If you are new to wrapping (or when you were new to wrapping), did you ever wonder why so many people love wrapping SO much?
Connection between you and your baby is absolutely the most important thing that wrapping facilitates.
Yet many parents are nervous about wraps specifically, choosing other baby carriers instead. These parents don’t become enthusiastic about woven wraps until the second, third, or fourth baby. Then, once they do get into wrapping, they rarely go back. What is it about wraps that lure babywearers away from other kinds of baby carriers? Many baby carrier styles will foster a close connection with baby.
The obvious answer is the comfort you get from a custom baby carrier (because every wrap job is a custom wrap job to fit your body, and your baby’s, perfectly).
But that doesn’t explain why wrap challenges are so popular. Nor why so much excitement is generated by each new variation or fancy finish, or why wrappers tend to be the loudest and share the most.
I believe the answer is related to the therapeutic benefits of origami – the ancient Chinese art of paper folding. Origami has been shown to help those with anxiety, autism, low self esteem, and depression.
Baby Wrap Origami
Like working with paper, working with fabric is rewarding beyond the practical function it serves. It is the work of wrapping, the effort of learning, and the challenge of improvement that make wrapping more fun and addictive than other kinds of baby carriers. Wrapping is something useful and wonderful that can be embraced and enjoyed in tandem with your baby. It is a hobby you absolutely do not need a babysitter to pursue. There is a meditative peace to be gained from concentrating on the job each layer of fabric accomplishes. And there is confidence to be gained as your competence increases. That confidence often extends to how you see yourself as a parent, making you a more confident and less worried parent.
Wrappers are not just excited to get wrapped because of the sweet baby smell and contact. They’re not just eager to show off a pretty carrier with the hottest print. They are excited at each opportunity to wrap and beat their personal best wrap job; excited by the challenge of attempting a brand new carry for the first time.
When wrappers share their photos, it’s not just because baby and baby carrier are cute. It’s to celebrate a personal victory. It’s to share “I did it!” with the community that encouraged them and challenged them and is now ready to cheer for them.
The push to normalize breastfeeding isn’t intended to embarrass or minimize the ways that any parents feed their babies. There are important reasons to normalize breastfeeding: breastfeeding can improve health in babies and mothers, can decrease infant mortality, and can ease poverty.
We are a music-loving family, and that’s why we wanted to make this wrap that looks like sheet music. There was nothing else like it at the time. But it couldn’t just be a nod towards music, it was for real musicians, so it had to be REAL music. Natibaby Notes is woven sheet music to Ode to Joy, the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th symphony, and a piece that most musicians have played. Read More
This is not so much an introduction to Mei Tais as it is a geeky comparison. When I first launched WrapYourBaby.com in 2005 I included instructions for both wraps and Mei Tais. My favorite carriers were woven wraps and Mei Tais and I wanted to teach others about them at a time when there weren’t local groups and spotting other babywearers “in the wild” was rare. Now that my site is dedicated to woven wrapping, I wanted to find a way to incorporate these images with my oldest daughter from all those years ago. I don’t have the originals anymore, so I can’t offer bigger versions, but I hope you will enjoy them anyway in the context of this comparison! Read More
Historical Note: This was one of the first pages on my original educational website, long before I added a store. WrapYourBaby.com was one of the earliest websites providing photo tutorials for wraps (and originally mei tais as well) before YouTube came along and provided video tutorials. I created this page to help explain the most popular kinds of carriers when they were less well known. Note that ABC was the popular descriptor for Asian-style carriers in 2005, and pouches were much more popular at the time – they are safe, ergonomic carriers and not another name for the dangerous bag carriers in which baby dangles by the parent’s hip. This page did not include descriptions of Soft Structured Carriers as the Ergo had not yet become so well known at the time that I wrote this (2005) and other brands of SSC were yet to follow.
Carry the Future accepts donated soft structured carriers and mei tais which are personally brought to Greece by their volunteers. These volunteers are trained in the use of the carriers and meet refugees where they land in Greece or at other camps to pass out the carriers and teach the recipients how to use them. Because of the language barrier and the very short amount of time they have to teach the families safe use of the carrier, they only accept SSCs (soft structured carriers or buckle carriers) and Mei Tais: carriers that can be easily and quickly demonstrated visually.
I donated a wool Natibaby wrap to the Babywearing Group in Augusta, Georgia, with the request that they try it out in the Summer and tell me if the rumors are true: is a wool wrap really breathable and (relatively) cool in hot weather?
How I became a mother, Wrap Your Baby became a business, and you got 25% off a Natibaby wrap this week – read on!
I became a mother on September 9th 2004. It was a girl! I had planned to name her Molly if she was a girl but once he met her, David insisted that she didn’t look like a Molly.
Does she look like a Molly?
We spent our first day together in bed (all three of us) trying out names and the first one we all really liked was Ada. David’s father comes from a Jewish family and we loved that Ada is a form of the Hebrew name Adah, which is found in the bible and means “ornament” or “brightness.” I didn’t find out until later that Ada means First Born Daughter in the Nigerian language Igbo, and while we have no known ties to Nigeria, I love that it is appropriate in another language as well.
