Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib

When we started this trip, we thought that Carter would co-sleep with us for the entire year; we had no idea that things would change just a few weeks before his first birthday.  He was getting bigger and was making it very clear to Scott and I that he needed more personal space to be comfortable at night.  We were getting worried about what we were going to do because he couldn’t sleep on a blanket on the floor (he would wake up a little delirious in the middle of the night and crawl all over everywhere just crying) and it was harder to sleep with him in the bed because he would either kick us off, or he’d fall off himself.  Needless to say it was getting very uncomfortable for everyone.

We were very blessed to have a pack-n-play available to us at an AirBnB accommodation where we attempted to transition Carter to sleeping on his own for the very first time.  We used this sleep training method with our own personal adjustments to help us and Carter feel more comfortable.  The first night was a huge success, and it improved each day for rest of the month.  We felt so free and liberated!  Also, Carter was getting better sleep on his own, which meant he was much more pleasant during the day.

With a week and a half left in the UK with a glorious pack-n-play, I started to worry about what the next few months would be like without one.  As I was perusing Facebook, an ad came up for a traveling crib.  I usually pay no attention to ads, but this one caught my eye: the Guava Family Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib.  A what?  A travel crib?  No. Way.

I spent over an hour on their website reading all about their products, watching the video of how it works over and over again, and reading the amazing reviews they have.  I waited so patiently for Scott to be done with work so I could show him just how perfect this crib was for us.  Okay, so I actually didn’t wait patiently at all…  I was too excited!  I went right into his office and told him all about the crib.  I had him watch the video, look at all the pictures, and read all the details and dimensions.  He was amazed.  (Go watch the video!)  Here are the details:

Our Lotus Everywhere Crib! | Twelve Countries in Twelve Months

We got in contact with Guava Family and, before I could pinch myself to see if it was all real, they agreed to help us out and a Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib was on its way.  The package arrived one week after arriving in Florence, Italy (the longest week of my life!) and we were all very excited to open it.

Did you see how excited Carter was about the crib??  I’m sure it’s because he knew how much better sleep we all got when we used one last month, and was just as happy as we were to get that lovely sleep back. Now, for the first time in 14 days, we’re getting more than 4 hours of rest a night.


*Guava Family is a sponsor for Twelve Countries in Twelve Months, but all opinions are our own.  We take great consideration into who we partner with as sponsors because we want to feature products that match our values and we think you will love as well.  Our shared experiences with these products are real and unexaggerated to provide you with honest, reliable information.

Ergobaby Carrier

We’ve gotten a couple questions about our baby carrier that we’re using for Carter so we figure its about time write a post about it.

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We are using an Ergobaby carrier and we absolutely love it!  There are several different kinds of baby carriers out there and I have heard and read many great things about many of them.  We decided on the Ergobaby carrier mainly because of price and availability.  We originally planned on using our Moby Wrap for our trip, but we had an opportunity to get a carrier for an extremely good deal so we made the switch (I still highly recommend a baby wrap versus a carrier for at least 0-4 months old). I picked up our Ergobaby carrier for $40 at a local flea market.  This carrier usually runs around $120 so I was estatic when I found it on sale!

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I’m sure we would be happy with a couple of the different baby carriers out there, but here are some of the pros and cons we’ve found while using the Ergobaby carrier:

PROS

  • Pockets

This carrier has two pockets–a zipper pocket and an open pouch pocket.  We LOVE the pockets!  The zipper pocket is big enough to fit a diaper and a small soft wipes container which is really nice when we don’t want to carry around our diaper bag on a smaller trip.  I also often use this pocket for my wallet, extra socks for Carter, a toy or two, our phone, or our camera.  The pocket is very accessible when the carrier is worn on the front, but it’s not very accessible by the person wearing the carrier when it’s worn on the back.  The open pouch pocket is perfect to stuff the shade cover in when not in use.

  • Easy to Adjust

The Ergoaby carrier is easy to adjust between me and Scott and we’ve both found it to be a comfortable fit for each of us.

  • Comfortable Straps

The hip and shoulder straps on the Ergobaby carrier are very comfortable.  They have ample padding and they aren’t bulky.  The straps are all easy to adjust while wearing the carrier and there is an adjustable chest strap that is very helpful for distributing weight.

  • Hip Position

The Ergobaby carrier allows baby to be in the natural sitting position while in the carrier.  This position promotes healthy hip development and reduces the risk of hip dysplasia.

  • Better Than a Stroller

Strollers are obviously great for several reasons and I do plan on owning and heavily using a stroller with other kids, but there are certain situations where I will choose a baby carrier over a stroller, hands down:

-crowded areas (zoo, downtown areas, farmers market)

-using public transportation (bus, train, airport)

-anything outdoorsy (hikes, beach walks)

  • 3 Carrying Positions

The Ergobaby carrier can be worn 3 different ways: front carry, back carry, side carry.  The front carry is the absolute most comfortable for me for really long periods of time and Carter falls asleep the fastest in this position.  The back carry is great for hiking so I can actually see my feet and the path in front of me.  Carter does fall asleep in this position, but his head seems to be more stable in the front carry position.  I have only tried the side carry position (see picture below) one time and it was interesting to say the least haha.  I think it will definitely take some getting used to on my part and on Carter’s part.  I think once we are comfortable with it we will both benefit because Carter is able to see more versus when he’s on the front or back and I still get both my hands.

