If you carry your baby frequently in a comfortable baby carrier, won’t she get spoiled and want to be held all the time?
Well, some babies come already wired to scream whenever they’re put down and it doesn’t take spoiling to make them that way.
Some babies are generally pretty chill. They dig being carried, and the are perfectly content to sit in swings or bouncers, too.
A better question to ask is:
Is it important to let babies get used to not being held?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: this question is born from the idea that babies’ demands are different from their needs. But the fact is that at this tender age, babies are instinctive creatures. They aren’t calculating, they are responding to their needs in the way that evolution taught them to get our attention and make those needs known.
To us. The mother or father. The person who is mature enough to understand needs and capable enough to know how to satisfy them in an appropriate manner.
Because, face it, babies are helpless:
If you’re hungry, you go get a snack. A baby can’t.
If you’re too hot, you take off some clothes or turn on a fan. A baby can’t.
If your nose itches, you scratch it. A baby can’t.
If you are lonely, you call up a friend or walk into the other room to be with family. A baby can’t.
A baby is completely dependent.
It’s given the ability to cry – a noise designed to agitate us – as it’s only way to get it’s needs met.
So if you shift to thinking of a baby’s cry as a communication of a very valid need, you can start to figure out what is needed. And you will find that much of the time, simply picking up your baby satisfies the need. He or she wants to be held. Babies are designed to be held a lot for optimum development, and they’re designed to be uncomfortable when they’re not being held. That’s why babies who are held cry less. In 1986, the Journal of Pediatrics published a study in which researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours.
Of course, all babies are different. Follow your baby’s lead. Evolution (and Scientific studies) may give us the generalities of what babies need, but the specifics are definitely dictated on a unique one on one basis. If you have a happy and healthy baby, I would argue that you are doing the right thing.
And you know what? Babies grow up and learn independence when it’s developmentally appropriate, just as they learn to walk and talk and eat food without being taught. Respect the process. Respect your baby. He is developing and he will not be a baby forever.
Remember, there is no way for a baby–who is not mobile, cannot work doorknobs or handles or buttons on a thermostat–to be independent. “Teaching” him not to communicate his needs, that nobody is there to respond to his needs, is not a necessary part of healthy development.
“Don’t stand unmoving outside the door of a crying baby whose only desire is to touch you. Go to your baby. Go to your baby a million times. Demonstrate that people can be trusted, that the environment can be trusted, that we live in a benign universe.” ~Peggy O’Mara
So, will your baby want to be held all the time if he or she gets used to being carried? Maybe. Maybe you’ll get spoiled too, by the convenience, the content and quiet baby, and the constant cuddles. Congratulations–you have a baby! It’s temporary, it’s exhausting, and it’s magical. There are worse problems.
Babywearing out of guilt or obligation?
I don’t want you to do that. I really don’t. I think the best thing you can give your baby is a happy, healthy parent. You should use a baby carrier because it makes life easier and happier for all of you. If it doesn’t, chances are that another parent who is experienced with the same carrier can help you learn easy tweaks for making it more comfortable, or more convenient to use. Look for a local babywearing group, or ask local midwives or visit a La Leche League meeting to find someone who may be able to help. If there is no local help, you can avail yourself of free online resources like www.thebabywearer.com and you can always ask for help or guidance on www.facebook.com/wrapyourbaby
I have carried you, always.
Before you were conceived, I carried a part of you in my soul. When I met your father, I looked into his eyes and saw the other part of you, and knew you, and prayed that you would come to be.
Before you were born, I carried you in my womb. When you were restless I sang to you and soothed you and told you how I loved you.
When you were born, I carried you in my arms. I kissed you and held you and put you to my breast, so that you would know that there is light and warmth and goodness in the world.
Later, I wrapped you in cloth and carried you close to my heart. I held you close so that you could hear that my heart beats like yours; that we are the same, you and I, and that you would never have to cry alone.
After a while, I carried you on my back, so that you could look at the world with confidence and joy and know that you belonged; so that you could share all of the beauty of the world as an equal to all that live in it.
Now, later still, I carry you when you are tired or fearful. So that you know that no matter how weary you become, or what life holds, you can always depend on others for support and comfort.
When you grow older, my darling, and your adventures take you further from my arms, know that even in my last hour I will carry you. I will carry you in my heart, for you are always with me.
I will carry you, always.
