Life with Baby Podcast with Guest Jamie Grayson

Ok moms and dads, on the next episode of the Life with Baby Podcast, we have Jamie Grayson, the self-proclaimed theater nerd turned baby gear expert who has become one of the most trusted names in baby gear! Jamie’s journey and no-filter advice are supporting parents one product review at a time and I loved getting to talk to him about car seat safety, must-have products, and the truth about baby carriers.

[Brandi]

Give me the deets. Give me the tea. Things change so much between children.

The products that you think you need, but you don’t need. The ones that, you know, maybe you would have used before, but now you realize, oh, that was totally a wash. I really wish I would have known you then, because you would have made my life with baby easier, for sure.

[Jamie]

Well, now just tell your friends.

[Brandi]

Today, you are in for a real treat. We get to hear from the Jamie Grayson, the self-proclaimed theater nerd turned baby gear expert who has become one of the most trusted names in baby gear. Jamie’s journey and no filter advice are supporting parents one product review at a time.

And we are so grateful he’s joining us to share all that he’s learned from his years in baby gear world. Welcome to the podcast. I’m excited to talk with you.

(0:54) Baby Space Origin Story

[Brandi]

So tell us how you got into the space of baby gear and safety and why you’re so passionate about it.

[Jamie]

So I was working in a costume shop in New York and my train on the way to work broke down. This is back before smartphones for the, cause I’m elderly. So we had like, I had a flip phone.

I had the old Samsung one. So I picked up the newspaper and on the back page, it said, Bye-Bye Baby is hiring actors to demonstrate product on the weekend. And so I went in and interviewed and what I saw in the paper was much lower than what they were actually going to pay me.

So I was like, yes, I will take this job immediately. I will do it right now. So they basically threw me to the wolves and I got nerdy and learned everything on my own.

And I am the one that introduced the, one of the OG like Ergo carriers to Barry, my manager, and then he gave it to corporate. But that was my first introduction to Ergo was way back then. And then went out on my own.

So it’s been a bit, yeah, I’m going on 19 years right now in the baby space.

[Brandi]

What was the thing that stood out? Cause when you said you made the intro to your boss with Ergo, what was the thing that caught your eye with Ergo?

[Jamie]

It just looked very different than what I was used to, to begin with. And, you know, at the time there were other carriers and like, you know, I will never speak ill of other brands or whatever, necessarily, but like they didn’t have the support that they have now in their carrier line. So this woman was wearing one and I was like, what is that?

And she’s like, oh, it’s the Ergo. It’s this Hawaiian company. So this is back when they still let us use the computer.

So it, by my baby, I would like get on the computer and I was looking at Ergo and I was like, oh, this looks really cool. And it looks way more comfortable than what we have. So I found like two stores in the Village that carried it.

So when I would do registry appointments for people or people would come in, I’d be like, listen, here’s the deal. We don’t have this Ergo carrier, but I’ve heard good things. It looks great.

People have had them on. So it’s at this store and this store down on the village. And I would send people to other stores and Buy, Buy and corporate, like we had to have meetings because they threatened to fire me so many times.

And I was like, you can’t send people to other stores. And I was like, listen, you just have to work with me here.

[Brandi]

Like, well, then you need to carry it.

[Jamie]

Yeah. I was like, they trust me. They trust my opinion.

And because of that, they will come back. Everybody has to shop at, Bye, Bye Baby, everyone, you know? So like if they go get one product there, but no, they can trust the opinion of someone here, they will come back.

Don’t worry. And then they started carrying it a few months later. So no harm, no foul.

(3:48) Car Seat Chaos

[Brandi]

What are the most common questions that you get with your work?

[Jamie]

Since I focus so much on car seat safety, it’s just car seat chaos all day, every day.

[Brandi]

Which by the way, I just want to say that you also are doing God’s work because I have seen some of the videos on your page where there are parents who are, they have their kids and some questionable situations. And it’s like, yeah, don’t do that. Don’t do that.

[Jamie]

And there’s stuff that’s like misuse. Like everybody can misuse a car seat, like no judgment. But then you see things with a capital T.

