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

Wrapping and your Diaper Bag

A lot of moms wonder how you carry a diaper bag when you wear your baby.  Here a few different ways you can do it:

  • Backpack, if wearing baby in a front carry.
  • Messenger bag over the wrap (front or back carry)
  • Messenger bag under the wrap (front or back carry)
  • Diaper Bag over one shoulder (front or back carry)
  • Fanny Pack

Messenger Bags are great for slinging over your wrap job.  Here you can see a messenger bag with a back carry or a front carry.

Pregnant wearing messenger bag over back wrap.

Galen is wearing a messenger style bag over her right shoulder and the strap is laying over the wrap that is holding the baby on her back.

 

Wearing a diaper bag over a wrap.

Messenger Bag style diaper bag slung over baby wrap. The bag is on Carissa's right shoulder in this picture.

 

Natibaby Tattooed Wrap

Tattooed wrap by Natibaby for Wrap Your Baby

Natitat Tattoo print baby wrap

Natibaby Tattooed was one of the most highly anticipated wraps that passed through my hands this year. Woven exclusively for Wrap Your Baby, NatiTat is a gorgeous golden wrap showing off beautifully rendered, classic Tattoo designs in a bamboo/linen blend that arrives stiff but reportedly softens up wonderfully with washing, ironing, and wearing. Natibaby Tattooed is for sale here.

And the wearing is the fun part! This wrap has begged to be the subject of several creative photo shoots, and also inspired a small, friendly war involving sneaky corn ninjas like this one, shared by Suzi Lang:

 

Corn Ninja photo CornNinja.jpg

Babywearing International of Austin has documented the struggles of the citizens whose lending libraries were potentially affected by the war of the Tattooed wrap here.

LoveBabywearing Nati Tattooed baby wrap photo shoot

Tattooed Babywearing Wrap

50's style woven wrap Natibaby Tattooed wrong side

Moon Phases Wrap – Wrapsody Luna

Wrapsody Luna Woven Moon Phases Wrap for babywearing

Wrapsody Luna shows all the phases of the moon across a royal purple and deep blue batiked galaxy background.

Changing phases are ironically the one consistency throughout motherhood and between families.

This moon phases wrap captures the beauty through all the phases our babies go through and put us through.

The moon is also an enduring symbol of femininity and I see this design representing phases of womanhood as well as motherhood.

You can get your Luna wrap right now!

Speaking of the phases of motherhood, here is Wrapsody Luna during pregnancy, babyhood, and toddlerhood:

Pregnancy Double Hammock Back Carry

Kokobie and baby in Wrapsody Luna moon phases wrap

Wrapsody Luna Breeze Wrap

There were so many beautiful suggestions for the name for this moon phases wrap.  I was tempted to go with one of the goddess names as was traditional for the original Bali Breeze wraps when they were still called Gypsymama.  And I loved several of the longer names like Clair de Lune.  But in the end, the simple Luna appealed to me the most.  I like how Wrapsody Luna sounds and looks.  And I think it’s more of a universally recognized name for a wrap with symbology that is important to so many different cultures and beliefs.

Thank you Amy, for suggesting the name, and you have won a Luna wrap of your own!  I’ve sent you an email so we can arrange shipping.

***ORIGINAL POST BELOW***

This moon phases wrap needs a good name worthy of the magical reputation of the moon.  Comment with your name suggestion and I whoever suggests the winning name will win of these Bali Breeze wraps with lunar phases!  Be sure to provide an email address that you check so that you will know if your name was chosen.  I’ll edit this blog post with the winning name next week.

For the record, this is a 100% cotton gauze wrap batiked in dark purple and pink in Bali under Fair Trade Conditions. The moons run lengthwise across the wrap, about 2/3rds of the way up from the bottom rail.

I give you through the weekend (through 20 October) to make your suggestions for this moon phases wrap!

Babywearing Statue Contest

Babywearing Statue - Lincoln wear a rebozo

picture by Christi Bedell for BWI of North Central Illinois

Help me teach statues to babywear for International Babywearing Week this week!  Wrap up a doll or teddy on a statue, snap a picture and post on my Facebook wall.

RULES

  • Statue should be a person or humanoid animal.  No inanimate object statues like cars.
  • Someone–teddy, doll, or real kid (if safe)–must be in the carrier on the statue.  No entries with empty carriers on statues!
  • One picture per individual.
  • Unless it is for your babywearing group, then you can post as many as you want.
  • If posting for your group, include a link to your group.  Link should be included on every picture you submit for that group.
  • When you post the picture, state the city (and country if not United States) where it is located so we can enjoy knowing all the places featured in the contest.
  • Pictures must be submitted by end of day Monday, 14 October.

