How to Use Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier with a Newborn
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How to Use Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier with a Newborn


(pats baby’s back) – Hi everybody! I’m gonna give everyone a few minutes. I was six minutes late, sorry. Violet was napping. So, let me introduce myself, for those that maybe don’t know me. That was a burp, excuse you! I’m Kara. I am the Community Outreach
Manager at Baby Tula, and I’m actually on
maternity leave right now. So I’m a little rusty, haven’t done a live video in a while. Actually, the last one I
did, I had a giant belly. I think I was maybe 34, 35 weeks pregnant. This little girl made her
arrival on March 20th, and she is four weeks
and a couple days old. Hi Diamond, thanks for joining! Hey Marissa. So anyway, I have been
really enjoying wearing this little one in my Tula carriers. Mostly ring slings and the Free-to-Grow. The Free-to-Grow is pretty amazing. For those that know me,
and some that don’t, but maybe have seen me comment in Tula, I was so bummed out that
the Free-to-Grow released, here, wanna say hi? Hello. She just woke up. She still wants to eat, I think. So anyway, I was a little bummed out that the Free-to-Grow released when my now-2-year-old was 11 months old. I didn’t get to really utilize it like it should be utilized,
wearing a tiny baby. There is just no better feeling! So when we had Violet,
I just couldn’t wait. I have been amassing my
Free-to-Grow collection, and I’m very excited. So, I thought nothing
better than doing a demo with a real baby, versus
my creepy fake baby. So, keep in mind, I’m
gonna read the comments, so if you guys have questions, I’m gonna try to get to them anyway. As this little one allows. So if you guys have questions or comments, please go ahead and add them there, and I will check and try and
answer them as best I can. My quality on my video
looks a little bit sketchy. Hopefully you guys are
able to see me all right. Let me just check in real
quick before I start. Hi everybody. Okay, so I am going to set her down and get my carrier first,
although she’s probably not going to like that,
so sorry for baby cries. That is par for the course,
though, around here right now. Alright, I’m gonna set you down, sorry! Okay, so, yeah, that didn’t last long. (baby cries) Okay, alright, alright. They can’t see you, I don’t think. Okay, so I’ve got my carrier. Now many of you are already
familiar with the Free-to-Grow, but for those that are not, the Free-to-Grow adjusts
in two main places. So we have the panel adjustment here, this raises and shortens the panel height. So for Violet, it is completely cinched. I know it’s a little bit
hard to see with the hood. I’m gonna grab one that
doesn’t have the hood, just for this demo purpose. So as you can see here,
same style carrier, just different print. It is fully cinched, and the
other place that it adjusts is here on the waistband, and for her, it is on the smallest setting. She is 11 pounds, at four weeks. So I’m gonna go ahead
and use this one now, because I think it stands out better. It’s okay! Alright so, with a tiny baby, one thing that you may,
can’t talk over that! With a tiny baby, one
thing that you need to do that you may not think
feels odd or feels off, is actually wear your
waistband really, really high. Because if you think about
it, here’s where her butt needs to be so that she’s
at a good position for me. And this is essentially,
right under my chest. Which, if you’re breastfeeding
or if you’re large-chested, it’s definitely gonna be
right under your chest. So keep that in mind,
it feels a little off. And for any, maybe dads or
men that might be wearing, their natural inclination is to wear kind of by their belt
level, so for a little baby in a Free-to-Grow, keep
in mind that you want that waistband nice and
high, so that you can kiss the top of the baby’s head
and check to make sure that their airway’s clear, and you know, that they’re not spitting up all over you. Which is going to happen anyway. Okay, so now I really am setting her down. Put my waistband on. Sorry, I’m rusty here, with
doing these live videos. Alright, I’m sorry! Alright, so I’m gonna thread this through the elastic safety loop, and then, as I said, right
under the boobs, the chest. See, I’m crass on maternity leave. I can’t even, the thing with me. Alright now, make sure that your straps are nice and loosened,
and if you’re like me, and gained 70 pounds during pregnancy, you might have to adjust this from where the settings were
before you were pregnant, if you were wearing it before then. So I’ve made sure to lower my back clip. Good bit, sorry, I’m confused with the… So make sure that’s nice and lower. These adjustments are
before you get the baby in. I wanna make sure that it’s even, and it is definitely not even. So, this one is quite difficult to do once the baby is actually in the carrier, so definitely get that
back clip adjusted first. Alright, so I’ma loosen my arm straps so I can reach my back clip
and get my screaming baby. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry! Okay, so now I have her. So what I do is, kind
of hold under her butt, and so where I can feel
the tag right here, feel where the panel kind of folds over. I just kind of rest her right
here while I’m holding her, so I know that that’s about the right position that she should be in. So I’m going to hold her,
and I kind of lean back just so she can’t flail backwards. And grab my one arm strap, of course, she’s struggling against this right now. Of course, ’cause mommy’s live, huh? So I’ve got one arm strap up, and then with the other arm, I’m gonna grab the underside of the panel and just pull it up over the baby’s back. Make sure her leg is out. Sometimes her leg will be
in, stuck in the carrier, so I’ve gotta grab that. So I’ve got the straps on. It’s okay, it’s okay! Before I buckle the
back, I actually like to reach my hand in here, it’s in here at the bottom of her butt, and press the waistband
flat to my stomach, and then just make sure
that her little butt is kind of over the waistband, just to get her that nice deep seat. Make sure that she is
in the correct position, that her butt is lower than her knees. So now I am going to buckle my back. And as you can see, it might
be it’s a little higher than what I would prefer it to be. I like it shoulder blade level. So now I’m going to tighten. One thing I like to do
is lift baby’s bottom up while I tighten, it removes
some of the force from it so it’s a little easier,
and I like to bounce. Okay, and I’ll do the
other side, same thing. Alright, so now we are in. She’s close to the feeding source, so for a moment she’s going to be good, thinking maybe she can get something. Alright so, here is her
knee, here is her butt. Let’s see, you can see
the bottom of her butt. So she’s definitely, her knees are higher than her little butt. At this age, their bones, her
leg bone is like that long. So it’s, there’s a very minimal difference between where her knee is and her butt is, but as long as she is
sunk down in the carrier a little bit, I think you’re good. I like to just kind of gently
grab by her calves right here, and just push up a little bit
and bounce, just to make sure that her butt is filling
out the bottom of the seat, which it looks like it is here. Let’s see, turn this way. And she’s happy in there. Happy enough, for the moment. So, that is how I get my
four-week-old in the carrier. Now, I’m gonna take a look here, and see if I’ve, yeah now
she’s happy Priscilla! Alissa, does anyone else ever worry their legs will be too far spread apart? So, I know what you mean on this, Alissa, because I am not a petite person, and this was something that
I worried about initially, because you know, I’m wide, and I don’t want her
straddling me completely, that would be obviously quite wide. However, she’s sitting I front of me. You know, her butt is out here, and her legs are right out
to the side of her butt. So she’s still, this is
definitely not too wide for her. She’s super comfy. Now if, for some reason… The Free-to-Grow starts at
seven pounds, goes up to 45. Probably should have said
that in the beginning. If for some reason your
baby has shorter legs, one thing I have told people to do is maybe as you’re getting her in here, just squish the fabric. I’m gonna get a different carrier, ’cause I better not take her
out of this one right now! So when you’re putting it on, you can just squish this
panel fabric a little bit if you have a baby that
has really short legs. So as you’re putting her in, squish that so it molds to the baby. The good thing is that
the panel is floppy. It’s nice and soft, and the
material is thin and moldable. So if you just squish it in a little bit, that should be fine. Hopefully that makes sense. So, let me see if I can… What about the insert for baby? Polly, I see a lot of people
answered your question, but with this carrier, it adjusts. The panel width right here, and the panel height
right here, adjusts here. And then there’s some snaps
which, grab my other carrier, take this wild baby out of here. So there are snaps right here. So right now, this one is
set on the narrow setting, because I have Free-to-Grows
scattered all over my house. Honestly, it’s great to wear her, but mostly to protect her
from the two-year-old, who has taken to poking her in
the eye and pulling her hair, which is really fun. But anyway, so it adjusts this way, and the width, once baby grows and you need to be on the widest setting, it is the same width as a
