Archive for Babywearing

Happy Canada Day! Free Babylegs With Any Carrier Purchase!

This weekend (Saturday/Sunday), get a free pair of “I ❤ Canada” BabyLegs with the purchase of any new baby carrier.

While supplies last; limit one per customer.

We are open 12-4 on Canada Day and regular hours the rest of the long weekend.

Happy Canada Day!



We Still Have Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Pouches in Stock!

We were as sad as anyone when Kangaroo Korner went out of business last year. They were an awesome company and their Adjustable Fleece Pouch was one of owner Lindsay’s first babywearing loves. We did have a ton of adjustable fleece, cotton and mesh pouches in stock when they announced their closing, and have slowly been selling out. At this point, we are down to very few, but we know that there are still lots of people out there looking for them. We figure the babywearers and the slings have a better chance of finding one another if we take this online!

Here’s the deal:
I’ve listed below what we have in stock. The sizes fit: Small ( 28-36″, 80-140 lbs), Medium (34-41″, 100-200 lbs),
Large (38-45″, 140-300 lbs). We can only ship these in Canada and the price is $50 including shipping. These are final sale. First come, first served – we can’t guarantee how long any of these will last! To order, call 403-835-4613 (10-5 Mon-Sat, 11-4 Sun) or email

Fleece pouches

1 L right-hand – cayenne
1 L left-hand – cherry

Cotton pouches
1 XL right-hand – cream
1 M left-hand – cherry (mispackaged)

Some reviews of the fleece pouch: Reviews on

Babes in Arms co-owner Lindsay wearing a two-month-old Neko in the KKAFP, 2006

Carrying a Toddler on the Back or Hip – Our Newest Video is Online!

While using my Beco Butterfly II to carry Finn, who is 2 and is at my house during the day two days a week, it dawned on me that a lot of Beco users probably don’t know their carrier can also be used for an assisted hip carry. Finn had been riding on my back but wanted to walk for a while, and then slowed down considerably – if we were ever going to make it to the library, I needed to pick him up for a while! Without a carrier, that would mean throwing him on my hip, or with the carrier, normally I would have gotten him back on my back. Plus, I’d be carrying the carrier in my arms when he walked. This is one of the things I love about the Beco Butterfly II – when he got down to walk, I rolled it up, secured it, and buckled it around my waist. Then when he got tired, I picked him up and he rode on my hip, with my arms around him – the same as carrying him on my hip, only with my spine in proper alignment, so much easier on my back! I wanted to share this great feature with our clients and with people who might be shopping around for a carrier. Of course, the Beco Butterfly II also works great right from the newborn stage.

International Babywearing Week – Oct. 10-16, 2011

It’s International Babywearing Week, and the theme is Babywearing: A World of Possibilities!

Celebrate babywearing with us during International Babywearing Week 2011, Oct. 10-16 in Calgary. Events around town give everyone the chance to witness, learn about and celebrate babywearing! Whether you’re just curious, are new to babywearing, have a helping hand to offer other babywearers, or just want to celebrate your love for babywearing, this week has something for you! All events are free and open to the public.

Planned events include:

Oct. 11 10 am – noon
Free Carrier Clinic
Attachment Parenting Village Canada Playgroup
Winston Heights Community Centre, 520 27 Ave NE
Need some help with your carrier? Have pressing questions about babywearing? Whether you’re scared, worried, flummoxed or just need a bit of reassurance, we can help! Several babywearing experts from Babywearing Calgary, various local businesses and the local attachment parenting community will be available to help you out, answer questions, adjust your carrier or your baby’s positioning or let you try out a new carrier.
More info here:

Oct. 12 12:30-2:30 pm
Babywearing Mall Walk
Chinook Centre (meet in common area in front of customer service (by time capsule, beneath the food court)
Come meet some other babywearers and even try out a new carry or carrier if you’d like! Requests for carriers to borrow should be submitted on individual event by midnight, Oct. 10.
More info here:

Oct. 13 10am- noon
Babywearing Mall Walk at Crossiron Mills (Balzac)
We will meet at the north end of the mall by the indoor play area. Since it can be difficult to pry kids away from the play area, if anyone can think of a better place to meet, then please let me know. Extra carriers are available if you’d like to try something new or don’t have one. Please make that request the night before. More info here:

Oct. 15 10 am
Babywearing Flash Mob!
Come perform a flash mob with us – we’ll symbolically ditch our strollers in synchronized time and walk off into the crowd happily wearing carriers. If you’ve ever wanted to say “Synchronize Watches!” this event is for you.
More information here:

Oct. 15 2 pm
Babywearing Mall Walk
South Centre
We will be meeting at the upper entrance by the Sportchek. I have a few different wraps, mei tais and a ring sling I can lend out if anyone needs! I’m also willing to wear a 2nd child if needed lol. Let me know!
More Info Here:

Education for healthcare professionals
A carrier donation drive in benefit of local parents

Find more information on celebrations around the world here:

Find information on Babywearing International Contests related to Babywearing Week here (bottom of page):

Volunteer to help plan or run Calgary events here:

Join Babywearing Calgary (free! volunteer run! monthly drop-in meetings!) here:

Ten Ways to Use a Baby Carrier Rental This Summer

10. On out-of-town trips to visit family or friends, prevent the “pass-the-baby” game with your newborn by keeping them comfortably close in a carrier – you choose when it is time to pass your little one amongst your loved ones, if at all.

9. For parents with a baby as well as an older child or children, summer is a time when the kids are always on the go and baby needs to come along too. Keep up with the big kids, whether it’s on- or off-path, or even wading in the wading pool or river.

8. If you don’t own a carrier or the one you do own incorporates metal pieces or is inconvenient to get into and out of, a quick, easy carrier with no metal parts is worth renting for trips through the airport. You won’t set off metal detectors, and you can pace the aisles of the airplane comfortably if needed. Not to mention, of course, having baby close as you navigate the airport prior to take-off and after landing!

7. It can be tricky to keep a baby contained and safe on a camping trip. A baby carrier can solve or at least alleviate the problem by keeping your little safely on your back much of the time.

6. Make some extra space in your trunk on a road trip by leaving out the stroller – baby carriers are quick and convenient on trips and give baby a sense of security in unfamiliar surroundings.

5. Has your baby outgrown their carrier? You don’t have to stop wearing them! There are plenty of carriers that will comfortably bear the weight of a bigger toddler or even preschooler. Try out an Ergo, Beco, Boba, Babyhawk or woven wrap for a week to see the difference in comfort.

4. Suggest to visiting friends or family that they pack one less thing and leave their own carrier at home. Once they’re here they can rent a carrier to use as they see the sites in and around Calgary.

3. Hot? Try an Ergo Sport, Ergo Performance, or Wrapsody Bali Baby Breeze gauze wrap for the duration of the heat wave.

2. Don’t hike much but plan to go out once or twice this summer? If an Ergo, Beco or Boba wouldn’t be your regular pick for a carrier but you need something comfortable for hikes or long walks, rent one to keep yourself and baby comfortable while you explore.

1. And of course, the classic #1 reason parents rent a carrier – try before you buy – test run a sling before you take the plunge, to ensure you’re getting the right one!

Babes in Arms offers carrier rentals of the Boba, Beco Butterfly II, Beco Gemini, Babyhawk mei tai, Babyhawk Oh Snap!, Mayawrap ring sling, Moby wrap, Chimparoo wrap, Wrapsody Bali Baby Breeze wrap, Ergo, Ergo Sport and Ergo Performance. A one-week rental is $20 and if you wish, you can try several carriers during that period. A second or third week of rental is just $10 per week. After renting a carrier you receive 10% off the purchase of any new carrier from Babes in Arms. Visit the store for more details or to rent a carrier!

