On today's episode, I chat with Cassidy of Let's Talk Babywearing about the basics of wearing your baby, best practices for safety, and her top recommendations on carriers!
Cassidy is a certified baby, wearing educator and mom to three young kids. She loves getting out with her little ones and sharing how to make babywearing and getting outside with kids more accessible.
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On today's episode, I chat with Cassidy of Let's Talk Baby, wearing About the basics of Wearing Your Baby Best Practices for Safety and her top recommendations on carriers. Welcome to the Resource Doula podcast. I'm Natalie, your host, and my goal is to equip you with the tools and information you need to make informed healthcare decisions while having some fun along the way through engaging interviews with experts, personal stories, and insightful commentary. I'll save you the time and effort of. Sifting through countless sources on the internet, consider me your personal resource dealer because if I don't know the answer, I can connect you with someone who might. So, whether you're a seasoned health guru or just starting your journey, I hope this show inspires and encourages you every step of the way. I'm excited to introduce our guest for today. Cassidy is a certified baby, wearing educator and mom to three young kids. She loves getting out with her little ones and sharing how to make baby wearing and getting outside with kids more accessible if you don't already follow her. You can find her on Instagram at Let's Talk Baby Wearing. She has so many videos on how to use woven wraps, structured carriers, stretchy wraps, and even how to keep you and your kiddo warm in a. While getting outside on colder days, if you are curious about a certain type of carrier, she probably has a video about it. Hey Cassidy, welcome to the show. Hello, and thank you for having me. Absolutely. I'm really excited to talk to you today. I want to just start out asking, what made you decide to become a baby wearing educator? How did that all begin? Um, well it began because I kind of fell in love, I guess you could say, with baby wearing, and not only the convenience factor, but just how close I got to keep my babies and how it made them feel. Um, and I realized that there wasn't a lot of information that I was finding that really related to what I was wanting to do with my babies. So I kind of just started it That's amazing. But yeah, so I mean, I did do some formal training, but the first couple years were mostly just learning as I go and reading and watching as much as I could. But yeah, it was a fun. Yeah. Yeah. Well, it's amazing because I look for resources for my clients. That's like my favorite thing to do is give them resources. And I, until I found your account, I was like, I don't even know where to send people for like proper baby wearing instruction or fitting or, you know, comparing different wraps and carriers. So I'm so happy that I found your account. I don't even know, just Instagram showed it to me. So Oh, that's good. Yeah. Yeah. So for those people who may not be familiar, can you just describe baby wearing, what is it, Yeah. Baby wearing is kind of just the act of carrying your baby with a cloth most often. Or you know, a carrier made with cloth. Perfect. And there's a lot of different kinds, , a lot of Oh, yes. out there, , so yeah. Um, I am amazing. Every time I see you post a new one, I'm like, oh, wow, I haven't heard of that brand yet. So, um, can you kind of talk about like the guidelines that people should follow or the checkpoints that they should kind of review if they're going to be baby wearing to ensure safety for them and for the child? Yeah, of course. Um, so it's called the, well, okay. There are a lot of different things that you could go over, but one of the things that most people say is the ticks of baby wearing, and that is tea for tight. Um, the biggest thing with any carrier is having it snug enough. The majority of issues where babies were harmed in a carrier is because it wasn't tight enough. Um, So, and it is very rare for babies to be harmed, but it does happen and it's something important to talk about. And that tightness of the carrier is one of the main, you know, issues that we see is the baby gets slumped inside the carrier when it's not tight enough. So we wanna avoid that. We want 'em to be nice and well supported. So having it tight, the other is in view at all times. So I, um, and you just want to make sure that this, their face is visible at all times. They're not, you know, you can see their nostrils are clear, their airways are clear, there's no fabric covering the face, and that's where we can get in trouble. Like with stretchy wraps. A lot of people love pulling that piece over baby's head. Mm-hmm. are a couple potential issues with that. As long as you are not pushing baby's head into the past and then covering their head, you're gonna be okay, but you just wanna always make sure their face is visible and then c is close enough to kiss. Now a lot of people think that, think that that means straining your neck all the way down. Like I can, you know, get my neck pretty far down there, but you really want 'em up so that you just, you know, gently, um, tilt down and you can kiss them on the head. And again, that kind of goes back to ensuring the carriers tight enough and that they're up high enough. And then K is for keeping, um, you want their chin off of their chest so their chin shouldn't be tucked down to the chest. That can lead to, you know, positional asphyxiation or issues with their airway getting closed. And then you want them to stay nice and supported as so their back is gonna be nice and supported in the carrier. It. not allowing them to slump again. And as you can see, most of these kind of go back to ensuring it's tight Mm-hmm. Um, so that really is like my overall encompassing idea is making sure that your carrier is properly tight, because that really is, I mean, the number one issue that I've seen personally and with the, um, incident reports that I've read is that the carrier wasn't tight enough or baby's head was completely covered. So two, two things. Yeah. So how do you know if it's tight enough? How do, like, what measure can you use to know? Um, so for, say a stretchy wrap that a lot of people like to wear, it's gonna kind of go on like a fitted t-shirt. It should feel snug to your body when you first put it on. It's almost gonna feel too tight often, but as you move around, you're gonna see that all of the slack that was in there is gonna kind of move into the front where baby is. And if your carrier is. you're gonna know it's not tight enough if your baby's starting to slump down in the carrier over time. So, you know, you might be walking around and you know, you felt like, oh, I had this pretty good when I started and now all of a sudden baby. So that's always something, you know, you wanna just check in on 'em and make sure as you go, cuz things change. So making sure that over time they're not slumping down into the carrier, their chin isn't getting tucked down, they're not, you know, starting up where you can kiss them and ending up down lower, where you're like, oh no, I can't quite reach them anymore. Okay. those are some good guidelines. Yeah. Yeah. No, I like that. And then like a structured carrier, there's a lot of adjustments on those, right? So you can kind of play with them and, and figure out what about