Daddy Talk: The Right Stuff

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Hi Friends!

I’ve climbed some of the biggest mountains around the world, from Alaska to the Alps to North India. Along the way I tested gear for Black Diamond, and learned early on that I had a small obsession for discovering the right approach, and the right tools, for every situation. This is a worthy challenge in mountaineering because the conditions are so variable, changing from day to day, and within each day as sun, wind, and precipitation constantly reshape your world.




Today I have enough gear to outfit a small expedition, thanks in part to an especially adept climbing expert named Mitch, who escaped New York for the Black Hills many years ago. Each time I was planning my own escape he helped with the game plan, hooking me up with lighter axes, avalanche beacons that actually worked, a tent that could handle anything. He discovered the now-famous wool company Icebreaker for me, and we’ve since become friends with its founder Jeremy Moon.

All this equipment is waiting patiently for me now, in closets from New York to Switzerland and France. My search for the right layers, tools, and technologies is far from complete, but I have a new role, that’s carrying me through a whole new set of challenges, to a whole new set of heights.




A New Role

In February my baby daughter Daisy was born, and quickly I’ve discovered a couple of things. One is,


What a mom does to create and support life
is beyond imagination.

And she does it with a naturalness and breathtakingly beautiful ease, through the same degree of difficulty
as swimming an avalanche on K2.
Every hour.


So very quickly I’ve learned that I’m happily in the supporting role here, doing everything I can to clear the path and make things just a little easier for my wife Tara and baby.

The second thing I’ve discovered is I have a whole new set of conditions to consider as I sherpa my wife and baby along here. Things like sleep and food, comfort at home and on the road, the right outfit, the best transport system. Just like on the mountain, these conditions – along with the right solutions – are continuously changing. And for this expedition team – Tara, Daisy, and me – the right gear makes all the difference, every step of the way.


Breaking Your Own Trail

There are some critical items I’ve found for help in the key areas of Sleep, Food, Clothing, Transport, and Home, and I’ll keep sharing what I discover with you here.

I got here through the extreme patience of my equipment testers Daisy and Tara, the support of good friends like MindBodyGreen founders Jason and Colleen Wachob, who opened up the trail a month ahead with their own baby girl, along with some extensive research at local stores and of course online.

Some gear I left on the mountain after first use, like that pair of boots which failed me miserably on a Mount Washington winter climb. Some of it was good but not great. And we’re always looking for great.

Keep in mind that what works for some people, even many people, might not work for you and your baby. So even more than the Best of the Bests I’m sharing here,


Take this spirit of exploration and discovery
with you as you go on your big adventure.

Try things, see what works,
adapt and evolve in real time.


It’s how you become the world’s leading expert on you and your baby. It’s still a challenging climb. But this way you get to enjoy every step.

The Best of the Best : Sleep



Everyone knows you won’t get so much with a new baby. But good sleep is important both for you and your baby, and you can dramatically improve conditions for everyone with the right gear.

There are three main advantages you can give you and your baby for good sleep, that cover your whole day. The first two are for night-time: the right swaddle, and a bassinet that does some of the rocking for you. The third is a good chair, for your baby’s daytime rest and relaxation. The remaining items – things like a noise machine, music, clothing, mattress – all fall into the support category, which I’ll cover in a later post.


The Right Swaddle


Let’s talk about the swaddle first. You’ll discover soon enough that your baby continually wakes up through involuntary movement of arms and legs, keeping sleep shorter and lighter than it can be. The swaddle is a comforting and long-tested approach for dampening this movement, enough that your baby (and you) get the best possible rest time.

For me, Daisy would happily try a new swaddle – whether it was a simple blanket-wrapping technique, or a more structured system. And this happy period would last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days, before she would set out to defeat the system. A born gear-tester. So we spent some time together finding the right one.

A couple made the Best of the Best list. One is a swaddle for your first months. The second is a motion-dampening suit, that helps with the transition from swaddle to to complete freedom.

1) Miracle Blanket



2) Magic Merlin Sleep Suit 



The Right Bassinet


You’ll discover pretty quickly that your baby enjoys having you around. This is pretty cool. At the same time, you’ll find that over-presence might keep your baby awake more than needed, which leads to over-tired and not so happy. So you’re looking for the right balance. And when nighttime roles around, once you know your baby is burped to get the bubbles out, has a clean diaper, and some good attention from you, it’s bassinet time.

Now you have a good challenge. Baby might want you to keep a hand on her, maybe squeezing or lifting her legs, or generally rocking her about every 10 to 15 minutes, just to be comfortable. This might keep baby from crying, but it will also keep her from getting a good sleep. And it will keep you from getting good sleep.

It’s important not to under-value you here. The care that you give to yourself is the care you’re able to give to others. So this isn’t time to be a martyr. You need sleep, it will make you a better caregiver. And there’s some equipment that can help.

As a start, there are some bassinets out there that gently rock as a mechanical response to your baby’s movements. There are also some electric ones that give a half-hearted vibration or small movement.

But our testing took us far beyond half-hearted, to a whole new technology created by California super-couple Dr. Harvey Karp and his wife Nina. It’s a bassinet for your baby’s first months that combines optimal sound-soothing with whole-body motion, and responds in real-time to your baby. This means far better sleep, for everyone.

Snoo, by Happiest Baby



The Right Chair


Your baby sleeps about 18 hours a day. At night, you’ve got the swaddle and bassinet creating your perfect environment. And for daytime, you’ll want the perfect chair.

With Daisy, some of her daytime naps are simply lying flat, no special equipment required. But she has her moods and preferences, and has made it clear that Two chairs are on her list both for daytime pondering, as well as naps that can range from 30 minutes to a few hours.

1) Stokke Steps Bouncer



2) Baby Bjorn Bouncer Balance


I hope this helps! Enjoy your adventure, more coming soon.

– by Mike


About Strala Yoga Training

Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.

It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.

In our Strala Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.

Who’s What’s and When’s of Strala Yoga Training




Finding the right distance. It’s a practice we can feel out and adjust in every moment. Cool thing is when you create a good relationship with yourself, finding the right relationship with others becomes a joy.From @stralayoga training in Berlin a couple years back. We are hoping to be there with a nice group next summer celebrating finding the right relationship.#stralayoga #shiatsu #yogateachertraining #taichi
When we soften, much more becomes possible. #stralayoga #taichi #shiatsu
It’s so easy to stick to habits that are familiar, even when they are destructive. We all have our reasons, our armor and our guard up to protect ourselves against whatever specific formula triggers us. We are afraid if we are more gentle with ourselves, we won’t be braced to defend ourselves, but the opposite is true. Moving like you love yourself in yoga and life is a choice to create a new, lasting habit, a way of being truly you.Tai Chi, nature, science, and the wisdom of your Great Grandmother, remind us when you go to war with yourself, you lose. When you move with whole self harmony towards progress, treating every bad habit you find along the way as a gold mind opportunity to move toward balance, you feel better, your body works better and you have access to more of yourself. You have a chance to do some good.I move like I love myself. It can start with an idea, a mantra, a practice, a way of being. If you choose to let it make a home in you, you will have gone to peace with yourself. Anything is possible.Pic by @jes.lock & @arslanstype @sundanceresort for Rest & Renew Training & Retreat#connection #selflove #wellbeing #stralayoga #taichi
Giveaway Time 🎁📚Long time @stralayoga friend @rainesfordstauffer a bright star for good, has written a beautiful new book An Ordinary Age.It’s so great to see so many great reviews and impactful media coverage for such a fantastic young person and topic. We’re giving away (buying and sending as a gift from me to you) three copies. (3 copies from @stralayoga account and 3 also from @tarastilesTo enter:
Comment on what you are doing for self care today.
Tag 2 friends who you want to feel better.
Follow @rainesfordstauffer @stralayoga & @tarastiles so 6 copies in total)Take good care.We’ll announce 3 winners in our story on Monday May 17.#selfcare #rainesfordstauffer #anordinaryage #giveaway #bookstagram
We share the relationship we are already having with ourselves. Self care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary and takes the pressure off of trying to fix everyone & everything.@bibinsb & @lexluca are great examples ♥️Great memory from a great group in Amsterdam. #stralayoga #connection #selfcare #shiatsu
Fun one 👋Why do you practice ease? To feel better, to be able to enjoy more, serve more, to have enough energy to run around with the little ones in your life or something else? Pic by @inaraa_yoga before class in Berlin.Let us know in the comments.
Every  breath is an opportunity to feel better.
I create calm. When I choose to center myself, I create calm for me and the world around me.Welcome May, welcome our monthly theme, welcome our practice calendar, welcome calm. #stralayoga #createcalm
The mute button. 🤫An easy DIY #shiatsu to practice with yourself or with a partner. This #tsubo (entry point to a #meridian highway) has a way of calming an overactive mind. We named it the mute button in #stralayoga for a reason 😉Where
Below the big toe bone and a little in toward the center of the 🦶How
Press your thumb into this place as you lean in and away from the center of yourself or your partner.Now what
Soften yourself, breathe deep and make sure you are moveable. Hang here a bit without trying to make anything happen. Just chillNow what
Lean away from your partner to disconnect. Give them a bit of time to relax and maybe ask for some feedback.Don’t forget
Ask your partner for your turn 🙌
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