One individual AND one babywearing group will be selected to receive a wrap or ring sling.  The carrier may be new or used (in good condition).  I’ll have to see what’s available when I pick winners!  Be sure to check back here to see the winners, and they will also be announced on Facebook.

 

 

Wrapping Videos From Parents, For Parents

Last month I asked babywearing parents to share their knowledge by making a video of how they do various wrap carries, so that I could share their techniques with more moms and dads through my website.  I think that parents and families can benefit the most from the freely shared knowledge from other parents, as embodied by the African proverb each one teach one.  And I think this method of spreading knowledge is far more useful and empowers all of us more than parenting books, parenting experts, or other authoritarian organizations.  Anything that helps you is great, and I am not asking you to adopt my opinion, but this is my preference for education of any kind.

I received so many wonderful videos.  I want to thank everybody who made a video SO MUCH.  I was unable to use all of them, as some were redundant, and I had to look at which ones had the clearest picture, best lighting, best sound, and clearest instructions so they would be the most help to the internet community.  This was not intended as a competition, however there are certain logistical needs that I had to meet.

I also promised to send a woven wrap donation to four babywearing groups who were represented by the video submissions. Here are my four video categories, the group that will be receiving a wrap, and the video that won the wrap for each group (by random draw).  If you let the video play to the end, I believe that the rest of the playlist in the same category will play so you can see several of the submissions, all of which are great.

Babywearing International of Central New York wins a wrap for the category Tied at Shoulder Carries:

Vancouver Island Carriers for a Cause will receive a wrap for the category Nursing in a Woven Wrap:

Babywearers NYC will be receiving a wrap for the category Supporting Sleeping Baby’s Head in a Back Carry:

and Babywearing International of Hampton Roads wins a wrap donation for the category Wrap Instruction by a Dad:

 

Group Video Contest July Wrap Giveaway

Each month I donate a wrap to a babywearing group to add to their lending library.  For July I am asking groups to do a project to help me expand the wrapping instructions on my website. One of the prizes for July (Nati Notes linen blend wrap):

Nati Notes Pink Music Wrap

To enter your group for a free wrap, I ask that you send me an instructional video that I can brand and post on my website and on YouTube to help moms who are trying to master a carry or technique. Send the videos to diana@wrapyourbaby.com by the last day of July and put “July Video” in the subject to help me keep track of the emails.  Also please include a line in your email giving me permission to add my title and credits and use the video online, regardless of whether your group is chosen to win a wrap.  I will credit your babywearing group for the video and the specific babywearer and baby in the video, if you want me to.  I won’t be passing it off as me, but I will be marketing it as a video that belongs to the instructional library of Wrap Your Baby, if that makes sense.  Let me know if you have any questions.

I will give away one wrap to a group in each category.  You can enter one or all of them.  You can submit one wrap or multiple wraps to any one category as well.  I will not choose the same group for more than one category (because I’d like to help as many different groups as possible) but you may increase your chances of winning one wrap by submitting multiple videos because I will be choosing the one that I find most helpful in each category.

  1. how-to video for any woven wrap variation that is tied at shoulder (TAS)
  2. how to nurse in a woven wrap as a busty mama (baby or toddler)
  3. adjusting a woven wrap to provide head support in a back carry after baby/toddler has fallen asleep
  4. woven wrap instruction video (any technique) by a dad

The videos can be silent or you can narrate as you go.  Just remember that they are supposed to be instructional, so try to make them clear and helpful.  I use Windows Live MovieMaker to edit videos, so if you can send it in a format that will work with that program, I will be all the more appreciative.

And the prizes?

  • Nati Notes Pink/Black linen blend wrap
  • Ellevill Karma Dusty Lavender organic cotton wrap
  • Natibaby Plum Pois linen blend wrap
  • Ellevill cotton/bamboo Paisley Silver wrap

and as a bonus, I’ll send a gender neutral, used-in-good-condition wrap to one of the dads who make the dad wrapping movies for this project (in addition to a carrier donated to the group that submits it).  Because we want to encourage the babywearing gentlemen of this world!

Wrapping for Vaccinations

Any stressful event is an opportunity to see if babywearing can be a tool to help you offer comfort to your little ones.

Some moms who choose to vaccinate their babies or toddlers have found that wrapping has made it go smoothly and without upset.  Samantha has some experience with this and offered both this photo demonstrating ways to wrap for vaccination, and some description to go with it, which she kindly let me add to my blog:

Administering vaccines to a child in a baby wrap.

