Babywearing Wellington Rose Gardens

During a visit to Wellington in December last year, my family and I enjoyed joining the end of year Babywearing Wellington meeting at the Rose Gardens.  I’ve been a supporter of the group since it’s inception back in 2010, inspired by New Zealand’s first dedicated babywearing group in Auckland, Slingbabies, which started in 2007.

Babywearing Wellington is run by a fabulous group of volunteers. Some of the faces have changed over the years but the level of support provided to the local community when it comes to babywearing has remained constant. The interest in babywearing has increased so much recently that the group now also has a monthly meeting in Petone in addition to the original monthly meeting at The Southern Cross on Abel Smith Street at the top of Cuba Street.

When the group was first forming back in 2010 I had the pleasure of meeting with one of the original group leaders Beth, and donated the very first carrier for the group’s lending library, a Kozy Carrier. Here’s a pic of Beth and I together the day I handed over the Kozy – Beth (on the left) put it to good use right away!

2010 kozy donation to BW WLG 2010

And so it was with equal pleasure that I donated a second Kozy Carrier for the group at the December meeting. Here’s another pic with Hester (left), the current sling library manager for the group:

Presenting Kozy to Hester

If you’re in the Wellington area and would like to try out a Kozy Carrier mei tai then see if you can get along to a Babywearing Wellington Meeting. They next meet on Friday 7th February 2014 at The Southern Cross. In addition to the Kozy Carrier they also have examples of our other brands in their lending library too including 2 x manduca’s, a Storchenwiege woven wrap (4.6m), a Storchenwiege woven ring sling and a JPMBB hybrid stretchy wrap.

Before we left the meeting that day I got to meet a lovely lady (also called Helen!) who hired the Kozy Carrier I’d donated to the group back in 2010. So lovely to see it being put to good use!

Kozy Carrier - Waverley

I shall leave you with some other pictures that I snapped that day – some showing parents proudly wearing their manduca’s, and three shots where Hester was helping a new Mum learn to use a woven wrap.

Thanks for having us that day Hester and team!  Helen & family. xx

Olive manduca at BWW Dec 13 meetOlive Manduca & red fumbees

Ocean manduca BWW Dec 13 meetOcean manduca with sleeping hood in use

woven wrap 1Hester giving hands on help with a woven wrap.

woven wrap 2

woven wrap 3Happy Mum & bubs!

To find out more about Babywearing Wellington:



Thank you to everyone who nominated deserving Dads in the Manduca RAOK giveaway for Father’s Day.  I loved reading through all the entries and wish I could give a Manduca to all the nominees.  To the nominees, what wonderfully thoughtful friends and family you have. So much love was shared on our Facebook page!!  Thanks to a winner has been selected from all those nominated and the name that was drawn is Karyn and Kenny Jack who wrote:  “I would like to second Paula Andrew’s nomination”.  Thank you Karyn & Kenny Jack for enabling Paula’s nomination of her own father to become the manduca winner. Paula wrote:

“I’d like to nominate my dad. He cared for my children for one day a week of the days I had to go back to work since my eldest was 3months old. When she was one I became pregnant again and he didn’t even bat an eyelid at having two to look after. Then I became pregnant again when my 2nd child was one. My twin brother also was expecting his first child. My father was excited about having all four grandchildren to look after and trawled the internet for a new car to fit them all. Sadly he is unable to look after the kids by himself anymore due to being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. We have been contemplating putting a front pack on him in his wheelchair so he can hold the babies without fear of dropping them, however the one we have doesn’t fit him anymore”.

Paula please send a message through the My Natural Baby Facebook page with delivery details for your Dad’s new LImitedEdition HIghFive manduca. If he finds the waist band uncomfortable when sitting please let me know as I’ll be happy to help with a Kozy Carrier or a je porte mon bebe hybrid stretchy wrap as both would work comfortably for someone in a wheel chair. I’m so glad to be able to help your Dad enjoy snuggles with his grandchildren for as long as possible.

Helen xx

manduca limited edition baby carrier

Thanks to everyone who participated in our group pat on the back for the babywearing group volunteers throughout New Zealand. The groups are managed by teams of volunteers who are also experienced at carrying their babies, toddlers and sometimes older children in a variety of baby carriers and slings. I enjoyed reading about the experiences you’ve had while attending meetings and events organised by your local babywearing groups. I attended my first babywearing meeting back in 2006 when I went along to the then very new Slingbabies group in Auckland for help with a ring sling I’d won in a competition. Group founder Jessica Richards was a wonderful help to our family and I’ve been so pleased to have been able to give back to the Slingbabies group over the years by donating baby carriers to their sling library and helping out at group meetings when I’ve been able to attend. As more groups started forming around the country I’ve been pleased to help them with donated carriers too. In 2011 I helped form a new group on Auckland’s North Shore, and last year set up three new groups in Whangarei, Keri Keri and Rotorua, although the latter three groups are on hold for the time being while I attend to my older son’s needs and support him through his cancer treatment along with the usual grind of home and business!