“I’m mom of a 22 month old and a 5 week old. I only wrap my 5 week old. What I love about wrapping is that i can keep my baby so close in an extremely comfortable and natural way. Not only does it keep baby close and free my hands, but it also keeps my baby feeling calm and secure and soothes him when he’s upset.” ~Jacqueline
Connie graciously allowed me to share her Facebook post to friends from earlier this month:
Why do we babywear?
For my child with cerebral palsy, babywearing allows him to engage with the world when he was a non-walking toddler; now he walks with orthotics, but tires easily, the carrier allows me to offer him rest and respite.
For my child with ASD, the snug hold of a carrier helps him to organize and calm down when he feels overwhelmed and in need of refuge.
Babywearing allows our children to be fully engaged in the world. We take them places that strollers cannot go, we show them the world that we see. My child who cannot walk without his braces can still go up a mountain, or down to the edge of the sea. My child who gets over-stimulated can still participate in our family and friends’ celebrations and be a part of the community.
One of the fears I have as a mother to special needs children is that their world will be smaller and dimmer than I’d hoped for them. Babywearing helps me to combat that, to write a different future for them, in a world where they know, from the beginning, that they belong.
I know you love wrapping your baby: the closeness, the connection, and the convenience! AND it’s so pretty! And mastering the different wrap carries is fun and makes you feel a sense of accomplishment!
Naturally, you want to share this amazingness with EVERYBODY. But does everybody want to hear? Are you just turning everybody off of babywearing with your enthusiasm?
Mandy is a pediatric nurse. She doesn’t work in NICU so hadn’t had experience before with a baby going through withdrawal, but as a babywearing mother, when she found herself responsible for a distraught baby, she knew what she could offer him for comfort! When she shared this in our local babywearing group, I felt fit to burst with emotion: compassion for the baby and mother and also a deep gratitude for the ability to comfort babies with the simplicity of human touch; for the good fortune to know how important this is for babies; and for Mandy to be working when this little one needed that. Mandy reported that the other nurses were continuing to wear the baby so that he was not left adrift when she went home.
In Mandy’s own words, “I’m a pediatric nurse and had a baby going through withdrawal. I made a makeshift sling out of some baby blankets and “wore” him as much as I could. It was the only thing that consistently calmed him down! Wear ALL the babies, even the ones who aren’t our own!”
Summer babywearing in Florida means knowing how to keep everyone comfortable in a baby carrier in hot weather. Here are my suggestions for lighter Summer baby wraps, recommendations for cooler carries to use with your wraps, and tips for surviving hot weather wrapping so you don’t have to stay in-doors all Summer!
Walking Mums offers Intro to Babywearing Walks for trying out different kinds of carriers
Motherhood is an experience that is unique to each of us yet there are certain experiences that many of us have in common. That’s why other moms can be the best allies and friends and help to keep us sane and make us happy.
Jay (founder of the organization) understood that because she felt the absence of that “village” of moms when her baby was born and out of necessity Walking Mums was born.
Sometimes I hear that wrapping is too hard. It has a steep learning curve. There is even a popular meme circulating that begins with “Dear New Wrapper” and promises that as terrible and frustrating as it is to learn to wrap, it will all be so worth it.
I disagree. Wrapping doesn’t have to be hard.
I get emails all the time from parents who just received their wrap, tried it on and LOVED IT. And that’s what I want to happen every time I ship a wrap.
But it is not uncommon for a parent to try a wrap for the first time and end up with a big mess. Baby crying, wrap not supporting them, back hurting . . . what went wrong? Read More
Tatyana relates her experiences with wrapping her babies and toddlers as she and her husband Frank, always adventurous, embark on the adventure of farming:
With two babies 13 months apart, babywearing has saved my sanity way too many times! Me and my husband met hiking the Appalachian Trail, so backpacking is what we love the best. Only when babywearing your load is much more precious than a load of camping equipment.
I was lucky to meet a great local support group (South Florida Babywearing) and learn the right way to carry my first newborn when he was only few weeks old. It has been an amazing closeness ever since – either flying, hiking back in the woods, going around my daily chores, nursing.
photo by Petal & Vine Photography
We moved to our new farm in Ocala, FL when Nadia was just a month old, and Andrei just 14 months… I tandem-wore them A LOT at that time. It was an adjustment for all of us…new sibling, new bright world outside the womb, new house.
photo by Petal & Vine Photography
With Frank’s unpredictable travel and work schedule, my hands were, and still are, very full… Two kids, the house to clean, cook, feed the horses, clean the chicken coop, start a vegetable garden, plant a tree, water the flowers, check on my bee-hives (when kids are sleeping at the same time).
photo by Petal & Vine Photography
Wearing my baby feels safe! When you are working around horses you need to be very careful, and keeping my baby close and safe brings me a peace of mind. Plus, I am always paranoid about fire ants that can bite little feet. Also, we like to take long walks on the country roads around the farm, and me and my husband always carry a baby along.
photo by Petal & Vine Photography
Memories, inspiration, and affirmations on Frank and Tatyana’s Fridge