Dylan's blog

Bad Product Image: We're Sorry

We sent this email to all our customers today:

Hey MonkeyHuggers!

You may have noticed this picture on our site or in our packaging:

We wanted to give you a heads up that that way of carrying your baby isn't a good idea.

When we took the pic, we thought it looked cool, Leah was in control and baby Nash was ok. However, we realize that it may be sending the wrong message and many may try to hold their baby that way. DON'T do it! For safe methods, check out our baby sling instructions.

We're very sorry and hope that you'll forgive us. Next week we're going to release a baby sling safety ebook - so keep an eye out for it.

Group Hug!
Leah, Dylan, Clint, Carrie

Love & Marriage: 6 Tips to make Your Marriage Rock!

Love picMy mom recently gave a presentation at a church meeting about marriage and how to make it better. She's been married for 37 years so I think she knows what she's talking about! Here's what she had to say:

I put together just a few pieces of advice that I think would help any marriage be better. I’ve illustrated them with stories; most are true, and they all get the point across.

1. Try to be a cheerful person.

A wise rabbi said, “Receive all people with a cheerful expression.”

How does a man feel with a woman who continuously looks angry or sad or irritated or frustrated? The fact that you might be feeling unhappy does not entitle you to inflict your bad mood on others.

It’s true that you can’t always control what you are feeling, but you can always control how you express yourself. You would prefer to be greeted by someone in a cheerful, pleasant manner, wouldn’t you? So would your husband.

Why Google Loves Us!

Google loves us. Who is us you might ask? See for yourself. Anyways, back to point at hand. Google loves HugaMonkey. They love us so much they sent us a "We're a Favorite Place on Google" packet. Inside the packet is a little decal (see pic) that we can put on our door or window. The funny thing is is that our physical address is just my house. So when friends come over and see the decal, they feel like they're visiting a special place. And they are.

According to Google, between July and September over 2,000 people used our Google Maps listing. That's awesome! 55 of them looked for driving directions or other information. If you thought about coming by our store, you're in for a surprise. We don't have a physical store. In fact, we don't have a supply of baby carriers here either. All that stuff is down the road at Rumble Tuff.

Thanks for making us a fav place on Google!

-Dylan

HugaMonkey's Black Friday - Buy 1 Get 1 Free

Black Friday can be a fun day. You can score some sweet goodies at a great price. However, there are some downfalls. Usually you have to get in line very early in the morning and the spirit of Christmas seems to be hard to wake up.

Don't sweat! You can get a fantastic deal on a HugaMonkey baby carrier and you don't have to leave your house!

We're very thankful for you and your cute babies. We have a sweet gift for you, your friends, your family.

On Friday (11/27/09) all HugaMonkey baby slings will be buy 1 get 1 free!

Simply add any 2 baby carriers to your cart and use coupon code "FRIDAY09" when checking out.

Happy Huggin and Happy Thanksgiving!

The HugaMonkey Brigade

HugaMonkey Is Going Live!

You can watch a recording of the broadcast right here at HugaMonkey: [node:681 ,title="November 2009 HugaMonkey Broadcast"]

Quick Read:

What: Live HugaMonkey Broadast

When: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hugamonkey

Where: Friday November 20th @ 1 pm MST

Long Read:

We're starting a new party. At least once per month Leah will do a real live in person real life LIVE broadcast! The first one is this Friday at 1 pm MST. This will be a chance for you to ask questions about how to use your baby carrier, why we're so crazy and anything you can think of. We want this to be a fun way for us to meet and a chance for us to help out.

We're using ustream and you can watch it at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hugamonkey. You don't need a camera to watch. All you need is a computer and internet connection.

You can ask questions through the chat module, Twitter, HugaMonkey Facebook Page (facebook.com/hugamonkey) or send an email to dylan AT hugamonkey - DOT - com.

When you go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hugamonkey, you may get a box telling you that you need an account. You don't! Just click the X to get past the box.

Destroy Diabetes with Ross' Gator Crusaders

Dear Monkeyhuggers,

In October our friends (Felker Family) will be walking in the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Their son, Ross, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

He has a strict diet, tests his blood sugar levels and takes insulin shots several times a day. This awesome kid gives himself the injections in his arms, thighs, and abdomen. He will receive over 1450 finger sticks per year and over 1450 shots per year!

To learn more about Ross, take a look at this video:


 

 

Because Ross love the Florida Gators, they formed Ross’s Gator Crusaders to encourage and support him. They formed the team in order to do two things; 

raise money to further the research required to find a cure, and

to provide Ross with support and let him know that he is not alone in his fight against diabetes.

