It’s a nursing bra, it’s a shirt, it’s a baby carrier, it’s Lalabu!
I received the Lalabu Soothe Shirt in the mail (actually, I received two, but I’ll get into that later), and upon putting it on and trying it for the first time, I was immediately upset that I hadn’t had it sooner. If you need a good nursing shirt and you like to babywear, this shirt kills those two birds with one stone with no extra baby gear, and no time spent wrapping or buckling.
Lalabu and Babywearing
I love to baby wear. Learning that it was an option is the only thing that got me through the first difficult months of parenting. My first daughter was extremely colicky for nearly four months. Caring for her required that she be held all her waking hours. Not just held, mind you, but walked, bounced, rocked, swayed, jiggled, and jostled. Constantly. It was exhausting and frustrating, especially as a first time parent (although in retrospect, it would have been much more difficult with little ones running around). When I saw a woman in the store wearing her baby, I knew that was the key for me. I bought a Moby Wrap and life went from barely tolerable to enjoyable. I’d stuff my colicky little infant in that wrap and the growly screams would quickly subside to sleep. As she calmed down close to my breast, my heart relaxed and the postpartum baby blues that had been so overpowering before, gently subsided. I literally wore her all day until I went to bed, which was the only time she could stand not being held. She was awake in there, she was asleep in there, and I got dishes, laundry, and dinner done in the meantime. The only downside to a wrap like the Moby is that it has to be… well, wrapped. This takes a good minute or two even if you’re good at it, which is a minute or two that a fussy baby will continue their ear-splitting cries. If you use a baby carrier like a Boba or an Ergo, it has to be buckled—which takes seconds—but unfortunately these carriers aren’t made for newborns, unless you purchase a newborn insert separately. This isn’t to say that there aren’t tons of good baby carriers out there carry newborns, but there are also many that don’t. In my experience, new babies are the ones that benefit most from being worn because they are so fresh from having lived just under your heart 24/7. Putting them in the crib or the Moses basket for even an hour of napping is a foreign feeling to them. They need to be weaned into those things. Baby wearing is a great way to get them slowly accustomed to the outside world. I like the wrapped carriers, don’t get me wrong. I swear by their effectiveness, but it takes precious moments full of baby screams to wrap them and when you’re a hormonal, sleep deprived mom, those moments are torture.
The Lalabu Soothe shirt offers you and your baby the soothing comfort that a wrap or a sling offers without the wrapping or waiting. You’re baby is crying, stick her in the shirt. No extra steps. She can be quickly and easily soothed. You need to do laundry and he wants to be held? Pop him in the shirt. Fold those tiny onesies to the gentle rhythm of his breathing as he sleeps soundly and comfortably against your chest.
Lalabu and Breastfeeding
In addition, the shirt has a supportive yet comfy and non restrictive nursing bra built into it so during those days when you do nothing but nurse and hold your baby, the shirt offers support for both. The baby goes from the pocket, to the boob effortlessly, and then back inside, warm against your tummy again, and in the optimal position for getting all those little gas bubbles out.
The Lalabu Soothe Shirt accommodates baby wearing from birth until your baby weighs about 15 pounds. This is great because many baby carriers don’t accommodate babies smaller than ten or fifteen pounds. My youngest weighs 13 pounds so in my case, this is bad since I didn’t have the shirt when she was tiny and I really could have used it. I can only imagine what a lifesaver it would have been for me during those first, foggy weeks of nothing but nursing and holding her. Granted, I can wear her in the shirt now at three months old, but she is not only on the larger end of the shirt’s effectiveness, but learning to exercise her legs for the first time. She really likes to stand when she gets excited while in the soothe shirt which can make it difficult for me to hold her in there securely. She also doesn’t have a floppy little head anymore. She likes to hold it high and bobble it all around as she takes in the world on her newly strengthened neck muscles. Leaning into Mommy to rest at her age is just way too boring unless she’s delirious with exhaustion. There is just so much she wants to see. And that’s okay. There are plenty of times when I can still successfully wear her in the shirt: if she’s temporarily contented, gassy and needs me to pace with her, or if she’s is a little fussy. Then there are times when her fussiness turns into great, body-convulsing screams and I need to either swaddle her or place her in a more constrictive baby carrier or wrap. So why do I love the shirt, you ask? When my darling daughter is not inside the shirt, it’s still a great nursing tank that is supportive not only for my breasts, but my belly as well. It’s snug and feels like it’s holding all the floppy bits of my torso together—ha ha! I really feel great wearing it. I’m thankful that the shirt is still useful even when my daughter doesn’t feel like being worn inside it. I plan on wearing it throughout the duration of my breastfeeding days (which will be about two more years with my track record). It’s nice to know that if you buy this shirt, you’re not buying something that will only be used for three months. It’s usefulness stretches out far beyond that, and you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.