So now I am excited to once again provide a giveaway to a lucky participant in our pat on the back event. The winner may choose a Manduca LimitedEdition HighFive of their choice from the two colours pictured above – royal or lime.  The manduca LimitedEdition carriers are made from 100% organic cotton, are suitable for children from 3.5kg – 20kg and can be used for front, hip and back carries. The winner, drawn randomly from all participants, is Paul John Scott who shared about his experience with the Waikato Baby Carriers group. He wrote:

“I am really grateful to Waikato Baby Carriers for letting me ask all the dumb questions! Always felt welcome and supported.”

Paul please get in touch by messaging me through the My Natural Baby Facebook page and let me know which colour of LimitedEdition HighFive manduca you would like!

Congratulations also to Claire and Kerry who founded and run the Waikato Baby Carriers group. I’ll be in touch to find out which type of carrier you’d like from our range to add to the group’s sling library.


Happy Babywearing everyone!

Helen xx

L000 manduca newstyle all7 web white

The following two surprise giveaways follow on from the Mother’s Day Random Act of Kindness giveaway we did where so many people nominated deserving Mums they know to go in the draw to win one of the new manduca LimitedEdition HighFive carriers.  All the nominees were very deserving and just one lucky Mum was drawn to receive that LE HighFive.

Two nominees stories stuck a chord as they are both living through extreme challenges with their children right now.  Both these nominees carry the responsibility of caring for children who have life-threatening diseases.  Being a Mum of such a child myself, my heart goes out to them. Our family have been blessed so much by the kindness of others since my 6yo son’s leukaemia diagnosis at the end of January this year, so these two surprise giveaways are what many would call ‘paying it forward’ I guess.  Continuing the chain of kindness and concern for others.

The two nominees are:

1. Harley Lass

Harley has a 2yo child with a condition called Immune Complement Deficiency which means her immunity is compromised. This means that activities that most people take for granted put Harley’s child at risk for serious illness.  Bacteria and viruses that, for someone with a fully functioning immune system, would cause mild illnesses, are life-threatening for someone with a compromised immune system – think hospital admissions, IV antibiotics, isolation and sometimes worse. My own child has suppressed immunity due to the chemotherapy that he is on so I know first hand how challenging and sometimes restricting it can be to keep an immunocompromised child safe.  Being able to have her daughter close in a manduca will help reduce exposure to bacteria and viruses.

2. Paula Baigent

Paula’s son Mostyn, a previously active two year old, was diagnosed in December 2012 with Anti N-methyl D Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis. Since diagnosis Mostyn has been inpatient at Starship Children’s Hospital while his parents do their best to juggle supporting him with the needs of their other three children (two older and one younger than Mostyn) in the family home in Whangarei. Having spent inpatient time with my son at Starship Hospital, and having met families there from out of town, I feel so lucky to have Starship right on our doorstep. It’s one of the many silver linings I’ve found since my son’s leukaemia diagnosis. I really feel for families from out of town and the extra stress of extended seperations from family members and familiar routines.  You can follow Mostyn’s story on his facebook page: Mostyn’s Journey.

Harley and Paula, please send me a message via the My Natural Baby Facebook page and I’ll arrange a NewStyle Manduca for each of you in your preferred colour – choose from black, chocolate, red, ocean, sand, olive or navy.

Best wishes to you both as you continue to battle for the health of your precious children. What you live through each day goes above and beyond what a mother and family should have to endure. Much love from our family to yours.

Helen xx

FB Manduca HighFive ROAK

Thank you to everyone who nominated deserving Mums in the Manduca RAOK giveaway for Mother’s Day.  I loved reading through all the entries and wish I could give a Manduca to all the nominees.  To the nominees, what wonderfully thoughtful friends and family you have. So much love was shared on our Facebook page!!  Thanks to a winner has been selected from all those nominated and the name that was drawn is Cathy White!  Congratulations Cathy.

Cathy received many nominations and the nomination that was drawn was from Cathy’s friend Tracie Frandi who wrote:

“I would like to nominate the lovely Cathy White too – She is one of the most amazing and caring mummas I know, with such a huge heart. Totally deserving of such an awesome prize. I know her lil diamond would love to be snuggled in such an awesome carrier.”

