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?
Just this: wrapping is not common in our culture, so we’re totally unfamiliar with it. And just like tying shoes, something you’ve never done and aren’t used to can seem impossible the first few times until it clicks and, with practice, becomes second nature.
So what do we do?
What I do: I provide step-by-step photo and video instructions on my website. I send an instructional DVD with every wrap I ship. I invite questions and am eager to help trouble shoot a problem. I know from experience that I can help you love your wrap!
What you can do to learn wrapping without tears:
- Start with Front Wrap Cross Carry. It is a great carry to learn with and will teach you how to tighten and adjust and spread and bunch.
- Watch the video a few times before you try it.
- Have the photo instructions open to refer to while you’re wrapping.
- Stay calm.
- Pause as needed, with your hand around your baby for safety, and find out what the next step is before continuing.
- Use the carry a few times a day until you have mastered it.
- Don’t try to learn a new carry until you have mastered the last one.
If you have any trouble, let’s solve this and get you happily wrapping:
- Practice on a doll or, even better, something with a little weight like a bag of apples.
- Learn the steps of the carry so that it is memorized, before you add in your real baby.
- Practice with your baby when he or she is not tired or hungry, is freshly changed and happy. Once you are both used to it you will find it most helpful for the more desperate moments but start easy!
- Don’t get frustrated. It is highly unlikely that you will finish successfully if you are trying to do it when you’re overwhelmed or upset. If your baby is crying and it’s worrying you too much, stop and take a break! Come back to it later.
- Consider every time you work on it to be one time closer to getting it right. There are no failed wrap jobs, just one practice closer to success.
- Be cognizant of whether your wrap job is safe and secure.
- If the wrap is too loose or uncomfortable, keep your arms around your baby for safety and comfort and leave the loose wrap job on for at least a few minutes while you walk around, helping your baby to get used to the idea of being wrapped up.
- Locate a babywearing group near you where you can get the hands-on help that might make the whole thing much, much easier for you.
- Email me if you need help!