*Update*  Ergobaby now has a baby carrier with 4 carrying positions!  I’m really excited about the 4 Position 360 Carrier and I have it high on my list for things I’ll need for baby #2.

family at brisbane river

CONS

  • Shade Cover

The shade cover is not removable–which I find annoying–but it does fold up into the open pouch pocket in the front which is nice.  It’s also nice that you can’t lose it when its permanently attached.  So, I guess that’s not really much of a con 🙂

We are huge fans of baby wearing and having a carrier for Carter on our trip has been cost effective for us and very convenient.  We’ve also been very happy with the Ergobaby carrier and would definitely recommend it to anyone!

 

How I Wear My Baby

Newborns seem to just sleep and eat. A lot.  Carter goes through the same cycle every 2-3 hours during the day, almost without fail:

  • Eat 20-30 minutes
  • Burp 15-20 minutes
  • Play 15-20 minutes
  • Sleep 1-1 ½ hours

It takes Carter at least 20 minutes to fall asleep if I’m holding and rocking him, so once I lay him down he only gives me about 30-40 minutes of break time… which doesn’t leave me with very much time to get anything done.  Thankfully, I’ve figured out a way to cheat the system: I wear my baby!

I did a lot of research before Carter was born about what kind of baby carrier or wrap that I wanted to get.  Wraps are made more for newborns, but can work for a child up to 2 years of age (depending on weight).  Carriers are more for infants and toddlers once the baby is able to support their head by themselves, but they do have inserts for newborns. After reading several online reviews and talking to people about their personal experiences with carriers and wraps, I decided that I wanted to go with a cloth wrap.

Having a cloth wrap sounded like the best choice for me because they are extremely easy to wash and dry (a plus for that unavoidable baby spit up and slobber), aren’t super bulky, and keep the baby very close and snug against your chest.  Some wraps are even “one size fits all”, which is great because Scott and I can both wear Carter in the wrap and we don’t have to worry about adjusting buckles and straps all the time.

We were lucky enough to get a Moby wrap as a gift from Scott’s parents and we absolutely love it.  It keeps Carter warm, cozy, and close to me, and he sleeps extremely well in it.  When he starts to get fussy I just slip him inside and softly bounce and he falls right asleep, leaving me to get going on all the things that need two hands.

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Exercise:

When Carter was a couple weeks younger, he would wake up around 6-7am really fussy.  It seemed that the only things that comforted him were my heartbeat and movement, so I put on my Moby wrap, slipped him inside, and went walking with our dog.  It’s been great for all of us because Carter ends up calming down and falling asleep within minutes, I get a little exercise in the morning to help start my day, and the pup gets some much needed attention.

Shopping:

Before Carter was born, I was always so nervous about having to go shopping with just me and him.  What if the store I’m going to doesn’t have a shopping cart that fits his carseat?  What if he starts screaming and I’m nowhere near ready to check out?  What if random people gawking at my sweet baby stick their grimy, unclean hand in his carseat and touch his face??  All of these things seem to happen to me every time I go shopping with Carter, but luckily I’ve mostly been with family members who helped immensely.  I quickly learned that a sleeping Carter is a happy shopper, and the best way to keep him comfortable in a new place and asleep was in my Moby wrap.  Oh, and random Kroger grocery store employee, if by any chance you just so happen to be reading this, please don’t touch my baby’s face again.  Thank you.

IMG_0865Getting ready:

If I’m wearing makeup, it’s usually at least a day old.  Sometimes two… or three.  Even though I am grateful for leftover makeup that looks half decent with no effort, it’s nice to wash my face every once in a while and start over.  Oh, and I don’t even want to begin on my hair… It’s healthy to wash your hair once a week right??  Let’s just say I am very happy for dry shampoo and hats.  Luckily, if I know I’m going out somewhere or if I just want an extra self-esteem boost, I can just put on my Moby wrap, slip Carter inside, and spend some time on my hair and makeup.

Cooking:

I’m definitely not much of a cook, nor do I do it very often, but when I do find myself slaving over meals I wear my Moby wrap and slip little Carter inside.  Right now I have the luxury of cooking on an induction stove so I don’t have to worry about catching any fabric on fire with a hot surface or an open flame, but I am VERY careful if I do go any where near the stove while wearing Carter.  Usually I’ll just prepare everything away from the stove or oven and leave those items to Scott to finish up.

Work:

I absolutely LOVE holding my baby while he sleeps.  Playing with (and picking lint out of) his tiny fingers and suffocating him with kisses are like pastimes, but it’s really hard for me to do any computer work with one hand.  Carter definitely prefers movement, so I put on my Moby wrap, slip him inside, and get comfy in my rocking chair.

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This way I can still feel his soft breaths, hear his little snores, get a whiff of his sweet baby scent, and gaze at him every few minutes while still being able to use two hands to work.

In addition to the things I listed above, I also love to wear my baby when I sew, clean, do laundry, go on crowded excursions, eat, and many other things.  I look forward to exploring the many other types of baby carriers out there and wearing my baby around the world.