I have always been a baby wearin', breastfeeding, pro children/pro mummie kinda Mummie. (Well I have been those things since becoming a Mummie.... but you get the drift.) When Pooker was born, I knew I was going to breastfeed... but that was about all I knew! I didn't know much about carriers and I thought they were all the same. When Pooker had horrible Silent Reflux I went out a bought a carrier at Walmart. She was so little you could not even see her in it! We used it for 7 months (I even faced her outward.... EEEEEKERS!) and she really did not complain. Then when I was pregnant with Kit Kat, I read about home made ringslings and fell in love! I even tried it on our fur baby (AKA Mackinac, our Westie. He wasn't too impressed.) I loved that cute sling! But once Kit Kat got too big to sit in it, I stopped wearing her. You see, I started reading up on the Do's and Dont's of baby wearing and learned what I had done with Pooker was ALL WRONG! (How she managed to survive in that carrier was beyond me... okay I am being dramatic. It was not THAT bad..... maybe.)
** I will share the baby wearing knowledge in a bit... keep reading.**
But as they say "When you learn better..... you do better." So a learning I did go! I discovered you can baby wear a toddler and even a pre k schooler! I learned that the "HOLD ME... NOW... ALL OF THE TIME" little ones (AKA Kit Kat) can break a Mummie's arm, no matter how little SHE really is (not really break my arm... but it has gone numb many MANY times!) Seriously, the thought of going on a family vacation with a "stranger danger, crowd fearing, my legs can't walk 28 pound, 3 year old" was SCARY! But we decided to try it.... and I decided to have some back up!
You see, I contacted Bitybean and asked if they would save my arms! They said "YES" and sent me one of their carriers right away! I was so excited when I got my Bitybean in the mail.... I will FULLY admit I expected a bigger box. My initial reaction was "THIS is the carrier?! The box is so small!" But GREAT things come in small packages, my dear Mummie friends!
(Thanks Pooker for helping show off the box size. Couldn't have done it without you.... Kit Kat was being camera shy!)
First, let me tell you about Bitybean.
Founded in 2012 (YUPP! A new company!!!) Doug Hartwell started Bitybean because of his daughter... (start the awwww's now! A daddy created something for his daughter!) He wanted a carrier that could be easily folded and stored away when not in use. But shucks! He could not find one! So he brought together product design experts who combined user-centric design philosophy, state-of-the-art fabrics and hardware, and optimized design to create a totally different child carrier. (Talk about gettin' it done! Way to go Dad!)
When it was all said in done, they had created an 8 ounce carrier that is completely compressible into a pouch the size of a child’s water bottle, and can still carry up to 40 pounds of awesome kid'ness! Bitybean has already won a few awards along the way! They have the 2012 Innovation award given to them by Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association!
Okay... now I will get to the photos!
(Here she is in all of her glory! I introduce the newest member of our family, "Beanie." Yeah, I named her.)
I took Beanie out of her mesh carrying bag (Which I thought "there is NO way I am gonna get her back in THAT!...." Oh but I did.... and it was WAY too easy! Of course I have photos for that! Keep readin'!)
I laid her out to check her out. Here is the inside, all mesh like and such. Which was awesome!
Here is her front. The LIGHT WEIGHT of the Bitybean was a shock to me. Felt very VERY light.
Cool little pocket on the front which closes with a velcro top.
We still had 2 weeks until our vacation, but I HAD to try Beanie out. Kit Kat has never been carried on a back... so she was too nervous at first. So I did what any Mummie would do.... I carried my 28 pound 3 year old front style.... in a store. (Oh yes I did!)
I decided to practice storing Beanie. Come to find out... practice is NOT needed!
Simply fold in half (long ways), tightly roll up
and put into mesh bag! TADA! (NOT KIDDING.. that easy!)
Then Daddy got home. I showed him (maybe I was jumping up and down with excitement... maybe I wasn't.... okay I was.) His first reaction was "Can I try it?" UMMMM YEAH YOU CAN! (I apologize now.... He doesn't know I am including this photo. LOVE YA BABE!)
Carrying Kit Kat around was FUN. She said she was comfy and the straps did not dig in our shoulders. But at this time we were only using it for 10 minutes TOPS. What would it be like on vacation? Well you are about to find out! Equipped with my awesome Bitybean, we headed off to the most magical place on earth, Disney World!
Our first day Kit Kat started her "HOLD ME... HOOOOOLLLLLD MEEEEEEE!!!!" I took out my Beanie and away we went! But this time I decided to try the back hold. With the help of my (oh so very awesome and handsome) husband we got Beanie all ready to go. We thought what better place to take photos than in front of Cinderella's castle.... A perfect place for a princess!
(No... I did not mean to match Beanie... just kinda happened that way. But I do like it!)
Kit Kat was very comfy here. She kept hitting me with her magic wand and turning me into a frog. Gee thanks KK!
(Her leg looks "weird" here.... but she was trying to push off so she could see the bottom of the castle....)
"Look Mommy! a buuuuug!"
Peek a boo daddy!
I held Kit Kat in Beanie for a good 45 minutes before she wanted to get down. We saw The Fairy God Mother and she wanted to say hi. I have to say I was THRILLED with the Bitybean! I have a history of back pain, but I felt great during and after I carried her. The straps never hurt me and the carrier distributes the weight of the child, so it felt as if I was holding an infant on my back. The only thing that took some time getting used to was the waist strap. I have NEVER used a strap, so having one on my waist was a bit odd. But I got used to it.
All in all I LOVE my Beanie. I have actually used it a few times since we got home. I have even cooked while using it:
(Peek a boo Kit Kat!)
My Bitybean Pros:
LOW cost! Start at $54.00
Does not dig into shoulders
Meets ALL BCIA (Baby Carrier Industry Alliance) requirements
Promotes PROPER posture for child (Knee to knee support)... NOT a crotch dangler.
Recommends NO forward facing carrying (A BIG plus!)
Will carry front and back
Folding and storage is EASY!
Can be used in the water and is washable
Can be used WHILE breastfeeding!
For ALL adult members to use (and big sisters too.....)
The only con I have:
For a "new" buckle style carrying Mummie... the waist strap took some time getting used to
Kit Kat saying "Mommy wear me!" and "No!!! I don't want to get out of Beanie!"
Thank you Bitybean!
As promised... here are the Baby wearing info!
and read up on a great do's and don'ts of baby wearing article.
Carry On Mummies (pun intended) and ROCK YOUR BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY!