Baby Wearing For The Win! – Infantino Unison Newborn Carrier Review

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When I was pregnant with my second baby, I got a lot of helpful advice about how to manage two kids. One thing that kept coming up was the importance of baby wearing.  Everyone said I’d need my hands free for playing with my 4-year-old, especially if I was brave enough to take both girls to the park.  Plus, keeping my newborn close to my chest was a great way to protect her from germy little fingers at birthday parties or preschool.

Sound advice, I was sure, but I didn’t feel confident about my baby wearing skills. With Viv, I’d used a Baby Bjorn during the early months, but it killed my back.  At around 5 months, we graduated to the Ergo, and that worked well for us, but I could never make the infant insert fit properly.  So what to do for the first 5 months?  I know wraps and slings are really popular and newborn-friendly, but I find them so confusing and not at all foolproof.  I attended an actual workshop where an instructor demonstrated the Moby, Boba and Solly wraps, but by the time I got home, I’d forgotten everything.  Sleep deprivation and complicated instructions do not always mix!  Yes, some mamas love their wraps, but they just make me NERVOUS.  I needed another option.

Then, a stroke of luck.  Infantino reached out to me and asked if I’d like to try out their new Unison carrier, which is specially designed to work with brand new babies (8 to 25 pounds).  The Unison seemed to be a hybrid – soft and snuggly like a wrap, but with the ease of a more structured carrier.  I figured I’d give it a try.  I watched this handy instructional video and then I got in gear.

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Even for the instructionally challenged, this carrier is easy to strap on correctly.  Like, super easy.  It’s also simple to adjust, and you can still tighten or loosen it as a final step–you don’t have to start all over like you might with a wrap.  Getting the baby inside is quick and painless–no squishing and smushing.  She seemed to relax right away, and so did I.

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The first thing I noticed was how comfortable the Infantino carrier is.  They definitely got something right ergonomically.  Granted my baby is only 10 pounds right now, but I was able to wear her for several hours with no back pain at all, and this is from a mom who had two herniated discs 18 months back.

Though the baby’s legs do hang from leg holes, it does not feel like she is dangling.  It’s more like she’s sitting in comfie chair.  The best part is that the seat width is narrow enough to accomodate a newborn’s body size, so she’s not stretched into an awkward position.  I had not seen that feature in a structured carrier before.  There’s also an option for head support–flip it up for newborns, or down for older babies.  And the carrier body is very secure.  The baby’s not going to fall out.  For all of these reasons, I feel like my newborn is totally safe and comfortable in the Infantino Unison.

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More things I’m loving about baby wearing in the Infantino Unison Newborn Carrier:

- I can navigate terrain my stroller can’t handle, like beaches and lawns (who brings their 3 week old to the beach?  Um, I did…)

beach full

- It’s useful in the house too, freeing my hands for chores, or blogging!

- You can even sneak in a pedicure (shhhhh….)


- When I wear her, the baby hides my postpartum pooch

- Something about being that close to my body makes baby fall almost instantly to sleep, and stay asleep

- It’s machine washable, which I tested after a monster poop blow-out

- It’s an amazing price point, less than half the cost of the Ergo

- The closeness with baby–I love kissing the top of her head, feeling her tiny hands grab my sides, and smelling her baby goodness

Some final tips: I would advise having a hat to protect the top of baby’s head from the sun.  And if you want to nurse without fully removing the carrier, you’ll need easy access clothing, but I was able to manage it with just one side unbuckled and a low cut tee.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll answer them right here.  Baby wearing for the win!

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Why You Should Never Play Beauty Salon With A 2-Week-Old Baby

I’ve been a mother of two for 17 days now and I don’t know what I was so worried about.  It’s easy!

The baby mostly eats and sleeps, which leaves me tons of time for imaginitive play with my 4-year-old, Viv.  Why just last night, as the newborn settled in for a marathon nursing session, my big girl announced she wanted to play beauty salon.  Sitting behind me on the bed with a large collection of styling tools, she got to work combing out my straight, slightly damp hair (regurgitated breastmilk really is the best conditioner).  As I sat there sandwiched between my girls, I marveled at my ability to nourish both of them at once. Winning!

Until Viv stopped. No, keep brushing, it feels nice.  I can’t, Mommy…

I reached back to find that Viv had rolled a super fine tooth comb into a hunk of my hair, wrapping it repeatedly in my locks until it could move no more.  Any effort to dislodge the comb caused pain and breakage.  Plus, this travesty was located deep in my blind spot, so I couldn’t see how to fix it.


Despite his surprising facility with tangled necklaces, my husband Dave was at a loss for how to free my hair.  My friend Lisa came over and gave it a valiant effort, but no dice — though she did offer to solve my problem Sixteen Candles style.  (Remember when drunk Carolyn got her hair stuck in the door and her friend chopped it off?)

Sixteen Candles

It was nearing 5pm, and I envisioned having to go to sleep that night with a long, sharp comb sticking out of my head like a horror movie axe.  Luckily, a local salon agreed to see me before closing time and I ran out the door.

I should point out that I live in a very fashionable neighborhood where it’s already pretty embarrassing to walk around in my new-mom garb (maternity sweat pants, clogs, baggy sweater with spit up on it).  Now imagine walking into the fancy salon with a giant comb in your head.  And a baby. Hot!

A few people turned and laughed and I do not blame them.

Luckily, a very kind and patient professional was assigned the task of separating my hair from the comb, one strand at a time.  She was optimistic that she could complete her mission and “probably” wouldn’t need to shave my head.


Various hair salon co-workers stopped by to ogle the train wreck, give suggestions or lend a hand.

2 stylists

I did start to consider the merits of a pixie cut.  Probably very easy to care for, and my earrings would really pop.

A full 70 minutes later, the evil comb slid free.

My scalp felt like I’d just gotten a weave.  But I still had my hair.  And on the bright side, how else would a newborn’s mom ever get to spend time in a salon?

So the moral of the story is…

#1 Never trust a small child with hair.

#2 And if something seems too good to be true (two kids, both quiet!), it probably is.

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Why I’m Not Preparing For the Birth Of Baby #2

Speaking of which, I’m due 4/6 – where’s the dang baby?   While we wait…please enjoy my final Momtastic pregnancy post:

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When I had my first baby, I brought a giant wheelie bag to the hospital, big enough for months of international travel, or for me to crawl inside — which, come to think of it, would have been a great way to get my miserable, laboring body from the parking lot up to the maternity ward. This monster suitcase contained a pillow from home, a fluffy bathrobe, slippers, scented candles, the baby book, and some light reading, I used none of these things.

I’d packed according to a checklist I found on some website, not counting on the fact that the hospital would provide for all of my basic needs. For instance, I had no idea about those genius mesh underwear they give you. Why ruin my own skivvies with afterbirth when the hospital was providing comfie disposables?

Also, I didn’t realize that I’d never once leave my hospital room until checkout time, so it didn’t exactly matter what I was wearing. Gone are the days of visiting your newborn in the nursery.  With the baby lying in with me, there wasn’t much sightseeing to do.

So as I prepare to give birth again, I’ll be bringing a much smaller and mostly empty bag — that way I can still stash some hospital-grade freebies, like the soothing coochie spray I remember fondly. Other than going-home outfits, a few electronics, and a toothbrush, my only specialty item is a framed photograph of our 4-year-old, which is supposed to make her feel good when she visits us, like we haven’t forgotten about her and replaced her with a newer model/trophy baby.

Keep reading at Momtastic… Read More »

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8 Hilarious Ways To Prank Your Kids On April Fools’ Day

fake lunch

Photo: Oh, Honestly

Those darn kids. They’ve kept you up all night. Destroyed your house. And turned you from a cool chick into a sweatpants-wearing chauffeur/sherpa/referee/maid/short order cook/nag.

Clearly, your kids have it coming. And this April Fools’ Day, here’s how you can get ‘em good:

1. Fake a snow day. Decorate their windows with canned spray snow so they think they’ve woken up to a blizzard and school is canceled. Then make them go to school faster than they can complain, “Aw, Mom, that’s cold!”

2. Serve an impossible-to-eat breakfast. Freeze their breakfast cereal in milk overnight and watch them try to excavate it with a spoon. Mmm, crunchy! Bonus points: Fill a juice glass with orange Jello for an impossible-to-drink beverage.

3. Mess with their clothes. Lay out too-small clothing, undies, and shoes for your kid to wear to school, then sit back and laugh as the struggle to get dressed ensues. “Wow, you must have had a huge growth spurt,” you can exclaim…before returning the diminutive duds to your younger child’s room or the donation bin.

4. Pack a fake lunchFill their lunch boxes with pretend food from the play kitchen instead of the real thing. If you’re feeling kind (and want to see the just-pranked look on your kid’s face), sneak a fresh lunch into school right after the big reveal.

Continue at Momtastic…

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Rowdy Sprout Kids Rocker Wear Giveaway!

Giveaway ended 4/1/15 – thank you for playing!

There’s one thing I really, really, really wanted to do before this baby comes, and that’s our annual Rowdy Sprout giveaway!

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know I’m obsessed with my friend Laura Angotti’s kids clothing line.  The styles are the coolest around, and made in such super soft fabrics that they are my daughter’s favorite things to wear.

Until recently, all of Rowdy Sprout’s designs sprang from classic rock bands like The Beatles, AC/DC, Blondie and The Who.  Then, Laura launched Rowdy Sprout Unplugged, which features fun, original vintagey/retro looks inspired by the rocker attitude but not relying on band artwork.  Can I just say, I LOVE THEM.  Check out my daughter Viv in the ice cream flirt tee:

Rowdy Viv ice cream crop

And this one’s her personal favorite, the California fringe tank, for California girls here and everywhere:

Viv Rowdy California attitude color

You want in?  Go to the Rowdy Sprout website and do a little shopping.  Choose anything you’d like and leave a comment on this blog post saying which item you hope to win.  They make amazing gifts for babies and kids, boys and girls.  (Sizes run from 3 months to 12 years, subject to availability. Made in America.)

Rowdy boys

Then there is one more step – follow Rowdy Sprout on Instagram.  (You will love the photos, and just want to shop more.)  If you’re not on Instagram, you can do Facebook, or why not both?

The giveaway is open from Thursday, 3/26 through Wednesday, 4/1.  I will choose one winner randomly from the entrants.  If I happen to go into labor between now and then, there may be a slight delay.  But it’s happening, I promise.

Since not everybody can win, Laura is offering a special promo code for Carriage Before Marriage readers. Up until my April 6 baby due date, you can get 15% off when you shop Rowdy Sprout online using the promo code CARRIAGE. Go check it out.

Good luck to you and all your little rock stars.

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