And when you see like people with a flat screen screwed into two by fours in their car so they can drive with their kids and keep them entertained, like no, ma’am.

[Brandi]

That’s a really, that’s not a wise idea. That’s, that’s, that’s not a good idea.

[Jamie]

Especially suspended over two infant car seats.

[Brandi]

Jesus Christ. Did that really happen?

[Jamie]

Like I see a lot.

I see a lot. Oh, yeah. Oh yeah.

I see everything.

[Brandi]

It’s kind of like when my grandma used to say, you know, common sense ain’t so common. Yeah.

Like, like you said, there’s certain things that are user misuse where you’re like, oh, I didn’t know that you’re supposed to put the thing into the thing. And then, but then there’s other things like, yeah, you shouldn’t put the car seat under the, the, the, the shopping cart of your horrible idea.

[Jamie]

Yeah. Yeah. I see a lot.

Like I probably get tagged on across all of my channels, probably 1,500 to 2,000 times a day just for car seat stuff.

[Brandi]

Yeah.

[Jamie]

And it’s intense, but I do love my job. And like, I feel like I’m providing a very valuable service and education. Absolutely.

It’s also one thing I’m proud of right now is that none of it is behind a paywall, uh, because I want to make sure it’s accessible. So at least if people have a phone or connection to the internet, they can get this information because that’s a whole other conversation. Um, but, uh, yeah.

So I, I do love it. I’m on my computer all day, all day, all day. iPhone all day.

My screen time is really something.

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(7:11) What Products Do Parents Misuse the Most?

[Brandi]

Are there any other products that you see parents misuse quite regularly other than car seats?

[Jamie]

Um, oddly enough.

[Brandi]

And what’s your quick tip for that? Or your solve

[Jamie]

One of the things that I see, and I think it’s just because like everybody’s no judgment. Like we’re all, we’re all, we’re all existing. We are also, so we’re, we’re not surviving or thriving.

We’re surthriving is what we like to say. We are surthriving. We’re doing our best.

And one of the things that I see most oddly enough in baby wearing is people forgetting to slide the panels of the Omni. So I’ll just, I’ve learned like there are times I know when it’s okay to talk to people. I have been yelled at more than I like to say.

Um, but if it’s just a little quick, if I can, if I can tell they’re going to be okay and I can like address something fine, but I also don’t, I don’t like to change people in public. It’s aggressive sometimes. So yeah.

[Brandi]

It can get aggresive. Yeah.

[Jamie]

Oh, I was yelled at at LaGuardia one time. Like you would not believe this, this mom, like bless her heart.

She had like two kids running around, a fresh baby in a different carrier where like you had clip, clip, clip, clip moment. And only one of them was clipped. This baby was full Martha Graham out of the carrier.

And I go up and I’m like, Hey, I can see like, you’ve got a lot going on, but like your carrier, can I at least clip one clip because your baby is not securing this all snapped at me, bit my head off. And I was like, I tried safe travels, you know.

[Brandi]

I wish you god speed. I hope you’re okay. Yeah. Wow.

Yeah. That’s, that’s tough too. Because it’s like when I see the carriers, you know, they’re not used correctly.

Like if the, you know, the sliders are not slid down, I’m, I also want to help because it’s like, I know that your user experience will be so much better.

[Jamie]

Or if babies are not fully down in the seat. I see babies sitting higher up in the panel to where they’re not actually like sitting.

[Brandi]

Yeah.

[Jamie]

And like, that’s not comfortable.

[Brandi]

That’s not comfortable for anyone. It’s like, we want to make the world a better place. Let me help you.

Help me help you. I want to help you.

(9:38) Ergo’s Biggest Fan

[Brandi]

Why are you such a big fan of Ergo products?

[Jamie]

I think kind of like through the genesis of Ergo and it’s like at all of my speaking events, you kind of have to talk to the progression of the carrier and like having personally used Ergos and having seen, you know, when Ergo hit the mainstream market, how much more comfortable wearing was for so many people. And it was more accessible because there’s not, unlike other carriers, like I can throw on a wrap, no problem. I’m adept with carriers except for ring slings.

I still suck with them, but it’s just different. So with Ergo, there’s almost no learning curve when it comes to the carrier. And like, there are always things you can do to adjust it and whatever, but it just makes it so much easier.

And, you know, I would say there are a few, there are a few products that I would say like everybody needs. Like, obviously you have to have a car seat. You need a place for the baby to sleep.

They need somewhere to poop. They need a way to get food in. But even though some people will die on the Hill of like, what stroller are you going to get?

Like, you have to get a good stroller. Not everybody needs a stroller. And I, as much of a stroller nerd as I am, and I’m a big one. There are situations in lifestyles where strollers are not conducive to where you live. It’s not helpful. That is fixed by a good baby carrier. And, you know, as long as you have the ability to wear your kid and get around and do things and just also from like, it’s the best thing in the world.

Like I miss wearing babies so much because all my nieces and nephews are old now and like somebody bring me a baby and let me wear them. Like it is an immediate, like I feel a hormonal shift in my body where it’s just like, Oh, I’m good. And I’m calm.

And like, I get warm. The heat doesn’t bother me like nothing. And it is just like, it calms me down so much.

So yeah, just, I mean, carriers alone, like it is, it is a tool, a very necessary, helpful tool.

(11:52) Baby Gear Must-haves

[Brandi]

I was going to ask you that too. Like, what are your must haves? Because I know that a lot of parents are going to be watching this, like your must, like you just named it, you know, car seat, places, places to poop.

[Jamie]

Listen, it might be a diaper. Some of you might be into elimination communication. I don’t know your life.

Like if you want to go that route, Godspeed.

[Brandi]

You do you boo.

[Jamie]

And like, you know, they need a way to get food. If it’s going to be breast, if it’s going to be a bottle, a hybrid of both, you got to slingshot with something in it.

I don’t care. Whatever you’re going to do, just feed your kid. Yeah.

But I do think a carrier is crucial. And like, there’s a place here and it’s this really cool, like co-working space where like parents can drop in and there’s a play space for kids and it’s, there’s a coffee bar and they do like mom get togethers and like small business entrepreneur get togethers, but they’re starting like a baby wearing dance class there. So I took a whole bunch of Ergos over to them because I have bins of baby carriers and I was like, you know what?

I got like a couple embraces, a couple heirlooms, a couple so that there was like a breadth of style for people based on what they needed. And I took over probably 15 to 16 baby carriers for them. And it was just like, here, now I can use this in class or like if a caregiver’s over there and they need to just like wear their kid for a second, they don’t have a carrier with them.

They don’t have access to that. So it’s, it’s good.

[Brandi]

That’s so good too. I think, I mean, that part of community even, you know, having just like a carrier.

(13:35) Disney World Scavenger Hunts

[Jamie]

Well, I mean, I was, I was notorious for like doing the Ergo giveaways whenever I went to Disney World and I love doing those. I need to do one again soon.

[Brandi]

Let’s do it.

[Jamie]

Did I ever tell you why I started doing those?

[Brandi]

No.

[Jamie]

Okay. It’s a wild story. So I, as, as people kind of figured out who I am and like I developed these platforms, like if I was at Disney, I would be like mobbed and it was, I was just like, Oh, cause it’s like parents everywhere. You know, I had never thought about that.

So my friend Morgan, um, that I’ve known for years, we did Cats together back in the day. He was the Wendy and all the Wendy’s ads for years, the girl with the red hair that was like, no, that’s better. So when she was still dying her hair for that, we could not go out in public cause it’s very obvious.

And so people would just stop us all the time. So what Wendy’s did to help her was they gave her gift cards to keep in her bag. And so she’d be like, Oh my God, it’s so nice to meet you.

Let’s get a picture. Here’s a gift card for a chicken sandwich or something, you know, so we could leave. And then I was like, I could do this at Disney, but what would make sense?

Like what would make it fun at Disney? And I would, I’m Ergo would always send boxes to my hotel. I would take them out of the boxes.

I’d get them good and tight and rolled, throw them in my backpack and do like a scavenger hunt at Disney. And like, sometimes it was, if you found me, sometimes I would like stash them under strollers. If I saw a family that looked like they needed a carrier that day, I would just put it under the stroller.

Like I had a great time. I had a great time with the carriers at theme parks.

[Brandi]

Are we going to do that? Do we need to do that?

[Jamie]

I think we should do that. Turn of the year. Yeah.

[Brandi]

Okay. We’re doing that. We’re going to go to Disneyland and we’re going to like, we’re going to like, just like be like the Oprah of…

[Jamie]

You put, you put a little post out. I always do the post, the box of the carrier. And then, um, the, the ferris wheel, the scary, scary, scary ferris wheel over there.

And then the four in the background. So.

[Brandi]

Oh, then we’re, we’re doing it. We’re doing that. Okay. This is amazing. Okay.

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(16:29) What’s the Most Overrated Baby Item?

[Brandi]

What is an overrated thing that parents usually get that you’re like, maybe they don’t need it right now. Maybe they could use it later, or maybe it’s just going to be one of those things like we discussed where it’s going to end up being, you know, the laundry holder.

[Jamie]

It’s always going to be a wipe warmer. Like I know some people really like them. Great.

No, who cares? It will be a wipe warmer because your kid needs to learn how to use cold wipes when you’re out and about. You don’t need to spoil them with the warmth, but then if it’s too cold, all you have to do is this.

[Brandi]

Yeah. With your hands. Yeah.

[Jamie]

Just put it in your hands. It’s not that deep. So why wipe warmer? I do like, I do like a good wipes dispenser. That’s like heavy. So there’s the plates you can pull one handed. Those are wonderful, but the warmers, no, we don’t need, we don’t need that.

[Brandi]

It’s yeah, I could see that. I don’t think I had one for any of the, of my boys. I don’t think I had any of them, any of those.

I mean, I feel like with my oldest who’s 17 now, I did they even have a wipe warmer? I don’t remember. It was like 2006.

[Jamie]

I feel my sisters are early twenties now, the youngest ones.

[Brandi]

They might’ve had.

[Jamie]

I think we had a wipe warmer.

[Brandi]

Yeah. I don’t think I, I did a wipe warmer with, with any of them. I just kind of was like here.

(17:54) Least Used Product

[Jamie]

What was, what was the product you use the least?

[Brandi]

I think with my oldest, I used the majority of all of the products. My mother helped me shop for him. And it’s so funny because, you know, she, she was grabbing things that was so innovative, um, that no one would have on your, you wouldn’t have on your registry, but she bought, I remember she bought, um, cloth, those, you know, very like, almost like gauzy cloth diapers.

[Jamie]

Like the tri-folds, the tri-folds, the cloth diaper, you use them as burp cloths, you use them as everything.

[Brandi]

That’s what she did it for. She was like, just because you could just get them for like a, like a whole pack of them. And she was like, she was like burp cloth.

And I was like, Oh, okay. And I was back then I was a 20 something. And she was like, burp cloth.

Those were the, that’s what that’s for. I’m like, okay. And I used it. It was genius.

And I think for my middle, it was, it was the crib. I’m, you know, it, I mean, unfortunately it was the crib.

I mean, he ended up either sleeping in his like co-sleeper bassinet thing next to my bed, the crib in his room ended up being a laundry holder. He never slept in it. I think he might’ve slept one time in a nap in it.

One time. Once. The rest of the, for a nap.

And it was like the shortest nap I have ever seen in the history of naps. It was like 15 minutes. And I was like, are we turning a curve?

Nope. We’re not, we’re not turning a curve. Got it.

But he ended up using the, you know, those little things that you can attach to your bed.

[Jamie]

Co-sleepers are great. Yep.

That’s what we ended up using because I was also breastfeeding then. It was just so much easier to like there.

[Jamie]

You get more sleep if they’re right there.

[Brandi]

They were right there. But that was the biggest one for the middle, for the youngest. I think I had it down pack by then where it was very like, I knew what not to get, what to get.

(19:56) You Need This

[Jamie]

Aside, aside, aside from a carrier. If, if somebody came to you right now and they’re like, what is the one product that you might not think about that you recommend the most to people? Go.

[Brandi]

Let me think. Ah, a swaddle, a swaddle.

[Jamie]

Mm hmm.

[Brandi]

That, a swaddle, that thing saved my sanity because Jedi, the middle, he was one of those kids that I, I don’t know what it was. He needed like that. Just like, I need to be swaddled.

He needed that. And otherwise he would be right on me nonstop. I mean, he was very, and he’s still, he’s eight now.

He’s still a cuddler. He loves to cuddle. Like, and he’s like, like here and he still loves to cuddle.

And like, gets right in the crook of your neck and just wants to like smell you. Like if he, he’s that kid, like if he could go inside my womb again, he would be the kangaroo.

[Jamie]

Full kangaroo, great.

[Brandi]

Full kangaroo, eight years old, very tall kid, full kangaroo.

[Jamie]

Yep.

[Brandi]

And that for me, I would say was my, my thing. Jupiter, he used it, but Jedi was the one that really, really needed it. Like just needed it.

It changed our lives. I mean, because I couldn’t put him down. I could not put him down.

And even after a while, like carriers are great, but after a while, sometimes you, you really just need your body.

[Jamie]

Yep.

[Brandi]

Like I just need, I need my body, please.

[Jamie]

You’re touched out.

[Brandi]

I’m touched out. I need my body, please. No one touch me.

Don’t look at me. Don’t touch me. And for me swaddling him and putting him on a flat surface, he would go right to sleep.

And I could just like, just like do jumping jacks, do something besides hold a baby. Cause that’s all he wanted. Non-stop was holding him.

[Jamie]

My sister’s, my sister’s nieces that are, and it’s crazy to me that they’re 13 now, but like when they were born, I was fortunate enough to go live with them for six months. And, you know, I, I just remember like first thing I did every morning would, I would tie a wrap around me, but even before the girls were like awake, I would like pre-wrap. So that way, when one of the kids woke up, I could just go in and slide and adjust and pull it.

And I was good to go. And, you know, it was also very easy to do with going shopping like that. If you did the pre-wrap and got in the car, just get the baby out of the car seat, you know, there were, it was the, the wearing and the little, the little tricks or.

[Brandi]

Yeah. Yeah. And I’ll even say too, I loved the wrap because this is a small thing, but I don’t know what it was, but something about wrapping a baby, it also kept people from touching my baby because it’s something, I don’t know what it is.

People want to just like, oh, let me touch. And with the other carriers for me wrapping them, because he was so cocooned in people kind of like, cause then they’re going to have to touch you too. They’re going to have to get all up in there.

And who’s that person? Who’s that rude. I loved it for that reason that I could just kind of, you know, have my baby and like, all right, world.

[Jamie]

Yeah. It just makes it a little insular. Yeah. You know, obviously like a lot of people do use like Omnis from day one or whatever, but like, I love a wrap in the beginning.

I love a wrap. And it’s just like, it feels tight. It feels snug.

They feel supported and like it, they’re just right there on you. Like right there. And it’s the best.

[Brandi]

And it’s perfect. I really enjoy it. I think that’s one of the things that I do miss. I’m with you when you say, just give me a baby.

I just want to hold a baby. I just want to hold a baby. I do miss that little snuggle age where they’re just like, just a little, a little peanut, you know.

[Jamie]

It’s like, I was so used to being around babies all the time before Coco hit, you know, and like, you know, not being around babies for a while and not being around anyone with a pulse for a while, for a while, living alone, living alone during Coco was really not fun for this boy.

[Brandi]

Yeah.

[Jamie]

But I remember the first time I held anything resembling a newborn. I was just like, Oh, and then the first time, the first time I got to hold like a little fresh baby, I cried. Like it was just the best.

It was like, Oh my goodness.

[Brandi]

That’s yeah. It’s something about babies too. It’s just like that oxytocin.

It just like, it’s the beauty, it’s the beauty of baby wearing really. It is. It’s the one thing that can kind of connect us, you know, even just to, to, to each other too.

I think like, because babies are just so sweet and they’re so kind.

[Jamie]

Yeah. They just want to hang out. They want to hang out and smell good.

[Brandi]

That’s all they want to do. That’s all they want to do.

(25:09) Home is Where the Heart Is

[Brandi]

People can follow you for some, so much good content, not just the best baby year, but what’s inspiring you right now in your life in general?

[Jamie]

Oh, wow. I, I think right now what is inspiring me outside of building educational resource on TikTok, which is desperately needed. Um, I think being home for a little bit, because again, like I love being out on the road.

Like it was, it was not cute not being on the road for so long. So I will take being busy and being on the road. And I’m very fortunate that I get to do this for a living.

I will never take it for granted, but being home for a couple of months is great because I went from April through November this year with work travel and it’s hard. So I’m happy to be home until like the end of April of 24. I’ve got a few months to hang out.

I am excited to sit in Denver and just like relax a little bit. Um, and also get to see my nieces and nephews because they live here. I’m like, I didn’t get to see them all summer.

My sister’s giving me attitude. I’m I go, I went over to their house for Thanksgiving. Okay.

And I’m texting. I’m like, y’all, can you please send me your address? I need it for the Uber.

Like I, I don’t remember. And my youngest, not technically my youngest, my youngest is in California, but my youngest niece, she said, well, text me. She’s like, well, maybe if you actually came to visit us more often, you would know our address.

[Brandi]

The nerve.

[Jamie]

I changed your diaper. I got you car seats. I got you every baby product you could have ever needed.

I’m sorry if I, if I don’t remember your address.

I don’t remember.

Sorry. I don’t remember phone numbers or birthdays. How do you think I’m going to remember an address? I’m a visual landmark.

[Brandi]

That is hilarious. The nerve and how old?

[Jamie]

Nine.

[Brandi]

Oh yeah. Yeah. That’s it’s that age.

It’s that age. Yeah. It’s that age.

That’s a fun age. I mean, yeah. I mean.

[Jamie]

They’re all so fun now. They’re all like, it’s so great getting to like, cause to me there’s still, I still love that photo of me holding them when they were baby babies and like, but it’s so great getting to see them grow up and be like, what are you interested in? What are you learning about?

You’re playing guitar. You’re doing this. Like they’re turning, not that they weren’t humans already, but like they’re turning into little humans now.

[Brandi]

Yeah.

[Jamie]

And it’s wild.

[Brandi]

That’s the beauty I think of like babies and childhood. It’s like, there’s this constant evolution of this little human. And what’s really trippy is when you begin to notice the things that they’ve been all along.

So like, and you probably can see this with your nieces and nephews, like that they are, they probably still have those qualities. If you think about when they were a baby, they probably had those same qualities that they have now. It’s just now matured.

It’s interesting how that is.

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(29:30) What Keeps You Up at Night?

[Brandi]

What keeps you up at night?

[Jamie]

Anxiety. I mean, I, I’m a very, I have very high empathy levels and I feel things very, very, very, very, very, very deeply. Like, and I think it’s a, it is definitely a positive in my work, but it’s also a huge negative on a global landscape.

Um, so I get very worked up about everything and it’s very hard for me to shut my brain off. And I think, I think a lot of people don’t understand how introverted I actually am. Like I come across in public that I’m like, I am such an introvert.

Like I have to be quiet. I have to be alone. And it’s, I think over the past few years because everything has gone so digital, that social media has made my anxiety skyrocket because I’m always looking at things.

I can’t avoid the news. I’m always on this. I’m always answering questions.

I’m always emailing. Like I’m always doing the thing and it is so hard to shut that down. It is so hard to shut it down.

Um, so one of the things, this is crazy. One of the things that has been one of the biggest things for my mental health and like the past two years, probably two and a half years is one of those Facebook Oculus headsets for VR. It’s the VR headset.

And I first got it because a friend of mine in the height of Coco, he lives alone as well. He was like, you need to get this. So I would get it and watch like, you know, you’re stuck in your apartment for seven, eight months.

I would watch nature documentaries and like travel videos. And it was like, I felt like I wasn’t stuck at home and as depressed. But what I do now is there are games on there that I play with friends in Canada and like all over the place.

[Brandi]

That’s amazing.

