Category Archives: Features and Reviews

My SaYa Baby Carrier Review and Personal How-To

I love the SaYa Baby Carrier so much that I am spreading the gospel of this babywearing method. Take note that I do not work for SaYa and I am not paid to do this stunning review.
So as I mentioned in my previous post on babywearing, the SaYa Baby Carrier is my and Basti’s favorite carrier among the three systems I have because:
  1.  The material is soft and stretchy. There are no rings that dig into my shoulder and it feels like wearing a t-shirt.
  2.  Just as advertised, Basti’s weight is spread evenly across my back and both shoulders. I can wear Basti for hours and we both don’t mind.
  3.  It can be peeled off, making the transition from carrier to crib wake-free for baby.
The things that can turn off a user from the SaYa are:
  1. It can be a challenge to put on.
  2. Once you’re carrying baby, it’s harder to carry anything else.
  3. There are limited designs available in stock.
For the first drawback, I’ve decided to share my own technique to make it clearer to those interested in getting the SaYa (and because I’ve received a number of messages asking how I figured it out). Here’s what I do when I kangaroo-carry Basti.
The SaYa comes as two linked pouches.
I noticed that the printed pouch seemed to be stretchier than the plain one, so I decided to put that around my waist and make it the support sling. The fabric gets all bunched up, so it helps to run your hands round the fabric to straighten it out before positioning it with the SaYa label on your belly button.
Then I get the other pouch and run my hands through the fabric to get rid of the bunches and twists…
.. before sliding my arm through the opening that faces my back…
.. and putting it over my head.
Spread it across your chest..
.. and get your baby ready by crossing his legs like a little Buddha.
With confidence and conviction, slide your baby into the pouch. I emphasize CONFIDENCE and CONVICTION because you really need these to put your baby into the seemingly small space. Even the tiniest bit of hesitation causes an epic SaYa fail.
Take the support sling…
..and slide it over your baby, with the label facing forward.
Now, slide your other arm through the support sling…
.. and put it over your shoulder.
TADAH! SaYa Success!
Now for the other two drawbacks: I find it hard to carry my baby bag with the SaYa covering my shoulders – the strap keeps slipping! A solution I found is to carry the bag with the strap under the SaYa fabric. Most of the time, I bring a stroller along too, so instead of carrying the baby, the stroller becomes a baby bag trolley.
How I wish Roots and Wings would make more of the designs available! I really wanted the brown/floral design, but had to settle for the purple print one because it was the only one available in my size!
And to prove how much I love the SaYa…
I got another one! This time in plain brown.
With the SaYa I’ve really enjoyed babywearing. It’s enabled me to bring Basti everywhere with less stress. Since I started wearing Basti I’ve been researching on other ways to wear him. Next on my wish list… the wrap or the mei tai!
UPDATE: Recent studies state that the Buddha carry is not recommended for long period. Try the front-carry! Instructions on this blog post.

Adventures in Babywearing

Even before I got pregnant, I said I would definitely wear my baby. It looked so cute and cuddly, and mommy always looked so composed. Orley and I decided to follow attachment parenting, and babywearing is high up on the list of do’s for this parenting style.

My first glimpse of babywearing was when my then-student JM’s mom, Abbie Yabot, walked into Gymboree wearing him in a Maya sling. When I became pregnant, Mommy Abby became my lactation consultant, and encouraged me to wear Basti when he came out.

I had trouble wearing Basti when he was a newborn. Now that he’s closing in on 2 months in age and solid as a stuffed chicken, I’m more confident handling him when I put him in and out of whatever system I’m using that day. Here’s my take on my three babywearing gadgets.

1. The Ring Sling

It took me some time to learn how to thread the ring sling right. If you don’t do it properly, it gets all tangled up and I wish you good luck trying to adjust the slack once your baby’s in there. I’m somewhat successful in wearing Basti in a ring sling, but it’s not my favorite method. The tail bothers me and being the klutz that I am, might cause me to trip on it. This is an RJelly sling that my friend Krisbau gave me. She wasn’t happy with it and never got to use it. I like that the material is light enough for our weather, but I have a feeling that if it were made with a slightly heavier cloth, it would be easier to handle.

