Babywearing 101: One Rail at a Time


When I was in my third trimester I specifically remember telling my fiancé that I would never wrap our baby because I didn't trust myself tying our child to my body.  Well, when you come home from the hospital and your newborn is crying at 5 o'clock in the morning, and you've had 2 hours of sleep in the past couple of days you'll be up for anything.  

At our baby shower, we were given a baby carrier.  It's what I call a baby backpack.  Although it's a Baby Bjorn, and apparently the holy grail of baby backpacks, our child hated it.  She still hates it, and for longer babies somehow it just doesn't fit her body quite right (and that's ok).  There's absolutely nothing wrong with baby backpacks, our child just didn't ever take to it and honestly I believe it was fate.  So needless to say, wrapping my child was in our future.

Before I go on, please note that this is completely from my experience.  I am not a professional.  I am an artist and a new mom, so although I have alot to say on this subject, it's from alot of research and the love of trying new things.  With that being said, babywearing was a necessity for me.  I didn't start wearing my child until she was about 3 months old.  For her first couple of months of life, I would "wear her" on our boppy pillow.  Never again.  If I could do it again, I would wear her from day one.  Had I known the benefits from wearing her that early, I would have done it much earlier.  I am very independent and as a new mom I had waves of post partum depression all the way up until our baby girl was 7 months old.  Once I started to wear her though, it was way more manageable and I felt like I could get things done again, go for walks.  I felt like I had a little bit of freedom, time for myself all while bonding with my child (even when she was asleep on me).  Babywearing was and is, magic.  It's one of those things that I feel like all women should know more about.  Wearing your child is such an amazing experience, and I feel like all new moms (or moms that are new to babywearing) should know about it and the importance in your life as a mother to your child.

Stretchy Wrap in Grey

Wraps can be overwhelming to any parent who is new to wrapping.  Don't worry I was there too, but I was willing to learn.  Since our little girl hated baby backpacks I started off really slow and easy, I bought a stretchy wrap.  Stretchy wraps are really cheap, they run under $100 usually and if you get one second hand even cheaper.  These wraps are very forgiving to just about everyone who is new to wrapping.  They are stretchy which means they can be adjusted easily and can help you build confidence at wrapping.  In my opinion, all stretching wraps are just about the same so you literally can't go wrong and it will all come down to visual preference.  Reviews online said that some wraps break in easier, some stretch out after use.  It really doesn't matter, just wear your child stretchy fabric is stretchy fabric.

This wrap was great in the beginning because I could take it anywhere and my child would fall right asleep.  She loved being wrapped, yay!  Right?  Well, my little girl is really large for her age and started to get really heavy eventually.  The company standard wrap that I was supposed to do in this wrap was not working, she was starting droop.  Not cool.  Also, I live in a hotter climate and the fabric was starting to get really hot.  Also not cool.  Not to say that stretchy wraps are horrible, they are actually great and work really well for normal to cold climates as well as lightweight babies.  I learned to wrap really well with this wrap.  When I stopped wrapping her the "stretchy wrap" way, and started the normal Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) way, it worked out alot better.

The internet is full of interesting ways to carry your baby, look them up (just keep in mind that woven and stretchy wraps are different and are meant to do different things).  Try new things.  There are so many ways to carry your baby you'd be surprised.  You can even make up your own.  As long as you have a few horizontal and vertical crosses to support your baby it's pretty much bulletproof.  Go wild.

Cotton Wrap in Teal

After the stretchy wrap, it was time to upgrade to a big girl wrap.  I researched for months.   I read just about everything on the internet, visited all of the woven wrap sites and painstakingly decided that none of them were what I truly wanted or needed.  I live in Florida and Summer was right around the corner.  I needed a thinner, lightweight wrap that would be easy to maintain.  Then I got smart.  I found a company that made wraps from Kenya.  You couldn't go wrong with a wrap that was made in Africa, right?  Right!  It's perfect, it's beautiful and we love it.  Also, it was under $100.  Perfection.  

Since I've been using this wrap, I've been able to try different wrap carries that I wasn't able to with the stretchy wrap.  Our little girl loves it.  She's able to explore and learn all while being wrapped to me, it's such an amazing experience for both of us.

Since our little girl is almost a toddler size, she loves exploring with her hands out more often now.  I don't have to worry about her bouncing or drooping.  In fact, the heavier she gets the lighter she feels in this wrap, it's amazing.

Once again, wraps can be very intimidating.  I love trying new things and I'm lucky enough to have a child that loves being wrapped up.  Not all babies are alike.  Some babies may hate being wrapped up.  Babywearing is completely up to your child and their comfort level.  If wrapping isn't for you or your baby, don't worry about it.  There are way more ways to wear your child that are even more convenient and easier than wrapping.  In the end it's all about you and your baby and what you want to try.

Linen Ring Sling in Desert Rose

I love slings.  At first, my child didn't like being in a sling too much but since she was a couple months old she has gotten used to them and loves them now.  Before I started her off with the stretchy wrap, I tried a sling (not pictured).  I got it for free and it was worth every cent.  It wasn't adjustable and she outgrew it fast.  But I could tell she loved the idea of it and so did I.  I did my research and found some beautiful and efficient Ring Slings that would work out perfectly.  Slings are beyond portable (I literally throw it in my bag) and is probably the easiest way to carry your baby.  They come in different forms, so make sure that you do your research before you find the sling.  

Linen Chambray Ring Sling in Caramel

If you like to get lost on Pinterest, you can also find a ton of fun carries you can try with Ring Slings too.  If you like to keep it relatively simple, you can just carry your little babe with the tail down or cover the rings like the photos above, it's completely up to you.

Also, for the open minded male, slings are great too.  My fiancé was a huge baby backpack fan, but since I showed him how to use a Ring Sling, it's been his thing.

Scarf with fringe (that I already owned)
Silk/Cotton Scarf in Rust

Short wrap carries can be really fun.  If you couldn't tell, we love sling carries and the rebozo is great.  You can buy a Mexican Rebozo online (or on Etsy) if you want for around $40 or you can use a scarf like I do.  For a smaller baby, 70 inches is fine but for a larger baby like mine 80 inches or more is key.  Literally all this is, is a slipknot tied around your shoulder.  That's it.

Our baby girl loves it.  She can explore all she wants, be close to mama and enjoy her baby life to the fullest.  Also, the fringe looks cool as hell.  I always dig the fringe.

Well that's it.  I wear our baby girl everyday.  She loves it, I love it, we're all happy.  I only wish I started wearing her earlier, that's my only regret.  We're still trying new carries and once she gets a little bigger I will jump into the back carries more often.  Once I started wearing her more we both felt more connected.  We do so much together, it's such an important and wonderful bonding experience.  Before I wore her, I was more depressed often and felt a huge lack of independence.  Not good.  Wear your baby, if not for your baby's health do it for your own.  No matter how you choose to wear your baby (if you do), have fun and explore ✌ 

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