Test Driving the Beco Gemini

I must first say that I absolutely LOVE testing out the new carriers!  I feel like I’m building a relationship with each carrier. Silly?  Why yes I am!

Last week, I spent my time test driving the Beco Gemini.  It is a lovely, versatile and comfortable carrier.  I’m very happy to have tried the Gemini out for a week as it allows me to better sell the carrier when I’m working at Babies Bottoms and More.  Before I used the Gemini in real life, I was just able to tell potential babywearers that it just wasn’t the carrier for me.  I knew of it’s capabilities, but wasn’t wooed by the carrier as I was the Beco Butterfly 2.  Now, I feel very confident in assisting new babywearers and truly showcasing all that the Gemini is capable of doing.

The Gemini is a soft structured carrier that is very different from it’s sister the Butterfly 2.  The Gemini has a weight limit of 35 lbs, where the Butterfly 2 can carry a child up to 45 lbs.  (To be completely honest here, I highly doubt I will be wearing my child to those limits, but I reserve the right to do so if it makes both of us happy.)  The Gemini offers several ways to carry a baby: front carry, facing in; front carry, facing out; hip carry; and back carry.  A unique feature of the Gemini is the foldable headrest which can be used in front carry facing in or in a back carry.  Gemini eliminates the risk of losing a detachable headrest/hood with it’s foldable headrest, however, the headrest does not cover the baby’s head.  

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When testing the Gemini, I started with what feels like the most basic and natural position for me to employ in an ssc: front carry, facing in using the straps in the back pack style.  This position was very handy for allowing Norah to get used to a different carrier than our beloved Butterfly 2.  It allowed me to become familiar with the different features of the Gemini.  This was a preferred position for the nights when I needed to breastfeed Norah in the carrier in order for her to fall asleep.  I felt that the Gemini was very comfortable and far more accommodating for breastfeeding than my Butterfly 2 as the Gemini does not have an internal harness. 

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Back pack style straps.

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Crossed straps

I have to say that in the week I used the Gemini, my go to position was front carry with crossed straps.  I used this at home, at the park, and at the store.  It was just that comfortable to have the straps crossed.  It felt natural and very supportive for my bad back.  It made me wish that every carrier on the market offered this option. 

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Front carry, forward facing 

I have to admit that there isn’t much about a forward facing, front carry that entices me.  I did use this position one day for a long grocery trip and while it was comfortable and Norah LOVED the view, I did not love the carry.  It felt very unnatural to me and like Norah’s body was working against mine instead of with it.  There was nothing uncomfortable about it, but I felt like I had to be extra careful to not bump into the shopping car.  This carry also gave Norah way too many destructive ideas at the store since her arms were in front of her.  She did giggle and talk the entire time we were shopping and she didn’t ever get tired of the view.  I feel like strangers at the store were far more responsive to Norah in the carrier than when she is on my back in the Butterfly 2.  

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Back carry

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The back carry in the Gemini was comfortable and easy to employ despite my fears of dropping my baby.  (Yes, it’s true, my Butterfly 2 has spoiled me when it comes to easy back carries).  I did youtube videos of the best way to put the baby on my back and was always sure to test out the back carry while having her over the bed.  The back carry was easy to employ and the stiffer body of the carrier (when compared to the Butterfly 2 or the Boba 3G) reassured me that Norah was comfortable and positioned safely.  I did use this carrier during a warmer week and do not think that it made either one of us excessively hot.  

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Hip carry

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I’ll admit that the hip carry was not the most intriguing to me and only used it for a short time in my home.  I feel that a dedicated carrier for a hip carry, such as a ring sling, are far more comfortable for this position than the Gemini.  The Gemini performs well in a hip carry, but it does feel a bit bulky.  I much prefer my Hava Ring sling for the days that I want to keep Norah on my hip.  I can absolutely appreciate having the option of a hip carry in the Gemini, but would rarely use it in real life.  

Overall, I was far more impressed with the Gemini than I thought I would be at the beginning of this venture.  I feel like it offers a huge value for $129 considering all of it’s capabilities.  Spending a week getting to know the ins and outs of the Gemini has allowed me to be more confident in recommending this carrier to customers who desire a versatile yet comfortable soft structured carrier.  

Stay tuned!  I will review the Boba within the next week!

 

-Keila

Big Box vs Local Business

As more and more big box stores carry cloth diapering and babywearing items (well, to be more specific, they have the items listed on their websites, not usually in the stores themselves) parents are faced with a dilemma.  Should they use the gift cards to Target and Babies R Us that people will inevitably give them to get their cloth diapers and carriers from a bix box store, or is there a reason to pay actual money to get these things from a local business?  Here are some reasons parents might want to consider purchasing from their local cloth diaper store instead of a big website, even if they are purchasing the exact same items.

