Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wrapped, with love

I wrote awhile back about carrying Ellie in her Ergo carrier, and how I'd purchased a woven wrap so that I had a little more flexibility with the way I carried her around.

I'm not going to lie, Ellie is a clingy baby. She loves to be held and I love to hold her. When we're going for a quick trip somewhere, it's much easier for me to hold her than it is for me to get out the pram when I know she'll get bored and want to be held sometime anyway. An added benefit of carrying her is that she has a lot more interaction upright than she does lying down. There is research out there that babies who are carried (as opposed to pushed in prams) learn better, bond, feel more secure and develop better language and social skills as they are used to seeing the world at a 'big person' level.

So, let's get into details. I've already talked about the Ergo. The benefits of using a woven wrap are similar and many. Sure, a buckled carrier like an Ergo is super easy to throw on, but when I know I'll be carrying for a long period, I reach for my wrap.

Didymos Indio Porrinho (Brand, Weave, Colour/Pattern)

Wrapping Pros:

  • As it's just a length of material, it's very snuggly for me and Ellie and there are no stress points for possible failure. Different wrap materials have different qualities - mine is a linen/cotton blend which makes it supportive yet still soft and plenty of grip 
  • There is no one way to wrap; you can experiment with different carries until you find ones that suit both you and bub. The fabric wraps around wearer and baby so you get a custom fit, every time
  • It's easy to alter the way the wrap sits, so there are no digging bits or any uncomfortable places as they're so mouldable
  • Because they aren't sized, you can get a great fit with any baby, from a brand new squishy, to a toddler. I didn't start using the wrap until Ellie was a few months old, but if we have another baby, I won't hesitate to wrap from newborn
  • The wraps themselves have a pretty good resale value. In fact, I think it's better to buy them second hand as someone has already put all the work into breaking them in and making them as squishy and soft as possible
  • It's not solely a carrier, but can also be used as a hammock, a rug, a sunshade etc
  • When you back carry, little baby breaths on the back of your neck are super adorable (baby snores are even cuter)

Wrapping Cons:

  • Wraps come in different sizes. The most suitable will depend on the carries you want to do and the size of the wearer. Some people like to have multiple wraps for different purposes so it could become expensive
  • Depending on the size of the wrap, the weave, and the carry, you may have a lot of material over and around you and bub. This can be hot in warmer climates and weather
  • There is a bit of a learning curve with a woven wrap - you can't just buckle it on and be good to go
  • It's a bit of a pain in the butt wrapping when out as the ends drag on the ground until I get it all wrapped. I also look a bit vain checking myself out in shop front glass, but I'm really just checking the wrap and position
  • There are many different carries which you can try. This may take some time to learn, and you need to build up your confidence, especially when trying back carries. Many people recommend practicing over a soft surface and with someone to help spot when you are learning
  • They're addictive - there are so many fabrics, weaves and colours out there that you may find your collection getting out of control!
So, how do you learn to wrap?  Well, there are many people who like to babywear, and the best way to learn would be if someone experienced with woven wraps can demonstrate in person.  If that's not possible, then as my friend, the 1337 mum says, YouTube is not just for cute kitties.  There is so much knowledge out there, and so many great videos demonstrating fabulous (and safe!) wrap techniques.

So the wrapping verdict? I love it! I love that I can go about my day and have Ellie close in a comfortable and practical way. I still have so much to learn and now that I've practiced more, I feel like I need a shorter wrap (mine is a 5 but the tails are so long I think I could comfortably go to a 4 and still do the carries I want).  Here's a photo of Ellie in a rucksack carry.  Just look at that cute little face peering out!

Rucksack, tied behind with super long tails

Do you baby wear?  What's your favourite way to bond with hub?

2 comments:

  1. I totally agree. We don't get the pram out very often anymore either since The Little Man started sitting up and wanting to look around. I've got a Breeze Baby Ring Sling which works a little differently to the Ergo wrap. Probably a little less secure (so I wouldn't use it on a newborn) and you can't achieve that snug as a bug look that Miss E is sporting in the photo, but a lot faster to put on.

    One more Pro I'd add for wraps/slings. Makes a great Breastfeeding cover when you happen find yourself needing to feed in public. Like on a plane.

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    Replies
    1. Breastfeeding cover! That's an enormous plus, I can't believe I left that off the list!

      I've heard a lot of good things about ring slings and I keep meaning to snag one from a friend to try.

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