Cathy please send a message through the My Natural Baby Facebook page and let me know which colour HighFive manduca you’d like – grey, royal or lime.

But wait! There’s more! There will be more giveaway news announced here on the blog tomorrow night in support of two families who are living with the extreme challenge and responsibility of life with children who have life-threatening diseases right now. Being a Mum of such a child myself, my heart goes out to them. Our family have been blessed so much by the kindness of others since my 6yo son’s leukaemia diagnosis at the end of January this year, so this is part of the ‘paying it forward’ process in my book! More news on this tomorrow xx

Manduca baby and kid carriers and accessories are available in New Zealand from My Natural Baby and selected stockists nationwide.

Sharing the babywearing love!

Helen xx

Huggalugs with cloth nappy

In case you haven’t heard, right now it’s Cloth Nappy Week and The Nappy Lady and her ‘team of avengers’ is currently touring New Zealand from one end to the other, spreading the word about the benefits of cloth nappies and sharing sharing sharing lots and lots of fantastic giveaways to celebrate!  Cloth nappies are also being left at various locations along The Nappy Lady’s nappy tour trail for lucky nappy week stalkers to claim.  And at the coffee groups being held around the country there are more goodies up for grabs including Huggalugs leg and arm warmers which we have proudly donated. Huggalugs are a fantastic cloth nappy accessory, keeping little legs warm and making nappy changes easy.  They look super cute too and Huggalugs come in so many designs it’s easy to co-ordinate your Huggalugs with your cloth nappies!

Manduca baby & kids carrier - NewStyle Black

We have also donated a Manduca baby & kids carrier which has been included in this week’s Good Morning giveaway prize pack which also includes a buggy, baby clothes, cloth nappies and more – check out the Good Morning show this week on TV1 from 9am for all the details and to find out how to enter!

For more information about Cloth Nappy Week visit the Cloth Nappy Week website and the Cloth Nappy Week Facebook page for details of coffee groups, workshops and all the excitement of CNW12!

Happy Cloth Nappy Week!

manduca® NewStyle: New design, more comfort and a small price adjustment

NewStyle Manduca baby and kids carrier

NewStyle Manduca in Navy

We are pleased to introduce the manduca NewStyle which will have the following new features:

  • The lining, hood and logo are now colour-coordinated to match the body of the carrier.
  • The well-established, universal pink logo will be replaced by a matching, embroidered version similar to the ones you know from the manduca LimitedEditions.
  • The range of standard colours will be extended by the introduction of NewStyle Navy (pictured above) – a classy dark blue.
  • The ‘natural’ manduca will be given a marvelous sand-coloured hue and hence be renamed ‘sand’.
  • All other standard colours remain unaltered.
NewStyle manduca in navy showing lining

NewStyle Navy manduca - showing matching lining

Besides that, all other visible changes in the NewStyle will be minimal. The main goal was to finally have the manduca’s high quality matched by similarly superb looks.

Of course, Wickelkinder GmbH are constantly improving the manduca’s function and comfort and so they couldn’t let pass this opportunity to make some changes:

  • The connection strap now has its buckle right in the middle, which allows for easier handling.
  • The stitching and shape of the shoulder straps are slightly altered for a maximum of comfort.
  • Just like with the Manduca LimitedEditions, the exterior back pocket will be dropped – with this Wickelkinder GmbH complies with their customers’ wishes as well as their decision to avoid any possible pressure to baby’s back. In any case, small and/or valuable items are easier to reach and safer when worn closer to the body (e.g. in a manduca front pouch).

However, quality comes at a price. Despite facing rising commodity costs Wickelkinder GmbH will not cut out sustainable organic fabrics or high-end materials. Thus we have been forced to make a small price adjustment to the price which will be $235.00 inc GST. Even so, the manduca remains the SSC with the best quality-price-ratio: Not only is the manduca organic by default, but (thanks to its all-in-one solution for NB – big kids) you won’t have to buy any costly extras for carrying your new babies.

This price adjustment only affects the NewStyle manduca’s; the LimitedEditions are not affected. Of course, the current manduca standard colours will be available at the old price – only while stocks last!

NewStyle black manduca

NewStyle Manduca in black

The first of the manduca NewStyle have already arrived in New Zealand last month with the arrival of Black (which sold out within a week!) and the gorgeous new Navy.  Olive and Chocolate are due to arrive this week. By August the NewStyle range will be completed with the arrival of Red, Turquoise, Sand and more Black.

The previous Manduca version is still available in Olive, Red and Turquoise at $230.00 – while stocks last!