Babywearing Twins

When you’re caring for two, you become a master at multitasking. Wearing your babies not only makes them feel more safe and secure, but it gives you more options and can allow you to be a more productive parent. But is it really possible to babywear twins? Whether you plan to wear one baby at a time, or both at once, we’ll explore the different options available to you.

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Twin Talks
Babywearing Twins

[00:00:00]

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

SUNNY GAULT: Hey Twin Talks, we have a special announcement before we start the show. New Mommy Media, the parent company of Twin Talks, is looking for moms and dads to join the new sales team and sell advertising on our shows. This is a great opportunity for parents who are looking for a job where they can work from home and still be able to spend time with their twins. Visit www.newmommymedia.com/jobs for details.

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CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Need an extra hand or dreaming of going hands free? Yes you can even with twins. Moms and dads everywhere have discovered the convenience and ease of baby wearing a twin and enjoy the closeness it provides. Today our expert panellist here to share how did baby wearing with their twosome. This is Twin Talks.

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CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Welcome to Twin Talks broadcasting from the birth education centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on the go support group for expecting and new parents of twins. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. Now have you heard about the Twin Talks club? Our members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts.

You can subscribed to our monthly Twin Talks newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available. And another for you to stay connected is by downloading our free app the Twin Talks app available for Android, IPhone and Windows mobile devices. Well first of all let’s get started and we’ll introduce our panel guest here in the studio.

JULIA WICKMAN: I’m Julia Wickman. I’m 31. I am an elementary school teacher and I have boy-girl twins. They’re 14 months old, Marcel and Claire.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Alright.

SHELLY STEELY: I’m Shelly Steely. I’m a high school history teacher and I’m also the producer here at Twin Talks. I have identical twin boys, Greyson and Sawyer who would be two next month and I’m 28 weeks of a singleton, a girl. Before we get started I wanted to tell you about our virtual panellist program so you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also join in the conversation from home by using the #twintalksvp. So if you want to stay connected when you’re not in the studio, check us out online.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Alright and I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald and I’ve got identical girls that are going on 5 and I also have a singleton girl who is 19 months and thinks she’s 5.

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CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Here’s a question from our listener Jennifer in Portland Maine. He know that folic acid is the big deal in pregnancy. What kinds of foods can I eat to make sure I get enough for my twins?

LINDSAY STENOVEC: Hello. I’m Lindsay Stenovec a registered dietician nutritionist in San Diego California and owner of www.nutritioninsticts.com. Folic acid is incredibly important during pregnancy due to its role in DNA synthesis and cell division. Before I answer your question I think it’s worth mentioning that a woman has to need to consume adequate folate prior to conception to allow folic available during the first five weeks and so of pregnancy when the baby’s nervous system is developing and the cell replicating rapidly.

Luckily in United States grain like pasta and bread are fortified by folate which is helpful in meeting your needs both prior and throughout pregnancy. And then to continue meeting your needs during pregnancy, you can get folate from a variety of sources. Lentils are actually one of the best natural sources. One cut provides over 300 micrograms which meets over half of the required 600 micrograms per day that you’ll need during your pregnancy. Other great natural sources of folate include Lentils, peanuts, asparagus, spinach, corn, kiwi and orange juice. I also recommend taking the prenatal vitamins throughout your pregnancy just as a backup. Thanks.

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CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: So let’s get started. So we have Julia and Shelly in the studio today and today’s topic is baby wearing twins and we’re talking to our expert panellist who successfully done baby wearing their twins. So thanks for joining us. Well you know what are the advantages of a baby wearing? I mean you know I know that there’s I see this big resurgence of you know wearing kids you know for singletons it’s pretty common but when I think about doing two sometimes people got oh my gosh can you really you know baby wear two at the time? So but what are the advantages of baby wearing twins?

JULIA WICKMAN: Well for me I don’t think I’ve ever leave the house a lot of the times because I have my big double stroller and I somebody invites me somewhere and I can’t get around with that, I can’t do that, I can’t go there and I’m always thinking about what won’t work. That’s just kind of my personality. I’m looking at all the pit falls. So when I’m wearing them, I can go through large crowds. I can go into restaurants. You know usually I just strap one on my back and carry the other one in and we get in high chairs. We have no problem. We don’t have all these luggage to fold up and carry everywhere. So it just makes my life more liveable.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: So you can go into and you’re not carrying a stroller with you so yeah.