Wrap Postitions for babywearing during vaccination.

 

Samantha says:

Pictures of optimal wrapping techniques for parents who choose to vaccinate. On the left, a stretchy wrap without the support pass pulled up (see it wrapped around my waist?) Best for infants up to 3/4 months. Added bonus that this carry keeps pesky newborn arms from flailing on injection, eliciting the startle reflex and possibly compromising the nurse’s ability to inject the vaccine without causing harm.

On the right, a woven wrap with baby in a front cross carry, giving optimum access to the large muscle in the upper thigh where most vaccines are given until the child’s deltoid (arm) muscle has developed enough (age 5-9).

This is also a wonderful carry to use if you plan on nursing AND wearing during vaccines- I’ve found this is the “Golden Combination” to causing the least amount of trauma during the vaccination process. And no, this will not cause a negative association with either breastfeeding OR wearing– infants are programmed to find comfort in nursing and closeness to its mother, and the vaccine experience will not change that.

I Got My Wrap! (fluffy mail is here)

I loved this photo of Heather so much that I had to make a blog post just for it.  I think it embodies how we all have felt when a much anticipated wrap came to our door, or when we tried it out and found out how happy it made ourselves and our babies!

The giant smiles.

The patented flash in the mirror/toilet in the background shot.

It’s perfect!

tri green Ellevill Fluffy Mail

6 Reasons Why Woven Wraps Are Not Expensive, Followed by 5 Reasons Why They Are

6 reasons why woven wraps are not expensive, followed by 5 reasons why they are.

  1. You can get a wrap for free as a shower present (gift certificates available here).
  2. Baby wraps are not more expensive than other baby equipment and are, in my opinion, a better investment than most of the “must have baby gear” that Babies R Us is marketing to new moms: https://wrapyourbaby.com/blog/2012/06/why-spend-money-on-woven-wrap/ (I am considering that a basic wrap costs $80 – $120)
  3. Baby wraps are not more expensive than four trips to a fast food restaurant for a family of 4; going to the movies with your spouse five times; a ticket to an amusement park; 2-5 months of cable TV (depending on your plan);  2 nights eating out with your spouse at Applebee’s, or the couch you’re thinking about buying from the thrift store.
  4. You could buy 150 wraps with the amount of money the average American spent eating out in restaurants 2010. http://gma.yahoo.com/how-much-does-the-average-american-spend-eating-out-at-restaurants–.html If you spend the average amount of $14.40 per week on cups of coffee outside the home, giving up coffee for just 7 weeks would be enough to buy you a wrap.
  5. A woven wrap could easily be funded by the average garage sale, or even selling some unneeded things on ebay.  Plus that will make room in the house for a new baby.
  6. Not all families have any of the above expenses.  A payment plan may make it easier for even a very frugal family to afford a wrap with just four payments of $20-$30.  Here’s the information on my layaway plan.

5 reasons Why Woven Wraps Are Expensive:

  1. Most woven wrap brands (all of the ones that I sell) are made under fair trade practices.
  2. Most wrap companies (all of the companies that I do business with) make ecologically kind choices which include safe, non-toxic dyes (remember, babies mouth these wraps all the time) and in some cases 100% organic materials.
  3. Most wrap manufacturers provide written and photo instructions and/or DVDs with their products to ensure that you, the end user, will be able to use and be happy with your wrap.
  4. Commercial baby wraps are not made from any fabric that you will find in most fabric stores. Wraps are woven specifically for the purpose of carrying babies, and the fabric is made with exactly the right amount of diagonal stretch and give to be comfortable, secure, and easy to manipulate.  This fabric costs more to manufacture than most fabric store cloth (especially when done under ethical standards as mentioned above).
  5. The US has legally required standards that must be met and testing which must be done regularly on the production of the wraps to ensure that they are safe to carry babies, and this testing costs money.  So while you could make your own for less money, it would not be possible for a mom to start a business making them for others without raising the price to cover these expenses.

Where does that leave you?  You can purchase a woven wrap now that you understand what goes into it (using layaway or requesting a gift certificate to help, if needed).  You can also make your own (and here is some advice to help you get started). Women around the world have worn babies without commercially made wraps.

Do It Yourself DIY Woven Wrap

 

Yes, you can make your own DIY woven wrap!

A distinctive quality about woven wraps in my store is that they are hand-loomed or made on small mechanical looms in small batches for the express purpose of babywearing. So the fabric is made with the perfect strength, give, and support for optimum comfort.

