Most babywearers are introduced to babywearing with the uninspired big box “crotch dangler” style of baby carriers – the Infantino, the Bjorn, the Chicco – and most babyworn babies are indoctrinated to their babywearing career by being subject to the unsupported and uncomfortable method of FFO (Front Facing Out!) With these mass produced baby carriers being so common, most civilians don’t bat an eye at a newborn drooping pitifully from its new mother’s baby harness with its wee arms extended over the front flap and its legs in an unnatural & flaccid sag. Most admire baby’s hair, or lack of hair, or sweet outfit, or cute hat, but what we babywearers know with every babywearing bone in our body is that these carriers are not good for our babies! They don’t support – they suspend! They don’t cradle – they dangle! They don’t hold – they hang! As a friend of mine says, Friends don’t let friends FFO!
Front Facing Out is not a popular way to wear your baby in the stricter world of babywearing, however I’d like to point out that there is always the exception to the rule! I have a handful of exceptions in which case a baby carrier with FFO capability is invaluable! I was thrilled when Beco introduced to the babywearing population the Beco Gemini which features the ability to forward face because not only will that option lure in the unsuspecting parent who would usually buy a Bjorn but the Beco is “so much cuter,” but the Gemini also allows me to use an organic, Made in the USA, ergonomic carrier in a FFO position without needing to own a “crotch dangler”!!! These circumstances happen very rarely, but when they do, I’m grateful for my Gemini!
FFO circumstance #1 – Sitting to view a sibling’s class or play. You need to be able to sit back so you can’t have baby on your back! Baby wants to see the happenings as well! FFO your baby so that they can interact with the world but be very observant of their signals to you of discomfort or overstimulation and limit their FFO time to about 10 minutes at a time!
FFO circumstance #2 – Wearing an older baby while they are eating. I can clearly remember the first time I wore my Gemini to Disneyland! When Baby #5 got hungry and PAXdaddy handed him a messy granola bar, I simply turned him around and all the crumbs went cascading onto the ground outside Pirates of the Caribbean instead of down my cleavage! What a relief and easy clean up that made! These days we can use a custom Flat Hat to act like a bib to protect the Gemini itself as well! Urge baby to finish up quickly because wearing an older baby with his spine against you is NOT going to feel good after a while and certainly is not ergonomic for babywearing participant!
FFO circumstance #3 – Wearing a baby who wants to be included in a craft!!! Crafting with children is always a challenge, but add into that messy mix a baby who wants to be involved, and you have a recipe for disaster! Luckily, by inviting baby to help while being worn lessens the catastrophic demise that usually occurs when baby “helps!” Strap baby onto your front and put in his arms reach harmless tools that will help him create his masterpiece without damaging your crafting area permanently! In our case this past week, the kids & I were making a Christmas surprise for the PAXdaddy! Every year, we make him something with their hand prints, and this year, a friend inspired me to help the kids create Homemade Salt Dough Ornaments featuring their very own paw prints!!! Of course we couldn’t leave out Baby #6, so into the Beco Gemini he went, and we imprinted his very own ornament with his tiny hand print!
THANKS for reading, and keeping an open mind when you first read the blog post title!!! Remember, the main purpose of babywearing is to bond with your baby and remain available to them as they grow so if you need to fudge the rules once in a while, I understand! I’ve been there & done that, and have made the decision to FFO with a happy baby then try to back carry with a screaming one! Let baby participate, and you will be a better babywearing team for it!
Homemade Salt-Dough Ornaments
Ingredients & tools needed:
- 4 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Salt
- 1 1/2 Cups of water
- Rolling Pin
- Parchement Paper
- Cookie Cutters
- Acrylic paints
1) Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.
2) Prepare your cookie sheets by lining with Parchment Paper.
3) Mix Flour, Salt and Water together. The dough will be sticky at first. If it’s crumbly, add a little bit more water. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour.
4) Knead the dough by hand or use your mixer for 25 minutes. This will eliminate “most” of the air bubbles.
5) Roll the the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch thick.
6) Use cookie cutters to make desired shape, or trace a bowl like we did! Place cut-outs on the cookie sheet. Don’t forget to make a hole for hanging! We used the end of a glass straw to make uniform holes in each ornament.
7) Press baby’s hand firmly into the dough, or use their fingertips to mark the small ornaments.
8 ) IMPORTANT: Salt-dough has a tendency to “bubble”, which will cause the ornament to crack. To help prevent bubbling, take a toothpick and lightly poke tiny random holes all over the ornament or in a creative pattern. This will help release the air. The holes may be noticeable so make ’em pretty. Once the ornaments come out of the oven you can poke holes on the bottom as well to release some of the trapped air as well. This may help prevent them from cracking in the future.
9) Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are a very light golden brown on the bottom. Keep a close eye on them, because they can burn quickly!
10) Take the ornaments out from the oven and let them cool.
11) Paint them!!!
12) Give them to your loved ones & hang on your tree!
Hope you have a wonderful time crafting with your little ones, and feel free to use this recipe! It was given to me by Andrea!!!