– Christine Maguire
from the Natural Mamas blog
*Beautiful Blair and baby Hudson, photographed by Petal & Vine Photography
Continuing with the costume themes, babies as animals are always cute. You can go really simple (buy a hat with ears from etsy, or put butterfly wings from the dollar store around your wrapped baby), or really get into it with a full family costume or a glowing jellyfish umbrella!
These are some of the animal babywearing costumes submitted to my annual Halloween contest on Facebook, but there are lots more great costume ideas on my pinterest board! Whatever you decide, be sure to post a photo on my facebook page by Monday, 3 November to be entered to win a wrap for Halloween 2014!
It will be October in a couple of days. Have you thought about incorporating your baby carrier into your costume?
These are some of the great costumes entered into Wrap Your Baby’s annual Facebook costume contest in years past. These are some of the “character” costumes inspired by literature, media, even the corn flakes commercial!
You might want to try one of these or you might be inspired to a whole new direction. Find lots more costume ideas on my pinterest board!
Wrapsody Breeze wraps are thin and breathable so they make excellent wraps for active families with babies. That’s why, to celebrate Wrapsody’s 10th anniversary, Wrap Your Baby hosted a babywearing yoga class at a local yoga studio and also a babywearing ballet class (more about that in a blog post coming soon).
Some yoga moms find a time when they can do yoga by themselves or without their baby.
Some moms just don’t get a chance to do yoga for several years until their babies have grown up (if ever).
This third option is for moms (or dads!) who want to include their babies or toddlers, or those who don’t get a chance to do yoga without their child, or for the not insignificant number of parents who love finding new activities to engage in with their wrapped up baby – bonus if you can do it with other wrapping friends!
You can do yoga at home, of course. Wrapping up your baby for yoga engages both of you and is less likely to result in your baby interrupting your brief yoga session. She is not bored, or lonely, or needy because she is wrapped on you in this activity.
Chances are good that if you have a mobile baby, that baby will want to get down at some point. After having been wrapped up, your baby is likely to give you a chance to do a little more yoga while entertaining his or her self. During a babywearing class, toddlers are likely to spend some time wrapped up and some time out of the wrap moving among the yoga moms and bringing a little extra charm to the activity. Appreciate it.
There are many yoga poses that are gentle on you and your wrapped up baby. Regardless of who is teaching the class, pay attention to your own body and your own baby and make sure you know how to use your wrap well so that the carry remains comfortable and safe while you go through your yoga poses. I especially love how the baby in the orange wrap is doing the pose, too!
Be present and aware of what will work for you and your baby without discomfort and fear and don’t do anything that you are not both happy with. Take your baby’s age and development into account.
Don’t forget your baby is involved with the yoga with you. Make sure you are tuned into each other and are both enjoying the activity. Go at a pace you both enjoy. Do it wrapped up, or sitting on the floor together, or alternating with a little of each.
Don’t forget to stay tuned into your baby’s needs whether it’s a fresh diaper (never do yoga with dirty pants) or a nursing break!
Any babywearing group meeting – including this babywearing yoga class – is a great place to make friends!
This is Sarah, the owner of the family-friendly Om Sweet Om Yoga Studio in Dunedin, Florida, where you can take your babies and toddlers with you to most any of her daily yoga, ballet, and Pilates classes. Can’t you just see the joy and energy in her?
In this picture, her toddler has come out of the wrap while she continues to teach the class. She is using a Front Cross Carry which is an easy carry for a baby or toddler to come in or out of while the wrap remains tied around the parent ready for the next “uppie!”
Not Another Mile: What I learned about strength and motherhood when I had less to prove and more to do
Guest Post by Jessica Schaefer
Three months postpartum with my first child, I realized I could not even touch my toes anymore. I had always prided myself on this ability – and I could touch my toes right up till the last month of my pregnancy. So what was up? If this was the post-pregnancy “shape” everyone else was complaining about, I suddenly understood.
Even if the breastfeeding / lack of sleep / lack of time to eat combo ends up all rolling in your favor weight wise, the numbers are probably deceiving. Just try touching your toes. Even if it’s doable, it just doesn’t feel the same.
Sure, you can get a sitter or hope your partner’s hours mesh so you can take an hour or so to hit the gym or yoga class or train for that half marathon you’d always said you’d do. But let’s pretend (ahem) for a moment that I was too busy, too tired, way too unmotivated to do that. It’s not that I didn’t favor a few moments to bettering myself… its just that they came at the expense of time and effort spent pumping breast milk from already overworked breasts, the emotional toll of walking out the door on a schedule when one or both of us didn’t really want that to happen, the need to squeeze in a shower just so I could go work out because, well… newborns.