But you know that people have been wrapping babies since long before there were baby wrap manufacturers. So you, too, can use a ready-made piece of fabric as a woven baby wrap.

I collected some information on the subject to share so you can make your own DIY woven wrap. A Woven Wrap is much more versatile and supportive than a stretchy wrap and now you can learn to make your own woven wrap so you don’t have to settle!

 

 

DIY wrap from Chelsea

Chelsea’s 50/50 cotton linen blend from fabricland in Ontario. 5m 28in long and 28 inches wide with a 20 lb baby.

The fabric I see recommended most often for a DIY woven wrap project is Osnaburg.   Do be aware that this fabric may be permanent press which is achieved through the use of formaldehyde.  Many people do not consider this dangerous for babies, but in case you want to avoid that, you can look for Osnaburg that is not permanent press.

Genna helpfully suggests, “Get an extra yard because it will shrink when you wash it the first time.”  That’s good to know up front, right?

Savannah says, “I found fabric.com osnaburg to be stiffer than stuff I got off of ebay.”  Putting your fabric through the washing machine several times should soften it up, as well as shrinking it down to size so that you know how much to cut.

Leslee says, “I used osnaburg from walmart and cut it about 32″ wide to allow for shrinking from dyeing and washing. I used tulip dyes (contacted company for safety) then sew it all around and I ironed on a middle marker.”

Some other fabric options are monk’s cloth and a 100% cotton jacquard weave tablecloth (both suggested by Sarah).  Prasti says, “I used cotton muslin for mine…and it has lasted through all 4 kids . I like it because the fabric is not too heavy or too light, and it’s usually priced at 4.99/yard so it’s pretty affordable.”

 

Sarah DIY cotton wrap

Sarah’s DIY wrap with 100% cotton fabric

 

Sharon made her own DIY cotton gauze wrap. “I’d only recommend this for multilayer carries (FWCC and DH as examples) as the fabric is really thin. I also made this wrap much wider than a typical wrap (35 inches wide) to provide more support.”  As a note, the gauze you find in a fabric store is likely to be thinner than the bottom-weight gauze used in making Wrapsody Breeze wraps, which means your gauze wrap may be a little diggier and flimsier, best used, as Sharon says, in multi layer carries.  April adds, “I used 100% cotton gauze to make a wrap I didn’t mind using in the pool.”

If you do use your wrap for swimming, bear in mind that either chlorine or saltwater can begin to wear on the material after a while so keep an eye on the integrity of the fabric to make sure it is strong and safe each time you put it on.

What about size for your DIY woven wrap?

The first rule to keep in mind is that it’s a lot easier to shorten it than lengthen it!  Start out long, wear it a bit, and then see how much extra you can cut off and still be able to do your favorite carries.

Most commercially bought stretchy wraps (like a Moby) are 5.5 meters.  This is one size fits all, and if you are making your own and are not plus sized, I would definitely suggest making it smaller.  However, you can start out long, try some carries, and then figure out exactly how much you want to cut off of each tail.

I don’t think stretchy carries should take any more fabric than carries in a woven, so you could probably use the below sizing for either type.  If your wrap is long, though, you’ll end up wrapping the excess around you and that gets warm in the Summer!

Woven wraps are generally sized.  4.6 meters fit most moms.  If you are particularly petite (under 130 lbs, and not too tall) you might be able to do all of the carries with a 4.2 meter wrap.  Some very small moms use 3.7 meters.  Again, if you’re making your own you can start using it and then shorten it to the perfect length.  If you are a larger mom, you might want to go with a large wrap which is 5.0 – 5.2 meters.  5.5 meters would be considered extra large.

I have a lot of sizing advice available on my website including different carries that you can do with different woven wrap lengths (note, these carries are only for woven wraps and may not be safe with stretchy wraps): https://wrapyourbaby.com/wovenwraplength.html

Tami DIY silk wrap

Tami made a wrap out of silk fabric her husband brought from India. (make sure whatever fabric you choose is suitable and safe–some silk may be too slippery)

 

 

 

 

Help with Woven Wrap Sizing

Choosing a size for your woven wrap can be very simple.

A wrap that is about 4.6 or 4.7 meters is perfect for most moms to do most carries.  If you are new to woven wraps, you can just go with this size and feel confident you’ll be able to use it.

If you are smaller or larger than most moms, you might want to look at sizing down to 4.2 meters or up to 5.2 meters.  There are also some brands that make extra large wraps anywhere from 5.5 meters (the same size as a Moby wrap) to 6 meters.