[Jamie]

They also work in the industry, but we play this walkabout mini golf game. And it’s literally like you’re there with people and you can decompress and like have a glass of wine, play some golf and just like talk about work in the industry because not many people function online like we do. And I thought it would have the opposite effect.

Like keep me up at night because you’re on a screen. It doesn’t at all. It is such a wonderful way to relax.

And like one of the courses you can ride a turtle through the ocean. And like I put, I have a nugget, you know, the foam couch. I have a nugget because I’m a grown man.

I’m 45.

[Brandi]

Nuggets are amazing. They’re amazing.

[Jamie]

I lay on my nugget and I float around the ocean on that turtle at night. And it’s so calming and it’s, it sounds so stupid, but it’s excellent. It’s excellent.

[Brandi]

That’s so amazing.

[Jamie]

And I never, I never thought I would be into VR. It’s not my thing.

[Brandi]

But you, but you know what though? I get what I see from that and hear from that is just you creating that community.

You know, the community that you, you’ve created online with parents and caregivers and then also having your own personal community as well and bridging the two, you know, it’s, it’s so needed. You know, we’re not supposed to do, we’re not supposed to be alone in that regard.

[Jamie]

No, no. And I think that’s one of the, that’s one of the greatest things about like just we, we back when we were all on the road with Bump Club and Mommy Con and all the things. An event every weekend. We call ourselves the baby people and we saw each other every weekend. We’ve been doing this a very long time and like, thank God the people in this industry, 99.9% of them are so, so good. And it’s just like, I am fortunate to be able to spend my time not only like helping caregivers, but with this group of people. And it is, it is wonderful. Like I get so excited going to trade shows again and like going to events, consumer events and being on the road.

Like it’s, it’s wonderful. It’s very fulfilling. It’s exhausting as hell, but it is, it’s the best.

We work in a very, we’re very, very fortunate to work in this space.

[Brandi]

Absolutely.

[Jamie]

That I somehow fell into. It’s wild.

[Brandi]

But isn’t that how, how it works though? It’s like the things that we’re called to, you know, it’s, it just happens that way. You know, it’s, it’s something that I don’t, I don’t think we have to force and it’s like you just went right into it.

So it’s, it’s for you.

[Jamie]

It’s the universe.

[Brandi]

Yep. Absolutely.

Absolutely.

(34:12) There’s a Stranger in My House

[Brandi]

All right. So there are parents here who are probably up at night feeding their baby, probably a little stressed.

What would you tell them as they’re pacing the floor?

[Jamie]

Don’t overlook the fact that you’re exhausted and don’t play it off because everybody’s tired. Sit with it because somehow it makes it easier. At least it did for me.

Like when you’re trying to go, go, go, go, go, it’s, it’s too much. And like, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

And for people who don’t have family or community or anything, like I feel so bad for people that don’t have that. But that’s one of the things that I’ve always tried to do with social and like, as I’ve been doing this for so long now, like I had a call the other day and this woman was like, I’ve seen you at two events in Southern California. You helped take so much stress off of my back and I did not feel alone because I had you in your page.

And like, it’s a very like humbling thing to sit with that. Yeah. That my page somehow has created a community.

And like I have a lot of military wives whose partners are deployed and they all just kind of talk with each other. And because it’s been there so long now, I’m so good with everybody’s names and there’s things I remember and it’s crazy, but I get sidetracked. So back, just don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Don’t be afraid to be tired. You will hear this over and over from everyone. It will eventually pass.

Be sad if you want, be happy if you want. Like that’s the whole thing of like this shift in your life. And like, yes, guess what?

If you don’t like that little baby at first, it will get better because that is a complete new stranger in your house and people lose sight of that. You are getting used to knowing each other.

[Brandi]

Yes.

[Jamie]

So like just sit with it and in it, sit in it.

[Brandi]

A lot of people downplay that. They don’t want to sit with it and they’re afraid to sit with it and they judge it. They judge it.

And it’s like, no, trust me. Like all of this is normal. And even just when you said, there’s a stranger in your house.

Yes. There’s this like this pressure to feel like, but they’re, they’re my baby. Yeah.

