Birthing Goddess Wrap from Joy and Joe

Birthing Goddess and baby's journey earthside - baby wrapOur connection to the stars is a very physical fact in that our bodies are composed of the stuff of stars–past supernovas hurtling invisible particles through space looking for purpose.  And here we are.

When do we manifest our astral heritage more deeply than during the intensity of childbirth–the most downright physical moments of our lives when our very atoms seem to be crying out to all the other atoms across time and space whether they are the women throughout history who have birthed before us or the center of a distant star busily erupting outward against the relentless press of gravity?  We have all experienced it at our own births, and some of us have been lucky enough to experience it when we gave birth to new babies born of old stardust.

This birthing goddess wrap shows the physical and metaphysical connection we have to the stars, illustrated by baby’s journey earthside and mother’s out-of-earth tranquility.  Midwives and birth workers will appreciate the symbolism and the celebration of motherhood that is depicted by this wrap.  It is perfect for preparing and relaxing a pregnant mother with traditional rebozo techniques, and is the perfect fabric to transition your baby from within your womb to in your arms.

A little bit about the manufacture of these Birthing Goddess wraps: These wraps from Joy and Joe, a UK based wrap manufacturer, are all-cotton.  They are woven with a jacquard weaving machine loom under the supervision of the onsite textile experts and Adebisi (a  babywearing consultant and director of Joy and Joe ltd) who resides very locally to the weaving house.  This modern and sophisticated loom was a perfect match to bring out the very intricate detailing in the goddess design and the mill’s extensive weaving experience since 1930 ensured that the cloth was able to be expertly engineered to Joy and Joe’s required specifications for a high quality and unique carrying cloth.

These wraps are made with organic Egyptian cotton and sustainably sourced from CottonConnect Foundation.  The weaving house is in the North of England, and all the dyers are UK based and regulated.

Availability: Birthing Goddess wraps have arrived from the UK and are now in stock in the Wrap Your Baby store, and should reach US customers with free shipping in just 3 business days after an order is placed, or international customers within 2 weeks.

Wrapping Up for Fireworks

Wrapping at the Fireworks

In the United States we really like to celebrate our independence with fireworks.  This presents a bit of a challenge to parents of young children because:

  • fireworks happen after bedtime and
  • fireworks are loud and can be startling and
  • fireworks are usually accompanied by huge crowds and
  • the huge crowd is in the dark in an unfamiliar place but
  • many kids love fireworks.

On Independence Day or New Years Eve, or any other celebration that may inspire fireworks, we must choose whether to stay home where our babies and small children can go to sleep before they become too upset, where they are less likely to be scared, and where we don’t have to worry about counting our children every ten minutes and coming home with the same number we left with . . . or taking them to the thrill and public spectacle of the fireworks!

If your kids are 4 or older, they may have their adorable little hearts set on going.  If they have younger siblings, this may mean you’ll be taking a baby or toddler to the fireworks, too.

Tips:

  • If you have only one child, don’t make them stay if they don’t want to stay.
  • Warn kids ahead of time that it will be SO LOUD.  Maybe even louder than ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD!
  • Buy glowstick necklaces or bracelets for your kids to wear.  They’ll love them, and they’ll be easier to keep track of.
  • Before it is totally dark, and before the firework display starts, let them run around on the grass and play with other kids, if there is enough space for them to do so and you can keep your eyes on them.  Realize that this whole event may super-energize your children and you want them to get it out while there is still daylight!
  • Bring a wrap for your baby or toddler–it’s will give them a safe and secure place to watch from, and free your arms for any other kids who want to be held during the display.  It will also allow baby or toddler to fall into an exhausted sleep on the undoubtedly long walk back to the car.
  • Bring a blanket and pick a spot so you are ready to sit down and sit your children down to look up when the fireworks start.  It is much easier to keep track of children who are sitting!

A note about courtesy:

Some people really don’t like fireworks.  Some of them are children.  Some are grown ups.  Some are war veterans.  Some are mothers of sleeping babies.  If you want to practice good manners or just avoid having flaming poop hurled at you, skip setting off your own fireworks around homes that may not be interested in participating.