And, if you know you prefer shorter wrap carries, then choose a shorter wrap because you won’t be doing the full length carries.  But if you’re new to this and just want to be told what size to get, go with a medium (4.6 meters).

That’s the simple advice.  If you’re not so sure and want to delve into it a little more, I have lots of sizing help on my site and you can start with these links:

Woven wrap sizes: https://wrapyourbaby.com/sizing.html
Different carries that you can do with different woven wrap lengths (note, these carries are only for woven wraps and may not be safe with stretchy wraps): https://wrapyourbaby.com/wovenwraplength.html
Pictures of differently sized moms doing different carries in different wrap lengths: https://wrapyourbaby.com/wrapsizes.html

Babywearing Ballet with Woven Wraps

I can’t stand how gorgeous these pictures are from our Babywearing Ballet class last week.  I can’t pick favorites, but if you can, comment to tell me which picture is your favorite!

Jenna, from my local babywearing group, owns the studio and taught the class.

She was gentle, as many of the moms had no ballet experience.  All of them are babywearers, but this was the first time wrapping for many of them.  I provided the EllaRoo woven wraps for this fun day.   So many moms wanted to participate that we had two classes back to back.

You can GET A THIN, LIGHT, ELLAROO WRAP HERE, perfect for Summer and for fitness with your baby, whether you want to keep baby in a front carry or a back carry. We even had twin moms and nursing moms dancing in these wraps!

First Babywearing Ballet Class 1

First Babywearing Ballet Class 2

First Babywearing Ballet Class 3

 

 

First Babywearing Ballet Class 4

First Babywearing Ballet Class 5

First Babywearing Ballet Class 6

First Babywearing Ballet Class 7

First Babywearing Ballet Class 7

Second Class:

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 1

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 2

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 3

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 4 (Wrapping Twins)

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 5

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 6 (Tandem Wrapping)

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 7

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 7

Tandem and Twin Wrapping at Second Babywearing Ballet Class 8

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 9 Happy Baby

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 10

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 11 Tandem Wrapping

Babywearing Ballet - Monreau EllaRoo

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 12

Wrapping 2 kids at Second Babywearing Ballet Class 13

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 14 Sleeping Baby

Second Babywearing Ballet Class 15

Order Your EllaRoo Wrap Here

Or, for those who have fallen in love with one of the wraps, click on each photo below to get the details for each EllaRoo wrap design:

Babywearing Ballet - Eco EllaRoo

Eco EllaRoo

UPDATE: see more beautiful babywearing ballet photos at a different local studio, with another fantastic wrap for hot weather and sweaty work: Wrapsody Breeze wraps.

Is Mother’s Day too Commercial?

Mothers Day Babywearing Cartoon

Mothers Day, or any day, is what you make it.  You can decide to skip Mothers Day on the grounds that you deserve to be pampered more often than once a year.  You can celebrate it on the grounds that it’s about time someone do something for you for a change.  You can smile demurely because you know that your kids or your husband will spoil you whether you voice an opinion or not.  You can make it about your mother, because now that you have kids you appreciate her more than ever.

I am having a Mothers Day Sale because there are many mothers who love wraps or would love to have a wrap, and they appreciate any help in getting one, and this is a good excuse to be nice to moms.

I am releasing mothers from any feeling of guilt over buying themselves a Mother’s Day present because I can almost guarantee that they deserve it.

I am admitting that no monetary purchases need happen in order to celebrate Mother’s Day, that priceless (and costless) gifts are wonderful, and that no gift at all is necessary to celebrate the love you have for someone.

And I am acknowledging that there are families for whom purchasing a wrap is a huge purchase, and should not be treated lightly whether it is Mother’s Day or not.

But I’m not going to let any of that stop me from treating Mother’s Day, and my Special Mother’s Day Event lightheartedly, with a spirit of play.

I just wanted to clarify that anything I post about this offer is intended to be fun and happy, and not to imply that husband’s are bad (or good), that mothers are deserving (or selfish), or that if you really love someone, you have to buy them anything!

So are we good?  Happy Mother’s Day!

Buying Woven Wraps (New or Used)

 Cielo, Fucsia, and Limona EllaRoo Woven Wraps

Used Baby Carriers are big business, and why not?   It never hurts to save a few bucks, and most wrappers would argue that a woven wrap–like a good wine–improves with age (and use–probably not true of wine).  A new wrap sometimes needs breaking in to soften it up, while a used wrap may already be two years softer than the new one.

