My 9-month-old Jacob is a sling baby. He doesn’t like the stroller much, probably because he hasn’t spent any real time in it. It wasn’t any grand design on my part, it’s just how it worked out. When you’re chasing a preschooler it’s often easier to keep the baby strapped to you.
So, I’ve kept Jacob strapped to me. It’s a rare day that I don’t use at least one of my baby carriers. At least one because I have, erm, several. More than three. I have my tried and true Maya Wrap and many mei tais. I also have a few wraps.
A wrap is a very long piece of cloth that can be used to tie your baby to you in all sorts of exciting ways . They come in different lengths and are woven or stretchy, filmy or heavy. I myself have only heavy German woven wraps, because I like structure and don’t mind the heat. I have 2 Storchenwieges, a 4.6 meter Vicky and a 4.1 meter Leo in red. But my most favourite wrap by far is my Didymos. I have a 3.7 meter Jan, which I bought when my daughter Hannah was a little over a year old.
3.7 meters is a bit short for a wrap, actually. But I am only 5’2″ and I tend to wear my baby mostly in the rucksack position, so for me this is plenty long enough. With my longer wraps I find I have too much extra fabric trailing behind me. If you’re taller or want to experiment with different carries you might need a little more length.
When I’m wearing the baby at home I’m all about the back carry. You simply can’t do laundry or make a peanut butter sandwich with a grabby baby on your front. And since Jacob is perfectly happy to be worn most of the time, it’s not unusual for him to ride around our house on my back. And for me, a back carry is where the wrap really shines.
I can get a baby on to my back and into a mei tai, but it requires that the baby is willing to not be too wiggly. With a wrap I can get even a wiggly baby up on my back no sweat. I spread the wrap in the corner of a chair, position the baby on top, and then back up so that we’re in roughly the right position for a back carry. Then I grab the ends of the wrap and stand up. Easy peasy, and no risk that he’ll wriggle off before I get him strapped in safely.
There are some downsides to the wrap. It has a bit of a steep learning curve, although you can find great instructions online. And the sheer length can be cumbersome. I am not going to try to wrap my baby in a rainy parking lot. Although I do have close friends that use wraps almost exclusively because they love the versatility, so it can be done. Just not by me.
But the best part of the wrap is throwing your baby on to your back, working some magic with fabric, and seeing the looks of awe you get. It leaves me feeling pretty accomplished. And we all know, I do love feeling accomplished. Fun times all around!
If you haven’t checked out my photostream lately, drop on by. You can find lots of new snapshots of our daily adventures.