experience. Apparently the lack of experience and knowledge led to her being unable to breastfeed her child when she contracted chickenpox shortly after birth based on the advice given by her doctor. The reason was that they wanted to prevent her baby from catching the chickenpox virus as well. Unfortunately her baby did and when she tried to restart breastfeeding to pass on her antibodies to her baby through the milk, she found she couldn't despite her best efforts. The only consolation (as quoted from The Sunday Times dates 23 August 2009), she spent the next week with baby on her chest to provide a comfortable skin-to-skin contact while he recovered from his chickenpox.

We totally admire her efforts despite her heavy schedule to provide skin-to-skin contact for her baby to aid her baby in his recovery. Even though it was a pity that breastfeeding efforts was hampered, she has brought up a very important point to help babies thrive. That is, skin-to-skin contact.

Today, most talks when it comes to early childhood parenting will speak about bonding. And what really is bonding? If one were to check the dictionary, you will find that the explanation of the word "bond" really means something that binds, fastens, confines, or holds together. And that in the parenting sense, can broadly be translated into skin-to-skin contact. By creating a good bond between parent and child in the early years, this can spell a lot of benefits in the long route of parenting by means of trust, confidence-building, high EQ, better IQ and so on. (You can read more about benefits of bonding in most parenting books.)

Babywearing, like Breastfeeding often provides the necessary ingredients for creating that special bond - because your baby needs to be held close to you for both actions to happen. While breastfeeding can only be done by a mother who directly breastfeeds her baby, babywearing can be done by daddies, mommies, grandparents or even other caregivers to help them bond with a new baby. Best of all, even if a mother for some reason could not breastfeed, there is no reason not to be able to create that special bond. With babywearing, all this is still possible.

Happy Babywearing!

Is a Forward-Facing Carrier Any Good?

(The following was first published on August 6, 2009 via our FaceBook notes.)

There is a recent debate about the forward-facing Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier in a parenting forum I am part of. While there are fans who swear by the Baby Bjorn Baby Carriers, under the perception that the baby is happier and can see more of the world facing forward, we at Baby Slings & Carriers beg to differ.

When put in a forward-facing position, a baby can often be over-stimulated. Images can fly quickly past them and this can result in a young baby getting over-excited. This is not unlike being in a roller-coaster. While it is fun being in a roller-coaster ride that lasts 10-15 minutes, will anyone be comfortable being in a ride that lasts any longer? Therefore, such an argument can be flawed.

Sense of insecurity:
Since the parent/ caregiver is not within the baby's sight in a forward-facing carrier, they may often find themselves facing the world all on their own. Young babies often reach a stage where they can suffer from separation anxiety. Having a face familiar to them and in constant sight can help a baby develop a sense of trust and security and enables them to explore in a safe environment, knowing that an adult is always there for them if they need a shoulder to lean on.

Ergonomics & Curved Spines:
When a baby is placed in a forward facing carrier, the baby is leaning forward and placed in an unnatural position as compared to facing the parent. Imagine hugging from the back and hugging face-to-face. Which feels better? Because a baby is leaning forward in a forward-facing carrier, the carrier straps have to "pull the baby in" in order for the baby not to fall forward. By doing this, it is logical to conclude that this is put unnecessary stress on the baby's spine, and we have reasons to believe that long term pulling of the shoulder backwards can result in the baby tending towards having a curved spine. For the parent, a baby leaning forward can create unnecessary stress on his/her back as well, since that is not a natural gravitational position.

Hanging by the Crotch:
Imagine being hung by your underwear for a few hours on end - how will you feel? Apart from comfort, there is also evidence to show that such positions can create spinal stress in an infant (see Apart from this, there has been much speculation about whether hanging by the crotch can lead to a condition called hip dysplasia in babies. When a baby is hung by the crotch, all the baby's weight is borne by the baby's spine (as compared to a natural sitting position which wraps around the baby's entire buttocks and a little of the upper thigh). Although at this point there is no conclusive evidence that all babies hung by the crotch will suffer from this condition, we have strong reasons to believe that every single step you take while putting babies in a forward-facing carrier can impact the spine and may result in the hip & thigh joint being often jolted. This may contribute to the risk of getting post-birth hip dysplasia.

The optimal position for an upward carrier is to have the baby facing the parent. The benefits are endless. Moreover, the baby does not remain motionless when in a baby carrier facing the parent. He or she can choose to turn left or right and this can actually help develop the neck muscles in the longer run. If a baby so chooses to not want to face the parent, then a better position may be to put the baby in a side-carry position which the Pikkolo Baby Carrier effectively does. (Although the Pikkolo can be used for forward-facing in a semi-sitting position, we recommend it not be used for long periods of time.)

Otherwise, a baby can also be put on a back-carry position that can be effectively done with the Pikkolo, Patapum, Beco, baby wraps, Mei Tais or any good soft structured carriers for a safer ride, both for the parent, as well as the child.

Discussions by our fans can be found!/notes.php?id=147007285062

Using the Pikkolo Baby Carrier for a Hip-carry