The Tula Comparison

“My son is sooooo big. I need the Toddler Tula.”

“My little girl isn’t so little anymore. She’s almost one! I need the Toddler Tula.”

At Woodland Babies, we get this all the time. And my answer is always the same. “Not necessarily.”

The Toddler Tula is really rather large. The Tula website recommends that it be used starting around 18 months old (or about 25 lbs), and 32 inches tall. That’s 2 and a half feet tall! Many baby carriers wouldn’t be very comfortable for the wearer or the child with starting at this point, but the Toddler Tula has always impressed me with the level of comfort, as well as how easy it is to use.

At the end of the day, trying your child in the Baby and Toddler Tula is much easier than estimating, but if that isn’t a possibility, hopefully these comparison shots will help.

Overall Comparison

This picture shows the size difference, overall. Baby size Tula is on top, in dark grey, while the Toddler is on the bottom in light grey. 

Side Comparison

Looking a little closer up, you can see that the height of the panel is much taller (18″ as compared with the Baby size, which is 15.5″ tall), as is the width of the panel (19″, and the Baby size is 14.5″), and width of the waist band. All in all, the Toddler carrier is huge! 

Mia in Toddler Tula

Here, we have my 3 1/2 year old in the Toddler Size. You can see that the carrier goes knee to knee, and the panel is all the way up to the top of her shoulders.

Mia in Baby Tula

Here she is again, in the Baby Size. The knee padding is just short of being knee to knee, and the top of the panel is a couple inches below her shoulders. However, she is still comfortable, safe, and secure. If I were buying a Tula to share between a bigger kid and an infant, I could safely choose (in this case) to use the Baby size for both. 

Baby in Baby Tula

And here I am wearing a sweet little friend, who is just under a year old. Baby is also knee to knee in this Baby size Tula, and is quite happy (unlike my little girl who is not pleased that she was taken out of the Tula!).

I hope these comparison shots help you make an easier decision when shopping for a Tula. If you are local to Woodland Babies, you can always come to our local events and try both on for size. 


Happy Babywearing and a huge THANK YOU to Marie Lynn Studios for the babywearing pictures ❤


A Father’s Day Poem

Do you like to Babywear- WoodlandBabiesMama:            

Do you like to babywear?


I do not like to babywear.

Would you like to here or there?

                                                I would not like to here or there.

                                                I do not like to babywear.

 Would you wear him in a sling?

 Would you wear him while we swing?

                                                I do not like to in a sling.

                                                I do not like to while we swing.

                                                I would not like to here or there.

                                                I do not like to babywear.

 Would you wear him in a wrap?

 Would you wear him while he naps?

                                                Not in a wrap.

                                                Not while he naps.

                                                Not in a sling.

                                                Not while we swing.

                                                I would not like to here or there.

                                                I do not like to babywear.

Would you?  Could you?

In an SSC?

Wear him! Wear him!

You will see!

                                                I would not.

                                    Could not,

                                    In an SSC.

You may like to wear.

You will see.

You may like to wear in a Podegi!

                                    I would not, could not in a Podegi.

                                    Not in an SSC!  You let me be.

I do not like to in a wrap.

I do not like to while he naps.

I do not like to in a sling.

                                    I do not like to while we swing.

                                    I would not like to here or there.

                                    I do not like to babywear.

 A pouch!  A pouch!

A pouch!  A pouch!

Could you would you in a pouch?

                                                Not in a pouch! Not in a SSC!

                                                Not in a Podegi!  Let me be!

                                                I would not, could not, in a wrap.

                                                I would not, could not, while he naps.

                                                I will not wear him in a sling.

                                                I will not wear him while we swing.

                                                I will not wear him here or there,

                                                I do not like to babywear.


In a Mei Tai?

Would you, could you, in a Mei Tai?

                                                I would not, could not in a Mei Tai.

You do not like them.

So you say.

Try them! Try them!

And you may.

Try them and you may I say.                      

                                                If you will let me be,

                                                I will try it

                                                You will see…



                                                I like this wrappy thing!

                                                I do! I like this sling!

                                                And I would wear him in a Podegi,

                                                And in a Mei Tai.  And in a SSC.

                                                They are so good, so good, you see.

                                                So I will wear him in a wrap.

                                                And I will wear him while he naps.

                                                And I will wear him in a sling,

                                                And I will wear him while we swing.

                                                And I will wear him here or there,

                                                 Say!  I will wear him ANYWHERE!

I do so love that you babywear!

Thank you!  Thank you!

It shows you care!

Babywearing in Texas

Babywearing in Texas

Babywearing in Texas

Yep, it’s summer in Houston, and the heat is unavoidable unless we stay barricaded in our igloos (air-conditioned homes). But we can persevere; and we can babywear while doing it! Just follow these wonderful tips from our local Babywearing International President and Master Babywearing Educator, Angelique Geehan.

“I do feel the need to address the ‘ice pack in the front pocket of the baby carrier’ picture that is floating around the internet. When one applies ice to an injury, the guideline is for 10-20 minutes to avoid frostbite and tissue damage. Then before reapplying, you need to wait until the area has had a chance to warm, about 45-60 minutes. Not to mention, applying ice is uncomfortable, especially to a little one. Do your kids squirm away when trying to put ice on them? Mine do! But in a baby carrier they can’t get away! So, while putting ice packs in your carrier, either in between you and baby, or in the exterior pocket sound brilliant at first glance, it is probably not the best idea (unless baby has hurt himself, in which case, might be a great way to ice his injury).”

Woodland Mama Mary

“You’re hiring a What?”

Dou-la: definition: a person trained to attend to a woman before, during and/or after childbirth, by providing physical assistance and emotional support.

The birth of a child is a lot like a wedding day, it is yours, it is something no one can take away from you. You spend months planning for it, you have this vision of how it will go, BUT…it doesn’t always happen as planned.  When I told my husband I wanted to hire a doula for the birth of our baby, he was skeptical,  particularly since I had been clear that I didn’t want friends or family present for the birth.

Part of my motivation for hiring a doula was fear. I had heard horror stories of birth, and it truly scared me. The idea of having someone who had been present at other births before mine, and knew more about what to expect was comforting to me. In addition, I was very worried about my husband. He is a remarkable husband who was right there with me through my 3 days of labor (I’ll come back to that), but had we been having our baby 30 years ago, he would have been perfectly happy to wait in the waiting room.  Birth is not something he finds awe-inspiring, interesting, or beautiful. I loved watching the birth videos during our Bradley Birth Class.  I really wanted an unmedicated birth, and while my husband appreciated and supported my desire, he would have been happy if I had wanted an epidural and full medical intervention. I knew that watching me in hard labor would be painful for him, and I wanted someone to be there for him.

In truth, convincing my husband to hire a doula wasn’t that hard to do. The idea of someone else who knew what she was doing and what I was supposed to be doing was a relief for him. Having someone there to guide both of us through the process and support our birth plan seemed like a good idea.  Next we told our families, and although they needed some explanation of what a doula was, they were the wonderful and supportive family that they always are.


My husband loves to tell people that I was in labor for 3 days, like it were a war story, or something we were lucky to survive. I truly believe that we would not have survived my 3 days of labor without our doula, Dorin. We knew that as a first-time mom, I was likely to have a long labor, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, prepared me for the weekend of labor. I started having contractions Thursday afternoon. Like any first-time mom, I was ready to meet my son and so was excited that it was finely time. My contractions weren’t too strong the evening, so we had dinner and went to bed.

Early Friday morning my contractions woke me up and continued to be strong through the day. Dorin came over to my house. I was having a hard time staying calm and finding a comfortable position in which to labor. She got me settled with a rice sock on my belly and back and we worked on relaxation techniques. I really thought this would be the day my son was born. However, by 6 pm my contractions slowed down and spaced father apart.  My husband and I decided to lay down and try to get some rest, and Dorin headed home to get some dinner.

Dorin had received a text from another mom, pregnant with her second child. She was having contractions, but was certain the baby was not coming tonight. She and her husband had tickets to Cirque du Soleil and she was going to the circus! Dorin was pretty sure they were not going to make it to the circus, and we agreed that unless my labor kicked into high gear she would attend the other birth.  At 10:30 that night, I woke up to more contractions, and labored for another few hours. My husband (and mother) were beginning to get nervous that something was wrong, since I had been laboring for 24 hours, but my labor kept starting and stopping. We decided to head to the hospital to see how I was progressing and make sure the baby was doing well. As we drove to the hospital, we agreed that if I was less then 5 cm dilated we would head home and labor there some more.  I was so nervous I would be 4 cm and consider staying, but as it turned out I was only 3 cm and the baby’s heart rate looked great. Dorin was a trouper and met us at the hospital after attending to the birth of the mom, who was planning on going to the circus that night, but instead gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

While we were at the hospital, my contractions slowed way down and we headed home to get some sleep. Saturday morning I woke up not really feeling like I was in labor. I spent the day sitting in the recliner, watching the Houston Rodeo on TV having contractions every 45 min or so.  For those of you not from Houston, the Rodeo is a BIG thing here, and if my son was going to be born in Texas (we moved here the summer before) I figured I better learn something about it.

Labor re-started early Sunday morning, and this time I had the feeling this was it. I really hoped it was, because although Saturday was a pretty relaxing day, it had been a long weekend.  Dorin came to the house while I labored, and then accompanied us to the hospital later that evening. My mother pulled me aside to tell me how happy she was that we had Dorin, and that while she had questioned the decision, she didn’t any longer. During my weekend of labor, Dorin helped me to find comfortable birthing positions, encouraged me when I needed it, comforted me when I needed it, she DJ’d for me and endured listening to the same song over and over and over again, because it was a song I used to run to and helped me “get into the zone” for labor. She told us to rest when we needed to, eat when we needed to (but didn’t necessarily want to), and to relax when we needed to. She was my comfort, my support and my friend.

The end of my labor was not pretty; I stalled at 7 cm for 3 hrs (69 hours after I had started labor)… I was exhausted and really didn’t think I could do anymore. I didn’t know the strength I had inside of me. She showed me it was there, and helped me harness it to give birth to my beautiful son at 1 am Monday morning. I know that if it were not for Dorin, I would not have found that strength inside me, and for that I am eternally grateful.  My birth could have gone many other ways; I know that if it were not for Dorin, it most likely would have gone differently.  She helped us develop our birth plan, stick to it, and when things did not go as planned, she helped us decide how to proceed.  She was the calm voice of reason when both my husband and myself were too tired and too emotional to be calm.  That is why I encourage everyone I know who is pregnant to consider a doula. You might not have 3 days of labor. You might have the 6 hr labor that the mom who wanted to go to the circus had, but it is called labor for a reason.  It is hard. A doula is there for you in what may well be the hardest work your body will ever do.


* Footnote: 3 weeks later, I attended my first North Houston Babywearers meeting, and met Mama Mary and her 3-week-old daughter. In passing she made a comment that her daughter had come early and she and her husband had missed Circle do Soleil. Mama Mary was Dorin’s other client that weekend. We had never met and never guessed that a year and a half later we would launch Woodland Babies along with Mama Emily.


lauren dorin

10 Tips for Traveling with Infants & Toddlers

  1. Babywear: Both through security and while boarding the plane.  In both cases, it gives you your hands free to handle the luggage and keeps your little one safe. It is at TSA’s discretion if you can wear your child through the x-ray machine, but I have found if I ask politely, they usually say yes (see notes at the bottom for choosing the right carrier). TSA regulations prohibit baby wearing during take-off or landing, but not during the flight. A carrier allows you to easily get to and from the bathroom, and use the facilities. We all know that babies love to be walked and bounced, and I have spent plenty of flights walking the aisle, bouncing my son to sleep in a carrier. Once asleep, I get back into my seat, and try to sleep myself.
  2. Check your airline’s luggage rules. In the US, all airlines (to my knowledge) allow you to check either a stroller or a carseat free of charge, as they are considered “exception items”. If you have paid for a seat for your child, they have their own luggage allowance (they can have their own suitcase and carry-on…if you can manage it). If you are traveling with an infant in your lap, they do not have a luggage allowance. However, you are allowed to carry a diaper bag in addition to your carry-on bag and one personal item.
  3. Be self-sufficient: I know it’s difficult to pack for yourself and your children, but try to pack so that you can manage your luggage. It will decrease your stress and make traveling easier for you.  My suggestion is to limit your carry-on luggage to two bags, one carry-on (which fits in the overhead compartment) and one diaper bag that will fit under your feet. The carry-on can have extra clothes (for both of you…sick babies rarely get sick only on themselves), extra diapers, snacks, toys, and any other items you might need if you get delayed. The diaper bag should have what you need for the flight, a few diapers, a few snacks, a few toys, etc. If it is a short flight you might be able to get away with just a diaper bag, but be sure you have enough food and diapers for a delay of a few hours.
  4. Don’t forget to eat: I am a big proponent of mom eating before you get on the plane. Snacks are a great way to entertain toddlers during a flight, but be sure you are all well fed; nothing makes people crankier then hunger.  I find it easier to eat in the waiting area/food court then trying to eat in the tiny airplane seat.
  5. Pack food and drink: Medicine and liquids (milk, juice or formula) for infants and children are not under the 3 ounce rule, and may be carried on in “reasonable quantities” according to the TSA website:  Let the TSA agents know you have liquids for your child; they will be screened by hand, and usually will be tested for explosives. If the liquids are in a plastic transparent container they do not need to be opened, but stainless steel containers may be opened. I usually pack a separate lunch bag, which I remove from my carry on, so it is easier for them to test it. If you are traveling with frozen breast milk, you can either use reusable cooler packs or bags of ice. Pack some extra Ziploc bags; you can get ice from flight attendants or at restaurants in the airport.
  6. Pre-plan your boarding: There are two views on boarding with kids: there are the people who board during pre-boarding to get settled in their seat well before take off, and there are those who would rather keep baby off the plane as long as possible. Think about what you have to take on board. If you need overhead space you may want to board earlier, so you are guaranteed space. Are you in an aisle or a window seat? It is easier to get baby settled in a window seat if you don’t have to get past two other people on your way in. (There’s debate about window vs. aisle: window gives baby something to look at, but aisle gives baby some extra room to stand up and stretch legs).  Whenever you decide to board, wear your baby in a carrier while you board the plane.
  7. Help your child with ear pressure: Take off and landing are the hardest times for children because of the pressure change. The best way to help your child adjust to that change is for them to eat, drink or suck a pacifier. The process of swallowing helps equalize the pressure in the ears. I usually try to limit liquids the 30-60 minutes before take off so that my son is thirsty. Turbulence can cause the same pain; so keep some extra drinks and snacks around.
  8. Bring some toys: When traveling with an infant, you don’t need much: one or two small toys, a few books and a lovey. As they get older, keeping them happy in a seat for the duration of the flight requires a bit more planning. A few ideas: books, sticker books, small animals or dolls, crayons and paper.  Keep in mind that traveling is an adventure for your child, so play on that. We walk up and down the aisle (when the carts aren’t there), and we people watch. These days, as my son is a little older, we count how many people have hats on, and how many have blue hats, etc.
  9. Take a trip to the Bathroom: Babies love looking in the mirror, and toddlers (at least mine) love washing their hands. We could occupy an hour of flight time in the bathroom, but I am more courteous to our fellow travelers then that.  We always get a drink of water from the attendants at the back. Anything to spend a few extra minutes out of the seat is a good thing. With my toddler I try to time this as late in the flight as I can to keep him in the seat as long as possible.
  10. Be Polite: I know this sounds simple, but I firmly believe that you get more with honey then with vinegar. TSA, airline staff and flight attendants are not always the friendliest; but kill them with kindness.


A few other considerations:

Picking a carrier(s) to pack:

There are advantages to all carriers; think about how much space you can allocate to carriers and what your needs will be. Also consider if other people will wear your baby, and what carrier will work for all caregivers.

Wraps: Provide the greatest flexibility, allowing all different carries, plus function well as a blanket (on a chilly plane) or lovey for baby in new place. However, they may take up more room than other options.

Ring Slings/ Pouches: Definitely the smallest option, but not the most supportive if you’re carrying a toddler, and the metal rings may prevent you from wearing through security.

SSC (Buckle carriers): Provides great two shouldered support, and are favorites among husbands and grandparents, but can be bulky to travel with.

My preference has always been to take two carriers: one for quick in/outs (a short wrap or ring sling), and one for longer periods of carrying (a long wrap or SSC).


To take a stroller or not: For lots of families, baby carriers mean they can be stroller free, but for others both are necessary. Like choosing a carrier, consider your travel plans and what your needs are during your trip.  While a stroller is one more thing to carry and handle, it also works as a way to push luggage/carry-ons, and is a place for baby to sit/sleep if you end up stuck someplace. I know lots of moms who travel without a stroller, but we have taken a stroller on all of our trips, in part because we tend to walk ALOT on vacation.

If you take your stroller through security, you will need to get a gate check tag from the desk, and then leave the stroller at the end of the gate before boarding your plane (side note: be sure to empty all pockets in your stroller, as things may be lost while transporting it in and out of the plane).

To take the car seat or not (and to check the car seat or not):  Like a stroller, this depends on your travel plans and is a contentious issue. The safest place for your child during a flight is in a carseat. However, that does assume there is a seat for your little one. Your two other options are to gate check the car seat or to check it as luggage. It’s important to understand that luggage is not handled with care, and there is no way to know if the interior foam of a seat has been damaged, which is why a seat is also the safest place for your carseat. For more information about checking or not checking your car seat, check out this blog:

If you plan to rent a car seat along with a car at your destination, confirm and reconfirm that they have the appropriate seat. Being stuck without an appropriate car seat is a vacation disaster I have unfortunately experienced.


Are you ready for summer? I know I am! For most of us, the warm weather means beaches, lakes, and pools… So how do we continue to wear our children while getting wet and enjoying the season? For our family, … Continue reading

Babywearing with a Bump


So you are pregnant. What do you do now with your little ones?

For myself, when I found out I was pregnant with my little Magnolia, Mushroom was around ten months old. Too young for me to want to give up babywearing, but certainly things had to change in order for it to still be an enjoyable experience for both of us.

When you are babywearing while pregnant, it really is a different ball game, and it all depends on how you feel. Personally, I can’t handle anything touching my stomach early in the pregnancy, and then as I continue to get bigger, it wouldn’t make sense to have anything tied or buckled around my stomach area.

Mush was a big boy, and at ten months, I was only occasionally using a woven wrap (mostly because I didn’t have a lot of knowledge on how to wear him comfortably). Our go to carrier was a Beco 4G (an older model SSC). Anytime I wore Mush, I wore my SSC low on my hips, well under my bump. It was the most comfortable for me at the time, and it worked well for us up until about eight months along. At that point, I just stopped wearing because I was tired.

This time, I am pregnant with twins as a gestational surrogate, and it has been totally different. Magnolia prefers woven wraps and has a strong distaste for buckles, so we have been wrapping almost exclusively. I wear her very high on my back, to the point that she can usually rest her head on my shoulder to go to sleep, and I tie the wrap over the top of my increasingly large bump.

The same could be done with a Mei Tai. You could tie the waist straps either under your bump, or on top of, and the top straps could be tied Tibetan. I have seen people buckle an SSC over the top of their bump, and if it is comfortable for you, baby, and bump, then more power to you!

If you are using a ring sling, you can simply shift your little one over to your hip, provided they have good head control.

With a woven wrap, just like before pregnancy, you will have many more options, and can achieve a more custom fit. But really, any carrier can be used through pregnancy.

At the end of the day, in my experience, babywearing helped me to remain close to my little ones while pregnant, both in proximity and emotionally. I hope the same for you! Discuss it with your midwife or OB, listen to your body, and follow your instincts.

And congratulations!!

Thoughts on baby poop and pee… and getting it out of your diapers


Thoughts on baby poop and pee… and getting it out of your diapers

Courtesy of Julie, The Amazing Mama behind Spider Monkey Designs Diapers

     Now that you’ve ventured into the super awesome world of cloth diapers, there’s an inevitable hurdle coming your way:  washing those soiled diapers! A cursory Google search will yield a ridiculous amount of overwhelming information that can easily leave one’s head spinning. I prefer a much simpler, and more logical, approach. There’s waste in your diapers, and it needs to come out!  In nearly two years of cloth diapering, I’ve found that a smaller load of diapers (about 18 to 24 pocket diapers, including 2 nighttime diapers or 2 to 3 days worth) is much easier to get nice and clean. Here’s our routine:

1) Rinse / soak. I subscribe to the cold soak method. Also known as, I started a wash cycle and forgot to shut the washer lid. I prefer to do a wash cycle (once I shut the lid) with no detergent; the extra agitation helps work out some of the gunk before you even add detergent.

2) Hot wash with detergent. Finding a detergent (and amount) that works for your diapers and your water type can take some finagling and experimentation.

The general rule of thumb with detergent is to avoid artificial softeners, fragrance, and optical brighteners – essentially anything that can be left behind in the diapers and lead to build up. Most people suggest avoiding a detergent with enzymes (such as those found in Tide) – in my opinion, that factor comes down to the individual baby and how their skin reacts. We’ve personally used All Free and Clear, Tide Original, and Stinkpot Cloth Diaper detergent successfully. Other people make their own detergent, or have success with Ecos, Charlie’s, Soap Nuts, Rockin’ Green, etc.

Regarding the amount of detergent to use, it is recommended to start with half of the recommended amount for the load size. People with hard water generally need to use a touch more detergent to help get the diapers just as clean. The diapers should not have a smell once clean and dry. If you’re getting a barnyard or funky smell as soon as your child wets, try adding a bit more detergent. Too much detergent can lead to irritation of your baby’s skin – check during your rinse cycles and make sure that there are no bubbles. Are you seeing a lot of bubbles, even after 2 or 3 rinses? If so, try using less detergent. We’re currently using Tide with our diapers, and for the small load size, I use about halfway to the first line on the detergent scoop.

3) Rinse. Now that you’ve cleaned the diapers, you need to rinse the detergent out of the diapers. Again, I prefer to use a wash cycle for the extra agitation. One to two rinses are recommended (or until you don’t see detergent bubbles in the water).

4) Dry. I try to line dry as much as possible. The sun acts like a natural stain remover, and it’s so much more economical. Line or air drying helps extend the life of PUL and elastic. On rainy days, or when you’re in a hurry, machine drying on medium heat is perfectly fine.

An extra note on poop:  the poop factor can be one of the hardest things for new parents to deal with when starting cloth diapers. Babies that are exclusively breastfed produce (often explosively) water soluble waste that does not need to be dumped and flushed in the toilet – just toss in your pail or wetbag, and that first rinse in the washer will take care of it. Stains? Try that sunning trick! Formula-fed babies and kiddos eating solids make poops that take a little more involvement. This waste needs to be flushed down the toilet. Some people luck out with “ploppables”, others need to use one of the methods listed below.

1) Spray it off. You can purchase a diaper sprayer, or MacGyver your own with supplies from Home Depot or Lowes. This is a hose and sprayer attachment for your toilet that allows you to literally spray the poop off the diaper into the toilet with water. Some people use their detachable shower head, either into a bucket in the shower (then dump the bucket water into the toilet), or use the shower head over the toilet if it reaches.

2)Dunk and swish. The most “hands on” approach. I prefer to remove the insert beforehand, and then you dunk the soiled part of the diaper into the toilet bowl to loosen and swish the diaper around to remove the waste. This method is sometimes accompanied by using a dedicated spatula or some toilet paper to remove pieces.

3)Liners, including flushable. These are awesome if you have a predictable pooper. Liners can either be reusable, washable ones made of thin fleece or other materials, or a thin paper-like material similar to dryer sheets that you can flush with the poop. You simply lay the liner between the diaper and baby, and then lift out when changing. Reusable liners will require a poop removal method such and spraying or dunking, but can be easier to deal with than an entire diaper. They can then be washed together with your dirty diapers. Liners, whether flushable or reusable, are handy to have around just in case you ever need to use a diaper cream that is not cloth diaper safe (such as Desitin, A&D, and Boudreaux – any cream containing zinc oxide).

Now, for you out there with the HE washer, yes, it is a different process, mostly. Woodland Mamas Mary and Lauren both use HE washers, and have had great success with keeping their diapers clean. Here are a few of their tips:

Do a cold rinse to start, and if you remember in time, stop it before all the water spins out, as that just ends up wasting power. Next, do a hot wash on the bulky setting, and throw a bath towel in with the diapers. The towel will help your washer to retain extra water, which helps to get the diapers cleaner.  If you want to, you can also do a high speed spin at the end, which will pull more water out, making the drying time shorter.



Helpful Links:

+ Real Diaper Industry Detergent Checklist:

+ Woodland Babies Rockin’ Green

+ Homemade detergent recipe: The Eco Friendly Family Blog

+ Diaper Sprayer

+ How to make your own diaper sprayer:  Gidget Goes Home blog
YouTube instructional video (2 parts):