hips? Can you talk about hips and how I'm, that's a huge topic with baby wearing, so It is. And there are a lot of very strong feelings all over the place with hips. So. The problem is, is that there is not a lot of evidence that shows carrying in a carrier that is, say, narrow based, where they're dangling is going to cause problems, but that doesn't mean that it isn't going to. So they're trying to do more research to show, like, to see, you know, what is the actual, you know, evidence on what's happening with babies and carriers. But I mean, any person who's gonna get into Bar Baby wearing, I would highly recommend that you look for a carrier that is adjustable or you know, if you're using a rapid's, gonna be adjustable by design. But if you're looking at a soft structured carrier, not going and getting, so a lot of people like to go get, you know, the Baby Bjorn Mini is super popular, um, and a lot of people are like, it's so easy to use, but within a few weeks they're like, okay, this is really uncomfortable for me, and their baby hates it. And.,it's often because babies' hips aren't supported. They're, you know, dangling from one spot and that can be uncomfortable. But we're also starting to see a shift in, while babies likely aren't, you know, developing hip dysplasia, adults in their thirties and forties are having more hip issues. And there is likely a link between narrow-based carriers, especially if you're using them long-term. And it's probably a combination of things, you know, now we do the back to sleep, which is good. Like we've seen a reduction in sids, but they're not, their hips aren't in the same position that they were when they were, you know, laying on their belly and then they're being worn and they're being put in car seats and, you know, all throughout the day, their hips aren't in a proper position. So while it may not be causing hip dysplasia, it could be causing hip problems. So if you're gonna be wearing. wearing in a way that their hips are supported. You know, that m shape, they talk about where their bottom is below their knees and that just really allows their hips to develop and get those deep sockets. So I, I would recommend doing that, but you're gonna hear information all over the place and people are very strongly opinioned on it. And it, I think do what you can to get a wide-based carrier if you don't have that option. I just wouldn't personally be wearing them long term and other carriers where they're gonna be dangling if you're, you know, using it for 15 to 20 minutes here and there because you just need a place to put your baby. I mean, I'd say, you know, there's not evidence that it's gonna cause an issue, but I, I, you know, we don't know that, so I'd just keep that in mind if you're looking for, if parents are looking for an option, That makes a lot of sense. And you said it very beautifully,, you've explained it really well. I think like, I mean, just having a wider base of support is the more conservative option. So if you can do that, that seems like, we don't know for sure, for sure, but it seems like the better way to go in general. Um, I have heard of people modifying narrow carriers like putting a scarf un like through or around. Is that safe to do? Should you be modifying your carriers? Okay. Um, so for that example, yes, if you were like undoing, stitching and cutting, you know, into the carrier, I'd say don't do that unless, I mean, if you're someone who you know is professionally doing things like that and for yourself, I don't, I'm not sure about the legality of doing that for other people, but I wouldn't do that yourself. But yes, a scarf, if you've got a narrow base carrier and that's all you have the option for, not only is it gonna put the baby's hips into a better position and actually need to do a demo on this, I've been meaning to forever. Um, but it's also gonna make it more comfortable for the wearer. if you ever have held your baby, if you just hold them like with, um, one hand and let them dangle, they feel heavier. Whereas if they're kind of scrunched up and like on your body, they're kind of holding themself onto your body more. And you'll notice that weight feels dramatically different. And when you use that scarf, not only are you getting some of the pressure down onto your lower back, but you're also, you know, distributing that weight and they're kind of in this position on your body where they're naturally going to feel less heavy, which is nice for you and them. basically. Yeah, no, that makes sense. Um, okay. You kind of went into like the, the person who's wearing the baby, their comfort. So there was a question from one of my Instagram followers. They were asking, um, how do you keep your back from feeling horrible all the time? Carrying two kiddos. So thoughts on that Yeah, there are a couple different pieces. I think the biggest thing that is so often overlooked is pelvic floor therapy, because I've heard from so many people, and I've experienced it myself, where they have so much back pain and they're like, I'm wearing properly. Like I'm doing everything right. And sometimes wearing is an, a general, like that is a concern a lot of people actually aren't wearing properly. Um, it's not unsafe, but it's not the most comfortable way to wear. But the biggest thing, like once they get all of that, if you're still having back. Consider your pelvic floor. And there are some amazing YouTube videos. I like. I often watch pregnancy and postpartum tv. Like I did her little exercises forever and I notice if I, you know, if I let my pelvic floor weekend, I'm like, oh, why is my back killing me? And it's like, oh, okay. Pelvic floor. It really is. But I mean, just strengthening in general. Yeah. That makes me so happy to hear you say that. I don't know if you know much about who I am, but I am a, an exercise physiologist who specializes in pelvic floor, and oh, okay. That is music to my ears, so everybody who's listening, I did not pay Cassidy to say that. No. No, it general, it's it, it makes a huge impact. But, and then, like I said, proper carrying techniques too, and having a carrier, as we talked about with the narrow based carriers, they're just not gonna provide the same support. So having a carrier that fully supports both kids, when you're back wearing or when you're carrying two, is just gonna make all the difference and working up to it. I mean, don't start with 2 35 pound kids. Obviously that's not gonna go well. Like build up and ensure that you're carrying properly and staying comfortable. Like for me, I'm wearing one potentially for hours at a time on a long hike, but I'm not wearing two heavy children for hours at a time, like, you know. So it's finding what works for you and your body and that's gonna look different for everybody. So, Yeah. And I think I, correct me if I'm wrong, a lot of the narrow based carriers that I see don't have like a, a hip support. yeah, they tend to be only Yes. Which doesn't make any sense to me at all. So that would, yeah, it just goes to show that that might make your back a little bit more painful. there are like an on vohema carrier is solely shoulder, like there's no waistband at all. And a lot of people really love them. I don't like them for extended periods personally, but because they have a wide and usually adjustable panel, it's incredible the difference for that being solely on your shoulders compared to a narrow based carrier that is again, only on your shoulders. I mean, it's