Watch out for this pitfall though: sometimes the hunt for a wrap on the swaps can be difficult, hair raising, and nerve wracking.  The buying and selling of wraps, like the buying and selling of stocks, is not for the faint of heart.  You need to weigh risks and calculate security (Does this seller have feedback?  How much? How old?  How good?) and logistics (Is the seller paying shipping?  Is insurance included? Is this wrap in this country? How did I end up on the Australian Swap Board?).

You may need to make split second decisions, and if you turned away from the screen for a moment to wipe a toddler’s nose or change baby’s diaper, you may return to find that you missed out on the deal of the century.  The emotional turmoil can be stressful.

Or maybe you thrive under pressure.  Some people bet on cockfighting.  The Wrap Swap is more humane.

But, maybe it’s not the best place to refer brand new wannabe babywearers to.  They might just back away in horror and go to Babies R Us instead.  They might get burnt by a bad deal.  They might become stressed from stalking the swap for a perfect buy, and what new mom needs added stress?

Instead, I suggest:

  • buying her a wrap as a gift (if you are close enough, and have the means).
  • sending her to a reputable retailer locally or online (I know a good one if you need a recommendation).
  • or even helping her pick out a wrap and then stalking the swap for her so she doesn’t have to.

Keep in mind that we retailers of new wraps, every one of them I have ever come across, are really friendly, eager to help, knowledgeable, and generally trying to make anything from a few extra bucks to a decent living to support our families in a business that we believe in strongly.  We didn’t pick baby carriers after researching “most lucrative business plans” but by following our interest in wanting to help moms.

And think what else she’ll get out of it: someone to answer questions and help with any problems, and in most cases a return/exchange policy in case she got the wrong size or the colors look different in person.  She gets a relationship with a person to help her get started wrapping.  Don’t hesitate to refer someone to us–she’ll be in good hands!

2 Years Old and Legacy Wraps

Father and son back wrapping toddler in Blue Miel et Malice wrap

David & Cassidy a couple of months before he turned 2.

My baby turns 2 years old tomorrow.  This time two years ago I was quietly sitting in bed and smiling because I knew I was having a baby.  My husband’s mother came over to stay with our sleeping girls, and David and I sneaked out of the RV, where we lived, and into the living room of our house that was for sale, where he set up a birth pool, my mother and the midwife were called, and baby and I got on with the business of birth.  (Would you want to know if babies were born in the house that you are buying?  3 babies were born in this one.)

When the sun came up, and the baby came out, he was a little boy named Cassidy.  It took a few months for things to settle down enough to start to get to know him.  Is that awful?  It was crazy trying to coexist with a newborn and a 1 year old, plus the 6 year old, while David was releasing a CD (I missed the CD release party when Cassidy was 2 days old) and still working his full time day job while we transitioned to living on the road like a pack of wild dogs or dirty gypsies.  Thank goodness for family, in which David and I, and our children, have all been particularly blessed.

But I’m getting distracted by reverie.  You can read his birth story here (I don’t have to write it again).  My point was that Cassidy is two years old, and I don’t expect to have any more children.

We did a photo shoot a couple of months ago to get some wrap shots for our family business and I am so glad we did because the artist at Remarkable Photography (also known as Lee Anne) captured some of the best shots of our family, the only professional photos we have, and I didn’t know it at the time, but only a few weeks later Cassidy would become too grown up for wrapping.

Babywearing Family, wrapped up toddlers in C&C wraps

My family, photographed by Remarkable Photography.

 

He’s so grown up now, his big sister (3 years old) is more likely to let me wrap her up.  “Please,” I’ll say.  “Please let me wrap you up–we can make a wrap video!”  Nope.

Annabelle, 3 years old, wrapped up in an Orange Miel et Malice wrap by C&C

big sister Annabelle, 3 years old

 

He was sick this week though, and that won me permission to wrap him a couple of more times.  This morning we were going to go for a walk and he just wasn’t up to walking.  “David,” I said, “Cassidy’s asking me to wrap him up–I think we’d better make a video.  Quick, before he changes his mind!”

2 year old in a DRS2S carry

Cassidy not feeling well, wrapped up in the Breeze Ada wrap

 

But over the past month, I have rarely wrapped at all.  I celebrate every moment of his independence (at least, the ones that don’t make me want to cry or tear my hair out), but I do feel a twinge about the fact that wrapping is slipping into my history.  And it got me thinking about my wraps.  What should I do with them?

Grandbabies.  Yes, once your youngest turns two, it is officially time to think about becoming a grandmother.  I don’t want to sell or give away my wraps.  I want to give them to my children to wear their babies.  And I will absolutely be borrowing them when I babysit.  I am suddenly in exuberant anticipation of something that is about 20 years in my future.  Oh, the future is bright and cuddly!

