It's a kinda Magic.....{the babywearing kind}

In case you have not figured this out yet, I LOVE to babywear. I really, really do! There are so many great reasons to do it and so many ways to do it, that even though my babies are not quite 'babies' anymore, I still find ways to incorporate babywearing into our daily lives and new baby carriers to add to my stash!!

So when about a month ago, my good friend and fellow entrepreneur Erin from Cosy Baby Happy Mommy presented me with a new baby carrier, her CBHM version 2.0 woven wrap, and asked me to give it a go and tell her what I thought about it, I was like, "Ummm, yes please!!"

Erin started manufacturing woven wraps in a limited quantity last year and I was happy to purchase one of these early versions from her and have her do a very beautiful custom dye job on it. This particular wrap was (and still is) a great wrap. It is a good solid woven wrap and can easily support either of my kids (the 2-year-old and the 4.5 year old too)! And the dye job is fan-freakin-tastic!!

So when she told me that she had an even better fabric coming for Version 2.0 I was very excited!!

Right off the bat, I loved the new version! The weave in the first CBHM woven wraps was a raised diamond weave and was quite grippy (which just means that it takes some breaking in and getting used to). The same exclusive diamond weave is in the new CBHM wraps but they are quite a bit thinner and do not have a raised pattern on them. They are very nice and soft and easy to use right of the bat and especially if you have one that has been dyed (as it usually gets a few washes during the dying process itself).

Woven wraps in general are the work horses of the babywearing world, as they can pretty much do any kind of carry from newborn to toddler to preschooler! And these wraps from Cosy Baby Happy Mommy are no exception. In the circle of babywearing moms that I hang out with on a regular basis, we have dubbed this particular wrap "The Magic Wrap". Why? Well, if most wraps are work horses, then this one is a draft horse! Built for strength and 'hauling' power!!

Photography courtesy of Jenny Astle Photography

 

And the durability and every day usability of the Magic Wrap can't be beat. It is not one of the more delicate silk or wool or open-weaved ones that you can get and end up worrying constantly about snagging or getting dirty. Drag this one on the ground, use it for a picnic blanket and then toss that kid onto your back for the walk home. And then throw it in the washer AND dryer (not something that can be done with all woven wraps) and do it all again the next day.

Oh and the price on these babies....you can get a 4.2 metre for $100.00 and a 4.7 metre wrap for $110.00 CAD and that INCLUDES your custom dye job!! Mamas, THAT is a steal  for a woven wrap. And once it is dyed to your specifications, it is truly a one of a kind woven wrap made just for you!

So without any further ado, here is the Cosy Baby Happy Mommy Woven 'Magic' Wrap in action. I have been getting a lot of requests for a video about this particular way to do a back carry, the Jordan's back carry. So here it is (with a little comic relief in the background).  And I apologize for the lighting, I am still getting the hang of recording videos.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-J1Qbka_gs[/youtube]

 

You can get your very own CBHM 'Magic Wrap' HERE.

I am still not sure if I should get this one dyed or not...

What do you think?

 

Happy Babywearing Everyone!

Natasha~

Disclosure: Cosy Baby Happy Mommy gave me a 'Magic Wrap' to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way. 

 

 

{literally} made for me....

In case you haven't quite figured it out...I have a slight addiction.

And no, it is not Twitter!

Hello, My name is Natasha and I am addicted to Babywearing.

And baby carriers. Lots and lots of baby carriers!

And lately, my addiction is all about woven wrap baby carriers

So when I got a call a few weeks ago from a mama offering to MAKE me a woven wrap in my Natural Urban Mamas colors, I JUMPED at it!

And not only was it going to be made just for me, this magical wrap weaving just happens to be going on right here in my very own backyard in central Alberta!! More reasons to be super thrilled about this!  The fabulous mama duo who are making these amazing baby carriers one by one do it so that each one is made "with the wisdom of motherhood woven into every thread"!

Becky, the owner of Uppymama, had to special order one of the green threads in to match the carrier to my logo and I told her to surprise me with the design. She sent me this picture while the wrap was still on the loom! How cool is that!!

