Posted on

A Month of Babywearing

Where are all of our passionate baby wearers?

With my first son, it took me a while to get on the babywearing bandwagon. I received a Moby wrap at a baby shower, and while it’s a great wrap, it wasn’t for me. It was so hard for me to figure out how to get it all wrapped around my body and then I’d get him in it and realize it wasn’t tight enough and he would slip further and further down until I would just give up and rip it off my body.

Oddly enough, I never felt comfortable with it until he was about two and a half. He got to the point that he wouldn’t fall asleep nursing and he wanted to be swayed while I stood with him. He was too big and heavy for my arms, so one night out of desperation, I pulled out the Moby. I followed the instructions step-by-step and got him secured on me. He fell asleep in about three minutes. Every night for two weeks, we went through the same routine, and then I discovered the Ergo. That was by far my best baby purchase up to that point. We both loved it and used it even throughout my pregnancy with my second son. I have a great picture of him hanging out on my back while I was cooking and about 6 or 7 months pregnant.

Now, with my second son, I was ready! I had not only my Ergo, but a Boba, a lightweight Boba, pouch sling, fitted sling, and felt ready with the Moby. My son was eight days old when my sleep deprived, hormonal self slammed the car door shut on one of the Ergo buckles. There may have been a few tears… ok, a lot of tears. I moved in to my Boba and eventually invested in another Ergo.

Funny enough, I never really used any of the other carriers. If it weren’t for the Boba and Ergo though, that first year of his life would have resulted in no meals ever cooked at home, a disastrous house, and a very upset older brother that never got to do any fun activities. He’s just turned 2 and he still loves to ride around on my back. I’m now counting down until I can fully convince the husband that we need to purchase a toddler sized Tula. You notice a trend? I LOVE soft structured carriers!

So this month of July, Bibi and I thought it would be really fun to dedicate each day to a certain babywearing theme… tandem babywearing or napping carries or daddies wearing their babies… and have each of you post pictures pertaining to the theme. We want you to follow along with us on Instagram to see the theme of each day. Post your pictures with #monthofbabywearing and that day’s hashtag. We can’t wait to see pictures of each of you wearing all the babies!

 

If you want to keep up with our themes and be able to see all of the babywearing posts, make sure that you use the hashtag #monthofbabywearing along with the themed hashtag of the day. Here’s a list of themes as the days go live we’ll link to the hashtags on instagram.

July 1: #MBWday1 #unicorn – Share a picture of your unicorn carrier.

July 2: #MBWday2 #allaboutcomfort – One of the best benefits of babywearing is being able to comfort our littles. Share your photos of comforting carries.

July 3: #MBWday3 #wrappedup – Let’s see those wraps. Any picture with a wrap.

July 4: #MBWday4 #babywearingandboom – Babywearing as you celebrate the holiday? We’d love to see it!

July 5: #MBWday5 #wahmcarrier – Pictures of carriers made by WAHMs, or pictures of you as a wahm, carrying your babe. Bonus points if you can somehow combine the two.

July 6: #MBWday6 #softstructuredcarrier – Let’s see those soft structured carriers!

July 7: #MBWday7 #fancyfriday – Let’s see you all dressed up and babywearing and/or your fanciest carrier.

July 8: #MBWday8 #sss – Let’s see your #stashshotsaturday!

July 9: #MBWday9 #sundayfunday – Babywearing while out and about.

July 10: #MBWday10 #multitaskingmonday – Show us action shots of multi-tasking while you wear.

July 11: #MBWday11 #wrappednap – Have you caught your baby on camera all wrapped up for a nap…or recently unwrapped laying on a bed? We want to see it.

July 12: #MBWday12 #naturewearing – We want to see nature themed babywearing. Whatever that means to you.

July 13: #MBWday13 #bigkidcarries – Babywearing doesn’t have to end as soon as baby is old enough to walk around. Can you show us your big kids in carriers?

July 14: #MBWday14 #squishfix – From big to little. Now we want to see all the squishes.

July 15: #MBWday15 #sillysaturday – Got any silly babywearing pictures? You KNOW we want to see those!

July 16: #MBWday16 #specialneeds – We know that babywearing can be a way for a parent with special needs to bond with their child, and that babywearing can be especially helpful to babies with special needs.

July 17: #MBWday17 #ringslings – Let’s see all the ring sling carries!

July 18: #MBWday18 #rainbows – Post your pictures of rainbow babies, rainbow carries, or both.