JULIA WICKMAN: I mean I do sometimes have a stroller with me if it’s a long day I carry a stroller and I put their diaper bag and lunch and whatever else I want. My purse with me but for most days if I’m going grocery shopping you know it gets us in and out of the parking lot. If I’m going out to eat, If I’m going shopping, If I’m going to the wild animal park, I prefer to have my carriers. And If I have my husband with me and we both have our carriers then it’s so easy.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That’s so easy just to I think [inaudible 00:06:08] is really a big thing because I know some times I mean stroller are great especially if you’re doing like a long you know all day thing. But as soon as you’re going in and out and you know and you want to have extra I mean like grocery shopping…

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah I remember in the beginning before I really discovered this, I talk myself out of going places because I be like then I have to get the stroller out of the garage and then I have to fold it up and then I have to put it in the trunk and then I have to unfold it and put them in and all I really want to get was eggs so it’s probably not worth it. So I talk myself out of going to places because I felt so overwhelmed being a first time mom with twins. That it just made it so much easier just to do with everybody else is doing with their one baby.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Right.

SHELLY STEELY: I totally agree. Yeah for us my husband and I work opposite schedules so when we are both home we loved to get out and do stuff. You know we were lucky here in San Diego there’s a zoo, there’s amusements parks, there’s walks, there’s a beach, there’s so many things to do.

Street fairs, farmer’s markets and there’s not a lot of room for a giant double stroller of all of those places nor do you want to deal with like you said get the stroller out, unfold the stroller, strap to not happy a¬bout being in the stroller kids end of the stroller, hope that they want to stay you know and so thus sure on long day trips we still bring the stroller but how great is it to have the option of you know most people you’ve seen them like the zoo is a perfect example.

How many parents have you seen with the baby on one hip pushing an empty stroller right? I mean the kids are going to want to be up anyway so why not pull them up and be still kind of hands free. Getting places was important too. Stairs are a twin mom’s worst enemy. I mean I’ll just say that right off the bat…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yes.

SHELLY STEELY: Because you have to get two kids up the stairs somehow and so even just visiting a friend’s house or my brother he has stairs to get to his house. So how great is it to be able to just one baby on your back, hold the other baby or wear the other baby and you can get up the stairs versus I mean standing at the bottom with your stroller calling somebody.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: Can you come down and get us. And you know grocery shopping too I mean like Target and other big stores have the double cart once your kids are big enough to sit in them some times but they’re not always easy to find and it’s almost like if you are not willing to wear your baby, how are you even going to buy your groceries.

It’s really just about convenience. Keeping an active lifestyle, being able to know okay I can just go somewhere with the baby.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: I also think that besides the getting out aspect I mean what I found is when they were really young and being at home there’s that like whole soothing factor. I mean you know we got the bouncy chairs the vibration chairs and everything else. Sometimes you can pop them down but then they’re not you know always happy and they want that closeness . . .

JULIA WICKMAN: I mean minor infants they’re you know budding toddlers but even now they just want to be held some times and people notice…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And you have two arms.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah but they get tired.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Exactly.

JULIA WICKMAN: And the people tell me that they aren’t super excited about my baby wearing they’re like well you have two arms and it’s like try all day.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Now trying carrying them yeah.

JULIA WICKMAN: Try carrying.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And you got laundry. Yeah. Laundry and dishes and everything else you got to do.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah. Just putting usually they can go from tantrum to just hanging out my back and just sit there and then you know where usually luckily they’re not both having a tantrum at the same time usually so usually you can kind of see that one kid and it kind of gives them that comfort. It’s almost like swallowing.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Oh it is. Yeah I found I mean when I you know my girls I mean there really was this almost instant calming in fact just being you know skin on skin and really you know close and having you know the scent. Especially when you are breastfeeding even if they weren’t nursing on me I just felt like I knew that that could you know get them to a point where they’re relax and then maybe you know at that then I might put them down to sleep. Something like that so I found that to be such a great lifesaver.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah and it gave them that one on one time that I’m always worrying you know being a twin parent that you know you’re constantly splitting your attention but sometimes they just need that extra time with mom you know so that just being up there, they’re happy and the other one might be playing or doing something else that you can just wear in