EllaRoo Mary was my first wrap, and I have wrapped all three of my children in it. That one’s a legacy wrap for sure.

Toddler Double Hammock Carry with Mary EllaRoo

Cassidy and I wrapped up in Mary EllaRoo

Nursing Wrap Carry with Mary EllaRoo

Annabelle takes a break from nursing to let me gaze at her 3 years ago.

4 year old wrapped up on daddy's back in Mary EllaRoo

Ada, age 4, taking a break on daddy's back at Busch Gardens

My Breeze Ada, the fairy wrap that my daughter Ada and I designed together.  That one has been used to carry Annabelle and Cassidy, and that one will go to one of my children.

Toddler Double Hammock Carry with Bali Breeze Wrap

Cassidy on my back in Breeze Ada, in the North Carolina woods

 

2 year old in gauze Bali Breeze back wrap

Annabelle and I in our fairy wrap

 

And…the Inka Storchenwiege that I sold to a friend a few months ago because I didn’t need so many wraps anymore.  How could I?  What was I thinking?

Nursing Hip Cross Carry in Inka Storchenwiege Wrap

Nursing Ada at the beach 8 years ago in Inka

It’s not the same Inka that I wore Ada in 7 or 8 years ago.  But when I had my second baby, I missed having a gorgeous Inka and I bought another one–one that I wore both Annabelle and Cassidy in countless times.  Interestingly enough, the first Inka I had was bought used, and then I sold it back to the original owner who had seller’s remorse for sentimental reasons.  Hmm….

I emailed Lynnde, begged her to trade me, and today, just in time for Cassidy’s birthday, Inka came home, complete with the note you see in the picture.

Inka Storch is home!

Inka comes home!

 

One day I will go through all of our digital pictures (and all our actual photo albums when it comes to Ada’s baby pictures from before we had a digital camera or phones that took pictures) and do a tribute post to Inka, because that wrap has been present for so many wonderful family moments.

Toddler hugging Inka Storch wrap

Annabelle loves Inka, too!

 

Inka Wrap Swing/Hammock

Cassidy and I swinging in an Inka swing Easter 2012

 

baby in back wrap carry

Cassidy snoozing in Inka while the girls play in the Mississippi mud

In the meantime, Happy Birthday darling Cassidy, sweet little gentleman.  I love your curls and your laugh, your face when you’re being tricky, and your voice when you tell me you love me.  I love the way you talk to your sisters, your agreeable nature and sunny disposition.  I love your little round nose and your little round toes, the songs that you sing, and the way you flap your arms when you run through the house.  I love to wrap you up, and I love to nurse you down.  I love putting your shoes on while you sit on my lap and kick your legs.  I love dawdling through the parking lot so you can read the letters and numbers on every license plate.  I loved bringing you into this world, and I love every day we spend together.

Summer FWCC with toddler in gauze fairy wrap

Cassidy and I this Summer

 

Using a Wrap for Labor and Birth

I celebrated my birthday this week, and it seemed appropriate to address birth–as related to wraps, of course–in a blog post.  Woven wraps have been used in many ways by many cultures, and in addition to babywearing, a woven wrap can be used to help a pregnant or laboring woman in several ways.

A green rebozo to pull on during birth.

Pulling downward on a rope or strong cloth is an age old labor aid. It assists a pregnant woman in holding a supported squat position in which gravity contributes to the downward thrust of the labor.  The upright squat position is ideal for helping a baby to become positioned for the easiest birth, and in this way can accelerate the progress and contribute to the ease of the birth. Pulling on your wrap for labor can be your lifeline and help support you and can also help you feel your strength.

A similar practice is to play tug-o-war with the laboring woman with a wrap, or towel, or a pillowcase with knots tied in the end to help hold on.  A birth attendant might pull on one end and the laboring woman pulls on the other during contractions.  Or a cloth could be looped around a bedpost so that the laboring woman pulls on both ends, and a second person is not needed to assist her.  In the picture below of a pioneer birth, the laboring woman is pulling on the arms of her birth attendants, and even modern midwives will sometimes bring a towel or cloth and encourage the pregnant mom to “play tug-o-war” for the same benefits: for pain relief and to give leverage while pushing.

Hanging from rope while in labor in Peru.

tug-o-war during labor

 

Hanging a rope or cloth over a tree branch outside was traditional, but we don’t all have a place to do this during birth (or a clear sky, either). If you do not have a safe, strong way to hang your wrap from the ceiling, you might knot the end of the wrap and close it in the closet door with the knot on the inside and the wrap hanging over the top of the door so that you can pull outward and downward from the top of the door (pictured below).

