The Name Jaime’s Baby Contest!

We have a problem and we need your help. Jaime (co-owner) and Troy are having their third baby sometime around Thanksgiving and can’t think of a name.

Troy, Jaime, Leif and Taryn

We need your help coming up with a good name for this baby! In exchange for your help, we are offering a $100 gift certificate as a prize for the person who chooses the winning name. And if we reach 2,000 Facebook fans during the period of the contest, we will up that gift certificate to $200!!

Win a $100 Babes in Arms gift certificate!

Here are the rules:

  1. First, go “Like” our Facebook page, if you’re not already a fan (if you are a fan, please feel free to recommend the page to all your friends if you’d like – either by Sharing the page <lefthand column of FB page at the bottom> or writing a recommendation <righthand column of FB page near the top>). While you’re at it you might also want to check out our Twitter (though it’s not required)!
  2. Comment on this blog post with your name choice(s). Limit of one name suggestion per gender, per entrant. Please note that you will need to leave your email address (it won’t show up on your comment but we’ll have it – so we can contact you if your name is chosen!).
  3. Contest closes when this baby is born. We will close the comments at that time. Enter early to be safe.
  4. Jaime and Troy’s two children are named Taryn and Leif, and the baby’s last name will be Martin. In other words, the names Taryn, Leif and Martin would probably not be great choices with which to enter. Or Marvin. Or Erin. Or … you get the idea.
  5. Jaime and Troy will choose the name they like best. Simple as that. Whoever entered the name first wins. So check previous posts before choosing.
  6. You will be required to answer a skill testing question to accept your prize. The question is: what is the origin and meaning of the name you suggested?
  7. The prize must be picked up at the store; we will not mail the gift certificate. You don’t need to be a resident of any certain country but you do need to come into the store to claim your prize.
  8. Wondering how you could possibly spend your $100 (or $200 if we get enough fans in the next month or so)? Check out our Products page for ideas!
  9. If you’re not already familiar with our store, please be aware that we specialize in cloth diapering and babywearing and we offer services such as classes (Cloth Diapering 101, Babywearing 101, and Back Carries); carrier rentals (by the week); in-store carrier fittings and advice; diaper trial packs; and cloth diaper and carrier consignment. We also sell nursing tanks, babywearing and cloth diapering accessories, natural and locally made toys, and natural and locally made skincare products. We are a brick and mortar store located in the Mayfair Place building at 6707 Elbow Dr. SW, Calgary Alberta.

    The store itself

  10. If you’d like to keep up to date with great contests like this, or just find out when Jaime has her baby and what they name it, sign up for our newsletter!

We’re Hiring!

We’re hiring!! We need an employee to cover 1-3 three hour shifts per week on weekdays. These would typically be Monday, Tuesday and/or Thursday in the afternoon but the position is somewhat flexible. If you’re an enthusiastic parent with experience cloth diapering and babywearing; love meeting other parents and sharing information & support; would love to work in a supportive, flexible environment with a fair wage and likeminded folks, then send your resume to by September 14!

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!

How to Get Rid of Yeast in Cloth Diapers

by Jaime Sanderson – co-owner of Babes In Arms

I’ve had several emails recently about removing yeast from cloth diapers.  Here is my advice:


So… for yeast…the  magic ingredient is Grapefruit Seed Extract.   (I bought mine at Community Natural Foods here in Calgary, in the vitamin section.)

If you don’t have a top-load, I’d recommend visiting someone who does — it will make the rinsing process so much easier.

(1)  Turn up your hot water heater — the hotter the water in the wash, the more effective it will be. (I’ve read that the temp in the machine should be at least 124F, but I just crank the heater, wait an hour, then fill my machine.)

(2)  Fill the washer with hot water & some Oxygen Bleach (1/2-1 cup). ( Nature Clean & Oxy Clean are brands on the approved detergents list.)

(3)  Soak your diapers for a few hours (I wait until the water is cool enough to stick my hand in comfortably).

(4)  Spin it out.

(5)  Do a 2nd HOT wash with your regular detergent (I use 1-3 Tbsp of Rockin’ Green Hard Rock) AND a few drops of the Grapefruit Seed Extract.

(6)  Do a double rinse, both hot.

(7)  Ideally, you should to do a full sun dry (UV rays help kill the yeasties), but in winter, you could use the hottest setting your dryer has, & dry COMPLETELY.