SHELLY STEELY: okay, speaking on one on one time and this is you know for twin moms this is kind of the big questions so you did Babywearing and you know the one on one. How did you work that out and the special situations where you say this works for two…

JULIA WICKMAN: So I always have like always have two carriers with me because I never know when I’m going to need that second one and it’s actually at the point where we started with my husband had a carrier and I had a carrier and I’d used both but I use soft structured carriers and they have to be adjusted to your body. So I really hated when we’re having a meltdown and then I’ll be trying to put my husband and he’s big 6 foot 3 guy…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Oh yes.

JULIA WICKMAN: And I’m frantically trying, you know while they’re both upset so I finally got my own two that fit me so I bring them everywhere and then you know it calls for the situation usually for grocery shopping. I like having my front space open to pick heavy things up and reach into the carts so I wear one on the back and put one in the shopping basket.

But if I was at the wild animal park and for the most part I just wear one and let one kind of toddle around and then we trade off but we went into exhibits where it just you couldn’t let them run around and they’ll be grabbing things and they’re still at the put everything in my mouth stage.

So we went to the lower kid exhibit where you get to hold the nectar and they get to come down and land on you and eat the nectar. So there I already had one on my back and grab the other one and put them up and then we are able to walk around and see the birds and everyone was happy and it was like being able to just carry you in but I could also hold the nectar and everything else and be ready to go.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And I was curious now when it comes to the tandem you know did you just jump in and say yes I want to do it or you know what . . .

JULIA WICKMAN: No, so . . .

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And say hey I can do this thing.

JULIA WICKMAN: I spent like I have friends you know there’s the common carriers that you see the most and I had friends who had those and I was like when I first had them like oh you’re so lucky like you get to do that like I thought that was just wasn’t something I got to do. I had a friend who was a wearing and a baby wearing and has pretty much every type of carrier and you know the whole deal and she let me borrow some and she had me join some group and then I started seeing all these people not only with twins but with kids close in age that they also need this. You know to be able to get around and do things.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: We’re going to take a break and when we come back we’re going to talk about the different types of baby carriers and what are the advantages to each of them.

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Welcome back and we’re here with our expert panellist and talking about baby carriers and we’re looking at the different types of baby carriers available and what are the different advantages for each type? So the first one we got wraps. I think that’s a pretty common carrier.

SHELLY STEELY: I think everybody has heard of like a stretchy wrap. There are a couple of different popular brands but it’s a real stretchy jersey net fabric. I personally didn’t have much luck with it because it’s hot I mean that stretchy fabric it’s…

JULIA WICKMAN: The jersey fabric is hot.

SHELLY STEELY: It’s really hot and boys born in July in San Diego and I mean I swear my body’s temperature still runs 10 degrees hotter than it ever did before. So it wasn’t it was every time I just tried it was sweating so I wish I had known about the lighter the woven wraps the non-stretchy ones because those are definitely cooler and more comfortable but with a little bit of a higher learning curve.

So stretchy and woven wraps are nice because you can wear like you mention two smaller babies on the front so it’s a good palm option for newer ones we are able to use them a couple of times for just one baby but I have a friend who she wear her stretchy wrap with her twins in it until they max out the weight limit of the wraps. [inaudible] the whole time and that so that’s a good option for some people.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And she put both of them in one single wrap. Okay.

SHELLY STEELY: Both babies in one wrap on the front until they hit the weight limit of the wrap and I think it’s like 35 pounds so once her girls were about 6-17 pounds each. But I think a wrap is something that you definitely would want to have somebody come help you with because I just know that if someone had shown me how to do it and I have develop a comfort level with it you know being a brand new mom and overwhelmed at two babies I really needed another set of eyes.