72 Hour Kit: The How, What and Why

Preparedness Pro Kellene Bishop put together a great blog post on 72 hour kits. She stresses that a kit's purpose should be to help you if you need to leave in a hurry. A 72 hour kit is not a destination, rather a connecting flight.

She discusses the importance of transporting your kit, making sure you have enough supplies for little children, packing your kit. Important documents such as wills, identification units should be a part of your kit.

HugaMonkey Reviews on the Internets

I found these reviews of HugaMonkey the other day.

Sweet Life in the Valley: She enjoys the neutral colors because daddy can wear a baby sling as well.

Mom of 2 Girls: She likes the organic baby sling best because "it's the most comfy". I tend to agree!

Northwest Nesting: She likes to breastfeed in her HugaMonkey baby sling.

BlogHer Mom Loves HugaMonkey

We recently sent 2 baby slings to mommyblogger76 to use at BlogHer 09 Conference and to give away.

Take a look at her HugaMonkey review to learn why she liked using her HugaMonkey at the conference.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on her blog because she'll be giving away a HugaMonkey sling soon!

Calling All Blogher Conference Moms

Know any moms bringing babies to BlogHer? We're giving away free baby slings for attendees!

http://www.hugamonkey.com/free-hugamonkey-baby-slings-blogher-moms

Spread the Love. HugaMonkey Flier with Discount Code

Many people have asked for ways to share HugaMonkey baby slings. Here is a PDF you can download, share, print.

There is a discount code included in the PDF!

Make Your Vacation Great With A Baby Sling

A newborn baby is an amazing addition to any family because he or she will immediately bring a couple closer together and will create a sense of unity that will last a lifetime. With that being said, a newborn baby can also be difficult to deal with because he or she will need your undivided attention 100% of the time.

Baby slings are devices that have been designed to allow you to pay attention to your baby constantly, without having to sacrifice your freedom. This is because a baby sling is a hands-free baby carrying device, which makes it easy for you to get your work done around the house and do your shopping, all while keeping your baby as close as possible to you.

Babies are more comfortable the closer they are to you and if your baby is always with you, you will not have to worry about the baby getting into any trouble. The majority of injuries to newborns and infants occur when the parent is not around, so a baby sling can easy allow you to keep your baby from harm, no matter what you are doing.

Your baby sling will adjust to both you and your baby's bodies, so you will not have to spend time finding the perfect fit, as it will find this fit for you. Baby slings are also durable enough that even as your baby ages, it will still be strong enough to offer him or her the support that he or she needs.

Many products like the baby sling will never offer you the customer support that you desire, but that is simply not the case with these products. HugaMonkey Baby slings come with a 100% money back guarantee, which means that if you are not completely satisfied with your baby sling, simply return it for a full refund.

How Parents Maintain Sanity - The Necessity Of The Baby Sling

Babies are a joy to have around the house because they show us exactly how precious life can be. They are absolutely perfect when they are born and watching them grow is one of the most rewarding experiences that a human being can have. With that being said, it can be extremely tiring carrying a baby around non-stop because babies need 100% of our attention 100% of the time.

Carrying a baby around is an exhausting experience for both mothers and fathers because they truly are much heavier than they look. Luckily, baby slings are around to make the lives of parents much easier than ever before. This is because a baby sling allows parents to carry their babies close to them, without the use of their hands.

These items are specially designed to keep your baby both safe and comfortable, while taking much of the stress off of your body. You will definitely be surprised by how well baby slings work because unlike some baby carrying devices, a baby sling will hold your baby in a comfortable position.

Now you can easily carry your baby everywhere you go thanks to this original design, without worrying about your baby being disturbed. In fact, you baby will feel as though he or she is asleep in a crib all day long, but you will never have to worry about anything happening to the baby because he or she will be with you at all times. If you are having trouble getting around with your baby, remember to pick up a baby sling.

One great feature of baby slings is that they are not bulky and are made with a streamlined fabric that is not any larger than it needs to be. Many devices of this type feel as though they need plastic and other materials in order to keep your baby safe, but the designers at HugaMonkey know that naturally designed products are always much safer and they are more comfortable as well.

Preparing for Baby - Must Have Baby Gear

There's a lot that goes into preparing for a new baby because a baby is a tiny bundle of completely helpless love. You need to prepare the house, the room, the car, any siblings, and even mom and dad. While some of the preparation is definitely mental and emotional, most of it centers on making sure baby has all of the necessary little items. There are a lot, to be sure. While you'll probably never have quite enough of what you need, here are a few necessary items to get before baby is born.