All of the photos here were submitted to me by babywearers on Facebook after the 2013 fireworks.

Baby Wrapping on Independence Day

Babywearing and going to the fireworks.

Wrapping a Baby at the Fireworks on July 4th.

Profile of a Babywearer: Edolbina

Midwife wrapping up her newborn baby.

“My husband and I are new parents to our son, who is 4 weeks old. My interest in baby wearing started years ago, long before I was pregnant! We have spent years traveling and living abroad, and have seen baby wearing in action in many countries. From the streets of Nicaragua, to the mountains of Laos, to the riverboat houses in Cambodia and the markets of Thailand. Babywearing is a normal, natural part of many peoples lives!

“We are currently living in a rural town in the mountains of the Philippines, where I work as a missionary midwife. As I spend so much of my time around new moms, I couldn’t help notice that many of them wear their babies. Its not exclusive to mom and child either. Dad, grandma, even the older sister, will frequently wear the baby!

“I knew that baby wearing was gong to be a major part of our lives once baby arrived. Between the unpaved, uneven roads and crazy traffic, a stroller was completely out of the question!

“So when my friend gave us a beautiful woven Girasol wrap, I was ecstatic. When our bundle was 6 days old, our baby wearing journey officially began and, despite the high heat, baby loves being wrapped! In a world of no seat belts or carseats, Babywearing allows me to keep my son safe and close by as we travel and explore our area and will allow me to continue my work as a midwife at the clinic!

“He will spend hours strapped to my back as I do prenatals and baby checks! We are both happy when we baby wear, as we are exactly as we should be, connected and close!”

How Wrap Carries are Named

First a little history, and an opportunity to show my age:

Kristi, the founder of Wrapsody, recently published a blog post about new-fangled wrap carries and how wrappers nowadays give every variation a different name.  She and I are both accustomed to customizing a carry as needed without changing the name (perhaps it is not a coincidence that she was one of my online wrap mentors when I was learning, though she didn’t know it).  Instead of “Front Double Hammock” I did a “Front Cross Carry with the crosses over both legs.”

Later, a pass that went from shoulder to hip and did not cross between baby’s legs began to be referred to as a Rebozo pass, and here’s a video I made in 2010 demonstrating how to insert your baby under both crosses of the Front Cross Carry:

And here’s one I made around the same time, demonstrating a Burp Hold:

This brings up an interesting point of distinguishing a “hold” from a “carry.”  To me, a carry has always been how you tie on the wrap, whereas a hold refers to the position of the baby inside the wrap.  Baby can be in an upright hold, cradle hold, football hold, etc in any of the many carries.  Nowadays babywearing educators almost always recommend the upright hold, so it has become less necessary to differentiate.

So this burp hold was done with a Front Cross Carry.  And this Front Cross Carry could also be called a Front Double Hammock because it is done with two rebozo passes instead of cross passes.  But then again, it was the fashion at the time to keep a newborn’s legs “froggied” inside the wrap in all of the carries.  So any newborn carry had rebozo passes instead of cross passes and you just added “with legs froggied” to the name of the carry instead of giving it a new name.

It wasn’t just Front Cross Carry.  If my baby fell asleep in a Back Wrap Cross Carry and I wanted to provide head support, I would often untie and change the top layer of the carry from a cross pass that went between baby’s legs to a rebozo pass that made it easier to get the wrap positioned high over the back of baby’s head.  This variation also happens to be great for reigning in a baby who likes to lean back in a Back Wrap Cross Carry.

As far as I know, no one has given a new name to the BWCC variation with rebozo passes YET.

Helpful Terminology:

As wrapping has taken root anew in this culture, more specific terminology has developed around it and this is good.  It helps us to communicate about it.  Since most of us do not share a physical village with other wrappers, our online village needs some clear communication for long distance support and assistance.

Every wrap carry is made up of one or more passes and these are the most common:

Rucksack pass goes straight across baby and then up over both of the wearer’s shoulders.

Horizontal pass goes straight across baby and then under both of the wearer’s arms.

Rebozo pass goes diagonally across baby from over one of the wearer’s shoulders to under the wearer’s opposite arm.