Let me just spill a little secret here: it’s not magically easier when they’re older. At some point, I bought a pair of good running shoes, and left the house at odd hours to run training runs for that promised half marathon. I did so well with this plan that by the time I was at the starting line for the race, I’d run just over 8 miles total and eaten half of my energy gels as emergency nursing snacks. I ran those 13.1 miles anyway. It was thrilling. And it sucked.
My mom friends gave me that look and told me about joining the gym. Maybe I wanted to drop my kids off with theirs and come sit on some plastic machines in a big room and get it done.
But I’d figured something out between those late night practice runs and that 13.1 mile race to prove I could: I didn’t need to prove anything. And I didn’t need to get any old me back. I just wanted to be strong enough to do what I needed to do, day in and day out, and healthy enough to outrun my kids. I wanted my energy back, not my waist. Well, maybe my waist a tiny bit.
By the time kid two came around, I had less to prove. I already had that half marathon under my belt, and I knew, if that’s what I really wanted to do, I could do it. So instead, our very first week together, I grabbed my woven wrap, wrapped my baby gently, took my toddler’s hand, and headed out the front door.
The amount of time we spent exploring the outdoors, taking short walks, sitting on swings, chatting with elderly neighbors – there’s no way I would have spent that time in any sort of exercise program. But I carried her. Sometimes, once my body was ready, I carried them both. With help from experienced babywearers my wrap no longer looked daunting, and my carries supported my body as well as my child’s.
With my oldest I’d tried to use a stretchy infant-only wrap for way too long, and my shoulders and back and neck felt the pain. I’d promised myself different this time. And so I fell in love with the perfect fit and support of the woven wrap. Nestled close and supported perfectly, my newest became an easy addition to our life.
Comfortable together, we went about life. We danced, we swung, we skipped. We explored new places, baby content on my front, and later my back. Sometimes those were quiet places, like the library or museums. There, she could nurse and sleep, calmed by my rhythm. Sometimes we found ourselves in loud places: street fairs, markets, festivals, playdates. There too, I wore her and she felt safe. When the sun was out, we soaked up the rays, my tiny one protected in her woven wrap and floppy hat and sunglasses.
The benefits of being in nature, of time in the sun, are immense. So are the benefits of skin to skin time. For both baby and parent! The more I wore my baby out and about, the better I felt. I felt healthy – my immune system strengthened, my emotions steady and sure. I felt calm, and my kids were calm.
And when I found myself, at three months postpartum, copying my toddler’s silly dance, I didn’t even notice that I was touching my toes. My body moved easily, strong and healthy from daily wrapping my baby, daily supporting an ever growing and increasing weight. The thought crossed my mind then, another marathon? A challenge of some sort? A gym membership?
But I wrapped my baby on my back, chased my toddler around a field of flowers, lifted her high in the air and spun her around. Later, as we walked along, with my baby on my front, nursing peacefully, my daughter reached for my hand.
“I’m tired, Momma,” she said. I nodded. “Am I too big for you to carry?”
“Not too big,” I said, “I am a very strong momma.”
I lifted her easily, my arms used to the weight, high onto my shoulders. I kissed my baby’s head, held tight to my daughters hands, and headed home.
Jessica Schaefer is an adventure lover and world traveler turned parent. Her family run store and blog melds free play, family time, and support for parenting past the baby stage. If you haven’t met them, you need to hop on over and look around!
“About seven months after my injury I discovered I was three weeks pregnant with my first child.”
Dani’s story: In April of 2013 I was on a climbing trip in Yosemite. On the first day of the trip, we were bouldering in an area called candyland, and I had a freak fall off a tall boulder. I fell at least 15 feet, and because of this fall I ended up with three compressed vertebrae in my mid back along with many other bruised bones. The bones themselves took three months to heal, but connective tissue and muscles are still being healed, and my back still aches constantly. But I never stopped climbing, because it always made my back feel better.
About seven months after my injury I discovered I was three weeks pregnant with my first child. This was quite unexpected, and I briefly struggled with what to do. Seeing as I am single and still in school studying for a degree in Molecular Cellular biology, I realized that having a baby would be difficult. I think my mind was made up from the beginning, but I had to consider all possibilities just to be sure. Considering that many women before me have raised children under much more difficult circumstances, I decided to go through with the pregnancy. I realized that it would enhance my life. I would now have someone to share all my passions with (traveling, climbing, art, science, martial arts, yoga, etc). I also realized that I would have the privilege of learning to see the world through the eyes of a child once again. It took me less than a day to come to this conclusion. My boyfriend and father of my daughter supported my decision and decided to stay with me and raise the child together.