July 19: #MBWday19 #splishsplash – Pictures of babywearing at the pool/lake/beach, especially in a water carrier.

July 20: #MBWday20 #myfirstcarries – This will be a special version of #TBT. Let’s see your babywearing photos from when you were a newbie (or carries that would be great FOR a newbie). OR photos of you being worn by your parents (for those who are second (or more) generation babywearers).

July 21: #MBWday21 #carriedbydad – Dads can of course participate in any day of the #monthofbabywearing, but today is specifically all about them.

July 22: #MBWday22 #makinitthroughtheearlydays – Sometimes we’re all just makin’ it through. Can you show us your babywearing pictures that embody that sentiment?

July 23: #MBWday23 #tandemcarrying – Pictures of tandem carrying, any ages!

July 24: #MBWday24 #toddlerwearing – I want up, I want down, I want up, down. Show us those tots having uppies.

July 25: #MBWday25 #carriedbymysibling – Calling all sibling carries.

July 26: #MBWday26 #carryingmydolls – Let’s see those itty bitty mamas and papas caring for their babies.

July 27: #MBWday27 #breastfeedingcarries – Got any nursing shots while you were babywearing? We wanna see them.

July 28: #MBWday28 #backcarry – Can we see your back carry photos?

July 29: #MBWday29 #safelycarrying – Show us your babywearing safety. Close enough to kiss, deep seats, leg positions, etc.

July 30: #MBWday30 #carryingexpert – Show us your most advanced carry.

July 31: #MBWday31 #myfavoritecarry – Feel free to go any direction you want with this. Show us your favorite type of carry. Your favorite carrier, or get creative. Thanks so much for participating this month!!!

 

Posted on

Working From Home: The Struggle is Real


I think about this all the time. I have this beautiful opportunity to be home with my family while my children are small. It is absolutely precious to me. However, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have financial stresses. It’s much less than when our first born was a baby and we had stacks of medical bills, but it’s there. As our family grows, our expenses tend to grow, and so I’ve always looked for ways to contribute to our monthly budget.

Most of the opportunities I’ve searched for have been work from home opportunities from freelance writing and translation, to website moderation, to consulting, and now business ownership. I know that Katie has had a similar path. She’s a frugal coupon clipping ninja, and has done direct sales, sold for profit at consignment sales, and now (with me) owns her own business.

We now have more freedom and flexibility to make our business exactly what we want, and yet it’s also especially daunting to have a world of possibilities in front of us. Often we don’t know exactly how to get where we want to go. So we spend a lot of time reading and researching. As new business owners, it’s absolutely daunting to try to figure out which sources are legitimate and which ones aren’t

So I was excited when I learned that Ultimate Bundles was going to be releasing a work at home bundle this year. I have been purchasing their Ultimate Homemaking Bundle for years, and been truly pleased. If you don’t know what an Ultimate Bundle is, that’s okay. I didn’t know at first either. Ultimate Bundles is a company that scours the internet far and wide for the best resources available on a topic and then packages them all together at a steep discount. The work at home bundle is a 98% discount. It has $2000 worth of resources packed into it plus $500 worth of bonuses and it’s sold for a limited time (only 6 days) for less than 50 bucks.

Katie and I thought about whether or not sharing an ultimate bundle was the right choice for the Crunchy Swap blog, but we’re pretty sure that if you’re interested in selling your baby items, that you’ll benefit from these resources.

We think you guys will definitely be interested in checking out the section on Etsy and Product sales. Ahem…that could also help you with your sales here. In addition, the title by Loralee Hutton called Work Less…Spend Less looks intriguing.

I’m looking forward to reading FindMe: An SEO Cookbook For Busy Entrepreneurs by Rachel Brenke which is usually $129. But I know we’ll also be taking advantage of the bonus pro membership to ListPlanIt. Katie and I always have a to do list that’s a mile long and we need to try some new ways of managing it.

I’ve only highlighted a sliver of the resources in this bundle, so feel free to peruse the bundle for yourself.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit their website, take a quick look at all the goodness that comes in this package, then click the “Get my copy now!” button to go through their simple and secure 3-step checkout process.
  2. You’ll receive an email with a login to their online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading your eBooks, signing up for your eCourses, and redeeming your free bonus offers.
  3. Use their Getting Started Guide to pick the topic you want to tackle first and achieve your work-at-home dreams!