1.See and Touch.  Many parents come into our store planning to buy one particular brand but after seeing the item in person ultimately decide on a different brand, sometimes one they had not even considered before.  Rather than paying shipping and waiting for the item to arrive, only to find out it’s not what you thought, isn’t it better to be able to compare multiple items in your hands and make the decision right away?

2. Personal Service.  While most people don’t need help deciding what kind of cereal to buy at the grocery store or what color bedsheets to buy, when you’re deciding on something so new to you as cloth diapers, or something as expensive as a baby carrier, it is invaluable to be able to ask questions like, “How would you compare the Flip diaper system to the Best Bottoms system for a skinny, tall baby?”  Or “I have a short torso but my husband is very tall, what carrier will fit us both?”  Most of the time the employees at a big box store won’t be able to answer these questions because they have never personally used the items themselves.

3.Warranty Claims.  Many if not all of the products we sell have warranties, from 3 months to 1 year to a LIFETIME warranty on Fuzzibunz diapers snaps and waterproofing. Should you need to make a warranty claim, we can help you figure out how to do that and sometimes we can even exchange the faulty product for a new one on the spot – no shipping, no waiting!

4. Same Prices.  We’re moms ourselves, and we know that you want to get the best deal for your family.  With our price-match program, if you find a lower price or a sale on the same product from an authorized dealer (no ebay, craigslist, deal-a-day sites) that is not being clearanced out, we are happy to match that price.  Just bring in the URL or printed out webpage that has the advertised price.

5. Long-term Resources.  The single best way to make sure you have a local cloth diaper store for those times in the future when you need something right away, or need to get some help with washing or choosing products is to shop at your local retailer now.  By shopping local you are ensuring that local businesses stay in business to serve you when you need them.

So you see, you’re not losing anything by shopping local and using those gift cards to buy other essentials like carseats and clothes, and you’re gaining a lot!Image

Big Box vs Local Business

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As more and more big box stores carry cloth diapering and babywearing items (well, to be more specific, they have the items listed on their websites, not usually in the stores themselves) parents are faced with a dilemma.  Should they use the gift cards to Target and Babies R Us that people will inevitably give them to get their cloth diapers and carriers from a bix box store, or is there a reason to pay actual money to get these things from a local business?  Here are some reasons parents might want to consider purchasing from their local cloth diaper store instead of a big website, even if they are purchasing the exact same items. 

 

1.See and Touch.  Many parents come into our store planning to buy one particular brand but after seeing the item in person ultimately decide on a different brand, sometimes one they had not even considered before.  Rather than paying shipping and waiting for the item to arrive, only to find out it’s not what you thought, isn’t it better to be able to compare multiple items in your hands and make the decision right away?

 

2. Personal Service.  While most people don’t need help deciding what kind of cereal to buy at the grocery store or what color bedsheets to buy, when you’re deciding on something so new to you as cloth diapers, or something as expensive as a baby carrier, it is invaluable to be able to ask questions like, “How would you compare the Flip diaper system to the Best Bottoms system for a skinny, tall baby?”  Or “I have a short torso but my husband is very tall, what carrier will fit us both?”  Most of the time the employees at a big box store won’t be able to answer these questions because they have never personally used the items themselves. 

 

3.Warranty Claims.  Many if not all of the products we sell have warranties, from 3 months to 1 year to a LIFETIME warranty on Fuzzibunz diapers snaps and waterproofing. Should you need to make a warranty claim, we can help you figure out how to do that and sometimes we can even exchange the faulty product for a new one on the spot – no shipping, no waiting!

 

4. Same Prices.  We’re moms ourselves, and we know that you want to get the best deal for your family.  With our price-match program, if you find a lower price or a sale on the same product from an authorized dealer (no ebay, craigslist, deal-a-day sites) that is not being clearanced out, we are happy to match that price.  Just bring in the URL or printed out webpage that has the advertised price. 

 

5. Long-term Resources.  The single best way to make sure you have a local cloth diaper store for those times in the future when you need something right away, or need to get some help with washing or choosing products is to shop at your local retailer now.  By shopping local you are ensuring that local businesses stay in business to serve you when you need them. 

 

So you see, you’re not losing anything by shopping local and using those gift cards to buy other essentials like carseats and clothes, and you’re gaining a lot!

Exploring Babywearing from a Novice’s Point of View

I’m so excited to introduce myself and this new blog series. 