a drastic difference and you can tell immediately, like if I put both on with my 20 pound, you know, 15 month old, I'd be like, dying in the baby Bjorn. Um, or I'm gonna say narrow base cuz it's not just theirs. They, there are a lot of them, but, um, in the on bomo, I can go., I could go 15 to 20 minutes comfortably. I have a lot of, like, I had some neck issues where I injured my neck and I can't wear those type of carriers for a prolonged period, but I can comfortably wear it for 15 to 20 minutes, Okay. How long are you typically wearing? Is that kind of like the standard you would say, like throughout the day in 15 to 20 minute increments or longer when you hike? oh yeah. Way longer when we're hiking. Um, so around the house it's typically, I'd say 15 to 20 minutes here and there. If it ends up turning into a contact nap, it ends up being longer, you know, an hour, hour and a half. Um, and if I have the right carrier and I've put it on properly, I'm completely fine. But if we're outside, I'm often wearing for a minimum of an hour, um, sometimes 3, 4, 5 hours. depending on how long of a hike, sometimes longer but I mean, you're having breaks in there, you know, you're stopping. Um, I don't tend to stop a ton, but especially now with a three and four year old, we're gonna stop. We're gonna have picnics, we're gonna have every, and now that my one year old's walking, like he's gonna have time to walk around too. So it just depends on the age of your child and what you wanna do, Yeah, makes sense. Um, so if you had to pick like one carrier, if you only this, you probably get asked this question. If you could only have, okay, I'll give you the option of three carriers, what would you, what would you choose? Um, I would probably, so does it have to be a specific brand or just a type of carrier? just a type, like maybe if you had one structured, one wrap, one stretchy. I don't know. Okay. So personally I'd probably do a, a structure, uh, like a soft structured carrier., a woven wrap and then a half buckle. And for me, I would probably do, oh my gosh, that's hard for a soft structure right here. oh my gosh, that's hard. My goodness. I'd need to give you like three Okay. That's okay. That's okay. Okay. So I'd probably. depending on the person and, and for me, I mean it would just depend, but I like the Amphib a baby as an outdoor person because it has so many pockets. It's a soft neoprene that's very comfortable and yet supportive. And you can go in the water with it. I could take it to the beach, I could take it to the pool, like I could take it anywhere. So that is a truly like a really good carrier for that first year, year and a half or two. Um, and I really do like that one, but it does have a bit of a priced, like a little bit of a higher price tag. So for a lot of people they recommend like Tula, they make a really great product. Their Explore allows for front facing, which I know is one of the questions you had It is. Um, and then they've got their Free to Grow and those are both like a really good general carrier. And then honestly, I really do like the Lenny Lamb carrier as well. Um, it's very adjustable. It goes a bit longer than some of the other carriers, but the Tula and the Lenny Lamb have small pockets on the waistband, and that is one thing for me where I'm like, Hmm, I definitely have to wear a big fanny pack to carry all of my extra stuff. Right. Right. But, Okay. yeah. Do you want me to go into woven Yeah. I wanna the other Okay. So with woven wraps, ah, man, another tricky one. There's two that I'll go. So I'd say like a Diddy Mouse, um, a hundred percent cotton blend that's light to mid-weight is gonna be one of the best first woven wraps that anyone could use. I mean, they've been, they're kinda one of the first. You know, modern woven rap brands, I think they are the first . Um, but they've got it down. Um, they know what they're doing and their raps are incredibly easy to use, which a lot of raps, woven wraps when you first get them, are quite difficult. You have to like really work in them. Otherwise, when you're wrapping your baby or toddler, you're gonna be like, what is this ? How can I, how can you make the fabric mold, like around their body? It doesn't make sense. Okay, so it's like stiff when you first start. Oh yeah. Uh, most woven wraps when you get them. I mean, gonna, I just got this half buckle. I, you can see it cuz you've got a video, but I mean, the fabric doesn't like fold in on itself very well. It's very stiff. Um, so you can like, take rings and like work it through the rings, washing it, ironing it. There are a bunch of things you can do to soften it.. But if you're a first time wearer, you know, you kind of just wanna grab something off the shelf or, you know, get it outta your mailbox and use it. And the closest you're gonna get to that is a light to mid-weight, a hundred percent Cotton Did Mouse or, um, Lira is a French brand, but they're very high end, much higher price tag. But they are so beautiful and they, the fabric is just a dream to work with. So that's another one that I'm like, if, if you have the money to really invest in a carrier or a woven wrap that you're gonna use forever, they have some incredible options that truly are one of the easiest to just use right off the bat. And they're beautiful Awesome. I think I follow them now because you, you probably posted about them right? Recently. actually created a wrap with them. They, they came all the way from France and we, um, he came here and I got to try on all of their wraps and I was like, Holy cow. These are a dream like, wow, That's So, and then we designed one together and I really love it. Is that in their store or do you have links to it on your social pages and all of that? I have links to it. Yeah. Um, and it is on their website, so Okay. I'll be sure to link it in the show Oh, okay. Yeah, no, it's, the one that we designed is like a burgundy, red and white, and it's a lighter weight than they normally do. But I remember when I first got it out of the package, I was like, it's so soft and easy to use. This is exactly what I was hoping for. lovely. I think it's cool to just say that you have a rap from France. I mean, right. I know. Um, what about stretchy wraps? Any favorites with Hmm. Yes. So stretchy.. The problem is, is they kind of come in two different categories and one is a, so it depends on where you are in the world. Some people call them one-way and two-way stretchy reps and other people call them two-way and four-way stretchy Oh, interesting. But I'm gonna call them two-way and four-way because if you look up fabric types, two-way is considered a fabric that, so say you could pull it horizontally, it's going both directions horizontally and a four-way stretchy wrap would go both directions, you know, horizontally and vertically. So people, you're gonna find most often that a two-way with how I'm referring to it as a two way is more supportive and can hold a baby longer., but I find a lot of people find a four-way is a little easier to use because you just put it on like a tight T-shirt and you put your child in no matter the age, like it's gonna basically be the same as they get heavier, it'll stretch a little bit more to, you know, form around them properly. Whereas with a two-way, you kind of have to play a little bit more. As they get bigger, you're gonna wanna make it a little bit bigger and looser. And I find people are more likely to have them too loose, especially