The most important detail, though, is that this bundle is available for just six days! After Monday night, June 12th, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

I’d hate for you to miss out, so CLICK HERE to learn more or buy the bundle.

It’s even backed by a 100% happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you.

You deserve to do the work you love. You shouldn’t have to wait any longer to finally find the work freedom you’ve been looking for, or the work + life balance you’ve been waiting to achieve.

Learn more or get your bundle HERE: https://us154.isrefer.com/go/UWAHB/a4888/

(Psst… the bundle goes away at 11:59pm Eastern on Monday, June 12th, so don’t wait!)

motionmailapp.com

Posted on

Selling Used Baby Items the Easy Way

One of the benefits that you hear about cloth diapers, baby carriers, and other crunchy items is that they retain their value. This is so very true. And yet, it’s simply not as easy as snap a pic and post. It can be very overwhelming to get started. Selling a cloth diaper stash is not as simple as putting a tag on your item and putting it in the garage sale pile. We’re happy to walk you through every step of the process.

Choosing a Platform

Selling local brings local prices: You can only sell at the price that a local market will bear. If your town doesn’t have a thriving cloth community, it may be difficult to get the 70-85% of retail value that diapers can bring in. The absolute best local price that you can get locally is to join a local diaper swap with garage sales leaving you with the worst price.

Selling on consignment saves time: There are a few places around the internet that allow you to sell your cloth diapers on consignment. Crunchy Swap is one of them. Selling as a consignor is probably the easiest method of selling. You can pack your fluff up and send it off (or if you’re local go to a local drop off). Then you just wait for paypal to notify you of your payment. However, you won’t get as much commission off of your sold items as you will selling them yourself. While you’ll be able to charge internet prices for your items, you will have to split that commission with the platform you’re selling on. Its how they justify spending the time to photograph and write postings, etc. You can learn more about consignment, at Crunchy Swap here.

Swap groups and forums: On some platforms you’ll need to babysit your posting. I have always had trouble posting in Facebook swaps for this reason.  Active groups tend to have lots of rules for how often you can “bump” your listing, but it’s necessary to “bump” listings to get attention for your item(s). Most groups or forums have a limited number of times that you’re allowed to “bump” in a day, and it’s very important to adhere to those rules, because your posting can be removed without warning. That’s a heartbreaking outcome, as I’ve seen people close to making a sale comment one too many times when responding to an interested buyer and lose their post completely…and lose the contact information of the mom they were chatting with along with the post. Moderators in swaps and forums are usually unpaid volunteers, and they’re usually busy moms who are trying to keep the group clean, neat, and fair. So it’s not their fault, it’s just part of the platform.

Marketplaces: As you know Crunchy Swap is a marketplace, and so is eBay. Its no secret that we think we’ve created the best marketplace for selling crunchy items. But we understand that savvy vendors do their homework. Some things to look for when choosing the easiest place to sell.

  • Fee structure: Some platforms charge a per listing fee. That makes sense for eBay because they sell anything and everything. At Crunchy Swap we get that the items we sell are for a specific stage in life. Once you’ve sold off your stash, you may not ever sell another cloth diaper….but during the period when you’re selling, you might sell a lot of them. We don’t ever charge a listing fee. In order to cover our costs of hosting the listings, we instead charge a $5  Vendor fee that gets you access to the Vendor dashboard for 6 months. If you still have items to sell after that point, you can always renew, but we hope this model will save you money over listing fees, and also give you the flexibility to list one item or a collection of items…whatever you feel will sell better, and not have to worry about the price. To keep our costs low for Vendors we charge a small fee to buyers. Other than your $5 vendor fee, selling on Crunchy Swap is free. And we even offer promotions that sometimes waive that fee.
  • A library of post templates:  At Crunchy Swap our goal is to eventually create a system so easy that you can basically snap a picture and click a button to post your items. We’re not there yet, but things are improving all the time. We do have a library of posting templates available in our Facebook Vendor Group. Once you’re a vendor you’ll receive your invite. The template library allows vendors to be able to copy and paste item descriptions. Making it that much easier to create your postings.
  • Vendor service: The vendors of any marketplace are the heart and soul of it. Choose a marketplace where you’re more than a number. Crunchy Swap is small and friendly. We want you to make the most money off of your postings as possible, and we want you to enjoy your experience. We’ll answer any question you have whether it’s about shipping, pricing your items, or something else entirely.
  • Market values: Because we sell a very specific set of items, we keep up to date on what market value is for specific brands and styles….and we happily share that information with our vendors. You can be confident in how to price your items.
  • Incentives and promotions: Look for marketplaces that offer extra incentives. As stated above, we do.
  • Ability to edit postings: On eBay and other platforms like it, once your listing is created there is no going back. There is no changing a live eBay posting. You would have to take your listing down, and create a new one if you decided to change something. One feature that we’re proud of here at crunchy swap are changeable listings. If you decide to change the price of your item or add some new details based on a customer question, you can change your listings…even if they are already live.