My name is Keila, I’m a 30-year-old (almost 31) first time mom to almost one year old Norah (her birthday is two days before mine).  Having Norah has opened up my world to all sorts of neat things one can easily obsess over like cloth diapering and babywearing.  I’m the proud owner and wearer of a Beco Butterfly 2 and a Hava ring sling.  I have previously used a Moby wrap and a buckled mei tai.  I also own a great stroller which my daughter enjoys, although she prefers to be worn. 

  In my life pre-Norah, I had one friend who was a babywearing, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t get what the fuss was about until I learned about the many options outside of the Moby.  When Norah was a newborn, my friend Kaytee loaned me a buckled mei tai that worked beautifully for us until my dog chewed a hole through it, no biggie, she gave us a cover that fixed the small, unimportant, yet ugly hole.

  As Norah grew and as I discovered that Babies Bottoms and More was my favorite Saturday morning destination, I became more and more fascinated at all the pretty carriers in stock.  I was immediately drawn to the Beco Butterfly 2.  It was perfect for my husband and me since we both liked wearing our daughter.  In the time from when I fell in love with the Beco Butterfly 2 until I purchased it, I would find myself constantly thinking and fantasizing about it.  The carrier we had borrowed from our friend was great, but I found it lacking in back support.  I’ve struggled with back pain since adolescence and was in constant pain from sciatica worsened by pregnancy. 

I was drawn to the Butterfly 2 over the Gemini because of the internal harness.  I knew that I would want to use back carries at some point in our babywearing future, but was very unsure of flipping my baby over my head.  The sling also seemed like it would be fool-proof for novice parents.  The internal harness has come in very handy when learning to employ back carries with Norah.  We have taken Norah on day long trips to the zoo and have both taken turns wearing her.  The internal harness allows us to hand the baby off to the other without having to remove her. 

Another attribute of the Butterfly that drew me to that particular SSC (soft structured carrier) are the colors and prints.  I feel like my daughter has a very vibrant personality and all things she wears must be bright and colorful.  We have the Natalie print Butterfly which has purple straps and bright flowers on the front.  I always receive compliments when wearing her. 

I feel like the Butterfly 2 is easy to use and far less intimidating that other carriers may seem to new babywearers. 

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be checking out the different babywearing options available at Babies Bottoms and More and testing them out in everyday life.  I will occasionally revert comparison to the Beco Butterfly 2 because it was my first true love in babywearing. 

If you are interested in purchasing or trying on any of the carriers I mentioned, please visit Babies Bottoms and More.  Elisa is a wonderful resource when it comes to the carriers. 

The next carrier I will review is the Beco Gemini.  I’ve got lots to say about it!

– Keila

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Babywearing allows for much better views than a stroller!


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A proud Daddy wearing a purple Beco Butterfly 2!

March Giveaway

Congratulations to Jaquelyn who commented on our February giveaway entry for winning the PlanetWise nursing cover!  March’s giveaway is ALSO a PlanetWise item having to do with feeding babies, but not a nursing cover.  It’s a Bag Your Snack Stuff gift set!  The winner will get a set of 2 reusable snack bags (1 large and 1 small), a reusable sandwich wrap, and a set of 4 cloth napkins, all in a fun owl print.

Snack bags are

  • FDA Food Safe Material
  • PVC, BPA, Phthalate, Latex and Lead Free
  • CPSIA Compliant

Napkins are

  • Sold in sets of four, two-sided napkins
  • Coordinating prints to match your favorite Snack Bags!
  • Unfolded Dimensions: 12″x12″

We love the PlanetWise napkins so much, they have replaced paper napkins in our house.  I just toss them in with whatever load of laundry I’m doing that day.  They’re small enough (and fun enough prints) that my kids ages 8, 6, and 3 will fold them while I’m folding the rest of the laundry.  We have also become entirely waste-free for packed lunches.  I got some plastic “bento boxes” (really just cheap tupperware thingys) from Ikea that are the perfect size for a sandwich and a little bit of trail mix or pretzels next to the sandwich.  This goes with a sippy cup or thermos, a piece of fruit, and/or other food in a reusable snack bag into our canvas lunch sacks.  I love the canvas sacks because they fold completely flat for easy storage (important when you have 6 people’s lunch bags to store!) and they are completely WASHABLE so even if the sippy cup spills milk, it’s not doomed to stink forever!  (Stay tuned… we hope to have these amazing bags in our store soon!)

 

To Enter:

1. Come by the store and fill out an entry slip.  You can enter each time you visit during the month of March.

2. Add the “Monthly Giveaway” (for 1 cent because I can’t make it charge $0) to your cart with any online purchase this month.

3. Comment here with one change either that you HAVE made in the past year or that you WILL make this year to reduce waste in your life.

 

We’ll pick the winner on or around April 1.  Have fun!