Be sure to read to the end to learn about our giveaway with True North Ring Slings.
When a new baby joins the family, the pace of life inevitably slows. The priorities shift to feedings, diapers, cuddles, and nap times. One thing that doesn’t go away is the daily routine of meals, errands, laundry, and tidying. Mom’s hands are full and her plate just got fuller.
I remember well how overwhelmed I felt as a first time mom four years ago! Simple tasks like folding laundry suddenly seemed impossible… they needed to be done, but not at the expense of sacrificing time with my baby.
Enter the time-honored, global tradition of babywearing. I loved that I could snuggle my baby and still stay on top of the daily happenings. With my second born, I discovered another plus: it made snuggles easier during those long, hard days of teething. Now, with my third baby, I’m loving that I can still keep up with my toddlers and keep my baby close by.
What carriers have I tried? What are the pros and cons?
Wrap Carriers. My wrap-style carrier (think Moby, Solly, etc.) was my initiation into babywearing. It gave me the courage I needed to go grocery shopping for the very first time alone with the baby.
Pros: Soft and stretchy. Readily available. (Even stores like Target and Walmart offer this style)
Cons: Hot. Difficult to use. (Unless you like feeling like a ninja all while juggling a baby)
Soft Structured Carriers. After becoming frustrated with the complicated wrap carrier, I purchased a soft structured carrier (such as a Boba, Ergo, Lillebaby, etc.). It was a great experience, but lacked a few conveniences I desired.
Pros: Supportive. Great for long carries and bigger babies.
Cons: Bulky (you can’t just toss it your diaper bag). Difficult to safely situate newer babies (who often want to be worn more frequently).
Ring Slings. My third baby has been much more picky about being worn. He’s had some pretty difficult tummy issues and needs a lot of Mommy snuggles, but my wrap and structured carriers were met with very low tolerance. At the suggestion of my midwife, I pulled the trigger and purchased a ring sling. He slept for two hours the very first time I wore him. I’ve tried a few different ring slings for fun since they’ve worked so well for us and can safely say, linen (from a company such as True North Ring Slings) is my favorite. The sling took babywearing from something I did for convenience to something I did because I truly loved wearing my baby.
Pros: Even picky babies seem happy in a sling. Easily adaptable from tiny newborns to toddlers. Quick to adjust (I love having an alternative to lugging around a heavy car seat). Strong supportive fabric that’s still soft enough for delicate babies. Compact (can easily fold and stash in your diaper bag for on-the-go days).
Cons: Slight learning curve (well worth it!). Needs a short breaking in period (there are lots of great short cuts and resources for this!)
I strongly believe that next to a quality car seat, my ring sling is the most worthwhile baby equipment purchase we have made. Hands down.
We are THRILLED to be partnering with Alberta-based True North Ring Slings to bring you a giveaway! I recently purchased a beautiful gray ring sling (with to-die-for rose gold rings) from this amazing company. I’ve been nothing short of impressed by their quality and their customer service. I’ve received almost instant responses from them when I’ve reached out with questions – and they’ve been so personable (even giving me the fun fact that I was their first Texas customer!).
Using high-quality linen sourced from Europe, they offer a wonderful range of colors from classic neutrals to vibrant hues. They are unique in that they offer several lengths to choose from (no worries if you’re tall or broad shouldered! They’ve got you covered!). Their slings meet all safety standards (both mandatory and voluntary), so you can rest easy knowing that your baby is safe. More than anything, I love that is company is mommy-owned!
True North is partnering with us to GIVEAWAY a $50 STORE CREDIT* to one lucky reader and a 10% OFF COUPON CODE to all the rest of you!
To enter the giveaway, head over to Instagram and follow us (@canvasandtable) and then (@truenorthringslings). Tag your friends on our Instagram about this baby wearing blog post (you’ll receive an entry for each tag). For a bonus entry, “regram” our post to your personal Instagram!**
To save 10% on your order, simple use this code when you check out: canvasandtable. Offer good through April 20th.
Do you “wear” your baby? Leave a comment below and tell us.
*$50 store credit is CAD (Canadian dollars) as True North is based in Canada.
**Find complete entry instructions on Instagram post
This post is post two in My Wellness Journey. Your can read post one here.
October of last year, we did it. We made the change. We adopted the 80/20 rule, and our lives have been different ever since.