Sometimes if it didn’t go well you know I ask someone my twin group when no one else does it but my experience with people who are baby wearing experts if you will or leaders is they want to help everybody whether they have zero kids or twelve. So just recently I started looking into it from my next baby and I wish I had taken advantage of the resources earlier because I just put out a post saying you know I’m looking to buy a of carrier someone help me out.

Then a woman came over to my house and sat there you know she left her kids to her husband and sat down and said let me show you different options. So I think it’s a really friendly community.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Right.

SHELLY STEELY: So wraps seem scary. I will say that they have a high learning curve.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Right.

SHELLY STEELY: But they can be a great option for a small babies.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And they’re very versatile.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah really versatile. So definitely I think everyone should consider them because one wrap can go a lot of different ways and don’t be scared that it’s hard because somebody. I mean wherever you live, somebody will either…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Somebody knows how to do them yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: Walk you through it or come yeah come to you.

JULIA WICKMAN: There are YouTube videos for everything too.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: Yes.

JULIA WICKMAN: Even if you’re on a very remote location.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And wraps have been I mean what, what I’m trying to say I mean for thousands of years.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yes.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: In so many different cultures.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah and I think…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: You know and many different variations. Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah the stretchy ones are the most popular and branded and available in the stores but they’re really not always the best option for everybody. So I would say something I wish I would have done, something I recommend twin moms do is go a little bit outside your comfort level. Try the woven wrap instead of a stretchy ones because I mean I don’t know anyone who has ever regretted that decision.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah but the stretchy wraps are almost kind of like the gateway in the baby wearing where it happens a lot because you can get them for such a cheap price that people do it and they go wow like this is so much easier.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Right.

JULIA WICKMAN: So that’s a lot of people that I’ve met that was like oh boy you got this and then I started researching it more.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yes

JULIA WICKMAN: Because you know they were hands free and they could research it.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yes. We started out….

JULIA WICKMAN: So that helps them a lot.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah that I think that’s what happens a lot and also people can made their own woven wraps. I mean it’s just fabric. So if you have like basic sewing skills because a lot of times cost is what stands in people’s way but I mean if you go and Google it there are ways to make your own wraps. You just have to make sure it’s reinforced and look at that.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That’s a great idea.

SHELLY STEELY: And look outside I mean social networking is great for buy and sell trade. Buy a used one from somebody or borrow one from your local baby wearing group. No cost investments. Somebody will loan you one. Here we have a like a lending library where you can actually pay to be part of and you can check out any carrier in the library. So for somebody who’s a little bit intimidated by a wrap and like kind of bulk it, I’m not spending a hundred and seventy dollars…

JULIA WICKMAN: Right.

SHELLY STEELY: For something that looks like my table cloth. You don’t have to borrow one. Find a less expensive one. Ask somebody, tell them this is my budget, what can you help me find. And there’s wraps available for every budget. If you are just willing to spend a little time looking and again we know twin moms are short on time but it’s something you can do before you even have the babies here and definitely use your resources to find a good…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That a good.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That’s a great point. In addition to wraps, how about ring slings?

JULIA WICKMAN: Ring slings are really nice. They’re really nice when they were little because you just pop them in and you pull them out, it’s one of those great if all you’re doing is get the thing from the car to the house or getting from you know you don’t have to deal with figuring out how to tie it all off.

You don’t have to buckle everything in. You kind of just wear it. I almost felt like it was a pretty extension like it’s like a scarf. And they were really easy to breastfeed in. I can kind of you know if you were concerned about modesty at all which in the beginning I was now I’m just [inaudible].

I can pull it up to have a little more privacy or whether going through the distracted face or if there’s kind of a tail from you know the extra fabric that goes through the rings. You can just kind of pull that back up over you.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And the ring sling it’s kind of like a wrap. Right?

JULIA WICKMAN: It’s basically a wrap that’s been sown into a ring and it has that those two loops that you tie to.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah there are two rings and you loop It through the rings.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: It’s like…

JULIA WICKMAN: Its how so many belts and backpacks work.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

JULIA WICKMAN: And then you tighten it you know so you put it on, you put your baby in, you make sure they have a good sit and then you tighten it and then they kind of just hang. It’s kind of it’s the most that if you just naturally kind of let your child sit on your hip. That’s how I wear them anyway. There’s lots of ways to wear them. I haven’t tried them all. But for me it’s like they’re kind of already sitting there and they just hang out and I know twin moms who do wear two ring slings and do one on each hip.