 

Post Your Items

So now it’s time to post your items. How do you do that exactly? Here’s what we feel is the easiest, most time efficient way to get your stash online and money in your pocket.

Gather your items: There’s nothing worse than having to put the camera down every 30 seconds to run and find another diaper or the hood to a carrier.

Inspect all items for stains and tears. If you find anything that needs washing, do that now so that you don’t have to delay shipping to run it through the laundry. You only want to sell stuff that you would be comfortable buying for your little one, so if there are big stains or rips, it’s probably best to put that item to the side to throw away or reuse as a cleaning rag.

Pictures: Now it’s time to take pictures! You want to make your picture show off your product. You can have an amazing description written, but if you don’t have a nice picture, your ad will likely be overlooked. How do you do that? Sunlight will be your best friend. Find a sunny spot in your house and lay out a neutral colored sheet to use as your backdrop. Be sure to take shots from several angles. Your pictures really tell the story of your item, and you want the shoppers to read the beginning, middle, and end.

Write your ad: Once you’re done with the pictures, it’s time to write your ad. You want to be sure to list the condition of your item such as excellent used condition (EUC), new with tags (NWT), good used condition (GUC), or something similar. It’s also helpful to tell if it’s from a smoke free home, or if there are any pets in your home. Be sure to include in your description any special features unique to your item. It’s also nice to tell what you loved about the item.

If the idea of writing your own ad seems daunting, be sure to check out our templates we have available in our Vendor Facebook group, open to Vendors. These templates allow you to copy and paste and tweak for your specific items.

Upload your pictures to the ad.

Set your price: Again, our market value list is perfect to help with this, mark how many you have, and hit the post button.

That’s it! Once you post the ad, share with your friends that you’ve got items for sale, and wait for your buyer to come along. You may have enquiries from potential customers, that you’ll want to be sure to answer quickly to receive positive feedback. Once your item sells, it’s always nice to reach out to the customer, thank them, and let them know when the item will ship and provide a tracking number if applicable.

If you’d like access to our Market Value list that we normally reserve for Crunchy Swap Vendors, sign up for our mailing list to gain access.

Posted on

Diapering on a Budget: A 3 Part Series

Welcome to our 3 part series about cloth diapering on a budget.

In the used cloth diaper space your dollar can stretch much further, but a very limited budget does still limit your options some. We’ve broken our budget categories into 3 groups $100, $100-200, and $200+. Today we’ll talk about the hundred dollar budget and what you can do with it.

Aside from what your cloth diaper budget is, there are a couple other questions to ask yourself. Is easy laundry care more important to you, or easy diaper changes? Prefolds are the easiest diapers to care for. Bar none. There are actually some detail and intricacies about each cloth diaper type, but those are other posts for other days.

We consider fitted diapers and covers to be a good second choice for ease of care. They do have a few more folds to rinse out, but overall, a good ease of care option.

The other option for this budget tier is the oh so famous and loved pocket diaper. It makes for a slightly more difficult laundry process (lots of folds to rinse out, and one must also unstuff and restuff them), plus covers must also be changed as well as inserts at every changing. Also, because these diapers tend to be synthetic, care for them can be a little more tricky.

Below is a flow chart to show how we organized the decision making process for spending a hundred dollar diaper budget. We were pretty generous with the number of diapers needed in a 24 hour period. So you could likely get away with longer between washes than what we have below.

If you are in need of a detailed shopping list complete with brands and typical pricing, opt-in to our mailing list for our printable shopping list.

Get your printable shopping list

* indicates required




Posted on

Calling All Crunchy Enthusiasts

We have big ideas for this community. But maybe we should back up for a moment. Who are we?

Crunchy Swap was started by two friends Katie, and Bibi. We wanted to create a place where parents could come to save and make money on their cloth diaper stashes, baby carriers, and nursing items.