They’re your baby. And you’re getting to know them still.

[Jamie]

And they’re like, yeah. Did Deborah Cox sing that song?

[Brandi]

Yes, she did. There’s a stranger. That’s what it is.

Oh my gosh. Jamie, you summed it up.

[Jamie]

You need a music box. A little chime version of Stranger in My House by Deborah Cox.

[Brandi]

With the baby. There’s a stranger in my. There is. They are. Like. Stranger in the most strangest way. Like babies are strange. They are strange.

Strange, strange, strange beings. It’s like the idea of sleeping like a baby. What baby sleeps?

[Jamie]

They don’t.

[Brandi]

They don’t. I don’t want to sleep like a baby.

[Jamie]

Don’t be a baby that sleeps.

[Brandi]

I don’t want to sleep like a baby.

[Jamie]

I want to sleep like an adult who is well formed and like, I want to sleep like a teenager that refuses to wake up in the morning.

[Brandi]

That’s that’s, I almost threw my phone. That’s the kind of sleep I want.

[Jamie]

That’s right there.

[Brandi]

That’s the sleep. Yeah.

[Jamie]

I want to sleep. I’ve never been a morning person, and I think a lot of that has to do with being on tour with musicals for so long. Like you’re a night when you work at night.

[Brandi]

Yeah.

[Jamie]

But like I let me sleep. Let me sleep. Give me snacks and let me sleep.

[Brandi]

Oh, let me sleep. And wrap you like a burrito.

[Jamie]

Oh, there’s something so good about a good nap.

[Brandi]

Good naps. Those are amazing. Oh my gosh.

I love it. I now have to download Stranger in My House and think about babies. Thanks for that.

I love you. You’re amazing.

[Jamie]

Oh, thank you too.

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(38:52) Takeaways

[Brandi]

Oh my gosh. Such a great conversation, right? Jamie simplified the things that we need that sometimes we kind of overthink it and really it’s just really comes down to baby’s basic needs.

The other thing I loved was surthriving. I have never heard of that word before. I’ve obviously thought of thriving and survival, but surthriving.

I think a lot of us have been doing that. And when I hear that it’s like this hodgepodge mesh of the two and it’s okay. Sometimes before we can thrive, we have to do some kind of hodgepodge between the two of survival and thriving.

Another thing was the hormonal shift that baby wearing creates, how he explained and shared how holding a baby close to your body can create and release so much oxytocin in us that it will calm all of our nerves. And I just felt such a tenderness in regards to, you know, after COVID and holding a baby for the first time, how he just cried. I believe that that’s the beauty of connection with other humans and the beauty of connection with our little ones.

The biggest takeaway that I got from it was there’s a stranger in my house. I love that he said that out loud because I believe that that’s how a lot of caregivers and parents feel when they are getting to know their little one, that they are a stranger, whether you carried your baby, whether you adopted, whatever the case may be, they’re still a stranger and you’re still getting to know them. You know, you’re still figuring out this parent thing.

Even if you’ve had multiple kids, each kid is different and you’re still figuring them out. And I love how he said that so clearly because babies feel like strangers. They are strange in every aspect of the word.

And I love that he said the quiet part out loud, that it’s okay to feel that this is someone that I’m getting to know. And that if I don’t have all the answers, if I don’t have all of this figured out that it’s okay, because we are trying to figure out this little human, this little person in this life with baby. Thank you so much for joining us today on the podcast.

Parents, caregivers, we hope that this episode has made your life with baby so much easier.

[Outro]

Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents. The Life With Baby podcast is just one of many ways we hope to support parents through all the joys and jobs of parenting.

This podcast was produced by Tiffany Toby, edited by Angel Hunter and Hannah Speckart, written by Vittoria Allen, sound design and theme song by Jon Jackson, graphics designed by Noah Friedenberg, and our executive producers are Christina Soletti and Kalani Robinson. I’m your host, Brandi Sellerz-Jackson.

 

 

Vittoria Allen

Vittoria is a writer based in San Diego. A lover of good food, slow living, and a good novel, she shares her life with her husband and two daughters trying to squeeze out the beauty in every moment.

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