We'll start with the bigger items. The car seat is the most important thing you can't leave the hospital unless you can strap the baby safely in the car, so make sure you get one. If you want a stroller, which you will need unless you like the idea of carrying that baby everywhere, invest in a car seat/stroller combo. These are extremely nice. The car seat usually has a base that stays permanently in the car. You can snap the seat into the car or snap it into the stroller as needed. Very convenient for when your baby isn't sitting up.

The next thing you'll need is a bassinet or a crib. The bassinets are wonderful because they can go right by the bed where you can simply reach over and pick up the baby if you need to do a midnight feeding. If you want to save money then you can simply get a crib. Baby can sleep in this until he is at least two... old enough not to roll off the toddler bed.

While there are plenty of larger items, such as a swing and bouncer, the car seat and bed are the most important. You could fill your house with small baby items, but here are a few essentials. Necessary clothes consist of two or three nightgowns with elastic or a drawstring around the bottom, eight undershirts (onesies), at least four pairs of footed pajamas, two hats, and a package of socks (six pairs). For bath time make sure you have a hooded towel or a couple hooded towels (so you don't have to do wash quite as often) baby washcloths, and baby soap.

Cool HugaMonkey Review

I have Google Alerts set up to notify me anytime HugaMonkey is mentioned on the intertubes. Its a great way to keep track of what people are saying about a particular subject. I even have a Google Alert for my name.

A few weeks ago, Alerts found this little gem. It's a great non biased review of HugaMonkey baby slings.

I like the author's style. She is very concise and to the point. I also enjoyed how she broke it down into positives and negatives.

Thanks Shay!

And We're Black...

We ran out of black baby slings this week but we're back in black!

I ran down to the manufacturer (just down the street, how convenient :) to double check our stock and we're good to go.

Black sells out so fast but we have more. Parent's must love it because it matches everything.

HugaMonkey? That's a Weird Name!

Our (Leah and Dylan Higginbotham) company is called HugaMonkey. We make and sell baby slings!

When we decided to start the company we knew that it would start out online and have a strong ninternet presence.

We brought my buddy (Clint Eagar) along because he had created and sold an internet business before.

Clint and I spent several days coming up with different names that might convey a baby sling in use.

As we came up with the names, we'd check to see if the domain was available. One after another, our clever names (wraparoo, cuddlebug, etc...) were shot down.

We got on a "huga" kick with hugakid, hugabug until we came to hugamonkey. It was funny and memorable. Luckily the domain was available, so we snagged it.

HugaMonkey is a great name because people laugh when they hear it and rarely forget it!

Chat With HugaMonkey

Attention Chatty Patties, Gabatha Christies, Sir Talks-a-lot!

Now you can chat with HugaMonkey. Simply click on the "Chat with HugaMonkey" link on the left hand side. A little window will pop up and you'll be connected with Carrie.

Carrie is our sister in law/customer love expert. She is mega friendly and loves to help out. If you have any questions, just ask her.

She isn't available all day everyday but you should be able to get a hold of her in the morning during the week.

If she's not online, take a look at Frequently Asked Questions or you can ask us questions on our contact us page.

The Peculiar History of Baby Wearing

Baby wearing, though a relatively new development in modern, North American society, is one of the oldest practices in the world when it comes to methods of soothing and bonding with your baby. In recent years, many companies have begun to offer slings, carriers and wraps, all designed to naturally carry your baby on a regular basis. These carriers and slings have made it possible for mothers to carry on with their normal lives, while still fostering bonding with their babies.

Baby wearing has been done for thousands of years all over the world. The Chinese have carried their children in traditional mei tai type carriers. Mei tais are carriers that use folding and tying to create a front carrier that is convenient and comfortable for the curious baby.

Ancient Egyptians are known for wearing their babies. In ancient hieroglyphics, Egyptian mothers are depicted carrying their babies in woven baskets on their backs, or even in slings that look much like the modern slings available today. Baby wearing has been a practice that efficiently helps mothers move their babies around.

Today, many types of slings, wraps and mei tais are available for the modern woman to choose from. Look for Hotslings reviews to discern which type of sling is the best for you and your baby. There are many different types of carriers and slings. Not matter which one you choose, you'll find it a convenient and rewarding experience, combining the best of function with the comfort of bonding.

Choosing a Baby Carrier - It's Gotta Fit Like a Glove

Diapers, sleepers, crib and car seat; the list of what to purchase for a new baby is long and expensive. Some of the gear that you might be told to purchase you may not even use on a regular basis, or you may find that your baby doesn't like. But one thing that is a must have is an effective baby carrier.Baby carriers can make your life easier with a new baby, by keeping your hands free when out and about with your baby. Here is a list of a few different types of carriers, so you can choose the type that will work best for you and your baby.

