Get Active, Get Growing and Get Playing!

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Awesome Earth Day giveaway!

Let Green Child Magazine and Onya Baby help you gear up for the great outdoors this Earth Day! Get out there!Everyone loves to talk about going green for Earth Day. Coloring books, worksheets, presentations, apps… Of course, they are part of an important and much-needed conversation. But too many times, it’s just that — TALK.   So, how does a child fall in love with nature? By spending time there. And that’s exactly what we’re encouraging you and your family to do this Earth Day. A picnic, nature walk, family games, gardening… whatever makes the great outdoors come to life for your family. Along with some fabulous eco-conscious companies, we are excited to see where Earth Day takes you this year! Enter to win one of three amazing prize packages to…

        • Get Active!

We are all about getting outdoors and getting active – especially with your littlest one in tow. This prize package features a Recycled NexStep Onya Baby Carrier with Organic Booster & Chewies Mixed, a case of KIND Healthy Grains Bars and a collection of PITS! from Taylor’s Pure & Natural in your choice of scent (2 PITS! & 2 PITS! Spray) – We love this stuff!

        • Get Growing!

Gardening is a wonderful way to share important life lessons with your child, and of course a great way to have healthy food! This prize package includes a Bee Friendly Seed set from Cubit’s Organics, a kid-friendly gardening kit from Green Toys, and a Sage Spoonfuls Glass Let’s Get Started kit, Glass Snack Pack, and a pack of Bamboo Spoons to help you make your very own, healthy baby food. Since you’ll be spending time outdoors this set also features Mosquitno SpotZzz courtesy of Green Team Distribution and a variety of safe sunscreens from Goddess Garden.

        • Get Playing!

Out of the house is the name of the game. This prize package features a lovely fishing rod set from Pure Play Kids that is perfect for playing alone or with a friend. It also includes a Tugboat, Sand Play Set, and Tractor from Green Toys. While playing outdoors, safety is key, you and your little one will be protected and hydrated with a lovely essential oil blend to keep the bugs away, courtesy of Old South Essentials, and a set of Eco Vessel water bottles from Eyla’s Imports—one for you and one for your sidekick! Let us know how you enjoy getting active with your little one by commenting and be sure to enter to win below!

Click here to enter here to win!

Babywearing: How to find a hiking trail wherever you are

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Itching for a hike with baby? Grab your baby carrier and go! Let Onya Baby help you find a hiking trail wherever you are!Are your feet itching for a hike? Babywearing makes it possible for you to get out into terrain that’s foot-friendly, but not stroller-friendly. So when you’ve got a nice day and a few hours to spare, grab your favorite baby carrier and get out there! You’ll be getting the awesome benefits of fresh air and exercise, all while showing your baby the wide and wonderful world of nature. Win-win!

Here are a few online resources to help you find a hiking trail close to where you are:

  • National Park Foundation’s  Find a Park - Searchable by state, this database includes all US state and national parks, as well as historical monuments, memorials and heritage sites, lakes, rivers and seashores and more. 
  • National Wildlife Federation’s Nature Find – “Find nature in your neighborhood.” A searchable, US-based map tool with an advanced search option that helps you search for places or events by different criteria, from aquarium to zoo.
  • The Nature Conservancy’s Visit a Preserve – “Experience nature with the Conservancy.” Searchable, primarily US-based map tool that allows you to find Nature Conservancy preserves local to you. Only Conservancy lands appear on this map, but there are a lot of them and these lands sometimes don’t appear on other maps, so it’s a valuable tool nonetheless.
  • – Search for hiking trails near both small and large US metropolitan areas. You can also search by zip code.
  • – Multiple search options on this site allow you to search by activity, zip code, state or city maps, Canadian, Mexican and Caribbean trails and more. You can set up a profile too, so that you can save your hikes and trails and connect with other outdoorsy folks on the forum. Pretty cool, but you do have to pay to join (the rest of the services on this list are free, but many accept donations).
  • WebWalking – Global coverage of trails with reviews. You can also take a look at the other resources on this site, which include information about National Parks (Us and Canadian), scenic drives and byways and more.

Babywearing hiking in nature with the Onya Baby Outback

How about you? Do you like to go for a babywearing hike with your baby, your family? Please share…

Happy babywearing!


How to dye Easter eggs naturally

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Dying Easter eggs using common household food, herbs and spices is easy. It takes a little longer than conventional Easter egg dyes, but it smells better and you won’t be afraid for your family to eat the eggs once they’re done. Use hard-boiled eggs for this project, so go ahead and boil them first. This will ensure that the eggs are fully cooked. One important note: if you plan on eating the eggs, be sure to refrigerate them once you’re done.