Pregnancy sucked. No two ways about it. I was anxious to meet littles, but hated the process. I could smell EVERYTHING (including the hydraulic fluid on the escalator), couldn’t eat anything, was always nauseous, and had no energy. I had pregnancy sickness daily until month 7, but it never truly went away. On top of that I was still working and going to school. It was rough, but I was excited to meet my daughter. I continued to climb throughout my pregnancy. MadRock makes a pregnancy harness. It feels a little awkward, but at least you can climb. This helped my back significantly! Being pregnant and studying killed my lower back and stressed the muscles. Not to mention the hormone relaxin didn’t help any! So thankful that there was a way to continue climbing (even though I was limited to just top roping). Between climbing and yoga I was able to continue working out and caring for my body and back.
“I came to realize that we women are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for.”
Yet labor scared me. It always has. I (like most women in America) was convinced that labor was a scary thing. Fortunately I had a wonderful support network and was able to get all the info I needed about delivering so that I could make informed decisions about how I wanted to birth. The documentary “The business of being born” was a huge help. At first I wasn’t sure if I could give birth without an epidural since my back still hurt so bad. But in the end I was more afraid of an unnecessary C-section. I came to realize that we women are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Also, my body knew what it was doing while building the beautiful little creature inside of me, so I trusted that it would know how to properly bring her into this world. Turns out I was right.
On June 22, 2014 I went into labor. After 9 hours of labor and 6 minutes of pushing a beautiful baby girl entered the world with one hell of an appetite! Although the labor was painful and the birth traumatic (she had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and wasn’t breathing along with defecting in utero) I am so happy to have delivered naturally. It was by far the most empowering thing I have ever done as a women. I have now officially met the love of my life.
I always knew I wanted to wrap Roxanne and keep her close to me. I loved the idea of it! My dad had carried me in a backpack when I was little, and I loved it! The thought of wrapping a baby seemed so wonderful to me! Not to mention, so many cultures do it, so there must be something to it! I obtained a few hand-me-downs before I gave birth: a Seven Sling, a Maya Wrap (ring sling) and a Jersey wrap. I tried them, but nothing quite felt right. One day I stumbled upon the Wrap Your Baby facebook page, which led me to the website where I learned about woven wraps. The possibilities seemed endless! We could do back wraps, front wraps, hip wraps, and nurse in a wrap! After scouring the website I decided to get a Bali Breeze as my first woven wrap. This seemed logical since it was summer and hot here in NorCal, and it fit my budget. After ordering my wrap, I spent my time on the Wrap Your Baby website looking at as many tutorials as I could to learn the various ways I could wrap a newborn. I have been carrying Roxanne since her first week of life, and wrapping her since her third week of life (she got over being carried in a sling real quick), and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Everywhere I go, she goes. And she readily accepts new places because if she doesn’t like something, she can always just bury her head in my bosom where she feels safe.
Later I came to realize that wrapping her was also better for me and my body. Since I am still recovering from my back injury, wrapping has allowed me to actually be able to carry Roxanne for great lengths of time. I can also carry her with me around town while doing errands without having to lug a heavy stroller with me (putting strain on my back). Just holding her I tend to arch my back and within a short period of time I am in too much pain to hold her any longer. So when she’s fussy and wants to be close to me, I just wrap her up! Then I am able to do things around the house or around town and not worry about carrying her, maneuvering a large awkward stroller, or how I am going to nurse her. I already know.
Wrapping has allowed me to be close to my newborn in a way that would not have otherwise be possible with my injuries. I look forward to sharing everything I love with Roxanne, since she will be right there with me cozy and safe, all wrapped up.
You can learn to wrap your baby like Dani with a woven wrap. To wrap like in Dani’s yoga and newborn photos (first two pictures), here is how to do a Front Cross Carry.
And to wrap your baby on your back like Dani does in this post, take appropriate precautions (make sure you have help or practice safely until you become expert), and practice the Double Hammock Carry found here.
- Birthday Party for Wrapsody
- Wrapsody Trade-In Program
- Wrapsody on Pinterest Giveaway
Keep Reading for details!
10 years ago, Kristi started selling gauze baby wraps in the United States under the name Gypsymama–the only domestic source of quality woven wraps for those of us looking at the time. Unlike the European wraps, Gypsymama wraps were gauze, which mean cool, thin and perfect for Summer. READ ABOUT THE BEGINNING OF WRAPSODY.