I only had one ring sling ever so I never really tried that but I also know other tandem wears who wear usually the smaller one and the ring sling on the front and then wear a soft structured carrier on the back and they can put the ring sling on. And then it’s really easy to pop the front kid in and out. So that’s really nice.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: So it’s easier than a wrap.

JULIA WICKMAN: It’s easier than a wrap.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yes. You can’t do, it’s not as versatile as a wrap but it’s a great like having your car and just you know in and out it doesn’t take a lot of adjusting. It fits compactly everywhere.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah. I wish I have done a little bit more research because now I heard sling and I was thinking of those like old school baby slings where the baby kind of lays in them and they aren’t really good for the air ways and they’re not really you know they’re not the safest thing and especially you know for small babies I mean the first time we tried to put Sawyer in a Moby wrap he like tuck his chin right under and terrified all of us you know.

So I was a little paranoid about how I will ever figure out a ring sling and how will I get my baby safe in this thing and so I didn’t, I didn’t look into it. But I’m actually I have one ordered for this next baby and so a woman came over my house to kind of show me how to use it and I have it on my boys in months because they’ve outgrew the carriers we had and they’re independent.

They were independent so we didn’t think twice about it but they were in the super clingy phase and so I was trying to figure out how to put this ring sling on and I pick up my Sawyer, he’s a little bit clingier right now he’s got a case of the mommies we call and he I mean at 27 ½ pounds.

I just put him in the ring sling, we tied it up and he just snuggled right in and that was like oh my good here I am you know 7 months pregnant and it feels like I’m not even carrying him and I have my hands free. So they’re definitely an option than can work for older kids too and I think that’s why a lot of people swear by them is they’re great when they’re little but It’s also with the toddler it took 2 seconds to get him in and 2 seconds to get him back out were as when I try the soft structured carrier with my toddler he threw a fit because it was like okay I got to lean over and I got to tighten this buckle and I got to put this strap and now he’s on my back.

So I think that the main benefit of ring slings is that they’re super versatile and also inexpensive. So I mean you can get one made out of linen new for like under 50 dollars used some times for even cheaper. You can get them made out of a woven wrap which will give you a little more support for a heavier baby but again they’re really not they’re very affordable they’re not you know they’re not going to be a 300 or 400 dollar a piece of fabric like some of those fancier wraps could be.

So they’re versatile they’re affordable they’re good for switching between two people. So my husband is a lot taller than I am but he can use the same size of ring sling. He just has a less of it a tail as you mention the fabric get the end. So it was a really good tool for simple, affordable, versatile baby wearing.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Oh awesome. How about the mei-tais? Not to be confuse with mai-tai but the mei-tais and I think this is…

JULIA WICKMAN: Wear your mei-tai while you drink your mai-tai.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And this is I think it gets the name because it’s originally Chinese and we know we think of some of those ornate tapestry that show you know women and they’ve got the babies on their backs right and it’s that I think I’ve seen some that are very either a very ornate and the…

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah I don’t know the exact history of them. I actually this one I’ve never worn but I kind of see it as the halfway point for people who like soft structured carriers and are kind of wanting to wrap a little bit more because it usually has a panel and then it has different what would you call..

SHELLY STEELY: they’re like ties…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: It’s a tie yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah ties.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah what you call that fabric has different like pieces of fabric that you wrap around and tie. It’s adjustable and that like she said her kids grew out of their soft structured carrier. But this you know it fits a little bit more. It has a little more and it’s versatile and again it doesn’t have all the buckles and all of the other stuff so you can fold it up pretty easily and throw it. I think that’s a big factor for a lot of people.

SHELLY STEELY: They get a better fit because.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: Because with buckles you know there’s an adjustment and you have to kind of find the right buckle slot and pull it to the right thing…

JULIA WICKMAN: Or yeah I know.