Cross pass goes diagonally across baby from over one of the wearer’s shoulders, in between baby’s legs, to under the wearer’s opposite arm.

Once you understand the passes well, and are familiar with the properties of each kind of pass, it is easy to customize a wrap carry just for you.

The difference between a Front Cross Carry and a Front Double Hammock Carry is that FDHC is a FCC with rebozo passes instead of cross passes.

I think it might be easier for a newish wrapper to do a FDHC if she already knows the FCC and is told to just try FCC with rebozo passes.  She will not think she is learning a whole new carry, and she will have a head start on understanding what to do with the fabric.

Additionally, if she is familiar with rebozo passes, naming the passes tells her the best ways to form and tighten each pass.  She thinks “rebozo pass” and knows what to do with one of those.

While everyone might come up with a different system of naming wrap carries (and most every wrap carry is named by a different person with a different system), I find it most useful to stick with the most popular names so that the subject does not become confused.  But you will find that I like to describe the carry in terms that I think may be helpful to someone who needs to understand the carry in order to use it better.

Naming Wrap Carries:

I recently attempted to give a name to a tutorial that my friend Karen made for my website.  She told me it was a Jordan’s Back Carry variation.  I’d never seen JBC done with a chest pass and I thought it bore more resemblance to a little known Norwegian Wiggleproof Carry that a couple of moms have made videos for.

The thing is, if I had named the Norwegian Wiggleproof Carry, I would have called it a JBC variation, probably JBC with horizontal chest pass.  And I would call Karen’s JBC the same thing even though the passes are done in a different order than the ladies doing the NWP.  That is more a matter of preference than an opportunity to name a new carry, in my opinion.

There are tons of JBC variations and the common element is that it has 3 passes, one each: rebozo pass, cross pass, horizontal pass.   As a result, it can offer the benefits of each of these kinds of passes, although some people feel lopsided in it because it does not have the same kind of pass going one way as another.  So people do JBC variations “with two cross passes” and other similar.  In this case, it is called JBC even though it does not have the 3 passes I referenced.  Similarly the Short JBC has only 2 of the 3 passes (and that is what makes it short).  Confused yet?

So I asked some people which name they thought I ought to put at the top of this tutorial and opinions were mixed and included one suggestion to call it neither of those but to call it a Double Hammock variation instead.  Specifically: Double Hammock Carry TAS (tied at shoulder) with one cross pass.

And yes, that describes it exactly, too.

It comes from having the same four basic passes combined to make up hundreds of carries!  You can relate one carry to almost any other carry and which one it gets named after is the whim of the first person to name when it becomes popular.  Perhaps Kristi or I could have named the Front Double Hammock Carry years ago, but instead we were just demonstrating a boring old Front Cross Carry beneath the crosses…

Qualities of Different Wrap Fabrics/Fibers

Close up of All-Cotton Woven Wrap Weave

A guide to the differences between different kinds of fibers that are used in weaving wraps by  Marcia Stewart, the artist/weaver at Golden Thread Mistress:

*Disclaimer from Marcia: this is all from my experience and you may find things to be different. Hope you enjoy the read!*

Cotton:

Many wraps are woven with 100% cotton. All cotton is easy to care for (machine wash, tumble dry low), resilient, and pretty worry-free. Wraps that contain other fibers usually are primarily cotton, with a smaller percentage of the featured fiber.

Some people move to stiffer fibers when their babies get heavier, but I have found cotton to be just as supportive as a hemp or linen blend, if it is woven densely. Thicker all-cotton wraps are excellent for toddlers. Thinner or less densely woven cotton wraps can be saggy, and can require more precise wrapping to be comfortable with heavier babies. All of this can depend on wrapping preferences. [note from Diana at WYB: Storchenweige is an example of a very supportive all-cotton wrap with a dense weave that is great for toddlers and older kids.]

Linen:

This is often recommended as a fiber choice for heavier babies. Linen is also popular in the summer because it is known to be more breathable. Wraps that are 100% linen in plainweave have very little cush because of the flatness of the weave. A linen wrap that has more texture to the weave may have a little more cushion on the shoulders. The fiber itself has very little stretch, so carries in 100% linen tend to be solid and don’t budge.

