Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sitting in the Catbird Seat

Note: I'm actually not wearing the carrier right here. The 
front strap around my abdomen is meant to be folded up 
and under, creating a sort of pocket for baby. D'oh! 

I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing, but this blog is quickly becoming a family-oriented mommy blog with a Jewish twist. Who would have thought when I started “Just Call Me Chaviva” nearly eight years ago that such an evolution would occur, right?

So keeping with the theme of all things baby and family, I've partnered with Chicago-based Catbird Baby to delve into the fun and versatile world of babywearing.

Catbird Baby carriers
For those not in the know, never fear, I haven't turned Ash into a clever fascinator or stylish handbag. Babywearing is the art of schlepping your little one to and fro in one of dozens and dozens of different types of carriers. An evolution all its own, babywearing used to be the only way to tote your kid because it was allowed for work + caring for baby. Strollers (or buggies if you prefer) took over for a long time, but at some point babywearing was rekindled as all the rage, and in Israel babywearing is an art form all its own.

Mr. T and I were down with babywearing from the beginning, which for us has been convenient because the stroller we purchased is waiting for us in Nebraska, where we're heading next month to visit family and pick it up (it was 1/4 the price in the U.S. as here). Short of carrying Ash everywhere in the carseat, babywearing has been a necessity.

When wearing Ash, our hope and goal is that he'll happily feel like he's in the "catbird seat." I'll be honest: I was unfamiliar with the term before hearing about Catbird Baby, but now it makes sense when it comes to babywearing.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded usage occurred in a 1942 humorous short story by James Thurber titled "The Catbird Seat," which features a character, Mrs. Barrows, who likes to use the phrase. Another character, Joey Hart, explains that Mrs. Barrows must have picked up the expression from Red Barber, a baseball broadcaster, and that to Barber "sitting in the catbird seat" meant "'sitting pretty,' like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him."
With Ash, especially because he's still so young, being bundled all close and cozy to mom or tatty is hugely important because it provides him a sense of safety and security (not to mention he falls asleep a lot quicker when he's cuddled super close). With babywearing, he's in his own catbird seat because he's reaping the benefits of that close, secure positioning that carriers like the pikkolo and mei tei provide, and that a stroller simply doesn't. I can't wait until he's a little bit older and his neck support is awesome enough that we can wear him facing forward so he really will be sitting pretty, seeing everything the world has to offer.

Stay tuned for more detailed reviews of Catbird Baby's carriers, including some thoughts from the peanut gallery Mr. T (who, by the way, doesn't like the Ergo and preferred the Moby until we got these carriers). Also: Be sure to let me know if you've got a favorite carrier!

Note: Catbird Baby has provided me with pikkolo and mei tei carriers at no charge for our blogging partnership. That being said, I did have to pay duty and VAT on the carriers once they arrived in Israel, which was a huge bummer and quite expensive. All product reviews on this blog reflect my own honest opinion, however pleasant or harsh they may be.


  1. Love Babywearing!! Y hated the ergo - from a super early age he wanted to be social so he hated only facing in. We returned it for a Bjorn which he loved!! Also was super helpful for flights (which we took all.the.time - a necessity to have free hands :) We hiked all the time with Y in the bjorn and I wore it until I got pregnant again (right around Y's 1st bday). With N, I wanted a carrier I could nurse in so after a ton of research, I got a sakura bloom ring sling and I am in love!! There is nothing to tie or manipulate too much - just slip it over your head, snug the one end a bit tighter and N's ready to go :) The slings are also the most gorgeous babywearing products I have ever seen!! The only downside is the cost :( I had some visa gift cards laying around (baby gifts) luckily cause otherwise I wouldn't have been able to justify it! I'm sure I'll use my bjorn at some point but this ring sling has changed my life :) I love that I can just look down and kiss his little head whenever I want - and have my hands free to chase after my VERY active toddler!!!

  2. I've been dying to try a ring sling, but the one someone loaned me turns out to be unsafe for use (the padding keeps you from being able to properly tighten it). The Sakura is BEAUTIFUL, holy wow. I've been wanting to try to figure out how to nurse in a sling, too. Hmm. Might have to invest in one of these puppies!

  3. Yeah I decided to get one w/o padding (none of the SB's have padding) because that became a common theme when i was researching ring slings in general. I was given a second-hand baby k'tan which is kinda like a pre-tied moby (i am so not coordinated enough for the moby!) and even the k'tan I found to be cumbersome. The ring sling turned this avid babywearer into an addict! Also SB's got it right making them so beautiful that you're basically accessorizing with your baby :) I have the linen version (oh hey SoFla!) which is less expensive. If you were given any store-specific giftcards, you can always trade them in on one of those websites for amazon giftcards - SB sells several of their ring slings on amazon :) No $ spent - just 'repuropsed' ;)

  4. I'd try a handwoven wrap. SO much you can do and I can still wear my 32lb almost 4 year old still with one!

    Ring slings are great when they're wee, but when they get a bit bigger, you can do more with a wrap.

    This woman has been an invaluable resource for me!!! http://www.wrapyourbaby.com/

  5. another plug for a wrap here .... and nursing is way easy and discrete! good for you on wearing your baby.

  6. I didn't like the Ergo either- too hard to snap on and off. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Moby- used it with my daughter and now with my son who is 15 months now. I also love my mei tai for a slightly quicker on/off and for back wearing now that he is old enough for me to feel comfortable with him on my back. Baby wearing is awesome. I feel so close to my kids wrapped up- I love the snuggled in feeling they get to you, and it just makes so many things in life easier!!

  7. Babywearing is awesome and great for baby's comfort. But regarding the stroller, might I recommend checking out a Baby Trend Snap n'Go. ($70 from Babies R' Us) I've used the same one for my three kids. Can't believe the wheels haven't popped off with all the miles I've put on it. There are other brands that make a similar product but I like the Baby Trend because it has a large storage basket, cup holders and a place to stash your keys/wallet/phone.
    It's a lightweight stroller frame that a car seat is strapped on to. Folds up super thin and is soooo practical for transporting baby when he inevitably falls asleep in the car. Once baby is too big for the infant car seat, he can graduate into a tiny winy umbrella stroller. Also lightweight. Trust me, you are going to need to save your back for something other than stroller shlepping.