SHELLY STEELY: And with that one every time you wrap it you can get a different fit depending on you know who’s wearing it.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: So I know that’s a benefit for them. I don’t have the patience for that much tying so it’s not it’s definitely something again with a learning curve and then that you have to be pretty good with wrapping and tying like woven knot.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah it does take some practice.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: So it’s pretty much it’s like a square of you know solid fabric and then it’s got the ties on the top…

JULIA WICKMAN: Right. Yeah. And is on the bottom

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That go around the shoulders and then it’s got the ties around the waist…

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah. Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That kind of you bring it you know around the waist and then back again. And so I think with the mei-tais you can either do a front carry or a back carry. Right? So…

JULIA WICKMAN: I think you can also do a side carry, a hip carry.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Oh Okay.

JULIA WICKMAN: So you can tie them on that way. So and that’s they’re a little more versatile than some of the structured carriers.

SHELLY STEELY: But one of the soft structured carriers that I have comes in three different sizes for the mom and three different sizes for the child were it does little more time.

JULIA WICKMAN: And I don’t think you have to wear an insert with them mei-tai but…

SHELLY STEELY: No.

JULIA WICKMAN: But I’m not entirely certain.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: For the really small for new-borns.

SHELLY STEELY: So they can start wearing it when they’re really small.

JULIA WICKMAN: When the kid was smaller.

SHELLY STEELY: It would be a good if you’re not if you don’t want to buy each of you your own two carriers and just looking to have two. A mei-tai would be a good option because you wouldn’t have to adjust it for you and your husband. You can both wear the same one just by tying it differently so that would be a benefit. It also because there’s no buckles, it rolls up really small so their easily under your stroller and so be another benefit of that.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And you know I have to say the as far as fashion is concerned. I think you know with like wraps and ring slings and mei-tais, I’ve seen a lot of really cool fabrics and so you can be very creative.

JULIA WICKMAN: I mean their endless.

SHELLY STEELY: I have plans of only wearing wovens and I saw these beautiful fabrics and then in real life I usually have one up and the other one had the other end of the fabric shaking it and I’m a sweaty mess to trying to get the other one up.

JULIA WICKMAN: There’s a lot of sweating involve in baby wearing.

SHELLY STEELY: In baby wearing like you know it’s hard to go to the gym as a twin mom. I’m usually carrying and extra 40 pounds on me when I’m walking. It’s like my only working out. As far as wraps and ring slings there’s also water versions.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Oh.

SHELLY STEELY: So you can as twin moms…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: To go into the pool.

SHELLY STEELY: I’m always scared at the pool like I said I’m the worry whore I’m like what if this happen and what if this happen.

JULIA WICKMAN: Me too.

SHELLY STEELY: I just go through all those scenarios because I just kind of like just to plan for the worst so we can go and have a great day. So when something does happen I’m like I’m good we’re doing this but so you can a ring sling in the water. Have one on you and kind of holding the other one and help and just give you that more options. But I actually I have a water wrap.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Oh interesting.

SHELLY STEELY: So I wrap and wear one on the front.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: So you can take both of them in the water at the same time with one adult.

SHELLY STEELY: I can. I usually don’t but some of the adults I go with like the grandparents. They’re great but you know they’re not as quick you know It’s been a while they don’t realize how quickly my two can get into trouble you know so they’ll blink for a second and so I still like to have like that back up ability of the help and you know step in or if one’s upset of who they’re with. But yeah I could theoretically.

SHELLY STEELY: One benefit of the water slings is showering.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah a lot of people do that.

SHELLY STEELY: So if you have I mean I was lucky enough to have two boys that when they did feel like sleeping. They slept at the same time but not everybody is that lucky. In fact I’ve heard from tons and tons of twin moms that they one nap the other one was awake and vice versa and that can happen you know I mean and some of them even preferred it because at least that way they were only handling one baby at a time but If you have one sleeping and one awake and you have a water wrap, you can take a shower with the baby. And then you don’t have to worry about dropping a baby or you’re toddler running around the floor. So that’s definitely one benefit and in retrospective I wish I had one just for that.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Oh wow.

SHELLY STEELY: Because there’s so many times when I was like if only I could just shower so that I could leave my house. But what would I do with this kid you know.