with a newborn. So if you're doing a two-way, you just wanna be careful about that, that you're actually getting it on, especially with a newborn. I mean, they can't, you know, fully support themselves. So I think that's the biggest thing. But I do, um, so I'd say my favorites are probably for the two-way hope and plum makes a very lightweight, yet supportive one. A lot of people like Solly or like, um, tuck and bundle., but it's so, at least it is a very soft and beautiful and it is nice, like, don't get me wrong, um, I just find that it can be less supportive earlier, whereas the hope and plumb is still super lightweight, but it stays more supportive, which can be really nice and it doesn't get stretched out. Like I have found the Tuck-in bundle and a couple other two-way Stretchies do, Okay. my favorite four-way is probably Beluga Baby. They also make a really lightweight one, and they're a Canadian brand and it's just a really, really awesome product. Um, they, it's lightweight, it's supportive. It's got the four way stretch. I've just been really impressed with them and it's kind of, if people are familiar with Boba, it's like that, but much more lightweight.. Whereas the Boba is a very, it's a thicker wrap, and they do have the serenity, I think it's called, which is a lighter weight version of it, but it's still a little bit heavier. And I know a lot of people postpartum, you know, you get hot, cold, hot, cold. And having a really lightweight wrap can be nice because if you're cold, you just throw over some, you know, a sweater or a cardigan. Whereas if you've got a super warm stretchy wrap, you are going to be feeling it no matter what That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. So if you were like planning to go hiking or do more outside, you might opt for like a heavier weight wrap. Is that. if it was cold outside, I assume it's always cold.. I'm in Alaska, so it's always cold. Oh, you're like, it's always cooler. I mean, you could, or you could just keep your lightweight, just have that one lightweight, stretchy wrap and then put layers. Cause that's what I like to do. But if it's always cold and, you know, you're always running cold and you want a thicker, you know, more kind of cozy feeling. Wrap. Yeah. The, um, the boba is gonna be really good. Okay. And then so layers as far as like clothing, I know you talk about a lot of like baby wearing jackets. What is the deal with all of that? So, with a baby, if it's cold, there is the possibility. Like a lot of people, what they do is they fully dress themselves and get all their layers on, and then they fully layer up a baby. The problem is, is, well, kind of three things. Their extremities tend to still end up very cold. Like, it doesn't matter how much you bundle up a. when you're out in the cold, especially for a prolonged period, their extremities get cold and you can't monitor it. But you also can't monitor if they're overheating. So you know, their fingers and toes might be freezing and then their core is way overheated. And they don't often show signs, like they might start getting fussy and stuff, but you don't always know what's happening until it's kinda like, okay, they're way overheated and now we have an issue. And then, um, third, the materials on those can be quite slippery. And especially with a newborn, you, it's kinda like a car seat. You don't put a baby in a car seat with a snowsuit on or a big heavy coat. And it's the same idea. You can't tighten it properly to where they're not gonna start to slump down. And you could. So for me, like I think it's completely fine. Some people are gonna disagree with this, but if your baby's older and they have really good head and neck control, and I'm talking like., you know, getting closer to a toddler, um, having that slippery snowsuit is probably fine, especially if they're gonna be walking around and playing in the snow and like, you're not just gonna be wearing them for hours on end. I have done that out of necessity in the past, but I was constantly monitoring them and, you know, checking it, like sticking my hand inside to make sure that their body wasn't overheating and watching them, you know, feeling their hands and their feet. Um, and also constantly making sure that they weren't slipping. But I have a lot more experience with that, so it's not something I'd recommend for most people. But having those layers, like you put on the thin layer, baby has on the thin layer. and you know you're comfortable in the house and then you're going outside and you just throw on a sweater or a coat over both of you and you can still easily monitor them, you know, because you are in with them. If they're getting overheated, their feet and their hands are in there, so they're not getting over colds. I mean, if you have the ability to do a baby wearing coat or even going to Goodwill or you know, anywhere that has an oversized coat, like go get an oversized coat and just zip it up to the base of their neck, like, and they're still in there. And cozy. Yeah.. So you don't have to spend, you know, two, $300 on a baby wearing coat. But it is nice if you want the option of back carrying in the future. Transferring babies to your back, at what age should you be doing that? Cuz I know I've seen like newborns beat back, carried before and then people say, oh, they have to have head control. So what are, what are your thoughts on all of that? And so it's gonna highly depend on the carrier, you, you, uh, sorry, carrier you are using and your skill level. So most educators say generally wait until baby is actually sitting independently. Um, not just good head control. And that's because most people are using a soft structured carrier and the soft structured carrier manufacturers test for them to be safe for a baby to be back worn once they're sitting independently. And you know, they have all of that muscle control. That's why there is that. And then most parents, when they begin back carrying, have never done it before because we don't have that in our culture, especially, you know, in the us. Um, there are, and so you'll see in a lot of other countries, especially, you know, African South American, um, communities where they're back wearing from a day or two old, I mean, you know, or even a week, you know, a week old, and they're running around town with their baby on their backs, slung down low. And it's just different because they are raised in a culture where, you know, they're young children are wearing their siblings. I mean, they know how to do this from the time they're very little. So it's just different. Um, but for, for a lot of parents here who don't have that experience waiting until your baby has that control and you're really confident. So like with a woven wrap, you can very safely back where your infant from newborn. but you need to be able to confidently wrap on the front before working to getting them onto the back. And then you need to make sure that you are comfortable. You know, if you have a newborn and you're putting 'em on the back, how do you properly have that carrier around them to start so that they're supported? And how do you get them on your back without having their neck flopping around? Like there are just a few things that you have to pay attention to. And that's where that, you know, waiting until they have neck control or waiting until they're sitting independently comes from. That makes a lot of sense to me. Seems yeah. Um, okay. And then we also had a