Why We Don’t Recommend a Forward-Facing Carry

by J. M. Cavanagh, staff, Babes in Arms

(revised Feb. 14/11)

When I am out and about with my family, or having a break by myself, I often see parents or caretakers wearing a baby facing away from the wearer’s body. Many babies seem to really enjoy this position, and parents often want to use this position as long as they can. However, based on a number of factors, we recommend that babies should always be facing the body of the person wearing them. Here are some reasons why:
As humans much of our body is still developing after birth. At birth our eyesight isn’t top notch yet; we don’t have kneecaps made of bone (they are cartilage until age 3 to 5); we can’t manage without someone to care for us; and our spines are not straight. Well, our spine is never truly straight — it has a slight curve to it at both ends, like a drawn out “S”. At birth, babies’ spines are a convex curve, or a long open-ish “C” shape. They straighten as we get stronger and bigger. When a baby is carried facing in, in a “froggy,” half lotus (a yoga pose, basically crisscrossed legs, but still sitting on bum, not sitting on legs) or seated position, with the bum lower than the knees, this convex curve is kept. But when a baby is in a facing-out position, not only is the spine straightened, it can actually become concave, the opposite of convex.
What is this like? Because an adult breastbone (which the baby is held against in this position) is quite hard, we can imagine that this position, legs dangling with back to the parent’s chest, might feel similar to being an adult in a climbing or safety harness, unable to really move or readjust your body, with your back against a wall.
Something to be taken into account when thinking about the spine, is that it determines the function of the nervous system, and the nervous system controls all body systems. Therefore, a nervous system stressed by a compromised spine will affect the body’s overall ability to be healthy. Having baby in a facing-out position runs the risk of putting undue stress on baby’s spine, which can lead to a medical condition called spondylolisthesis. Spondylolisthesis is defined as the forward slipping of a vertebra on the one below it. Basically, when a person’s back is forced into an unnatural angle, especially with the added stress of gravity, the vertebra in the back can become compressed and slip. A young baby’s spine and back muscles are not actually developed enough to bear all of baby’s body weight. Compare this to a facing-in position in which it is possible to place baby’s knees higher than their bum – for newborns, in a supported squat, or for older babies, with legs coming around the parent’s waist – where baby’s weight is spread across their bum and things instead of being held by their lower spine.
For me, one argument in particular against forward facing carries is especially compelling. While the studies I am quoting for this paragraph were done on adults, the possibility that there is even a chance the same effects could happen to a baby in a carrier where their legs are dangling must give us pause.
The University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital has done a couple of studies on orthostatic intolerance in astronauts, and on safety harnesses used by workers, or others needing fall protection. Many employee safety organizations have also done such studies. They have found that when a person is suspended in a safety harness, with legs dangling relaxed beneath their body, it seems comfortable; and actually the test subject never really experiences any discomfort. Then, in as little as three minutes they start feeling warm. Often the next symptom is unconsciousness, the next sometimes death. This is called suspension trauma. Most of the time the trauma isn’t as severe as death. In the best case scenario, no permanent damage is done; but it can lead to nerve and or tissue damage, sometimes in as little as five minutes, and sometimes permanent.
Let me reiterate that to my knowledge the above research has only been done on adults, the worst damage occurring when the person is dangling with their legs hanging freely under them in a relaxed position, and that these are worst case scenarios, unlikely to happen to a baby if only because the person carrying the baby would hopefully notice something was wrong before it could get that bad. To my knowledge there have not yet been any studies on the subject of babies being carried in a similar position. As an added concern for the legs-dangling position in general,  thinking of baby boys in particular, there is the concern that their weight is resting on their crotch, a position that seems to cause discomfort for quite a few baby boys based on our observations.
Thinking of the wellbeing of the parent or wearer, when baby is facing out, it also changes the weight distribution for whoever is carrying baby, placing the weight on your shoulders instead of the core of your back. You should never lift or carry weight with your shoulders, as it can quickly lead to discomfort and disalignment of the vertebrae. For mom this change in weight distribution also puts a lot of pressure on her pelvic floor: baby’s weight is pulling her forward, away from her centre of gravity, causing her to lean back to compensate. This in turn causes her to push her hips forward, which does not allow her to give her pelvic floor proper muscular support – right at the time her pelvic floor should be regaining strength.