The 80/20 rule is a popular concept that boils down to meaning that what you do 80% of the time is the type of lifestyle you have, while what you do 20% of the time has fairly little impact on your overall health. For example, if you eat well 80% of the time, what you do that other 20% isn’t going to have a big impact on your body. Obviously this is within moderation and doesn’t mean that if you eat a whole pizza four meals a week (which is roughly what 20% translates to), it’s not going to effect your waistline. Think of the 80% as your “lifestyle” meals (17 meals) and the 20% as your “splurge” meals (4 meals).
This rule can apply to any area of your life, and we really embraced it across the board in dealing with wellness. One of the fantastic things about the 80/20 rule is burnout prevention. Food moderation isn’t that hard, because you know you can still eat those foods you love. For my husband & I, we slowly adopted this rule into our lifestyle, starting with exercise. We started by working out five days a week in October, and in January we got our fitness bands (more on that below). With a daily step goal of in the range of approximately 10,000 steps a day, we quickly discovered that we walk much less than 10,000 steps a day. However, these bands really motivated us to hit that goal and we found ourselves striving to reach it even on many holidays and birthdays.
Next, we took a look at our diet. As I mentioned in the prequel to this post, our diet had been changing for the past few months, but at this point we began evaluating how many “splurge” meals we were eating a week. At this point, we were probably living more of a 70/30 lifestyle, and we found that splurging that much was just too much for us to drop the pounds we wanted to lose. By reducing our “splurge allowance”, if you will, by just a couple meals, it really made a difference in our waistlines.
Lastly, just a couple months ago, once we were settled into the routine of eating well & making exercise a routine event for us, we started a challenge. I had gone to the Young Living convention (as I had become passionate enough about the Essential Oils I mentioned in the last post to become a distributor) in August, and while I was there it hit me like a lightbulb that this company that had helped me along my road to wellness had so many other wellness lifestyle products that I could use to support me in getting to the fitness level I wanted to achieve. So, after putting together some protocols and doing some research, my husband and I started a challenge a couple months ago to help support our healthy weight management goals.
It’s amazing to look back over this past year and realize I’ve lost 20 pounds. That’s amazing. Up until this September, I wasn’t doing anything intentionally focused on really dropping the pounds, yet I was slowly losing weight as a result of lifestyle changes. We’ve had ups and downs (especially when I ended up going on three trips, two of them international, within two month’s time), but that’s what has been so beautiful about this. It’s LIFESTYLE, so unusual things, like traveling that much, only have a short-term effect, while lifestyle dictates the long-term.
In closing, I want to share a few things with you that might help you decide to adapt the 80/20 lifestyle, if you aren’t already living it. These are aspects I’ve embraced and really love about this lifestyle:
Eating healthy meals 80% of the time still means you are giving yourself four meals a week to eat whatever you want. For me, this was really encouraging to know I wasn’t going to burnout because I could never eat cheese again. I simply limit my cheese intake to those four meals a week (I REALLY like cheese, so if I eat cheese, there’s probably going to be a lot of it, so I only eat it with my “splurge” meals).
Living by the 80/20 rule can help you shed the pounds without really working on it- it’s just a fruit of the lifestyle change! For me, that ended up being 20 pounds in a year! I feel better and I haven’t been killing myself all year to get here.
Living an 80/20 lifestyle can impact your life in more than just one positive way. I still eat splurge foods (just look at my recipe for Ham & Cheese Soup– it’s indulgent all the way), but I’ve also learned to be happy with eating healthier meals (of which this meal has become one of our favorites). I’m more content and more balanced in several different areas of my life, because the 80/20 rule teaches moderation.
On a final note, if you are someone who needs to work out a bit more (or if you have sedentary jobs, like we do, in which you are sitting a huge majority of the time), I really encourage you to check out getting a fitness band. After a lot of research, we decided to go with the Garmin Vivosmart, but several friends of ours have the Fitbit. Bottom line- there is a lot of research that has gone into the fact that getting 10,000 steps a day is great for your health (check out this article for more info). You can even set your phone up to monitor how many steps you are getting, if you happen to carry it on you all day. “Getting our steps” has been something that has kept us moving all year long, whether that translates to a workout at the gym or walking around the neighborhood for thirty minutes a day (all of them equal exercise!). I would recommend taking on something simple, like steps, to anyone seeking to make some healthy lifestyle changes. As a fun bonus, all the kids we know think our bands are the best things ever.
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