It's easy and fun to dye Easter eggs naturally with your kids!Place your dye ingredients (see below) in a pot big enough to hold the number of eggs you want to dye, allowing for room for your eggs to not be touching. Add enough water so you’ll be able to cover the eggs by about an inch, then boil to extract the color. Keep it simmering until you like the color, then strain. To avoid the straining process, simply place your ingredients in cheese cloth and tightly secure them within the cloth. To each color bath, add up to two tablespoons of white vinegar to help the dye set. Be careful not to add too much vinegar or it will break down the egg shells making them very thin and prone to breakage. Your eggs will dye better, more evenly and faster if the color bath is hot/warm.

Here’s what we used for color:

For purplish-red:

  • cranberries, red wine

For yellow:

  • turmeric

For bluish-purple:

  • blueberries, red grapes, red onion skins

Allow the eggs to soak, covered completely in the color bath, for as long as you want. Keep checking the color and when you like how it looks, take it out and let it dry. Every once in awhile, rotate your eggs to dye them evenly.

In order to get a variety of colors, we let some of the eggs soak in more than one color bath. Easy! Fun! The kids loved the surprise of each egg’s color as they came out.

How to make your own non-toxic Easter egg dyes.A huge thank you goes out to Two Men and a Little Farm for the inspiration for this activity . Go check out their blog for an awesome chart of different ingredients to get a wide range of colors, and to see how beautifully their eggs turned out.

How about you? Will you dye your Easter eggs naturally this Easter?

Doulas: research-based benefits

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In honor of World Doula Week, we’d like to highlight some of the many benefits of hiring a doula to attend your pregnancy, birth and postpartum periods. A doula can bring tremendous support and piece of mind to this special time in your life, and they can add incredible support to both the mother-to-be and her partner. So, when it comes to hiring a doula, what are the potential benefits? Let’s have a look:What are the benefits of hiring a doula to attend your birth? Onya Baby explains.But first, what is a doula? Well, a doula is trained in childbirth; a professional who provides emotional, physical and informational support to the mother who is expecting, experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The doula’s purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience. The client-doula relationship can begin several months prior to the woman’s birth, and can continue several months postpartum. This can result in a close relationship, which allows the birthing mother to truly feel comfortable with her doula, thus enhancing their partnership and her birthing experience as a whole. There are birth doulas, who provide support to a woman before and during her labor and birth, as well as postpartum doulas, who help the family transition to having the new baby as a part of the family.

According to a study attempting to assess the effects of continuous, one-to-one intrapartum support compared with usual care (see abstract: Continuous support for women during childbirth), researchers concluded that continuous support during labor has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants and no known harm. Additionally, they state unequivocally that all women should have support throughout labor and birth.

In order to reach that conclusion, they looked at twenty-one trials involving 15,061 women that met inclusion criteria and provided usable outcome data. They found that women with continuous support throughout their labor and childbirth were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth and less likely to have intrapartum analgesia, or to report dissatisfaction. In addition, their labors were shorter, they were less likely to have a caesarean or instrumental vaginal birth, regional analgesia , or a baby with a low 5-minute Apgar score (1). Interestingly, the researcher’s analyses suggested that continuous support was most effective when provided by a woman who was neither part of the hospital staff nor the woman’s social network, which is where a doula would come in.

Additional studies have looked at maternal prenatal care and found similar results.

For instance, in another study – systematic review of midwife-led care vs. other models of maternity care – results showed that women who received models of midwife led care were less likely to experience fetal loss before 24 weeks’ gestation, less likely to have regional analgesia, less likely to have instrumental birth, less likely to have an episiotomy (with no significant differences in perineal lacerations), and were more likely to be attended at birth by a known midwife, more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth, initiate breast feeding and more stated to feel in control. In addition, their babies were more likely to have a shorter length of hospital stay (2). Although this particular study focuses on midwives, many women may not have access to midwifery care during her pregnancy and childbirth, and for post-natal care. A doula can be an excellent solution to a lack of midwifery care in a community, particularly because the doula can provide the much-needed support in any birth setting, whether it’s in a hospital, birth center or the client’s home.

Another benefit of having a doula in attendance is that it frees up the partner to support the birthing woman in a way that he (or she) sees fit, without having to worry about what he learned in birthing classes. That can be a significant benefit, depending upon the pair. The partner can instead focus on helping the birthing woman feel comfortable, take photos, or help support her in ways that she wants, aside from labor support.

If you’re interested in reading about what it’s like to be a doula, we shared a couple of guest posts in the past, each written by a doula. They’re both wonderful reads, and give you a great idea of what a day in the life of a doula can be like. If you’re interested in having a doula attend your pregnancy and birth, be sure to check the DONA website to find a certified doula in your area.

1. Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C. Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2012 Oct 17;10:CD003766. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub4.
2. Soltani H, Sandall J. Organisation of maternity care and choices of mode of birth: a worldwide view. Midwifery. 2012 Apr;28(2):146-9. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2012.01.009. Epub 2012 Feb 24.
3. DONA International:

Babywearing: The complete guide to carrying your baby

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You've got babywearing questions, we've got answers. A complete guide to carrying your baby. We were both honored and thrilled when StrollerTraffic asked for our assistance in writing a complete guide to babywearing. They wanted to address a few of the more controversial topics in the world of baby carriers, including hip dysplasia, carrying your baby foward-facing out, and “crotch-dangling.” There are some excellent, thoughtful and researched answers in this guide, provided by a host of experts in the field – a handful of top manufacturers, doctors, and gear experts – that are well worth reading in your quest to learn about the most beneficial ways to wear your baby. So, read on. It’s a good one. Should you want to read the original article, we added a link that will redirect you to it over at StrollerTraffic.

From StrollerTraffic:

First things first. Wraps, slings, and soft-structured carriers. What’s the difference?
“Though soft-structured carriers, slings and wraps all serve the same primary function—to carry your baby on your body and leave your hands free—they are all built differently,” explains Onya Baby creator Diana Coote. “A wrap is a long piece of fabric, measured in meters. There are as many ways to tie a wrap as there are parenting styles. Both woven (non-stretch) and knit (stretchy) wraps are available, each with its own set of pros and cons.

A sling is a simple, one-shouldered baby carrier that is essentially a loop of fabric folded lengthwise to form a pocket. The wearer places the sling on one shoulder and the baby in the fabric and they’re ready to roll. There are two types of slings: ring slings, which offer adjustability for more than one wearer, and pouch slings. Some pouch slings are adjustable, but most are not and must therefore be properly sized for the wearer.

A soft-structured carrier (SSC) is a modern take on traditional Asian-style baby carriers, in particular the Mei Tai and Onbuhimbo—except an SSC uses buckles instead of ties. The beauty of the buckles is that it’s much simpler and quicker to put on a SSC while still retaining the wide range of adjustability for many different sizes of babywearers.”

Got it. Is one category safer than the others?
For starters, “None is meant for carrying premature or low birthweight babies,” says pediatrician and AAP Fellow Dr. JJ Levenstein. But parents need to be especially careful with slings. “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is advising parents and caregivers to be cautious when using infant slings for babies younger than four months of age. In researching incident reports from the past 20 years, CPSC identified and is investigating at least 14 deaths associated with sling-style infant carriers; twelve of the deaths involved babies younger than four months of age.

As for soft carriers and wraps, the CPSC has received reports of two fatalities associated with soft carriers—both due to positional asphyxia (one child upright in the carrier with respiratory distress, the other face-down when a parent fell asleep with the carrier on and the baby still in it); and 91 non-fatal incidents due to falling from the carriers—caused by large leg holes permitting the egress of the baby, failure of buckles or straps, or the adult falling with the baby in the carrier, sustaining an injury.”

What are the most important things to keep in mind, when choosing a carrier?
“Make sure the carrier hasn’t been recalled and is in good shape,” advises our gear guru, Jamie Grayson of the Baby Guy NYC. “The carrier should be free of defects and holes, and should have nice linear stitching with consistent stitches,” adds Boba co-founder Elizabeth Antunovic. “Test the buckles so they click when you put them together. No rough fabrics or strange odors.”

BabyBjorn advisor Dr. Amanda Weiss Kelly (Division Chief, Pediatric Sports Medicine, UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital) also points out that, “It should be safe and easy for one person to take on and off by themselves. Parents should also pick a carrier that is comfortable for them.” Ergobaby founder Karin Frost agrees saying, “Parents should look for a carrier that distributes the weight of baby evenly on their hips and shoulders, which will allow for a much more comfortable carry.” Frost also suggests finding a carrier that will fit everyone who will be carrying the baby regularly; that has adjustable soft padded shoulder straps and waist belts that are fairly wide and don’t twist; that is adjustable to baby’s growth; and that is machine washable.

But according to Coote (Onya), the most important safety aspect is “making sure that the manufacturer is in compliance with all safety regulations and that the carrier’s design has been tested to passing in a third-party certified testing facility. Because this is now law, all carriers on the market fit this criteria, unless you purchase from a home-based manufacturer.” Dr. Levenstein concurs, saying, “Don’t buy one used or second hand.” Levenstein also adds that all babies should meet the specific weight requirements outlined by each manufacturer. “Don’t purchase a carrier meant for an older child, and assume your baby will “grow into it”—as the leg holes, support, and structure may not be safe for a younger baby.”

Want to keep reading? Please follow the link to the original piece: The Complete Guide to Baby Carrying.

What do you think?
Do you have any additional questions about babywearing?Please post below, we’re listening!

Happy babywearing!