standard carrier, standard Tula, which is really nice. And you know, some babes
fit in a standard Tula ’til they’re two and a half or three, and it goes up to 45 pounds, so honestly I can wear
my five-year-old in it. But, I’d rather not wear him. I’m a little touched out! Okay, let’s see, so I answered the insert. Oh, the safety strap, Mary Catherine, hi. Yeah, the safety strap. You know it’s funny, it’s
one of those things that, people don’t, kind of realize is there, but it’s a nice feature,
and it’s super easy. A quick thing you don’t even have to think about it to use it. So here is the waistband and the buckle. And you can see here is
a little elastic loop. So when you are putting
the carrier on your waist, before you pick the baby
up and put the baby in, just thread the buckle
through the elastic loop, and then it sits just
right back here, behind it. It’s kind of hard to see
because it’s all black. But then buckle this. Now, this buckle is not
going to fail on you. However, sometimes people, I have done it, I have clipped my shirt into the buckle, and not really realized it, and it’s not a tight
latch because of that. Or, I’ve had people tell me
that their toddler or bigger kid unbuckled it with the baby in it. It’s something my two-year-old would do if she could do this, and
wanna see the baby fall. If that happens, this
is not going anywhere. This is gonna stay on you
and keep the baby secure. So it’s just a nice little feature. Let’s see, what I’m missing here. Yeah, instant calm, Marissa, you’re right. I did wake her up from a nap. Let’s see if I can, looks like she’s goin’ back to sleep here. She’s used to mom talkin’, so that’s not going to wake her up. (reading comments under her breath) Let’s see if I’m missing anything. Sorry, I’m here! Alright, I’m not seeing
anything right this second. Oh, what is your panel setting at? My baby is two months
old, and I’ve got panel all the way up already to reach her neck. Am I carrying her too
low down in the seat? Michelle, that’s a good question. So, alright I’m going to
try and take this off. I noticed this, you
know, carriers will fit different people differently. I think because right
now I’m large-chested with the breastfeeding and all, she sits a little differently in it than someone that might be small-chested. Because you know,
there’s a little bit more to work with in the front here. So, depending on how deep your seat is, if your seat, I guess,
is too deep, the panel will come down a little lower. But you can see the top of
her shoulder right here. For a four-week-old,
Violet has pretty good, I wouldn’t say neck control,
she has good neck strength. She’s always pushing off
of me and looking around. So for me, this isn’t an issue. She could be a little wobbly,
but on the side she’s good. One thing you wanna make sure is that you’re tightened
enough here on the back, and that you’re even. I noticed the other day that one side was higher than the
other, and it was because one of my arm straps was
tighter than the other. So that can make a difference. So, to answer your question, this is on the shortest panel
setting, and the narrowest. She’s just not very tall. But I do know what you’re talking about. So maybe just make sure that your waistband is up high enough, that she’s here, and that your seat maybe isn’t quite too deep, not too high. It does take a little bit of adjustments. If you still had questions, feel free to post a photo in Tula Love. You can tag me or any of the admins help, or lots of people help, or
Tula offers video fit checks, and one of our certified
Baby-Wearing Educators, not me, because I’m on maternity leave, but someone else would be
happy to help you out there. Let’s see, Oola, she’s asleep, yes she is. How many kids do I have? This was my fourth baby,
my third living baby. So, needless to say,
definitely need the carrier. I noticed that, with my first, I didn’t hear about Tula ’til he was three months old, I think? And I didn’t feel like I
needed to wear quite as much. Now I have to wear. I have to, have to, have to wear her. Otherwise, like I mentioned, my two-year-old will attack her. But also, it’s just easier, like I try to get the kids out the door for school in the morning, or
get their dinner on the table, that kind of thing. It’s just priceless. Honestly, I feel like this
is the best baby shower gift you could ever get anyone. I would say that if I
didn’t work for Tula. Let’s see if I’m missing anything else. I don’t think I see any
other questions right now. Well I guess that’s it! I guess I should demonstrate
taking baby out of the carrier, just because, even though
this is happening right now, but yeah, I’m going to
go head and take her out. So to get baby out, in order
to reach this back clip, I could technically reach it
right now by really stretching, I have longer arms, but