question about forward facing. So there's a, I know I, you know, I don't baby wear, I don't have a child yet, but I've heard the talk , there's a lot of, a lot of conversation about like, is that safe? Should we be doing that? Um, people have strong opinions just like hips on forward Oh, yes. People have very, very strong opinions on it. I would say almost more than hips, which kind of is a little bit funny to me. Um, you can do a lot of things in a carrier that people are like, meh. And then you front face the baby who is, even if they're sitting independently, like they already are sitting in that position and people are like, no, no, no, you're like going to harm them. So, you know, like end everything, , like, I don't know, they get so frustrated. Um, which I can understand to a degree because I think the biggest problem is, is people don't have the knowledge on when to start front facing. And for me, I think a lot of people think then it just shouldn't be taught. And for me it's like that, in my mind, that doesn't make sense. It should be, let's teach it more. So people aren't for facing their baby when they're two months old or they're sleeping because that's when you do run into issues. Whereas front facing a six month old for 15 to 20 minutes, like there's no evidence. And I know there's, I said no evidence with the hip thing too. But I mean if you think about it, baby's spine is beginning to straighten out, like starting around six months and up till they're walking, like it's starting that process of straightening. They're sitting, they're in different positions throughout the day. They no longer have that curve to their back that they do when they're really little. And so I think watching for those markers, and some will say you can front face, you know, before they're starting to sit and stuff. And I would say that's probably fine if you're doing five to 10 minutes and they are. So that's another thing. Um, the Hip Dysplasia Institute says six months is kind of the marker. Some baby wearing educators say four months and good head and neck control, but I would lean towards six months just because, you know, they're typically by six months they are really starting to do that sitting, they're really starting to move around more. They're laying on their stomach and arching their back and, you know, strengthening those muscles. So I'd probably lean towards six months and when you start doing it, you should start, you know, you should pay attention for different things like over stimulation. If their eyes are getting glossy and they're like starting to get sleepy looking. Um, if they start crying and they just, you can't like console them, like they're getting overstimulated and turning them back in and knowing, hey, like baby needs to be in facing now. Um, I think that's really important.. Um, but I mean, it's the same thing as if your baby's, you know, you're holding your baby facing out or they're in a stroller and looking out at the world. I mean, you just need to pay attention and you know, you know your baby, so, you know. appreciate that perspective. Like, look at the whole child rather than just a Right. forward ca forward facing carry or not. Yeah. No, that's, Well, and I will add one thing is that most carriers nowadays offer a very wide sitting position when front facing, and they didn't used to. So a lot of 'em were just dangling. And now that's not the case. I mean, everyone says, oh, but the hips since like, they're almost in the exact same position that they are facing inward with modern carriers. So if you have a carrier like that, I mean, It's not as much of an, an issue. Right. They're in that seated position. And if you're sticking to 15 to 20 minutes as a max, especially when you're starting, I'd say five to 10 minutes and build up. Um, but yeah, I wouldn't be doing it for hours at a time, which some people do, but they tend to do it with babies who are too little to be front facing anyways, so I, you know, waiting until they're old enough. Oh, and never, never, never letting them sleep front facing. Yeah. I think that is something that a lot of people aren't aware of, and it is a serious, you know, that could cause harm to your baby. So if your baby's getting sleepy, face 'em in and let 'em snuggle in and go to sleep. Okay, good. Good point. And then can you forward face on your back? no, please don't do that.. Yeah. Um, I had a whole post on that because there was a hip seat carrier brand that was using photos. of babies facing out on the back in their advertising and on their website. And so parents were starting to do it more and more. And I mean, I went on a hike and I saw a woman doing it with her little baby, and I was like, okay, so it needs to be addressed. Um, and the problem is, is even some people are like, well, but I'm watching my baby, the whole, you know, my, my partner's watching my baby the whole time. But the problem is, is you two start talking, baby falls asleep, slumps forward, and you guys have no idea. It takes, you know, it doesn't take much time. You know, one or two minutes goes by that you're talking to your partner and they're not directly eyes on that baby, and things happen very quickly. So I would just never, never do that., that's one of those things that I'm kind of like, Nope, that's a. Not because it's just too easy to get distracted and it's different when they're on your back and you're distracted compared to when they're on your front and facing out and you're distracted cuz they're still in your line of sight. Yeah, no, that makes sense. I wanted to clarify that too, just for yeah. No, I appreciate that yeah, totally.. Um, okay. Uh, speaking of, or can I kind of go back to the back and pelvic floor and preparing your body? Somebody asked what should they do now before they have kids to prep for baby wearing? And it could be also like prepping their body or practicing with a rap potentially. Do you recommend that? Oh yeah, if you can. Um, I always recommend even just going and feeling the fabric on some, like, you could go to a consignment store. Um, a lot of children's consignment stores have used carriers that you can go touch and feel like the fabric and what it looks like and feels like. Um, and then you can also, I mean, a consignment store, they're not gonna typically have an issue if you're trying it on. So you'd be able to try it on and feel what it is like on your body. That's amazing if you have the opportunity to do that. There are also carrier libraries in a lot of places in the world. Um, they've kind of downsized in the US quite a bit, but hopefully we're gonna see an upshoot in those. Um, it seems like that's starting to happen more and more. But yeah, if you can try'em on, that's amazing. If you can, if you know like, hey, I, I see this brand, I know everybody loves it and I really want it and you have it and you're pregnant or something, try with that pregnant belly. Like you can still put it on with your belly. Um, and you could use the stuffed animal or anything honestly. Um, I mean people could put like a jug of milk or something in there, , like just to get the feel of, yeah. So I would definitely recommend doing that. And then also like looking at videos and seeing, cuz every carrier type is a little bit different with how they want you to put your newborn in there. Especially. So if you do plan on putting a newborn in, I would read up on that and make sure that you've kind of figured out how that works with a