A woven wrap can be used in place of a rope or Mexican Rebozo for pulling on while in labor.

This blog post has some photos of labor and delivery rooms in a German hospital–standardly equipped with wraps hanging from the ceiling and knotted into a loop so that the laboring woman can pull or loop the wrap around herself to dangle.

And this post has a beautiful modern, western birth story complete with pictures of hanging from the wrap through contractions.

Another way that a wrap can assist a woman in labor is when used to squeeze the hips to open up the pelvis, which can help the baby to become more ideally positioned, and also provides relief from back pain:

A wrap can provide a vital service in lifting the belly in order to assist the baby in descending during labor: Sometimes, as in my friend Nancy’s labor, the pregnant belly sticks way forward of the mommy like a torpedo, and the baby–instead of pushing downward in a direction that will cause labor to proceed and the cervix to open–will push forward and backwards (so that the mother feels the pushing in her back and at her navel) or will have no real directional push going at all because she is almost sitting on the mother’s lap, way out in that extended belly.  This can cause labor to stall or to go very long without progress, exhausting the mother of strength that she will need for the birth.  What to do?  Lift the mother’s belly, so that the baby starts to move into place and exert a downward force towards the cervix.  You can stand in front of mommy, holding her belly, or try to reach from behind with your arms around her.  Or you can put the wrap under mommy’s belly and pull upward on that.  You can even hold the belly in the desired position by tying the wrap ends together around the mother’s neck or shoulders, or some midwives and doulas may tie the wrap in place around the mother’s waist once the baby is in the desired position, to keep the belly, and baby from sinking back downwards in front of the mother.  This article explains using a lift to help position baby and accelerate labor. Anything that helps baby into position ought to accelerate labor as it is that position that causes progress.

A wrap (traditionally a rebozo, a Mexican carrying cloth) can also be used to sift or jiggle the pregnant belly, loosening and relaxing muscles in the third trimester and during labor as demonstrated here:

Wraps can also assist the pregnant woman in pregnancy to provide comfort before the birth-day. This illustration shows one way that the wrap can be used to support the pregnant belly similarly to how I descried it above, but in this case, the support is to give the mom-to-be support in her third trimester, to easy the pains and weight of her now large belly, and could be especially advantageous to mothers of twins with twin sized bellies!

 

Doula Kaytee demonstrates this method of belly wrapping with detailed tips:

Here’s another way you can wrap your pregnant belly for support:

Anastasia of Attached Mommies demonstrates belly wrapping:

And Post Partum? A woven wrap is most often used to carry the baby, of course, but it has other uses, too.  Many moms feel that wrapping the belly AFTER baby is born can be very beneficial to helping the post-partum body to most quickly regain full health and the closest pre-pregnancy appearance.  Many products have become available to achieve this, but a woven wrap or rebozo remains a simple and effective option that prevents the family from having to accumulate another pregnancy/birth expense.

You can use any supportive piece of cloth for this, either under your clothes or over them.  Wrap the fabric tightly around your abdomen.  It should reach from your hips up to cover your entire belly.  It should be wrapped tightly enough that you feel the support, but not so tight that it is painful or that it needs to be adjusted when you sit. 

Advantages have been reported when a woman wears the bind for the first 4-6 weeks of her baby’s life, but you can do it for as long (or short) as you like.  

I know that several women have used this after cesareans and been very happy with their healing, but I would not want to presume to give medical advice and would suggest that a post-cesarean mama research for herself and check with a birth professional.

You do not want the belly wrapping to cause any pain.

Prolapse is another situation where you want to check with your medical professional.

Here is one way to use your wrap to bind your belly post partum:

And this practice has traditional roots, as well.  This brochure speaks of the Malaysian belly-wrapping tradition, claiming that:

“The Malay Way, in particular, focuses on the health of the woman’s reproductive organs.   The Malay Way will heal the wounds of childbirth, reposition the uterus and restore the tightness of the vagina muscles.  To achieve this, a special corset known as a ‘barut’ is used throughout the 6 weeks. This ancient practice, until now almost unknown outside of Malaysia, is the key secret in ensuring a firm flat stomach, clean and devoid of stretch marks, even after undergoing several births.  Furthermore it helps to correctly re-position the uterus.”

Learn how to use Bengkunk belly binding here.

Intrigued? Wrap Club is where wrap-minded moms (and dads) gather to learn all the amazing things that can be done with a woven wrap including – but not limited to – keeping your baby close to your heart. You can join us for free to ask all your questions and be part of a community.