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: So that would be that’s a definitive benefit.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: What a great idea. Okay now last the last type of carrier that we got is a soft structured carrier.

SHELLY STEELY: This one is the most popular.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: So probably everybody seen or heard of a soft structured carrier. It’s the kind of like it’s a backpack for your baby almost it’s got a buckler on the waist. It’s got adjustable straps. It has a buckle across the back I mean it’s the one you see in movies and commercials and every puts one on their registry.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Right! I mean I know we started out using a wrap and you know and when they were newborn I think that was really great but what I found is you know I think you’ve mention a lot if you’re doing breastfeeding and then if you’re you know doing one and it’s and then you kind of swapping off it’s a little bit more involve unwrap them and you take them out with the soft structured carriers it so nice to be able to just clip in clip out.

JULIA WICKMAN: Or for when I especially if I’m wearing both I really like the soft structured carrier because a lot of times I just have them clip around my waste and hanging down on. We went to the wild animal park and it was up down, up down, and I did have my stroller but I mean I wish I almost wish that we didn’t have to brought it other than the fact that it was holding all of our other stuff because they wanted nothing to do with it and it was just we were there with older kids too so they were more mobile and mine wanted to be.

So in different scenarios you know a whole filed trip we come through and I couldn’t exactly let my little toddlers wandered through that so I already had it and all I had to do is quickly snap them up and back down. So it was really nice.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah, we only use soft structured carriers mostly I would say for about 3 months to probably 16 months when they outgrew the particular one that we had. Lifesavers, I mean we had one that was adjusted to my husband and one that was adjusted to me but we always had them.

I mean we never left the house without them because you just never knew when somebody when someone wants to be carried and how much easier. I learned to nurse really quickly and the soft structured carrier it’s fairly easy. It takes one or two times to get the hang of it and I really its trial by fire.

I mean it’s like that we were at this street fair and it was burning hot and there was nowhere to sit down there was a beer garden but you can’t bring an infant and into a beer garden and I was like are you sure? He’s not like going to drink anything. Right? But there was nowhere to sit…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh.

SHELLY STEELY: And I’m not going to nurse my baby in a porter potty…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: That was not happening. So it was like okay well let’s see if we can make this work then once that I figured out that it could work, a whole window of possibilities.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yeah. And I think…

SHELLY STEELY: So…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: The soft structured carriers I mean I have one where it has the little head support cover which is great. It provides head support….

SHELLY STEELY: When they fall asleep they can just fall back yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And fall asleep and they keep the sun off them and it’s a little extra privacy if you are nursing as well.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: I think that’s a really great feature.

JULIA WICKMAN: There also men are much more open to the soft structured carrier. If you’re a twin mom and you don’t want to wear both of them, usually men you know it looks like a backpack…

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah. It’s a utility.

JULIA WICKMAN: It looks familiar. It’s not on a girly floral, so they it I think it’s more accessible to them. I mean I do know men who wrap and they loved it and it’s great. My husband was a little hesitant even with the soft structured carrier and he be like god okay and he put it on but after about like 5 times he goes you know he ask for his specifically. He has a pac man print on it.

SHELLY STEELY: And that their resale value so like I mention my boys outgrew the particular one that we had and then I just figured okay we’re done baby wearing but I don’t even stop and think about reselling them. I mean I wish I had because you can usually sell a soft structured carrier for depending on the brand at least half of what you paid for it. Sometimes almost all of what you paid for it.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And sometimes more.

SHELLY STEELY: And sometimes more if the print just got discontinued so

JULIA WICKMAN: Summer selling.

SHELLY STEELY: I mean when you’re outgrows it and you want to continue it there are tons of companies that make larger sizes. They’re not the one that’s going to be on the shelves of your store but I mean we all do online shopping as twin moms. It’s not that hard. So I actually resold the two smaller one that we had in order to buy like a bigger one.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That’s great.

SHELLY STEELY: So that’s something that you know carriers have an initial expense especially some of the soft structured ones. I know a lot of women will bark at $160 each.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Yes.