newborn. Cuz if you get your newborn home and you're trying to do it and., they're like freaking out cuz you're not holding them and you're just like, ah, . I would, I would do it beforehand for sure. practice before you're sleep deprived is what I'm hearing. yes, for sure. Oh my goodness. Before you're sleep deprived is very accurate. Um, what do you say to people who are like, I've tried the carrier a couple times, my baby just hates it, so we don't do it. Like, is that a true statement or is it they just need to get used to it? I'd say 99.9% of the time it's either not being worn properly, baby needs time to adjust, but there I'm sure like every baby's different. So there have got to be, I mean, you know, there are different reasons why a baby. May have issues with being that close to you or being held or being, you know, wrapped in um, tight. I'd say for the vast majority of people who feel like their infant hates the carrier, it's probably that it's not being worn properly or that they just need a little time to adjust. But I wouldn't ever say that there's no such thing as a baby who likes to be more, who doesn't like being worn because, I mean, you know, there's gonna be a baby, there's going to, you know, there are some babies that don't like being touched. I mean, there is that possibility. I'd just say it's less likely, especially if you're baby likes being held. Cause a lot of people say, my baby only once carried in my arms. And it's like, okay, there's probably something going on with the carrier type or how you're putting it on with them that's causing them discomfort and. There are some carriers that even if every other baby loves it, your baby, like my baby. Even now, if I try to put him in a very, it's a specific carrier. It is the Ergo 360, like the original Ergo 360, he will not have it. He hates that thing and I cannot do anything to get him comfy in that carrier and I know what I'm doing. So it's the carrier. Um, but he obviously is happy. Like if you see any of my videos, he loves basically every other carrier type. So there is sometimes is just my baby does not like this carrier type. And for some babies that's stretchy wraps because you know, they might like it at the newborn stage, but then it is just too confining and they're like, Nope, get me outta here, freedom Yeah, so you know, a ring sling or shifting them, even if you keep the stretchy wrap, but shifting them to the hip a little bit or off center and allowing one arm to be out that can make a dramatic difference. And also knowing that around three to four months, baby's gonna go through a phase where they are learning to push and you know, they're learning to roll over, they're learning to straighten their legs. And that doesn't necessarily mean that they hate being worn. It means they're practicing those things and it's frustrating. So if you put them on the ground and you know they're frustrated and they hate tummy time, it's like, okay, but they're, they also do it in the carrier. So they're still practicing those same movements. And I think a lot of, and I've forgotten that too, I mean, I didn't know that with my first, so we went through a stage where it was like, what's wrong with you? Like, you still wanna be held, but you're like constantly trying. And people think, especially if their baby starts rolling around two months, they think My baby just wants. To front face, so I need to front face them and it's like, don't front face them yet. Um, baby practicing rolling, like that's part of that developmental stage. So maybe try shifting them to the hip so that they can look out and they can kind of push off your body and look around a little bit more, but they're not, you know, potentially having, you know, there is that potential for harm when they're only two months if you're already front facing them, especially for long periods of time. That's a really good perspective to have, like focus on the developmental things that are happening with your child. Yeah. Like mechanically. That's, I appreciate that. Um, somebody asked about nursing, what carriers do you like to nursing? How do you nurse in a carrier? You can talk all about that. Okay. Um, so I like nursing in just about any carrier type. Um, but I am. Familiar with most carrier types. So that makes a difference. And I would say for most people, a ring sling or a soft structured carrier is gonna be the best option. Um, especially for those with really large chest, they often find that a ring sling's nice because you can really create a little more separation from your body with your baby. And then, um, you know, you lower them into position, you can lift your chest if needed. You know, you can do a bunch of different things. You have more space. Um, so a ring sling can be a really good option. And then a soft structured carrier is my personal favorite, just because you have that support. You know, the support is in your waist down into your legs, but also on both shoulders and not just one. So I like having that, especially when you have them shifted down lower, it's gonna. You know, a little more on your body and I really like a soft structured carrier for that personally. But I do understand, you know, some people with very large chest are like, Hmm, I can make it work potentially in a soft structured carrier, but a ring swings a million times easier. So What about bottle feeding in a carrier? Is that recommended? Um, I'm sure you're gonna get info all over the place. I'd say with bottles you're probably more likely to need to be more still, whereas with, you know, nursing and a carrier, once they're latched on, you can typically move around and walk a lot more and be a little bit more active. Um, making sure that you're continuing to check in on them regularly and, you know, have that. There, like with them, but you can do a little bit more with a bottle if that bottle's moving, you know, that could potentially cause a little more issues, especially if they already have, um, you know, some reflex issues or a lot of gas. You're just, you know, you could be introducing more air if they're like having a hard time latching on. So I'd just be more aware of, you know, what you're doing when you're bottle feeding. Um, because not that you can't walk at all, but I might just be, you know, a little bit more relaxed and slow. And not that you can't do that when you're breastfeeding too, but you know what I mean. A bottle could be a little bit different. But no, I've done videos on how to bottle feed, um, in a carrier. I've heard some lactation, um, specialists and consultants say that with a bottle you might be more prone to waiting until baby has better neck control just because of where, how they have to turn their neck to get the bottle. Um, or, you know, you could loosen the carrier a bit more and have, you know, one arm really fully holding them and using the bottle. So the carrier is still supporting them, but you're, you know, able to visually monitor them and have their head at a better angle. Okay. I'd say it might just take a little bit more finessing because it's not right in Ash U they have to turn away a lot more. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So yeah, something more like a ring sling might be easier with bottle feeding cuz it. It definitely could. Especially when they're little. Yeah, no, that makes sense. Cool. Um, this was a funny question that we got. How do you change diapers on the go? So you talk about hiking a lot and nursing and carriers, but someone was wondering Yeah. What do you do about diapers? Um, so I kind of do a couple things and it depends on the age. Um, we primarily cloth diaper, but we do disposables too. Um, so it's kind of different for each. But in general, if I have a really little baby, I kind of squat down and I lay them on my lap. Um, if we're out hiking and I don't have anywhere safe to put them, like if it's really rocky terrain, I'm not. even if I have like a little changing mat with me, which I often do, I'm not gonna put it on a bunch of rocks. Um, but, so I'll just like squat down and I need to do a video do a video. Yeah. because my little guy's a little big for this. Now I've done it in the last like two months just because of, I don't remember what the scenario was, but it was, it was hard work, Um, but yeah, you kind of squat down and you can change them. And then if you are in a place where you can, um, there's those super tiny little changing mats that you can use. Or I've used the carrier because I have my hiking carriers that I really could care less if they get super dirty. So I just kind of lay it on the ground, especially if it's. Drenched in mud, um, but lay it on the ground and then they have a little bit more of a, you know, cushiony surface and I can change 'em there. Um, when they're older and they're standing, it's really nice to just be able to kind of drop their pants, drop the dirty diaper, and then put it on around them while they stand. Um, if they're easily distracted, sometimes that can work a little bit easier too, instead of trying to fight them to get down on the ground when they're like, no, don't wanna do that But it does take practice. So I would practice at home first before you're out on a trail or out, you know, doing stuff. Um, and I have like figured out, like we do a lot of diaper changes in the back of the car too. Um, but like having a spot where you can change them in the car or, you know, I even do it in the front seat sometimes with them on my lap. Um, but I would practice it at home if you can, just to kinda get confident and comfortable with it. Because especially the standing, it can be a little challenging, especially with the cloth diaper I've found, for some reason that's harder to me, but just like getting it tight enough and getting those snaps on and then the other side wants to whip around, so like figuring out how to hold it on them. can take a little practice and I, I definitely need to get some videos of that cuz I've been asked that too. And I, I keep meaning to, and I'll try to film it and then somebody will be coming up the trail and my husband's like, turns off the camera so we can like quickly, you know, get out of the way. But Makes sense. No, that's good advice though. Um, and then do you just carry like a wet bag with you in your backpack or something like that too? Yeah, we have mini wet bags too, which are kind of nice. Um, be, and they often have little loops that you can just connect to the carrier, um, if they're full or, I mean, if I have a backpack or a super huge fanny pack, I can put it in there, but typically I just like loop it on the carrier or something. Um, even if you have, yeah, it's way easier to me. Um, but you could do that with disposables or not? I mean, wet bags are lifesaving in general. So no matter how you diaper, I would, I would get some wet bags. Awesome. The one question I wanted to ask is, I know you have a ton of resources, a ton of videos on your Instagram and YouTube as well. Um, so definitely people should go and watch those. Do you also recommend any other resources, like other accounts or books or blogs? Like where do you send people when they wanna learn more? Oh yeah. There are so many amazing ones. Um, I'll just list a couple. Um, there's Rapier Baby, which has an Instagram and a really great blog. Um, she has a really great blog that is, I think she only does woven wraps. I could be wrong, but I'm, 99% of her stuff is woven wraps. Um, but if you are into woven wraps, she is incredible and a great source of knowledge. And then there's sheen slings. I'm trying to see how to, um, spell it really quick. Um, but she is an educator in the uk, so it's Sheen slings and it's s h e e n, slings, s l i n g S. But she has a really great YouTube channel as well, where she goes in more depth on a wide variety of carriers. She has a sling library in the uk and she does reviews on all of the different carriers and definite, like, definitely check her out if you're curious about any specific carrier and want another opinion and like another, you know, review on that. And then, Oh my goodness. There's so many woven rap ones. That's the thing is a lot of them are mostly do woven raps that are bigger accounts. Um, which is actually part of why I started my account was like nobody talks about soft structured carriers, Yeah. Um, a variety for sure. It is amazing too. I am trying to remember the one other, she's like the biggest name in woven raps. Everybody knows her. Um, rap You in Love, I think it's called Rap. Yep. Rap You in love. And she's got a YouTube, Instagram, Facebook. She's everywhere. And um, she does amazing videos as well with ring slings. Woven wraps primarily sticks to those, but she does do some like half buckle and some, um, she does some videos for Diddy mos, which is the woven wraps, but they also do buckle carriers and half buckles as well. Um, and she does a lot of videos for them, but she is another wealth of knowledge and I'm sure that there are so many more that I'm not thinking of, right the second. But , those are some good starting points. I love it. I was gonna ask you, do you know if there's like a, a network organization for the wrap or carry libraries where people could go and like search? Is there a library near me? That kind of thing? There was one, I'm trying to remember what it's called. It's no longer in a lot of most places they kind of shut down. Um, I'm trying to remember cuz you're talking us right? I mean, anywhere. I have listeners from everywhere, um, but I'm in the us so , I'm curious. Yeah. Um, so there was the baby wearing carrier Industry Alliance, but I'm not sure if they are still going. because they used to be in a lot of cities and I feel like they no longer do. A lot of 'em don't. There are just, if you like search baby wearing library near me, I mean, that's probably your best bet. A lot of 'em are kind of one off. Um, you know, a specific educator happens to be in a city and has a library. Um, they're not as many like whole groups where you can just like what's in my city. Um, unfortunately anymore. But I'm hoping that more of those start popping up. Um, hopefully we'll see. I'm trying to work on a few things and getting more, but then there are also some rental services, so you can just rent a carrier. Um, little Zen one has a try it before you buy it program. And then I know that there are a couple different, um, like. Their, their own independent little businesses that do, uh, carrier rentals and they will ship them to you. So Oh wow. can have a carrier for a week or whatever their term is for $25 or something like that and see if you like it before you go and buy it. That seems so helpful and useful. yeah, no, it's really awesome the ones that do that. Yeah. Is that something you offer where you are? I have offered for people to come try them on here. The problem is, is I live quite a ways away from a, you know, the major cities, but, um, I have had people