Choosing the perfect ISARA baby carrier for you.

SEPTEMBER, apart from being one of my favourite months of the year, cue sweet potato pie and the wonderful weeks of autumnal summer, is also a month that many of us mothers can relate to. September signifies new beginnings, new starts and new things. New schools, new school years, new nurseries, new lunchboxes, new backpacks for the older children and for the younger children, new growth spurts, new adventures, new baby groups and new baby carriers. 

Picking a baby carrier can be tricky if you’re not sure what you are looking for but as any baby wearing mama will tell you, it has to fit like the perfect shoe for both YOU and your sweet baby. As well as this, it must follow certain safety standards, be ergonomic, easily adjustable and easy to use whenever needed (which is nearly all the time when babies are going through a growth spurt). Luckily ISARA has got that covered for you, so you don’t need to look any further, however, if you’re new to the baby wearing lifestyle, then you may be wondering where to go next. If that’s you then keep reading below because I just did your homework for you (you can thank me later).

When we’re talking baby carriers, usually we are referring to a carrier which has buckles and fancy accessories attached in opposition to a sling or wrap (which ISARA also make – we’ll cover that in another post). As I previously said in my last VLOG <- clik here, ISARA have rigorously covered all the health and safety standards as well as ensuring our babies grow with the healthiest hips, therefore when choosing an ISARA, safety definitely need not come to mind once you cross over onto their website. So to begin with ALL CARRIERS ARE ERGONOMIC. So that’s the first point ticked off your check list. However, the next step to think about when buying is the sizing.

When picking the size of your carrier, ISARA have 2 sizes; Standard size and toddler size.

The standard size: Approx. 1 month old (4kg) – 20kg  (does not need a newborn insert) 

Toddler size: 8kg – 20kg 

Keep in mind that if you have 2 children e.g. a newborn and a toddler then one standard size can be bought to fit the both of them, instead of the usual scenario of buying two separate baby carriers. The toddler size varies in length of vertical panelling so that larger children can have a more comfortable sit, however the standard is just as comfortable for them too, albeit the panelling being slightly shorter to fit smaller infants.

Next we’re talking MATERIAL – You’ll see over at the ISARA site, that they offer 3 options to choose from; Organic cotton (certified), classic cotton and woven wrap. Actually at this point in time, the site needs a little update as ISARA officially does not do any other cotton except for organic cotton anymore. The FOXY print before was constructed of classic cotton but now even that is organic cotton. awesome right? The other option is  the carriers made of woven wrap. Each mama will have their own preference from their own research, so that should be easy in that sense. I believe the two different materials make a more slight difference depending on the baby in some cases. Eg. preemie’s, more sensitive babies, babies who like to mould into their mommy’s more may prefer the woven wrap material, as it is slightly softer, more breathable and more ‘breakable’. However, on another extreme if you were going straight in and buying for a 2 year old toddler then maybe you’d prefer, as I did, the organic cotton. It’s a littleee more rigid than woven wrap (in a good way), it holds the weight of a child very well, especially little bodies that love to wriggle, squirm and GROW, and the best part is the next and last point when choosing your carrier…

PATTERNS & PRINTS: This is the easiest and most fun part when it comes to choosing your ISARA baby carrier! ISARA have a wide variety of funky patterns, prints and colours. Some more vibrant, some more gentle, some with images and some without or if you’d like something more calm and simple, they also have unicolour carriers, it’s your choice!

So choose a carrier for you and your baby, even better choose a carrier WITH your baby and enjoy the many adventures and memories you’ll make together in your ISARA carrier! Also don’t forget if you’re an instagram user to use the hashtags #isarassc #isara #loveisara #isaraxlcg so the team over at ISARA can follow your adventures too!

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The Benefits of BABYWEARING

When we are welcomed to parenthood, we are also welcomed to a whole new world of phrases and terms to do with child raising, it’s almost like learning a new language, right? A term which has become increasingly popular and continues to do so amongst this generation is BABYWEARING. Although it is fairly obvious what this term means (wearing our babies) what is not immediately obvious are the scientific facts, the studies and the wonderful benefits of this practise during the early years of raising our little loved ones.

When it comes to babywearing so many questions arise; which carrier should I use? What’s the best make? What does the term ‘ergonomic’ even mean? When can I start wearing my baby? Is it safe? When should I babywear? Whilst ALL of these questions won’t be answered in this specific post, one question which I will be answering is;

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BABYWEARING? 