SHELLY STEELY: For a carrier you know but you got to figure I mean we got a good year of use out of them…

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: And you can resell it.

SHELLY STEELY: And I resold them for almost what I paid for them. So…

JULIA WICKMAN: Freedom of life.

SHELLY STEELY: So in any type of baby wearing no matter which kind of carrier you decide what is right for you. You do want to make sure that you’re following safe baby wearing rules. I know we mentioned a couple of times small babies, mom’s being kind of paranoid you know you worry when you can’t see your baby.

So the baby wearing guidelines there’s current guidelines for safety and they’re always changing and always evolving so a good reason to stay in touch with your leader but there’s just a quick kind of a cutesy acronym for how to keep your baby safe and it’s called TICKS. So each letter stands for something so the T stands for tight. You want to make sure that the carrier is tight.

Not cutting of your circulation but it needs to feel you know close to you. The buckles are secured. It’s tight around your waste. It’s you know it’s a close fitting thing. It’s not going to be dangling off the side. I is for in new so you always should be able to have the baby you know in your view. I know back carry you can’t always see a baby completely but if a baby is on your back they should be high enough up that you can turn and kind of see them over your shoulder. So basically you need to always be able to see your baby somehow.

C stands for close enough to kiss and this one I think is the one that I see most often when I’m out and about. People who aren’t aware of this rule where when your baby’s on your front you should be able to just lean your head and kiss the top of your baby’s head. If your baby is too low for you to kiss then they’re too low to be safely worn. So your baby shouldn’t be hanging on your belly button or way below.

Their head needs to be right up and close to you. K is for keep chin off chest and that’s and that’s going to deal with those like suffocation airways issues that we’ve dealt with, small infants especially. They need to be position in a certain way to keep their airway safe. Just like we do in car seats you know they do the car seat test just like we do on strollers. So your baby’s chin should never be tucked on to its chest.

It always needs to be that space between it. So you need to really constantly be checking on your baby especially a newborn especially premy and make sure that their air ways open. So that they’re not kind of getting trap off under all that fabric. And then the last one is S there back needs to be supported. I talked about that a little bit with the panel on the size of the babies as they get taller make sure that you’re that that panel or fabric or whatever is holding the baby’s back is supporting their back as well so that they’re close in there, they’re fully supported, you don’t have a baby that’s only got like a little piece of fabric on their bottom because we want to make sure the baby was always safe inside the wearing and the ideal situation is once your baby is in there, you should be able to do whatever.

Move your hands, wonder around freely but if you have a baby in incorrectly, you’re going to risk your baby falling out. So just make sure that you are aware of the safe baby wearing rules that’s just a quick acronym. You’ll definitely want to read the instructions for your manufacture. Talk to some other people. The first couple of times have somebody check it out and make sure that you look safe and look good and groups are good for that too you’re supposed to picture.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That’s a good point. Yeah.

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Get help and maybe you know attend a local group that you know you got local experts…

JULIA WICKMAN: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That can give you that extra tips.

JULIA WICKMAN: There’s hundreds all over the nation.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: That’s awesome. Well thanks so much everyone for joining us today and for more information about baby wearing twins or more information about any of our speakers or panellist. Visit our episode page on our website. And this conversation continues for members of our twin talks club. And after the show our panellist are going to talk about getting dads to be motivated to do baby wearing. So you can join the Twin Talks club, sorry. After the show our panellists are going to talk about how we can motivate dads to do baby wearing and for more information visit our website twintalks.com.

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Well today we’re going to have a special segment. It’s called special twin moments and we got one of our panellist here to share. Brenda.

BRENDA: My twins when they were in elementary school fairly young like maybe second grade or so. For thanksgiving project they have to make small cards that said what they were thankful for and why. And one of my twins wrote I am thankful for my twin brother Joshua because he is the only twin that matches me.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: The only twin of course.

BRENDA: The only one.

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: In his world there’s you know I mean everybody has a twin. Right?

BRENDA: Sure.

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWAR-FITZGERALD: Well, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.

Don’t forget to check our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Our show The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies and
• Parent Savers, your parenting resource on-the-go.

Next week we’ll talk about preparing your twin nursery.
This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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