for those with shorter arms you probably couldn’t reach it right here. So the easiest thing to
do is to loosen these, kind of like this little
chicken wing move. So there’s a little tab right here, and just press up with your thumbs, and that loosens the carrier. And this is actually
what you would wanna do if you were nursing in the Tula. I’m not going to right now because I don’t really have
a nursing-friendly shirt on, but you could loosen the arm straps and then loosen your waist
just a tatch, and push down to get baby into position. Now unfortunately I have low-hangers, so if it were me, I’d have
to lower her quite a bit, but for those that
don’t have that problem, you wouldn’t have to
lower her quite as much. But then you could just get
her into position to feed, and then after she’s done nursing, you could raise her back up. You always want to raise up after you’re done nursing in
the carrier, very important. And then you could tighten back up. Oh, I was gonna mention to Michelle. Sorry, when you were asking
about the panel height. One thing I notice too,
is the Free-to-Grow hood is actually really nice, because it gives a little bit more support just because it’s kind of a nice volume, there’s a lot of volume to the hood. So when it’s just hanging
down, there’s a little bump, and it’s actually really nice for support. So if you were concerned about that, that’s one other way to
get a little bit more fit. Any tips on using the hood with a newborn? Well you see, we’re on the same page. Lemme try and see if I
can connect mine back. The biggest tip that I wanna say with using the hood, is for newborn, you only really need to buckle one side. You wanna make sure that the newborn is still getting plenty of air. So as you can see, her head
is tilted to this side, so if my hood were
attached, I’m not going to attach it back right this second, but say it was attached,
I would put the snap up on the side of her, and so pretend this was attached, and so it would kind of look like this. So it gives her actually
a little more support with one side of the hood up,
but also shields her somewhat, but she can still breathe. So this is good if baby falls asleep, or if you’re going out into the weather, if you are on the 98th day of January like I am here in West Virginia, it’s sleeting and snowing outside. If you’re going outside
and you want a little bit extra coverage, this is perfect. Sun, or if you just don’t want people to see the baby or touch the baby, if you’re going to a restaurant
or to Target or something. So it’s nice to just be able to do this, and they’re pretty much
covered, there’s a very small, but she can still get plenty of fresh air and everything in there. Okay, so now I really am gonna take the baby out of the carrier. So, I’m going to go back
and loosen these again. Oh, I know, I’m sorry! And unbuckle this. You see how high it came up on my back? And then, while supporting the baby with one hand right here, go
ahead and take out one arm. She’s gonna be mad! I’ll just blame you guys. So you can see, she’s in her nice, I mean, sleepy dust, right? And there we go! So don’t worry about the
Tula around your waist until after you’ve put the baby down. It just can dangle, don’t
worry about fiddling with that. I’m gonna set her down and
just show one other little tip that I like to do with the Tula. If you don’t wanna take it
all the way off your waist, because let’s say you need
to change the baby’s diaper or you need to just do
something really quickly and put the baby down and
then put the baby back, rather than leave your Tula dangle, I like to wear mine like a
little pack around my waist. So I grab the chest clips and then just buckle the chest clips here. So this way it’s not dangling, and I don’t have to worry about a strap getting caught on something, but it’s still right here so that when I need to grab
her again and put it back up, I don’t have to fiddle
with the waistband again. So anyway, okay everyone! I think that covers wearing a
tiny baby in a Free-to-Grow. So, Violet wants to say bye! Oh, she’s like, what did you do to me? You say, bye everybody! Maybe we’ll do one of these again soon, with a different feature,
or a different carrier, if you guys have any ideas. Oh, I wanna mention too, if you are curious about wearing a tiny baby in a ring sling, Anastasia, from Attached,
the organization Attached, in New York City, she just
did a really great video, she posted in Tula Love today, actually, wearing her two-week-old
in a Tula ring sling, and it’s a really great video. Some really great tips on how
to wear a very small baby. So I’ll link it in the comments so if you are interested
in that, you can find it. Alright everyone, I will see you soon. Thanks for watching, bye!

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