  • OXYTOCIN LEVELS: When a mother gives birth, many people don’t realise the importance of keeping the newborn as close to the mother as possible and at nearly all times for at least a minimium of 6 weeks post-partum. Why? Is this the first time you’re hearing this? Most probably. So here’s the theory, a female body for 9 months forms and carries a child around, it creates this baby and all of a sudden after 9 months gives birth and many societies or cultures expect the mother and baby to stay away from each other in some form or the other from very early days, it is expected of many societies and cultures that the mother let varying guests hold the baby e.g. friends and families. Whilst of course we must accomodate to the fact that we are a civilised species and that we cannot hoard our babies and not let anyone touch them we must also for a second stop and think, what should our reactions be as mammals? We are mammals and we still sport many mammal instincts and characteristics in today’s day and time (of course). Not many realise that this constant distancing from the baby decreases our oxytocin levels. Why is that a problem and how does babywearing help? Lowered oxytocin levels means a ‘lowered level of happiness’. Thus increasing depression, which manifests into post-partum depression and in extreme cases post-partum psychosis, as well as pschosomatic illnesses in mothers. This is nothing new, think about all other mammal species, they do not let ANYONE or ANYTHING even touch their babies for the first 6-8 weeks. Babywearing helps increasing this scenario as oxytocin levels are increased through physical contact with the newborn. Thus having a postive domino effect on the relationship between mother and infant. Stronger maternal bond -> better understanding of baby and it’s needs as well as easier breastfeeding -> better care. 
  • NEEDS ARE MET: Babies who are carried are generally calmer because all of their primal/survival needs are met (we are still mammals at the end of the day). The caregiver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched, tasted, felt, giving especially newborns the closest feeling to being in utero as possible. This makes the transition from in utero to out in the open world a much smoother, easier and less traumatising one for newborns. As well as this, the caregiver is able to provide feeding and the motion necessary for continuing development e.g. neural, gastrointestinal and respiratory health (hopefully the caregiver NOT being a smoker) and to establish balance (inner ear development).
  • HUMANIZATION’: Infants are ‘humanized’ earlier. Instead of spending their first days in anxiety, trying to figure out the giant world around the, and wondering/crying for their parents (generally specifically the mother). Infants feel safe, secure and content thus allowing them to develop socially and concentrate their energy and rapidly growing brain on other things such as studying facial expressions, studying body language and energies as well as learing languages.
  • ESTABLISHING INDEPENDENCE: One thing that many people DO NOT realise is that babies who are baby worn actually are more prone to establish their own independence then those who are not. Why? Because babies who are babyworn spend the lives in a secure state, rather than in a state of panic or anxiety due to separation (separation anxiety), This constant state of being content and secure manifests into a child with confidence in themselves rather than a child that is fearful, therefore the domino effect being that a child with confidence feels ready to establish his/her own independence from an earlier age and explore the world around them – continuing to grow and become an independant adult.
  • ATTACHMENT AND LOVE: This one a more obvious benefit of babywearing, carrying your baby around almost always ensures a growth of a strong bond inbetween the caregiver and baby. Being that close, and feeling the someone so dear to you, so close to you all the time can only result in a feeling of closeness, physically, emotionally, mentally and full of love.

These are the main benefits of baby wearing, covering some of the maybe not so obvious reasons as well as physiological reasons on why babywearing is such a healthy practise when it comes to raising our children. Although I covered these few points, yet in detail, there are many other reasons as to why we babywear and how we use babywearing to help us in every day life. Please don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube (Life of a Chocolate Girl ) to learn everything you need to about babywearing and lots more!

Road Trippin’ gone (w)RONG

So last weekend, we thought it would be an awesome idea to take the kiddies on a road trip to BRASOV – another county, around 5 hours from our home county. We planned on leaving Saturday morning, staying the night, visiting all the way through Sunday and then making our way home Sunday evening. It would have been great if all had went well, it was even funnier, that things went totally wrong. Here’s the thing, for some reason me and my husband are able to have full blown panic attacks over a dirty house (we like it nice and clean, no idea why we’re SO OBSESSED), however, when we are stranded and have nowhere to stay we’re simply just the type to casually laugh it off and find another way. This time the other way meant returning home at 4am with two babies. More about that later, let me just take you quickly through our day, my first impression of Brasov, a few pics we took and then the funny part at the end!

So we left earlyish on the Saturday morning, grabbed some breakfast and snacks and we were on our way! The babies were angels and slept the whole way in the car, (Lucky us right?!) after around a 4-5 hour drive we arrived in Brasov, my first impressions of this county was sincerely, how CLEAN and fresh the air seemed, historical, beautiful and something which probably others wouldn’t notice but I do is how the houses are all the same. It is so organised, orderly and picture-esque, I’d love to buy an apartment there! So we went to visit the Dinosaur park in Rasnov which of course was awesome for Ayan, he loooved it, and then after we climbed up to the old medieval castle where we were lucky enough to find and capture the most amazing sunset, with a view as far as your eyes can see and as high as the mountains can go! After a long tiring day we wanted to go to our avantgarde apartment which we had booked except it seems that it had all gone disastrously wrong, the booking site never got back to us in time, they couldn’t find us another place to stay so we found that we had NOWHERE to stay, believe it or not ALL the hotels in the area were booked for the night, so what did we do instead? Did we stress? Did we argue? NOPE. We went to the nearest supermarket (carrefour) bought some bottles of water, WASHED OUR BABIES IN THE CAR PARK (still 30+ degrees outside) went in search of pizza, put the babies to bed in their carseats and then my husband drove us home. It actually felt sooo cozy (I love night drives in the car), with music softly playing in the background, the hum of the cars engine.

ps. update on the situation, the booking site fully refunded our amount AND gave us $200 towards our next booking. So we made the most of the situation and got our money back plus more. Positivity = win/win

Below I’m posting some pictures from our trip, also if you want to watch my VLOG from this trip don’t forget to check my youtube @lifeofachocolategirl to see my road trippin’ vid. And I’ll see you next time on the blog!!