come out and try them. I've gone into town a couple times, um, and, you know, tried to meet up with people and I'm hoping to do that more and have some formal classes in the future. I'm just haven't quite finished setting it all Okay. And you're in the Pacific Northwest? Right. Yeah, we're in Washington state, but we live like on the border, so we're close to the whole, um, Oregon side of things as Got it. Okay. Okay. Cuz I know I have a lot of listeners over that direction too, so they should be sure to follow you and follow everything that you're doing. Um, okay. I wanna wrap up with the two questions that I ask every guest I have on the show. The first one is, what is your number one piece of advice for the listeners? What do you want every single person to know? Mm, okay. I guess for me, just because as a, a new parent, I remember, I dunno how I'm gonna phrase this properly, um, but just going with your. like for me, wearing my baby just kind of felt instinctually, right? Um, and there was a lot of, not a lot, but there was some pushback from people on, why are you doing that so often? You're, you know, you're delaying them, you're doing this. And it didn't feel like that was true. Like, and I tried to not do things that felt right because of what people were saying. And it wasn't even things that were safety based. Um, I mean, there's a difference between, you know, , okay, this is, you know, safety, but just things that felt right for us. And, um, I, it made parenting so much harder to try and not do what felt right for us, just because other people thought that we should do it differently. So I'd say kind of go with your instincts, you know, to a degree, but in general, go with your instincts and don't be afraid to, you know, say This is what's working for us and we're gonna do it Awesome. I don't know if you've listened to any of my other podcasts, but almost every single guest has said some degree of Oh really? So thank you for being on good. I, yeah., it's, obviously there's some truth to it then. Yeah, I, and I think people who like to do research and like to take care of their bodies and take care of their babies, really, like that's the theme, right? We have to go with our gut and what we feel is right, and obviously be safe and smart about it. But, um, yeah, there's, there's wisdom in our bodies and our, our instincts. So, um, okay. The second question is, what is your current favorite wellness habit that you are incorporated into your daily? it can be really simple oh, okay. I was gonna say taking time to breathe. Um, and just having those moments through the day where I'm like, Nope, I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed, and I'm just gonna take a step back and, Concentrate on my breath for a minute. And that's made a, a huge impact on my mental health . So Do you have a specific like breath pattern that you follow or you're just thinking about deep breathing. the more the thinking, deep breathing, I usually do in threes or fives. Um, but it's more, I don't, it's not the numbers specifically, it's the concentrating on how it feels to take that big, deep breath in, hold it for a second, and then kind of slowly release. And I've been doing that with my, especially my middle daughter, and oh, it makes a difference. good. Awesome. So, yeah. Breathing is important. I recommend focusing on it. Um, okay. So can you tell us where everyone can find you online and then what services you're offering or are going to offer, and then, um, like your, your websites and all of that. I have Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube and it's all, let's Talk Baby wearing on all of those. And I, I'm kind of in a phase right now where I was offering consultations and stuff, but I don't right this minute have the time for it. So I'm going to be, um, I'm going to have in my. Links information to other educators who do offer those right now that people can reach out to. Um, I'm really hoping that in the future I'll have a little more time on my hands to do that again, but it's been a little crazy and I am not able to fulfill all of those right now. So I'm gonna take a step back and let other people who do have the time for that in this moment do that. And then I am working on some in-person classes because it would be nice to be able to do, you know, group where everybody can come on. They can come try multiple different carrier types, they can learn how to wear properly and safely and just kind of have fun with it. So hopefully in the spring or summer we'll have that starting up. Yay. That's very exciting. That's awesome. Well, Cassidy, thank you so much for being here and providing all of the education that you do online, all of the work that you do as a busy mom. I know a lot of people appreciate it. I appreciate it. Even not being a mom myself yet. So, um, thank you. All right. Well thank you. Thank you for having me and it was fun to talk to you so. I love how Cassidy makes baby wearing, approachable and simple. She gives such clear instructions and provides options and alternatives in her videos, and it's easy to see just how much she loves what she does. I send all of my clients who have baby wearing questions to her account. I've linked all of the resources she mentioned as well as her sites and social pages for you to follow in the show notes for this episode. Welcome to the push corner with Carolyn and Lauren of mental push plan, bringing you mental tools to empower you through pregnancy birth and. Ooh, this is a good one. What is mental strength to us? Mental strength is using our mind to guide us physically, mentally, and emotionally through life. The ups, the downs, the good, the bad, the ugly. It's our ability to balance when to push through challenges and when to step back for a break. It's staying dedicated to goals, despite difficulties, exhaustion, or doubts. It's the wisdom to say no to overextending our. Mental strength is consciously regulating how we use our bodies, thoughts and emotions in ways that are healthy for us. What this looks like can be drastically different from person to person or at different times during one person's life. For example, two people have partners that are really bothering them because they aren't doing the. So frustrating, right? For one person, mental strength may be taking a few breaths to start by saying, I'm frustrated about the dishes right now. For the other person, mental strength may be acknowledging that frustration, then allowing it to leave their mind and body and just doing the dishes themselves. There is no right or wrong answer here because our environment, personalities, contexts, and goals vary. What matters is our ability to use our minds to navigate our lives towards our individual goals or purpose. We also believe that mental strength is innate. We all have it. Sometimes we may need help to consistently access it and put it to good use, but it's already within each of. As always, you already have all the mental strength you need. These are just the tools to help you tap into it. Check out mental push plan.com or find us on Instagram to learn more. Please remember that what you hear on this podcast is not medical advice, but remember to always be an active participant in your care and talk to your healthcare team before making important decisions. If you found this podcast helpful, please consider writing a five star review in your favorite podcast app. Thanks so much for listening. I'll catch you next time.