Consider how old your baby is. Carrying a newborn poses different problems than carrying a toddler. Research your carrier and make sure that you read moby wrap reviews before choosing one, to make sure it is compatible with your child's age.

Know your own body. If you have a bad back or shoulders that get sore easily, choose a wrap that distributes the weight more evenly across you back to ease any pain or discomfort you may experience. Find out where you are most comfortable with your baby. You may prefer to carry your baby on your hip, front or back.

Consider also using a few different carriers for different situations. Carriers are fairly inexpensive, and you may find you prefer one type of sling for nursing, and one type for general carrying. Experiment and find the combination that works the best for you and your baby.

Using a Mei Tai Wrap - Tricks to Hold That Baby Close With a Wrap

Mei Tai wraps are a convenient alternative to modern baby carriers. While others may have many parts and pieces, and be confusing to use, the mei tai is the ultimate in organic baby carriers. Used for centuries by the Chinese, the mei tai wrap can help you reap the benefits of baby wearing, while saving your back and keeping your baby close at hand. Using a mei tai can be tricky at first, look around for mei tai tutorials and a mei tai review to find the brand and type best for you and your baby.

When using a mei tai, tie the short straps around your waist and knot at the back. The body of the carrier should be centered in the front of your body. Place your baby facing towards you and wrap his or her legs around your waist, supporting him with a hand under his bottom. Pull the carrier up and over your baby's back. His legs should be sticking out on either side of the carrier. Then, strap the mei tai over your shoulders and pull them comfortably around your back. Cross them and finally wrap the straps around your front, and tie a knot underneath his bottom.

There are other basic ways to use a mei tai. Research on the different ways to tie a mei tai will result in even more ways to carry your baby and keep him safe and secure while you stay hands-free. Remember to practice the different methods with a doll before you try with your baby.

Nursery Must-Haves: Things You and Your Baby Can't Live Without

If you are pregnant and are approaching your due date, you may be wondering what products you should have in order to fully stock your baby's nursery so that you are prepared for when he or she is born. It might be hard for a new parent to decipher just exactly which baby products are indispensable, and which you can go without.

When furnishing your nursery, you're going to want to have a few key pieces of furniture. Of course, you'll need a crib. Even if you are planning on co-sleeping, it is a good idea to have the crib ready to go for when you move your child into their own room. If cramped for space, remember that a bassinet is appropriate until your child is three months old. You may also consider a changing table, but any parent will tell you that it isn't necessary. A changing pad on any sturdy surface will do.

You'll want to equip the room with all of the gear that you'll need for the first few months of life; that is, diapers, wipes, washcloths and clothes. Everything should be in a central location, so that you can access it easily.

Finally, you'll need to know what you'll use for transportation. Whether it is a stroller or a baby bjorn style carrier (check out baby bjorn carrier reviews for the one that will suit you best) you'll need to have the right gear so that you can get around town with your new baby.

Safe Baby Wearing Practices: Tips on Safely Using Your Baby Carrier

If you have decided to try baby wearing as a method for carrying your baby, then you are probably excited about the options available to you. After choosing the type of carrier that is the most convenient for you and the most comfortable for your baby, you'll need to know how to carry them in the proper way, so that you baby stays safe and happy while you wear him or her.

First, know your baby's weight and compare that to the weight limit of the baby carrier that you've chosen. Check out weight limits and new native carrier reviews online so that you know how much weight your carrier can support, and then adhere strictly to those guidelines.

It's also a good idea to practice your baby wearing techniques before placing your baby in the carrier. You can try out a new hold with a heavy doll. Practice bending over or doing simple household tasks while wearing your baby, so that you don't have any mishaps or accidents when wearing your own baby.

Check the straps and buckles on your carrier regularly, so that if there is a problem, you can catch it before you place the baby in the carrier. Make sure you stay away from hot liquids, such as on the stove, while carrying your baby.

Baby wearing is beneficial in many different ways, unless it is practiced unsafely. Make sure you are careful when wearing your baby, to ensure the best experience possible. Always practice with your baby carrier before using it with your baby.

Baby Wearing Traveling Tips - On the Go Tips For You and Your Baby

By now you've probably purchased a HugaMonkey baby carrier and are loving its versatility and convenience. And your baby is probably enjoying the comfort and bonding time he gets to spend with you. Now it is time to bring your baby wearing to the next level while traveling. While most errands and day trips are great with a carrier, it can become indispensable while traveling by plane.