I picked up my Uppymama carrier last week and I was not disappointed in the least. It IS so awesome!! (Yes, I am having a total babywearing geek-out!)

The colors are PERFECT!!

 

I can't believe how soft it is too! I spent the first night wearing it as a shawl while I was curled up on the couch watching TV!

I tried each of the kids in it for a few minutes around the house and this past weekend we took it for the ultimate 'test drive', a two-hour walk with a 32 pound toddler on my back to and from the off-leash dog park by our house.

And it was amazing!

Sturdy, supportive, and with just the right amount of slip for easy wrapping. No pressure points anywhere on me or on the kids and just so damn soft!!  This is definitely a thicker wrap than what I am used to (my lovely Dolcino Bali and beautiful Chimparoo Sol), but I really like it and I know I will appreciate the thickness more as the weather starts to turn more fall-like around here.

Natural Urban Dad even had to get in on the custom wrap action (mostly because the Princess insisted on going on Daddy's back!) and seriously people... My man can rock a wrap like no ones business!!

Our lovely Uppymama custom wrap is going into our demo carrier rotation and will mostly be used as a teaching wrap during our workshops and consultations. It is perfect for this for a few reasons. The ladies designed it so that each rail (edge) of the wrap is a different color and therefore easy to keep track of when wrapping. And I beleive the thickness will really help with getting people to understand the importance and get the right amount of tightness when wrapping and tying a woven wrap.

If you are interested in getting your own custom wrap from Uppymama, you can definitely do so, just be prepared for a wait! Their customs list is backed up into late October! And please remember to tell them that I sent you!!

Happy Babywearing Everyone!

Natasha~

 

 

 

 

 

Stretchy VS. Woven: Winning the "wrap" race.

Ah!! The wraparound baby carrier. Five meters of fabric that can literally change your life as a new parent. You don't believe me? Just talk to the any parent who has done some babywearing and ask them the one thing that they could not live without. I'll bet hard cash that a lot of them will likely say their wraparound carrier.

And why wouldn't they? This amazing piece of fabric holds your precious little baby nice and snug on your body in the perfect physiological position (upright and tummy-to-tummy) and puts everyone at ease. Babies are where they expect to be, close to their source of food, warmth and love. And mamas (and dads too) are holding on to their beautiful little bundles of joy without losing the full use of both of their arms.

And psst...did you know that there is some amazing (Canadian) research that shows that babies who are held and carried more actually cry 51% less than babies who are not? (1)  If that alone, does not convince you of the merits of a baby carrier of any kind, well, then go ahead and get yourself LOTS of Tylenol!!

Now that you are convinced that you do indeed need a wraparound baby carrier. Which kind do you get?

There are two main categories for Wrap Carriers: the stretchy wraps and the woven wraps.

Stretchy Wraps.

Stretchy wraps are, well...stretchy. They are usually made of a knit fabric like a stretch cotton or cotton-jersey blend or even a bamboo blend. Some are organic, some are not, but they are all made with a certain percentage of spandex or Lycra in them to allow for the stretchiness.

Stretchy wraps are ideal baby carriers for newborns. The wide straps cross over your back and shoulders and distribute the weight of your baby perfectly and evenly on your body. They keep them nice and snug and safe against your body and away from the prying eyes and hands of strangers. The learning curve for a stretchy wrap is not that steep and with a few days of practice you should be able to wrap that baby on you in no time.

There are lots of different brands to choose from and they are all very good. Moby, SleepyWrap and our very own Edmonton-based Cosy Baby Happy Mommy all make very nice stretchy wraps and you can't go wrong with one from any of these great manufacturers.

The nature of the stretchy wrap is, again, that it is stretchy, and that being said, it is a baby carrier that has limits. While most manufacturers will state that their stretchy wraps have been tested to anywhere from 30 to 45 pounds and a lot of their literature will show a big toddler being carried in a stretchy wrap, the reality is that this is just not that comfortable. Once a baby hits the 17-20 pound mark and is being carried in a stretchy wrap, you will start to feel the fabric pulling and tugging and sagging. You may find that you have to readjust or re-tie often to get the wrap snug again. And a 20 pound baby (think 6-12 month old) is likely also getting to the point where they are a lot more curious about their surroundings and are getting more squirmy in the wrap itself, thus adding to the loosening and pulling on the stretchy fabric.