2. The Pouch

This is a Peanutshell baby carrier that I bought from My Baby and My Sling. I chose the Peanut Shell for the reviews and friendly price. The seller was so nice. She met up with me to hand me my Peanut Shell and told me her own babywearing stories. She’s a babywearing mom and has used all the products she sells on her site. A++ seller!

I love this pouch! It’s easy to put on and the DVD gives clear instructions on how to wear using different positions. It’s cotton, and reversible and easy to stow in the baby bag. The first time I used it, Basti fell asleep in it and stayed asleep for hours. My back didn’t hurt at all!

3. The SaYa System

The SaYa is my absolute favorite among these three systems. I love that it’s made of t-shirt material, comes in great designs, and Filipino-made! Dear fellow Povedan Buding Aquino-Dee is the woman behind this carrying system.

When I first opened the package I thought I ordered a size too small. It seemed I was never going to get Basti in there! I had to Facebook Buding and she assured me that I got the right size. Once I finally figured it out, Basti was in babywearing heaven, and so was I! Look at how happy he is in there. A few minutes after I took this picture, he was fast asleep. Compared to the Peanut Shell, the SaYa is easier to peel off so I can ease out Basti from the pouch and put him in his crib. It’s a bit more challenging to wear and put on but once you’ve got that right, it’s the best pouch ever! Orley loves this pouch too, though I can’t say he’ll ever try it. :p

I’m really looking forward to wearing Basti as he grows older. I don’t want to lug a stroller around all the time! Good luck to all mommies who want to wear their babies!

Level Up Ang Shopping!: My Motherhood Shopping Finds

Who doesn’t love to shop? Being a mother, I discovered, took my shop-a-holic tendencies to other worlds. I love shopping, even on a limited budget, and a great find is always something worth sharing. My best motherhood shopping finds below.

1. Maxidresses at Greenhills.

I bought 5 maxidresses in Greenhills for 400-500 pesos each and rotated them with other pieces in my existing wardrobe for 39 weeks. I didn’t buy a single piece of maternity clothing.

2. The Belly Belt

This didn’t work as properly as advertised, but still helped to make my jeans fit, even on the 9th month of pregnancy.

photo courtesy of Mommy Matters

My friend Pia didn’t get to use hers because her thighs grew bigger during her pregnancy that her pants didn’t even fit any more.

3. Thirties Duo Wraps

photo courtesy of Pinoy Baby Store

These have saved many comforters and baby seat covers from being soiled. I bought two and alternate them. I’m planning to buy more in the next size for Basti to wear. I bought mine from the Pinoy Baby Store. They made a mistake and sent me the wrong color and there was absolutely no hassle exchanging for the correct products. Definitely an A-plus seller.

4. Chini Pino Fitted Diapers

I got these as a gift from Kakai, and together with the Thirties Duo Wraps, have turned daytime cloth diapering into a doable situation. I can’t imagine having to deal with a squirming baby and pins. Horror. On its own, you can even catch it from bleeding onto crib covers or on you, if you’re fast enough. The extra layers make it possible.

5. Bebe Chic Diaper Bag

photo courtesy of Chubby Cheeks

A gift from Ninang Carina, this bag is roomy enough but not so big to lug around. Some people find it too small, but I don’t have to carry bottles and formula around because Basti is still purely breastfed (yey!). Love the design.

6. Nursing Cover from Nursing Mom

Photo courtesy of Nursingmom

This nursing cover has saved me countless times. I’ve nursed in SM Hypermart, SM Savemore, Trinoma, in church and no one suspected a thing. One person actually thought it was a baby carrier! Hehe.

7. Fisher-Price Newborn to Toddler Rocker

This is my mom’s gift to Basti. I had trouble putting him down on the cot during the day, but this has saved my life. It’s a bit pricey, but considering you can use it till your child is 3 or 4 years old, I think it’s worth it.

8. Nursing Bras

I bought several nursing bras (and will have to buy more) and I ranged from So-En to QT. Panalo na ang So-En for the price and quality and is great for everyday use. Carina also bought me a couple from Sogo and they are great too. My ultimate favorite though is my QT Nursing Bra which I bought from Mama.Baby.Love.