First, your carrier will be great while waiting in those long airport checkout lines. It keeps your child from wearing out his legs and patience before you get on the plane. It also keeps him safe and nearby while around so many different strangers in a strange environment. Just being close to mom can help baby feel secure in a new place.

While on the plane, moms know how hard it is to discreetly nurse. With the help of a HugaMonkey, a mother can nurse without disturbing any other passengers, and protect her own privacy.

Slings and carriers like the HugaMonkey also keep your hands free while managing those tricky spots, such as carrying luggage once you land at your destination. Carriers are indispensable for traveling, and it's a great idea to get comfortable with your carrier before the trip, so that you can use it to its full advantage. Remember to try out your sling carrier with a doll before you travel with your baby.

Friend-Ship. We're Reaching Out to Canada

A while back, we stopped shipping internationally. We had some problems with tracking slings. Some slings never made it to the customer. We used USPS and their delivery confirmation only tracked the package to the closest terminal office. That wasn't much help and the situation became very frustrating. Because of the problems, we stopped all international shipping.

A lot of people were disappointed with our decision. It wasn't our intention to disappoint, rather we didn't want our customers to go through the hassle and headache. We don't want to ship internationally until we can do a dang good job of it.

We got quite a few responses from our friends up North. They really want the HugaMonkey in Canada. After some fact checking, it turns out most of our Canada shipments went off without a hitch. So we've decided to start shipping to Canada again!

We've also added shipping enhancements. If you want your HugaMonkey baby sling and you want it fast, just add Priority or Next Day shipping to your order.

On the View Cart page you'll see 2 boxes at the bottom of the page that will let you add faster shipping.

Please let us know in the comments of any other improvements.

*This message was written by my hands while sitting on a recliner.

Your Mom Leads in Business

Hello Monkey Huggers!

More specifically, HugaMonkey's mom leads. Recently HugaMonkey was nominated for the Leading Moms in Business Competition. Leah, my wife and a mommy, is the founder of HugaMonkey. She has made it what it is today and is a leading Mom.

Please take a minute to vote for Leah and HugaMonkey. You can vote once per day up to March 31st. You can also leave comments. We'd love to hear what you have to say about HugaMonkey.

Thanks for your help and Happy Huggin!

Dylan Higginbotham

The Do’s and Don’ts of Early Pregnancy

Pregnant and wondering about a million things? Foremost in your mind is probably the health and safety of the cells that are developing inside of you. Most of your questions you will need to address to your health care provider since everyone’s situation is different depending upon your age and your healthcare history as well as that of your family’s.

What if you want to travel? Is it safe? Well, nobody expects you to sit in your house for 9 months, that would be a terrible idea for all involved! You will definitely want to keep active and enjoy as many of your regular activities as possible. The mode of travel, however, will certainly be of significance. Are we talking skydiving, horse-back riding, snow-mobiling, river rafting, hot air balloon rides, car, plane? For most women the typical kind of traveling such as by plane – even overseas if it’s in your first trimester - or car should be ok, although if you’re experiencing nausea, it may not be as comfortable as usual – for you or anyone else in your immediate vicinity! If you want to play it safe, however, just ask your health care provider concerning any kind of traveling or sports you may want to do.

Ready or Not, Here I Come!

Parents and baby are soon to meet face to face for the first time ever. How exciting, life-changing and challenging! The most important things to do to prepare for your baby’s arrival come naturally – holding, cuddling, loving, smiling…welcoming this little one to life here on Earth. No problem, right? You can probably barely stand waiting another second! Undoubtedly you will want to be prepared so that your most important jobs and joys take center stage. But where do you start?

Many women go through a stage called “nesting” when preparing for a new baby. This may involve learning new homemaking skills such as cooking, scrapbooking, decorating, cleaning, organizing, or sewing. It’s natural to want to bring a baby home to a place that feels nice, comfortable and safe. Don’t break the bank or worry too much about chandeliers for the nursery since your baby will need a few years to appreciate them, but making some simple improvements in skill or environment may be order, and making a quilt or knitting a baby blanket may be the perfect way to pass the time as you look forward to your baby’s arrival. Decide what is most important to you.

Are you going to breastfeed? If so, you may consider learning some tips and tricks in this area. Nurses, midwives and doulas can be helpful in this area as well, and some new mothers find it comes more naturally for them and their babies than others.

Are you going to want family and/or friends around right away, or wait a while to have some time as your own family unit? Discuss this as a couple, or with those who are your support group, and make a plan that feels right for you.

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