One of the common reasons I am told by parents that they want to be able to carry their baby facing out is that the baby “likes it,” and seems to want the stimulation. The problem with this is that facing out can often lead to over-stimulation for baby. Unfortunately over-stimulation is not always crystal clear for us to recognize as parents — what seems like happiness, excitement and engagement in baby may be over-stimulation, and upon placing the over-stimulated, seemingly happy baby facing-in in an ergonomically correct position many times we see the baby go straight to sleep.
When facing out, baby can hear the voice and the heartbeat of the caregiver or parent, and can smell that the caregiver or parent is there, but can’t see them. This may be disconcerting for baby. Add to that all the other sounds and sights, many of which may not even be clearly in focus, and disconcerting can quickly become overstimulated and overwhelmed.
All of this said, some babies are more likely to crave interactivity and periods of stimulation. For short periods, as an alternative to a forward-facing position, we recommend a seated cradle position in a ring or pouch sling for babies with good head control who cannot yet sit on their own; a hip carry in a ring or pouch sling for babies who are able to sit on their own; or a high back carry for babies with good back strength who can bring their legs comfortably around the body of the parent wearing them. Each of these positions will support baby’s back in its natural curvature, spread their weight through their bum and thighs and allow them to alternately see their surroundings and retreat toward the safety of their caregiver’s chest or back, while keeping baby in the wearer’s centre of gravity, allowing them to maintain proper posture.
So with all of these concerns, why bother wearing our babies? Why not utilize a seat or carrier so we don’t have to worry about any of these problems? Well, besides the fact that there are concerns over safety and health issues with baby spending extended amounts of time in these carseats and on hard surfaces, wearing your baby is good for them. It just needs to be done correctly — and knowledge is power. The optimum way to carry your baby is chest to chest, facing in, in a “froggy” position or supported squat, a half lotus (a yoga pose, basically crossed legs, but still sitting on bum, not sitting on legs) or in a seated position, with the bum lower than the knees. Also, baby’s bum should always be above your belly button in order to keep their weight within your centre of gravity.
There are many benefits for babies. When in the seated position, with the legs lower than the knees, your baby is basically doing the tummy time that doctors recommend occur daily – just in your arms. Building brain synapses, muscle development, nerve development, and hip development, just like if they were lying on their tummy on the floor. This position is also often used to correct minor birth trauma, like hip dysplasia. Neurological development happens the way it should, because of the continued contact, touch and motion which mimics the time baby spent in the womb, turning what has the possibility to be an alarming environment into one that feels familiar and safe. A baby that is worn instead of spending the majority of the day lying flat or at a slight angle is also less likely to end up with a flattened head. Carrying baby helps with bonding; helps baby regulate breathing, temperature, and heart beat; helps enhance learning and social development and emotional health; can lessen crying and colic; allows baby mild stimulation through interacting with the person wearing baby; and enables the wearer to have their hands free.
J. M. Cavanagh
As sort of an afterthought, I just wanted to add that this article is in no way meant to be me saying you are a bad parent. I believe that we all do the best we can with the information that we have available to us. Please take this as a sharing of information, rather than a judgment. My oldest child is 9 years old, I didn’t have this information when she was a baby; I did wear her in a bad carrier, facing out. She is okay, but I wish someone had told me why it could be dangerous.
Works Cited and Bibliography

Effect of Forces on the Growth, Development, and Maintenance
Physical Therapy December 1984 vol. 64 no. 12 1874-1882

Craniofacial Pain: Neuromusculoskeletal Assessment, Treatment and Management,  By Harry J. M. Von Piekartz

Neuro-developmental treatment approach: theoretical foundations and principals of clinical practice, By Janet M. Howle

Baby Spine Development, Bridget Coila

Infant Carriers and Spinal Stress, by Rochelle L. Casses, D.C.; 1996 by The Liedloff Society for the Continuum Concept;

Hensinger, R. N.; Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis in Children and Adolescents; Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, August 1989 71A: 1098-1107

Baby Wearing – Suggestions for Carrying Your Baby: A Chiropractic Perspective;  Jeanne Ohm, DC; ICPA, Pathways to Family Wellness, Issue #10

Why Wear Your Baby?; Sharon Reuven;  ICPA, Pathways to Family Wellness, Issue #05