Finding the right fit is important!
The company has pretty specific instructions regarding the fit of the shirt and there are some helpful instruction videos you can watch on their website. Most people will buy this shirt when they’re pregnant and won’t necessarily know what their band size will be afterwards. They give you instructions for guessing which size you may be, and then recommend not using or washing the shirt until after the baby is born. You have thirty days to return the shirt after the baby’s birth date.
I’m thankful that they are so understanding about the customer needing to figure out the right fit because I know my post-baby measurements and I still got my size wrong. I was a 34DD before I was pregnant, went up to a 36F with my first and subsequent pregnancies, rose to a whopping 34H when my milk came in with my first daughter (thankfully I never got that large again), and every time my lactating breasts relax after the initial round of milk production, I settle down into a 34DDD. Unfortunately I’ve never revisited a 34DD, even during the year I wasn’t lactating. To make a long story short, they don’t sell bras that size in normal stores. If you have large breasts and a small band size, you know the struggle. It’s been years since I’ve bought a bra that fits and I normally stay away from shelf bras for that reason. When asked to review this shirt I was eager to see if it would accommodate my large breasts and small band size, but also skeptical. To make matters worse, I mistakenly requested a size large, forgetting that I go down to a 34 band size after pregnancy. I got the large and it was comfortable, but loose and I felt saggy after a full day of wearing it. I re-read through the literature that came with the shirt and, I realized my mistake. This gave me the experience of needing to exchange the shirt—which I assume many customers need to do since post pregnancy bra size is just a guess if you’ve never been pregnant. The exchange was very easy and the customer service rep I communicated with was extremely kind, despite the fact that the incorrect size was completely my fault. When I got my medium, it fit just as it was supposed to: a little tight to get over my shoulders, snug when worn, and my baby’s head is right up at my breasts when she is inside. The shirt feels so good when it fits correctly.
Lalabu as clothing!
The Soothe Shirt was also made to be worn like a regular shirt and looks pretty cute even when your baby isn’t inside. There’s no sagging, extra fabric as I would have expected. I can see how that would be possible to wear it this way if you have small breasts or if you don’t mind showing a little cleavage. It’s an adorable little shirt! However, I show a hefty amount of cleavage while wearing this shirt alone and I’m not entirely comfortable wearing it in public that way (well, maybe a trip to the store). However, as a stay at home mom, I’m home most of the time and it’s a shirt I want to live in all day long, accompanied by my favorite pair of velour sweat pants, of course. It’s comfortable, and if my little darling gets too fussy, it’s so easy just to slip her inside the pocket.
The only slight issue I had with this shirt is that the seam at the bottom of the pocket rubbed against my belly and chafed a little bit. In addition, there was some pilling that happens after a couple of days of wear but that could possibly have been prevented with a different wash routine. I originally thought that the flap of the pocket fit funny over my breasts until I realized that it just had to be placed correctly and then it stays flat, so that concern was unwarranted.
If you’re about to be a mom I definitely recommend this shirt. If you’re already a mom and are expecting another little bundle, I recommend it even more as your baby will want to be held constantly, but your other children will still expect all of your attention. Newborns are exhausting and moms (and dads) of newborns are exhausted. New babies so used to being “held” all the time in the womb that it’s a shock when they come out and get put down in cribs, bassinets, and baby swings. The Soothe Shirt is a great way to help them transition into the outside world while giving Mom’s arms a rest during the sometimes difficult “fourth trimester.”
Lalabu is great idea for mother’s of newborns and would also make the perfect baby shower gift. It comes in stylish colors and even in a very trendy special edition print! See all that Lalabu has to offer here.
Here’s also a great video that will tell you the story behind Lalabu and show you just how easy it is to use!