Onbuhimos to the Rescue!

Looking for a great, fast, easy-up carrier for your older baby or toddler? Look no further than a traditional onbuhimo from Wallypop.

We have many customers who prefer an onbu over a mei tai or ssc for back carries with their older babies and toddlers (generally, babies with good head control on up). Onbus can also be worn on the front for nursing or for snuggles. 🙂

We just finished up these lovely Onbus, which are now available for purchase – babywearing.wallypop.net  Many come with hoods and suck pads. 🙂

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New Products: Tula Toppers, SSC Pouches, and SSC Cases/Bags

I cannot believe I delayed making these items for so long! Get yours on Etsy or on our website!

First, the Tula Topper.

I wanted to make a Tula Topper that was fully reversible, snap-on, and gave easy access to the snaps. I started with my Slipcover pattern, cut here, added there, and… I LOVE this pattern.

It turns completely inside-out, so you really get two Toppers in one. It snaps into place, so you can attach it even once you’re wearing the Tula if you need to. It has buttonholes on the inside to facilitate access to the hood snaps. It goes partway up the straps, giving them some protection, as well.

Our Tula Toppers are made with two cotton prints and a layer of absorbent cotton or hemp, but I can also add a layer of PUL upon request (same for our suck pads!). I plan to keep just a few of these as ready to ship, but will mainly make them as a custom item, so you can pick your own fabrics. Want a Topper that matches your Tula? Chances are good we can do that. Want one with Superheroes for your little superhero? We can do that. Want one in Doctor Who, Star Wars, or any other nerdy thing? You KNOW we can do that.

Then, the SSC Pouch. How simple and necessary.

It’s a slightly smaller version of the Clutch I make as a custom add-on for custom baby carriers, but instead of a wristlet-style strap, it features a belt strap that attaches it neatly to your SSC (or MT) belt or shoulder strap, with no dangling. It’s a handy place to store your keys, phone, and wallet. This size won’t quite hold a cloth diaper, though it’ll fit a disposable, but we plan to offer a slightly larger size, as well.

The SSC Pouch will fit on any SSC or Mei Tai.

The Pouch is made with a decorative cotton on the outside and canvas on the back. The inside is soft flannel. Similar to most of our other accessories, this will be offered as both ready to ship and custom.

And finally, the SSC Case/Bag/Cover. Yeah, I have no idea what to call it.

This handy little accessory wraps around your SSC to keep it clean and to keep it tidy instead of all octopus-like spread out all over your car, diaper bag, living room, etc. Though the pictures show it with the waist belt OUTSIDE, you can also tuck the waist belt inside if you want to throw your SSC into your diaper bag or for storage.

It will fit on any SSC. It will also fit around Mei Tais, but for most Mei Tais, it won’t make as small of a package as you could get just folding it up and wrapping the straps around it.

Look at how easy it is to use! Fold, fold, snap!

It can be left partially snapped around your SSC’s waistband while you’re wearing it.

boulevarddesigns.etsy.com
babywearing.wallypop.net/accessories.html

Yes, you could buy a cheaper weighted blanket. But why would you?

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It seems like everyone these days is extolling the virtues of the weighted blanket. From people with autism or sensory issues to people with no known diagnosable conditions who just like the weight to parents desperate for something to keep their kids asleep a bit longer… everyone’s using them, it seems. (note: blankets are not appropriate for use with babies under 1 year of age.)

And why shouldn’t they be? I love weighted blankets. I’ve always preferred sleeping with weight on me. My two older kids don’t appreciate weight, but Teddy certainly does. It’s comforting to some people, and it provides pressure needed by others.

And you can certainly purchase some majorly expensive weighted blankets these days. And you can also purchase some really super cheap ones, too. Wallypop blankets are somewhere in the middle, in keeping with our philosophy of keeping our products affordable for average families. But I still get a large number of comments suggesting that weighted blanket prices merely reflect makers’ desire to take advantage of special needs families. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s take a look at the expenses that go into a weighted blanket, and why it might not be in your best interests to purchase a cheap one.

1. Fabric. Wallypop blankets are made from name brand fabrics that will last for years and years. This is potentially more important in a weighted blanket, because we’re asking the fabric to do something it wasn’t really meant to do – hold up a lot of weight. Particularly when blankets are washed, the addition of weights adds a LOT of strain to the fabric, so starting with quality fabric is a must.

2. Inner layers. Wallypop blankets are made with two full inner layers to hold the beads that provide the weight. Cheaper blankets typically omit these layers, which are crucial to blanket stability and lifespan. They also mean that an older worn blanket can often be repaired (if it develops a hole, or is ripped or rubbed thin in places) instead of needing to be completely replaced. If a hole develops in the outer layer, the inner layers still hold the beads safely in place.  These inner layers also make the blanket safer – if a hole develops in the outer layers, you’re not dealing with a bed full of tiny plastic pellets.

3. Pockets.  Wallypop blankets are sewn with relatively small pockets to keep the weight evenly distributed and also to help contain any bead loss should the blanket get torn. Many cheaper blankets either omit these pockets entirely, or use much larger pockets. This results in uneven weight distribution, and encourages all the beads to run to the edges of the blanket and shifts the weight off of the user.

4. Weights. Wallypop uses high quality poly pellets as the weights. The pellets we use are smooth and round (or oval, or sometimes a flat disc, it just depends on what our supplier has in stock when we order). Cheaper pellets are typically blunt -edged and aren’t as smooth inside the blanket. Some cheaper weighted blankets are made with other materials, as well – before purchasing, it’s a good idea to find out what exactly will be inside your blanket when you buy it. I’ve seen blankets made with metal weights (which can rust), and even some made with food products like rice or beans, which can attract bugs and mice and which also make the blanket essentially non-washable.

5. Time. A quality weighted blanket made with four layers of fabric, small pockets, and quality beads takes time. Cheaper blankets, sewn with fewer fabric layers, larger pockets, and less careful sewists, can be made much faster. But our blankets are sewn with care, and that just plain takes time. Compared to the other products I offer, weighted blankets are one of my most time-consuming products. (They’re also the second most expensive product I make in terms of direct materials cost.) I do not apologize for paying myself above sweat-shop rates for my work. That said, weighted blankets are not a huge money-maker for me, because I want to keep them affordable.

Hopefully that helps you understand where all the costs of a weighted blanket come from and gives you a little better understanding of why good you can expect to pay a bit more for good quality blankets.

weighted blanket

Weighted blankets – or any blankets – are not appropriate for children under 1 year of age. Please note, if you’re using a weighted blanket with a small child, please place the blanket on the legs ONLY. And Please make sure you’re using an appropriate weight.

New Design for Feeding Pump Bag Covers

After some customer feedback and thinking about design improvement on our wildly successful (seriously beyond what I imagined) insulated feeding pump bag covers, available here and here, we’ve changed the design for them going forward.

OLD (this is the 1000/1200 mL size):
(note, written 2019: OK, I’m sorry. I used to host my pictures at Flickr but grew uncomfortable with that suddenly one day and deleted my account. There used to be a Flickr-hosted picture here of what the Insulated Feeding Pump Bag Covers looked like before I improved them and made them even more awesome than they already were. I just simply do not have any pictures left of what these covers USED TO look like inside. They used to NOT have the interior hang loop. Just use your imagination, I guess. This post was from 2015!)

NEW (this is the 500 mL size):
Feeding Pump Bag Cover

Instead of one central snap at the top, the top snaps now mirror the bottom snaps – two evenly spaced snaps. In addition, we’ve added a hanging loop if you desire to use this to hang your feed.

Many Zevex/Moog users will find that they wish to continue hanging their feed by pulling the hang strap through their feeding pump bag’s top loop, but some will prefer to use the new hanging loop. Kangaroo users will likely wish to continue hanging both the feeding pump bag and the insulated cover from the IV pole – they will likely NOT wish to use the new hanging loop, as it could result in the feed bag hanging too low inside the insulated cover.

The change should not negatively impact your use of the covers, but could positively impact it. I expect most of our users will experience no impact at all, but for those of you who’ve asked for an interior loop – voila!

Ring Slings Back in Stock

Just a few, though!!

Since we sold completely through the ring slings, and since we knew that, of all our products, the ring slings would be the MOST impacted by the coming regulatory changes, we wanted to take a breather from them and thoughtfully decide how to proceed before restocking.

I believe I have a plan that is workable for moving forward, though I still have a few decisions to make.*

So, for the moment, I have completed a fairly small restocking – just three colors in three fabrics.

I’ve also added a few new features to our ring slings – a tapered tail and two sizes! Our “Long” size is approx the same size as our ring slings have always been. The new “Regular” size is about 10 inches shorter.

 

*The long and the short of it is – what I’ve always liked about my ring slings is that they are available in such a wide variety of prints and patterns. As with most of my products that end up being regulated, it’s that very feature that makes them difficult to get into compliance. Moving forward, I’m going to end up needing to select just one or two basic fabrics to test, and then I can offer slings in all colors and prints in which that one (or those two) fabrics are available.