Now her Bali Breeze Wraps are one of the most popular brands around and I am so pleased to have them available for my customers. They are fantastic year-round wraps that are also affordable for more families.
SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A PARTY!
On Wednesday, August 27th, local families from the greater Tampa Bay Area will be enjoying free babywearing ballet and babywearing yoga classes at Om Sweet Om in Palm Harbor. Oh, and free birthday cake, too! Class sizes are limited due to room, so please register for the classes and if they fill up Sweet Sarah will do her best to add more classes to accommodate demand. Click here, create a log-in and then click on the WORKSHOPS tab to register for one of these free babywearing events.
Our fantastic local babywearing photographer Lee Anne of Petal and Vine Photography will be taking photos which will later be available for purchase if you choose to do so.
And for all of you who are not local and cannot be there in person, if you want to see all of the photos from this event next month, be sure to subscribe to my Wrap Tips newsletter where I will be sharing all of the awesome and the beauty of this event!
AND THE WRAPSODY TRADE-IN IS ON!
If you are ready for a new color or design in your life, you can trade in your used Wrapsody wrap (no matter how old or which color) and get 25% off a new Wrapsody Breeze or Wrapsody Water Wrap from my store!
Your old wrap will be donated to a charity or a family that could use and will appreciate it so your trade-in will benefit two families.
Just print and fill out this form and mail it back (by the end of August) with your freshly laundered Wrapsody wrap to:
Gypsy Mama, LLC
PO Box 382
Berwick, ME 03901
Trade-in wraps must be postmarked between 1 and 25 August and must be received by 31 August to qualify.
WRAPSODY ON PINTEREST GIVEAWAY!
Pinning a picture of a Wrapsody Breeze or Wrap DuO water wrap this month could win you a $100 gift certificate to anything in the Wrap Your Baby store.
I HAD TO MAKE A SMALL CHANGE TO THE CONTEST AFTER FINDING OUT THAT TAGGING ON PINTEREST ONLY WORKS IF THE TWO PARTIES ARE ALREADY FOLLOWING EACH OTHER ON PINTEREST. NEW RULES BELOW:
To celebrate Wrapsody’s 10th birthday providing beautiful, comfortable wraps to families, I an asking you to share your Wrapsody pictures with the world! I will pick the winning picture on August 31 and the winner will receive a $100 gift card to the Wrap Your Baby store. Perfect for a new wrap for yourself, or a great shower gift for a friend!
All you have to do to enter:
- Follow Wrap Your Baby on pinterest.
- Pin your original picture (or more than one) on your own pinterest board showing a Wrapsody Breeze or Wrap DuO water wrap in action (sorry, no stretch-hybrid wraps for this giveaway).
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org giving me the link to your pin so I can find it and repin it to my board. I must receive your email by 30 August. I will not reply to these emails, but you can check my Wrapsody Your Baby board to make sure your photo has been added.
When I get your email, I will repin your pin to my Wrapsody Your Baby Pinterest board where we will be able to view all of the entries and appreciate all the adventures that families have had with Wrapsody. You must pin your photo on Pinterest yourself and just give me the link.
On August 31st I will announce a winner by commenting on the winning picture on my Wrapsody Your Baby board. Check your picture on 1 September to see if you won and email me for your coupon: email@example.com
15 Ways to Wrap for Breastfeeding
It’s World Breastfeeding Week when we focus on normalizing breastfeeding so that eventually it won’t be upsetting or alarming to anyone. And so it will be more common and easier for new nursing moms to learn.
Woven wraps can be a wonderful breastfeeding tool. It is far easier to nurse on demand when nursing in a wrap because you are no longer glued to your house. Bonus: all that physical contact between baby and mother encourage a perfect supply of milk for baby’s changing needs.
Here are 15 carries, 15 different ways to wrap for breastfeeding with the same wrap.
Baby Lisa was kept close while her mother worked on graphic design in 1988. She must have learned a thing or two because now she’s the one designing with a baby wrapped up on her chest! Lisa and her mother work together in graphic design now with baby Zeke in attendance: a true family business!
Lisa says, “My mom and I both are graphic designers, though back in the day she called it ‘desktop publishing.’ I learned the ropes from her and now we work together! I couldn’t wish for better.”
Our 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. Read More
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.
- 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. My store is full of comfortable and super supportive wraps for babies and toddlers of all ages and the website is full of tutorials that will help you find your favorite way to use it.
- 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.
The photos here were submitted to me by babywearers on Facebook after the 2013 fireworks.
“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!”
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.
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…
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!*
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.]
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.