Photo courtesy of Mama.Baby.Love.

The material is great and it’s the most comfortable one among everything I bought. Reasonably priced too. If you’re going to buy from Mama.Baby.Love don’t buy the Dynabelly brand. Trust me.

9. Pigeon Baby Products

Mag-Avent na kayong lahat – I love Pigeon! You can’t beat the Japanese when it comes to quality. Hindi pa siya mahal. Best finds are the disposable nursing pads that are 300+ for a pack of 36 (Avent’s was 800 pesos, ON SALE. Heller). But this I love most:

Forget the bulb aspirators – this one is the one that will suck any booger from your baby’s nose!

Number 10 on this list is “Baby Carriers”. The thing is, I have three (a ring sling, a pouch and the SaYa system), but I have yet to learn how to use them properly. Some kind souls have volunteered to teach me, so I shall post a review of that sometime soon.

In the meantime… more shopping!!!!

Baby’s Firsts #1: First Toy – The Lamaze Musical Inchworm

So after buying and inheriting all the required baby necessities, I went and bought the first “non-essential” item. A toy. (Though they are truly essentials, I mean, what are you going to buy them for their mental development, a netbook? That’s for me)

I just found the Lamaze musical inchworm too cute, so I bought it:

lamaze musical inchworm

I like that there are different textures, which are so important for a baby to explore. I want Sebastian to be open to experiences and starting him off on textures is the best way to establish that. The “musical” part of the inchworm isn’t that impressive, but I didn’t buy it for that. I can just imagine Baby Basti carrying this around with him. So cute.

I almost bought this from a Multiply seller. I actually bought a number of my maternity, nursing and baby things from Multiply sellers because they are generally lower-priced than department stores. This one was being sold at a Multiply site for Php1,500.00. I found it at Toy Kingdom for Php799.95. That’s just about a hundred bucks more expensive than Amazon.com. Miss Multiply seller, you’re overpricing!

The Lamaze toys are all cute. I think we’ll get a couple more while Sebastian is growing up. My 7 years as a Gymboree teacher really taught me to be picky with toys. My next stop is the bookstore for baby’s first soft book and first bedtime book. I think his first CD will be the Beatles.

I’m at 39 weeks and not a sign of labor. All my classmates from childbirth class are popping infants out one by one. Now that Orley’s back from his Cebu trip, maybe I can give birth.. tomorrow? Oh please. It’s not easy being pregnant in this heat.

Spa Wherever You Are – A Review

spa wherever you are

I love home service spas. When we used to live in Town and Country on Marcos Highway, Orley and I would occasionally call therapists from Renmar Spa, who had some of the best massage therapists we’ve ever encountered in a home service spa. Cheap too.

But after Ondoy happened, and we had to move to Novaliches (where it’s rumored that you need a passport and a visa to enter – not true. But it is that far), it was bye-bye Renmar and hello to place where home service spas didn’t exist.

Upon doing a search, I found Spa Wherever You Are, a home service spa that had Novaliches Proper in their list of service area. So I called for a massage for Orley and a mani-pedi for me because they had a minimum charge for my area (again, yes, it’s that far).

They arrived on time, shuttled by a mini-jeep with their banner happily painted on its side.

Pros:

1. Professional therapists with complete and clean equipment.

2. Reasonable price.

Unfortunately, there are more cons.

1. My nail technician was good enough. She worked cleanly and accurately. No cuts. Except she advertised herself too much to the extent of berating her co-workers. Probably so I would ask for her the next time I call for service. It was such a turn-off.

2. Orley said his massage was just okay. For the same price, he’s had better massages.

3. Even though the girl who took my call asked me specifically if I needed change and I answered that I did, the girls weren’t told. I had to scramble around for barya and ended up giving them small tips because that’s all the money I had.

4. They were picked up late. They stayed in my house for an extra 45 minutes (till almost midnight) until my pregnant self couldn’t take it anymore. I had to show them out and they waited in our front lawn for their pickup jeep. I have no idea what time they really left.

Now that I actually live in the area they often service, I have no desire to avail of their services again.

Rating: 7/10