How to Cure Ammonia Build-Up in Cloth Diapers

by Jaime Sanderson – co-owner of Babes In Arms

There are couple tell-tale signs of ammonia build-up in diapers:

  • Do your diapers smell fine when they’re clean but stinky after the first pee?
  • Does your child have a red bum (mild rash) everywhere after a wet diaper?

Both are signs of ammonia build-up (also known as urine residue).

* For me, once I do a heavy soap wash (I recommend Rockin’ Green’s Hard Rock for Calgary’s hard water) followed by multiple (3-5) hot rinses & a hang dry in the sun, it usually eliminates the problem.

* One of the key things I find though, is that I need to INCREASE the water level with my rinses — it’s not enough to just do multiple rinses with a small load water level, the key is to use a full tub of water.  (I have no idea why this works, but it REALLY does!)

* Another thing to try is bleaching your diapers.  While we don’t recommend this on a regular basis, you can use an oxygen bleach (such as Oxy-Boost or Nature Clean Oxygen Bleach) to get rid of stains (but no more than once every month or so).

* Also, here’s a link to the Residue instructions that Bummis offers:

My Diaper Washing Routine (to Avoid Ammonia Build-up)

by Jaime Sanderson – co-owner of Babes In Arms, cloth diaperer since March 2006

Calgary has hard water.  With hard water comes stinky diapers.  Hard water makes it very easy to get an ammonia build-up.  Over the last several years of cloth diapering, I’ve tweaked my routine enough that I no longer have a problem with ammonia build-up.  Here is *my* routine:

(1) I use a top-load washer.  Top loads use more water and therefore rinse diapers more thoroughly.  You can use a front-loader, but you may find you need to “trick” it into using more water, or you may need to do an extra rinse or two.

(2) I use a magnet ball in my machine.  Don’t ask me how it works, but it does — it somehow changes the calcium molecules so that the water isn’t quite as hard.  To me, it’s magical… & a key part of my washing routine.


(3) I do a cold rinse to help prevent any stains from setting.

(4) I wash my diapers (in hot) with a heaping Tbsp of Rockin’ Green Hard Rock (which is formulated to help with hard water — I think the secret ingredient is sodium percarbonate).  I usually let them sit for at least 20 minutes in the water & detergent before spinning them out.

(5) I do a double rinse.  Usually, I just start my cycle over after the diapers have first been washed — this means it ends up being a hot rinse then a cold rinse.

(6) About once every 4-6 weeks, when I do my wash, I use 3 Tbsp of the Hard Rock detergent & let it soak for over an hour.  One these days, I do yet another extra rinse.

That’s it.  That’s how I keep the ammonia away.

My biggest comment to people with ammonia is “Use MORE detergent!”  We’re always told to use less detergent when washing diapers, but sometimes we get a little too cautious.  With water as hard as it is in Calgary, it’s difficult for the detergent to work effectively, so we need to use more.

A quick note:  You can buy both the Rockin’ Green detergent & the Magnetbal at Babes In Arms, although that’s not why I mentioned them — they really are amazing products!

We’re Hiring!

We’re hiring!! We need a flexible employee to help fill gaps this summer while other staff take their holidays. If you’re an enthusiastic parent with experience cloth diapering and babywearing; love meeting other parents and sharing information & support; would love to work in a supportive, flexible environment with a fair wage and likeminded folks, then send your resume to by May 13!

We’re Hiring!

We are hiring!!

Are you an enthusiastic parent who has experience cloth diapering and babywearing? Do you love meeting other parents and sharing information and support? Are you available one to three weekdays (Monday-Friday) per week, with the possible occasional weekend day? And most important, would you love to work in a supportive, flexible environment with a fair wage and likeminded folks?

Send your resume, along with a note explaining why you would like to work for us and your relevant experience (mainly cloth diapering and babywearing) to by February 28th if you are interested. We would like to start training in early March.

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

Naturally – Mother Nature’s Trade Fair

Once again, on January 16 2011, we will be offering baby carrier lending at Naturally – Mother Nature’s Trade Fair, from the planners of the Mommylicious trade fairs. Babes in Arms has been running the stroller check and carrier lending area since August 2010 and we are thrilled to have committed to providing this service for every one of their awesome, FREE trade fairs in 2011!

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