Sometimes linen blends can be known as “ropey” because they can have less cush than cotton does. So much of this ropey feeling is contributed to by the weave, and also how broken in the linen is. More wear makes the linen moldable and you may find that a linen wrap you didn’t like when it was brand new wraps beautifully with time and use.

Hemp:

Hemp is very similar to linen, but some people find it to be less breathable of a fiber. I personally haven’t found that; thick hemp wraps that are very dense may have contributed to the impression. Hemp combined with cotton can make a wonderful wrap. Hemp provides lots of support for heavier babies without the bulk that may be necessary for an all-cotton wrap. However, hemp is also less stretchy and yielding than cotton, so it may not have as much bounce. People who prefer their carries not to budge tend to like hemp.

Hemp can be washed in the washing machine, even on hot. It’s a tough fiber.

Silk:

Delicate silk is sought after for small babies. Silk blends can be supportive enough for heavier babies, but silk wraps are often thinner and potentially less supportive. Silk itself is a very strong fiber, but again, the strength of silk in the fabric depends on the size of the silk yarn and the weave of the fabric. The softness and sheen of silk is so beautiful. Gorgeous silk wraps are luxurious.

Silk requires more delicate laundering and must be air-dried to maintain fiber integrity. Silk is also more expensive than other fibers.

Wool:

Autumn and winter months call for wool wraps! Wool blends are snuggly and cozy in cold weather, but wool is a very breathable fiber. It can be worn comfortably even in summer because of the way air moves easily though it. Wool has an amazing bounce and usually makes wraps very cushy and comfortable.

Wool can require more delicate care to avoid felting the fibers. Handwashing (either actually by hand or in a machine on the handwash setting) is the best method to prevent felting, and it is important to avoid extreme agitation or temperature changes during the wash. Then, wool must be air-dried.

When purchasing a used wool wrap, it is wise to ask for the width measurement of the wrap because felted wraps measure narrower than their unfelted counterparts.

Alpaca, cashmere, and mohair are all similar to wool in wrapping qualities and care.

Bamboo:

The bamboo I have wrapped with has been very soft and comfortable. Bamboo is known to shrink so a cold, hand wash is often recommended; followed by air drying. If you prefer to machine wash, you can purchase your wrap in a size longer than you intend and then shrinkage will not matter as much.

Profile of a Babywearer: Lacey

Wrapping on the Ranch

Wrapping allows Lacey and her daughter to keep up with work on their ranch.

My babywearing story of the day: I go out to do chores this morning and saw a baby calf that wasn’t doing very well just below the pens. So, while my little one is wrapped on my back, I catch the calf, carry her to the barn (she’s pretty new – so she isn’t that heavy – probably 50ish pounds), milk the goat, feed the calf the goats milk, feed the other bucket calf (bottle fed calf), feed the chickens, and feed the 2 heifers that are in the corrals learning how to take care of their calves. Win.

We have all first calf heifers (first time moms) and sometimes they just don’t understand what it means to be a mom or really want to be a mom. We “assist” 400 heifers during their first calving season and help when needed. Sometimes, the heifers have problems either during calving (labor and delivery) or taking care of their calf once it’s born. If need be, we assist in the delivery and we will even help them learn how to care for their calf on their own. But, sometimes it just isn’t in the cards, so we bottle feed the calf ourselves. Out of 400 head, we have one bottle calf, and the 2 heifers that I mentioned above who needed help.

When my husband gets home from assisting another ranch with their branding, he will go find the baby’s (that I found this morning) mom by matching the ear tag. He will put the two in the barn and help them become a pair. If it doesn’t work, then the baby will become a bucket calf and we will take care of her. The heifer will be sold in the fall. We do everything we can to make it work and help both the new mom and her baby.

I was born and raised ranching. It’s all I know. I want to pass the love I have for agriculture on to my daughters. I want my children to respect, have compassion, and understand livestock. It sure is something to watch my 5 month old daughter get her little arm wiggled out of the wrap (on my back) just to feel and interact the goat as I milk her. My babies are learning valuable life lessons at the youngest of ages…always safely of course! Babywearing has allowed me to share a special bond with my children and to continue to do my small part around the ranch. In my opinion babywearing isn’t only a necessity, but a privilege.