Your initial thoughts at this point might be, OK, looks like it is time to turn baby forward-facing or time to get him or her onto my back in my stretchy wrap. (Or that your baby is too big to be carried anymore!)

STOP RIGHT THERE!! Neither of these is a good or safe option in a stretchy wrap!

I have written a lot about why forward facing in ANY carrier is not ideal for you or for you baby and why babywearing is not just for small babies. You can review that again here and here. As for back carrying, it is NEVER recommended that you do a back carry in a stretchy wrap. The nature of the fabric is just not strong enough or supportive enough to hold your baby or toddler as firmly as needed on your back. If your baby gets distracted by something or someone and decides to lean back a bit too far, they can pull the carrier back enough that they could fall out of it. If you need a visual demonstration of why back carries are not to be done in a stretchy wrap, please watch this video.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J19oOkQ61hI[/youtube]

  • Stretchy Wraps are a good option for new moms and babies to introduce them to the fantastic world of babywearing.
  • They are a great baby carrier for newborns and infants and comfortably up to about 20 pounds in a front carrying tummy-to-tummy position.
  • They are never to be used for back carries and not recommended to use for forward facing carries either.
  • Price point is between $50-90.

Woven or NON-stretchy Wraps

A woven wrap is simply a wrap that is made of a woven fabric. And woven wraparound baby carriers (usually made of 100% Oeko-Tek certified fabrics and designed by textile engineers with babywearing in mind) are inherently stronger and have far less, if any, stretch or 'give' to them then the knit or stretchy wraps do.

Woven wraps are by far the most versatile of ALL the baby carriers out there. You can learn to do multiple different front, hip and back carries in a woven wrap. They can be used from newborn to preschool and they come in a beautiful and wide array of colors and styles to suit all tastes.

There is a learning curve to all baby carriers and the woven wrap is no different. It takes practice to get a woven wrap nice and snug around you and baby, but the extra effort is, in my opinion, SO worth it in the end.

Woven wraps have all the same babywearing benefits as stretchy ones and then some. They keep baby snuggled up to you beautifully, they distribute the weight evenly across your hips and shoulders and they are great for nursing in.

They can also be much more comfortable  for baby and you because of the degree of supportiveness that a woven wrap provides. They can be used for heavier babies and toddlers and don't stretch and sag and put strain on you, the wearer. I have worn both my kids extensively in woven wraps and can not think of a better carrier to use for both the newborn phase and the big toddler phase too! A woven wrap really is the work horse of the baby carrier world and and is ideal for those who want to get the most mileage out of their carrier.

  • Woven wraps can be used for front (tummy-to-tummy), hip and back carries.
  • Can be used from newborn to toddlerhood (and sometimes even beyond!)
  • Provides optimal support for the wearer and the baby for longer wearing time.
  • Nature of the woven fabric reduces the likelihood of pressure points and strain on the wearer.
  • Price point is between $90-160.00.

So while I think that a stretchy wrap is a great introduction to babywearing for moms and babies, I truly feel that if that introduction can be made with a woven wrap and the little bit of extra effort made to learn how to use it, the woven wrap, just like the tortoise, can and eventually will, slowly and steadily, win the babywearing "wrap" race!

Dolcino Woven Wrap in "Bali" and a 30+ lb 2.5 year old!

If you would like help choosing and using any kind of wrap around baby carrier, please email me at natasha@naturalurbanmamas.com and I will gladly help you find a carrier that fits all your babywearing needs!

Happy Babywearing!

Natasha~

References:
1. Hunziker UA, Garr RG. (1986) Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A random-ized controlled trial. Pediatrics 77:641-648

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Summer Blog Challenge posts for August 15, 2011