Profile of a Babywearer: Diane

 

Wrapping and multi-tasking with older sibling

Diane with 2 of her 7 children!

12 days before I gave birth to our 7th baby we found my husband had a brain tumor, only making this news worse is my first husband died from a brain tumor as well.

This is the first baby I have ever wrapped with, on his first plane flight at 3 weeks old. Now baby is 4mo and we have traveled across the US to seek non toxic holistic treatment for cancer. Now half way through treatment, we all are doing well!

How does baby wearing relate? Keeping him close and safe had been paramount to making our family function, to making lunches, to walking through airports, to working my small home business, to playing at the park. We are all safe and mobile and it is because I learned about baby wearing!

Thanks ♡♡Diane

Visit Diane’s facebook page to see her beautiful dyed fabric art.  Each sale helps to support her growing family of 9!

And here is where you can make a donation if you feel moved to help them in their cancer-healing journey.

Snowflakes Wrap

Natibaby Winter - turquoise snowflake wrap

Natibaby Winter is here in a gorgeous turquoise wool blend for something highly cuddly and warm this winter.

Natibaby wool is soft–never scratchy.  It requires some extra care, as wool should not be machine washed, but for many mamas, it is worth it for the softness and warmth of winter wool.

Intricate snowflake representations capture the magic and whimsy of tiny ice crystals whirling slowly through cold, clear winter air.  The color and design of this wrap perfectly depict the beauty and clarity of wintertime while keeping you and your little one cozy and close.

Natibaby Winter is the perfect wrap for showing off to family and friends this season and bring festivity and brightness to every day until the Spring.

Snowflakes Woven Wrap for Winter with Wool

Customer Appreciation Offer

Wrapping dad on coast of Maine

Some of my family, on whose behalf I appreciate you!

 

I wanted to do something special for my customers this week and I decided on this special offer (full terms below):

  • spend $100 or more in my store by the end of Thursday, the 21st of November (sale ends at 11:59pm EST).
  • use coupon code THANKYOU50 when you check out (coupon code is case sensitive).
  • You will receive a gift certificate for $50 by email.
  • Use the gift certificate at checkout to get $50 off a second purchase for yourself or as a gift for someone you care about.  The gift certificate must be used by Wednesday, 27 November 2013 (11:59pm EST), after which it will expire.

Additionally, one person who buys a wrap using the THANKYOU50 code will be entirely refunded and will receive their first wrap free instead of a $50 gift certificate!

To be eligible to be the one to receive a free wrap, share my Facebook post on the subject.  You’ll see it pinned to the top of the page at www.facebook.com/wrapyourbaby (International customers are also eligible but if you win, I will ask that you pay shipping-only for your wrap).

SMALLPRINT:

This deal is for a full price purchase and cannot be combined with other discounts. This is true of the first purchase and the second (please do not try to use a coupon as well as the gift certificate).

The first purchase must be paid in full in order to receive the $50 off (putting an item on layaway will not result in a coupon code being mailed to you).

The $50 gift certificate cannot be used for an item that you already have on layaway–it must be used for a new purchase.  However, that new purchase can be put on layaway using the gift certificate to help pay for it.

Anyone can use the first code to receive $50 off a second purchase.  The gift certificate that you receive in your email can only be used once but it is transferable.  You can give it to a friend, but make sure that they know it is good through 27 November.

Natibaby Trees Series

Natibaby Tree of LifeNatibaby has a wonderful designer named Aga who made this beautiful and immediately beloved tree of life design just for me and Natibaby has woven it for Wrap Your Baby in a few different colors now.

The first Trees, woven in a deep plum, I called Plum Trees.  After that, was Green Apple Trees (a hemp blend) and now Wisteria Trees and Winter Trees (both cotton/linen) have arrived!  These blue trees have a gorgeous shimmer and shine that is really magical.  Natibaby Tree of Life now available for sale.

Natibaby Green Apple Trees Baby Wrap

Natibaby Blue/Heather Wisteria Trees

Natibaby Blue/White Winter Trees Baby Wrap

Natibaby Purple Plum Trees Baby Wrap